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Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday December 1, 2014

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 had a very relaxing week staying in bed until at least 9am for four mornings in a row!  Thanksgiving was lovely with family. This week has warmed up even though we still have a fire going.

Reading was enjoyable. I finished three books and posted three review, two with giveaways. I also posted a special Forever Giveaway post and a winner's post as well as all the usual memes. 

I did get to visit a good group of sites last week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle



Sugar's Twice as Sweet: Sugar, Georgia: Book 1
by Marina Adair 
I enjoyed this. The review and giveaways are linked above.
Click on book title for full description.



2. eBook/Kindle


Last Chance Family
by Hope Ramsay
Forever Romance
This was delightful!
The Author feature with giveaway
and review are linked above.
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audible (and Kindle)


Free: I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
Written by: Molly Harper
Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
This is fun and sassy. I'll post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.






Currently reading:
1. Print


We Are The Destroyers (We Are***Are We Book 1) 
by D. K. Lindler
I am down to the last 10% and 
wondering how this sci fi will end.
I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio


Snowbeard the Pirate and the Naughty List
by Chip Huddleston
This sounds like fun and the beginning sound is great - reminiscent of The Night Before Christmas.
A funny, whimsical story for older children and adults, it is about Santa's younger brother who runs away to Florida and becomes a pirate.



3. eBook/Kindle


Home for the Holidays
A Cavanaugh Island Novella
by Rochelle Alers
I am reading this for Review and
Launch Day Blitz on 12/3/14.
Book Description
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
This Christmas novella is set in charming, Sanctuary Cove featuring popular characters from Rochelle Alers' bestselling small-town, Cavanaugh Island contemporary romance series.

Love is always in season.
There's no place like home for the holidays, especially for divorced pastry chef Iris Nelson. After escaping an abusive marriage, she's found peace on charming Cavanaugh Island. As the holiday approaches, Iris looks forward to spending it with her newfound best friend's family . . . and their very handsome visitor.
On leave from Afghanistan, Army Master Sergeant Collier Ward is excited to be reunited with his family for Christmas. But the best gift of all may be this warm, beautiful stranger who joins them for the festivities. With his visit coming to an end, Collier can't deny the heat smoldering between them. Yet Iris can't help but wonder if it's just the glow of the season-and one night of passion-or a true miracle of love that will change their lives forever . . .



4. eBook/Kindle


Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah
Handel (Author), Albert L. Blackwell (Foreword)
I have started this as a daily reading but I will review it in a week or so.
Westminster John Knox Press
Handel's Messiah is one of the most beloved musical works of the western world, playing an especially sentimental role in many people's Christmas traditions. The libretto of the work, taken directly from the King James text of fourteen books of the Bible, has turned many otherwise forgettable phrases into memorable, singable, cherished lines of Scripture.
This gift-worthy book will delight and inspire classical music fans and those for whom Messiah is a beloved Christmas tradition with essays exploring the theological, historical, and pastoral implications of the Scriptures that make up Handel's Messiah.
Forty reflections journey in order through the oratorio, taking the reader deeper into less-often studied texts like Malachi 3:3 and bringing new light to oft-recited passages like Luke 2:9-14. Each reflection offers the libretto from Messiah, the same passage in NRSV, and a brief commentary on the text, written by a respected scholar or pastor. Readers can peruse the book at leisure or examine one reflection per day throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.



5. eBook/Kindle


Seducing the Ruthless Rogue
(The Rogue Agents Trilogy Book 2)
by Tammy Jo Burns

The premise on this caught my interest.
I will post tour review on December 10.
Book Description

As Director of The War Office, Stuart McKenzie, has proven himself capable of making difficult decisions in times of crisis and keeping government secrets safe. When he walks in on someone ransacking his study he quickly moves to apprehend them, only to be tossed on his back as the burglar escapes into the night.
Cassie’s father has become a pawn in the fight against Napoleon. When the enemy kidnaps him, she will do anything it takes to get him back – including stealing government secrets from Stuart McKenzie, the Director of the War Office.
When Cassie is caught, she reluctantly agrees to Mack’s assistance as there is something far more sinister going on. As Mack embarks on his mission, he will find that enemies are often closer than one would think and that sometimes your ally will come in the least likely form. When passion erupts between Mack and Cassie, they find their lives forever altered. But just as they believe their lives to be free of danger, a new threat is lurking about, promising to rip their happiness away from them. Will they be able to trust each other enough to defeat this new threat, or will they be torn apart for all eternity?


