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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Audio Blitz with Giveaway: Journals of Octavia Hollows

I have had fun listening to novellas 1 through 4 so far. Octavia is snarky even as she struggles to recognize the extent of her abilities. Bacon, is a cute, albeit unusual, pet who draws the loyalty of her human. I'll be posting my review by next week, as soon as I finish the final two adventures.

Do you like urban fantasy and snarky heroines? Then you'll want to meet necromancer Octavia Hollows and her sidekick Bacon.

We are celebrating the release of The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke on Audio. This collection features all six journals in the series and was published by The Audio Flow. Come fall in love with this feisty heroine, her pet pig, and the brilliant narration provided by Brenda Scott Wlazlo.

⋇⋆✦⋆⋇ The Journals of Octavia Hollows ⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

Grab your copy: Audible | Audible UK

With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.

This six novella series chronicles Octavia's adventures in:
Wake the Dead
Dead Man's Hand
Caught Dead
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Dead Ringer
Dead as a Doornail

⋇⋆✦⋆⋇ Listen to A Sample ⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

⋇⋆✦⋆⋇ About the Author ⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

Stacey Rourke is the award winning author of works that span genres, but possess the same flare for action and snarky humor. She lives in Florida with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

⋇⋆✦⋆⋇ Giveaway ⋇⋆✦⋆⋇

One lucky US winner will receive a signed paperback copy of the Journals of Octavia Hollows collection. The book will be signed by author Stacey Rourke and narrator Brenda Scott Wlazlo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

#NetGalley Book Review: The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

All three stories are a lovely Treat!
The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice
by Donna Kauffman; Kate Angell; Allyson Charles
43130400. sy475
File Size: 1013 KB
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington Books (August 27, 2019)
Genre: Anthology, Romance, Small Town
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.

Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.
Witches, goblins, the occasional ghost—they’re all sure to be spotted at the annual Halloween parade, where adults and children alike dress in costume to celebrate Moonbright’s favorite holiday. And no place has more seasonal spirit than Bellaluna’s Bakeshop, a family business steeped in traditional recipes, welcoming warmth—and, legend has it, truly spellbinding, heart-melting treats …
Between good-natured Halloween tricks, frothy pumpkin lattes, and some very special baked goods, for three Moonbright residents looking for love—whether they know it or not—the spookiest thing will be how magical romance can suddenly be …

Bellaluna’s Bakeshop in Moonbright, Maine is a place with lovely people, yummy treats and a touch of magic. A secret tradition of the bakeshop owner, Sofia, is that a certain cookie will help bring a destined couple together.

Sweet Magic by Donna Kauffman. My Rating 4.5 of 5.0.
Sofia’s granddaughter, Bree, loves working at the family bakeshop and loves being settled in her hometown. Sofia introduces her to Caleb who is a chef visiting from Philadelphia to oversee his Uncle’s restaurant.

The flirty thoughts and warm exchanges between Bree and Caleb made me smile. They face the conflict of being entranced in their family businesses in different states. Bree, especially, is reluctant to let her heart commit. Can Caleb’s warm charm find a way to convince her to take a chance at grabbing love?

Love Spells Disaster by Allyson Charles. My Rating 4.25 of 5.0.
Cassie is looking forward to celebrating Halloween with her own special fun for the community. On the romance side, she is done with unreliable men and has set her eyes on her secure, if not exciting, boss. Her boss turns aside her offered gift, but a handsome customer snags the cookie.

Chip is entranced by the pretty redhead even though she snubs him as a ‘working stiff’ who won’t suit her. She doesn’t know that Chip is successfully growing his business and working on flipping houses. They are thrown together when Cassie hires Chip to build her haunted maze. Will he be able to convince her that he is the right kind of guy for her?

This is another fun story although I was frustrated by Cassie’s attitude and attempts to win a man who wasn’t interested in her. Chip made a great, steady hero willing to show his determination until Cassie recognized the chemistry between them.

