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2017HoHoHothonLRGGiveaway Ending November 15, 2017 (11:59EST)
HoHoHo Readathon Mini Challenge Giveaway: Holiday Sentence

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Molly Cannon

I found this to be a fun, sweet read.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by Molly Cannon
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (June 25, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1455515760
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Book Description
Release date: June 25, 2013
 Here comes trouble...
Etta Green kissed Everson, Texas, goodbye years ago. A big city chef, she intends to return only long enough to settle her beloved grandmother's estate and then hightail it back to Chicago. But Grammy Hazel had other plans. In her will, she left Etta part-ownership of a B&B that's about to go bankrupt before it even opens. And what's worse--Etta's partner is Donny Joe Ledbetter, a handsome devil with some serious bad boy charm. Growing up, Donny Joe didn't give Etta a second glance. Now, she's got his whole attention.

A far cry from the shy bookworm he once knew, sexy, spirited Etta Green is nothing but trouble. Yet Donny Joe decides to play nice. After all, the quicker they open the B&B, the faster this exasperating--and irresistible--woman will be on her way. Donny Joe has never been a one-woman kind of man. But one crazy little moment of unforgettable desire may change his mind--if he can convince Etta to stay for good...


Review:
Etta is an intense chef who owns a partnership interest in a growing restaurant in Chicago. She is called home to the small town of Everson, Texas, when her beloved Grandmother dies. Etta learns that she and her older sister, Belle, have inherited Grammy’s property which is in the process of being converted into a B&B with the partnership investment and contracting efforts of Donny Joe Ledbetter, a handsome home town fellow with a reputation for trouble and women.

Etta and Belle used to stay with their Grammy during summers. Etta immediately blames Donny Joe for taking advantage of Grammy in setting up the expensive B&B renovations. He is rightfully offended and glad to know that Etta won’t be staying long in town. It’s not a good idea to just sell the property as the renovations aren’t complete and Aunt Beulah would be left homeless. The problem is that Etta is the one whom Grammy expected to manage the operations of the B&B and she wants to get back to Chicago.

Etta tries to figure out what to do as Belle disappears with her latest beau, leaving behind her shy, 8 year old daughter, Daphne. Daphne forms a bond with Beulah working on craft projects to help decorate the B&B. She also strikes up a friendship following Donny Joe to help him however she can. Etta has abandonment issues from her own childhood and is determine to try to shield Daphne and make things seem as stable for her as possible. Another problem is that Daphne realizes that her undisclosed father was someone from this town and she is trying to figure out who that might be.

The crackling animosity between Etta and Donny Joe soon turns to a different kind of tension. Donny Joe is believed to be the ‘love and leave ‘em’ type and figures that a romp with Etta will get her out of his system. Etta figures she won’t be in town long so maybe a fling is just what she needs. Fate has other plans but neither realizes that maybe their growing inclination for commitment might be shared by the other. Ahhh - if only they would accept their own feelings and communicate!

I found the package to be fun: the initial conflict tumbling into passion and growing into the undisclosed desire for commitment for both parties. I liked both lead characters and really was glad that they found each other. Daphne, Beulah and some other characters added interest and flare as well. There was intimacy but it was nicely handled. This felt like a summer read although they are initially busy planning for a Valentine Grand Opening. I would definitely like to read other stories by this author and I recommend this to romance readers who like a little antagonism that leads to passion and love.

I received this ARC from Forever/Hachette for an honest review.

ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the ARC Copy:

Don't forget to fill in the form for entry! 
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.  

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

* This contest is open to those with US address only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on August 9, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on August 10, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr

This is an exciting story filled with action, political and church struggles and even some young love.
The Hero's Lot
by Patrick W. Carr

  • File Size: 928 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764210440
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2013)
Genre: Fantasy Adventure, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy's Most Talented New Voice
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.

In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.


Review:
Errol has gone from being a drunken, obscure peasant to a famous hero and elevated to an earldom in the kingdom of Illustra. He is a rare omne and reader who can cast lots to determine important decisions. He is unaware of his importance to the kingdom, is caught up in a web of events that he doesn’t comprehend and has become a target for many enemies. On top of the political and church manipulations controlling Errol, he and the Princess Adora have developed a mutual affection that would seem impossible to hold any future.

