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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monday Mailbox July 1, 2013

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
For JULY: the Mailbox Monday Tour host is Tasha @ Book Obsessed.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) but is now hosted at Mailbox Monday and through various blog hosts.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 



I received three print titles and picked up the two free audios through Sync YA summer program.

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?


Review Titles
I received these three titles from Forever/Hachette.
July Release:

Guilty as Sin 
by Jami Alden







 July Release
by Debra Webb

and
 August Release

by Debra Webb


Won

I've haven't been entering any contests that I recall. :-)

Purchased
None


Free

Audios:
I downloaded this past week's pair free from SYNC YA June 27 – July 3, 2013:
This looks like another fun pairing!

RottersRotters
By Daniel Kraus
Read by Kirby Heyborne
Published by Listening Library
AudioFile Earphones Award
Odyssey Award Winner
“Kirby Heyborne expertly plumbs the depths of Joey’s despair and growing fascination with the grotesque trappings of his new occupation.” –AudioFile Magazine


and
Frankenstein
Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley
Read by Jim Weiss
Published by Listening Library
“…the listener is quietly swept up.”
–AudioFile Magazine Magazine




I didn't have to download any free Kindle Titles this week; 
linked through Free Par-tayInspired Reads, Pixel of Ink and Kindle Review.

It's Monday What are You Reading? July 1, 2013

This meme starts at Book Journey!

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

This seemed like a slow reading week even though I did finish three titles and got well into an Audio.  I posted four reviews, one with Giveaway Link and one with ARC Giveaway. I also posted the weekly Mailbox Monday meme, Friday Pick Giveaway, Saturday Snapshot, Sharing Beyond Books Comment Giveaway and Sunday Words.

I'm pleased I got to visit a bit mostly at the end of the week. I still need to do more.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review and ARC Giveaway: One Day in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand, Contemporary Romance; my rating 4.25. Ends 7/5.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle


The Bane (The Eden Trilogy) (Volume 1)
by Keary Taylor

I enjoyed this and will post a review this week. Selected from NetGalley.
Click on Title for full Book Description





2. eBook/Kindle


Take Me Back: A Give & Take Novella
by Kelli Maine
This is a bit of a ghost story with romance.
I will post a review this week.
I picked this up at NetGalley.
Book Description
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
In the bestselling tradition of Sylvia Day and E. L. James...

DESIRE THAT CAN'T BE DENIED
Rachael DeSalvo is haunted by the past. She's come home to her beloved Turtle Tear Island, where she looks forward to happy days and bliss-filled nights in the arms of Merrick Rocha. But when she finds a trunk full of old photo albums and handwritten notes, Rachael soon realizes that the island has not given up all its secrets . . .

For long before Rachael and Merrick made Turtle Tear Resort their home, this historic island was a haven for sensual, forbidden affairs. As Rachael and Merrick work to restore the grand hotel to its former glory, they will be caught in the perfect maelstrom of conflict and desire.

"I love the banter between Rachael and Merrick throughout the book..... some steamy scenes that will not leave you disappointed." --The Indie Bookshelf



3. Print



The Woman He Loved Before
by Dorothy Koomson
This was a surprise and more engaging than I expected.
I will post a review this week with giveaway.
Click on title for full Book Description.



eBook/Kindle
Did Not Finish


Fire Inside: A Chaos Novel 
by Kristen Ashley
I wanted to try this author but I decided not to read this after the first 15 pages or so. I will say that the writing is solid and enticing. I think in the long run I would like the characters although I wasn’t sure at first. But I can’t get beyond the language – crude both before and during sex - yes, it gets to sex in the prologue and first 3% of the book. This one is just too steamy for me to enjoy so I am going to pass and read something else.
There are many good reviews listed at Amazon.
I encourage those who like steamy romance to give this a try.
Book Description
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
"I adore Kristen Ashley's books. Her stories grab you by the throat from page one and . . . continue to dwell in your mind days after you've finished the story."
-Maya Banks, New York Times bestselling author
Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .
For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.



Line Edits/Releases:
Still working on details for two more titles for print release and two we are completing formats on for ebook release.


Currently reading:

1. Print



Haven Creek (A Cavanaugh Island Novel)
by Rochelle Alers
I just started this and like the easy flow so far.
Reviewing (with copy giveaway) for Forever/Hachette.
Click on title for full Book Description.



