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Happy Thanksgiving

turkey day cookiesPhoto by J. Fisher

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!
-Unknown

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Meet Kristen!

I’d like to introduce everyone to Kristen who will be joining me as a guest blogger here. Kristen is a friend from one of my Goodreads groups (Kindle Smut) and like me loves romance

book heart
In Her Own Words:

I am first a mom to my wonderful daughter who is growing up faster than I could have imagined. I am also a wife. I love to read of course. I started out reading things like V.C Andrews. I was hooked on mystery for a long time. I still enjoy a good one every now and then. My taste has changed as I have gotten older not that 31 is old. I also love to take photos, crochet, knit and work jigsaw puzzles. So as you can tell I am a little everywhere. But that’s ok because these are the things that keep me sane.

I hope you make her feel welcome and enjoy her posts ;)

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Featured Author Friday – What Is It?

featured author friday

Featured Author Friday

One of the things I love the most about my blog is the wide variety of new authors that I have been introduced to. These new discoveries have come from friends, from Goodreads (or Amazon) and review requests. Today (November 6), I was thanked by a friend on Amazon for recommending an author to them that I had discovered (the fabulous Kelsey Browning).

So what better way to celebrate these authors that I love, than by starting a new feature about these authors. Every couple of weeks, I’ll post a new featured author on Friday, making that day Featured Author Friday. In this feature, I’ll talk about how I found the author, what I love about their writing and if they are available, a short Q&A with them.

My criteria for this feature is simple, an author that I have read at least 2 books by (no time limit on when the books were read); I need to have rated the books 3.5 stars (or higher) and I need to have recommended the author to at least 1 person recently.

I hope you enjoy the feature and find some new authors to enjoy.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

It’s Monday – What Are You Reading?

monday reading
Have you every had one of those weekends where you know the rest of your work week is going to be long and painful. That was me this weekend – being a Navy reservist, I do one weekend a month of duty – which normally means long hours – case in point, last night (Sunday), I didn’t walk i the door until 7:30pm after leaving at 5:30am. Yes, I know it probably seems a bit whiney and I shouldn’t but some days I get grumpy. I think I may put a grumpy bear warning on my desk at work. Hopefully, reading this week, will put me in a better place.

murder on murray hillMurder in Murray Hill – Victoria Thompson
Frank Malloy has never known any life other than that of a cop, but his newfound inheritance threatens his position within his department. While trying to keep both his relationship with Sarah and his fortune under wraps, he’s assigned to a new case—finding a missing young woman for her worried father, Henry Livingston.

It seems the girl had been responding to “lonely hearts” ads in the paper for months before she disappeared. Her father thinks that she’s eloped with a deceptive stranger, but Malloy fears the worst, knowing that the grifters who place such ads often do much more than simply abscond with their victims. But as Sarah and Malloy delve deeper into a twisted plot targeting the city’s single women, it’s their partnership—both professional and private—that winds up in the greatest peril

I’ve been reading this series in bits and pieces over the last few months. I like the fact that I can easily jump around between books in the series without being too lost – while there is some story arc, it isn’t so detailed that you get lost. I’m only about an hour into this audiobook but I am enjoying it so far and looking forward to listening to it during my commute to work this week.

i shall be near youI Shall Be Near You – Erin Lindsey McCabe
Rosetta doesn’t want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they’ll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she’s always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she’s told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.
Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over two hundred and fifty documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

I won this book during the Penguin First Reads giveaway about 6 months ago, but like normal, it got added to the mountain range that is my to-be-read pile – but for some reason, it right it looks intriguing, so I’m digging on in. I’ve heard good things about it from people on Twitter, so fingers crossed.

designed by loveDesigned By Love – Kelsey Browning
Ashton Davenport: Hot blonde. Old Money. Off-limits.
That’s how Mac McLaughlin sees her, anyway. And now that he’s enduring a temporary self-imposed exile in tiny Shelbyville, Texas, he’s seeing her way too often. Mac only wants to succeed as the contractor for the Lily Lake development in order to rebuild his reputation and return to Dallas, pronto. A sexy distraction like Ashton was not in the plans.

Mac McLaughlin: Hot builder. Cash poor. Hands-on.
Ashton kissed her trust fund goodbye and left her life as a society princess to prove she could make it on her own. Developing Lily Lake is her big chance, but it’s hard to stay focused working side-by-side with bossy, rough-around-the-edges Mac. Especially when he pulls off his shirt.

When the discovery of an endangered species derails the project, Mac can’t afford to stick around for a stalled job. His and Ashton’s explosive chemistry aside, he’s outta there…unless she can convince him that they just might be able to build something together

I always love getting ARC’s from authors I love – and Kelsey Browning is no different. This is the 4th book in her Texas Nights series and the second one i’ve gotten the opportunity to read/review early. Its actually been burning a hole in my TBR pile for close to a month, but since it isn’t released until November, I wanted to hold off reading it for a little bit while – so my mind was fresh-ish when it came time to post my review

judgmentJudgment – Carey Baldwin
hen a coed falls prey to a sadistic murderer, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin “Caity” Cassidy and Special Agent Atticus Spenser are called in to testify–one for the defense, one for the prosecution. With warring approaches to justice, these two rivals have been butting heads for years–both inside the courtroom and out. And at first, this case appears to be no different.