Errol is accused by one man in the conclave of the Judicia, the Church authority, of having consorted with herbwoman, whom many view as witches or whores. Errol was healed with the help of such women so there is no way that he can deny the charges. The head of the church, the Archbenefice, knows this but plans to control the sentencing to protect Errol as a second, more serious charge of treason will be delayed until the first sentence is served. Errol is not guilty of treason but he has knowledge that would reveal actions of other friends and leaders who must be protected. Thus Errol has become a pawn between faithful, if misguided, church leaders and kingdom guard who seek to protect the balance of the people from the power hungry Weir family and their allies who would abuse through control of the throne and the church.

Unfortunately the Duke of Weir, the second accuser, manages to get Errol sentenced to a mission to seek out and kill the feared, fallen church leader, Sarin Valon, who has joined with the enemies in the kingdom of Merakh. It is clearly intended as a death sentence and a compulsion is placed on Errol to enforce his obedience.

Errol at least gets to pick his own team but his best friends, Benefice Martin, his aide, Luis, and Errol’s fighting trainer, Cruk, have left on an undisclosed trip of their own. He then picks an unexpected group: his mentor, Rale, who is a warrior retired to farming; Naaman Ru, a caravan guide who once kidnapped and threatened to kill Errol, and an elderly, defrocked priest. Their journey will be fraught with assassin attempts as the enemy has created a ring of readers who can determine where Errol is and communicate the information through the circle. The danger increases when Princess Adora sneaks away from the kingdom to join Errol on the deadly quest.

Meanwhile Martin, Luis and Cruk have come across another strange man of Deas, Karele, who has shown that Aurae, the spirit of Deas (God) will speak directly to men.  Karele, with the help of Aurae, can counteract the reader and their art of drawing lots. This team too faces perils as they change their course to find Errol and help in his task.

This book is epic and engaging. It alternates between the two groups as they forge through their dangers until they are brought together and face the enemy. I was uncertain at first at the church practice of deciding lots so I was glad when Karele made it clear that the practice was not needed in seeking the will of Deas.

The story is full of danger, action, betrayal, demon possession, friendship, love and faith. There is insanity, wisdom and good suspense. The plot is deep and well developed with some surprising twists. I was pulled into becoming invested in the well being of the characters. I have not read the first book and, although I was fully engaged jumping into the middle of the series, I recommend starting with book one so you have the complete character history, especially for Errol and his friends. I will certainly want to read the next book to see what happens.

A statement I loved said to Errol: “Do not confuse those who vie for power with those who work for good.” (Location 5409.)

I received this for an honest review as part of BookBlast tour.
Don't miss out on the two Giveaways: 

BookBlast Giveaway: The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr $50.00 GC/PP. Ends 8/11/13.
BookBlast Blog Tour Giveaway: The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr $25.00 GC/PP.  Ends 8/11/13.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mailbox Monday July 29, 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 didn't receive any review books this week but I won a GC and picked up the free audio titles from SYNC YA. 

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
None.

Won

I did win a $10.00 gift certificate this week from Coffee Time Romance Steampunk Blog!
I haven't selected the titles yet but hope to soon.


Purchased
None


Free

Audios:

I downloaded this past week's free pair from SYNC YA July 25 – July 31, 2013:
I'm particularly interested in this pair as I love the Prince and Pauper story!

The False PrinceThe False Prince
By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Read by Charlie McWade
Published by Scholastic Audiobooks
“McWade’s pacing and storytelling…leave listeners awaiting the young king’s next adventures.” –AudioFile Magazine
In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king’s long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.


and

the prince and the pauperThe Prince and the Pauper
By Mark Twain
Read by Steve West
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks
…brought to entertaining life by Steve West’s wonderful performance…engaging the listener in a way the printed word cannot.” –AudioFile Magazine
The classic story of a poor London boy and a rich young prince, who share an uncanny resemblance and get an opportunity to appreciate each other’s life firsthand when they swap identities.



I downloaded a couple of free Kindle Titles this week
linked through Bookfun, Free Par-tayInspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle Review.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? July 29, 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.

I'm not sure why my reading seemed slow this week. One book went quickly but another was slow, even if good reading. I posted three reviews (although in my head I posted four), two Giveaway links and a Giveaway Hop. I also posted the weekly Mailbox Monday meme, Friday Pick Giveaway, Saturday Snapshot, Sharing Beyond Books Comment Giveaway and Sunday Words.

