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

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

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review and Giveaways: Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliott

This is a delightfully fun romp.
by Cara Elliott


  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • ASIN: B00D19E04O
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .
SCANDALOUSLY YOURS
The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London's leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor's edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .
However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia's secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl's young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.


Review:
Olivia is a true blue-stocking who cares little for ton activities and rules, except that she must not ruin the chances for her younger sisters. Olivia’s father was a free thinking explorer who gave the girls a lot of independence, even taking Olivia along on trips to study native cultures. Olivia loves to research and write controversial, political essays which are published under a man’s name. Those passionate essays get the attention of the upright and proper Earl of Wrexham.

Wrexham, a retired soldier referred to as ‘The Perfect Hero’, is a widow with a ten year old son, Prescott (Scottie). Wrexham has decided it is time to find a proper wife to stand with him in society as he takes his place in Parliament. He hopes to champion rights for war veterans and he is anxious to meet the author of the essays he has read in the paper. Meanwhile, he is about to court a 'proper' young woman to the dismay of Scottie who dubs the lady “the Steel Corset”. The young boy misses the spontaneity and laughter associated with his mother.

Wrexham stumbles upon Olivia at a ball in an inappropriate setting at an erotic chessboard which provides a strategic game thread in the story. The pair accidentally meet again and then become entangled through secrets and mischief. Prescott wrote an advertisement seeking a less stiff and regimented woman to apply to be his mother. Olivia’s sister, Anna, sent the reply Olivia wrote in jest as “Lady Loose Screw”. Now Olivia has another secret to hide even as she hides her heart behind a wall of past hurt and proclaimed independence.

I think Ms. Elliott must have had great fun plotting and writing this story as that humor fills the book. The three audacious sisters are writers of different media: essays, penny romance novels, and poetry and drama. The girls bounce ideas off each other providing wonderful banter, as well as creative scheming, which they share to deal with Scottie’s antics and to help Olivia in the next step of the big game of chess she is playing with Wrexham. The writing moves at a good pace and includes lovely (and fun) alliteration.

There are two or three heated, sensual scenes which compliment the resistant romance. There is also a bit of danger that adds excitement and opportunity to throw the reluctant pair together. I totally enjoyed the story and I’m eager to read Anna’s romantic adventures in the next book, Sinfully Yours, which I will review at the end of April.

I picked this up for blog tour for Forever Romance, through NetGalley, for an honest review.  It qualifies for NetGalley Challenge. 


Buy Links:
About the author:
Cara Elliott started writing Western novels at the age of five. However, she traded in her cowboy boots for Regency high-top Hessians after reading Pride and Prejudice in junior high school and hasn't looked back. She graduated from Yale University, and she now lives and works in New York City.

Social Media Links:

EXCERPT:
   “How dare you spy on me, sir!” demanded Olivia, once she had mastered her emotions enough to speak.
    He fixed her with a commanding stare, the one that had set many a seasoned soldiers to quaking in their boots. “I would not have had to resort to such tactics if you had shown me the courtesy of answering my letters.”
    Olivia refused to be intimidated. Lifting her chin, she scowled back at him. “I did answer them.”
    “With a single word—no.”
    “And what,” she asked with excruciating politeness, “did you not understand about such a simple syllable?”
    John couldn’t help but admire her grit. It took courage and resourcefulness to play in a man’s world. And she played well, he conceded.
    Expelling a harried sigh, he felt his anger dissipate just as quickly as it had come. She had no choice but to guard her secret very carefully. “Look, at least hear me out, Miss Sloane. Tracking down The Beacon has led me on a merry dance throughout Town.”
    Olivia paled at the mention of the nom de plume. Turning abruptly, she plunged off the path and darted around a tangle of holly.
    “Wait!” John ducked under the prickly branches, losing his hat in the process.
    “Go away!” Her voice was muffled by the overhanging leaves.
    “Not until we talk!”
    “I’ve nothing to say to you.”
    The Devil take it. All but a last little flutter of her skirts disappeared behind a shaggy yew hedge. Swearing under his breath, John cut through a patch of lavender. He hadn’t come this far to be rebuffed. She would damn well listen. Or else…
    Several long strides brought him within arm’s reach of her. “Confound it, Miss Sloane, stop and listen,” he called, lunging for her sleeve.
    As his fingers seized the fabric, his boot snagged on a twist of morning glory. Pitched off-balance, he stumbled and fell, taking her with him. Tangled together, they hit the ground hard, their momentum rolling them into a patch of pachysandra.
    “Ooof!” Olivia’s flailing kick caught him square in the shin.
    Flat on his back, John got a momentary glimpse of Olivia’s irrepressible curls dancing in the breeze before another half turn landed him on his stomach. Burning with embarrassment, he tried to right himself, only to find that she was sprawled across his…posterior.
    Bloody hell, he had never felt like a bigger arse in all his life.
    They both started wriggling at the same time. He managed to twist face-up just as she slipped on the glossy leaves and fell back down atop him.
    “Miss Sloane,” he gasped.
    “Lord Wrexham,” wheezed Olivia, an odd little burr roughening her already throaty voice.
    For an instant, he feared she was going to burst into tears.
    Instead, she began to laugh.
    And laugh.
    Scottie was right. It was a delightful sound, its top notes shaded with a rich, sensual echo that seemed to stroke over his skin like a moon-dappled midnight breeze.
    A twitch tugged at his lips. His dignity—as well as his coat—was in tatters, his pride was bruised, and though he should not find it at all funny, John felt a rumble vibrate deep in his throat.
    Olivia tried to get up again, but her limbs were too weak with mirth. “Good Lord, what a ridiculous picture we must make!” she wheezed in between burbles of laughter.
    “Here, let me help you.” Levering to his feet, John lifted her up and as she seemed a bit shaky, he kept his hands on her waist.
    “Well, it’s not every day I take a tumble in the hay with an earl,” she quipped.
    “Please don’t think that I make a habit of ruining a young lady’s reputation,” he answered.
    Her cheeks, already pink from the breeze, turned a lusher shade of red as she looked up and wet her lips.
John felt his body clench. His legendary sang froid began to bubble…His steely self-control went up in smoke…
    Olivia flinched as his mouth possessed hers. She was like summer rain against his tongue. So soft, so sweet.
    Her hands came up around his neck.
    Hell, it would serve him right if she throttled him on the spot.
    But then, all of a sudden, she was kissing him back.
    In a daze, John twisted around and braced her back against the ivy-covered wall, the glossy leaves crackling under the crush of silk. He was dimly aware of a roaring like cannonfire in his ears, and as his hands slid down to cup her breasts he realized it was the pounding of his own heart.
    Knocking all reason to flinders.
    A gust of air ruffled his hair, stirring wild, wicked thoughts of her waltzing naked through the trees. In response, his own privy parts began dancing to their own drummer. Thump. Thump. Thump. His pulse was pounding a military tattoo, commanding all soldiers to stand erect.
    And Dear God, his Major Organ was responding with unabashed enthusiasm.
    Olivia didn’t seem disgusted by his display of primitive lust. With a tiny moan, she tightened her hold and hitched her hips into him.
    Lud, it felt good. No, better than good.
    Exquisite.

GIVEAWAYS:
Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


ONE PRINT COPY (US/Canada only).
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) 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) April 10, 2015.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after April 10, 2015.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday March 30, 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.

DH and I spent most of the week in Orlando sort of relaxing in the RV while the kids and grandkids ran around Disney parks. I say mostly relaxing as I actually ended up spending three days on computer doing office work/exchanging emails in preparation of closings. Still, we had a good week of fun and visits.

