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HoHoHo Readathon Mini Challenge Giveaway: Holiday Sentence

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Post February 26, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 27, 2017


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
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 started this week with migraine headaches. Many have complained of allergy headaches but I think this was a bit of a bug as I did feel better the rest of the week. My sister came to visit for the weekend and we have had nice family time.
Hubby is still tired and dislikes the itchy LifeVest. He has to wear it for another two months to get the readings the doctors want.
Our weather has been very nice. I still pray for those suffering through snow and tornadoes.

Reading was about what I expected considering my visitor. I finished two books: one ebook and one audio. I did find time to get four reviews posted on the blog and posted all of my usual memes.

I am enjoying my visiting; 25+ blogs again last week.
My shout out this week goes to Feature and Follow, which looks like a fun meme at Alison Can Read another site I stumbled on earlier this year.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: Linesman by S. K. Dunstall; Sci Fi, Space Military; my rating 5.0.
  • NGTBR- Book Review: The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler; Children, Nature; my rating 4.75.
  • AV- Audio Book Review: The Soldier's Secret by Heather Osborne; Historical Romance, Civil War; my rating 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Glenfiddich Inn
by Alan Geik
I enjoyed the history in this.
Click on book title for full description.




2. Audio (ABJ)


Alliance
Author: S.K. Dunstall
Narrator: Brian Hutchinson
I liked book two as much as book one.
Now I have to get book three to read after several audio review titles.
I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox

Click on book title for full description.




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Girl of Fire: The Expulsion Project Book One
(A Science Fiction Dystopian Thriller)
by Norma Hinkens
I like how this has started.
I received this from the author.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audible (iRead Book Tour)


Kill and Run: A Thorny Rose Mystery, Book 1
Written by: Lauren Carr
Narrated by: C.J. McAllister
I am two hours in and enjoying the characters as they begin the investigations.
I received this through iReads Book Tours for tour review to post March 3.
Publisher's Summary
Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.
Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.
Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.
In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?
©2016 Terri Zaleski (P)2016 Terri Zaleski



3. eBook (Great Escapes)


Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany (Author)

I received this title from Great Escapes Book Tour
It looks like fun.
Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight in the sleuthing duo of Gemma and Jayne in Elementary, She Read, the clever and captivating series debut by nationally bestselling author Vicki Delany.



February 26, 2017 - I am up to date with the One Year Bible; reading along with my husband and others from our church. I hope to take more time this year, staying on the day and listening to the companion commentary online.

I completed two new books and posted four reviews. That gets me close to up to date with three reviews for the coming week.
I now have 15 NetGalley Titles and still 12+ author titles in my queue.


My two titles got delayed - but I hope to finally get them up this week at eTreasure's NetGalley page.


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 (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received one ebook for review.
I chose three Audibles on sale and one Daily Deal. I also purchased one $.99 Kindle titles.
I picked up a good huge number of free kindle titles again. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I received one eBook for review:
I received this from Partners in Crime for tour review on March 14.
Cat in the Flock (Dreamslippers Book 1)
by Lisa Brunette

"What if you could slip into the dreams of a killer? This family of PIs can."
This sounds like a paranormal mystery I will like.


Won
NONE

Purchased
I picked up this title for Ladies Book Club originally for March 11 but postponed until April.
A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction Book #3)
by Jen Turano
"For years, Miss Felicia Murdock's every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister's wife. When the minister she'd set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change--and soon--before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she's not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who's to say nay?"
We read and enjoyed the first book in this series.


I purchased three titles on sale at Audible and one daily deal:
Three titles for $14.85

The Emperor's Blades
By: Brian Staveley
Narrator: Simon Vance
Duration: 18 hrs and 46 mins
Epic Fantasy.


The Dragons of Dorcastle
By: Jack Campbell
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Duration: 11 hrs and 27 mins
Epic Fantasy.


Orphan X
By: Gregg Hurwitz
Narrator: Scott Brick
Duration: 11 hrs and 15 mins
Suspense Thriller.