I expect I will pick-up an audio but not sure which yet.

I am up to date on my daily Bible reading.
I have disciplined myself each morning to read my Bible passage before I pick up print, Kindle or mp3. I am really enjoying the reading.


I still have Sci Fi titles I look forward to. I have two reviews pending so I am up to date.
I have many Christmas titles I would like to read but I am guessing I will not have time for all of them. 

Decenber Scheduled:
12/3 Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers; tour review and GW.
12/10 Seducing the Ruthless Rogue (The Rogue Agents Trilogy Book 2) by Tammy Jo Burns; tour review.
12/12 Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions Review



Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
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) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday.
Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received/selected two review titles.
I purchased two Audible books and three $.99 kindle titles this week as well as getting many free kindle titles.

(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles

I received an audio book from the author:


Snowbeard the Pirate and the Naughty List
by Chip Huddleston
This sounds like a fun spinoff from The Night Before Christmas.



I was interested in this YA Dystopian, sci fi Series.
The author was nice to send me the first book.
by Lynne Stringer






Won
None

Purchased
I purchased two Audible titles with my November subscription (purchase four in November and you get a $10.00 credit):
Seventh Grave and No Body
Written by: Darynda Jones
Narrated by: Lorelei King
I have enjoyed this series so far!

The Empire's Corps
Written by: Christopher G. Nuttall
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
It was hard to pick from many Sci Fis but this is the one I got this time.


I purchased three kindle titles for $.99 -- just couldn't resist these bundles.

Romancing Christmas: 10 Love Stories To Spice Up The Holidays
Dale Mayer, H.D. Thomson, Chantel Rhondeau, Leslie Lynch, Sandy Loyd, Barbara Lohr, Marcia James, Carolyn Hughey, Tallulah Grace, Rachelle Ayala

Claire Delacroix, Deborah Cooke


Mistletoe Kisses: inspirational romance boxed set (Inspy Kisses Book 3)
Janet Tronstad, Lisa Mondello, Lenora Worth, Margaret Daley, Camille Elliot, Pamela Tracy, Lacy Williams, Cheryl Wyatt

Free

Over the past two weeks I downloaded another 52 free Kindle titles. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement November 30, 2014

This is the First Sunday in Advent: which is the beginning of the new church year and the time when we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming. The first Sunday reminds us of the promise of Light and Hope.

Our young, interim youth pastor is preparing to leave for the mission field in eleven days. He shared with us a bit of his preparations, duties and expectations. We will be praying for him as he ministers through a lifestyle showing compassion in a land that does not have freedom to openly share the word of God.

Our Pastor gave a nice sermon entitled: Jesus' Name Brings Hope. The message focused on Isaiah 8 and 9 and concluded with 1 John 1:1-5. These passages speak of people walking in darkness who have seen a great light and recognizing God as life and light.

I have begun reading Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah for review.  There are forty chapters that provide daily reading through the Twelfth day of Christmas. It is appropriate to run beyond Christmas since it the work covers Christ's Birth and its Foretelling, Christ's Passion and Resurrection and Christ's Eternal Reign. Many of us are familiar with certain hymns from Handel's Messiah but this is the first time I have studied its words. As the author notes, one of the things we recognize (sometimes without even realizing it) in Handel's powerful work is the "tonal painting".

The first chapter covers the beginning songs: Comfort Ye My People and Every Valley. There were several stirring tenor videos but I had thought to share a lovely video with the words but it did not permit embedding. If anyone would like to sit back and enjoy the moving music and words please visit this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlIThmTNg9w

Instead I will share a video of the song our choir sang this morning. We sang a cantata version as it is part of the program we will sing in two weeks. It is a perfect song to begin Advent:
Let There Be Light!

A Verse for Today:
Isaiah 40:5 (NIV)
5And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Lord, I pray that I will always look to You to light my path. Also, please let Your light shine through me so others may come to know You.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sharing Beyond Books #179 Comment Giveaway 11/29/2014

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

We  had a lovely Thanksgiving lunch with my hubby cooking too much as always. A great turkey, two kinds of stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, baked brussel sprouts, cauliflower with cheese sauce, carrots and home baked honey oat bread. All that and there were only seven of us. :-)  The kids got to take home most of the left overs.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Only two out of fifteen are not guilty of cover 'snobbery'! Several mentioned that they almost missed good stories and series which had bad covers and others said they would still buy their fav author's titles even with bad covers.

