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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Post June 25, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday June 26, 2017.

I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
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.

I had another busy week of catch up at the office. Fortunately I didn't have a repeat of the stomach bug. It's hard to think this is the last week of June!

I enjoyed my reading again this week. I finished two ebooks and one audio book. I posted four reviews, one with giveaway, along with all of my usual memes.

I visited about 27 blogs last week.
Shout out this week is to Read With Katie who gets new books that are almost always new to me.:-)
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • eNGTour- Book Review and Giveaway: Infinity (Horizon) by Tabitha Lord; Space Opera, Genetic Engineering; my rating 4.5. U.S. Only Ending 7/22/2017
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi ; Epic Fantasy; my rating 5.0.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (eNG)

Dear Heart: The Courting Letters
by Judith Pinkerton Josephson (Author), Kirsten Josephson (Illustrator)
This is an easy, sweet read;
received through NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/mp3 (Author tour)

The Zoo at the Edge of the World
Written by: Eric Kahn Gale
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
This is engaging with a different ending. This is from my TBR shelf for "Z".
Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle (NG)

When the English Fall
by David Williams
I really liked this fast paced read;
wish there was more.
Received from the publisher through NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently Reading:
1. Audio/MP3 (ABJ)

Mission Impawsible: Paws & Claws Mystery Series, Book 4
Written by: Krista Davis
Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
I am enjoying this light/cozy mystery.
I received this from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle (NG)

The Elusive Miss Ellison
by Carolyn Miller
I started this and was immediately
caught up by the characters.
I'm happily reading now (25%).
This is from my NetGalley shelf.
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother--who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

3. Audible/MP3 (TBR)

Avenging Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 7
Written by: A. American
Narrated by: Duke Fontaine
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
I am working on my TBR and Alphabet Challenge now with Audibles.
This is a series I like and "A" title.

Publisher's Summary
In Enforcing Home, Morgan and his group suffered some loss. They discovered their old foes weren't gone, as they'd thought. Not only were they not gone, but they were also stronger than before. Morgan would have to deal with this threat while at the same time trying to restore some sort of quality of life to his community.
But this wasn't going to be easy. With the bombing at the market and the wounding of his daughter, Taylor, it became all too clear to Morgan that he was once again in a fight for the lives of those who mattered most to him. Taylor was injured and would need care for some time. It wouldn't be easy. Added to that was the realization that he would have to deal with second-guessing himself. Was it his fault that she was now hurt?
In Avenging Home, we see how this long-running battle between Morgan's people and their number one nemesis plays out. While Morgan thinks this is the biggest threat they face, there are things on the horizon he cannot yet see that are going to dwarf these problems.
Morgan has lived in a vacuum. He's had little information about the outside world. While he's used radios to listen to what he can, there's been precious little real information. But now he's found what he believes to be a reliable source and knows when and where to listen. But is it valid? Or is it simply propaganda? News and information can be powerful tools, but they must always be taken in context to make an educated decision. And the challenge is that there's only one source. When you have to make decisions that mean the difference between life and death, the process becomes even more critical.
So we'll follow Morgan and his tightly knit group as they are once again in the fight. Will they finally defeat the federal thugs in their backyard? And, more importantly, what will be the cost?
©2016 A. American (P)2016 Podium Publishing

4. eBook/Kindle (NG-Tour)

Serenity Harbor: A Heartwarming Small Town Romance
(Haven Point)
by RaeAnne Thayne
I like this author and am
looking forward to reading this.
I received this through NetGalley for review on July 6
as part of Little Bird Publicity Tour.

In the town of Haven Point, love can be just a wish—and one magical kiss—away…
Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he's arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized.
Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he's ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there's room in it for him, too…

June 25, 2017 - I am up to date in the One Year Bible; reading along with my husband and others from our church. I hope to take more time this year, staying on the day and listening to the companion commentary online.

Some of my reading time is going to a Wednesday night study we are doing called Freedom Course.

I completed three books and posted four reviews; this means I have four reviews current and one for later release. I still need to add the children's books at Goodreads and I've been working on getting the reviews linked.
I am down to 9 NetGalley Titles and still 10 author titles in my queue.

This week we uploaded Parrots of the Caribbean children's story at eTreasure's NetGalley page.

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly).  
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I picked up one title at NetGalley and received one print book for tour review.
I bought one Audible Daily Deal and picked up one $.99 Kindle titles.
I also picked up more free kindle titles as usual. (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
I picked up one ebook from the publisher through NetGalley.

Resurrection America
by Jeff Gunhus

This is touted as a fast-paced post apocalyptic story.

I received one print book for tour review July 20, 2017 with Poetic Book Tours:
Poetry and Ponderings
by Diamante Lavendar
"In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault."


I purchased one Audible Daily Deal:
By: Philip K. Dick
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Duration: 7 hrs and 56 mins
I didn't resist this classic sci fi for $2.95.