2. Audible


Maelstrom: Destroyermen, Book 3
     by Taylor Anderson
    Narrated by William Dufris
       I had this on my MP3 and have wanted to read more in the series.
I am continuing the adventures!
This is from my own Audible library.
Publisher's Summary
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, along with the men and women of the U.S.S. Walker, are once again at war. Having sided with the peaceful Lemurians against the savage, reptilian Grik, they now find themselves scrambling to prepare for the attack that is sure to come, searching for resources to support their forces - even as they look for allies to join their struggle.
Meanwhile, the Japanese juggernaut Amagi, also trapped in this strange world, is under Grik control---with her fanatical commander approaching madness. And soon they will have amassed a force that no amount of firepower and technology will be able to stop.As the raging conflict approaches, Reddy, his crew, his allies, and his loved ones face annihilation. But if there is one thing they have learned about their new world, it is that hope - and help - may be just over the horizon.
©2008 Taylor Anderson; (P)2009 Tantor



3. eBook/Kindle


Silent Warrior

by Lindsey Piper
This is prequel I picked up at NetGalley to see if I might like the series.
Book Description
Publication Date: April 22, 2013
An exciting, emotionally charged prequel to the Dragon Kings trilogy featuring warriors fighting for their lives in violent cage matches to guarantee their clans’ survival—available exclusively as an eBook!

A silent woman ashamed of her criminal background becomes a Cage warrior to seek redemption. An unrepentant fortune hunter will do anything to escape his mounting debts. Although rivals on the streets of Hong Kong, they find common ground when seeking their clan’s stolen idol, but for vastly different reasons. Neither one suspects that love will begin when he becomes the first man in five years to hear her speak.



I continue to listen to The Listener's Bible NIV read by Max McLean. [Reading and listening on MP3.] I am studying with the Tyndall One Year Bible this year, hoping to read daily along with my DH.

Line Edits: Several more releases being prepared for the next few weeks. I am still doing more Smashword conversions in between print formatting.


I have several print books carrying over from June to July and new ones to add. At least I only have two Book Blasts tours set later in July. I don't have the schedule fully laid out yet so I will include it next week. 
June Scheduled:
Completed

SOURCEBOOKS
   done

Hachette - Forever
    Haven Creek (A Cavanaugh Island Novel) by Rochelle Alers (reading)
    Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Molly Cannon
    A House Divided by Kimberly Lawson Roby

NetGalley:
     Silent Warrior by Lindsey Piper (reading)


AudioBook Jukebox  -  selecting new titles

Author Books received at March EPICon
     Convict Dad by P. Ryan Hembree


From TBR Collection - Completed
Won Book - TBD

Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords: TBD

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 30, 2013

Our Pastor has been suffering with some health issues. He had a surgery this week which went well but he still needs healing. We are praying for you Pastor.

This morning Pastor’s son-in-law, Vince, a Pastor in a nearby county, shared a message and we had a wonderful word from the Spirit.

The central verse for the Sermon was Acts 2:2, focusing on the word “Suddenly.” Jesus told his disciples to ‘go and wait’ for the Spirit. They didn’t know what was coming but they had to step out in faith and obedience. In our lives we need to exercise faith and obedience. We need to learn not to complain about our circumstances but rather look for opportunities for God to work. God is a God of process. He reserves the right to interrupt our plans if we are moving on without his guiding hand.

When Christ’s followers gathered they heard a sound like a violent wind. Violent wind can be like a roar of waves. When God speaks his breath blows. Do not get frightened or distracted by the roar. Do not stop praying or stop your good works as the roar signifies heaven opening up, waters coming.

A ‘roar’ can also mean rumors--something about to happen. God lets news leak from heaven. Keep on and prepare yourself. Your answer is coming, the answer is on the way. Don't give up. The ‘suddenly’ is coming.

This is a message for someone. No doubt someone in our congregation this morning but maybe for someone who reads this post too.  The message shared: God has already answered your prayer in healing, deliverance and empowerment. Suddenly it will be there for you. Set your ear to hear God’s word, open your heart and prepare for your Suddenly!

I know it is July 4th week and we did sing some patriotic songs this morning. 
But none fit for this message. 
Instead I was led to this video song - Spirit Break Out


A Verse for today:
Acts 2:2 (NIV)
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

I am excited to anticipate a 'suddenly' event in my life. Meanwhile, I pray for my county and ask God to Bless America.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sharing Beyond Books #106 Comment Giveaway June 29, 2013

Hello again on Saturday night and Welcome to SBB, Sharing Beyond Books.