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The Winner from SBB #178 comments is: #1 MaryP 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 #179 (One Question.)

Q1. My question to start December:  Do you watch Hallmark/Christmas/ Holiday movies?? Do you have a Favorite?
A: We watch and tape MANY Hallmark movies. They are some of our favorites even though it might seem like overkill. It's a good thing these movies suit my sensitive hubby. :-)  My DH says his favorite is the original Christmas Carol. I like several - hard to pick one but I do like The Very Merry Mix-Up, The Christmas Card and I really liked When Angels Come to Town which I saw for the first time last week. It really focuses on the true meaning of Christmas.
Image found at Lasso the Moon.

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 still have a supply of questions but from the same people so hopefully others will send more in -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify to use.

Comments for November were contributed by Marjorie, bn100, nrlymrtl and Jess1: Winner: #3 nrlymrtl

Your turn to share:

Q1. Do you watch Hallmark/Christmas/ Holiday movies?? Do you have a Favorite?

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books, the Christmas Giveaway Books (this is the new link), or the June 2013 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 through Saturday December 6, 2014 at 5 PM  central.

A Group of Winners from September through November!

I apologize I haven't been listing winners here although they are listed on the Giveaway page and in the sidebar for a week or so after announced.
Some of these are tour wins so you will check the rafflecopter announcements on the giveaway posts.

***ALL WINNERS at MBS: Please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form AND if you want you can email me at mesreads AT gmail.com to confirm the win and I will arrange the mailing or notify the publishers.
[I ask that all winner's fill in the form as it helps me keep track of when I have completed the mail outs or notice to the publishers rather than tracking individual emails. But of course -- feel free to email me too! :-)]

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WINNERS!

Giveaway Ended November 18, 2014

Tour GiveawayPeace & Goodwill: a contemporary romance, a Christmas Novella (The Minstrel Series Book 4) by Lee Strauss
Tour Rafflecopter Winner:Betul E

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Giveaway Ended November 16, 2014

Tour GiveawayHilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery 
See Rafflecopter for winners.

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Giveaway Ended November 14, 2014

eBook GiveawayPushing the Limit (Alpha Ops) 
***WINNER: ERINF

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Giveaway Ended November 12 and 14, 2014

Two GiveawaysSealing the Deal (The Ladies Who Lunch)
See Rafflecopter for 10 winners.
MBS Blog eBook ***WINNER: BN100

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Giveaway Ended November 3, 2014

Tour Giveaway: Unleashed (Love to the Rescue) 
Winners: Check Rafflecopter

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Giveaway Ended October 28, 2014

Blog Tour Feature and Giveaway: The Castle Blues Quake by Linda Covella
Check Rafflecopter for winner.


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Print GiveawaySeattle Cinderella: (Romancing America) by Gail Sattler
***WINNER:  SUE F


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Giveaway Ended October 11, 2014

Forever Romance Holiday Heat Week Release
 Celebration with Giveaway.  
***Winner : SANDY X


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Giveaway Ended September 20, 2014



Print Book Giveaway: Love Remains (The Matchmakers Book 1) by Kate Dacus;  
***WINNER:  BOOKLADY


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Giveaway Ended September 1, 2014

In Bed with a Rogue Spotlight Tour Giveaway
Check Rafflecopter for Winner.


Thank you to the authors and publishers who have sponsored these giveaways and thank you to blog followers who participate!

Fun - #4EvrBookBoyfriend - and a Special Giveaway Pack From @ForeverRomance - #FaLaLaForever


First - Take the Quiz and find out who your best book boyfriend might be.
Take the quiz and share your results on social media with #4EvrBookBoyfriend. Don't forget to tag @ForeverRomance!  http://www.buzzfeed.com/gcpforever/whos-your-perfect-book-boyfriend-14uds


Then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a great Holiday bundle of books!


GIVEAWAY:
Through December 19, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Last Chance Family by Hope Ramsay

This was a treat to read! An orphaned child, a cat and some kittens add to the charm of this sweet romance.
Last Chance Family
by Hope Ramsay
  • File Size: 1238 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455556432
  • Publisher: Forever (November 25, 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • ASIN: B00IRISK4K
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Mike Taggart has always been willing to take a gamble. But these stakes are just way too high - there's no way he's prepared to become a legal guardian to his five-year-old niece. His only option is to head from Las Vegas to Last Chance to sort things out as quickly as possible. Problem is, he arrives to find an inconsolable little girl, her sick cat, and a gorgeous veterinarian he can't get out of his mind.

