Contact email: mesreads AT
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #192 Comment Giveaway February 28, 2015

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

How is everyone doing? I had a rather busy week with my daughter, primary employee, being out sick. Makes more work for me. I have tons of office work still to get caught up on before I go away in a week for a conference. I hope the weather gets better for you folks with the really cold temperatures and snow! Too bad you can't share some of that with those around the other side of the globe with hot, dry weather.

Thanks to everyone who commented during the short time this week.

I think that as avid readers we are also collectors! There were 23 answers (including my own) and only one was a no with three of us who used to collect but stopped due to too many books, too much cost and too many favorite authors. The other 19 collect although some read through library copies and some collect on ereaders instead of print. I appreciated the good point in holdenj's comment which was "I like to support them and the book industry by actually making a purchase!"

The Winner from SBB #191 comments is: #1 Becky who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. I'm hoping to update the book choices this week. Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #192 (One Question.)

Q1. Abby asks: Have you ever participated in any treasure hunts or non-book related scavenger hunts? Did you win anything??
A: (This was a fun question since I posted a mini scavenger hunt answer early today.) I always loved little treasure hunts or scavenger hunts with clues when I was young. I remember some were following clues around the house and others were with church youth where you had to go retrieve a list of items. As a young adult I also participated in a road rally hunt where we followed the clues from one stop point to the next. My team did not win that one. As I recall we got lost  mid way! 
Image found at "Party" on Pinterest.

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.
Almost forgot the end of month Comment provider winner: February Questions provided by: bn100, Jess1, Marjorie and Becky. chose 1 - bn100 to get book choice.
Your turn to share:

Q1. Abby asks: Have you ever participated in any treasure hunts or non-book related scavenger hunts? Did you win anything??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the  Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. I still have to go back and update that list with what is left and a few new titles to add.)

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 March 7, 2015 at 5 PM  central.

WINTER COYER Mini Scavenger Hunt

The Book Monster is hosting a scavenger hunt as a mini challenge for COYER.

Keeping with the COYER and TBR Doube Dare theme I am selecting books for this Scavenger Hunt that are in my TBR libraries with source noted by [brackets]:
Book Scavenger Hunt:
1. A Book that begins with “C” (for COYER)
2. A book that has been made into a movie/tv show
3. A series you love
4. An anthology of poems or short stories
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves

1. Book that begins with "C"

Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles 
by Marissa Meyer
[Kindle Purchase Feb 2014]

I hope to read this one in March!

2.  Book Made into Movie
I have at least four available: The Soulkeepers [Kindle free book 12/2013] but not yet released in movie; Life of Pi [Audible library 8/2011]; The Book Thief [Audible library 5/2013] (but to be honest, I started this last year and couldn't get into it); 
and the one I am picking: 
[Audible 9/2014]
by James Dashner

3. A Series you love

I will choose book 13 in the "In Death" Series:
Now I just have to find my CD version which my daughter may have borrowed or I have stuck on a shelf at home.
Seduction in Death
by J.D. Robb
[CD Audiobook on TBR Shelf -somewhere]

4. Anthology

[Free Kindle May 2012]
Mark Aragona (Author), Dave Robinson (Editor), Linda Hull (Editor), Andrew Gray (Editor), 3DGarden (Illustrator)

This will fill V in Alphabet Soup too. :-)

5. Book on your TBR -- all of the above are from my TBR shelves! AND I will add one more that I hope to read in March also:

Kiss of Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novel 
(The Midnight Breed Series Book 1)
by Lara Adrian
[Free Kindle May 2009]

Friday, February 27, 2015

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway February 27, 2015

Happy last Friday in February! This coming weekend we will move from 'loving' February to 'mad' March. No madness planned for me but I have some traveling that I am looking forward to in March. How about everyone else? Any special plans to welcome spring?

US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)

CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up to late 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 without other people asking for that book during those weeks.

Thank you to all who entered the February 20 Pick. There were no automatic wins again this week.  (Lots of 3s so there may be a good number of winners next 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 was one title blocked.

to picked Winners from February 20 Pick:
Anita gets On Treacherous Ground
Llehn 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.}
This works for me for sure although every month is love of reading month for me. How about you?
Image found at Bookman's.