Followed by Frost - Daily Deal $2.95
By: Charlie N. Holmberg
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Duration: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Paranormal romance: A 17 year old girl of wealth and status gets banished and find companionship with Death.


I picked up one Kindle $.99 deals:
Lords of Space (Starship Blackbeard Book 2)
Michael Wallace
I liked Book 1 and was glad to get Book 2 at a bargain price.


Free

I added 100 free Kindle titles to my library this week. 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 February 26, 2017

This morning we had a great Sunday School message that confirmed a discussion we had with friends on Saturday. We had moving worship to glorify God and then the sermon was given by our new youth pastor, “J,” who did a very good job.

"J" continued the series on When Faith and Life Collide based on the book of James. James 3:1-12 admonishes believers to control their tongue.We need to watch our speech because the tongue can bring fire, it can be poison. Blessing and cursing should not come from the same mouth. Words are powerful as exhibited in Genesis where God spoke creation into existence.

Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (NLT) Words have power. Words always put something in motion.

POINT: The words we say will always have a result.

We have the choice to speak positive (life) and negative (death) . Faith without works is dead.
Just as a small bit for a horse or a small rudder for a ship controls direction, so the tongue can affect our direction.

“J” was home schooled so had no reason like other students to dislike Mondays. Yet he grew up thinking Mondays were a bad day. Why? Because other people said so. “J” views negative word as a closed circle; holding the speaker in a rut. [I had a different image as I see the negative as a minus symbol that goes nowhere and detracts, while positive is a plus – like the cross — that adds or increases.]

Luke 6:45 says: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (NLT)

“J”’s mother told him when he was young: “If cuss is in you it will come out.” The real issue behind the negative tongue and the negative words is a heart issue. Until an individual has a heart changing experience with God they will remain in a rut. He gave the example of a nearby shelter during a storm: “It is not enough to know the shelter is nearby. You have to go into the shelter. You have to experience the shelter.

So is life – it is more than knowledge of what is good. You need to experience what is good, what is right, what God wants. We can choose life each day and speak life. Psalm 118:24 says “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (NLT) We can speak this positive message to each day.

Our words effect not only us but those around us. Do your words reflect grace and love or do they contain negative words of death?

I found this song which fits today's message.
Verses for Today:
James 3:7-10 NLT
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!

Lord, please help me to to speak healing and not division; to speak love and not hate; to speak life, and not death.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #292 Comment Giveaway February 25, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

I suppose it is not too surprising that many of us do not have time for crafts. Several do like crocheting, if they had time. CarolL does crossword puzzles; Natalija does large cross stitch projects; Mary P loves craft work: knit, sew, crochet and embroider; rubynreba likes to sew, quilt and embroider if time; and Marjorie likes to sew if she has time.  Becky and Natalija look at craft magazines.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #291 comments is: #2 LINDA 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 - maybe the beginning of next year, lol.] Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #292
(One Question.)
Natalija asks: Do you keep some kind of a reading journal or notebook??
My blog is my journal now; as well as my entries at Goodreads. :-) I do keep several lists: one is for my review queue and my upcoming reading schedule. I also have a list of Kindle titles and a separate list of Audio books that I can pick to read from. Prior to the blog I kept a list of books read and I had a data base for several years of books I had on my shelves. I have not continued to update the database - just a matter of not enough time.
Image found at Bookriot.

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! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.
February Questions were provided by: bn100, Nikki, Miki and Natalija. Random.org chose #4 so Natalija gets a GC win.