But when a brutal attack leaves the accused man dead and Caity in critical condition, petty differences take a backseat to saving lives. As the lone survivor, Caity knows too much, and the killer–a madman calling himself the Man in the Maze–is coming back for round two. Now Caity and Spense must join forces to uncover the killer’s identity before Caity’s time–and luck–runs out.

This is another new to me author – I happened to come across her in a facebook group (I think it was for Avon romance…) and she was looking for reviewers for her new book – I was intrigued enough by the description that I asked her for a review copy and looking forward to reading it.

Wish me luck on my reading week ;)

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Review – Red – Kate SeRine

redRed
Author: Kate SeRine
Series: #1 in the Transplanted Tales series
Rating: ☆ ☆

Description:
“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”

Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters…

Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences…

Review:
Every three months I start a reading challenge on goodreads that consists of various tasks (like read a book with a certain element on the cover; or set in a certain location). One of these tasks is a group read – every season 3 books, in different themes, are selected by the group members – you have to read 1 of the books to complete the task. Red by Kate SeRine was selected as the group read for the theme, Fairy Tale Re-tellings (the other two books that were selected were A is for Alibi for First Book in a Cozy Mystery series and All the Light We Cannot See for Modern Literary biggies). Of the 3 books, Red was the only one that seemed remotely interesting – I’d previously DNF’d A is for Alibi and All the Light We Cannot See just didn’t intrigue me.

Unfortunately, while it was the most intriguing to me, overall it just didn’t work for me. It was really hard for me to get to into the book. I found it really easy to put the book down (or move onto another book that was in the pile). When I look back now, I think it was because there was just too much going on with the storyline. I liked the idea of fairy tales who have come to life and live in the real world, integrating much like you see vampires/werewolves in paranormal romance – just being one of the people. But it wasn’t just fairy tales, like Little ‘Red’ Riding Hood (the main character), there were characters from classic literature (Ms. Bennett and Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice); the Grim Reaper and even elements from various mythologies. Too many characters, and stories to track, which contributed to my struggle.

The mystery element, by itself, was interesting – tales (as they called) being murdered in gruesome/sadistic ways – and Red, as a character was intriguing (if a bit annoying at times). although she did have a few TSTL moments where I wanted to Gibbs-slap her. I felt like the author did a good job of laying down false pathways to figure out the who did it – but at the same time, I was totally blind-sided by the result. Even reflecting now, I didn’t see any clues that would have tied the mystery back to the person who did it. That was a bit, I don’t know…I like mysteries where I can actually try and guess who it was, not be completely out of the loop.

The overall ending of the book, also left me with questions – i get that its the first book in a series but it needed some more of a conclusion. But the excerpt from the second book caught my eye and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll probably try it, even though I’m only giving Red 2 stars (normally below my level for continuing a series).

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Review – Just for You – Rosalind James

just for youJust for You
Author: Rosalind James
Series: #.5 in the Escape to New Zealand series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2

Review Copy Provided by Author

Description:
No shirt, no shoes, no … problems?

Hemi Ranapia isn’t looking for love. Fun, yes. Love, not so much. But a summer fishing holiday to laid-back Russell could turn out to be more adventure than this good-time boy ever bargained for.

Reka Harata hasn’t forgotten the disastrously hot rugby star she met a year ago, no matter how much she wishes she could. Too bad Hemi keeps refusing to be left in her past.

Sometimes, especially in New Zealand’s Maori Northland, it really does take a village. And sometimes it just takes a little faith.

Review:
If you are new to Rosalind James or have previously read her books, Just for You works for everyone. Notionally, a prequel to her Escape to New Zealand series, it focuses on Hemi and Reka who are pivotal secondary characters through the other 5 books in the series. So if you have read the series, like me, you are probably looking forward to their story and if you are new to the series, then it is a great place to start.

Just for You was originally a novella that showed up in one of the Amazon box sets, but the author re-released it as a single title a few months after. So it was also a short read, but I will say that the author managed to put a lot of detail and story into a 33k words. This book, much more than previous ones, really highlighted how much the author knows about rugby – at times I felt like I was actually watching the game.

My biggest gripe was the “big misunderstanding” which is personally one of my least favorite tropes in romance. It just bugs me because most of the time, it could be cleared up with a couple of simple questions. While I liked Reka in previous books, this just kind of irked me – maybe because it wasn’t how I thought she’d act based on previous characterization.

Aside from that, my only other complaint is that I wished it was a little bit longer – I really liked Hemi/Reka as a couple and would love to see more of them as they settled into their lives together. I guess all I can hope is that the author will continue to feature them in more books. Overall, I gave Just for You 3.5 stars and look forward to continuing the series.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Random Reads – October

random reads

So I’m coming a little bit late to this for October, since I just found the meme, but I love the idea. I’m always really bad about adding books to my TBR list on Goodreads and then they just sit there, until I clean off the list and move them to some other virtual list. Since I use multiple TBR lists on Goodreads, I’m going to stick with my To-Read-2014 List for this challenge. These are books that I have found randomly intriguing throughout the year – I try to keep it relatively up to date (as compared to my general to-read that has 1200+ books on it).

As of October 16, 2014, this list has 405 books on it – by using random.org and the random number generator set between 1 and 405 – I got 345 which corresponds to Bully – Penelope Douglas. I added this to my to-read shelf in July of this year, so its a relatively new one on the shelf, but I’m hearing lots of people talk about it on Goodreads and Amazon – it seems to be a fairly polarizing book – either you love it or you hate it.

bully

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me anymore.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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