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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Let's Play Make Believe by James Patterson with James O. Born @JP_Books @Book_Shots

AUTHOR: James Patterson with James O. Born 
PUBLICATION DATE: August 2, 2013
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 113 pages
GENRE: Thriller
ISBN: 9780316317221
Make believe I love you...

Both survivors of the divorce wars, Christy and Martin don't believe in love at first sight and certainly not on a first date. But from the instant they lock eyes, life becomes a sexy, romantic dream come true. That is, until they start playing a strangely intense game of make-believe-a game that's about to go too far.

This is a thriller from James Patterson’s BookShots series. It had an ending that I didn’t see coming!

Christy Moore is recently separated from her wealthy husband, and her friend introduces her to Martin Hawking who is a recent divorcĂ©. They both find that they have common ground with being a bit bitter when it comes to their exes, and they have an attraction to one another. Martin is somewhat of a thrill-seeker, and he introduces Christy to all sorts of risky behaviour such as “dining and dashing,” popping Ecstasy, and engaging in group sex. The excitement keeps ramping up higher and higher, and they are both addicted to the adrenaline rush. Their behaviour becomes more reckless and dangerous. Can they stop before it’s too late?

I liked this one! Their behaviour was a bit out there and intense, and it led to a twist that I didn’t see coming at all! I love it when an author can take me by surprise like that. This is my third one in the BookShots series, and I do find that there is some sacrifice in character development in order to keep the story short. However, I still am a fan of the series and will continue to read them when I'm in the mood for a quicker read!


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

Waiting on Wednesday: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens @ChevyStevens @StMartinsPress #WaitingOnWednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

TITLE: Never Let You Go
AUTHOR: Chevy Stevens
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship.Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Stevens targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more in a novel that explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

I am a BIG FAN of this Canadian author. I absolutely loved her debut, Still Missing, and I really enjoyed her sophomore novel, Never Knowing. I'm adding this one to my Wishlist!

What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ten Books to Buy the YA Lover in Your Life #TopTenTuesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is a Holiday Gift Guide Freebie: 

Ten Books to Buy the YA Lover in Your Life.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor: Hands down, this is my favourite YA book! It was my favourite read of 2011, and I devoured it. It was impossible to put down! Amazing world-building in this fantasy world.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole: This is another fantasy/dystopian novel that had me riveted from beginning to end.

Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler: I am ordinarily not a fan of steampunk, but this one blew me away. Tayler's prose is captivating and her world-building is phenomenal.

The Program by Suzanne Young: This was my favourite YA read of 2013. Highly recommended for your fan of dystopia.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks: Another fantasy that blew me away! It featured mermaids, which was a refreshing change of pace.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano: When I read this in 2012, I said that it was my favourite dystopian novel! I didn't want it to end. It was *that* good!! It's dark and emotional.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I really liked the first book in this series, but the second book is even better! Another fantastic dystopian series.

Never Enough by Denise Jaden: I'm not one for the Contemporary genre, but this one is an exception. Jaden tackles mature themes such as peer pressure, sex, cliques, and eating disorders. It was an emotional rollercoaster!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: Here's another favourite fantasy/dystopia, a modern re-telling of Cinderella.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Don't watch the movies; read the books! I loved the series, with the exception of Bella being a bit pathetic and melodramatic in the next book in the series, but I still enjoyed it.

So, what books would you recommend to buy for the YA lover in your life? I love receiving book recommendations! Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post #CSREADATHON

This is my Wrap-up Post for the Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon!

I Finished Three Books:

by Heather Graham

by Debbie Macomber
[on my iPod]

by Max Lucado
[on my iPod]

Here are the final tallies for the read-a-thon:

Total books finished: 3
Total pages read: 330 pages
Total time listened: 6 hrs and 14 mins

If I convert the audiobooks to pages, the hardcover of Dashing Through the Snow is 256 pages and The Christmas Candle is 191 pages long so that would make 777 pages in total! I'm good with that.

Thanks again to Michelle at Seasons of Reading for hosting!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

This is from the library, and it is a 2016 debut that I have had my eye on!

AUTHOR: Kim Savage 
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
PUBLICATION DATE: February 23, 2016
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery
ISBN: 9780374300555
Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

I'm listening to:

This is from the library, and I have been wanting to read this one for a long time! I also want to watch the movie afterward.