And I purchased one Kindle title for $.99:
A Place to Call Home: Contemporary Christian Romance
(Front Porch Promises Book 1)
Merrillee Whren

I picked up Week Eight SYNC Audio titles:
THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER AND OTHER STORIES by Terry Pratchett, Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt (HarperAudio)
THE WITCHES: SALEM, 1692 by Stacy Schiff, Narrated by Eliza Foss (Hachette Audio)

Here are five of my Free Kindle Picks: (Three of these may still be free)

From Jennifer Ashley, With Love: 
Three Paranormal Romances from Bestselling Series
Jennifer Ashley, Allyson James

Montana Brides Boxed Set: Books 1-3
Leeanna Morgan

Future City Blues: a tech noir collection
Simon Kewin, Milo James Fowler, Neil Vogler

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat 
(Clockwork Enterprises Book 1)
Nikki McCormack

I added only 42 free Kindle titles to my library this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 25, 2017

We enjoyed a good Sunday School with a ‘reminder’ lesson on the good things that come from adversity, most specifically trusting in God. Sometimes when things are too good we become complacent. Then God may allow adversity to get us moving; to show our victorious life to others. We were reminded that we have no testimony if we have no test. We are called “God’s Children.” Like a mother bird, sometimes, God has to push us out of the nest (comfort zone) so we can learn to fly… always with His guiding hand.

The SS message fit with the Sermon message concluding the series of being Dependent. Today’s sermon scripture was James 5: 7-20.

When pastor was newly out of college he had an older Honda that was beginning to need many repairs. They decided to sell that car and buy a brand-new car that would be reliable. Sadly, they bought a new Plymouth Neon that turned out to be a lemon requiring repairs every month and replacement of the whole engine. His ‘man-made’ plan did not work out.

This is an example of what happens too often to man-made plans. Some people just keep going hoping things will get better. Some people play ostrich and ignore the problem. Some try to fix it themselves and some bring in someone with experience to help. Others become destructive.
What should happen is we should turn to God and pray.

Prayer should be first, not last. But we make excuses about prayer often accepting lies fed by Satan, who wants to keep us away from God. Maybe Satan whispers: “God doesn’t care about your little problem.” Or: “Remember the last time you prayed and nothing really happened did it?”

But when we agree together in prayer, things do happen. Prayer draws us to God, then He responds.
There are lies Satan wants us to believe when we pray:
1. God doesn't hear.
2. God doesn't care.
3. God isn't there.

But God wants us to understand that He is always present with us; just sometimes waiting for us to call on Him. God is the shepherd who will go look for one lost lamb. Isaiah 53:6 says that we have strayed away like sheep.

Whether He's carrying the lost lamb or the sins of the world on the cross, God does hear, He does care and He is always there. What does prayer show? It shows we are trusting in Him. It shows His power. Prayer brings redemption, healing, direction. Prayer brings ministry between people. Prayer brings powerful results. Not power from us, but from God.

I came across this video song that fits today: You Were There.
A Verse for Today:
Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

[There is another video that fits but I won’t include it here due to bad language. But if any of you like rap and don’t mind some language you might check: Phora -God's plan (Lyrics)]

Lord, I pray that I don’t become complacent but that I remember to give You praise each day and pray for guidance each day. Help me keep moving to show others Your Glory.
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #308 Comment Giveaway June 24, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Well our commenters are not ones to read horror - 11 of us do not read horror. 5 of don't read erotica, plus another who doesn't read porn. 3 don't read sci fi-- that surprised me since I have come to love sci fi. At least two don't read vampires and shape shifting. Natalija doesn't like to suspend belief so no paranormals or urban fantasy as well as no sci fi.


The Winner from SBB #307 comments is: #16 Rubynreba who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated (**Finally!) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love and Christmas titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: I did post an Updated ARC and Other books for Giveaways. I have to go back and list the titles -- someday.
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #308
(One Question.)

Nikki asks: Are you the adventurous type when it comes to outdoor activities??
I think I was adventurous when I was younger. I parachuted once, road in a hot air balloon two times, flew in a glider once, and I used to snorkel and scuba dive. I had the chance to para-sail one time and I wish I had. My daughter did a bungee swing - ugh! And of course back in the day I did some mountain hikes -- Appalachian/Blue Ridge (NC), Diamond Head (HI) and Marin County (CA). I was never good at skiing and not so good even at bicycling (just ask my family). These days I do calmer things like tour caverns; fun but not so adventurous.
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This happens to me on a bike, especially going down hill or around curves.
Image found at Bicycle Driving.

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.
COMMENT WINNER for June 2017: Comments submitted by Ada, bn100, Fredamans and Nikki. choose #1 so Ada gets a GC.