I enjoyed my reading last week finishing two ebooks and one audio. I posted three reviews (one with a giveaway) so I stayed up to date. I also posted the usual memes. :-)

I visited blogs early in the week and I did get to visit a bit more late in the week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Audible Book Review: Legendarium by Kevin G. Summers, Michael Bunker; Fantasy, Humor; my rating 4.0.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle


A Kiss to Build a Dream On (A White Pine Novel)
by Kim Amos
Romance with a lot of sexual anticipation - not my favorite type of read.
Blog tour Review and giveaway to post 4/2.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio/MP4


Quitter
by Jon Acuff
This is a very interesting listen to help those working until they can get to their dream job.
I will post a review this coming week.
Click on book title for full description.



3. eBook/Kindle


Scandalously Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott
I picked this up last minute for blog tour for Forever Romance. I will be reading book 2 for April review. :-)
Review and giveaway to post on March 31.
Click on book title for full description.
Publication Date: January 7, 2014



Currently reading:
1. Audible


The Maze Runner: Maze Runner, Book 1
Written by: James Dashner
Narrated by: Mark Deakins
I am 3/4ths completed in this audiobook.
I am interested in where it ends.
This is from my own Audible Library.
Publisher's Summary
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade - a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up - the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
©2009 James Dashner; (P)2009 Listening Library



2. eBook/Kindle


A Hope Remembered (Of Love and War series Book 3)
by Stacy Henrie
I received this book last minute for blog tour this week. If I finish it I may post a review on April 1 or April 4. Other wise the review will post next week.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
AS THE WAR ENDS, LOVE BEGINS Nora Lewis just wants an escape after losing her fiance in the Great War. When she inherits property in England, she boldly packs up and leaves America for a fresh start. But, if not for her dashing new neighbor, Colin Ashby, she'd be lost. Even as their friendship deepens, Nora knows a British aristocrat would never be free to love an American orphan, no matter how much the war has changed the world ... After his brother's death in the war and his own experiences as a pilot at the front, Colin returns home broken, only to discover his family's estate is also in ruin. The pressure is now on him to save his home and the Ashbys' place in society with a well-bred match to a wealthy heiress. Too bad he finds more of a kindred spirit in Nora, the beautiful American next door. She, too, has faced the rigors of war and survived. Now the ex-soldier will have one more battle to fight--this time for love.



3. eBook/Kindle


Shadow Study (Soulfinders)
by Maria V. Snyder
I am looking forward to revisiting Yelena and Valek.
I selected this at NetGalley.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 1, 2015
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.
Once, only her own life hung in the balance…
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous…



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.

April Scheduled -
3/31 Scandalously Yours Review + Print Giveaway courtesy of Hachette, Forever Romance
4/1/15? A Hope Remembered by Stacy Henrie
4/2/15 A Kiss to Build a Dream On Review + Giveaway courtesy of Hachette, Forever Romance
4/11/15?  Ladies Book Club - Before the Scarlet Dawn, Daughters of the Potomac Series #1
4/23/15 Fringe Benefits by Sandy James Blog Tour Review
Last week of April - Sinfully Yours by Cara Elliott Blog Tour Blitz


I am still focusing on reading NetGalley titles and TBR titles for the next couple of months.


I did post three reviews last week so I am up to date. :-)
I am continuing to read the waiting NetGalley titles in between the new ones.


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 

I received two ebooks for review this month.
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
Received through Hachette, Grand Central for Review and Blog Tour:

A Hope Remembered (Of Love and War series Book 3)
by Stacy Henrie
I enjoyed two other books in the series and was pleased to pick-up this one.
See details above.


Sinfully Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott
I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1 which I will review this week.



Won
None received this week although I did win some and will announce them when the books arrive.

Purchased
I am continuing to resist making any purchases. :-)
I do expect to select two audible titles soon with my new credits.

Free

Over the past week I added 48 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 Words of Encouragement of March 29, 2015

We are thankful to have arrived safely home to discover our Dogwood trees in beautiful bloom. We have missed our church family and I am aware that today is Palm Sunday -- celebrating Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem before a week of pain and sorrow.
I wonder when Jesus said that "the stones would cry out" if He meant more than creation crying out in Praise? Could He also have meant creation would cry out at the wreckage of sin and blood? Habakkuk 2:9-12.