AUTHOR: John Boyne
NARRATOR: Michael Maloney
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 20, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 5 hrs 
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some information about the audiobook, but in this case we think that would spoil the listening. We think it's important that you start to listen without knowing what it is about.

If you do start to listen, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy named Bruno. (Though this isn't a story for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later, you will arrive with Bruno at the fence.

Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope that you never have to encounter such a fence.

I just finished:

AUTHOR: Heather Graham 
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 1997
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 330 pages
GENRE: Holiday/Christmas, Romance
ISBN: 9780451407962
Jon and Julie Radcliff are facing the last Christmas of a marriage in trouble. The love they once shared has been tattered by time and torn apart by divergent goals. Their teenagers, Christie and Jordan, are rebellious, and their youngest child, six-year-old Ashley, is showing the hurt and confusion of her family's turmoil. Yet somehow the Christmas season must be gotten through even if it is only a game of let's pretend we are the way we always were. The perfect place for this make-believe is the Oak River Plantation in Virginia, a place of simple values, far from their sophisticated and difficult life in Miami. Here the Radcliffs are promised a traditional Christmas with all the Yuletide trimmings. So imagine their surprise when they are met by the quaint couple in charge, Jesse and Clarissa Wainscott, dressed in costumes dating from before the Civil War. Have they somehow entered another world that spans the gulf between past and present? Before Jon and Julie and their children can uncover the secrets surrounding their mysterious but marvelous hosts, they become aware of some profound truths about themselves. And suddenly they discover that love lost can be found again, making the bond of marriage and family strong enough to survive, even triumph.

AUTHOR: Debbie Macomber
NARRATOR: Allyson Ryan
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 6, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 4 hrs and 31 mins
GENRE: Holiday/Christmas
Savor the magic of the season with number-one New York Times best-selling author Debbie Macomber's newest Christmas novel, filled with warmth, humor, the promise of love, and a dash of unexpected adventure.

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there's only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

At first they drive in silence, but, forced into close quarters, Ashley and Dash can't help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there's even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard - never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises - and their greatest wishes may yet come true.

AUTHOR: Max Lucado
NARRATOR: Greg Whalen
PUBLISHER: Oasis Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 25, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 1 hrs and 43 mins
GENRE: Holiday/Christmas, Religious/Inspirational
When a mysterious angel suddenly appears in a lowly candle-maker's shop, the holy and the human collide in a way that only God could imagine. Glowing bright with a timeless message, The Christmas Candle will warm your heart with a surprising reminder of God's bountiful love.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

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

We had our first snow! Here's what my backyard looked like on Tuesday morning:

Unfortunately, it didn't stick around! We are having very mild weather for November, with temps above zero degrees! Here's what it looks like this morning:

Right now, it's -1 degree Celsius and I don't think we will hit that high of +4 degrees Celsius today (that's 39 degrees Fahrenheit for the American folks). We are expecting rain tonight and more rain tomorrow! November rain is highly unusual for us!

I didn't buy anything new this past week, but I won a couple of giveaways!

I won this box of goodies (eight ARCs and one MP3 audiobook) in the Frozen BINGO challenge hosted by Leona at Literary Treasure Chest during the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon. Every time I had a BINGO on a line, I won a book!

How to Wrangle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy (Cowboys of Decker Ranch, Book #3)
Must Love Cowboys by Cheryl Brooks (Cowboy Heaven, Book #2)
Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm (Big Sky Cowboys, Book #2)
Wolf's Mate by Chantal Fernando (Wind Dragons MC, Book #5)
Reliquary by Sarah Fine (Reliquary, Book #1)
Red Right Hand by Levi Black (Red Right Hand, Book #1)
Nookietown by V.C. Chickering
First Touch by Laurelin Paige (First and Last, Book #1)
Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Thanks again, Leona!

I also won this paperback in a giveaway hosted by Lisa @ Lisa Loves Literature during her September Is For Sequels Reading Challenge:

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Thanks again, Lisa!

Recap: Last Week On The Blog

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!

