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Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell

This is a fast paced, entertaining and intriguing thriller.
by Cym Lowell

  • File Size: 1506 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rosemary Beach Press (March 5, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00ITF9VJ4
Genre: Thriller
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: March 5, 2014
Greenwich, Connecticut socialite Jaspar Moran has it all—a magnificent estate, two beautiful children and a loving husband, Trevor, serving as the Secretary of the Treasury. Protected, admired and living in the lap of luxury, Jaspar is reeling from the news that his government jet has crashed just as her children vanish without a trace.
An ominous message warns her to keep silent about her husband’s role in the President’s economic plan. Or else.
Determined to save her children, she’ll go to hell and back, form alliances with assassins, traitors and Mafioso, and commit unspeakable acts—if that’s what it takes. With alarms sounding around the world, hunted from all sides, and unsure of who to trust, she finds herself depending on a mysterious figure without an identity.
Jaspar journeys from the Australian outback to the palazzos of Rome, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, and to the magnificence of the Vatican, in her quest. Can she rescue her children before the plot to crash the global economy is unleashed?


Review:
Jaspar has a wonderful life with her important husband who is the Secretary of the Treasury, and their two children. One moment she is playing an afternoon ball game with the kids and the next the children have disappeared and she learns her husband is presumed dead in a plane crash. The press begins to accuse Trevor of manipulating financial markets for personal gain. She knows Trevor was upset about something before he left but he didn’t get the chance to tell her what it was. No one is taking credit for the kidnapping of the children and the only message she gets is that she must remain silent if she wants them to live.

Jaspar finds a thumb drive with information that she believes shows Trevor was suspecting financial patterns by someone in the government. Jaspar seeks help from her long-time family priest and friend to set up a plan of action and arrange to get the information to a financial wizard whom Jaspar trusts, a reclusive American Indian, Chief Bearstrike.

Jaspar is delivered into the hands of Nulandi, an intelligent, sensitive and confidently trained warrior assassin. He travels with his faithful guard dog, Alice, who is trained for Nul’s missions. Nul explains to Jaspar that she must become a warrior to rescue her children. Just as Jaspar’s father used to make the right lure for different fish, Jaspar will be the bait to lure the kidnappers out so they can follow the trail back to the children.

While Jaspar, Nul and Alice race around Europe reeling in killers, Chief Bearstrike meets with another friend, Jason Brontus, a US Attorney. They unravel the financial patterns that have already reaped ill-gotten profits and are setting up to collapse America’s economy. The trail leads to someone with White House connections so they have to be careful who they take the information to.

The story jumps into action and intrigue and never really slows down. There are wonderful, strong characters and great disguises including nuns in habits, a large, old black woman and young boy, a seductress and a race car driver. There is intrigue in plans, traps and near escapes. There is also some raw sexual exposure and rather brutal killing which are not for squeamish readers.

A strong, loving friendship develops between Jaspar and Nulandi that just borders on moving into a physical relationship. As Nul trains Jaspar to be a warrior, she shares the strength of her faith and trust in God with Nul who needs to find that unconditional love and peace for his life. Yet the story includes an interesting mix of Native American beliefs and a certain primal mysticism as well as the Godly faith.

The writing is direct and fast paced with occasional passages of beautiful description interspersed amid the raw danger and killing. I was impressed with the female protagonist being written by a male author. My only disappointments were that the villain who held the children seemed to get off easy after all of his nefarious dealings and the climactic encounter with the 'mastermind' seemed rushed. Still, I really enjoyed the non-stop action and the strong friendships that helped Jaspar on her mission. I highly recommend this entertaining read to those who like a strong, action-packed thriller.