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)

Virginia Henley: The Pirate and the Pagan (spine creases) and The Falcon and the Flower
James Patterson: London Bridges and Roses are Red (both spine creases)
Pale Kings and Princes by Robert Parker Audio Cassette Tapes
Hour Game by David Baldacci (spine creases)
If I Had You by Deborah Bedford
The Girl With the Golden Spurs by Ann Major
Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Kasey Michaels
Dark Possession by Christine Feehan
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood
Paradise Bay by James Michael Pratt
The Last Two Bachelors by Debbie Macomber
Exclusive Anthology by Fiona Hood-Stewart, Sharon Kendrick and Jackie Braun
Duets Romantic Comedy: Lady and the Scamp by Candy Halliday & The Doctor Dilemma by Dianne Drake

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014

Lisa Gardner: Alone and Gone
Janet Evanovich: Eleven on Top and Twelve Sharp
Stuart Wood: L.A. Dead and Fresh Disasters
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes
New Blood by Gail Dayton
Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
To Collar a Killer by Lee Charles Kelley
Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
‘Til There Was You by Elizabeth Ann Michaels
The Ladies’ Lunch by Patricia O’Brien
Wild Winds by Janelle Taylor
Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker - Tape Cassettes
Rescue Me Anthology by Cherry Adair, Lora Leigh and Cindy Gerard

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty byVickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin
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
Intrepid Encounter by Rebecca Ashley
A Stranger's Wife by Maggie Osborne
Richard Paul Evans PAIR: The Looking Glass and The Carousel
Duo Book: Yesterday's Memories by Tara Taylor Quinn and Amanda Stevens
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Catherine Anderson PAIR: Seventh Heaven and Always in My Heart
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner

BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Touched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
It All Began at Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Mariah Stewart PAIR: Priceless and Brown-Eyed Girl
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way
Whisper on the Wind by Joan Smith
Fulfillment by Barbara Delinsky
Trouble Becomes Her by Laura Van Wormer
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
Diana Palmer PAIR: Diamond Spur, Long Tall Texan
A Lady of Consequence by Mary Nichols
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
Illegal Possession by Kay Hooper

BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Final Justice by Jasmine Cresswell
Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Mary Higgins Clark PAIR: Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Moonlight Becomes You (SC)
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- 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
Angel's Peak by Robyn Carr
The Millionaire's Daughter by Sophie Weston
Tara Taylor Quinn: Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.
Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh

BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky
One Eye Closed by Karen Whiddon
The Darkroom by Minette Walters
The Elusive Flame by Kathleen Woodwiss
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
McNally's Puzzle by Lawrence Sanders
The Undertaker's Widow by Phillip M. Margolin
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
S is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mystery)
Tender Triumph by Judith McNaught
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Death Angel by Linda Howard

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 54 groups of 16 (864) books to find new homes! (as of February 6, 2015).

I am happy to say that so far about 770+ 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. 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!

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, 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 $7.00 and $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)

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!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

I am pleased to recommend this as a delightful, character driven, sweet romance.
Snow Angel Cove
by RaeAnne Thayne
  • File Size: 475 KB
  • Print Length: 379 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373779070
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (October 28, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00K9ZWH7K
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to Haven Point, a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright.
Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward's Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she's stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a hero, but she's not expecting one who almost runs her down with his car!
Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza's hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew what his life was missing before Eliza, but now he's willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever.

Eliza is a widow with an adorable 5 year old daughter, Maddie. Eliza closed her apartment in Boise to take a new job as manager of the Haven Point Inn in a small town. They arrive in town to discover the Inn burning down. Eliza is short on funds and has no place to go. To make a difficult day worse, Eliza is bumped in the cross walk by a car sliding off an ice patch. The driver of the car is the very handsome Aidan Caine who has recently purchased half of the town Eliza has a past reason to dislike the billionaire “Geek God” and some of the local merchants aren’t very happy with him either.

