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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post



This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"




Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme



Happy Father's Day to my dad!

We have deer who are regular visitors to our backyard. I have one doe, in particular, that has either given birth to her fawn(s) in my backyard or has brought them here shortly after birth. She leaves them in the (unused) horseshoe pits at the very back because the grass is long in the pits because I can't get in there with a lawnmower. While she can jump the fence, the little fawn(s) cannot so they are safe in our yard during the daytime away from dogs and predators. I do leave the gate open at night just in case momma wants to take her out of the yard for a walk. You hardly even notice that the fawn is back there because the only time she moves is early in the morning when momma is nursing and after 8:00 p.m. again when momma returns to nurse. This year, we have one little fawn and she is still so wobbly! I haven't captured a great pic yet because the fawn generally stays in the very back of the yard behind the pool but this is the best that I could get so far:



The fawn will generally stay and live in our yard for the summer and usually momma takes her out of the yard for good in mid to late August when the fawn is bigger and stronger. It's very cool that we get to watch her grow up!



Yay!! SYNC is back!! If you are not familiar with this program, you can download two audiobooks FOR FREE every week for the next 6 weeks. The only catch is that you have to download them before they are replaced with a new pair every Thursday at 7:00 a.m. EST. Once you download them, you can listen at your leisure and they are yours to keep forever!


Here is some info on this week's offerings:


The Juneteenth holiday is just the right time for the pair of audiobooks we offer this week. The last day to download the pair is Juneteenth itself, so you have seven days to be sure you have them, and even have time to get some listening done to give the date more meaning in your own life. The occasion of Juneteenth, dating from 1865, is a good time to celebrate both freedom and equal rights.

From Scholastic Audio, Dion Graham’s Earphones Award winning performance of MY NAME IS NOT FRIDAY, by Jon Walter, is accurate historical fiction featuring a freeborn black youth sold into slavery at the end of the American Civil War. With his name changed by his supposed owner to Friday, Samuel works his way to freedom, and then is captured again. Graham provides Samuel with a voice that remains unique even as would-be owners try to suppress his humanity. 

Paired with this is a second historical fiction award-winner. From Candlewick on Brilliance Publishing is Gigi Amateau’s COME AUGUST, COME FREEDOM, read here by JD Jackson. This fictional account of the childhood and youth of an actual historical figure offers a compelling listen whether you are already familiar with the rebellion led by Gabriel, a literate slave, in Virginia, in 1800, or this is your first encounter. Jackson brings Gabriel to life again from these pages, which include historical documents as well as the fictional account of the years before he led an effort to gain freedom for others as well as himself.

While your free audiobooks are downloading, read about Juneteenth's history, purpose, and ways you can share its observance this year on Wednesday, June 19. This observance deserves attention from all of us, and these audiobooks offer a perfect way to introduce its importance in history and relevance today.

Happy SYNC season to all! Now download this eighth pair and start listening! Go HERE.




I bought these Daily Deals at Audible this week:


Witness
by Caroline Mitchell


How to Date Your Dragon
by Molly Harper
(Mystic Bayou, Book #1)


Audible also had a great Members Only 70% Off Sale, and I picked up these goodies for less than $5 each:


Shadow Game
by Christine Feehan
(GhostWalkers, Book #1)


The Darkest Minds
by Alexandra Bracken
(The Darkest Minds, Book #1)


The Impossible Knife of Memory
by Laurie Halse Anderson


I Am Watching You
by Teresa Driscoll


The Handyman
by Bentley Little


I bought this Daily Steal at Downpour this week:


The Crossing
by Jason Mott


I received this audiobook for review:

Born of Darkness
by Lara Adrian
(Hunter Legacy, Book #1)

Thanks again, Tantor Audio!


Recap: Last Week On The Blog



Can't-Wait Wednesday: Sadie by Courtney Summers


What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Goodreads Spring 2018 Scavenger Challenge - Umbrellas: Wrap-up Post



Duration: March 21 - June 20, 2018

20/20 tasks completed


✔1. ☂ Read a book that takes place in any ancient civilization (before 1200 AD; tell us when) or in modern day Assyria or Egypt OR read a book with a palm tree or palm fronds on its cover; remember to post the cover.

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters - 16 June 2018

Read a book that takes place in any ancient civilization (before 1200 AD; tell us when) or in modern day Assyria or Egypt [takes place in Egypt]


✔2. ☂ Read a book written by a female author OR read a book with a bright, sunny scene on its cover; post the cover.

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers - 7 Apr 2018

Read a book written by a female author


✔3. ☂ Read a book in any position from 400 - 1,000 (inclusive) on your TBR; tell us the position OR read a book with a wealthy female character (tell us who).