Charlene Polk has two talents: healing sick critters and falling in love with the wrong men. Mike has trouble written all over him, but she can't leave him in the lurch. And the more time she spends with the sexy high roller, the more she sees that this ready-made family is the best stroke of luck they've ever had . . .


Review:
Mike is a gambler who plays poker in Las Vegas and supplements his income with day trading. Mike doesn’t believe he is made for family life. After all, as a five year-old, his stepdad left with his three year-old half brother, Timmy. Mike suffered with his addicted mother until he escaped home and his mom’s dangerous boyfriend, leaving behind his younger half sister, Angie. Now he has taken over temporary custody of his traumatized five year-old niece, Angie’s daughter, who witnessed her mother’s drive-by murder. Mike brings Rainbow, clutching Tigger her cat, to Last Chance, where he hopes that her other uncle, Pastor Tim, will take over custody.

Charlene is the assistant veterinarian in Last Chance. She has had a history of picking the wrong men, including her latest crush who she learns isn’t interested in her...or any other woman in town. Mike and Rainbow bring Tigger to the vet’s office with the sniffles and a cough. Charlene is quick to misjudge Mike’s real relationship with the adorable, clearly mixed-race child who won’t speak.

Pastor Tim is shocked when Mike shows up with Rainbow. He doesn’t remember having an older brother so is inclined to check out the story. He directs Mike and Rainbow to an apartment of one of his parishioners who is out of town. Mike is surprised to discover his interesting neighbors. One is another of Pastor Tim’s parishioners who is part of the local gossip chain in their small town. The other neighbor is the curvy veterinarian, Charlene, who has her own secret reasons for wanting to protect and care for Rainbow and Tigger while keeping her distance from the sexy bad-boy gambler.

Charlene and Rainbow begin to bond and Mike begins to think that Charlene would make a perfect Mother for Rainbow. All he has to do is get her hooked up with Pastor Tim, while ignoring his own attraction to her. A bachelor auction fundraiser seems just the place to get them together if he can get Tim to agree to participate and convince Charlene to bid on him. Mike even consults with Miriam, the town matchmaker.

I found myself picking this up whenever I had open time, and even staying up late to read. It is an adorable story! I totally enjoyed the vulnerable characters as they first tried to resist each other and later found redemption through each other. Ms. Ramsey treats several sensitive issues with grace and gentleness. The secondary characters are fun too and helped to remind me why I always enjoy this series. The romance is clean and warm and the writing has an easy flow with cute phrases that I like.

This may not be grand literature but it is an entertaining treat to read. I recommend this story to those who enjoy sweet, warm romance with child and animal elements.


I received this for an author tour and honest review. Please visit Author Top 5 post for Giveaway chance!

Hope Ramsay Blog Tour: Top 5 Favorites, Excerpt and Giveaway!


About LAST CHANCE FAMILY
Mike Taggart has always been willing to take a gamble. But these stakes are just way too high - there's no way he's prepared to become a legal guardian to his five-year-old niece. His only option is to head from Las Vegas to Last Chance to sort things out as quickly as possible. Problem is, he arrives to find an inconsolable little girl, her sick cat, and a gorgeous veterinarian he can't get out of his mind. Charlene Polk has two talents: healing sick critters and falling in love with the wrong men. Mike has trouble written all over him, but she can't leave him in the lurch. And the more time she spends with the sexy high roller, the more she sees that this ready-made family is the best stroke of luck they've ever had . . .
Buy Links
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1FapmNm 
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/1qKhFwx 
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1tb4hwH 

I thoroughly enjoyed this charming book. Please check out my Review!

About Hope Ramsay


Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you'll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She's a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol' Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.
Hope’s social media



Top 5 Favorite things about the holidays
1. Family
2. Christmas Trees
3. Decorating the house
4. Christmas Eve dinner with friends and family
5. The new flannel PJs that Santa brings me every Christmas Eve.