Sweet on You by Kate Angell. My Rating 4.5 of 5.0.
Lara has had a really bad day. Her boyfriend dumped her, her landlord raised the rent and her hours are being cut at work. She is coping with her misery over a latte and treat at the bakeshop when she is surprised as Jack, the town Mayor, stops by to say “Hi.” Although they never really talked in high school, Jack noticed the quiet girl who caught his eyes over the flashy girls. Jack offers Lara a job as the town event planner, challenging her to pull together the Halloween Parade which is only a few weeks away.

Lara will have to face her pushy ex, his high style new girlfriend and a grumpy geriatric who has a (fun) nickname for everyone and insists on having her plans considered too. Lara’s confidence grows as she deals with the issues, makes new friends, and glows with Jack’s support.

This one was so sweet and adorable. I really enjoyed the fun they had with the nicknames and costumes.

This is a collection of three sweet, flirty romances and the Halloween setting was a fun element. Each romance moves quickly even as the couples deal with real or perceived conflicts. Another nice touch is a cookie/pastry treat recipe shared with each story. I will be glad to snag stories by any of these authors in the future. I highly recommend this fun collection.

Source: 2019 NetGalley. This qualifies for 2019NetGalley goal.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Audio Book Review: The End of America?: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis by Jeff Kinley

I really liked the information shared in this.
The End of America?: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis
by Jeff Kinley
Tom Parks (Narrator)
35272310. sx318
Audio CD
Publisher: christianaudio; Unabridged edition (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1683667913
Genre: Christian Prophecies, Inspirational, NonFiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.

Will God’s Wrath Fall on America?
What happens when a country glories in its immorality, turning away from faith in God and obedience to Him?
Jeff Kinley, author of As It Was in the Days of Noah, explores historical and biblical precedents for the demise of a nation and addresses pressing questions such as…
How did we get to this point?
Is America in Bible prophecy?
Will Christians face widespread persecution here?
What effect will the rapture have on America?
How should I respond to the moral decline?
This forthright survey of current events and trends offers valuable perspective on the future of America—along with powerful motivation to embrace the only source of lasting hope.

Often we wonder how, and if, America fits in End Times. To answer the question Mr. Kinley begins with history. He establishes the importance of prophecy in the Bible. Much of the prophecy has already come true, supporting the reliability of the source. But there is more to come.

The author explores the current state of America by sharing historical detail of Christian roots in its founding. Mr. Kinley then addresses America’s long-time relationship with Israel by discussing the Biblical principle of blessings falling on those who support God’s chosen people, Israel.

There is more historical detail showing the progressive moral decline in especially since God was removed from schools in 1962. Step by step our society has moved away from revering God, to a point of ignoring Him and more recently outright rebellion and rejection of His laws. Soon we can expect to see increased persecution against Christians.

The author spent a long chapter discussing the horrible impact of abortion. The Bible supports the position that life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16, Isaiah 44:24, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15 and more). So does science. God punished His most beloved chosen people, Israel, for worshipping idols and killing children. Do we really think He will let any other nation get away without punishment for the same sins?

The next question is how close to the end are we? Many people speculate and some (always falsely) set dates. There are some clear signs and seasons, but no one knows the date. This is more reason to be ready and to feel the compulsion to share the gospel with others. The final message is that it doesn’t really matter what role America plays in the end times. What matters is if we are ready and if we are sharing the message of salvation with others.

At times the book seemed to go on and on with a couple of the points. Still, I was impressed by the thoroughness of the arguments and information shared. I highly recommend this to readers who are interested in Biblical prophecy, not just America’s place.

Audio Notes: I enjoyed the narration by Tom Parks. I appreciated that his presentation of the facts and arguments is made with directness and genuine feeling. I am glad that I listened but I ended up buying an extra copy of the book for myself.

Interestingly, my first review draft was 718 words; the second was still 576. It took four drafts to get it under 400.
Source: Print books at discount for book club and I picked up the Audio CD. This qualifies for 2019Audiobook goal.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Post October 27, 2019/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday October 28, 2019

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.