I had in mind a certain song about 'even the rocks will cry out'. In my search for the song I knew I found this one with the perfect words. I hope you enjoy it too.
"THE ROCKS WILL CRY OUT!! 
-RON AND SHELLY HAMILTON
Verses for Today:
Luke 19: 39-40
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." 40 But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"

I thank you God for safe travel for all our family. Thank you even more deeply for safe, soul delivery through the love and sacrifice of Christ.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #196 Comment Giveaway March 28, 2015

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

We are heading home from our week in Orlando. The kids had a blast and it was mostly relaxing for DH & I. The one event he really wanted to do (go to Old Town Friday night for the old car show) was rained out. :-( Still it was a great family week. We are now stopped in Lake City waiting for our Florida kids who stayed for one last day at Disney. (Our Maryland kids had to head on home for the longer drive.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

Four out of fourteen couldn't pick one "best" movie and two don't watch enough movies to choose one. The rest of us had a wide range of "best" movie picks, from classics to foreign to Christmas specials. :-)
~~~~

The Winner from SBB #195 comments is: #13 Rubynreba 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 #196 (One Question.)

Q1. Becky asks: Has there been one book that changed your life or help make changes in it?
A: When I read this question one book jumped to mind. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti. The story portrays battle between angels and demons that gave me a totally new view of heavenly armies. It changed my prayer life in a positive way. 
Piercing the Darkness is the second book in the series.
Image found at Frank Peretti

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.
March Questions were contributed by: Tearsa, Sue, Rubynreba and Becky. Random,org chose #2, SUE.

Your turn to share:

Q1. Becky asks: Has there been one book that changed your life or help make changes in it?

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 April 4, 2015 at 5 PM  central.

Book Review: Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason

This is a gripping thriller written with wonderful rich, surprising prose.
Monday's Lie
by Jamie Mason
  • File Size: 1197 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476774455
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (February 3, 2015)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • ASIN: B00LD1OOW0
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
From the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full comes a new thriller about a woman who digs into her unconventional past to confirm what she suspects: her husband isn't what she thought he was.
Dee Aldrich rebelled against her off-center upbringing when she married the most conventional man she could imagine: Patrick, her college sweetheart. But now, years later, her marriage is falling apart and she’s starting to believe that her husband has his eye on a new life...a life without her, one way or another.
Haunted by memories of her late mother Annette, a former covert operations asset, Dee reaches back into her childhood to resurrect her mother’s lessons and the “spy games” they played together, in which Dee learned memory tricks and, most importantly, how and when to lie. But just as she begins determining the course of the future, she makes a discovery that will change her life: her mother left her a lot of money and her own husband seems to know more about it than Dee does. Now, before it’s too late, she must investigate her suspicions and untangle conspiracy from coincidence, using her mother’s advice to steer her through the blind spots. The trick, in the end, will be in deciding if a “normal life” is really what she wants at all.
With pulse-pounding prose and atmospheric settings, Monday’s Lie is a thriller that delivers more of the “Hitchcockian menace” (Peter Straub) that made Three Graves Full a critical hit. For fans of the Coen brothers or Gillian Flynn, this is a book you won’t want to miss.


Review:
Dee had an interesting childhood being raised by a mother, Annette, who had a mysterious career. Annette taught Dee and her brother, Simon, life lessons through “spy games" including observation, memory tricks, defensive training and puzzle solving. Dee’s character and future were impacted by an event when she was 13 and strangers appeared in the middle of night. Annette sent Dee and Simon outside with specific instructions to either return or run, depending on the signals. Dee and Simon watched their mother leave that night as their aunt and mother’s friend, “Uncle” Paul, stepped in to care for the kids for months.