It's been a hot week here when it hasn't been raining.

Thank you to all who shared last week.

Our collective book reading is from 185 to 220 per month! Some as little as 1 and some as many as 22!
 
What fun to be reminded of so many childhood games: many board games like Monopoly (apparently a favorite), Scrabble, Life, Parcheesi and more; card games including Old Maids, Uno, Go Fish; and other games like Yahtzee. Not to mention the outside games like hopscotch, jump rope and tag. And early computer games like PacMan and Super Mario!

~~~~
The Winner from SBB #105 comments is: #24 Nikki who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the ARC/Review titles, Christmas titles or Love titles - all linked near the end of the post.  Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #106 Questions

Q1. Emily asks: How likely are you to go out of your comfort zone when choosing a book to read? Will you give it a chance, or no way Jose???
A: I try to stretch myself now and again. Usually I will press on to finish the book. However, as I have just experienced this week, I became really uncomfortable after beginning a book and feel that I am not going to enjoy it. So I decided to give it a pass since there are so many other books waiting to be read. :-).  

 Here is a book challenge if you want to step out...
Image found at A Novel Challenge.

Q2. My non-bookish Question this week: Do you have a favorite pillow??
A: When I was young I loved my foam rubber, medium hard, pillow. I was in a rear-end car accident in my late 20s which caused some neck discomfort. As I have gotten older my neck has been a bit stiff. I now use a travel type neck pillow which I do take with me when I travel. I also use a small foam pillow under my knees which has helped reduce pain there.

My DH happens to still love a feather pillow. The kids bought him a new one to replace the old after it got yucky.

Image found at Shopping.Yahoo.com.


Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! We can always use fresh questions. I do have a group of questions from the same submitters so if you have a question don't be afraid to ask!
JUNE QUESTIONS were contributed by Birgit, miki, nrlymrtl, Becky and Emily. Random.org winner for a book pick is BECKY!

Your turn to share:

Q1. Emily asks: How likely are you to go out of your comfort zone when choosing a book to read? Will you give it a chance, or no way Jose??

Q2. My non-bookish Question this week: Do you have a favorite pillow??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books , the Christmas Giveaway Books, or the Newly June 2012 Updated ARC/Review List.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on any (or all) of the two/three questions above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.

I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made by Friday, July 5, 2013 at 10 PM central.

Audio Book Review: Hearts of Shadow, A Deadglass Novel, Book 2, by Kira Brady

I really like the protagonists and the intensity in this story.
Hearts of Shadow
A Deadglass Novel, The Deadglass Trilogy, book 2
By Kira Brady
Read by Xe Sands

Length 10.0 hrs • UNABRIDGED
Publisher: 2013 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Publisher/Date: Blackstone Audio, 05/07/13
In this brilliant new novel in the Deadglass series, a fierce young woman’s quest entangles her in an apocalyptic endgame—and unexpected desire.

Grace Mercer’s unmatched wraith-killing ability made her the unofficial defender of a city shattered by supernatural catastrophe. So there’s no way she’ll allow the new regent of Seattle’s most powerful dragon-shifter clan to “protect” her from a vicious evil stalking the ruined streets or keep her from the freedom she’s risked everything to earn.

Leif’s science-honed instincts tell him Grace is the key to keeping shifters and humans safe, but helping this wary fighter channel her untapped power is burning away the dragon’s sensual self-control and putting a crucial alliance at risk. Soon the only chance Leif and Grace will have to save their world will be a dangerously fragile link that could forever unite their souls—or consume everything in a storm of destruction.
© 2013 by Kira Brady


Review:
Grace is a human girl whose world fell apart when demons were unleashed destroying the city (the first book). Post apocalyptic Seattle is now under the control of a powerful dragon-shifter clan, the Drekar, with an uneasy alliance–maybe–with a Native American shifter clan, the Kivati, and the extremely prejudiced human authorities. As these leaders juggle power and control, the city and their people are facing attacks from zombie humans who are being possessed by demon wraiths.

Leif is the reluctant leader of the dragon-shifters. He would rather be working on experiments in his laboratory and has been neglecting his ruling duties, or leaving them to his female high counselor, Zetian.

Grace was pulled into the control of the dragon-shifters by Sven, Leif’s manipulative and cruel brother. Sven had Grace trained as a warrior-assassin but he also made her a bond slave and used her. It wasn’t rape but lies and misguided adoration that had her in the position of a sexual partner. Grace soon learned to hate her bondage and will take on any fight to earn her way to freedom.