This was a busy week for me with two days covering court hearings.
This is an image taken by my DIL of the younger grandchildren on the cruise.
I like the darker colors.
Temperatures are back in the 80s after a too short time of cooler temps.

I enjoyed my week of reading/listening. I finished three books: two audios and one ebook. I posted four reviews on the blog and four at Goodreads (plus I linked the GR review I did last week but failed to post). Plus I posted my usual memes.

I visited 20 blogs last week.
Shout Out this week to Perspective of a Writer. Dani uses an interesting, inclusive Bulletin Board to share her weekly news.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry; Genre: Fiction, Horror, Short Story; My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 5.0.
  • eBTBR- Goodreads Book Review: Zombie Betrayal by Robert DeCoteau; Genre: Ghost, Horror; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0.
  • eBTBR- Book Review: eBook Review: Investing Isobella by Jason Werbeloff; Genre: Cyberpunk, Horror, Sci Fi; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Libbon; Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Dramatizations; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 3.75; Narration 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. Audio CD/Car (A2019)
35272310. sx318

The End of America?: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis
by Jeff Kinley
Tom Parks (Narrator)
I really liked the information in this.
Source: Print books for book club; I picked up the Audio CD for about $7.00 ($1.64 plus 5.46 shipping).
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audio/Smartphone (ATBR)
The Phantom of the Opera cover art

The Phantom of the Opera
By: Gaston Leroux
Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
Release date: 12-06-04
About midway I did get into this story.
Source: 12/16 Daily Deal $.99 for me since I already had the Kindle version.
Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle (NG2019)
43130400. sy475

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice
by Donna Kauffman; Kate Angell; Allyson Charles
All three stories are a lovely Treat!
Source: 2019 NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently Reading:
1. Audio/MP3 (2019Tour)

The Journals of Octavia Hollows: Books 1-6
by Stacey Rourke
Narrated by: Brenda Scott Wlazlo
I am three stories in with this fun listen!
Source: Audio provided for Tour Blitz on 10/31/19 hosted by Caffeinated PR.
(Check back for blitz with giveaway.)
Do you like urban fantasy and snarky heroines? Then you'll want to meet necromancer Octavia Hollows and her sidekick Bacon.
With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.
This six novella series chronicles Octavia's adventures in:
Wake the Dead
Dead Man's Hand
Caught Dead
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Dead Ringer
Dead as a Doornail
"This is Rourke at her finest: sassy and completely unapologetic. Proving again why she's a powerhouse in this industry."
-USA Today Best Selling Author Rue Volley
"This book has it all: a kickass heroine, loads of action... and a pig named Bacon."
-NYT & USA Today Best Selling Author Karen Lynch
©2019 Stacey Rourke (P)2019 The Audio Flow, LLC

2. eBook/Kindle (NG2019)
May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord's Prayer by [McRoberts, Justin, Erickson, Scott]

May It Be So Forty Days with the Lord's Prayer
by Justin McRoberts; Scott Erickson
There are some wonderful quotes in this.
I will be finishing this week.
Source: 2019 NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

3. Audio MP3 (ATBR)

by Lesléa Newman, Narrated by Emily Beresford, Luke Daniels, Tom Parks, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Christina Traister (Brilliance Audio)
I am slipping this TBR in for "month" title.
Source: 2014 SYNC Free Audio.
On October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a gay 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was viciously beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. Author Newman’s intimate reaction to this tragedy, a heartrending collection of 68 poems, is narrated by an outstanding cast. The narrators expertly carry the weight of the poems, excelling on verses that combine more than one voice. The poems present unique perspectives, including those of the fence, the moon, the road, even Matthew’s cat. Beautifully articulated, the quiet spaces in each poem add to the emotion, evoking a vast starry sky of memory and loss not soon to be forgotten. Intense, moving, and haunting—a must-listen for ages 14+. E.A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2013 Audies Finalist, SYNC 2014 © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2012]