Dee was intent on leading a “normal” life and she married Paul right after college. They began their normal life with a small apartment and two regular careers. Dee and Paul were in their own home when Annette moved in during the last months of her battle with cancer. Paul seemed to love Annette and the stories and mystery that were her forte.

After a few more years Paul and Dee are growing apart when Dee learns she has inherited a significant fortune from her mother. Dee isn’t sure what the problem is with her marriage but she is certain there is one. Betrayal and secrets lead to suspicions. The problems and evidence compel Dee to search out the full extent of the secrets before it is too late. She realizes that she must use the skills her mother taught her, with her own strong instincts, also realizing that maybe “normal” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

The first thing I noticed in this story is the wonderfully rich prose of the writing which is not the normal for a mystery novel. I liked the technique of moving in time to fill in back-story and arrive at present events. Dee and Simon are both unusual characters with distinct features, and the author provides rather strange thought processes for Dee. ("I stalk myself through the flashing memory of my life.") As the story developed, the suspense and mystery were gripping. Initially the tension built slowly, but as the end drew nearer I did not want to put the book down. I noted that the story was simpler, but also more clever, than at first it seemed. There is just a hint at a new interest for Dee which might be developed if this is the beginning of a series.

I highly recommend this to readers who like a good suspense thriller. I would like to read more by Ms. Mason.

I picked this up on Netgalley. It qualifies for NetGalley Challenge and M on Alphabet Soup.

Friday, March 27, 2015

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

Happy Friday. I hope everyone has had a nice week. We are enjoying RV vacationing in Orlando with our kids and grandkids. DH and I have stayed in the RV while the younger crowd chase around the Disney Parks.

TO ENTER:
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 March 20 Pick. There were two automatic wins this week.  (Automatic winners are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.) There were no titles blocked.
Sue F gets S is for Silence
Anita gets The Undertaker's Widow

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from March 20 Pick:
(two lucky first week picks)
rubynreba gets Death at Play
Natasha gets Ain't Myth Behaving

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.}

I wanted an image for RV and books this week.
I don't usually feature actual books but since most of us are familiar with
*** for Dummies books this doesn't seem like a real promo. :-)
Image found at Google Images from Amazon.

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)
PAIRS:
Dick Francis: A Jockey's Life and Proof (spine creases)
Catherine Lanigan: Tender Malice and Elusive Love (spine creases)
Parent Trap Anthology, Dallas Schulze, Lisa Jackson, Kasey Michaels
Madison Avenue Marriage (Silhouette Desire #129) by Cassandra Bishop
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Ain't Myth-Behaving by Kate MacAlister
Death at Play by Nancy Gotter Gates
Where is He Now? by Jennifer Greene
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)
Aphrodite's Secret by Julie Kenner
Virtually His by Gennita Low
Dead Even by Brad Metzger
Mommy Midwife by Cassie Miles
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks


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

PAIRS:
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)
SINGLES:
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



PAIRS:
Lisa Gardner: Alone and Gone
Janet Evanovich: Eleven on Top and Twelve Sharp
Stuart Wood: L.A. Dead and Fresh Disasters
SINGLES:
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 790+ 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, 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 $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, March 26, 2015

MBS 2015 Audiobook Challenge -- Update #1

MBS 2015 AUDIOBOOK CHALLENGE
First Update Giveaway hosted by Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

My Goal (to beat 63 listens in 2014): Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

I need a little more than 5 a month to make 64 this year. 15 of 64 = 23.4%. I'm just barely on track so I guess I better pep it up the listening!

JANUARY
  1. Audible Book Review: 25 Perfect Days by Mark Tullius; Sci Fi, Dystopian; my rating 3.75. (This one might be better in text.)
  2. Audible Book Review: FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale) Written by Michael J. Sullivan; Fantasy;  my rating 4.5.
  3. Audio Book Review: The Eighth Day by Michael O'Neal; Thriller, Action Adventure, YA; my rating 4.0. 
  4. AudioBook Review: Time and Again: Book 1 in the History Mystery Series by Deborah Heal; Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Time Travel; my rating 4.0.