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - 14 Apr 2018

Read a book in any position from 400 - 1,000 (inclusive) on your TBR; tell us the position [764]


✔4. ☂ Read a book with a rainy or stormy scene on its cover (post the cover) OR read a book with an intact "20" in its total page count (tell us how many pages).

Flu by Wayne Simmons - 23 Apr 2018

Read a book with an intact "20" in its total page count (tell us how many pages) [320]


✔5. ☂ Read a book that takes place in the 1700's OR read a book that takes place in England.

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor - 5 May 2018

Read a book that takes place in England


✔6. ☂ Read a book by an author whose last name ENDS in "Y" or read a book where a character is scorned or ridiculed for an idea (briefly tell us what).

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - 21 Mar 2018

Read a book by an author whose last name ENDS in "Y" [Yancey = Y]


✔7. ☂ Read a book that is in the middle of a series (anything but first or last; tell us the book's position in the series) OR read a book with a blue and/or green cover; post the cover.

Bared to the Laird by Eliza Knight - 2 Apr 2018

Read a book that is in the middle of a series (anything but first or last; tell us the book's position in the series) [2nd book in the series]


✔8. ☂ Read a book with any of the following items on its cover: liquor, dagger, knife, paper, or pencil; remember to post the cover OR read a book in which a character hides something significant (physical objects only; tell us what).

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - 21 Apr 2018

Read a book in which a character hides something significant (physical objects only; tell us what) [a dead body]


✔9. ☂ Read a book involving a spy or secret agent of some type OR read a book whose location starts with a letter in WEAPON; tell us where.

Genesis by Brendan Reichs - 12 Apr 2018

Read a book involving a spy or secret agent of some type [Min's father is a secret agent]


✔10. ☂ Read a book whose title starts with "U" (disregard a|an|the) OR read a book by an author whose first or last name is Samuel (reasonable variations accepted - i.e. Sam, Samantha, Samuels).

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - 11 June 2018

Read a book whose title starts with "U" (disregard a|an|the) [Unearthly = U]


✔11. ☂ Read a book by an author whose first or last name is Bradford or Philips (reasonable variations accepted - i.e. Brad, Bradley, Phillipa) OR read a book in which something is invented; tell us what.

14 by Peter Clines - 19 Apr 2018

Read a book in which something is invented; tell us what [a machine to stop the end of the world]


✔12. ☂ Read a book in which a character uses a cane or walking stick OR read a book whose author's first and last initial may be found in one of the types of umbrellas (tell us which one).

Into the Light by Aleatha Romig - 28 Mar 2018

Read a book whose author's first and last initial may be found in one of the types of umbrellas (tell us which one) [traditional = AR = Aleatha Romig]


✔13. ☂ Read a book with an alcoholic beverage on its cover; post the cover OR read a book that takes place in Mexico.


A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage - 10 June 2018

Read a book with an alcoholic beverage on its cover


✔14.☂ Read a book that takes place in China OR read a book with a character who is a blue-collar worker; tell us the occupation.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey - 13 May 2018

Read a book with a character who is a blue-collar worker; tell us the occupation [Eddie Parks is a Sergeant]


✔15. ☂ Read a book whose author's name or any title word contain double L's (LL) OR read a book in which someone owns a successful business (tell us who).

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Read a book whose author's name or any title word contain double L's (LL) [Halle = LL]


✔16. ☂ Read a book in which a character plays golf (tell us who) OR read a book whose title begins with a letter in "ROWAN" (disregard a|an|the).

White Fang by Jack London - 26 Apr 2018

Read a book whose title begins with a letter in "ROWAN" [W = White]


✔17. ☂ Read a book whose title contains a noun that ends in "ER" or read a book whose cover shows an open umbrella (table umbrellas are fine); post the cover.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - 18 May 2018

Read a book whose title contains a noun that ends in ER [Wallflower]


✔18. ☂ Read a book with a 2 in the total number of pages; tell us how many pages OR read a book with any of the following words in its title: OPEN, CLOSE, PIN, SPRING, or HOLLOW.

Dreamfall by Amy Plum - 31 Mar 2018

Read a book with a 2 in the total number of pages [288]


✔19.☂ Read a book that is an even number in a series (tell us the series and the book's position) OR read a children's book (must still meet the 150 pp. minimum requirement).

The Bobbsey Twins' Adventure in the Country by Laura Lee Hope - 5 Apr 2018

Read a children's book


✔20. ☂ Read a book that may be classified in at least two different genres; tell us the genres OR read a book in which a character 'handles' a situation in a quality manner (briefly tell us why).

Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema - 28 Mar 2018

Read a book in which a character 'handles' a situation in a quality manner [Karen's husband, Simon, is having an affair and he leaves her after their daughter is injured in a hit and run and is in a coma; rather than despise the other woman, Karen invites her into her home and gets to know her and tries to understand why her husband loves the other woman]


Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1) by Elizabeth Peters This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1) by Courtney Summers I Am Legend by Richard Matheson Flu by Wayne Simmons The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey Bared to the Laird (Highland Bound, #2) by Eliza Knight The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Genesis by Brendan Reichs Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand 14 by Peter ClinesInto the Light (The Light, #1) by Aleatha Romig A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1) by Karina Halle White Fang by Jack London The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1) by Amy Plum The Bobbsey Twins' Adventure in the Country (Bobbsey Twins) by Laura Lee Hope Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema 

Friday, June 15, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton @mc_beaton @BlackstoneAudio

SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #27
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
NARRATOR: Alison Larkin
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 20, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy
ISBN: 9781504733212
When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory.

The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.
MY REVIEW:

This was another enjoyable installment in the prolific Agatha Raisin series. This series is like comfort food for me. I love the Cotswold setting, and each of the characters have become near and dear to me, especially Agatha!

Mrs. Bloxby asks for Agatha's help because the residents who own allotments outside the village are under threat of losing them. No longer owned by a trust but instead by Lord Bellington, his plans are to make a fortune by selling them off to a developer. Agatha and her sidekick, Charles Fraith, visit Bellington and appeal to him to change his mind. If the deal goes through, Carsely will lose its village status and become a town and other developers who have been trying to build will then be allowed to do so. Bellington could care less about the villagers, and he has no plans to back down. It's not really a surprise when he is murdered, and Agatha deduces right at the outset with just a few facts that it sounded like he was poisoned with antifreeze. Wilkes' knickers are in a twist that Agatha figured out the cause of death without seeing the body, and Bellington's son hires Agatha to find the murderer to clear his name as he stands to inherit everything and is the chief suspect.

Mrs. Bloxby continued her flirtations with Gerald Devere, acting totally out of character for her! As always, Roy Silver shows up when he needs rescuing and Aggie fixes things for him with respect to his job. James Lacey wasn't present very much, and I think I missed that!

This audiobook is narrated by Alison Larkin, and I really hate to beat a dead horse because I've said all this before but...I miss Penelope Keith! I can see why people think Agatha is whiny when they listen to the more recent audiobooks in this series, which are not narrated by Penelope Keith. I'm not alone in my opinion that Larkin is just the wrong choice of narrator for this series. Just take a look at the reviews on Audible! Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it.

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Run from Fear by Jami Alden @jamialden @ForeverRomance

TITLE: Run From Fear
SERIES: Dead Wrong, Book #3
AUTHOR: Jami Alden
PUBLISHER: Forever
PUBLICATION DATE: February 28, 2012
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback
LENGTH: 423 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780446572811
With each step she takes, he tracks her every move, waiting for the perfect time. The perfect revenge. Until then, he'll watch her . . .

Run From Fear

More than anything, Talia Vega wanted to leave behind her harrowing past. Moving eight hundred miles away, she succeeded . . . until the one man who knows her darkest secrets wanders into the restaurant where she works. Now the agonizing memories come crashing back-along with an undeniable desire for Jack Brooks, the ex-Green Beret who rescued her from a sadistic monster two years ago.

Jack Brooks knows that showing up unannounced is a purelfy selfish move. Talia doesn't need his protection anymore, but he can't get the raven-haired beauty out of his mind. And when a twisted madman is hell-bent on resurrecting her torturous past, Jack vows to do anything to keep her safe-even risk his own life to save the only woman he's ever loved.
MY REVIEW:

It's been a while since I read the second book in this series, Hide from Evil. That was back in September! I've forgotten how much I love this series!! This one is better than the last one, and I think it's my favourite one in the series so far.

The main character in this installment is Talia Vega, the man-eater from the first book in the series, Beg for Mercy. This story takes place two years after the events that transpired in that book, and Talia is a lot different than she was back then! After she was rescued from the hands of a serial killer by Jack Brooks, she spent some time travelling with her sister Rosario before moving to California. Unbeknownst to Talia, Jack arranged a job for her and has been keeping tabs on her to ensure her safety.