EXCERPT:
     Charlene stood in the kitchen doorway, her hair wet, her stomach empty, and her heart suddenly racing.  Mike leaned against the counter, his head hung low.  He seemed to be struggling to draw breath.
     She crossed the room and put her hand on the middle of his back.  His T-shirt was soft, the body beneath it hard and warm.
     He straightened and let out a big breath.  "Sorry."
     "What's wrong?"
     "Killer heartburn," he said, then immediately changed the subject.  He moved toward the coffee maker, shaking off her touch.  "You want some coffee?"
     He turned and gave her a quick glance.  That's all it took.
     Her heart wrenched, and she responded the way she always did when confronted with unspoken pain. She encountered it often, usually in the eyes of animals.  But it was there, beyond that mild-mannered expression he tried to wear.  He was hurting.  She reached up to stroke his cheek.  Her fingers encountered his warm skin and rough stubble.  That touch flipped her switch.  Electricity flowed inside her.
     He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as her fingers moved over his face to his ear and up into his bright red hair.
     "Don't," he whispered, but he made no attempt to move away.  He reminded her of an abused animal that growls when all he wants is a little kindness.  She cupped the nape of his neck and pulled him down as she rose up on tip-toes.
     She gave him a soft, gentle kiss.  Nothing deep or sexy, just a little kiss, intended to comfort.  But it didn't stay that way.  Mike grabbed her by the cheeks and pulled her up into it like a man starving for love.  His tongue stroked hers.  His right hand dropped to her hip, and he yanked her forward and into his chest.
Her knees almost buckled.  But she didn't fall, because Mike had her.  His hand found the small of her back as he sagged against the counter.  They leaned together, thigh to thigh, chest to chest.  The kiss turned utterly carnal.  His hand wandered up over her spine to her breast.  He palmed it.  Her nipples came alive.  He groaned.
....
     His words ignited a bad-girl fire that pretty much torched her reservations about him.  "Okay."
     His gaze widened.  "I'm not a reliable bet," he said.
     She laughed.  "You think I don't know that?"
     "Oh."
     She could almost feel him having second thoughts.  And she had no intention of allowing that.  She'd have the rest of her life to regret this choice.  Or not.
     Which would she regret more?  Letting her reservations about him put the kibosh on this?  Or spending the rest of her life wondering if maybe she should have bet on Mike Taggart?
     Heartbreak was her middle name.  "I'm a gambler," she whispered.  "And sometimes the long shots pay off."
     "Not usually," he said.
     "Maybe not.  But I'm the eternal optimist.”


GIVEAWAY
10 Winners get Print Copies! Ends December 1.

Rafflecopter giveaway code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 28, 2014

Audio Book Review: WARP Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P.) by Eoin Colfer

This is a fun, active time-travel sci fi with a dark villain.
WARP Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P.)
by Eoin Colfer
Narrated by: Maxwell Caulfield
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Series: WARP, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:05-07-13
Publisher: Listening Library

Genre: Sci Fi, Time Travel
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP). Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern-day London, followed closely by Garrick.
In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a 19-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.
©2013 Eoin Colfer (P)2013 Listening Library Audio


Review:
Riley is a young boy in Victorian London struggling to survive. He has been supposedly “rescued” and apprenticed by Albert Garrick, an illusionist who slipped and killed his former apprentice during a performance. Now Garrick uses his excellent skills in a new profession - as an assassin. Garrick is grisley and evil. He has set Riley up to make his first kill and prove his worth as an assassin’s apprentice. Riley has managed to learn many illusionist secrets and crawl in tight spaces to help Garrick but he is really reluctant to kill a man, any man, but especially this old man sleeping in bed.

When Riley hesitates, Garrick forces the strike. But not before the man awakens and sends Riley tumbling through a time portal to the future. Riley emerges only to be jailed on the suspision of murder. He tries to explain what happened but they won’t believe that someone else pushed him and that the ‘demon man’ will follow him.

Chevron (Chevie to her friends) was brought into a prototype teen FBI program. She longs to be a true FBI agent but has been sent to London as a form of demotion. Her gruff, Scottish boss, Agent Orange, has instructed her to guard a completely secret pod without any explanation until a young urchin boy pops out.

Orange suspects that the owner of the portal must be dead to allow anyone through. He takes a clean up team back in time to fix any damage. If only he had listened to Riley Orange would have realized that Garrick would be there to ambush the team and steal the secrets. Garrick attacks the team and manages to tangle with Orange, sending them both back to the future. Orange doesn’t survive the trip except as thought patterns merged into Garricks brain!

Garrick is obsessed with power and intent on eliminating Riley and Chevie. Riley and Chevie must go on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of Garrick until they can bring him down. Riley and Chevie run into other thugs and trouble before they pool their skills together to find away to stop Garrick.