Your turn to share: Natalija asks: Do you keep some kind of a reading journal or notebook??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. 2-4-17: I FINALLY have some new "Love" and Christmas titles! I hope to get the picture posted later this week.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question 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 4, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Audio Book Review: The Soldier's Secret by Heather Osborne

This is an interesting Civil War story with a sweet romance.
The Soldier's Secret
Written by: Heather Osborne
Narrated by: Kristyl Dawn Tift
Length: 5 hrs and 49 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:10-06-15
Publisher: Heather Osborne
Genre: Historic Romance, Civil War
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
A picture of pure shock and curiosity, Emma placed her empty glass down, "Surely, you are not suggesting I dress as a man and enlist in the Union Army!"
"That is precisely what I am suggesting."
In an era when women are adornments, northerner Emma Mansfield finds it challenging to fit the mold. It becomes an impossible task when her country is torn apart by civil war. Knowing she must take action, Emma finds herself in the midst of danger and intrigue when she takes up the guise of a young artillery soldier for the Union Army. Desperately trying to find out if her two brothers are alive, Emma must maintain her anonymity as she fights for survival.
Please note: this is historical romance. I have represented the historical facts to the best of my ability and done countless hours of research. However, I have taken some liberties and creatively interpreted some items to make the story more entertaining. I hope you enjoy this work of fiction.
©2015 Heather Osborne (P)2015 Heather Osborne


Review:
Emma is a blossoming, proper young woman living with her family in Rochester, New York. Her father operates a local general store and her two brothers are expected to help in the store as they grow older. Emma meets the local doctor, Colin, and they quickly become enchanted with each other. But war disturbs the plans of everyone.

Will, the elder brother has determined to enlist and fight for the Union. The younger brother, Harrison, is not yet sixteen but he wants to enlist also. All the family tells Harrison that he must stay home to grow and help their father in the business. But Harrison sneaks off in anger to join the Confederates.

Emma becomes engaged to Colin but he feels the call to serve where he is badly needed. When Will’s letters to home Emma becomes more and more upset and concerned about the safety of her brothers. A local friend helps her to disguise herself so she can enlist in the Union army.

“Em” makes it through basic training successfully and sets off with her regiment hoping to find her brothers. She does find Colin and Will and is helping her own unit when she sees Harrison too. Troubles arise with a commander who becomes unreasonably obsessed with this young soldier who seems to do things right and have a charmed life. He continually harasses “Em” and they fear that her secret will be exposed. Colin and Emma make a desperate escape but the obsessed commander is not far behind.

Ms. Osborne does a good job with the vivid portrayal of the bleak hardships of war, camp life and field hospitals. The family drama seems real. There are heartbreaks and joys along the journey as Emma and Colin continue through the Appalachian Mountains trying to make their way back home without being caught by their pursuer.

The story is engaging and I liked the primary characters. I found the sexual scenes a bit more than expected for the nature of the story but it fit the passions of the couple and the basic need to cling in hard times. I recommend this to readers who like Civil War detail with a strong romance element.

Audio Notes: I had to get used to the voice of Kristyl Dawn Tift as it is a bit breathy for a war drama. It does fit the romance though and, as I got used to it, I thought that, overall, she did a good job with the voices and the emotion. I enjoyed the story in audio.

I received this audiobook from AudaVoxx for review. It qualifies for my 2017 Audio Challenge.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

This is a delightful, visual view of nature.
The Blue Hour
by Isabelle Simler
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3
Hardcover: 42 pages
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
(February 20, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0802854889
Genre: Children, Nature
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0


A lovely and tranquil celebration of nature
The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn't quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature—sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes—comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.
With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.


Review:
The ‘blue hour’ is that twilight time when sun has gone down but the dark of night has not yet arrived. The sky, the water, the fauna, animals and birds shine out softly, in all sorts of glorious blues. The images are beautiful and I really loved how the creatures are located on the final pages in their native countries. The only problem I had was that the text was very small to read, even on my computer. I was glad that my granddaughters were reading with me as the eight-year-old was able to read the story for us.

This is very lovely. I do recommend this as a wonderful, delightful book to share with young… and old.

I received this book through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley and Mount TBR Challenges.


Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway February 24, 2017

Happy Friday!
I had a rough beginning to this week with two nights of migranes; maybe a bug as I started feeling better after getting sick midday on Tuesday. I am feeling better now.
Our weather has continued to be nice all week.


TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK
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 too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the February 17 Pick. There were THREE automatic wins this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
RITA gets Someone to Love
SUE gets The Christmas Cowboy
DI gets The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from February 17 Pick:
LINDA gets a GC
and
MYSTICA gets the 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.}



I think this fits me and books.
Image was found at Colt's Chat Zone.

New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
PAIRS:
Betty Neels: The Girl With Green Eyes and the Damsel in Green
Linda Howard: The Touch of Fire and Loving Forever
SINGLES:
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke by Jillian Hunter
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Love Letters From a Duke (The Bachelor Chronicles Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small
Only With Your Love (Vallerands Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas
Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux
Valentine by Jane Feather
A Visit From Sir Nicholas (Effington Family Book 9) by Victoria Alexander
Winter Fire by Jo Beverly


New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart

Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins

All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
SINGLE:
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Critical by Robin Cook


New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
SINGLES:
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
The Champion by Heather Grothaus


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette

New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015

SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
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
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.


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

Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

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 almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,040+ 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!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh

Ms Balogh succeeds once again with strong, natural characters in a different situation.
Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel)
by Mary Balogh
File Size: 1774 KB
Print Length: 396 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451477804
Publisher: Berkley (February 7, 2017)
ASIN: B01H17U9E6
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the latest Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Someone to Love.
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery...
With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead...


Review:
Lady Camille is a young woman who was raised as an earl’s daughter; a young lady preparing to do her duty in life. She was not concerned about controlling her life nor seeking happiness. She was only concerned with being a perfect lady, to always do what was expected of her position; to marry a man suitable to her station and to fulfill her duties as the lady of the house. Her life is turned upside down when her father dies leaving his wealth to a daughter born before he married Camille’s mother. It would be one thing if that woman was illegitimate but instead it is discovered that the earl was previously married and the marriage to her mother was bigamous, making Camille, her brother, Harry, and sister, Abigail, the illegitimate children.

Their elder half-sister, Anna, offers to share the fortune she has inherited but Camille and her full siblings refuse. The money will not change their fallen place in society, nor the fact that Camille’s fiancé spurns her with utter disdain and disgust. Their mother retreats to her brother’s home while Camille and her sister move to Bath to live as mere Misses with their Grandmother.

Camille, feeling compelled to redefine herself, takes a job as a teacher at the very orphanage where Anna grew up. Camille has no real idea what she is doing but she also has no idea who she is anymore.

Joel is an artist who was raised at the orphanage and now comes twice a week to teach art to some of the students. Camille isn’t familiar with the ‘common’ man but she is drawn to this rustic man who presents a rough version of a gentleman.

Joel resents Camille’s attitude toward his childhood crush, Anna. Yet his respect for Camille grows as he watches her creative handling of the children while struggling to sort her own self-identity. Slowly Joel and Camille develop a friendship seeking comfort in the form of ‘someone to hold’.

This story started out a bit slowly with Camille as a character who was not so easy to like. Fortunately, her character grows as the story progresses. I loved her experiences learning to feel emotions – pain and love – and the possibility of finding happiness. I also enjoyed the twists that occur in Joel’s circumstances that add a good element of irony.

Ms. Balogh succeeds in making this a delightful read with her strong, natural characters in a new, different, situation. I enjoyed this second book in the series even though I had not read the first book, Someone to Love, which is Anna’s turnabout of fortunes. I am always comfortable recommending Mary Balogh books especially to those who enjoy historical romance with strong characters without graphic sex.

I received this title through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.

Audible Book Review: Linesman by S. K. Dunstall

I really like the characters and the unique storyline in this. I’m ready to listen to more.
Linesman
Written by: S. K. Dunstall
Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-30-15
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Sci Fi, Space Military
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
First in a brand-new, thought-provoking space opera series.
The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he's crazy.... Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level 10 linesman like Ean. Even if he's part of a small and unethical cartel, and the other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he's certified and working. Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship's secrets, but all they've learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius. The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force and forever reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them.
©2015 S.K. Dunstall (P)2015 Recorded Books


Review:
Ean Lambert is a linesman but his skills are different than most linesmen. Lines are paths of energy which serve specific purposes on space ships. Lower lines (1 through 5) control more basic systems not needed for space travel, and these are on planets too. The technology is not completely understood and no one yet knows the purpose of lines 7 and 8. Most linesmen have a special extra sensory perception and have been taught to manipulate the lines by pushing them into place to keep them working properly. The linesmen are certified at the highest level, 1-10, that they can manipulate.