No one understands fully why Grace is such a powerful wraith killer although they believe part of her power is reflected by the rune tattoos that cover her lithe body. Leif is fascinated by the young woman and wants to protect her. He doesn’t know how to release the slave bond so she must continue to work off the debt. But when he forbids her to fight he unintentionally takes away her source of earnings.

The three jostling powers are threatened by a power hungry, love thwarted demi-god. As the clans struggle to find the artifacts that will defeat the demi-god, Leif struggles to get Grace to succumb, by her free choice, to their passion. Grace believes that the dragon-shifters are soulless and she has the horrible past betrayal to teach her not to trust one. But Leif continues to assault her with honor and kindness. Can the dragon and human find love and break a curse that legend says has stolen the dragon soul?

This story is very engaging with lots of action as Grace individually, and with others including the powerful dragon, Leif, battle paranormal beings and body stealing wraiths. There is quite a bit of pagan legend, including an Ishtar brothel, that has a prominent place in the story. It seemed that the mythological and pagan elements were extremely well researched and consistent for the background of the battles that rage. There is good description and development of the settings, intense action and romance. The passion is lovely with Leif’s integrity and devotion which I liked. I also  really liked the strength of Grace’s character, especially as she overcomes her past insecurities and betrayals.

Audio Notes: I enjoyed the narration by Xe Sands. I felt that she portrayed Grace exceedingly on point, in intensity, frustrations and fierceness. She also did a good job getting the other characters with different voices and capturing their respectful, or not, attitudes. I'm interested to see what other stories she narrates.

I recommend this story as an entertaining, fast paced, listen.

I received this MP3 download from Blackstone Audio through AudioBook Jukebox.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Saturday Snapshot June 29, 2013 - Wet Trees

We had a storm move through town at the end of the afternoon. I thought it might be interesting to get some pictures of the yard in rain. A couple of the shots were too blurry as I was dodging rain drops but here are some that show the light through the wetness.

Side yard to the East of driveway.

Driveway looking to the West.

We have this large tree that leans toward the driveway.
My husband insists it is secure but it  makes me a bit nervous when I drive under it.
The Leaning Tree:


 I park my car a bit further to the left just out of the above picture.
Here is the tree canopy above where I park my car.
The leaning tree has that broken branch stub in the right of the picture.

As I was taking the pictures I suddenly realized my feet were getting wet.
I have this favorite pair of slip on sneakers that have worn through. :-(
My daughter is threatening to throw them away:


I hope you are staying dry!
Thanks to all who stop by and visit.

A big Thank You to Alyce at Alyce of At Home With Books who has hosted this meme for a number of years. She is taking a summer hiatus at her blog and the new host will be Melissa at West Metro Mommy. Thank you to Melissa for picking up the responsibility. 

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky being hosted this summer by West Metro Mommy. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway June 28, 2013

[** If you are new to Friday Pick Giveaway - Welcome!  Scroll down a bit (below book group #19) for instructions on how to enter.]

Happy Friday Friends!! I am sooo glad it is Friday! I had a very busy, tense week with several end of month closings.  (I've added another group of books this week.)

[UPDATED NOTE - US entrants I prefer, please, that you pick a book as that is the first purpose of this giveaway - to find new homes for books. The GCs are for the  international entrants because postage has jumped up.]

Thank you to all who entered the June 21 Pick. There was ONE Automatic win this week. (Automatic winners are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks). Most of the titles were blocked by multiple picks this week -- a couple of books are quite popular. :-)

bn100 gets Dark Roots & Cowboy Boots

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from June 21 Pick:
A lucky day for gift cards.
Fredamans gets a GC - 
Darklittle Dancer gets a GC

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual or sexy and I have a new supply of sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}

Now doesn't that look like a lovely spot to read?
Image found at Marquette Magazine.

New Book Group #40 June 28, 2013
Pairs:
     (Highlands) Highland Treasure by Amanda Scott and Highlander Unbound by Julia London
     (Angels) Not Quite An Angel by Bobby Hutchinson and An Angel for Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad
Singles:
What Sarah Saw by Margaret Daley (Cover has black line across where bookstore crossed it for clearance)
Her Last Chance by Terri Reed  (Cover has black line across where bookstore crossed it for clearance)
The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes
Mission: Irresistible by Lori Wilde
Sin and Scandal in England by Melody Thomas
Dance With Me by Luanne Rice
A Mother's Day Anthology - three stories
Rising Moon by Lori Handeland
Star Light, Star Bright by Katherine Stone
Another View by Rosamunde Pilcher
Promise Forever by Marta Perry