There is plenty of action and some irony in subtle lines and in twists in the story. I enjoyed the fast pace and determination of the teens even though I also felt the book had a dark atmosphere due to Garrick seeming to have such success and control in his evil actions.

This is the first book I have read by Eoin Colfer and I was surprised to realize he is the author of the Artemis Fowl series which I had thought to read but never got to. This story would be good for older youth and adults who appreciate a bit of satire with their adventure.

Audio Notes: Maxwell Caulfield does a very good job presenting the different voices in culture and time period accents. He captured the darkness of the villain and made the listening a lot of fun.

I received this audiobook through SYNC 2014 Summer audios. It was paired with The Time Machine which I haven't read in years. I will listen to that classic soon to note the comparison.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway November 28, 2014

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

I was so glad to stay in bed late today. Even though I was awake by 7:30, I stayed in bed reading. :-) Then we had a very lovely Thanksgiving lunch and day with our daughter, son-in-law and their three children. The kids stayed with us to watch a few movies while their mom and dad went out for early shopping. 
For the next four weeks I will be giving at least 4 wins each Friday - whether auto or random.
( I completely forgot about a new book group for today. List is now up but still needs picture.)

[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 November 21 Pick. There were two automatic wins 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.) There were no titles blocked again. 
Rita gets Miracle
bn100 gets Dangerous

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from November 21 Pick:
Carol NW gets Out of the Furnace
miki 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, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}
One last day this month to give thanks--for BOOKS of course! :-)

New Book Group #53 November 28, 2014
(Picture to be posted soon)
PAIRS - five sets!
Catherine Anderson: Seventh Heaven and Always in My Heart
Sandra Brown: A Whole New Light and Fanta C
Elizabeth Lowell: Autumn Lover (only Book 5) and Winter Fire (Only Book 6)
Joan Johnston: I Promise and Sisters Found
Katherine Stone: Rainbows and Pearl Moon
SINGLES:
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
To Catch a Flame by Kimberly Cates
Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner
Never Say Never by Joan Hohl
Poe's Tales of Mystery and Terror (1967 Collection) by Edgar Allan Poe (Magnum Easy Eye Edition)


New Book Group #52 October 10, 2014
(Links to be added if and when time permits.)

PAIRS:
Richard Paul Evans, The Looking Glass and The Carousel
SINGLES
Duo Book: Yesterday's Memories by Tara Taylor Quinn and Amanda Stevens
Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Behind a Mask by May Alcott
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

New Book Group #51 September 12, 2014
10/10 - I just realized I never posted the image for this group.

PAIRS:
Elysa Hendricks, Star Crash (personally autographed copy) and The Sword and the Pen
SINGLES:
Intrepid Encounter by Rebecca Ashley
The Reckoning by Jeanette Baker
Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant Labor in America by Thomas Bell Reprint Edition
Scandalous Virtue Mass by Brenda Hiatt 
A Stranger's Wife by Maggie Osborne

New Book Group #50! August 8, 2014

SINGLES:
Maybe This Time by Victoria Barrett
The Commander by Kate Bridges
The Cinderella Plan by Margaret Daley
The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy
A Garden of Friends by Penny Pierce Rose

New Book Group #49 June 27, 2014

SINGLES:
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Down by the Water by Caroline Upcher
Miracle by Deborah Smith
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin


New Book Group #48 May 30, 2014---(All gone)
SINGLES:
Dangerous by Debra Dier
First to Fight Anthology

New Book Group #47 April 25, 2014

SINGLES:
Once Upon a Honeymoon by Julie Kistler
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy

New Book Group #46 March 15, 2014
SINGLES:
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
The Last Heiress by Bertrice Small (spine creases)

New Book Group #45 January 31, 2014---(All gone)

New Book Group #44 December 14, 2013---(All gone)

New Book Group #43 November 1, 2013 ---(All gone)

New Book Group #42 September 27, 2013 ---(All gone)

New Book Group #41 August 2, 2013

Singles:
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way

New Book Group #40 June 28, 2013

Singles:
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)

New Book Group #39 May 31, 2013 - Plenty of "summer" titles!
Singles:
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford

New Book Group #38 April 20, 2013
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh

New Book Group #37 March 22, 2013
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.

