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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Post December 30, 2018/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday December 31, 2018

Sunday Post #318 Chairs, Compliance, and Storms
I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date (at Wordpress).
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.

Staff was off for the week but I went in and checked mail and phone calls most days. I get one more day of partial work tomorrow before we celebrate New Years and then return to normal work.

We had a lovely Christmas visit in the morning by video chat with our son's family in Illinois and lunch with our daughter's family in Panama City Beach.
My birthday (12/27) was spent quietly with my hubby. I happily received several Amazon gift cards so I am looking forward to some book purchases.

The tarp at the office is keeping out most, if not all, of the rain. I haven't been in to see the lobby while it has rained but there is evidence of wetness still coming in. :-(
We are expecting a third inspection by the insurance company so they can approve the next step of clean-up.

My listening and reading was prodigious this week. I figured out I can use the Kindle if I keep it plugged into a battery pack. I finished 9 books: three audio books and six ebooks. I posted seven reviews on blog, my usual memes and a couple of holiday posts.

I only visited 15 blogs last week as visiting took back seat to holiday activities.
Shout Out this week to That's What I'm Talking About. Jen and a team of reviewers share book reviews and book talk.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATBR- Audio Book Review: 'Tis the Season (Main Street #3) by Ann M. Martin; Family Life, Holiday, Middle Grade, Tween; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0, Overall, Story and Narration.
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn; Biographical, Folklore, Memoir; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall, Story and Narration.
  • NG2018 and A2018- #NetGalley and Audible Book Review: The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones; Fantasy, Ghosts, Private Investigator; My Rating: 4.5 Overall; 4.25 Story; 5.0 Narration.

Finished Reading:
1. Audible/Smartphone (A2018)
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave audiobook cover art

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave
A Novel
By: Darynda Jones
Narrated by: Lorelei King
Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
This was a good entry in the series.
My review is linked above.
Source(s) NetGalley 2018 and Audible Sale Purchase November 2018.
Click on book title for full description.

2. ADE/PC (NG2018)

101 Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily:
Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for You and your Hen
by Lisa Steele
This was fun with some good images and tips.

My review is linked above.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.

Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle (NG2018)
Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery Book 1) by [Wescott, T.C.]

Slay Bells: A Christmas Village Mystery
by T.C. Wescott
This is a good cozy mystery.
My review is linked above.
 Source: 2018 NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

4. Audible/Smartphone (ATBR)

Escape from the Overworld: A Minecraft Gamer's Quest: An Unofficial Minecrafter's Adventure
by Davidson, Danica 
This was a quick fun listen.
My review is linked above.
Source: 2018 Audible Sale purchase.
From the publisher of The Quest of the Diamond Sword and Battle of the Nether comes a new novel for Minecrafters which takes on a spellbinding battle that brings Stevie and zombie mobs into the real world!

Stevie is in for a big surprise while building his treehouse: he’s first attacked by a creeper, and then must take on a group of zombies! The near miss has him feeling like the worst mob fighter in Minecraft, so when he finds a portal into a brand-new world, he’s willing to take his chances.

He steps out of a computer screen and into the room of a sixth-grade girl Maison, who’s a talented builder. Stevie is shocked by how different this world is, and Maison takes him under her wing. But soon the two friends learn zombies have also made their way out of the portal!

More and more creatures are slipping out by the second, wreaking havoc on a world that has no idea how to handle zombies, creepers, giant spiders, and the like. Stevie and Maison must put their heads together and use their combined talents in order to push the zombies back into Minecraft, where they belong. As Stevie and Maison’s worlds become more combined, their adventure becomes intense and even more frightening than they could have ever imagined.

5. eBook/Kindle (NG2018)

A Book Without Dragons
by Berrier, Olivia
I really liked this unusual story.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.
This book contains no dragons. It does, however, contain individuals who Willow Ayers believes would benefit from the addition of some magical creatures. A broken marriage, a failed career, an abusive home: the people around Willow are trapped inside problems so isolating they can only be expressed by constantly changing tenses and writing styles. It is not the sort of book Willow would read; he prefers fantasy novels with consistent styles and happy endings.

But this is not a fantasy book, and Willow’s idea to bring about his own ‘happily ever after’ is crumbling. Decades ago, he saw the way humanity relied on so many flawed systems—Internet, GPS, cell phones, electronic banking—and created Unitime, the perfect system to unite all systems. Now his Satellites are malfunctioning, and what seemed an innocent glitch in technology might prove to be something darker, something infinitely more dangerous.

Even so, Willow believes people can overcome such things, even though it seems as unlikely as a book that starts in five different writing styles, but ends in just one.

6. eBook/Kindle (eBTBR)

Xoe: Vampires, and Werewolves, and Demons, oh my! (Xoe Meyers Young Adult Fantasy/Horror Series Book 1)
by Sara C. Roethle
I grabbed this book for "X to finish my Alphabet Challenge.
Source: Free Kindle TBR 2014.
A demon’s life is never easy…
Xoe has a problem. Scratch that, she has many problems. Her best friend Lucy is romantically involved with a psychotic werewolf. Her father might be a demon. Her possible love interest is a vampire.
Everything spirals out of control as Xoe is drawn deeper into the secrets of the paranormal community. Secrets she could never have imagined. Unfortunately, her sharp tongue and quick wit won’t be enough to save Lucy’s life, and Xoe will have to embrace her fiery powers to burn her enemies, before her whole world goes up in flames.

7. eBook/Kindle (NG2018)

Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice Book #3)
by Nancy Mehl
I enjoyed this suspense.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.
When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

8. eBook/Kindle (NG2018)  mediumspringgreen 

The Cat in the Christmas Tree: A Magical Tail
by Peter Scottsdale
This looked really cute and I was making a last desperate effort to complete my NetGalley Challenge.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.
From Bestselling Author Peter Scottsdale Comes His First Children's Chapter Book For Ages 8 and Up
It’s Christmas Eve and Nathan’s cat is wrecking the holidays by destroying the Christmas tree. Fed up with Shadow’s antics, Dad wants the kitty out of the house – for good! So Nathan pleads for help in hope the magic of the holidays will allow him to keep his cat. In this enchanting tale (or should it be “tail?”), does Shadow change his misbehaving ways or will he ruin Christmas? Find out!

9. Audible/MP3(A2018)

Storm Glass
(Harbinger, Book 1)
By: Jeff Wheeler
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Series: The Harbinger Series, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
I found this engaging.
Source: 2018 Audible Free title.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently Reading:
I am making a last ditch effort to meet my NetGalley Goal. I may still fall one or two short.
1. eBook/Kindle (NG2018)

Fury: An Urban Fantasy & Mystery (The Fae Awakening Book 1)
by Will O'Shire
This fantasy caught my attention and is short enough to read for NetGalley before end of year.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.
Indebted to the Fae council, Hunter investigates crimes committed by Fae beings against humanity, as required by a treaty between the human and Fae worlds. Hunter is secretly building out a large retirement fund by operating an illicit business on the side.
When Hunter returns from a botched theft overseas, he finds out his business partner, George, has taken on a job from an untrustworthy leprechaun. His team must work together to find a monstrous unicorn, covered in a black moving liquid and surrounded by flames, who has destroyed the site of a new energy project and killed several humans, leaving empty holes in their chests.
Along the way, Hunter will have to take on the protection of two young men, Brad and Andy, who have no idea the Fae world exists. They'll follow Hunter rather than risk being alone, meeting many friends, and many enemies they thought only existed in fairy tales.

2. ADE/PC (NG2018)

When Spring Comes to the DMZ
by Uk-Bae Lee (Author, Illustrator)
Both the title and cover pulled me in for this book. I like the idea of finding something positive in a war torn area.
Source: 2018 NetGalley.
Korea’s demilitarized zone has become an amazing accidental nature preserve that gives hope for a brighter future for a divided land.

This unique picture book invites young readers into the natural beauty of the DMZ, where salmon, spotted seals, and mountain goats freely follow the seasons and raise their families in this 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long corridor where no human may tread. But the vivid seasonal flora and fauna are framed by ever-present rusty razor wire, warning signs, and locked gates―and regularly interrupted by military exercises that continue decades after a 1953 ceasefire in the Korean War established the DMZ.

Creator Uk-Bae Lee’s lively paintings juxtapose these realities, planting in children the dream of a peaceful world without war and barriers, where separated families meet again and live together happily in harmony with their environment. Lee shows the DMZ through the eyes of a grandfather who returns each year to look out over his beloved former lands, waiting for the day when he can return. In a surprise foldout panorama at the end of the book the grandfather, tired of waiting, dreams of taking his grandson by the hand, flinging back the locked gates, and walking again on the land he loves to find his long-lost friends.

When Spring Comes to the DMZ helps introduce children to the unfinished history of the Korean Peninsula playing out on the nightly news, and may well spark discussions about other walls, from Texas to Gaza.

3. Audible/Smartphone (ATBR)

The More of Less
By: Joshua Becker
Narrated by: Joshua Becker
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
I thought I would listen to this while I am still in a decluttering mood as I enter a new year.
Source: January 2017 Audible Daily Deal $2.95
Publisher's Summary
Most of us know we own too much stuff. We feel the weight and burden of our clutter, and we tire of cleaning and managing and organizing. While excess consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, fancier technology, and cluttered homes, it never brings happiness. Rather, it results in a desire for more. It redirects our greatest passions to things that can never fulfill, and it distracts us from the very lives we wish we were living. But it doesn't have to be this way.
In The More of Less, Joshua Becker helps you:
Recognize the life-giving benefits of owning less
Realize how all the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams
Craft a personal, practical approach to decluttering your home and life
Experience the joys of generosity
Learn why the best part of minimalism isn't a clean house; it's a full life
It's time to own your possessions instead of letting them own you. After all, the beauty of minimalism isn't in what it takes away. It's in what it gives.
©2016 Becoming Minimalist LLC (P)2016 Tantor

4. eBook/Kindle (eBTBR)

The Prayer of Jesus
by Kevin Jackson
This is my First Read of 2019 title.

Source: 2014 Kindle TBR.
The Bible contains over three hundred references to prayer, and yet, eighty-five percent of believers are dissatisfied with their prayer lives. In The Prayer of Jesus, pastor, teacher, and author Kevin Jackson bridges the gap between the responsibility of prayer and the dissatisfaction we experience in prayer. He explains and applies the simple model for prayer which Jesus taught His original disciples. If you want to have a better, more consistent prayer life, then The Prayer of Jesus is the book for you.

December 30, 2018 - I have only one more day to finish the One Year Bible plan reading through You Version App.
I enjoyed the 10 day reading plan for Christmas: Our Daily Bread Christmas: Gift of Grace which I finished on Christmas day.
I also did a four day reading plan on Demonstrating God's Love in Business.
[You can check out audio of the One Year Bible Plan on the companion commentary online.]

I completed nine books and posted seven reviews. That leaves 5 current reviews to post.
I am slowly adding reviews to NetGalley, Goodreads, Amazon and Audible. I still have older ones to catch up on too.
I added more NetGalley titles, some to try to meet my 2018 Challenge and some for 2019. My shelf is currently at 7 unread. I will probably add more tomorrow.   I now have four author titles in queue. Still many through InstaFreebie and many new author requests I haven't replied to.

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 added six book titles from NetGalley.
I picked up two Audible daily deals and two December Audible Credits.
I didn't pick up any Kindle paid titles.
I only picked up 5 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
These are six (6) titles I picked up at NetGalley:
The Winter Mystery by Faith Martin
"Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis."
Trouble on the Books by Essie Lang
"Rookie bookstore owner Shelby Cox must hit the books to learn the ropes before she loses a killer in the stacks."
Fury by Will O'Shire
"Indebted to the Fae council, Hunter investigates crimes committed by Fae beings against humanity, as required by a treaty between the human and Fae worlds."

The Book of Ruin by W.G Hladky
"The sun turns volatile, battering earth with endless solar storms. "
The Cat in the Christmas Tree by Peter Scottsdale
"... Nathan pleads for help in hope the magic of the holidays will allow him to keep his cat. In this enchanting tale (or should it be “tail?”)..."
When Spring Comes to the DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee
"When Spring Comes to the DMZ helps introduce children to the unfinished history of the Korean Peninsula playing out on the nightly news, and may well spark discussions about other walls, from Texas to Gaza."


I purchased two Daily Deal titles 12/27/18 for $3.95
Their Lost Daughters audiobook cover artTheir Lost Daughters
A Jackman and Evans Thriller
By: Joy Ellis
Narrated by: Richard Armitage
Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
Release date: 06-14-18

12/30/2018 Daily Deal $4.95
Memory Man audiobook cover artMemory Man
By: David Baldacci
Narrated by: Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
Release date: 04-21-15

12/29/18 I picked up my Two December Credits:
Dead Girl Running audiobook cover artDead Girl Running
Cape Charade
By: Christina Dodd
Narrated by: Vanessa Johansson
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
Release date: 04-24-18
This is an author I collected until about 2012. I decided to get her latest series.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband audiobook cover artThe Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
A Bridgertons Prequel
By: Julia Quinn
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
Release date: 05-30-17
I am thinking I'll be ready for a historical romance soon.

Second December Audible Original Pick:
Christmas Eve, 1914 audiobook cover artChristmas Eve, 1914
By: Charles Olivier
Narrated by: Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, Damon Herriman, James Scott, John Beck, Lance Guest, Gabe Greenspan, Nate Jones
Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
Release date: 12-16-14

I only added 5 free titles to my Kindle library over the past week. I didn't spend much time adding free books 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.


  1. Isn't video chatting awesome! I have a sister in Zurich and every time we get together with family we call her on Facetime and chat together. Makes us feel she is not so far away. Enjoy your new books.

  2. Enjoy your final partial day and day off. Happy belated birthday. Slay Bells and The Cat in the Christmas Tree look cute. Hope you enjoy your new books.

    Happy new year!

  3. A historical romance every so often is a nice change of reading diet I agree. You read heaps of books in the past week. Nice for you to catch up with family, isn't Facetime or its equivalent such a blessing.

  4. It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas and a great reading week! We Facetimed with my family on Christmas too. Happy New Year!

  5. I really like the mix of books this week. And I'm glad we live in a time with video chatting!

  6. Blind Betrayal looks tempting. Enjoy all of your books, and have a Happy New Year. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. Happy Belated Birthday and it is good to know that you managed to enjoy your Christmas, despite all the challenges!

    I know from personal experience just how very slowly the wheels turn in the insurance industry and exactly how frustrating it can be, when all you want to do is get back to some kind of normality.

    You have some great titles to share this time and I especially have my eye on 'Dead Girl Running', which I do believe might be destined for my own list!

    Enjoy your reading and I hope that 2019 is a much better year for you :)

    Yvonne xx

  8. The More of Less sounds like a worthwhile listen!
    Happy belated Birthday!

  9. You really did have a great reading week! I have been trying to stay away from NetGalley until I catch up a bit more. My Jan - March calendars don't have room for any more review books. Come see my week here. Happy reading and happy New Year!

  10. Nice post and nice books...thanks for sharing.

    Happy New Year, and Happy 2019 Reading!!

  11. I read about pig raising this month. The Cat in the Christmas Tree does look fun. See what I read this month Girl Who Reads

  12. Happy New Year and enjoy your books and reading challenges. A Book Without Dragons sounds especially interesting.

  13. Wow lots of great books. I just posted my review for Summoned to 13th Grave and am giving away a print ARC of it. I hope this week and year only improve for you. Happy New Year. Anne - Books of My Heart


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