Ean’s contract is with one of the least respected cartels but Ean was glad to sign on for the training and the chance to become a linesman. His boss did manage to get him certified as a Level 10, although it was all a bit unorthodox because Ean doesn’t manipulate the lines like the others. He hears the songs of the lines and sings to them – and they respond. Ean doesn’t get the respect the other high linesmen get, but while other 10s were out at the ‘confluence’ trying to learn the secrets of an alien ship, Ean has been busy fixing lines on many ships and gaining a reputation as a reliable, if strange, linesman.

Ean’s life is suddenly changed when his contract is bought by an angry woman from the Lancastrian Princess. Ean was raised in the slums of Lancia so he doesn’t have warm feelings towards their rulers. The crew doesn’t welcome him warmly, although the lines do. Slowly the crew, especially the ship’s owner, Michelle, her high-ranking bodyguard, Abram, and eventually the ship’s captain, Helmo, begin to appreciate Ean’s unique talents. When they realize that Ean can communicate with the mysterious alien ship, he quickly becomes their secret weapon. He discovers line 11 on the alien ship, learns the purposes of the other lines and realizes that he can use the lines collectively. Which is a big help when enemies first try to attack the alien ship and then try to kidnap Ean.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Ean and the lines. (I suppose some might relate if they have a car or other object they pat and croon too.) The story is told in third person primarily focused on Ean but rotating to other characters too. One of these is Jordan Rossi, an arrogant, rival Level 10 who thinks Ean is crazy and dangerous. Ean is assigned his own bodyguard, Radko, and I like her no nonsense attitude. There is political intrigue that Ean becomes entangled in even though he doesn’t fully understand it all.

The story is full of strong, likeable characters and has a fresh storyline full of action and intrigue. The writing flows well; mostly at a quick pace. When I had to turn it off, I was anxious to get back to listen to more. This book has an appropriate ending but there is clearly more for the next book and I look forward to continuing the adventure.

Audio Notes: Brian Hutchison does a wonderful job with the narration. He gives each character their unique personality, flair and emotions, and his narration flows so well that you aren’t conscious of the reading. There are a few slower points in the story and he manages to maintain a good flow even through those. The narration definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this story and I highly recommend this in audio format.

This book is from my Audible Library (September 2016). It qualifies for my 2017 Audio, Mount TBR and “L” in Alphabet Challenge.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Post February 19, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 20, 2017.


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
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 am finally past the cold bug. I had a busy week with Heather away Thursday and Friday. Hubby and I got to have the grand kids (12, 9 and 6) over plus their two dogs so we had a full house Thursday through tonight. It was fun but tiring too.
Hubby feels better but is still tired a lot and fussing about wearing the LifeVest,
We had pretty pleasant weather all week.

Reading was better than expected but I had to push to get reviews done while the kids were here. I finished four books: two ebooks and two audios. I posted three reviews on the blog and posted all of my usual memes.

I am enjoying my visiting again 25+ blogs last week.
My shout out this week goes to Readers In Wonderland, a site I stumbled on a few weeks ago.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel)
by Mary Balogh
MBalogh succeeds once again with strong, natural characters in a different situation.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audible (AudaVoxx)


The Soldier's Secret
Written by: Heather Osborne
Narrated by: Kristyl Dawn Tift
I enjoyed this Civil War story.
I received this from AudaVoxx for review as a new member gift.
Click on book title for full description.



3. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)


The Blue Hour
by Isabelle Simler
I was pleased to read this visual book with my granddaughters.
Received through NetGalley.
A lovely and tranquil celebration of nature
The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn't quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature—sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes—comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.
With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.



4. Audio (eStories)



The Detainee
Written By Peter Liney
This sounded good to me and is not available on Audible. I received it from eStories.
When the fog comes down and the drums start to beat, the inhabitants of the island tremble: for the punishment satellites - which keep the tyrannical Wastelords at bay - are blind in the darkness, and the islanders become prey.
The inhabitants are the old, the sick, the poor: the detritus of Society, dumped on the island with the rest of Society's waste.
There is no point trying to escape, for the satellites - the invisible eyes of the law - mete out instant judgement from the sky. The island is the end of all hope - until 'Big Guy' Clancy finds a blind woman living in a secret underground warren, and discovers a reason to fight.




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Glenfiddich Inn
by Alan Geik
I am 40% into this and learning interesting historical tidbits.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio (ABJ)


Alliance
Author: S.K. Dunstall
Narrator: Brian Hutchinson
I really liked book one and am looking forward to book two.
I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox

As the Linesman series continues, linesman Ean Lambert finds himself facing an alien ship he doesn't understand-and a terrifying political threat he cannot fight The lines. The soul of every ship. It was once thought there were only ten, but that was before an alien vessel appeared at the edge of space-before Ean Lambert heard more lines singing. Ean's ways of communicating with lines is strange. But his abilities make him a valuable tool-or weapon-to command. Captain Selma Kari Wang has lost everything-her ship, her crew, her legs. But the New Alliance of Worlds is not done with her yet. After they rebuild her broken body, they send her to captain one of the new alien ships, teaming her up with Ean, the only one who can understand the alien lines. Kari Wang and Ean are poised on the threshold of discoveries that could change the world. But not everyone wants the New Alliance to control the secrets they uncover-and those who oppose won't hesitate to do whatever it takes to stop them.



3. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Girl of Fire: The Expulsion Project Book One
(A Science Fiction Dystopian Thriller)
by Norma Hinkens
I enjoyed another book by this author (Immurement) and wanted to try this sci-fi dystopian.
I received this from the author.
ORIGIN. DESTINY. FATE. How far would you go to unravel the truth?
Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Forced to flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, they find themselves thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors more than one dark secret. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Stakes rise when they uncover the classified Expulsion Project, and the devastating sacrifice their birth families made to spare their lives. Determined to save them from liquidation, Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software that now controls large swathes of their home planet.
But will they navigate the treacherous dealings of the seedy Galactic underworld in time to rescue the families who loved them enough to let them go?
Girl of Fire is the first novel in The Expulsion Project, a sci-fi, dystopian thriller trilogy with a whisper of romance, a heavy dose of adventure, and action galore. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or still in Hunger Games or Cinder withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!


February 19, 2017 - I am up to date with the One Year Bible; reading along with my husband and others from our church. I hope to take more time this year, staying on the day and listening to the companion commentary online.

I completed four new books and posted three reviews. That puts me at five reviews to post.
I now have 15 NetGalley Titles and still 12+ author titles in my queue.


We're working on two more titles to go up on the eTreasure's NetGalley page this 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 (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received only one review eBook this week.
I resisted the Audible Daily Deals again but picked up two more $.99 Kindle titles.
I picked up a good number of free kindle titles again. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I received one eBook for review:
I received this from Inkitt for review early March. It releases March 1.
Eric Olafson, Space Pirate
by Vanessa Ravencroft
"It's the year 5019 and the Milky Way Galaxy is teeming with life and exotic species. The majority of the known civilizations have formed a multi-cultural mega organization called the United Stars of Galaxies. This Union is protected by the brave men and women of the United Stars Space fleet against external threats."
This sounds like an action sci fi I would like.


Won
NONE

Purchased
Again I picked up two Kindle $.99 deals:
Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force Book 1)
Craig Alanson
"We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news."
I picked this sci fi up for $.99; now I might get the Audible version for $2.99.



The Unexpected Bride (The Brides Book 1)
Lena Goldfinch
"What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?"
I just liked the looks and sound of this.


Free

I only added 58 free Kindle titles to my library this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

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