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HoHoHo Readathon Mini Challenge Giveaway: Holiday Sentence

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review, Feature and Giveaway: Horizon by Tabitha Lord

This sci fi has a different plot, intrigue and romance.
Horizon
by Tabitha Lord
File Size: 1001 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (March 27, 2017)
ASIN: B06XZ1VJR7
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Caeli Crys isn’t living—she’s surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can’t help but risk discovery to save his life.
Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he’s only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind.
As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future. When Derek’s command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers—full of spies, interplanetary terrorist plots, and political intrigue. Soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy, and Caeli’s unique skills may just give them the edge they need to save it.


Review:
Caeli is a healer and a sensitive empath. She is one of the few remaining of her gifted people after a split off race on her planet attacked and destroyed her community. They took the children to be brainwashed and a handful of survivors to use for their skills and as a cover-up to the truth. Caeli had begun to settle in working with the Doctor and hospital staff at the new community. She was asked to join an underground rebellion group who are seeking a way to overthrow the vicious leader who destroyed her own society and frightens many of this community.

Caeli is distressed when the brutal dictator, Marcus, pulls her in to read the mind of a suspected rebel … or watch as he is tortured, then killed. She cannot reveal her friends so she must go on the run so her skills cannot be used again. While hiding out in her secluded cave, she sees a spaceship crash and senses the injuries and distress of the occupants. She is able to rescue Derek, Commander of the attacked ship. She heals him and they develop a bond as they dodge her enemy and wait for his force to rescue him. Although her people never thought to leave their planet., Caeli agrees it will be safest to go with Derek for the time being. That is until Derek’s new mission seeks Caeli’s special skills in order to act quickly to prevent a terrorist attack.

Caeli has to adjust her mind to using her skills for other than healing and without permission of the subject. But she recognizes the cost of failing to give aid when she can. Now she is part of Derek’s special undercover team having to cope with monstrous, evil men while trying to save lives.

From the very beginning I like Caeli’s helper and ‘survivor’ personality. She goes through terrible trauma but, with the help of others, is able to rise and use her skills for good wherever she finds herself. She does not let revenge take over but wisely bides her time trying to find another solution.

The author fills in Caeli’s backstory with alternating chapters as she shares her history with Derek. Derek is a likeable character and the interaction between the two is handled nicely. There is clearly a connection that moves them closer but details are ‘kept behind doors’. The story moves at a good pace and kept me interested. My only disappointment is the few foul words that the author scattered in the story as though she felt they were needed. In my opinion, they were not needed and were disruptive – especially since the random entries were from a female character. Other than that, I enjoyed the book. There are a few questions left open such as Caeli's reaction to reading the mind of the enemy and what is happening back on her planet. I look forward to the next book, Infinity (review to post June 20).

I received this through NetGalley for aniRead Book Tours review. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.

Meet the Author:

Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island. She is married, has four great kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable lab mix. Her degree is in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and she taught Latin for years at an independent Waldorf school, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Tabitha’s debut novel, Horizon, won the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published Fiction in 2016, and was named finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. Infinity, the second book in the Horizon series, will be released in June 2017. Her short story “Homecoming” appears in the anthology Sirens, edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is also a senior editor for www.BookClubBabble.com.

Visit her blog at www.tabithalordauthor.com where she discusses favorite topics including parenting, teaching, and her writing journey.

Connect with Tabitha: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Tour dates: May 22 to July 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are a few, moderately explicit sex scenes, genocide, rape, and moderate language.)

Buy the Book:
Book Details:

Book Title: Infinity by Tabitha Lord
Category: Adult Fiction, 304 pages
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: June 6, 2017
Tour dates: May 22 to July 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (violence, non-explicit sex, language)

Book Description:
In the second installment of the award-winning Horizon series, Dr. Caeli Crys returns to her war-torn world to fight for those she left behind.

Almagest, Caeli’s home, stands on the brink of revolution. Long hidden from the rest of the galaxy, the once-peaceful planet suffers under a regime that grows more violent and oppressive by the day. Marcus, Almagest’s dictator, is building an arsenal of alien weaponry by selling empathic children into slavery. A resistance has risen, but they are outmanned, outgunned, and in hiding.

Joined by Commander Derek Markham and his elite squadron of operatives, Caeli embarks on a dangerous mission to find the Resistance, rescue her captive people, and save her civilization from destruction.

Buy the Book:



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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge May 2017 Wrap-up

clean sweep 2017
Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts this much needed challenge.

The idea is to gather your ARCs, finished and gifted copies from publishers, NetGalley, Edelweiss and authors and join in for the fifth annual Clean Sweep ARC Challenge.  There is a Twitter party and participant giveaways. The Challenge runs from May 1 to May 31st.

I completed 13 ARCs for the month but still have plenty! challenge.

The rules and Link Up can be found HERE.
The participation Rafflecopter can be found HERE.

My goal was at least 10 ARC/review books for the month; I exceeded this goal.

Here are the ARCs I read in May (12 total - 4 from NetGalley only, 5 from Tour, and 3 from Authors):

  1. eNGTBR- Book Review: Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery, Margaret Dunlap; Urban Fantasy; my rating: 4.25.
  2. eATBR- Book Review: From Afar by Roger Thomas; Inspirational, Religious; my rating 5.0.
  3. eTour- Book Review and Feature: Desert Melody by Laura Evans Serena; Metaphysical, Romance, Sci Fi; my rating: 4.0.
  4. ATour- Audio Book Review, Feature and Tour Giveaway: Old Loves Die Hard by Lauren Carr; Cozy Mystery; my rating 4.0. Open Worldwide. Ending 7/22/2017.
  5. ATour- Audio Book Review and Tour Giveaway: Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr; Cozy Mystery; my rating 4.25. Open Worldwide. Ending 7/22/2017.
  6. eATBR- Book Review: Best Kind of Love by Rebecca Talley; Reunion Romance; my rating: 4.25.
  7. eATBR- Book Review: Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik; Mystery, Police Procedure, Romance; my rating: 4.25.
  8. To be linked!
  9. eNG- Little Detectives At School A LOOK and FIND Book by Sonia Baretti
  10. eNG- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires (Author, Illustrator)
  11. eNG- We're Going to the Beach (Let's Go Picture Books) by Nancy Streza (Author), Adam Pryce (Illustrator)
  12. eNGTour- Horizon by Tabitha Lord
  13. ATour- Shadow Sight: Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Series Written by: E. J. Stevens, Narrated by: Traci Odom

Audible Book Review: One Dog Night by David Rosenfelt

Every time I listen to one of these I remember how much I like this series!
Written by: David Rosenfelt
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
Series: Andy Carpenter, Book 9
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:07-22-11
Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
Genre: Mystery, Legal Procedures
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
For six years Noah Galloway has lived with a horrible secret and the fear that his rebuilt life could be shattered at any moment. Now his dread has become a certainty, and he has been arrested for the arson murder of 26 people.
David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.
Grover Gardner, a Washington, DC.-based actor, director and audiobook narrator, has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, as well as Resident Director at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore.
©2011 David Rosenfelt (P)2011 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.


Review:
Andy Carpenter is a wealthy lawyer who doesn’t like to work. Although an excellent and winning defense lawyer, he takes cases only when circumstances compel him to. Often those compelling circumstances include a dog. Andy has a rescued golden retriever, Tara, and is co-owner of a dog rescue shelter which is primaryly operated by a friend and former client.

Andy is currently in his usual non-working status when a young woman approaches him. She has come to ask him to defend her husband, Noah, who has been accused of setting a fire six years earlier in which 26 people were killed. Andy questions why he should talk to her husband, much less represent him. The response is surprising and gets Andy to the first interview. What he learns after that keeps him on the case in spite of seemingly overwhelming circumstantial evidence and the fact that Noah initially believes himself guilty.

Bit by bit Andy and his team begin to uncover clues that support Noah’s innocence. The team includes a former police officer turned private investigator, Lori, who is also Andy’s love; a giant-sized muscle man, Marcus; a brilliant but negatively critical lawyer, Hike; and a computer/financial wizard, Sam. This time Sam engages the help of his senior’s computer class to help track the phone connections and the money. And of course, Tara who serves as a walking sounding board when not ferreting out actual clues.

Andy doesn’t have to prove who set the fire to win the case. But he does have to pull together the pieces of an alternate theory so he can create reasonable doubt in the mind of the jurors. It is a bonus if (like Perry Mason stories of old) he can expose the true culprit. Andy knows he is on the right track as possible leads and witnesses turn up dead before he can secure their stories, much less their testimony.

As the tidbits of facts are woven together, Andy’s team uncover a blackmailing scheme and connections to a terrorist cell that must be stopped. There is a last-minute rush to stop the terrorists even if security reasons might keep the FBI from using the details to convince the Judge to stop Noah's trial.

I love the wonderfully crafted plot and the self deprecating humor in this legal mystery series. It is great to read/listen as Andy skillfully cross examines the witnesses trying to create a reasonable doubt. He begins to put together the puzzle pieces of facts that reveal the true motive for the arson. It takes attention to detail to connect the dots in this twisted chain of events that involves elements dating back over six years. I highly recommend this series to readers who love tales of solid mystery and legal procedure.

Audio Notes: Grover Gardner is “the voice” of this series. He successfully presents the voices and personalities for each of the characters. His methodical narration contributes to the wry humor that flows through the story. I love listening to this series!

This is from my Audible TBR shelf. It qualifies for Audio Book Challenge, Mount TBR and “O” in Alphabet Soup Challenge.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Thank You to All Who Serve - God Bless the USA


Sunday Post May 28, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday May 29, 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.

We are working hard helping our son and d-i-l move to the new house. Our son had co-workers help bring the big things in two trips on Saturday in a rented truck. We have also made many car trips with the last of the bigger items brought in the truck today. I have spent a lot of time watching the kids so mom and dad could pack, move and unpack. I have been reading many children's titles!

I got some reading of my own done, finishing one ebook and one audio book in addition to many children's books. I posted four reviews and all of my usual memes.

I visited about 27 blogs last week.
No shout out this week - I was focused on Books That Caught Our Eye and not exploring since I've had limited internet.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATour- Audio Book Review, Feature and Tour Giveaway: Old Loves Die Hard by Lauren Carr; Cozy Mystery; my rating 4.0. Open Worldwide. Ending 7/22/2017.
  • ATour- Audio Book Review and Tour Giveaway: Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr; Cozy Mystery; my rating 4.25. Open Worldwide. Ending 7/22/2017.
  • eATBR- Book Review: Best Kind of Love by Rebecca Talley; Reunion Romance; my rating: 4.25.
  • eATBR- Book Review: Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik; Mystery, Police Procedure, Romance; my rating: 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Little Detectives At School
A LOOK and FIND Book
by Sonia Baretti
I picked this up at NetGalley
to read with our "SweetPea".
We both had fun finding the objects.
Description
Take out your magnifying glass and have fun searching for objects scattered around the school. Have you seen the paintbrushes in the classroom? Can you spot the caterpillar in the schoolyard? How about the cactus in the lunchroom? There are so many things to see! The book contains vibrant scenes, each bursting with colorful creatures and objects. An illustrated list at the bottom of the page indicates the objects to find so that even little ones car join in the fun—no reading required! LOOK and FIND books help little detectives develop their vocabulary and sharpen their observation skills.



2. eBook/Kindle (NG)


The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires (Author, Illustrator)
"SweetPea" said she had read this as school but we enjoyed it together.
A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!



3. eBook/Kindle (NG)



We're Going to the Beach
(Let's Go Picture Books)
by Nancy Streza (Author), Adam Pryce (Illustrator)
I sang this one and I think even the twins
(sort of) liked it!
A sing-along-story set to the cadence of The Farmer in the Dell, featuring waves, crabs and lots of beachy fun!
It’s time to go to the beach, but what will we do there? Toddlers and preschoolers will love the rhythmic and repetitive text which can be read or sung.



4. eBook/Kindle (iRead Book Tour)


Horizon
by Tabitha Lord
This is interesting and engaging.
iRead Book Tours review date May 31.
Click on book title for full description.



5. Audible/mp3 (Author tour)


Shadow Sight: Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Series
Written by: E. J. Stevens
Narrated by: Traci Odom
I enjoyed getting the intro to this series.
I received this from the Author.
Click on book title for full description.



These are children books read this week. I will link them through Goodreads after I get home.
These books were from SweetPea’s shelves:
6. Jake and The Neverland Pirates (a repeat)
7. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
8. Joey Goat by Barbara deRubertis
9. The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up – Scholastic
10. The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
11. Zou Bakes a Cake from Chick-Fil-a
12. The Puppy Nobody Wanted (Pound Puppies (Big Little Golden Books))

I downloaded several Children’s books from my Kindle library. We read two of those so far:
13. Bear Learns to Share (Fun Rhyming Children's Books) by Lily Lexington
14. A to Z of Silly Animals - The Best Selling Illustrated Children's Book for All Ages by Sprogling



Currently Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)


The Invisible City (The Stolen Future Trilogy Book 1)
by Brian K. Lowe
I am really enjoying this sci fi adventure.
I received this in 2016 through NetGalley.

Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio/mp3 (TBR)


Finding Dory
Written by: Disney Press
Narrated by: Adam Verner
Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
Series: Finding Nemo, Book 2
I started listening to this with Sweet Pea on the computer. She has borrowed my MP3 so she is now ahead of me.
Disney-Pixar's Finding Dory reunites everyone's favorite forgetful blue tang, Dory, with her friends, Nemo and Marlin, on a search for answers about her past. What can she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak Whale?



3. Audio/mp3 (ABB)



Quest of the Dreamwalker: The Corthan Legacy, Book 1
Written by: Stacy Bennett
Narrated by: Zachary Johnson
Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
I'll just be starting this - it sounded good.
I received this audio title from the narrator through AudioBook Boom.
Publisher's Summary
Cara has been a prisoner all her life, shackled by a broken soul and fear of her father's temper. When a mercenary captain is taken prisoner, he sparks something in her she doesn't recognize - rebellion. Determined to save the captain's life, she flees with him intent on leaving her past behind. It isn't love that drives her father's zealous pursuit, but a hidden magical birthright she never knew about. Now she must solve the puzzle of her past before her father kills everyone she loves in his bid to reclaim her.
©2016 Stacy Bennett (P)2017 Miramae Press


May 28, 2017 - I am up to date in 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.

Some of my reading time is going to a Wednesday night study we are doing called Freedom Course.

I completed five review books and posted four reviews; this means I have six reviews current and one for later release. Plus I will list the others at Goodreads if not on the blog.
I am back to 11 NetGalley Titles and still at 10 author titles in my queue.


We're working on a children's story for next upload 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 Audiobook from ABB to review, and I picked up three NetGalley titles this week to read with our granddaughter.
I picked up two Audible Daily Deals and purchased two Audible with my subscription.
I picked up more 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

Quest of the Dreamwalker: The Corthan Legacy, Book 1
See full detail above under Currently Reading.
This sounds like a creative storyline.



From NetGalley (more detail is listed above under Finished Reading for these three):
Little Detectives At School, A LOOK and FIND Book
by Sonia Baretti

 
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires (Author, Illustrator)

We're Going to the Beach (Let's Go Picture Books)
by Nancy Streza (Author), Adam Pryce (Illustrator)




Won
NONE

Purchased
I selected my two Audibles for April and picked up two Audible Daily Deals but I have four credits I can pick soon.
April Selections:
I like the sound of this.
Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1
Written by: Chuck Black
Narrated by: Michael Orenstein , Katie Leigh
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
Series: Wars of the Realm, Book 1
"What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn't beyond their influence?"

I have to admit - the cover image caught my attention on this one.
Cartwright's Cavaliers
By: Mark Wandrey
Narrator: Craig L. Good
Duration: 12 hrs and 41 mins

These were the two Daily Deals:
I picked up this Vintage Classic Sci Fi for $3.95.
A Canticle for Leibowitz
By: Walter M. Miller
Narrator: Tom Weiner
Duration: 10 hrs and 59 mins
"Seriously funny, stunning, tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze."

This has been in my Wishlist so I thought it was good to get at $2.95.
NPCs
By: Drew Hayes
Narrator: Roger Wayne
Duration: 7 hrs and 50 mins
"They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?"


Free
I picked up Week five SYNC Audio titles:
FREAKLING by Lana Krumwiede, Narrated by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
BOY by Anna Ziegler, Performed by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, and Bobby Steggert (L.A. Theatre Works)

I added 44 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, May 28, 2017

Sunday Words of Encouragement May 28, 2017

The week after Easter our Sunday School teacher shared a message titled: RESURRECTION TO RESURRECTION. He noted that he recently realized the importance of the miracle that Jesus performed in raising Lazarus from the grave. The story of Lazarus dying and being raised from the grave is in John 11.

When a messenger came to tell Jesus that his good friend Lazarus was sick, Jesus did not go right away to heal him as they expected he would and knew that he could. Instead Jesus waiting, saying "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."

Some may have thought Jesus erred when they learned that in fact Lazarus did die. But Jesus meant it was not a final death. The last portion of the scripture is basically revealing that this miracle would be THE miracle that would glorify God like no other miracle that Jesus had performed before now. And, by it bringing that glory to God, the Father, it would set the stage for "the Son of God to be glorified by it."

One thing that is important to remember here is that this miracle happened in Winter and the Crucifixion happened the next Spring. The miracle happened a few weeks before Jesus ‘set his face towards Jerusalem’. At John 11:14-15 Jesus tells those surrounding him: “…, ‘Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I'm glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe.’"

Reading on to verses 47-52 we see that many believed in Jesus and even the Pharisees were afraid that “everyone will believe in him. Even the high priest prophesied of his death for the entire nation. John 11: 51.

The reason that Jesus had delayed coming to help Lazarus was for the purpose of proving to the Jews who He truly was. He had raised others from the dead but we have no record of Him
raising someone who had been dead for four days and already in a tomb. This single miracle is what set the stage for the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Many of those who believed followed Jesus and welcomed him with the palm branches and shouts of Hosanna as he came into Jerusalem. It was because of this miracle of Lazarus being raised that caused the people who had heard about to look for Him and to meet Him as He entered the city and to proclaim Him as their King.

Jesus was not the earthly King as they expected… but He knew the sacrifice He was prepared to give was for the Kingdom. The death and resurrection of Jesus was orchestrated by Himself and it began with the resurrection of His good friend Lazarus.

I like this song as it reminds us that Christ is more than we expect... 
More Than You Think I Am

Verses for Today: 
John 11:40-42
40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”

Related image



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #304 Comment Giveaway May 27, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
Sorry I missed last Saturday SBB. We were traveling in the motor coach and I didn't get the internet service activated until Sunday evening.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week SBB.
The most named game was Monopoly with 9 mentions! Uno got 3 mentions and Scrabble, Clue, Life and Yahtzee got 2 mentions each. (I like both Scrabble and Clue but have no one to play those with.) Checkers was mentioned as were several other board games and card games. I agree with Rubynreba that I like to play Old Maids and Go Fish with the grandkids - it just seems we don't do that much anymore.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #303 comments is: #5 Linda who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated (**Finally!) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love and Christmas titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: I did post an Updated ARC and Other books for Giveaways. I have to go back and list the titles.
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #304
(One Question.)
Becky asks: Do you juggle?? I'll add: or any other magic trick??
I juggle work in my three professions all the time! But I think Becky means juggle balls. That I cannot do, nor any other magic trick. Our son tried magic for a time and can do a couple of tricks. He still has his unicycle. (I have trouble staying upright on a regular bike.)

Image result for juggle 
Image found at Everyday Juggler.

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.
MAY COMMENT WINNER: There were three comments this month provided by Marjorie, Elizabeth and Becky. Random.org picked 2 so Elizabeth gets a win.

Your turn to share: Becky asks: Do you juggle?? I'll add: or any other magic trick??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Updated ARC and Other books, including the "Love" and Christmas titles all in one post.

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 June 3, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Book Review: Death Unmasked by Rick Sulik

I enjoyed this fast moving mystery/love story.
Death Unmasked
by Rick Sulik
File Size: 3745 KB
Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: Christopher Matthews Publishing (November 6, 2015)
ASIN: B017OMVKGE
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedure, Reincarnation
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’être as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier.
Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.


Review:
This story sets off in a distant time and place with a love and marriage “made in Shangri-La”. Emil is a common workman who plays the guitar and sings love songs to his beautiful wife, Laura. They are happy, though poor, and are content to dream of their own family living peacefully. They never expected their country or small town to be invaded by brutal men. When Emil senses danger they try to run, but do not escape. They are gathered with others, marched into town and loaded into crowded trains. Before they reach their destiny, Laura is taken by one of the soldiers, brutally used and discarded in the snow. Emil is devastated but when he lunges towards the man a gun stock is swung into his face, breaking his nose. He could not save his young wife in this life but vows he will find her. And, as a last act before he is sent to his own death, he stares into the face of the monster who killed Laura and severely injures him.

The author then moves forward to current day to follow Homicide Detective Sean Jamison, a man born with a crooked nose. Sean is a dedicated cop seeking 'to protect and to serve'. His work has left him no time for relationships although he is sure that he will meet the woman who is his destiny – perhaps when he retires, which is in his near future. Before he retires though, he is pulled in for a special investigation of a murderer stalking women. The man leaves a line of poetry from Oscar Wilde at each scene and had been responsible for the kidnapping of a fellow officer’s wife a few years before. The poem, certain scenes and objects jar Sean’s subconscious memory of a past life. Now he is certain he will find his destined love and may also have the chance to capture a monster.

Sean is known by his associates as a loner with strange abilities or senses. As they work together, Sean’s superior, Captain Virginia Schaeffer, begins to fall in love with him in spite of his standoffish behaviors. Suddenly Sean tracks down a woman he thinks is his long-lost love. Can he and the investigative team save her from the mad murderer?

Mr. Sulik weaves poetry into the story, particularly the historic portions. The lines are haunting and the love story he paints is beautiful. I found this engaging from the beginning and it moves along at a steady pace. I was not sure how I would feel about the reincarnation elements but I appreciated the unique twists of the reincarnation and entwined lives. I recommend this to readers who like a good mix of suspense and clean romance.

I received this from the author in fall of 2016. It qualifies for 2017 Mount TBR.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway May 26, 2017

Happy Friday!
We have enjoyed the first vacation week in spite of tire and refrigerator troubles on the coach. I have gotten to walk with, and read or listen to books with our 4 year old granddaughter each afternoon (my main task) and occasionally watch the twins. I have also done some office work in the mornings and blogging at night.

I forgot to get a picture of the latest book group. Sorry. Maybe I'll do it on Friday but don't count on it.

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 May 19 Pick. There was one automatic win again this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There was one title pair blocked which has now been won
Rubynreba gets E is for Evidence.

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from May 19 Pick:
CAROLL gets the Brenda Joyce Pair through the block
Fredamans gets a GC

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}
Here’s what makes my life happy.
(source: It’s a mad mad world book blog)
This works for me; how about you?
Image found at BookLikes at Tumblr.

New Book Group #72 May 12, 2017
PAIRS:
Brenda Joyce: The Third Heiress and The Rival
Jayne Ann Krentz: Dangerous Affair and True Colors
SINGLES:
Identity: Unknown by Suzanne Brockmann
The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine (Audio Cassette)
Passions Treasure by Betina Krahn
My Reckless Surrender by Anna Campbell
Led Astray By A Rake by Sara Bennett
Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson
Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven
Bound by Destiny by Rayka Mennen
Valley of Bones by Eric Wilson
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn (Hardcover)
The Fireman’s Fair by Josephine Humphreys (Hardcover
)


New Book Group #71 March 10, 2017
Mysteries and Thrillers
PAIR:
Matthew Reilly: Temple and Area 7
SINGLES:
Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George
‘E’ is for Evidence by Sue Grafton
In Plain Sight by C.J. Box
Keepers by Gary A. Braunbeck
Lullaby and Goodnight by Wendy Corsi Staub
One Dark Night by Kevin F. McMurray
Rattlesnake Crossing by J.A. Jance
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
The Silenced by Heather Graham
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig Albert
Total Exposure by Tori Carrington
There Was A Little Girl by Ed McBain (Audio Cassettes)
The Old Silent by Martha Grimes (Audio Cassettes)


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
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
SINGLE:
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown



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 1,066+ 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, May 25, 2017

Book Review: Best Kind of Love by Rebecca Talley

This is a sweet, sort of second chance, romance.
Best Kind of Love: A Reunion Romance Novella
by Rebecca Talley

File Size: 2917 KB
Print Length: 98 pages
Publisher: DuBon Publishing (November 4, 2014)
ASIN: B00P9RVW5G
Genre: Romance, Novella, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Brynn Sawyer is a successful project manager in Houston. When her best friend from high school convinces Brynn to attend their ten-year reunion, Brynn hopes she’ll have the chance to reconnect with Troy Richards, the guy who stole her heart back in middle school.
Craig Dawson, an attorney in San Diego, is in a relationship that’s going nowhere and wonders why he can’t seem to commit. When he sees Brynn at their reunion, he thinks he might finally understand why. The only problem—she’s still infatuated with Troy what’s-his-name.
Will Brynn find the love she seeks with Troy, or will she realize the best kind of love has always been right in front of her?


Review:
Brynn is returning to her home town for her 10-year high school reunion. She allowed a close friend to talk her into it partially so they can see each other and enjoy some 'girl' time. Another reason Brynn is going is in hopes of a dream fantasy opportunity with the boy she had a crush on during high school, the popular athlete, Troy.

When Brynn and her friend go to the first ‘meet and greet’ event she runs into her best friend from grade school through high school, Craig. Craig was always there for Brynn. She could be herself with him and they always had fun together. Later she turns around causing Troy to spill his drink down his front.

Even though her first encounter with Troy is an awkward stumble, he keeps seeking Brynn out trying to talk to her. Unfortunately, Troy’s high school girlfriend is quick to interrupt and to advise Brynn that Troy would only be interested in her as a conquest.

Brynn keeps thinking she wants to get time with Troy while Craig keeps trying to get Brynn’s attention. Brynn always thought of Craig as her “go-to” friend and never as a boyfriend. But suddenly she is experiencing tingles and butterflies at unexpected contacts. As Brynn finally has Troy’s attention she is more confused than ever as it appears her dream date may be only fantasy and the real thing may be closer than she thinks.

This is a quick, easy read. I enjoyed the nice writing style from the very opening. This is reflected as "inspirational" but the faith aspect is lightly, but sincerely included. Although the story does not present a new theme it is nicely handled and I found it engaging. I hope to read more from this author and I recommend this as a nice quick romance read.


I received this title in December through instaFreebie. It qualifies for 2017 Mount TBR.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Audio Book Review and Tour Giveaway: Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr

Another fun, fast cozy mystery with quirky characters and lots of twists.
Dead on Ice: A Lovers in Crime Mystery
Written by: Lauren Carr
Narrated by: Mike Alger

Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
Series: Lovers in Crime Mysteries, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:11-23-16
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin's basement. It doesn't take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star's roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too - because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.
©2012 Terri Lynn Zaleski (P)2016 Terri Lynn Zaleski


Review:
Cameron Gates is a sharp, spunky homicide detective. She is dating Joshua Thornton, a Philadelphia State Attorney, former naval officer. They are both concerned when Joshua’s cousin fails to show for church because he is always at every church event. They discover that he has died of an accident in his hoarder home. The church is the beneficiary of his Will and a group come to the home to clear out the massive collection. One of the elderly ladies drags Cameron to the basement where she discovers a bomb. The house is evacuated before the explosion so everyone escapes safely. As they begin to clear the ashes they discover a freezer that survived the blast with a grizzly secret inside: a woman “dead on ice”.

The woman turns out to be a pornographic star from the 1980s, who, not so coincidentally, had left the community shortly after high school graduation. Another teen girl had gone missing on prom night. The missing girl’s body had been found seven or so years earlier but the case was still a cold case. Cameron and Joshua are soon on the case to solve both murders. There are plenty of suspects as the friendships and rivalries of high school are revealed.

This was great fun with the quirky suspects, beyond the mob from whom the porn star was running. There is a cougar winery owner who makes passes at Joshua’s sixteen-year-old son, Donnie, two determined church ladies who have carried their teenage rival forward to their present-day bickering, and a heartbroken boyfriend who may have wanted revenge. The clues lead back and forth until the final chapter.

I had listened to two other books that included these characters in a 'sister series', the Thorny Rose Series, and found it fun to listen to the story that sets off the career of this couple as “the Lovers in Crime”. The romance is warm and growing even with the problems of Cameron’s cat, Irving, who looks more like a skunk and views Joshua as a rival. Ms. Carr does a great job with her mystery series. She provides strong characters, quirky secondary characters and lots of twists in the mysteries. I recommend Ms. Carr’s books for good mystery reading and or listening.

Audio Notes:
Mike Alger does a good job narrating the character personalities. The narration makes this move at a good clip and captures the humor and emotions of the story. I enjoyed listening.

I received this audio book through iRead Book Tours for tour review. This qualifies for my 2017 Audio Book Challenge



A broadcast veteran of over 30 years, Mike Alger is best known as the award-winning Chief Meteorologist for KTVN-TV in Reno, NV. He is also a successful author, having penned the Mystery-Thriller novel "Snow Storm," and is the narrator of the audiobook of the same name.

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