4. eBook/Kindle (Author)
43374759. sy475

Reasons to Kill God
by I.V. Olokita
This sounds like a story with a message.
Source: Author Review Request.
“If you are able to write 180 pages of your memoir without putting the pen down, I might let you live…”
Klaus Holland loves no one other than himself. He victimizes people for being Jews or for just being alive.
He is an old Nazi criminal who escaped to Brazil and was caught and prosecuted. He is now forced to write his memoirs as part of his punishment – the same punishment he used to give Jews at the concentration camp. This punishment makes him remember and re-live his cruelty as the concentration camp commander and as a man.
Deus Esperanca learns from his mother that what he believed to be his family’s history, was just a bunch of lies. He discovers that his real father is Klaus Holland – the sadistic Nazi fugitive.
Having this information and his father being aware of what he knows, their lives intertwine and create chaos.

I made good progress with the TBR; I just need to read/listen to 12 more TBR titles in 9 weeks.
I have a couple of TBR Christmas books lined up to help finish off this goal.

October 27, 2019 - I am still enjoying the devotions and readings with the One Year Bible plan through You Version App. I didn't do another study but continue to spend time on May it Be So. [You can check out audio of the One Year Bible Plan on the companion commentary online.]

I completed three books and nine reviews (one linked from 10/19). I have one review to complete for the short stories I read for Fraterfest plus the three books finished this week.
I have been adding newer reviews to NetGalley, Goodreads, Amazon, and Audible. (Eventually, I will add older reviews.)

My NetGalley shelf just grew to 12 with the addition of 6 titles! Two for Christmas. I am still working on NG titles I received in July. [Plus I have 4 old titles (2012-13.)]
I am reading one author title so I only have two left in queue. I'll finish them this year.
Still many titles 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.
Six new review titles from NetGalley.
I picked out the two free Original Audibles for October. I have an Audiobook credit I may use for two for one before the end of the month and I just saw there is another sale at Audible.
20 free kindle titles this week. (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
Recieved from NetGalley.
Enforcing the Paw: A Paw Enforcement Novel by [Kelly, Diane]
Enforcing the Paw
by Diane Kelly
I have been eyeing this series thanks to the K-9 dogs.

The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election: 101 Nonpartisan Solutions to All the Issues that Matter by [Clancy, Ryan, White, Margaret]10/21/19 The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election
101 Nonpartisan Solutions to All the Issues that Matter
by No Labels; Ryan Clancy; Margaret White
"The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election gives a voice to this majority and provides an unbiased education on the true nature of the problems America faces on several key issues,..."

The Possibility of America: How the Gospel Can Mend Our God-Blessed, God-Forsaken Land by [Dark, David]
The Possibility of America
How the Gospel Can Mend Our God-Blessed, God-Forsaken Land
by David Dark
As I watch the societal strife in America I pray for a calmer, kinder future.

10/23/19 - Two Christmas titles and an author I like!
All Hearts Come Home for Christmas by [Eden, Sarah M., Stansfield, Anita, Hatch, Esther, Barker, Joanna]
All Hearts Come Home for Christmas
by Sarah M. Eden, Anita Stansfield, Esther Hatch, Joanna Barker 

by Jodi Thomas
"...takes you back deep into the Texas Panhandle, where the winters are long, the storms fierce—and the Yuletide nights are unforgettable . . ."

by Darynda Jones
"Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose."


NONE (for a change!)

Two Free Audible Originals
Carmilla audiobook cover art
By: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Narrated by: Phoebe Fox, Rose Leslie, David Tennant, David Horovitch, James Wilby, Susan Wooldridge, Hannah Genesius
Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins
Release date: 10-27-15
Language: English

My Lost Family audiobook cover artMy Lost Family
An Audible Original
By: Danny Ben-Moshe, Dasha Lisitsina
Narrated by: Danny Ben-Moshe
Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
Release date: 10-03-19
Language: English

I added 20 free Kindle title to my Kindle library. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement October 27, 2019

We had another good Sunday School lesson shared from Jonathan Cahn’s book The Oracle. Today’s lesson focused on the Jubilee years 67AD, 1867, 1917, 1967, and 2017.