  5. Book Review: Immortality by Kevin Bohacz; Sci Fi, Apocalyptic; my rating 4.25.
  6. Audio Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis; Fantasy, Highlander; my rating 4.25. 
  7. FEBRUARY
  8. Audio Book Review: Betrayal in Death: In Death, Book 12 by J. D. Robb Crime Thriller; my rating 4.75.
  9. Audio Book Review: Heart of Stone: Irish Angel Series by Jill Marie Landis; Historical Romance, Christian; my rating 4.0.
  10. AudioBook Review: Cleansed by Fire: A Father Frank Mystery by James R. Callan; Mystery, Christian; my rating 4.0.
  11. Audible Book Review: Contingency: Sage Hannigan Time Warper, Book 1 by Peggy MartinezFantasy; my rating 3.75. 
  12. Audible Book Review: Dead Reckoning: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #11 by Charlaine Harris; Fantasy, Paranormal; my rating 4.0.
  13. Audible Book Review: Review: The Beast Master by Andre Norton; Sci Fi, Fantasy; my rating 4.0.
  14. MARCH
  15. Audio Book Review: The Keeper's Calling: The Keeper's Saga, Book 1 by Kelly Nelson; Time Travel, YA Romance; my rating 4.0.
  16. Audible Book Review: Finding Mr. Right by Emily Carmichael ; Fantasy, Paranormal; my rating 4.0.
  17. Quitter by Jon Acuff - Review to be posted 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Interlude In Death: In Death, Book 12.5 by J. D. Robb

This is a quick novella that shows true Eve Dallas intensity.
Interlude In Death: In Death, Book 12.5
by J. D. Robb

  • Publisher: Berkley (2006)
  • ASIN: B000J1BO82
Genre: Futuristic, Crime Thriller
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: August 29, 2006
Publisher's Summary
In early spring of 2059, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called off planet to face a grueling ordeal - giving a seminar at the largest police conference of the year, to be held in a swanky resort. A resort which just happens to be owned by her husband, Roarke, of course.
Even though Eve can't quite see it that way, it's supposed to be at least partly a vacation. But work intrudes in the form of a bloody homicide, and Eve is off and running. The case is complicated by Eve's personal history with the victim - and by the killer's history with Roarke. As danger closes in and the body count rises, Eve must find a way to stop the cycle of violence and revenge, and shove the past back where it belongs.


Review:
I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised that each book in this series brings its own complete mystery event as well as the growing relationships among the characters.
Roarke has accompanied Eve, and many of her NY team, to one of his off planet resorts for a police conference. It’s a toss up which Eve likes least: space travel or leading a seminar. Roarke is hoping they can enjoy some of the luxuries of the resort as a bit of a vacation after her seminar.

Eve’s strong personality–sometimes popular, sometimes no–is shadowed by the attendance of a legendary 50 year icon in the police world, retired Commander Douglas Skinner. Even Peabody is awestruck. Eve is summoned by Skinner only to learn that he is a chauvinist and has it in for Roarke. He thinks he can bribe her to assist in taking Roarke down. As if! When Eve moves to step away she is blocked by one of Skinner’s security guards.

Next thing you now, fortunately– or not– for Eve, the guard shows up dead with Roarke as a prime suspect. At least the murder takes Eve’s attention away from her other issues, even though she is not in jurisdiction and has to share command with local authority. Peabody, Feeney and Dr. Mira get to assist in helping to profile and track the killer.

Once again there is wonderful interaction in the team, including Roarke. The mystery is well thought out even, or especially, for a quick novella. The action is fast paced and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Reading this alone would give the reader a good sense of the formula of this engaging series. However, I do recommend reading the books in order to get the full character development and interaction. Now I am ready for the next one on audio!

I checked the list and this came before the next one I was preparing to listen to on audio. It just so happens this was in my TBR box. :-)

ONE PRINT COPY GIVEAWAY
Since it is small I am including US and Canada.


(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) tell me a favorite character in the series and why
OR
(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 7 PM (Central) March 31, 2015.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after March 31, 2015.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Audible Book Review: Legendarium by Kevin G. Summers, Michael Bunker

This ended up being a crazy fun listen!
Legendarium
Written by: Kevin G. Summers, Michael Bunker
Narrated by: Robert Rossmann

Length: 3 hrs and 13 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-20-14