I didn't get to visit at all last week. I hope I can make up some visiting this week. 
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts (plus winner post):
  • BookBlast Giveaway: The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr $50.00 GC/PP. Ends 8/11/13.
  • Book Review and Giveaway: Flight of the Raven by Ellen Harris, Cozy Mystery, Inspirational; my rating 4.0.   Ends 8/2.
Finished Reading:
1. Print


Crazy Little Thing Called Love
by Molly Cannon
This is a fun read.
I will post a review and Review copy giveaway this week.
Click on Title for full book description.





2. Audible


The Overton Window
    by Glenn Beck
    Narrated by James Daniels
This was hard to put down.

I will post a review this week.
Click on Title for full book description.



3. eBook/Kindle



The Hero's Lot
by Patrick W. Carr
I enjoyed the action and the messages in this story.

I am late but will post the review on Tuesday 7/30. 
Don't miss the two giveaway links.
Click on Title for full book description.




Line Edits/Releases:
Here is what we released:
New eBook:
The Late, Great Benjamin Bale by John Joseph Doody
The Guild Saga, Book Two

The destinies of two men depend on Maggie Thorn. One is dying and the other is dead...or is he?

Supreme Fleet Commander, Admiral Geoff Grangore knows of only one man who could get Maggie to Timmerus and back while traitorous eyes are watching. That man is an old drunk who lives deep in the Thandimonean wilderness with his pet Eno, Snot. Benjamin Bale is suicidal and cantankerous, and Maggie can’t stand him—at first.

Bale is a dead man. At least, that’s what everyone was told. But this dead man has a final mission to perform. The greatest star pilot in the galaxy has a chance to redeem himself and make right a great wrong. A wrong which he can never forgive or forget. A wrong that cost him everything.

Genres: Science Fiction, Action/Adventure
Pages:  370, Novel

Print Release:
Flick-Flick and Dreamer by Margaret Karmazin
Kindle Release:
Love is Not Proud [Kindle Edition] (Two 5 star reviews!)

Currently reading:
1. Print



Flirting with Texas 
by Katie Lane
I am 30% into this and the characters are a bit crazy.
I am reading this for Hachette/Forever.
Click on Title for full book description.




2. Audible



Ready Player One
     by Ernest Cline
     Narrated by Wil Wheaton 
I decided to slip this audio in from my own Audible Library. It is very engaging! 
Publisher's Summary
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?



3. eBook/Kindle

Click: An Online Love Story
by Lisa Becker
I will start this later in the week.
Reviewing for the Author.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical "B" celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.


I continue to listen to The Listener's Bible NIV read by Max McLean. [Reading and listening on MP3.] I have been remiss and not keeping up with daily reading with my DH.

Line Edits: Still working. 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 added. The new additions push the total beyond what I wanted so we'll see how things go week to week. Looks like I will not get everything done in July and several will roll into August.

July Scheduled:

Sourcebooks
    (none scheduled unless I pick up at NetGalley)

Hachette - Forever
    A House Divided by Kimberly Lawson Roby
    Flirting with Texas by Katie Lane (reading)
    Guilty as Sin by Jami Alden
    Revenge by Debra Webb

NetGalley: (July and early August)
      The Companions, The Sundering, Book I by R. A. Salvatore
      The Godborn, The Sundering, Book II by Paul S. Kemp
      Windshift by Joyce Faulkner

AudioBook Jukebox (July and early August)

      The Eye of Molech by Glen Beck, Narrated by Jeremy Lowell

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


Author Review titles:
     Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker (reading)
     Double Click by Lisa Becker

From TBR Collection - TBD
Won Book - TBD

Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords: TBD

Sunday Words of Encouragement July 28, 2013

We had a beautiful service of praise and joy. Our guest minister today spoke on Awareness and Prevention of Sex Trafficking. These comments are from her message.
A government report has stated that ‘Prevention is less costly than rescue and restoration...’ There are 27 million people in our country, America, who are involved in sex trafficking. It is a $32 Billion dollar industry and America ranks third largest of the countries involved.

The children who are pulled in, some as runaways and some kidnaped, are 12 to 14 years of age. Their average life in ‘the business’ is seven years and then they are thrown out or allowed to die.  The victims are conditioned by: starvation, gang rape, confinement, threats to family, beatings, and forced drug addiction.