New Book Group #39 May 31, 2013 - Plenty of "summer" titles!
Oops - I never added all the links last month so no promises on these either.

Pairs:
Hannah Howell
     Highland Hearts and Highland Destiny
Catherine Anderson
     My Sunshine and Blue Skies
Elizabeth Lowell
     Remember Summer and Too Hot to Handle
Singles:
Touched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly
Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
That Summer by Joan Wolf
Shadow of the Sun by Tammy Hilz
Dark Summer by Iris Johansen
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Summer by the Cottage by Susan Wiggs
Shadow Beach by Barbara Freethy
It All Began at Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler


New Book Group #38 April 20, 2013
Here is a group with many mysteries.  Links to be added as I get time.


Pairs:
Amanda Scott
      Abducted Heiress and Highland Bride
Sandra Brown
     Texas! Chase and Exclusive (spine wear) (not the covers as on the links)
A Murderous Yarn by Monica Ferris
Deadly Advise by Roberta Isleib
Dial Emmy for Murder by Eileen Davidson 
On Deadly Ground (Love Inspired Suspense) by Lauren Nichols
Happy Never After by Kathy Hogan Trocheck
Female Intellignece by Jane Heller
Improper English by Katie MacAllister
Sheer Dynamite by Jennifer Skully
Golden Chances by Rebbecca Hagen Lee
Caitlin's Guardian Angel by Marie Ferrarella
Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh


New Book Group #37 March 22, 2013
As I am linking these titles it is clear to me why they were in my TBR boxes and it is really hard to let them go but I have soooo many. Better that they find good reader homes than sit on my shelves, or in a box, and collect dust. 
Pairs:
Carly Phillips
     The Heartbreaker and Simply Sinful
Singles:
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.
Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones
To Tame a Rebel by Georgina Gentry
While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee
Lord Liar by Laurie Grant
Lady in Red by Karen Hawkins
The Admiral's Bride by Suzanne Brockmann
Marry Me, Maddie by Rita Herron
Lady Ice by Joan Hohl
Dark Roots & Cowboy Boots by LuAnn McLane
Only My Dreams by Anna Blundy



New Book Group #36 February 15, 2013
Pairs:
Tara Taylor Quinn
     Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
Tom Clancy
     Power Play: Cold War (paperback) and Power Play: Ruthless.com (audio cassette tapes)
Singles:
Timeline by Michael Crichton
Bride of Shadow Canyon by Stacey Kayne
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Always a Lady by Sharon Sala
Her Wedding Wish by Jillian Hart


New Book Group #35 January 11, 2013
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing 

Pairs
Mary Baxter
    His Touch and One Summer Evening
Singles-- I found a couple of boxes of romances (a lot of Harlequins) that I haven't gotten to read over the past 8 years so... I will send them off to others to read!
Never Say Never Again by Tori Carrington
*Merger of Fortunes by Peggy Moreland
*The Banker's Convenient Wife by Lynne Graham
* The Millionaire's Daughter by Sophie Weston


New Book Group #34 December 7, 2012--- (All gone)

New Book Group #33 October 27, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing

SINGLES - CHRISTMAS TITLES (Better sizes for international) 
*Deck the Halls by Arlene James (slight spine creasing)
*A Holiday Prayer by Deb Kastner  (slight spine creasing)


New Book Group #32 October 5, 2012
- Oops upside down book! NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one - A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley
Please Remember This by Katleen Giles Seidel
The Boy's Tale (Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries) by Margaret Frazer


New Book Group #31 August 31, 2012
I pulled some more books from several of my boxes.

An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)


New Book Group #30 July 27, 2012
This time I pulled some books from one of my older boxes.
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing


The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Wild Escapade by Lisa Bingham
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander (postage too much - replaced with GC)

New Book Group #29 June 29, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing

Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
*One is the Lonliest Number - Tom Clancey's Net Force

New Book Group #28 May 18, 2012 (All gone)

New book Group #27 April 13, 2012 (All gone)

New book Group #26 March 2, 2012--- (All gone)

New Group #25 January 12, 2012---(All gone)

New Group #24 Pick Books November 25, 2011---(All gone)

New Group #23 Pick Books October 14, 2011
I tried to pick some books that would be good for October -
Halloween or dark minded.
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser


New Group #22 Pick Books September 2, 2011---(All gone)

New Group #21 of Pick Books July 29, 2011
Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory Novels) by Carol O'Connell

May, 2011 New Group of Pick books Group #20
Luciano's Luck by Jack Higgins - Audio Cassettes

3/25/11 I did get to set up a new group of books: Group #19
Primary Colors - audio tapes
*Note of Peril (black strip on cover)

2/19/11 Book Group #18- Pairs!---(All gone).

I have finally updated the intro and Entry paragraphs here:

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick in November 27, 2009 and in three years I have posted 33 groups of 16 (528) books to find new homes! (November 2012)