Your turn to share. Nikki asks: Are you the adventurous type when it comes to outdoor activities??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Updated ARC and Other books, including the "Love" and Christmas titles all in one post.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday July 1, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Audible Book Review: You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

This is very well written and narrated, and poignant in it's message.
You Will Not Have My Hate
Written by: Antoine Leiris
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson

Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:10-25-16
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Genre: Personal Memoirs
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Number one international best seller
"On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate."
On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris' wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife's killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son's life be defined by Hélène's murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: "For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom." Instantly that short Facebook post caught fire and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism.
Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle. You Will Not Have My Hate is a remarkable, heartbreaking, and indeed beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Hélène's murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: How can I go on? He visits Hélène's body at the morgue, has to tell Melvil that Mommy will not be coming home, and buries the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with.
Leiris' grief is terrible, but his love for his family is indomitable. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris confronts an incomprehensible pain with a humbling generosity and grandeur of spirit. He is a guiding star for us all in these perilous times. His message - hate will be vanquished by love - is eternal.
©2016 Antoine Leiris (P)2016 Penguin Audio


As the blurb states; “Antoine Leiris' wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris” on November 13, 2015. Three days after the event Leiris posted a post to refute the damage of the terrorists by declaring they would not have his hate and would not steal the joy of life from his 17 month old son, Melvil.

This story travels through the immediate reactions of Antoine when he hears of the attack at an event that his wife was attending. He is unable to make contact with his wife and slowly comes to the acknowledgement that she is missing … or worse… killed in the attack. Leiris has to become mother as well as father to their son. He shares the raw emotions of grief and the difficulties dealing with well-meaning sympathies.

I totally appreciated the open sharing and especially the strength exhibited in the sharing. I consider this more a sharing than a story. Although Leiris hoped to write a story for Melvil one day, this debut writing is beautiful, poignant and powerful. It reveals grief, love and the strength and determination to go forward in life. I recommend this to anyone who has suffered a tragedy or wants to understand a life affirming response that can result when faced with such a loss.

Audio Notes: Gildart Jackson does an excellent job narrating this memoir. His soft voice and fitting accent make this a gripping audio experience.

This is from my Audible TBR shelf for "Y" in Alphabet Challenge. This also qualifies for Audiobook and Mount TBR challenges.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Audible Book Review: The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

I enjoyed the plot and the narration on this sci fi.
The Ghost Brigades
Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Series: Old Man's War, Book 2
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-11-08
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Genre: Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.
For the universe is a dangerous place for humanity - and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF's biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF most find out why Boutin did what he did.
Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers - a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, whose brain is uniquely able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given over to the Ghost Brigades.
Jared begins as one of these perfect soldiers, but as memories begin to surface, he begins to intuit the reason's for Boutin's betrayal.
As Jared desperately hunts for his "father", he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: the alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity's mere military defeat.
©2006 John Scalzi; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

Jared Dirac is like all Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) soldiers – created for the sole purpose of protecting humans. The CDF are advanced special forces created using the DNA of dead humans. They are trained to do the most dangerous missions. Their humanoid bodies are enhanced with special computerized and integrated brain pals that help them process faster and connect each member of the team to the others.

But Jared has something special – he has the cloned brain of Charles Boutin. Boutin was the military scientific genius who perfected the genetic engineering for the integrated brain pal system. He is believed to be dead until Lt. Jane Sagan of the Ghost Brigades discovers that he faked his death and is working with two alien worlds to begin a war against the CDF with plans that would wipe out the human race.

Jared was created using the rogue scientist’s cloned brain in hopes that he could lead the CDF to the traitor, or at least reveal the motive or intentions of Boutin. Jared does not exhibit any knowledge of Boutin when he first awakens. Still Sagan doesn’t trust him and doesn’t want him on her elite team. But a former enemy, now turned friend (sort of) reminds her that sometimes it is best to keep your enemies close.

Jared successfully works with the team for months through several dangerous missions until a trigger sends his mind into a flash back of his daughter. What? His daughter? He never had a daughter. Slowly Jared begins to recall some memories of Boutin. The strongest of those memories include the love for his young daughter and the hate for his commanding officer. Jared needs to determine where the hate comes from and where that anger has led Boutin.

Jared finally comes face to face with Boutin who plans to use Jared as part of his revenge. Some consider the CDF soldiers to be slaves to their creators. They have few opportunities to make real choices. Now Jared is torn between two mind streams – the protective directive of his programming as Jared Darek and the vengeful goals of his DNA based brain. Will he have a choice when matters come to a head?

Initially I was disappointed that this second book did not include John Perry, the protagonist of the first book, Old Man’s War (OMW). I was glad to find Jane Sagan as a returning character. She and the Ghost Brigades connected to the two stories. I came to really like Jared and the author manages to give him strong emotions that are not common to all CDF soldiers. I was rooting for him to realize his uniqueness rather than get swallowed by Boutin’s personality. I enjoyed the twist at the resolution of the threat and look forward to more adventures in the world of OMW. I recommend this series to those who like human characters in their sci fi action stories. Although this could be read as a standalone I liked knowing the background from the OMW.

Audio Notes: William Dufris is a wonderful narrator. He makes the characters come alive, each with their own voice and personality. I really enjoy this series on audio and plan to listen to more.

This title is from my TBR shelf. It qualifies for my 2017 Audio Book Challenge, Mount TBR and "G" on Alphabet Soup Challenge.


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