Service began with a beautiful time of worship leading into Pastor’s continued sermon series:
The Blessed Life. This week is Part Four and based on a message in the Beatitudes. Pastor has previously noted that our hearts and actions need to line up with the Lord, not with the world. God wants to protect and bless us but sometimes we step away from his path and thereby step away from his blessings.

Today the message is: Motives Matter. Most people want their motives to be good and pure all that time. However, since we are frail, selfish humans, that is not realistic. Wrong motives pollute, contaminate and taint. Often we deceive ourselves with twisted motives. We have excuses...

God knows what we are doing, and why we're doing it. Our motives.

Jesus is preaching the Beatitudes to the crowds when he shares in Matthew 5:8: God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

What is our motive for offering or even coming to church? Is it peer pressure; leverage? Or is an opportunity to worship and to fill-up on God power. Is our ultimate motive to lead others to Jesus?

The Point: Motives reveal the condition and direction of your heart. When your desires and motives line up with God, you won't be afraid to take big steps of faith.

Acts 8 tells the story of a Magician by the name of Simon. When he heard the preaching of Philip, he believed and was baptized. Later, Peter and John prayed for the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. Simon offered them money for the ability to lay hands on and deliver the Holy Spirit to people. (verses 18-19). Peter rebuked Simon because his motives were wrong – he wanted the power for his own purpose, not to bring glory to God. Sharing the Holy Spirit is good, but it should not be encouraged in a trickster.

Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.”
Proverbs 16:2 “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”

When your heart is pure, you see God everywhere!
What if aligning your motives would change your vision, what you see?
Join God in what He is doing instead of what you are doing.
God showed us His pure motive to bring us salvation because He loved us so much. To give us life. Ephesians 1:11-14; John 3:16.

See Him in your life. Ask God to motivate you each day.

I had several songs but this one seemed to work today.
A Verse for Today:
Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

God, I pray that you guide my motives and that I may see You in everything in my life!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Audible Book Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs

This is a good dramatization and made me want to see the movies again.
Alien: Out of the Shadows
An Audible Original Drama
By: Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs
Narrated by: Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, Kathryn Drysdale, Laurel Lefkow, Andrea Deck, Mac McDonald.

Series: Audible Original, Alien, Book 1, Alien, Book 3
Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
Release date: 04-26-16
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Dramatizations
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 3.75; Narration 4.25.

About This Audible Original
In space, no one can hear you scream. In this gripping Audible Original performance, Ellen Ripley, the last human survivor of the salvage ship Nostromo, once again takes on the relentless Xenomorphs: vicious, intelligent extra-terrestrials notorious for tearing humans apart. When her lifeboat Narcissus locks onto the mining ship Marion, she awakes from hypersleep to a nightmare: the dreaded creatures are lurking on board, ominously prowling a sealed-off shuttle after slaughtering the crew. When one of the merciless beasts escapes the hold, acting Captain Chris “Hoop” Hooper and his team are faced with an unimaginable horror—and Ripley just may be the crew’s only hope.
An ensemble cast, featuring film icon Rutger Hauer and Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis, commands this unforgettable performance, punctuated by immersive sound design from audio master and fan favorite Dirk Maggs. Awarded the 2017 Audie for Excellence in Production, the result is terrifying–and utterly pause-resistant.
©2016 20th Century Fox (P)2016 Audible, Ltd.

Ripley, the sole survivor of the Xenomorphs alien attack on the Nostromo, is in hypersleep in a lifeboat headed home… at least that was the plan. She is awakened when her ship is diverted and pulled onto the mining ship Marion. Apparently two ships went to the surface and ran into trouble in the form of an alien attack. Snagging Ripley’s ship is fortuitous for the mining crew since Ripley is the only one who has experience with these aliens.

While Ripley was longing to get back to earth, it turns out the disembodied AI, Ash, who tried to take back an alien, is controlling her ship. Ash redirected Ripley’s ship so he could get to the aliens again. Now he is prepared to take over the mining ships and again try to get an alien to take back to earth… even if it means leaving most of the humans behind.