I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want! I am happy to say that so far about 523 books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed.

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, etc....you tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $5.00 and $6.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

TO ENTER:
Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 10:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up past midnight to do the winner post!
I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.
Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.
WINNERS PLEASE CHECK THE WIN POST ON FRIDAYS AND fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me at mesreads@gmail.com. [I will confirm receipt of the addresses- well I realize I haven't always done this. But if you filled out the form and don't get the book within two weeks nudge me with an email please!] If I have the winners e-mail I will send a reminder in a week or so....

Thanks for helping these books find new homes!!

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

1/14/11 New List #17--- (All gone)

12/3/10 Book Set: #16
Sleight of Hand by Robin Hathaway
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown  (postage too much - replaced with GC)

List #15---(All gone)

List #14---(All gone)

Here is set #13 of Used books! ---(All gone)

Group #12---(All gone)

Group #11
Cat's Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester

List #1
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo

Pick #2---(All gone)

Pick #3---(All gone)

Pick #4
Talking God by Tony Kellerman

Pick #5
See Jane Lead by Lois P. Frankel
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein - Audio Tapes

Pick #6---(All gone)

Pick #7
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
Princess Charming by Jane Heller (slightly creased)

Pick #8
(sc) = slightly creased on binding otherwise all in good shape
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray
Guardian by Dee Henderson - Audio Tapes
Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter - Audio Tapes

Pick #10---(All Gone)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: One Day in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand

This is a sweet, light romance with an adorable puppy.
One Day in Apple Grove 
by C.H. Admirand
Pages: 320
Publisher     Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN-10     1402269021
ISBN-13     978-1402269028
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Release date: June 4, 2013
Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (pop. 597), a small town with a big heart.
Caitlin Mulcahy loves her family. She really does. But sometimes they can drive her to her last shred of sanity—from her dad ("I'm not meddling, I just want what's best for you") to her eight-months-pregnant older sister to her younger sister, who will do just about anything to avoid real work. Cait just needs to get away, even if for only an hour.

When she sees someone in need of help on the side of the road, of course she's going to pull over. She might even be able to fix his engine—after all, the Mulcahy family is a handy bunch. She's not expecting that former Navy medic Jack Gannon and a little black puppy named Jameson will be the ones who end up rescuing in her.


Review:
Meg is encouraging Caitlin to find a man but not only are the choices limied in their small town, but Cait is overloaded with work. Cait and her two sisters have taken over their father’s ‘handy man’ business. Now older sister, Meg, who has helped raise Cait, is busy with a toddler and a new baby on the way. That leaves Cait covering the jobs for both of them. Meanwhile younger sister Grace manages the office but longs to find adventure in a big city.

One day she is heading home and sees a car that appears stranded. Cait, with her mechanic skills, steps forward to help. She is ‘attacked’ by a little black puppy who is being rescued by Doc Jack  Gannon. Jack is a former Navy medic who has returned to his home town to take over his father’s small town practice.

The stray puppy is enchanted with Cait and Jack asks if she can help him take care of the pup by visiting during the day. Cait and Jack are soon inseparable as they share the joy of training the rascally Jameson. Jack is suffering from PTSD and is reluctant to share his fears and guilt with anyone, including Cait. This causes conflict that has to be resolved to keep their relationship on track.

This is a sweet, sweet story of romance found in a small town. I enjoyed the setting in a charming little town where everyone knows your business. Cait and Jack are really warm characters. Then add their families and Cait’s best friend, Peggy. There are a few struggles and sorrows, especially when the puppy’s real owner shows up a week later to claim him.  If you look at the cover of the book you will see an adorable black pup on the sidewalk. This little character is a star in the book.

This is apparently part of a series set in Apple Grove but this book works fine as a stand alone. I would enjoy reading Ms. Admirand again and am eyeing her Irish Western series. The writing is light and real. All in all this a nice, warm read. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jack is difficult but Cait is willing to stick it out:
Going with her gut, she reached for his hand. He stared at it for a momment, as if he weren’t sure he should touch her, but then finally linked fingers with her and let her draw him toward her.... The steady beaat of his heart reassured her–now it was her turn to reassure him. “I’m not going anywhere.” Page 179.
I received this from Sourcebooks for an honest review.

ENTER THE FORM FOR THIS GIVEAWAY of the ARC Copy:


For 3 Extra Bonus entries Visit the author's website and tell me something you find of interest.

ONE Winner-
* This contest is open to US or Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on July 5, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED on July 6, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Anonymous Sources by Mary Louise Kelly

This is an intense, engaging thriller!
Anonymous Sources
By Mary Louise Kelly


File Size: 664 KB
Print Length: 354 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476715548
Publisher: Gallery Books (June 18, 2013)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
ASIN: B00A25FCRO

Genre: Thriller
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0


Book Description
Release date: June 18, 2013
An intriguing thriller from a former NPR correspondent about a young reporter who must match wits with spies, assassins and a terrorist sleeper cell targeting the very heart of American power.
“If, on an early summer’s night, you wanted to kill a man, how would you do it? Would you lay a trap, sharpen a dagger, uncork a poison?
Personally, I’ve always leaned toward the dramatic.
But looking back, I wonder now if the events of last summer didn’t begin with a quieter sort of murder.”

So ponders Alexandra James, a beautiful, driven, yet troubled New England Chronicle reporter. She is assigned to cover the death of Thom Carlyle, son of one of the most powerful men in Washington. Just back from a year abroad, Thom falls from the top of a Harvard bell tower on a warm summer night. Did he jump, or was he pushed? For Alex James, who can get in anywhere, sleep with anyone, out-drink and out-shop her demons, it is the story of a lifetime. As she chases leads from Harvard Yard to the courtyards of Cambridge, England, to a clandestine rendezvous in London, to the inside of a nuclear terrorist network...the intrigue seems to suit her.

But nothing is what it seems. When she arrives back in Washington, DC, for a key interview that promises to tie together the leads she has puzzled out, Alex the hunter becomes Alex the hunted. An assassin is dispatched...Her laptop disappears...Her phone is tapped...And she begins to grasp that Thom Carlyle may have been killed to hide a terrifying conspiracy within the White House itself. Former NPR Intelligence correspondent Mary Louise Kelly has turned her own real-life reporting adventures into fiction with this stylish spy thriller.


Review:
Alexandra James is a passionate journalist with a high energy personality. She has some control and neurotic issues left over from a traumatic loss but she keeps the demons at bay – mostly– by obsessive work. Her ‘news beat’ is higher education, a prestigious spot she earned by persistently following the crumbs to uncover a deeper story.  Her demanding boss knows he can rely on her to get the details and often scoop the competition.

Alex begins to investigate the death of a graduate student, Thom Carlyle, who ‘fell’ from Harvard Bell Tower. Thom is the son of the President’s legal counsel. There are rumors of suicide but Alex learns that there were no fingerprints at the crime scene and that raises a red flag. Now she is like a bull tracking down every clue she can find.

Her search leads her to England to interview the ex-girlfriend who is already playing footsie with a handsome, devilishly charming rogue. Alex diligently follows the leads pulling together seemingly unrelated clues because she is convinced the pieces will fall into place. She must be stirring trouble as she gets a warning from a strange Embassy official and she suspects that she has uncovered a terrorist plot. Her editor isn’t buying into her conspiracy theory until the young girl seated next to her on the return flight, who happened to look a lot like Alex, turns up dead before the plane lands.

Now Alex is on the run seeking safety and trying to figure out which officials she can trust. When she is attacked again she learns that their is a traitor high in the government ranks. She has to get to the right people and convince them to track a bomb and figure out the target before it is too late..

I really enjoyed the intense suspense in this thriller. Alex is a flawed character with some psychological problems. I liked her efforts to get beyond destructive behavior and learn to cope with stresses that bring her past to haunt her. There was a hint of a local romance development but then a different relationship was established which turned out better than I first expected.

There was some head hopping as the author shifted a few times to the view of the killer. That can distract the reader a little, but the story was fast paced and quickly moved beyond those points. The overall excitement of the story made it a page-turner, hold-your-breath at times, read for me. There was also humor that helped break the tension in a good way. I learned details about bomb materials and terrorist cells that were very interesting.