Traffickers are going to smaller communities, college towns and hiding at churches. College Towns. The trafficking mafia are now using young girls as plants in schools and even church youth groups. They are befriended other young girls and lure them to an overnight when they are drugged and disappear. Parents need to be extra vigilant. The FBI has stated that if a missing child is not found within 72 hours then it is likely they are gone to in another country.

This information is not to create fear, as fear is not of God. But we must make sure our children are aware that this is not a safe world. Parents must watch internet use and always be aware of where your children are going and with whom – get phone numbers and addresses. Visit the homes before allowing sleep-overs. You wouldn’t give your wedding ring to someone to keep overnight. Are not your children even more precious?

Awareness calls for response. What can we do? We can volunteer to become mentors for young girls. We can participate in marches for Awareness or floats in any parade. We can push for stiffer sentencing. Fortunately Florida has strong laws. The most important thing we can do is to is to pray a hedge of protection around our families and churches -- continually. And be willing to help rescued victims to know there is a way back for them.

All countries have fallen from moral depravity. Our speaker likens the victims to this description in Isaiah 42:22 (NLT): But his own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home.
Christians are known to say 'God Bless America' but now we need to say “God Save America!”
I failed to pick up the information after the service but here are a few sites with some information.
http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201201/201201_088_sextraffic.cfm
http://usmissions.ag.org/resources/human_trafficking.cfm
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/faqs.html

We sang this very uplifting song this morning!
I've Got a Song to Sing.

A Verse for Today:
John 17:15
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

I pray for protection of my grandchildren and my church family. I pray for deliverance for all those innocents who have been enslaved by evil traffickers.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sharing Beyond Books #110 Comment Giveaway July 27, 2013

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

I've had a strange week but I keep pushing through.

Most of you have never read Manga, nor watch anime. Nine of 25 have read Manga and 12 have watched anime. Several mentioned Howl's Moving Castle which is one of my son's favs and I think I have seen part of that. I'll have to watch it next time we are together.

Thank you to all who shared last week.

~~~~
The Winner from SBB #109 comments is: #17 lesleysays 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 #110 Questions

Q1. Liss asks: Have you had a moment when you don't want to read a book? If so, what do you do??
A: I really can't think of a time when I didn't want to read. :-) If I am not into one book I might switch to an audiobook but I am usually happy to read. 
(Just teasing - there is no such thing as a silly question.)
Image found at The Parkville Bookworm.

Q2. My non-bookish Question this week: How many purses do you have; how many do you use??
A: I have about ten purses but I only use five of them. I generally use a black bag that fits  my Kindle and MP3. However for church I rotate three bags depending on season and color: white (summer), brick color (fall) and black (winter). I also have one small bag I use for formal evenings.

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 are getting low on questions so hopefully you will send more in -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify to use. 
JULY QUESTION CONTRIBUTORS: Elizabeth, Margaret, Nikki and Liss. The Random.org pick is #1 so Elizabeth gets a choice of GC.

Your turn to share:

Q1. Liss asks:Have you had a moment when you don't want to read a book? If so, what do you do??

Q2. My non-bookish Question this week: How many purses do you have; how many do you use??

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

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on either of the two 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, August 2, 2013 at 10 PM central.

Book Review and Giveaway: Flight of the Raven (Mysteries of Sparrow Island Series #2) by Ellen Harris

Our Ladies’ book club all enjoyed this light mystery.
Flight of the Raven (Mysteries of Sparrow Island Series #2)
by Ellen Harris
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Ideals Publications; Retail edition (February 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824947126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824947125
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: February 15, 2007
A small plane disappears from the sky above Sparrow Iland, and Abby knows she must do something to help. Together, she and Sergeant Henry Cobb, set off to hunt for survivors. They find the plane but not the passengers - who it seems don't want to be found. Abby's wilderness skills are put to the test as she and Henry go on a chase to try to uncover the secrets of the passengers' hidden pasts. An exciting, suspense-filled story, "Flight of the Raven" is a riveting tale of determination, ingenuity and courage.


Review:
Abby is a very intelligent, versatile lady, who study to be an ornithologist. After working in a big city she has returned to the island to help her sister, Mary, whose legs were badly injured in an accident. Now Abby is working at the Sparrow Island Nature Observatory and getting to use some of her skills. Abby and her young assistant, Bobby, are excited to be releasing three orphaned falcons they rescued. As they watch the young falcons flying they notice a wobbly float plane which disappears beyond another island.

Abby, Mary and Mary’s male friend, Henry, a local police Sargent are about to sit down to dinner with her parents when Henry gets a call to look for the plane that witnesses have reported as having crashed. Abby volunteers to go with Henry as she thinks she can help pin point where the plane went down and she has experience in search and rescue.

Abby and Henry face difficulties locating the plane and the night drags on. They finally find the plane abandoned but blood stains indicate that someone is injured. But when they follow the trail they determine that things may not be as they appear and perhaps the passengers are trying to avoid rescue. The suspense increases after Henry is injured and the strangers vandalize the boat, destroying the radio. Abby has to use survival skills to care for Henry while they await rescue themselves and try to avoid the miscreants.

Meanwhile Mary is at home trying to cope with her worry. Fortunately she is distracted by her son, Zack, who arrives with a service dog and its trainer, a lovely young woman. Mary is not in favor of the idea of a help dog but everyone else in town is enthraled. Finally Mary comes to realize that it is okay to accept help and she sees how much more she can do with the help of Finnegan.

This is a very easy and enjoyable read. Ms. Harris weaves lots of little details into the story, sharing about birds, rescues and service dogs. The underlying faith is quietly presented and I liked how Ms. Harris conveyed the messages of letting go of worry and pride. The characters are likeable and a couple of the Ladies’ Book Club chose Finnegan (the dog) as their favorite character.

Although this is part of a series we had not read book 1 and this worked okay as a stand alone. I recommend this to readers who like birds and dogs and those who enjoy a light, easy mystery.


A quote we all liked:
Finnegan's trainer was explaining that playtime was a reward for him.
"He's not so different from us humans in that respect. He needs time each day when he can do things for the pure joy of it," she said. "Sometimes we underestimate how much we need joy in our lives." Page 166.
I was able to pick these up on sale at Christianbooks.com for Ladies' Book Club meeting July. (Sorry they may not be available there anymore.)

ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for my gently read Copy:


Don't forget to fill in the form for entry! 
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form. 
For 3 Extra Bonus entries - Comment on the review.

* This contest is open to those with US address only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on August 2, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on August 3, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Saturday Snapshot July 27, 2013 - Stalking Pets

I had fun catching (on film) a couple of our pets trying to catch other critters.

One night earlier this month as I was about to turn out the lights and head to bed
I looked over to see the cat eying the door.

Actually, she was eying the three frogs on the windows.
She did make one swipe trying to catch one.


One evening this week I came home and was greeted by our Rat Terrier, Princess.
After saying hello she ran off to focus on a tree -- or rather what was up the tree.

She was very intent as she knew there were squirrels up there.

I wasn't able to get a picture of the two squirrels as they chased each other
but here is one more of Princess who would like to be able to climb the tree 
just to get to play with those squirrels!


I didn't get to visit this past week but maybe I can catch up later today.
I do enjoy seeing other photos as well as sharing mine.
Thanks to all who stop by and visit.


A big Thank You to 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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blog Tour Featuring The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr; Giveaway $25.00 GC/PP

My review was to post today and I apologize to the author and tour host that I am not ready to post the review. I am 60% complete and very much enjoying the danger and intrigue that Errol and his "team" are facing. I feel it wouldn't be fair to write the review until I finish. So I will post the review in the next day or so.
Thanks for understanding. Meanwhile, enjoy this excerpt and enter the blog tour Giveaway below!
Excerpt:

Sweat, hot and salty, flowed into Errol’s eyes in the sticky heat of the early fall afternoon. He forced a quick blink to shed the distraction, not daring to risk the split-second it would take to wipe his brow. A welt as long as his hand burned his left ribcage. Its twin worked to numb his right shoulder. The staff in his hands blurred and buzzed like an angry insect, nearly invisible, but as yet he had managed only a single strike against his opponent.
And he was tiring.
The man opposite him, stronger and fresher, darted like a snake, the blade of his sword disappeared as his arms corded and he struck. Errol parried at the last moment and flowed into a counterattack. The clack of staff against sword filled his ears like the sound of a drummer’s rim beats.
For a moment he dared hope that he would penetrate his opponent’s defense, but the attack exhausted itself and he retreated to defend against those cursed whip-like strokes of the swordsman’s counter.
Pain blossomed in his side as the sword found its mark. It was no use. Four weeks of food and rest had almost restored him to complete health after Sarin’s attack against the kingdom. But ‘almost’ was insufficient against such an opponent.

The Hero's Lot
Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy's Most Talented New Voice.

When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.

In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.



Hero's Lot is the Sequel to A Cast of Stones
A Cast of Stones
An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love.

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.


heros lot tour


Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/14/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway July 26, 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!! It is surprising that July is almost over. The time flies by! I hope everyone is having a nice summer (or winter for those of you on the other side).

[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 July 19 Pick. There were three Automatic wins this week which is nice :-). (Automatic winners are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks). There were three blocked titles - one selected by several people.
Carol NW gets Cat's Eyewitness
Di gets Sin and Scandal in England
bn100 gets Shadow of the Sun

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from July 19 Pick:

Booklady gets The Highland Pair  
Highland Treasure by Amanda Scott and Highlander Unbound by Julia London

Linda gets a Gift Card

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.}

When we travel by RV I love to exchange books at campsites.
Do you ever leave a book behind on your travels?!
Image found at Dominica News Online.

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 Sea 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:
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.

To Tame a Rebel by Georgina Gentry
While Passion Sleeps by Shirlee Busbee
The Admiral's Bride by Suzanne Brockmann

Lady Ice by Joan Hohl



New Book Group #36 February 15, 2013
Pairs:
Tara Taylor Quinn
     Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
Singles:
Timeline by Michael Crichton

The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe



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

*Merger of Fortunes by Peggy Moreland



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


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! (as of 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 530 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 $7.00 and $6.00 $10.00 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, July 25, 2013

Audio Book Review: The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel by Gregory S. Slomba

This is a fun adventure - perfect for middle schoolers and more.
The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel
    by Gregory S. Slomba
    Narrated by Jimm Singer


 LENGTH    5 hrs and 17 mins
    RELEASE DATE    01-16-13
    PUBLISHER    Gregory S. Slomba
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy Adventure
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
Twelve-year-old Eric Scott is called by Stig, a talking owl, to journey to another world to save a fishing village from a band of bloodthirsty pirates. Once there, Eric discovers that delivering the town is but one of the problems he'll have to solve.

Can a 12-year-old boy, a talking owl, a headstrong girl and an outcast dwarf save a village, much less an entire world? Find out as they set out on the journey of a lifetime to defeat an immortal pirate, face their fears, and fulfill an ancient prophecy.


Review:
Eric is a sweet twelve-year old boy who holds himself responsible for the death of his father even though a young boy wouldn’t be able to hold a man falling off a mountain. One afternoon Eric is approached by an owl who speaks to him and tells him that he is being called on a mission. Stig, the talking owl, explains that the mission isn’t in the world as Eric knows but through a secret door to another world. Eric isn’t sure how a young boy like him can help but he agrees to go.

A guardian of the gates delivers them to the world where they are to help a fishing village fight oppressive pirates.  They are welcomed by Kate, the mayor’s daughter who immediately declares them to be the deliverers promised in an long ago legend!

An outcast dwarf joins the three friends as they help the townspeople plan a way and find the courage to face the villainous Pirate Sharky and his band of cutthroats. Each offers different skills including  wisdom, strategy and fighting expertise. The small team journeys through the dwarf lands in the mountain, to seek aid, even though big folk aren't welcome. Then they proceed (through choice of execution or going forward) out the locked doors to the forbidden wasteland beyond where no one has returned. Eric realizes that only together can they make the mission a success.

The story is wonderfully plotted with messages of friendship, bravery, sacrifice, forgiveness, second chances and more. It is a fun listen with lots of ‘magical’ characters and full of action.  I think this would be a fun story for families to listen to together so they could discuss the characters, the action and the lessons shared.

Audio Notes: Jimm Singer does a really fine job of making the characters come alive. His voices for the children are good and his accents for other characters, the stuffy British owl, Stig, the despondent, rough dwarf, and others, add wonderful depth and make the listening fun.

I received this from the author through Audiobook Jukebox.

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