The action is fast paced, and Ash makes a creepy, strong villain. I like how his journal entries fill in backstory on ‘the Company’. Chief Engineer, now acting Captain, Hooper, “Hoop”, and Ripley share bantering chemistry and begin to form a supportive friendship as they try to survive the alien beasts. Sadly, most of the other characters are disposable. Beyond humans trying to sneak past the aliens, while Ash steers them into trouble, there isn’t a huge plot line.

Audio Notes: The dramatization makes this an interactive, movie-like (at least in sound) experience. I loved Rutger Hauer as Ash and Laurel Lefkow does a great job portraying Ripley. At times she sounds just like Sigourney Weaver. There are a few times I had to strain to hear the voices over the dramatic music and background sounds but overall the performance is engaging and exciting.

Source: 2016 Audible Original. This qualifies for 2019TBR and 2019Audiobook goals.

Friday, October 25, 2019

eBook Review: Investing Isobella by Jason Werbeloff

This is true, scary horror, complete with sci-fi cyber elements.
Investing Isobella
by Jason Werbeloff
34313228. sy475

File Size: 1417 KB
Print Length: 38 pages
Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Cyberpunk, Horror, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.

Paul Sanders is a desperate man. He and his daughter, Isobella, are weeks away from living in the Gutter.
Enter Jono Falanges, a greasy stockbroker promises Paul all the money he needs, and more. The only catch is, Paul must invest Isobella’s health on the stock market.
Plunge down the slippery slope of morality with Investing Isobella, a horrifying sci-fi novella. You won’t look at your investments the same way, ever again.

Paul Sanders is afraid he and his beloved daughter, Isobella, will soon be living on the streets. He struggled after the death of his wife and is now, out of work, he is desperate to make the last bit of his funds protect his family. He is afraid to gamble but afraid not to. Paul seeks advice from a slick technology stockbroker. The man convinces Paul that he has an asset he can invest and that the risk is minimal. But Paul doesn’t understand the true deal he is making – it is more life and death than he realizes until much later.

I was intrigued by this presented as a sci-fi horror story. And oh – this is true horror. I winced when I realized the deal he was making and at the end my reaction was “AARGH!” The story is well-plotted and well written. I don’t know if all of the works by Werbeloff are horror and I will have to brace myself to try more from him (having just picked up three more freebies). This is a short story well worth reading especially if you enjoy horror.

Source: April 2018 Free Kindle. This qualifies for 2019TBR/ebook goals.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway October 25, 2019

Happy Friday! Happy News: books through early September are in the mail! Now I'll have to start adding up for GC and Paypal wins again.


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 October 18, 2019 Pick. There were TWO automatic wins this week. (I'll have to start pulling together another box for November!) 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.
bn100 gets Dawn Encounter and
Elizabeth gets Rainbow Mars

to picked Winners from October 18, 2019 Pick:
ASHFA 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.}
Mrs. Erickson the Librarian (@librarylady) on Instagram: “It's October, how is that even possible? New month means new bulletin board! October is all about…”
Sounds like a plan I would like!
Image found at Pinterest linked by Brenda DiPaola on Instagram.

New Book Group #87 August 23, 2019
Joan Johnston The Bodyguard and The Bridegroom
Nora Roberts: The MacGregor Grooms (1998) and The MacGregor Brides (1997)
Siren's Song by Trish Albright (personally autographed)
Dawn Encounter by Jennifer Blake
Flame Lily by Candace Camp (spine creasing)
The Wedding Promise by Carolyn Davidson
The Devil's Daughter by Lara Drewry
Touch of Texas by Tracy Garrett (now Texas Gold)
Captain's Paradise by Kay Hooper
Open Season by Linda Howard AUDIO CASSETTES
Innocent as Sin by Elizabeth Lowell (hardback)
Tempt Me by Lucy Monroe
Abandon by Carla Neggers
The Perfect Gift by Christina Skye

New Book Group #86 June 7, 2019
Another group of variety from my shelves.
Forged in Steel by Maya Banks
The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett
Eco-Sisters: The Car by P. Ryan Hembree and Mary Ann Gustin
Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze
Preaching to the Corpse by Roberta Isleib
Show No Fear by Marliss Melton
Pursuit by Karen Robards
Murder at Granite Falls by Roxanne Rustand
A Question of God's Balance (Vol 1) by Joseph Thek
King by Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls

New Book Group #85 March 22, 2019
A variety from my shelves.

Roxanne Becknel: When Lightning Strikes
Summer Skies by Judith Christenberry
Windfall (two stories) by JoAnn Ross
Daddy's Little Cowgirl (two stories) by Judith Bowen and Kimberly Raye
Almost Forever by Linda Howard
The Forever Year, Cold Pursuit, Lover's Lane and Temporary Sanity (Reader's Condensed)
ToxiCity by Libby Fischer Hillmann

New Book Group #84 December 15, 2018
Here are some Christmas titles to pick from.
Susan Wiggs: Snowfall and Fireside
A Family for Thanksgiving
On this Holy Night
A Rancher for Christmas
Christmas Haven
Christmas Homecoming
King Harold's Snow Job

New Book Group #83 November 30, 2018
(Starting bottom left and continuing up then down)
Seductive Secrets by Lynne Connolly
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich - Audio Cassettes
A Good Walk Spoiled by John Feinstein Audio Cassettes
Three Reader's Digest Condensed Books - each hardback:
Cold Harbour and The Courtship of Peggy McCoy
The Things We Do for Love, Three Weeks With My Brother, The Murder Artist and Night Train to Lisbon
Follow the Stars Home, Hunting Badger, The Quiet Game and Second Wind

New Book Group #82 November 9, 2018

Stella Cameron: Key West
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Killing Time by Linda Howard
Countess of Scandal by Laurel McKee
The Wedding Night by Barbara Dawson Smith

New Book Group #81 August 17, 2018
There are three audios at the top:
Kisscut is Cassettes
Best Laid Plans by Allison Brennan
Darkness Tell Us by Richard Laymon
Cooking Most Deadly by Joanne Pence

New Book Group #80 August 17, 2018
Note: The Final Judgment and
The Book of Fate are Audio Cassettes
James Patterson NYPD Red 2 and NYPD Red 3
Summer’s Moon by Lacey Baker
The Final Judgment by Richard North PattersonAudio Cassettes
Firebird by Janice Graham
No Getting Over a Cowboy by Delores Fossen
The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer Audio Cassettes

New Book Group #79 July 13, 2018
I found this box of books buried under some other boxes.
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lenox by Maggie O’Farrell
P.S. by Helen Schulman
Her Sexiest Surprise by Dawn Atkins (personally autographed)
The Maverick Preacher by Victoria Bylin (personally autographed)
Dakota Child by Linda Ford
Calling the Shots by Ellen Hartman
Promises, Promises by Amber Miller
This Time for Keeps by Jenna Mills
A Daughter’s Legacy by Virginia Smith
Another Man’s Baby by Kay Stockham

New Book Group #78 April 27, 2018
Blackberry Bush
Breaking Point
A Tangled Affair
To Wicked to Love
Roses are Red Audio Cassettes

New Book Group #77 February 16, 2018- All gone

New Book Group #76 November 3, 2017
13 books remain of the original 37:
I finally Have them Listed!
Boots & Booties by Kristine Rolofson
Saucer the Conquest by Stephen Coonts
The Scorpion Seducer by Bonnie Vanak
Hell On Earth by David L. Porter
White Night by Jim Butcher
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
Crisscross by Harmon Henkin
Maelstrom by Anne McCaffrey
Inhuman Condition by Clive Barker
101 Commonsense Rules for the Office by John R. Brinkerhoff

This shelf of 35 books are what is left from Groups #1 (11/27/09) through Group #75 September 29, 2017
(Title list reads left at bottom to right at top - 14 titles.)
Secret Blessing
Named of the Dragon
Daring by Jillian Hart