Aidan offers Eliza a temporary job as a housekeeper, organizer to prepare his new lakeside lodge for the Christmas visit of his family which consists of about 25 people: father, stepmother, siblings with spouses and children plus dogs. Eliza wouldn’t accept charity but this is a job offer too good to pass up for work she can do while sending resumes for new jobs.

Everyone loves Naddie even before they learn she has health issues. Maddie and Eliza manage to pull the intense, workaholic Aidan out of his office for some moments of fun. As Eliza and Aidan stay up late they share friendship and secrets. Aidan has his own reasons for taking time off from work and gathering his family together for a visit. When he discovers Eliza’s secret it sends him off to hide in his office working, even as his large, warm family arrives and begins their festivities.

Aidan has never slowed down enough to think about a wife and children. But now Eliza and Maddie have him seeing a side of life he has been missing. Aidan is struck by Eliza’s effectiveness, charm, devotion and patience. Although Eliza could easily fall for Aidan she is reluctant to lose her heart to another man who will put his work before family. Can these two recognize the gifts they could share before the holidays are over and Eliza leaves?

This is a character driven story set in a lovely small town setting. The primary characters, including Maddie, are well developed and their connection and growing friendship are delightful. The secondary characters, townsfolk and Aidan’s family, are fun too.

I have enjoyed other stories by Ms. Thayne and I like the easy flow and warm charm of her stories. I found this to be an easy, charming and engaging read. This may be presented as a small town romance but it is really bigger than that. This read very comfortably as a stand alone as I have not read any other stories in this series. And you wouldn't have to save this for Christmas as it could warm you anytime of the year. I highly recommend this as a very sweet, fun read to those who enjoy contemporary romance.

This is my last NetGalley selection from 2014. This qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge, TBR Double Dare, and winter COYER.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

AudioBook Review: Cleansed by Fire: A Father Frank Mystery by James R. Callan

I like the primary character in this mystery where church fires spark confessional issues for a concerned Priest.
Cleansed by Fire: A Father Frank Mystery
Written by: James R. Callan
Narrated by: Jonathan Mumm

Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-27-14
Publisher: James R. Callan
Genre: Mystery, Christian
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Arsonists have torched two churches in a small Texas town, plunging its residents into a state of fear. Father Frank DeLuca, pastor of Prince of Peace Church, is thrust into an impossible dilemma when he hears that another church will be burned. The disturbing information comes to him via the confessional, and church law forbids him from telling anyone - even the police. Still, he can't sit idly by, and no law prevents him from looking into the matter himself. The crimes have set the town's residents on edge, fraying the bonds of trust. Is the mysterious newcomer with ties to the local drug scene involved? What about the man who says maybe the churches deserved to burn? Or the school drop-out who threatens the priest with a knife. Father Frank digs deeper into the town's secrets when a man is murdered. His investigation leads him dangerously close to the drug scene and he discovers the danger has come to him. Can he save his own church? Can he save his own life?
Cleansed by Fire is the first of the Father Frank Mysteries.
©2012 James R. Callan (P)2014 James R. Callan

Father Frank is a Catholic Priest who has a hands on approach to helping his parishioners. He sincerely seeks the Lord’s guidance and help but he plays an active part too. He is involved helping the youth of his church by playing and organizing basketball games and he keeps tabs on other activities such as a new “pop” band.

An arsonist has burned down a Baptist church in the community and Father Frank takes a personal interest. That interest is increased by an anonymous confession of a youth who seems to have some knowledge but won’t reveal it. Father Frank thinks he knows which boy makes the confession but he is restricted from disclosing any information given in the confessional. As more Baptist churches are burned down Father Frank lines up a handful of suspects. There is the rough, mysterious, man who keeps hanging around the ball park asking about drug sources; a young man who seems to have a drug problem; an angry teen who was abused as a young boy by his mother’s boyfriend; and a man in a bar who sneers at Father Frank as he burns a paper steeple.

Meanwhile Father Frank encourages the budding romance of an active widow in his church who has captured the heart of the local police detective. These two add a nice, gentle side line to the mystery story.

I really liked Father Frank’s character. He lives his grounded faith in a real way, including some impulsive action. The story moves along well with Father Frank actively investigating any clue he can follow. There are side lines of interest including the youth choir and the sweet romance. There is danger, faith and sweetness in a short package that combine to make this a solid Christian cozy mystery.

Audio Notes: I’m sorry to say that I found the narration rather dry. It seemed more like a reading than a narration. I still enjoyed the overall book but I recommend a prospective listener try the audio sample to decide if this might be a story to read in print or ebook instead of audio.

I received this title for review through Audiobook Jukebox.
This qualifies for AudioBook Challenge and "C" in Alphabet Soup challenge.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review and Giveaways: What a Devilish Duke Desires by Vicky Dreiling

This is an interesting tale of the difficulties facing a Duke falling for a maid in Regency London.
What a Devilish Duke Desires
(The Sinful Scoundrels)

by Vicky Dreiling

  • File Size: 779 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (February 24, 2015)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • ASIN: B00KVK30R4
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 3.75 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Harry Norcliffe never wanted to inherit his beloved uncle's title. The rigidity of the ton, the incessant reminders from his marriage-minded mama that he must settle down with a highborn lady and produce an heir and a spare: it's all such a dreadful bore. So when his mother asks him to take part in a dancing competition, he patently refuses. The last thing he needs is another chore . . . until a beautiful, brilliant, delightfully tempting maid makes him rethink his position.
Most women would be over the moon to be pursued by a wickedly handsome-not to mention wealthy-duke like Norcliffe. But Lucy will not be any man's trophy. She could use a friend, though, and what begins innocently soon ignites into desire. As Lucy tries to resist Harry's scorching kisses, he makes an utterly irresistible offer. Enter the dance contest with him, and win a prize that could change her life forever . . . if falling in love doesn't change it first.

Harry is a likable rogue who didn’t much worry what the ton thought of him. He is grieving at the death of his uncle and terribly annoyed that he is suddenly being sought after because he has become a Duke. Now, he doesn’t much care what people think because he has enough wealth and position to ignore them. Harry knows he will have to settle down someday and provide a legacy like his other 'scoundrel' friends. But, even with his mother’s manipulations, he isn’t prepared to do that just yet...until he meets Lucy.

Lucy is a beautiful young woman whose parents have died, leaving her to care for her blind grandmother. Lucy loves to dance, a gift she learned from her mother. She dreams of having her own dance studio one day. She works as a maid and a dance assistant just to eek out wages for a dingy apartment in a dangerous part of town.

Harry comes to Lucy’s aid one night when a thief tries to rob her. He is immediately smitten although Lucy is cautious of the intentions of this unknown ‘Sir Galahad’. Lucy knows that their social status it too far apart to allow any relationship between them. But Harry pursues her, convincing her to meet him in the park where their friendly banter grows to caring.

There are many obstacles before them, including Harry’s rather haughty mother. There is some tension added by Lucy’s former employer, a drunken dance instructor, who seeks revenge, blaming her for his loss of position. Lucy herself is the most stubborn objector as she doesn’t want to bring shame and harm to Harry who is responsible for his three female cousins who are just reaching marriageable age.

The premise of the story is engaging and for the most part entertaining. I liked Harry’s devilish, yet gentlemanly, character and his determination to make Lucy his own. I liked Lucy’s determination and ability to -mostly- do what has to be done to protect herself and her grandmother. There are several sections of fun banter between the lead characters and also between Harry and his buddies.

Unfortunately the second half of the book slips in execution. There are repetitions of facts, banter, and even (lackluster) sexual encounters. There are sections of “telling” instead of “showing” and some awkward jumping of threads. It seemed to me as though the book got rushed and no one bothered to give it the final edits, tweaking and polishing it could have used. Although the story is a nice read, I felt it was not up to the standard I expected from the author and publisher. Also I admit annoyance that the blurb is not accurate to the story: Harry and Lucy never enter the dance contest, unless you stretch that to mean the dance caused by their unequal status.

I still recommend it as a fast reading, fun story with a lot of sweetness. Be sure to check out other reviews too as some are more positive than mine.

Buy Links:
I received this from Forever Romance (Hachette) through NetGalley for an honest review. I will include it as part of my NetGalley Challenge and W for Alphabet Soup.

About the author:
Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the United Kingdom allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her Trouble. When she's not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and, most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.
Social Media Links:


Lucy stood behind the table dressed in an apron. A cap covered all but one wisp of her red hair. She handed a glass of lemonade to a matron. When the lady walked away, Lucy lifted up on her toes.
Evidently, she was watching the dancers.
He strolled over to her table. “Lucy?”
Her green eyes widened. “What are you doing here?” she said under her breath. A blush stole over her cheeks. “Sorry, that was foolish.”
“No, it wasn’t. I escorted my mother and cousins . . . I didn’t expect to see you here.”
She wouldn’t be here if she didn’t need the coin, but she couldn’t be earning more than a pittance.
“You are working?” he said. Brilliant, you just sounded like a complete idiot.
“Yes, isn’t it obvious?”
He smiled. “Well, yes. You are well?”
“I am,” she said. “And you?”
“A few minutes ago, I would have said tolerably well, but then I saw you and brightened considerably.
“Flirting again, Your Grace?”
“Who me?” he said, putting his hand to his heart.
She looked over her shoulder and returned her gaze to him. “You had better go.”
He looked behind her.
“What are you about?” she said.
He grinned. “One of your curls escaped the cap.” She attempted to tuck it in.
“Don’t,” he said. “It’s rather fetching.”
“Please go. I cannot afford trouble.”
“No one is paying attention to us. May I have a glass of lemonade?”
“Of course.” She poured and handed the glass to him. He took a sip and puckered his mouth. “It’s
terrible, but I should have expected it. Almack’s is well known for its lackluster refreshments.”
“One would think the ton would serve decent food and drink.”
“Believe me, no one comes here for the refreshments,” he said.
“Except you?” she said in a teasing tone.
He laughed. “I saw you watching the dancers. I wish you could dance with me.”
“I’m working.” She glanced over her shoulder again. “You had better leave before someone notices you’re talking to me.”
He glanced out at the crowd. “No one is paying the least bit of attention. Everyone is focused on the dancers.
“Why aren’t you dancing?” she said.
“I would if you were free.”
“If you wish to flirt, I advise you to choose a lady of leisure. I must work.”
“I wish I could dance the rest of the night with you. I can’t, so I won’t dance at all.”
She shook her head. “I’m not the reason you’re avoiding dancing,” she said. “I know the patronesses changed the rules.”
“Yes, and I narrowly escaped dancing all night with a young lady out in her first season. I felt sorry for her. She couldn’t be a day over seventeen, making her much too young for the likes of me.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Aren’t you expected to dance?”
“I don’t care about expectations.”
She met his gaze straight on. “I wager your family does. I know courtships take place primarily on the dance floor.
“When I decide to court a lady, I will choose the time and place. I make my own decisions, and I answer to no one,” he said.
She arched her brows. “Perhaps a higher power?”
He smiled. “Or a lower one.”
Her mouth twitched in a slight smile. “Does that make you a devilish duke?”
His shoulders shook with mirth. “Clever.”
A rotund maid walked out. “Lucy, give the gentleman a glass of lemonade and be done with it.”
Lucy winced and poured a glass. “Yes, Mrs. Thompson. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not me you owe an apology.” Mrs. Thompson regarded him. “She’s new, but that’s no excuse.
He’d made trouble for Lucy, and he’d better undo the damage. “Mrs. Thompson, I beg your
pardon.” Harry gave her his best flirtatious smile. “The lady did try to discourage me. I take all the blame. "Do forgive me."
Mrs. Thompson’s eyes grew as round as carriage wheels and her face turned pink. “Imagine me forgivin’ you. Carry on, Miss Longmore,” she said, and walked off.
Afterward, Lucy leaned toward him. “Please go now. I can’t risk losing my job.”
The devil. He shouldn’t have teased Lucy. Her words worried him, because she couldn’t be earning much. That only made him wonder how she was managing.
He wandered past the other tables, stopping occasionally to watch her. She and her grandmother lived in a rough neighborhood. That fact only increased his curiosity and his concern. Most likely, she held more than one job, because she couldn’t possibly survive on whatever pittance she earned serving lemonade.
When she caught him eyeing her, she averted her gaze. A lady approached, and Lucy served her a glass of lemonade. Afterward, Lucy looked out at the crowd as if determined to avoid him.
Once again, he was struck by the contradiction of her. He told himself to walk away and forget her, but he couldn’t. She was a riddle, one that he itched to solve, but that was not all. In truth, that one kiss had only made him want more. He wanted to pull her up to her toes and kiss her senseless. He wanted to hold her in his arms. He wanted her to surrender everything to him, but he mustn’t rush her. That one kiss had assured him she was an innocent.
The orchestra ended the tune with a flourish. The master of ceremonies called for silence. The guests moved closer en mass toward the dais where the patronesses sat.
Three ladies inside the refreshment room hurried out to join the throng. Harry consulted his watch. It was half past eleven. He turned around. Lucy was alone.
When he strode toward her, she eyed him warily. He set the half-finished glass of lemonade on the table and leaned closer to her.
“I want to see you again. Meet me at Green Park tomorrow.”
“Because I want to know more about you.”
She shook her head. “I do not think it is a good idea.”
“Who will know but us?” he said.
She narrowed her eyes. “What if one of your friends saw me with you? I can well imagine what they would think of me.”
“They’ll be at Rotten Row during the fashionable hour. No need to worry.”
A roar went up within the ballroom, followed by thunderous clapping. Harry turned around and saw his eldest cousin Mina and Lord Everleigh standing on the dais. “I had better go.”
“Yes, go, and please do not jeopardize my job again.”
He grinned. “I will see you tomorrow.”
“You’re awfully confident, but you are bound for disappointment.”
He looked at her over his shoulder, winked, and walked into the ballroom.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Graciously provided by the publisher:

(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  (a) comment on the review, OR
(b) Answer this Question: 
Which would you choose? A Wicked Earl, a Reckless Rouge or a Devilish Duke?
(c) visit THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE and tell me something you like/learned there.

* This contest is open to US/CANADA only for Print Copy.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) March 2, 2015.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after March 2, 2015.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 23, 2015

This meme starts at Book Journey!

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

This past week was busy and enjoyable. 

I thought I had done more reading but only finished two books. Still, I am well into two more.  
I posted three reviews and the usual memes. 

I visited some bogs early in the week and more at the end of the week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
Finished Reading:

Snow Angel Cove
by RaeAnne Thayne
I enjoyed this light, character driven romance.
I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/MP4

Cleansed by Fire: A Father Frank Mystery
Written by: James R. Callan
Narrated by: Jonathan Mumm
This is a good mystery story.
I will post the review this week.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

What a Devilish Duke Desires
by Vicky Dreiling
I am 70% of the way completing this charming Historical Romance for review and giveaway to post 2/24.
Click on book title for full description.
Publication Date: February 24, 2015

2. Audible/MP4

Contingency: Sage Hannigan Time Warper, Book 1
Written by: Peggy Martinez
Narrated by: Amanda C. Miller
I am mid-way in this
interesting time warp fantasy.
I received this title for review 
through Audiobook Jukebox.
Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle

Homespun Bride (The McKaslin Clan: Historical Series, Book 1) (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical #2)
by Jillian Hart
I have had this title in my Kindle library as a free book since 2009.
Steeple Hill (February 12, 2008)
Book Description
Montana Territory in 1883 was a dangerous place—especially for a blind woman struggling to make her way through an early winter snowstorm. Undaunted, Noelle Kramer fought to remain independent. But then a runaway horse nearly plunged her into a rushing, ice-choked river, before a stranger's strong, sure hand saved her from certain death.
And yet this was no stranger. Though she could not know it, her rescuer was rancher Thad McKaslin, the man who had once loved her more than life itself. Losing her had shaken all his most deeply held beliefs. Now he wondered if the return of this strong woman was a sign that somehow he could find his way home.

4. Audible/MP4

Dead Reckoning: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #11
Written by: Charlaine Harris
Narrated by: Johanna Parker
This title has been in my Audible library since September, 2012.
I figure I should finish up the series.
Publisher's Summary
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover, Eric Northman, and his "child", Pam, are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot - which is much more complicated than she knows.
Listen to more titles in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
©2011 Charlaine Harris, Inc. (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church. I am also listening to the companion commentary online. -- Really enjoying my Bible reading. It seems my eyes are open to more details and meaning.
To go a step beyond the Bible reading I am also reading Jesus Daily 365 Interactive Devotions.

February Schedule:
2/24/15 Tour Review and Giveaway: What a Devilish Duke Desires by Vicky Dreiling
I am still focusing on reading NetGalley titles and TBR titles for the next couple of months.

I will have at least three, probably four reviews to complete from this week.
I wanted to read some from my TBR this week so I'll have to get back to reading NetGalley titles next week.

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 didn't get any review books this week but I did select three audible books, one free and two from my monthly subscription.
I downloaded more free kindle titles to my library
(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests, old and new ones, to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles


I am continuing to resist making any purchases. :-)
I selected two Audible titles, both with 4.7 ratings, for my monthly subscription:

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
History, adventure survivor story for a 1943 bomber who crashed into the Pacific ocean. 

By Andy Weir
A thriller story of the first man on Mars being left for dead.

I found this title free thanks to Faith, Hope & Cherry Tea - Also a 4.7 rating.

FREE: Classic Love Poems
By William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I remember years ago when I enjoyed an evening reading poetry.

Over the past week I added 46 free Kindle titles to my library. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Encouragement February 22, 2015

God gave us a double message this morning from our Sunday School teacher and our Pastor. They had not discussed their preparations. I love when God works to confirm messages.

Our Sunday School teacher spoke on the doctrine of “Eternal Salvation”. Specifically he compared the basic principles of Calvinism with the principles of Arminianism.
The tenents of Calvin are represented as “Tulip”:
• Total depravity - no hope.
• Unconditional election - only God selects; man has no choice.
• Limited atonement - Christ died on the cross only for those God selected.
• Irresistible grace - You have no chose as you will be saved if you are chosen. Therefore the salvation is “irresistible”.
• Perseverance of saints - you are secure because you are chosen.
Arminianism proports the argument of ‘free will’. The free will of an individual is not enslaved to salvation but must choose to accept God's salvation by faith. The counter positions to Calvinism are:
• Partial depravity - Man has goodness in his character as well as evil; there is hope through faith.
• Predestination is only due to fore knowledgee of who will choose to accept salvation; but not who is chosen by God.
• Unlimited atonement for all - God wants “no one” to perish; salvation is offered to “whomsoever” would come (John 3:16).
• Grace may be rejected.
• A believer can fall away.
Romans 8: 38-39 says that ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God’...that is God’s unconditional love, but not salvation.
(There are many supporting scriptures which I am having emailed to me.)

Our Pastor’s sermon was entitled: “Security of Salvation”.
The grace of God gives us assurance. Our Salvation is based on our faith but a person can chose to live in sin and reject grace. Sin is powerful but not more powerful than God's grace. Grace should be working in you to grow righteousness, not working toward apathy or hardening of your heart.

The bottomline message from both: God chooses all people, but we have free will to accept the salvation that is offered. It is error to think that you can accept salvation and then choose to “live as you want”, even if it is sinful. Salvation requires faith and a sincere desire to want to be obedient to God. God knows and judges the secrets of our hearts.

We cannot always understand the doctrines that scholars argue about.
But we can know our Savior -- through faith!
Verses for Today:
Hebrews 3:13-14 NIV
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

I am so thankful that God chose me and even more thankful that I choose to believe that Christ died on the cross for my salvation, to redeem me to fellowship.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #191 Comment Giveaway February 21, 2015

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

I've had a rather fluctuating week with fluctuating weather. I had some very good court hearings but some changes and deadlines to meet too. Temperatures went from low of 24F degrees on Thursday morning to a high of 78F degrees today. I hope everyone else is having a good February with lots of hearts, flowers and love. :-)

Thanks to everyone who commented during the short time this week.

Three commenters don't remember what books may have impacted them as early teens. Everyone else had different book choices. Several were impacted by classics including: The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit, Pride and Prejudice, Exodus, Jane Eyre, and the Tale of Two Cities. Others were impacted by some well known favorites like The Bobsey Twins, Cherry Ames (Nurse Series), The Mists of Avalon and Where Are the Children by prolific mystery wrtier, Mary Higgins Clark.  All great choices to encourage avid reading!

The Winner from SBB #190 0comments is: #1 MaryP who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. I'm hoping to update the book choices this week. Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #191 (One Question.)

Q1. Marjorie asks: If you find an author that you really like do you tend to buy all of their books??
A: A few years ago, before I began reviewing and this review blog, I did collect my favorite authors. I believe I have at least 56 books of one author. I have not collected books since 2009 since I have way too many books already and hardly get to read those collections!
Image found at Viralnova

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.

Your turn to share:

Q1. Marjorie asks: If you find an author that you really like do you tend to buy all of their books??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the  Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. I still have to go back and update that list with what is left and a few new titles to add.)

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 February 28, 2015 at 5 PM  central.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Audible Review: Heart of Stone: Irish Angel Series by Jill Marie Landis

This is a very sweet and engaging historical romance.
Heart of Stone: Irish Angel Series
Written by: Jill Marie Landis
Narrated by: Reneé Raudman

Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
Series: Irish Angel, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-01-10
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
In the first book of the Irish Angels series, we meet Laura Foster, a woman with the darkest of pasts, and Reverend Brand McCormick, a man with everything to lose by loving her. Having escaped a life she never chose, Laura Foster is finally living her dream. But even after four years of posing as a respectable widow in Glory, Texas, she is always afraid someone from her past might reveal her true identity.
Believing no man could love her if he knew the truth, Laura tries to resist Brand's courtship. His reputation would be shattered if Laura's former life is discovered. But it's not only Laura's past that threatens to bring him down - it's also his own. As they open their hearts to love and faith, will Laura and Brand find the depth and power of forgiveness from their community?
©2010 Jill Marie Landis; (P)2010 Zondervan

Laura Foster was a child, the oldest of four girls, when her parents came to America from Ireland. They settled in New Orleans but her father and mother died when she was only ten. The girls were taken in by their aunt and uncle...but not for long. The two younger girls were sent to an orphanage but the Laura and her 9 year old sister were sold to the owner of a brothel and separated. Laura had no way to save herself, much less keep her promise to take care of her younger sisters.

Years later Laura has managed to pull herself away from her past and remake herself as a respectable widow. She has operated a lovely boarding house in Glory, Texas for four years. Still, her past and shame press heavily on her and keep her in fear of exposure.

Reverand Brand McCormick has taken note how Laura is always gracious, kind, generous and willing to lend a helping hand to others in her community. He begins to court her even though she is resistant to his advances.

Suddenly the pastor is surprised by secrets from his own past which puts his standing in jeopardy. How can Laura risk exposing him to more difficulty with her own unsavory past?

I had not read a book by Jill Marie Landis for a few years and I had forgotten how I enjoy her writing. It is direct with an easy flow. The characters are warm and life-like with human flaws and problems. The villains are appropriately arrogant and nasty. There is wonderful, not always lovely, history showing hardships of the poor. This story has a lovely message speaking against those who judge others and how hard it can be to forgive ourselves even for things that we couldn’t control.

I would enjoy reading more in the series to discover what happened to Laura's sisters. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a sweet, historical romance with Godly principles that can inspire.

Audio Notes: Reneé Raudman does a nice job with the narration. Nothing over the top but it is solid and made the listening easy.

This audiobook is from 2011 in my Audible library. It qualifies for Audiobook Challenge, TBR Double Dog Dare, Winter Coyer and H on Alphabet Soup.


Related Posts with Thumbnails