I was pleased to see this new release by Cym who provided a copy for my honest review.
Working with Soldiers’ Angels through his initiative OPERATION: NEXT CHAPTER, Lowell is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of “Jaspar's War,” to provide voice-controlled laptops to military personnel recovering from amputations, paralysis, eye injuries, burns and brain trauma.
See more information at Cym's blog.
Author links:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mailbox Monday March 31, 2014

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 selected one ebooks for tour and three from NetGalley. 
(I still have many author requests to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles

One Title Selected from author/ publicist offers:

Received from AuthorPal/Penquin Group

The Temptations of Anna Jacobs 
by Robyn DeHart
 

Historical Romance set in Victorian London with Jack the Ripper intrigue.







Received through NetGalley


Fair Play: A Novel
by Deeanne Gist

A historical love story about a lady doctor and a Texas Ranger who meet at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.






Raptor 6 
by Ronie Kendig

Military Romance.







The Escape (Survivor's Club)
by Mary Balogh

In this poignant novel of longing and salvation, a hopeful widow
 and a resilient war hero discover the promise of love’s magic and new beginnings.



Won

None.



Purchased

None

 Free

Plus I downloaded another 60 or so free Kindle titles. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Free Par-tay, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

It's Monday What are You Reading? March 31, 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 another good week reading again and began to feel better by the end of the week. I only got three reviews posted instead of four but I'm not too far behind. I also posted a Launch Blitz and one Print giveaway and the usual memes. :-)

I did some visiting early in the week again but then didn't get to do more.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Audio Book Review: A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn; World War II Mystery; my rating 4.25.
  • Book Review: Heart of a Hero by Marie Higgins; Historical Romance, Western, Inspirationa; my rating 4.25.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle


Jaspar's War
by Cym Lowell
I liked this alot. I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.






2. Print


Tall, Dark & Fangsome (Immortality Bites)
by Michelle Rowen
The review and giveaway are linked above.
Click on book title for full description.






3. Audible/MP4


Storm Surge: Destroyermen, Book 8
Written by: Taylor Anderson
Narrated by: William Dufris
Another great installment in this series.
Click on book title for full description.



Line Edits/Releases:
Working on several releases.

Enter the bi-monthly drawings at eTreasures Publishing Facebook page.
Current giveaway link:  to be linked.
Check for the new giveaway every two weeks.

Currently reading:
1. Audio/MP4



The Protector
by Marliss Melton

This is starting out as good romantic suspense.
Reviewing through Audiobook Jukebox.
Publisher's Summary
Eryn McClellan teaches ESL in Washington, D.C., until the day she's targeted by terrorists avenging her father's actions in Afghanistan. The FBI has stepped in, but when it looks like they are using her for bait, General McClellan enlists the aid of the only man he knows he can trust: former Navy SEAL Ike Calhoun.
Embracing solitude in his remote cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ike thought he'd left the War on Terror behind. Now he's stuck shielding a blue-eyed beauty from ambitious federal agents and crazed jihadists. More disturbing still, the charming Eryn seems intent on shattering his self-imposed isolation. Ike does his best to resist her welcoming ways, but he can feel his restraint eroding like a mountain in a mudslide.
With the FBI hot on their heels and the terrorists not far behind, Ike willingly wages a one-man war in defense of the woman whose passion and faith have given him the strength to rise above his past.
©2011 Marliss Meltlon Arruda (P)2013 Marliss Melton Arruda



2. eBook/Kindle


Issachar's Heirs
by Brian Chilton
This political thriller is awesome!
Click on book title for full description.






3. Print


Unwilling Warrior, Seasons of Redemption Series #1
by Andrea Boeshaar
This has started quite nicely.
This is our Ladies' Club selection for April 5.
Product Description
The War Between the States has Valerie Fontaine frightened about her future. She never suspects she'll be thrust into the middle of it. Benjamin McCabe's got a noble dream of photographing the Civil War - and he never expected to fall in love with a New Orleans socialite.
When Valerie's father is arrested on charges of treason, Ben secures a way for her to leave the city and travel to his family's home in Jericho Junction, Missouri where she'll be safe.Can Valerie adjust to life on the prairie and remain true to her promise to wait for Ben no matter what the cost?