If anyone has read any of these books, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, November 25, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton @mc_beaton @BlackstoneAudio

TITLE: Hiss and Hers
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #23
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
NARRATOR: Davina Porter
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: September 18, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 24 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of everyone's favorite sleuth, M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin is as feisty as ever - armed with her famous wit and biting sense of humor. This time, though, there's some biting of a whole other sort going on.

Agatha has fallen head over heels in love - again. This time, she has her eye on the local gardener, George Marston, but so do other women in their little Cotswold village. Shamelessly determined, Agatha will do anything to get her man - including footing the bill for a charity ball just for the chance to dance with him. And then George doesn't even show up.

Only partly deterred, Agatha goes looking for him, and finds his dead body in a compost heap. Murder is definitely afoot, but this killer chose no ordinary weapon: A poisonous snake delivered the fatal strike. Rising to the occasion, Agatha rallies her little detective agency to find the killer, only to learn that George had quite a complicated love life. But murderously complicated? Well, if she can't have George, at least Agatha can have the satisfaction of confronting the other women and solving the crime.


I continue to be amused by Agatha’s antics!

Agatha goes to such great lengths to ingratiate herself to a man once she has him in her sights. In this installment, Agatha’s target is the hunky local gardener and handyman, George Marston. She even ruins her bookshelves (she’s obviously not a book lover) to have an excuse to call George and ask him to fix them. If that doesn’t seem desperate enough, she plans to go on an extended leave of absence so that she has more leisure time to spend with George and doesn’t have to worry about him wining and dining the retired ladies and housewives in the village. When Agatha’s biggest competition, young and beautiful actress Jessica Fordyce, is looking for donations to raise money to refloor the village hall, Agatha offers to pay for the reno so that the charity ball can be held. She fantasizes that she will dance the night away in George’s arms. He did, after all, promise Agatha that the first dance would be all hers! On the big night of the ball, Agatha panics when George fails to appear and is devastated that she might have spent all that money for nothing! She decides to go to his house to find out what is keeping him, and she discovers his body buried in a compost heap.

Oh, Aggie! Just when you take a step forward, you end up going two steps backward! She seems to go through this pattern of being headstrong and independent and feisty, and then behaves like somewhat of a fool when she becomes smitten with a new man! At least it makes for an amusing story!

Much to my dismay, Penelope Keith did not narrate this one! Davina Porter is a fabulous narrator, and I absolutely fell in love with her narration of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. She truly is a top-notch narrator. However, having said that, she just didn’t fit the Agatha Raisin persona. Porter’s vocalization for Agatha makes her sound a bit whiney. I’ve grown so accustomed to Keith’s version of Agatha that just no one else will do!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Scars by Cheryl Rainfield @CherylRainfield @West_Side_Books

TITLE: Scars
AUTHOR: Cheryl Rainfield
PUBLISHER: West Side Books
FORMAT: Paperback, 233 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
ISBN: 9781934813577

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.


This story just broke my heart! It was a very tough and emotional read for me, and it deals with mature subject matters. My elder daughter is 14 years old, and I don’t think she is ready to read something like this so this book will be shelved for her for the time being until she’s a bit older.

Kendra is just fifteen years old, but she has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile. The trauma caused her to repress her memories, but they are starting to come back to her. She can remember the scent of his breath, his voice, and his hands but whenever she gets close to seeing his face, the urge to cut herself overtakes her. She cuts to numb the pain, and it stops the memories from surfacing. It isn’t until after Kendra begins sessions with a therapist, Carolyn, that she starts receiving the threats that she will be killed if she tells. Aside from her therapy sessions, Kendra uses her art as a form of expression. Her artwork is often dark and disturbing, which is why she doesn’t share it with her artist mother anymore. Her mom, Lori, pains pretty landscapes and criticizes Kendra that she needs to create art that will sell and that no one would ever want to buy her work because it is painful to look at. Kendra’s art teacher, Mrs. Archer, gives her the encouragement that she doesn’t get from her mom. There is a classmate, Meghan, who Kendra is attracted to. She has noticed bruises on Meghan’s neck, and Kendra learns that Meghan’s mother is an abusive alcoholic. The two girls find that they have common ground and that each deals with their pain in different ways.