My undergraduate degree was in journalism so I enjoy stories involving journalists. I was reminded of The Pelican Brief as I read this. I really liked Alex's determination to get to the truth and I appreciated the support she got from her gruff boss. I highly recommend this book especially if you enjoy high suspense. It's rather a shame the cost is a bit pricey.

I selected this title through NetGalley and I am very glad that I did.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway Link: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy by Jeff Gunhus

This is another dangerous adventure for Jack and his friends and fun reading.
by Jeff Gunhus

  • File Size: 450 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0988425947
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Seven Guns Press (March 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Genre: Middle Grade, Action Adventure
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: March 30, 2013
After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.


Review:
Jack is determine to find out what happened to his father and to try to rescue him. His two awkward friends, chubby T-Rex and quick Will, might be unlikely fighters but they are determined to stick with Jack. They are being led by the skilled monster hunter, Eva, who showed up to train Jack the day before his fourteenth birthday, when he learned that he is from a long line of Monster Hunters.

The trip to the Monster Hunter Academy takes them over the ocean and through the mountains. They soon are facing dangers, including huge wolves led by a fierce giant wolf named Tiberon. Daniel, another Monster Hunter trainer, is intent on killing all of the wolves.  Jack has an encounter with Tiberon and chooses to help him rather than kill him.

Jack meets the ancient, wise leader, Aquinas, and other trainers and students. Daniel treats Eva as his girl which sets the two boys at odds right away. The other hunters and trainees watch Jack warily as they have heard the rumors about “the one true descendant of the Templars” who legends says can defeat the evil hordes of Ren Lucre who has his father.

Jack is more interested in finding answers about his father than committing seriously to the  training. He does make at least one new friend in a young boy, Xavier, who is a tinkerer creating ‘James Bond’ type gadgets and weapons. Some of those gadgets come in handy as Jack takes on a quest. When Jack returns successfully he discovers the Academy is under attack and he and his friends have to pull together to face the enemy.

I couldn’t help but notice that there are many similarities in the plot line with the first Harry Potter book. There are awkward but loyal friends, an interest in the strong, bright female companion, a wise leader who takes a special interest in Jack and many dangerous creatures. I enjoyed the action and liked that there are a few growing up lessons as the characters develop.

The story is very entertaining and there is clearly more danger and adventure to come. I think this book could be read alone but I recommend starting the series with book one (my review) so the reader has the full history of Jack’s background.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Excerpt:
   Since I can’t be certain that you read my first book about the night I found out I was a monster hunter, I should start out with a warning.
   First, monsters are real. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons; you name it. In fact they are more common than you could ever imagine. Second, this book is not make-believe. This is a truthful account of my life as a monster hunter and the mysterious circumstances that seem to constantly surround me. Third, reading this book makes you fair game for monsters.
   You heard me right: the simple act of reading this book will attract monsters to you and give them the go-ahead to attack. Usually, if you were under fourteen years old, you would be safe by the Law of Quattuordecim, an ancient truce between man and monster that protects non-combatant children on both sides until sundown on their fourteenth birthday. I blew it by attacking a monster that was trying to eat someone I knew the day before my birthday. You’re about to blow it by reading this book.
   If you’re over fourteen, you are already at risk for monster attacks, but in reality they are few and far between. Still, by reading this book, you are guaranteeing they will come after you. So don’t come crying to me if a rock troll chops off your feet or a harpy eats one of your eyeballs.  The choice is yours.
   However, if you decide to turn the page, you’ll be reading about the Monster Hunter Academy, a place no non-monster hunter has ever seen or heard about before. What happened there is not for those with weak stomachs or for those who are easily upset. There is blood and gore and death and, like it or not, some kissing. But there is also an adventure unlike anything you have ever seen before.
   So turn the page if you dare. The adventure starts now.

Jack Templar
I received this book for review as part of Book Blast BlogTour.

monster hunter tour


Book 1:
Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

Awards for Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Book of the Year Finalist by Forward Magazine
Next Generation Indie Book Finalist
gunhus award


Indie Excellence Finalist

 gunhus award 2

 Parents Choice Recommended Book Award

gunhus award 3


Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 7/8/13
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