4. eBook/Kindle


You're Not Safe (Texas Rangers)
by Mary Burton
I am looking forward to this romantic suspense.
I'll be reviewing with giveaway.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
He Will Never Forget
The broken body hanging from a tree in Texas Hill Country. . .the frozen figure huddled in a meat locker. . .only at second glance does the truth become apparent. What seems like suicide is far more sinister, and the terror is only beginning...
Never Forgive
One devastating moment changed Greer Templeton's life and ended two others. Now, with a body found on her property and Texas Ranger Tec Bragg on her doorstep, Greer's nightmare has returned. With each new victim, her link to Tec's case grows, and soon it will be too late to run.
And Never Let Them Live. . .
Greer hoped the past was behind her, but an obsessed killer has never forgotten the bond that unites them. One by one, he will track down his victims, finish what was started--and make Greer's dying wish come true. . .


I am up to date on my daily Bible reading. :-)

Line Edits: We are now finalizing formatting for two ebook re-releases, as well as working on a new children's release.

I am continuing to enjoy reading books from my own TBR. :-) I only completed three reviews this week so I still have 4 to review. That pretty much keeps  me up to date. 

April Scheduled -
April 3 - Review: Issachar's Heirs by Brian Chilton
April 5 - Ladies Book Club Review & Giveaway: Unwilling Warrior by Andrea Boeshaar 
April 10  - Review & Giveaway: You’re Not Safe by Mary Burton through Joan Schulhafer
    Publishing & Media Consulting

April 16 - Review & Giveaway: Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance) by Jessica 
   Lemmon through Hachette
April 17 - 4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 22 - Review & Feature - The Temptations of Anna Jacobs by Robyn DeHart
  through AuthorPal/Penquin Group



NetGalley: I did pick up some more titles for April. 
Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles by Maggie Gallagher
Fair Play: A Novel by Deeanne Gist
Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
The Escape (Survivor's Club) by Mary Balogh

Authors
 Many requests to field and reply to.

AudioBook Jukebox (have one more to be received and then more to request.)
The Protector by Marliss Melton


From TBR Collection - The Seducer by Madeline Hunter
Won Book - TBD
Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords - TBD

Sunday Words of Encouragement March 30, 2014

Our Old Testament daily reading this week (Deuteronomy Chapters 9-15) was reinforced by our Sunday school lesson which was entitled “The Lord is your God”. When God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land it wasn't because they were good or deserved it, it was because He was cleansing the lands from the sin and wickedness of the other nations. God also displayed His power and His faithfulness to keep His promises.

I was mindful of these points as we celebrated communion today. As a child we attended Episcopal church where I learned certain liturgical prayers of confession that included the phrasing “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.” (*See full text of the prayer below.) As I matured and moved to evangelical churches we no longer did liturgical prayers. Yet even these many years later I recall that prayer because it is always true. I try not to commit overt sins but I know I sin by omission regularly. I do not deserve forgiveness since I am weak and disobedient. This is ever more reason for me to be thankful that God is merciful and, through grace (unmerited favor), I have been adopted into God's family by faith in Christ who shed His blood to cover my sin and pay the debt I could never pay.

I found this oldie goldie song that I am sharing today.
He Paid a Debt.
Verses for Today: (I these verses through verse 9.)
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.


I tend to think on this prayer whenever I take communion:
*Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Rite II of the Book of Common Prayer

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sharing Beyond Books #144 Comment Giveaway March 29, 2014

Hello again on Saturday night and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