This was a very fast read for me. Rainfield grabbed my attention right from the first chapter, and Kendra’s pain and angst is so palpable that my heart ached for her. Here is a girl that is so troubled but isn't getting what she needs from her parents. Her mom is too self-absorbed to reach out to her own daughter! I wanted to slap her!! She actually treats Kendra like the abuse was her fault. Kendra recalls a memory of when she was very young and tried to tell her mom that someone was hurting her, but her mom brushed her off and didn’t listen. Sadly, that hasn’t changed. Her dad’s company is downsizing and money has become tight, so he wants to keep a closer watch on their finances and wants to stop the expensive therapy sessions. Wow, really?? He wants to cut off his daughter’s lifeline and take away something that gives her the stability that she needs to cope? The lack of support from her parents have done one good thing for Kendra, and that is to make her strong and self-reliant.

Rainfield is a new-to-me Canadian author, and I definitely want to read more of her work! I was reading on her website that Rainfield actually used her forearm for the cover, so she knows of what she speaks. At the back of the book, she includes a lengthy list of resources for people that need support for self-mutilation or abuse. She donates a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Rainfield also writes on her website that Scars has been challenged by a library in the United States. The reason why Rainfield writes books like this is because this is the type of book that she needed as a teen and couldn’t find. I hope this book is never banned because the sad reality is that there are kids out there who can identify with Kendra, and a book like this can be a huge support for them and get them on the road to healing.


5 stars!! It was superb, and I will likely re-read it in the future. It's heartbreaking and haunting, and it is a story that will stay with you long after you finish the book.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Hunted by James Patterson with Andrew Holmes @JP_Books @HolmesWriter @Book_Shots

TITLE: Hunted
PUBLICATION DATE: September 6, 2016
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 140 pages
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
ISBN: 9780316430883
Evil has a new game...

Someone is luring men from the streets to play a mysterious, high stakes game in the English countryside. Former Special Forces officer David Shelley will go undercover to take them down--but this might be a game he can't win.

This is a thriller from James Patterson’s BookShots series. It is very reminiscent of a 1994 movie called Surviving The Game, starring Ice-T (love that movie, by the way).

In a nutshell, homeless men are being targeted to participate in a “game” in which rich competitors try to find them and hunt them down. The lure is that the men are promised a huge sum of money if they make it to the safe zone. However, it isn’t until they are playing the game that they realize that the hunters are firing real bullets instead of paintballs and that they are the prey! The MI5 has caught wind of the lethal hunt and are working to shut down the operation. When an ex-commanding officer of a special forces military unit is killed, the MI5 tracks down the victim’s friend and ex-partner, Captain David Shelley. The MI5 pitch their plan to Shelley, wherein he goes undercover as a homeless man to infiltrate the organization as a target to be used as prey. Shelley wants revenge on the sickos who killed his best friend, and he is willing to risk his life.

I love the whole premise of the BookShots series, which feature fast-paced stories in less than 150 pages. However, in this instance, I think the story would have been better if the back-story of the characters had been fleshed out a little more. 


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

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadow's Seduction by Kresley Cole @kresleycole

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

TITLE: Shadow's Seduction
SERIES: The Dacians, Book #2/Immortals After Dark, Book #17

AUTHOR: Kresley Cole
PUBLISHER: Valkyrie Press
FORMAT: Kindle
LENGTH: 160 pages
GENRE: Romance/Paranormal Romance
A night of debauchery

Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend Caspion the Tracker comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever

Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence, to exile on a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives, much less the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?

Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the sensual vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer...

Squeeee! I absolutely loved the first book in The Dacians series, Shadow's Claim, and I cannot wait to read the next one! This series takes place in the same world as Cole's Immortals After Dark series, which I still need to read.

What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ten Things That I Am Thankful For #TopTenTuesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is a Thanksgiving Freebie (even though I'm in Canada and we've already celebrated Thanksgiving, I'll play along): 

Ten Things That I Am Thankful For.

My two beautiful girls.

A job that I love, which I've had for 26+ years.

The roof over our heads.

My parents, who are always there to lend a hand!

Living in a country that provides access to good food to eat and clean water to drink.

Siblings and extended family members in my life.

Continued good health for me and my loved ones.

Friends and neighbours who reach out and check on me!

For the lessons that I've learned and the life experiences I've had which have made me a better person and who I am today!

A loving and forgiving God, who may not give me everything I want but gives me everything I need.

So, what are you thankful for? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!
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