When the wife of Talia's ex-lover is released from prison, Jack flies out to California to check on Talia. He claims that he was there on assignment, but really he just used that as an excuse! Jack always had a thing for Talia, but he never thought she'd ever give him the time of day. Meanwhile, Talia has a huge chip on her shoulder and is ashamed of her past and thinks that Jack would never have anything to do with a woman like her. After all, he did see her at her worst when he rescued her. She thinks he will always see her that way. 

When someone starts sending mementos to Talia as reminders of her past, Talia's hackles are raised and so are Jack's! He decides to stick around, and that's when things start to heat up between Jack and Talia. There are sparks between them, but neither of them does anything about it and the sexual tension between them just builds. Alden sure makes us wait for the two of them to get together, and that made me really happy. My main issue with the couple in the last book was that they got together way too quickly without the build-up. Jack and Talia have history, and their chemistry smolders and simmers for a long time. By that point, Jack has already made it clear that he's not looking for just a casual fling and that he's waiting for her to feel about him the same way he feels about her. He has fallen in love with her, and he hopes that she feels the same! Thank you, Ms. Alden, for making us wait for Talia and Jack to be together. It was worth the wait!

I love the change in Talia. She doesn't need to flaunt her body and her look is more understated. Without the glam makeup and clothing, her natural beauty shines through and this just makes her even more attractive to Jack. She doesn't see herself through his eyes, and she absolutely is the one that needs redemption here. She is tenacious, strong, and will do anything for her sister. She's tried so hard to move on from her past and needs this fresh start. Jack is everything that every woman wants: Strong, sensitive, caring, protective...the rocking bod and oodles of money don't hurt either, LOL! Talia and Jack just fit together so well, and I'm happy that they get their happy ending! Their worlds fit so perfectly together as well, with Jack's friends and their wives embracing Talia as one of their own. They were just made for each other!

This book was fast-paced with non-stop action, and I had a hard time tearing myself away from it! Alden tells the story from three points of view: Talia, Jack, and the nut-bar who is after her. It got my adrenaline going, with the anxiety-inducing goings-on and the steamy scenes between Jack and Talia!

Memorable quote:

"She'd fought to keep him out of her life, certain she didn't need him, convinced he could only make her miserable as he served as a living reminder of everything she'd struggled to leave behind. But the past had come back to haunt her, and once again he proved to be the only one she could count on to get her out of the muck. The only one she wanted to count on."

As much as I love Talia and Jack, my favourite character in this series so far is Tommy Ibarra. I can't wait to read his story in the next book in this series, Guilty as Sin.

MY RATING:

5 stars!! I loved it, and you should definitely put it on your TBR if you enjoy steamy romantic suspense!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett @LornaBarrett @PRHAudio

SERIES: Booktown Mystery, Book #1
AUTHOR: Lorna Barrett
NARRATOR: Cassandra Campbell
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: August 3, 2010 (first published 2008)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 33 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy
ISBN: 9781101195932
The streets of Stoneham, New Hampshire, are lined with bookstores...and paved with murder.

When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.
MY REVIEW:

I picked this one up back in February at one of Audible's 2-for-1 sales. I needed a book set in a bookstore or library for one of my reading challenges, and this one fit the bill. What a little gem! 

The main character is Trisha Miles, who has recently divorced and decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning her own bookstore. She moved from Manhattan to a little place called Stoneham, New Hampshire whose economy is booming thanks to the tourist draw to their antiquarian and specialty bookshops. Trisha's shop called Haven't Got a Clue (love that name!) specializes in vintage and first edition mysteries, and she's the village's newest bookseller. She lives in the loft above the bookstore with her cat, Miss Marple.

Doris owns the shop next to Trisha, and she's a bit pushy and brusque. She's not happy with the terms of her new lease, and she wants all the booksellers to stand united against their mutual owner to renegotiate. When Doris is murdered and her most recently acquired rare and valuable cookbook is found on Trisha's bookshelves, the finger points to Tricia who has to solve the mystery to clear her name.

I really liked Trisha! I admire her strength and tenacity. She isn't so crazy when her sister, Angelica, calls her up and tells her that she is coming for a visit but I loved Angelica as a sidekick. The two sisters hadn't been close in the past, but this is a new start for both of them. Angelica seems to take joy in taking care of Trisha, cooking up delicious meals for her. I think they make a great crime-solving duo!

This audiobook is narrated by Cassandra Campbell, who I've heard many times before. Everything about her is wonderful, from her pace to her inflections. 

I am so impressed with this first book in the series that I have asked my library to purchase the entire series in audio on Overdrive. There are currently 11 books published, with the 12th to be published this year. Fingers crossed that they fulfill my request! I am looking forward to listening to the next book in the series, Bookmarked for Death.

MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy cozy mysteries!

This book qualifies as:
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