All commenters read more fiction than nonfiction. Several mentioned reading for escape, pleasure or entertainment. Those who do read non-fiction mostly read biographies or autobiographies. Marjorie mentioned reading books by Lisa See which she says are based on fact.
~~~~
The Winner from SBB #143 comments is: #26 Sarah 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 #144 (One Question.)

Q1. My question this week: How do you handle your TBR pile??
A:  I don't think my TBR pile is this bad although if you include ebooks it would be. :-) 
A continued:  I try to read at least two to four books a month, ebooks, print and audio, from my TBR but on the scale below mine would be "All is lost". I definitely have more books than I could read in a lifetime.
 Image found at Read, Breath, Relax

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. 
Questions in March were submitted by Di, MaryP, Nikki and Elizabeth (I don't count for the submission wins). Random Pick is #1 - DI.
Your turn to share:

Q1. My question: How do you handle your TBR pile??

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 April 5, 2014 at 5 PM  central.

Book Review and Giveaway: Tall, Dark & Fangsome (Immortality Bites) by Michelle Rowen

There is humor in this light read even though not my cup. 
Tall, Dark & Fangsome (Immortality Bites)
by Michelle Rowen
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (September 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0446505854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446505857

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
My Rating: 3.75 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: August 11, 2009
Sarah Dearly's vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn't obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.

Making things worse are Sarah's growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah's dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?


Review:
Sarah Dearly has only been a vampire for a few months but they have been busy months. She has escaped the vampire hunters at least twice and fallen in love with a somber, dark master vampire, Thierry. Escaping vampire hunters has given Sarah a reputation as the Slayer of Slayers. An unpleasant encounter with a witch got her cursed as a nightwalker which means she can’t walk in sunlight and she has an uncontrollable craving to feast on real, living blood. Sarah wears a heavy gold charm on a chain to help control the curse. Others are worried that the charm will weaken so the vampire counsel is talking about killing Sarah.

Another complication in Sarah’s life is that a vampire hunter, Gideon, has been burned by hellfire and is in extreme pain. Gideon has threatened all of Sarah’s loved ones if she doesn’t perform a ritual turning him into a vampire so he can escape the hellfire. Although most of Sarah’s friends try to convince her Gideon is an evil enemy, she has a tendency to have compassion for everyone, even Gideon in his pain.

Sarah and Thierry think they have found true love even though his long time estranged wife, Veronique, has refused an annulment. Sarah and Thierry have told their friends they have broken off their relationship as a means to protect Thierry from Gideon’s threat. Gideon has promised her a spell to remove the nightwalker curse if she will betray the Red Devil to him. Currently Sarah is hiding that she has become a “gopher” running errands for Gideon as she tries to determine whether it will be safe to turn him and how else she might get the spell to lift her curse. Thierry is suspicious of Sarah’s feelings for Gideon so he has convinced a dangerous vampire known as the Red Devil to come out of retirement after 100 years to spy on/protect Sarah.

Sarah has a very sassy and humorous attitude that makes the story fun and light. Unfortunately she makes me think of the stereotype ‘dumb blonde’ (regardless of true hair color) as she can’t make up her mind how to feel about Gideon, she doesn’t seek help from anyone and she continues to do things that she knows are dangerous and not good actions. I really found it rather difficult to like her and therefore hard to become fully engaged. There were some interesting characters including a teenage warlock who plays with spells and demons. I pushed on through, shaking my head at Sarah’s indecision and several improbable scenes.

My conclusion is this is a fun, light read even if it doesn’t make good sense. This series may not be for me but there are lots of positive reviews so plenty of readers apparently like the snarky fun.

I picked this from my "won" books.
ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for my Print 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, OR
 visit the author's website and tell me something you like/learned there.

* This contest is open to U.S. address only for print.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on April  4, 2014.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after April 4, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway March 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 am behind in doing the Amazon, PayPal gifts and pulling books to be mailed. I hope to get all this caught up Friday and/or Saturday. Thanks to everyone for being patient.

My treatment weekend was a little easier but I have dragged through the week in gastric discomfort. The doctor directed me to some over the counter meds today to help. Meanwhile, in spite of a cold snap mid week, spring has bloomed here. The azaleas and dogwoods are looking beautiful!


More details at My Cancer Journey

[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 March 21 Pick. There were no 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 two titles with multiple blocks.

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from March 21 Pick:
ElizabethL gets  a GC
Emily gets Father for Keeps

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.}
Isn't this a lovely idea- spring into reading?
Image found at Education World.

New Book Group #46 March 15, 2014

PAIRS:
   Virginia Henley - Notorious and Insatiable
   Debbie Macomber - Navy Woman and This Matter of Marriage
SINGLES:
The Diamonds of Wellbourne Manor Anthology by Diane Gaston plus
Heart of Darkness Anthology by Gena Showalter plus
Unbound Anthology by Kim Harrison plus
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
Penhollow by Georgette Heyer
Dangerous Passions by Kat Martin
The Last Heiress by Bertrice Small (spine creases)
If She Only Knew by Lisa Jackson (spine creases)
Liar's Market by Taylor Smith
The Horseman's Secret by Jeannie Watt
Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs
Strong Arms of the Law by Vicki Kennedy


New Book Group #45 January 31, 2014
PAIRS:
   Deborah Cooke: Winter Kiss and Kiss of Fate
   Fern Michaels:  Hey Good Looking and Charming Lily
SINGLES:
Swimming Without a Net by Mary Jane Davidson
Exit Strategies by Catherine Todd
Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter
The Reckoning by Beverly Lewis
Out of Darkness by Lynn Erickson
Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride by Elizabeth Rolls
Contract Dad by Helen Shelton
Sandhill Dreams by Cara Putman
Hearts Are Wild by Laura Wright
Dare Me Anthology, Cherry Adair, Jill Shalvis and Julie Elizabeth Leto
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
A Writer's Dream & A Cowboy's Heart by Vickie Kennedy


New Book Group #44 December 14, 2013
PAIRS: gone
SINGLES:
Renegade Heart by Madeline Baker
Every Whispered Word by Karyn Monk
Tides of Passion by Tracy Sumner

New Book Group! #43 November 1, 2013

Pairs gone
SINGLES:
Father for Keeps by Ana Seymour 

Crimson Rain by Meg O’Brien

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

Singles:
Silver Feather by Cassie Edwards (pictured and in box but missed the listing.)
Something Extra by Janet Dailey

New Book Group #41 August 2, 2013
Singles:
The Nightingale's Song by Jo-Ann Power
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way
White Heather by Jaclyn Reding

New Book Group #40 June 28, 2013
Pairs:
      (Angels) Not Quite An Angel by Bobby Hutchinson and An Angel for Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad
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
- 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
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)

New Book Group #30 July 27, 2012
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

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
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

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 four years I have posted 43 groups of 16 (688) books to find new homes! (as of November 2013).

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 642+ 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  (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
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
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

Pick #8
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray

Pick #10---(All Gone)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Heart of a Hero by Marie Higgins

This is a fun, sweet historical western with a strong, if stubborn, heroine.
Heart of a Hero
by Marie Higgins
  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Distributing (January 1, 2010)
  • ASIN: B0051UT9M4
Genre: Historical Western Romance, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
There's a new hero in town... When Summer Bennett returns to Richfield after a five-year stint at her aunt's finishing school, she discovers a lot has changed. Her father has suffered a crippling injury, and Summer is desperate to get the money to pay for surgery that could allow him to walk again.

She hears of a reward offered for the capture of a cunning gang of bank robbers, and her years of etiquette training fall by the dusty roadside.

What Summer doesn't count on in her quest to capture the bandits is the competition from her family's longtime friend, Jesse Slade. Now a deputy marshal and local hero, Jesse keeps thwarting Summer's plans, just like he did when she wore pigtails. She would like nothing more than to use Jesse's head for a slingshot target, but soon Summer finds her aim shifting from his head to his heart. Problem is, Jesse is engaged to her sister Violet.


Review:
Summer Bennet was a childhood tomboy always competing with her family’s friend, Jesse Slade. At fifteen Summer went off to her Aunt’s finishing school where she learned how to be a lady although she didn’t lose all of her bold ways. Five years later she is returning home when the stagecoach is attacked by bandits. Summer crawls out the window to help the driver defend against the attack. She is able to disable or kill several but takes a shot herself but then is rescued by a deputy marshal coming from town. She is glad for the help until she discovers the hero is none other than her childhood nemesis, Jesse.

Jesse is shocked to discover the person fighting the bandits is Summer. Although it is clear she is still willing to face danger she has matured into a beautiful young woman. She still immediately takes offense at his rescue but he can’t help but be attracted to her spirit and beauty. He can’t be too attracted though because he is engaged to Summer’s sister, Violet.

Jesse and Violet have been engaged for a number of years but she keeps putting off their wedding date. Some think it is because Jesse is not a man of faith while Violet and Summer’s family rely on their faith in God. Jesse and Violet know that they no longer share a tender attraction but have just a comfortable friendship. They have been reluctant to tell Summer’s family since her father, the local blacksmith, suffered an accident that paralyzed his legs.

Jesse, his older brother Clint, another deputy marshal, and other marshals are trying to catch the bandits. Summer decides that she wants to catch the gang so she can use the reward for doctors for her father. Of course this means sneaking around in her old trousers and getting into dangerous situations that Jesse has to rescue her from.

Summer doesn’t understand her attraction to Jesse and feels especially guilty because of the engagement between Jesse and Violet. Summer and her family are glad to welcome attentions from Albert, a young man of a wealthy family who met Summer while she was with her Aunt. Summer tries to turn her attention away from Jesse but she isn’t totally comfortable with Albert. Jesse doesn’t think Albert is all he claims to be but perhaps Albert can offer Summer more than he can.

This is a fun, sweet romp with interesting tension and misunderstandings between Summer and Jesse. Neither wish to acknowledge their feelings and when they finally try there are more mixed messages. I really enjoyed the bright, strong characters and the underlying faith in Summer’s family. The story is warm and easy, enjoyable reading. This is the second story I have read by Marie Higgins. I enjoy her writing style and look forward to reading more of her books.

I received this title from Walnut Press for review.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Print Launch Blitz for Hard to Handle by Jessica Lemmon


About HARD TO HANDLE:
ONCE BURNED
Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she's bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can't resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn't let herself fall in love . . .
TWICE AS TEMPTING
Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he's determined to win back the woman he's always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden's not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?

About Jessica Lemmon:
Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she'd only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since "eating potato chips" isn't a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she'd started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn't stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn't be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

Social Media:
http://www.jessicalemmon.com/
@lemmony
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaLemmon

Buy Links:


RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 24, 2014

Audio Book Review: A Blind Goddess by James R. Benn

This is an engaging double mystery with very interesting racial history from WWII.
A Blind Goddess
Author: James R. Benn
Narrator: Peter Berkrot
The Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries, book 8
Length 10.2 hrs
Unabridged
2014 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Genre: World War II Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


SUMMARY
March, 1944. US Army Lieutenant Billy Boyle, back in England after a dangerous mission in Italy, is due for a little R&R—and a promotion. But the now-Captain Boyle doesn’t get to kick back and enjoy his leisure time because two upsetting cases fall into his lap at once.
The first is a personal request from an estranged friend: Sergeant Eugene “Tree” Jackson, who grew up with Billy in Boston, is part of the 617th Tank Destroyers, the battalion poised to make history by being the US Army’s first combatant all–African American company. But making history isn’t easy, and the 617th faces racism at every turn. One of Tree’s men, a gunner named Angry Smith, has been arrested for a crime he almost certainly didn’t commit and faces the gallows if the real killer isn’t found. Tree knows US top brass won’t care about justice in this instance and asks Billy if he’ll look into it.
...© 2013 by James R. Benn


Review:
US Army Lieutenant Billy Boyle is a special investigator working through orders sometimes issued by his “cousin” General Ike Eisenhower. He is in between assignments planning a little vacation with his girlfriend. He is contacted by an estranged childhood friend, Sergeant Eugene “Tree” Jackson. Tree wants Billy to investigate a murder that his gunner, Angry Smith, has been charged with. Tree and Angry are part of the first combatant all African American company and there is a great deal of American racism that harasses them even though the Europeans have accepted the blacks as polite and mannerly forces in their restricted community.

Billy and his Polish co-hort, Caz, agree to look into the circumstances regarding Angry’s arrest but then they are given an assignment in a nearby town. A young man has been killed at a boarding house that is operated by a German couple who are apparently assets of the allied forces. Billy has been called in as the primary suspect is an American soldier and they powers that be want special handling for the case.

Billy and Caz, along with help from local authorities, persistently pursue minimal leads on both cases. A local girl has also gone missing and Billy begins to believe that there is a connection. There is wonderful foot work and detail to the investigation that made this very interesting. At the same time there is a fascinating, if disturbing, picture of the tragedies of racism that have followed Tree all his life, from his childhood days with Billy, to his army days in the prejudiced south and now continuing from the white army companies.

The unraveling of the murders is well done, including an action chase when one of the murderers tries to escape and a tense show-down when the other is discovered. This is a very good blend of mystery and history on a sensitive topic. Apparently there are other Billy Boyle mysteries and I think they would be good stories that any mystery fan and WWII history fan would enjoy.

Audio Notes: The narrator, Peter Berkrot, does a good job with the various accents although it took just a little time to get used to the Boston accent for Billy, who is the primary character. Not only did Mr. Berkrot do a good job with the voices but also with the emotional inflections. This is the sort of story I might not read in print but found entertaining to listen too.

I received this title through Audiobook Jukebox.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mailbox Monday March 24, 2014

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 selected two ebooks and one audiobook for review from offers.
(I still have many author requests to consider and reply to.)
I made one Kindle purchases along with the free downloads.


Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles

Two Titles Selected from author/ publicist offers:




Received from Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

You're Not Safe (Texas Rangers)
by Mary Burton
Romantic Suspense - Book 3 in the series.



Received from Hachette:


Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance)
by Jessica Lemmon
A Second chance at romance.





One Audio Selected through Audiobook Jukebox:
The Protector |

The Protector
by Marliss Melton
Romantic Suspense.





Won

None.

Purchased



Kindle purchases:
This Cozy Mystery just looked so cute.
Kneading to Die (Gourmet Pet Food Mystery)
Mugavero, LizMarch 21, 2014

Purchased:March 21, 2014
Price:$1.99


View Product Page




Free

Plus I downloaded another 45 free Kindle titles - I don't guess I will ever get to read all of these books. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Free Par-tay, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? March 24, 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 fairly good week reading again and stayed up with reviews.  I posted four reviews, one with ARC giveaway. I also posted the usual memes. :-)

I did some visiting early in the week but then didn't get to do more.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

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


Heart of a Hero
by Marie Higgins
I am 70% into this and it is a fun read.
Click on book title for full description.





2. Audio/MP4


Night Broken: Mercy Thompson, Book 8
Written by: Patricia Briggs
Narrated by: Lorelei King
I really like this series so I purchased this with my February Audible credit! I will start listening tonight.
Click on book title for full description.




3. Audio/MP4


Witness in Death: In Death, Book 10
Written by: J. D. Robb
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Another thoroughly engaging mystery with Eve Dallas and her team, including husband, Roarke.
Publisher's Summary
Opening night at New York's New Globe Theater turns from stage scene to crime scene when the leading man is stabbed to death center stage. Now Eve Dallas has a high profile, celebrity homicide on her hands. Not only is she lead detective, she's also a witness - and when the press discovers that her husband owns the theater, there's more media spotlight than either can handle. The only way out is to move fast. Question everyone and everything...and in the meantime, try to tell the difference between the truth - and really good acting.
Crack another case with Eve Dallas.
©2007 J. D. Robb; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio



Line Edits/Releases:
New Release:
The Angel Tree by Miles Wright
Joshua Sharpe is being terrorized by a giant tree creature with snake-like limbs capable of snatching stars right out of the night sky and yet no one in his family believes him. Almost every night the enormous monster comes right up to his window, shakes the house, and tries to grab him from under the covers where he hides sweating and shaking from absolute terror. His only comforts are his invisible friends who warn him when the creature is enraged, tell him where to hide and whom to trust. If it were not for his friends, Joshua would be all alone. And so he does everything he can to keep them around—including throwing his medication out the window.

But Josh’s condition worsens and when his friends suggest he jump from his window, he is hospitalized. There he meets another boy with schizophrenia, and he and Michael become fast friends, both determined to escape and make a life for themselves. He and Michael learn to survive outside on their own without medication, discovering the meaning of true friendship and the unexpected truth that there is only one place where they will be truly safe—the Angel Tree.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 396

Enter the bi-monthly drawings at eTreasures Publishing Facebook page.
Current giveaway link:  Annie's Special Day by Clara Bowman-Jahn.
Check for the new giveaway every two weeks.

Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle


Jaspar's War
by Cym Lowell
I am almost finished this very good thriller. 
Click on book title for full description.




2. Print


Tall, Dark & Fangsome (Immortality Bites)
by Michelle Rowen
There is some fun to this - though not smart character.
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audible/MP4


Storm Surge: Destroyermen, Book 8
Written by: Taylor Anderson
Narrated by: William Dufris
I am enjoying the continuing adventrues in this series.
Publisher's Summary
In the Pacific, as USS Walker is repaired and updated after a previous battle and Reddy is healing from his wounds, planning begins for a bold raid on the very heart of the Grik Empire.
But time is running out for the Alliance army in India, and the Allied forces in the west must gather in an unprecedented land, air, and sea campaign to destroy the mighty Grik battle fleet and break through to their relief. All other plans go on hold when the attempt proves more difficult - and more heartbreakingly costly - than anyone imagined.
Meanwhile, the struggle continues on other fronts near and far: in the jungles of Borno in distant Southern Africa and in the Americas, where the allies are finally learning the terrible truth about the twisted Dominion.
The Alliance is on the offensive everywhere, but their enemies have a few surprises, including new weaponry and new tactics...and a stunning geographic advantage that Reddy never suspected. Until now.
©2013 Taylor Anderson (P)2013 Tantor.



4. eBook/Kindle


Issachar's Heirs
by Brian Chilton
I plan to start this later this week
for a review the following week.
I will be reviewing with giveaway from the Publicist.

Book Description
Publication Date: October 10, 2013
The 20th century dawned with Evil’s perpetual whispering about Europe’s Jewish Problem. Decades passed, more listened, and Evil’s power grew. Evil soon demanded that listening was not enough, placing men into power also eager to act. Multitudes stood by, stilling listening, watching, while Evil’s Solution was imposed. Millions died.
Now at the dawn of the 21st century Evil’s murmur has begun again. But this time the whisper that grows ever louder complains of America’s Christian Problem . . . America’s Christian Problem . . . America’s Christian Problem . . .
In 2016, Nemesis, a small but powerful coalition, will follow Evil’s call to act . . . .
Will the nation founded for religious freedom now allow Christianity to be driven from her shores?


I am a day ahead on my daily Bible reading. :-)

Line Edits: We are now finalizing formatting for two ebook re-releases, as well as working on a new children's release.

I am continuing to enjoy reading books from my own TBR. :-) I completed four reviews this week and have one carry over plus 3 new so I still have 4 to review (my math must have been wrong last week). That pretty much has me up to date. 

March Scheduled - nothing dated but I still plan to look for some book hops.

Sourcebooks: read/to be reviewed

NetGalley: I did pick up some more titles to list for April. 
Anointed: The Cantati Chronicles by Maggie Gallagher

Authors
 Many requests to field and reply to.

AudioBook Jukebox read/to be reviewed

From TBR Collection - Heart of a Hero.
Won Book - Tall Dark and Fangsome.
Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords - TBD

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