New Book Group #36 February 15, 2013
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe

New Book Group #35 January 11, 2013 (All gone)
New Book Group #34 December 7, 2012--- (All gone)
New Book Group #33 October 27, 2012---(All gone)

New Book Group #32 October 5, 2012
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
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)

New Book Group #30 July 27, 2012
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander

New Book Group #29 June 29, 2012
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology

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
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---(All gone)
May, 2011 New Group of Pick books Group #20---(All gone)
3/25/11 Group #19---(All gone)
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 on November 27, 2009 and in five years I have posted 42 groups of 16 (832) books to find new homes! (as of November 2014).

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 733+ 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
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

List #15---(All gone)
List #14---(All gone)
List #13 ---(All gone)
Group #12---(All gone)

Group #11
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---(All gone)
Pick #5---(All gone)
Pick #6---(All gone)

Pick #7
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape

Pick #8
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray

Pick #10---(All Gone)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Review and Giveaways: Sugar's Twice as Sweet: Sugar, Georgia: Book 1 by Marina Adair

This is a sexy romance with a fun story in small town setting.
Sugar's Twice as Sweet: Sugar, Georgia: Book 1
by Marina Adair 

  • File Size: 811 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455528668
  • Publisher: Forever (November 25, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00IRISIF6
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small Town
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
"Marina Adair writes with heart and sizzling heat. SUGAR'S TWICE AS SWEET will charm you!"  --Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author
"A can't miss read with small town sweetness, endearing characters and a unique quirky flair."  --Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author on SUGAR'S TWICE AS SWEET
He's trouble she doesn't need . . .
Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington's perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will-by turning her great-aunt's old plantation house into a destination getaway. She's just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on-and so totally irresistible.
. . . but everything she wants
Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet 'n sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn't know a nut from a bolt and before long, he's renovating her house . . . as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he's ready for forever?


Review:
Josephina had lost herself trying to be the perfect socialite girlfriend and fiance for four years. When she learns he has been cheating on her she takes off rather than face her family with her latest failure. She arrives in Sugar, Georgia determined to remodel the old house she inherited from her spirited, southern great-aunt. Josephina remembers the Fairchild House had a magical quality because that is where her great-aunt encouraged Josephina to find her wings amid the fairy dust.  Unfortunately Josephina doesn’t receive a warm welcome as a group of elderly ladies resent ‘that Yankee’ strutting in and making changes to their friend’s house.

Handsome, bad-boy, golf champion Brett McGraw has come home to Sugar to hide out from his latest scandalous escapade. He is intrigued when he sees Josephina walking down the road, especially since he remembers her as a child with pig tails who had to be rescued from his oak tree when she couldn’t "fly" down. Brett is well known for his one night stands but he realizes that Jolie is vulnerable and she isn’t a one night kind of girl. His attraction to her has him thinking maybe he could risk his heart.

When Brett’s grandmother and her gang cause more trouble for Jolie, Brett has to find a way to help her move forward with her dreams. Brett believes that Jolie can accomplish what she wants but she won’t accept help from family or friends. He steps in to help as her contractor but also helps in other ways that may end up backfiring in their relationship.

Jolie and Brett are two lively and likeable characters. The chemistry between them sizzles and the first half of the book seemed like a long seduction. I was a little distracted early in the book because it seemed that every new character was a “looker” - well at least the young ones. The elderly ladies are distinct characters who were frustrating and sometimes a hoot. The story moves along at a good pace with writing that is crisp and flows easily. The small town setting makes for plenty of fun to add to the warm story and the sexy romance. There are several brothers and friends who I imagine would make good material for more books in this series. I recommend this book to those who like a fun, sexy romance.

I received this for Forever Romance tour and an honest review.

SUGAR'S TWICE AS SWEET by Marina Adair (November 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)
Buy Links:

About the author:

Marina Adair is a lifelong fan of romance novels. Along with the Sugar series, she is also the author of the St. Helena Vineyard series. She currently lives in a hundred-year-old log cabin, nestled in the majestic redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with her husband and daughter.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive. She also loves to interact with readers and you can catch her on Twitter at @MarinaEAdair or visit her at www.MarinaAdair.com.

Social Media Links:

Marina is hosting this fabulous Rafflecopter giveaway featuring Amazon & B&N gift cards:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXTRA: 
Autographed PRINT BOOK GIVEAWAY
(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, OR
visit THE AUTHOR'S Website and tell me something you like/learned there.

* This contest is open US/Canada Only for Print Book.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) December 6, 2014.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after December 6, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

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