Aunt Erma's Cope Book
JoAnn Ross: Confessions
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Bound by Destiny by Rayka Mennen
Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven

(Title list reads left at bottom to right at top - 21 titles.)
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell
*Four books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I found.
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
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
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester

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 EIGHT years I have posted 82 groups of 16 plus an additional 21 totaling 1,333 books to find new homes! (as of November 9, 2018).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,281+ books have found new homes through this feature! YAY. [A year or so ago I posted I had reached 2000 books given away. As I calculated the numbers 11/2/17 I realized that had to be an error. I realized I went from 1098 to 2001 instead of 1101. Guess I was tired; sorry for the error.] I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Audible Book Review: FREE: Crackanory Too Cracked for TV

I enjoyed this humourous collection of macabre British stories.
FREE: Crackanory Too Cracked for TV - exclusive to Audible
By: Crackanory
Narrated by: Toby Jones, Katherine Parkinson, John Robins, Robert Bathurst, Simon Bird

Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
Radio/TV Program
Release date: 01-25-17
Language: English
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: British, Entertainment, Humor
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.

Publisher's Summary
Imagine if Jackanory was set free from its childish shackles. What twisted, funny tales would it unleash upon the world?
Combining some of the UK's best and brightest comedy writers and performers, this exclusive to audio edition of UKTV's Dave Channel Crackanory is a master class in storytelling and features an all-star cast including Toby Jones, Katherine Parkinson, John Robins, Robert Bathurst and Simon Bird.
Episode List:
'Kill Phil'
'Mummy Business'
'The Character Assassin'
'The IT Man'
'The Egg That Knew Too Much'
©2017 UKTV (P)2017 Audible Ltd

I really did not know what “Crackanory” meant. I found this in a Goodreads review by Paul E. Morph: “For the uninitiated, Crackanory is a British t.v. show that spoofs Jackanory, an older British t.v. show.” Apparently, the original show featured celebrities reading short stories to children. The Crackanory version presents stories that have a macabre or dark sense and might be considered inappropriate for TV. I found all five stories entertaining and nothing that would alarm me (as an adult anyway) on TV since I have seen – and turned off – worse. The stories are full of dry British humor and irony.

The five stories in this free Audible are:
1. Kill Phil by Ali Crockatt & David Scott
    Phil accidently gets his dry cleaner assassinated which results in a humous twisting threat to Phil and his girlfriend. Robert Bathurst delvers the dry humor with fitting voice nuance.
2. Mummy Business by Barunka O’Shaughnessy
    This a ghostly tale told with great humor by narrator Katherine Parkinson.
3. The Character Assassin by Tanya Qureshi
    A reclusive author suddenly meets her character and then tries to change the ending of her novel. The narration of this ironic piece is provided by John Robins.
4. The Egg That Knew Too Much by Steve Burge
    This is the story of Ted, who loves eggs, One day he cracks open an egg and finds a tiny scroll predicting a horse race winner. Now he gets a new prediction with each egg and is able to follow the leads to fortune. But after a time the predictions begin to accurately forewarn of deaths. When a death is predicted that Ted dreads, he travels far trying to find the egg farm in hopes of breaking the curse. I enjoyed the fun story and the accented narration by Toby Jones
5. The IT Man by Tom Meeten
    Two nerdy type friends, Mike and Rob, grow up together and seem to proceed along the same path until Rob gets married, leaving Mike to needle him. Mike gets more resentful after Rob gets a dream IT job. When they go off to a conference together their paths take a surprising, unexpected twist. This was narrated by Simon Bird.

I don’t know any of the authors and I don’t recognize any of the narrators either. The package was fun, macabre listening perfect for October, or anytime, entertainment. And I believe it is still available for free! (I have a 7 hour Crackanory collection on my Audible TBR shelf for listening in the future.)

Source: September 2017 Free Audible Original. This qualifies for 2019TBR and 2019Audiobook goals.


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