Publisher: Kevin G. Summers
Genre: Humor, Fantasy
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
In every generatioen, certain writers are chosen to be protectors of The Legendarium, a metaphysical library that exists at the nexus of the multiverse. Inside this library are doorways that lead to every world ever created in literature. There are forces of evil constantly at work to destroy the library and send the world back into an age of darkness. Now, in a time of growing illiteracy, two heroes are chosen to defend The Legendarium. Bombo Dawson, newly published author and the hero of Michael Bunker's novella Hugh Howey Must Die!, and Alistair Foley, aspiring author and Bombo's harshest critic, become unlikely partners in a mission to protect The Legendarium. Their adventures will take them across the worlds of literature, but will hostile enemies learn to work together before the accumulated knowledge of all of humanity is lost forever?
©2014 Michael Bunker and Kevin G. Summers (P)2014 Michael Bunker and Kevin G. Summers


Review:
When I started this I was a bit startled by the opening strangeness with post-zombie-apocalypse comments. Bombo Dawson is a heavy set, doughnut loving author who has released his first novel to reasonably good reviews. Unfortunately the book received a one star, scathing review from Alistair Foley, a professor and maybe aspiring author. These two odd characters are chosen as ‘heroes’ to protect the secret Legendarium where all books are protected as any work may have influenced someone along the way. Though hostile toward one another, Bombo and Alistair have to work through their animosity if they want to save the multiverse of publishing works that have impacted people and thereby history throughout time. If they don’t work together then the world they have known will never exist.

Once you get beyond the strange beginning the irony and timeliness of the story became very amusing. I enjoyed the forays into several classic stories like Through the Looking Glass and Moby Dick and a few others that I was not familiar with. There are snide comments about current electronic publishing and classics that might never have been published in today’s industry.

This turned out to be a fun listen, especially while attending an EPIC (electronic publishing industry coalition) conference. Anyone who loves literature and has interest in the reviewing world should enjoy the irony.

Audio Notes: Robert Rossmann does a really good job of adding to the fun of this story. He gives good portrayals for the unlikely heroes and for author legends like Tolstoy, Hemingway, Twain and more. The narration enhanced the story for me.

This was a free audible I downloaded in Dec 2014. It qualifies for Audio Challenge and TBR Double Dare, plus L on Alphabet Soup.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday March 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.

I had a busy time last week catching up briefly in the office before heading off for spring vacation with our kids. Now we are in Orlando planning to enjoy some true R&R and time with the kids - when they aren't off in the Disney Parks. :-)

I did get to post three reviews last week and I also posted the usual memes.

I visited some blog friends early this week but then was precluded by my rushed schedule from more visits.  Maybe? I will do better this week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review: The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis; Historical Romance; my rating 4.5.
Finished Reading:
1. Print



Interlude In Death: In Death, Book 12.5
by J. D. Robb
I enjoyed this quick novella story. 
Review to post this week.
Click on book title for full description.



2. eBook/Kindle


Monday's Lie
by James Mason
This read very quickly and I really liked it.
I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.




3. eBook/Kindle


Echoes (A Harp Security Novel)
Laura K. Curtis
I nearly forgot I had set this for review on 3/21. 
This is a very good romantic suspense and I will look to read more in the series.
The review is linked above.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Who is she?
A single photo of herself as an infant on a beach, taken before the date on her birth certificate, throws everything Calliope Pearson knows about herself into question. Hoping to find answers, she takes advantage of her job as a travel writer to make a reservation at the Caribbean island resort in the picture.
Resort security chief Mac Brody distrusts Callie on sight. After all, she looks exactly like his deceitful missing wife, Nikki, who owns half the resort. But when Nikki’s found dead, Mac's facing murder charges, and he’s sure that Callie must hold the key to proving his innocence.
The deeper Callie and Mac dive into the mystery of her past, the more bodies surface. And they’ll have to learn to trust each other, or become victims of a dark danger neither could've imagined….
Praise for TWISTED:
“Sexy small town suspense, with finely drawn characters that will tug at your heart and keep you up at night turning pages.”—Bestselling Author Dee Davis
Laura K. Curtis has always done everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty. And she wrote her first book in first grade. It was released in (notebook) paperback to rave reviews and she's been trying to achieve the same level of acclaim ever since. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and a pack of wild Irish Terriers, which has taught her how easily love can coexist with the desire to kill.




Currently reading:
1. Audible/MP4


Quitter
by Jon Acuff
I have just started this title which my son recommended to me and I picked up as a free read over a year ago.
Click on book title for full description.



2. eBook/Kindle


Scandalously Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott
I picked this up last minute for blog tour for Forever Romance.
Review to post on March 31.
Book Description
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Proper young ladies of the ton-especially ones who have very small dowries-are not encouraged to have an interest in intellectual pursuits. Indeed, the only thing they are encouraged to pursue is an eligible bachelor. So, the headstrong Sloane sisters must keep their passions a secret. Ah, but secret passions are wont to lead a lady into trouble . . .
SCANDALOUSLY YOURS
The eldest of the three Sloane sisters, Olivia is unafraid to question the boundaries of Society-even if it does frequently land her in trouble. Disdaining the glittery world of balls and courtship, Olivia prefers to spend her time writing fiery political essays under a pseudonym for London's leading newspaper. But when her columns attract the attention of the oh-so-proper Earl of Wrexham, Olivia suddenly finds herself dancing on the razor's edge of scandal. With the help of her sisters, she tries to stay one step ahead of trouble . . .
However, after a series of madcap misadventures, Wrexham, a former military hero who is fighting for social reform in Parliament, discovers Olivia's secret. To her surprise, he proposes a temporary alliance to help win passage of his bill. Passion flares between them, but when a political enemy kidnaps the earl's young son, they must make some dangerous decisions . . . and trust that love will conquer all.



3. eBook/Kindle


by Kim Amos
This cover pulled me in.
I picked this up also for blog tour for Forever Romance.
Review to post 4/2.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
TROUBLE IN HIGH HEELS . . . 
If pride goes before a fall, Willa Masterson's trip back to White Pine, Minnesota, should be one heck of a tumble The girl who left her hometown-and her first love, Burk Olmstead-in the rearview twelve years ago was spoiled and headstrong. But the woman who returns is determined to rebuild: first her family house; then her relationships with everyone in town . . . starting with a certain tall, dark, and sexy contractor.>
MEETS HER MATCH
Burk has no reason to believe Willa has changed, and every reason to discourage her from converting the Masterson house into a B&B. He has plans of his own for that house, and they certainly don't include a no-vacancy sign. But Burk didn't count on how distracting Willa's bright green eyes or her all-too-familiar touch would feel-or how impossible she will be to resist . . .



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.

March Schedule:
March (dateTBD but looks like pushed off until April) - Ladies Book Club Book: Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac - Book 1
3/31 Scandalously Yours by Cara Elliott

I am still focusing on reading NetGalley titles and TBR titles for the next couple of months.


I did post three reviews last week so I have three reviews pending for this week. :-)
I am continuing to read the waiting NetGalley titles in between blog tours.


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 

I received two new ebooks from Hachette/Forever for review.
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 picked up two last minute blog tours for Forever Romance: (through NetGalley)

A Kiss to Build a Dream On (A White Pine Novel)
by Kim Amos
(See more info in Current reading above)

Scandalously Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott
(See more info in Current reading above)


I also accepted one Author invite title from NetGalley for review:

The Shadow Cartel
The Dominic Grey Series
by Layton Green
Crime Thriller -"Lying in wait is an enemy known only as the General: a criminal mastermind whose uncanny ability to avoid detection while cowing even the most ruthless of rival cartels has made him a legend."


Won
None
Purchased

I am continuing to resist making any purchases. :-)

Free

Over the past week I added 49 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.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails