Contact email: mesreads AT gmail.com
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway March 31, 2017

Happy Friday!
I've had another long week and am surprised that this first quarter has flown by.
All book wins have been pulled and will go out in the next few days. I had planned on them being mailed last week but that didn't happen with staff out for spring break.
Also, I have tabulated the Gift Card wins and will be sending those this weekend. Thanks everyone for being patient!

Our weather is pretty nice while I worry about family in north Texas in that tornado alley. I hope all blog friends and family here in the states, and 'downunder' too, are staying save.

TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK

US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the March 24 Pick. There were one automatic win this week (finally). Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were TWO titles blocked again this week but one was won (finally!).
The book chosen for four weeks is no longer on the list. I will email the winner and see about a substitute.

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from March 24 Pick:
RUBYNREBA gets In Plain Sight
and
RITA gets Scandalous Love. through the block

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}

Image result for April Fools and Books
I really liked this image for (almost) April 1!
Image was found at Story Time with Ms. Becky.

New Book Group #71 March 10, 2017
Mysteries and Thrillers
PAIR:
Matthew Reilly: Temple and Area 7
SINGLES:
Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George
‘E’ is for Evidence by Sue Grafton
In Plain Sight by C.J. Box
Keepers by Gary A. Braunbeck
Lullaby and Goodnight by Wendy Corsi Staub
One Dark Night by Kevin F. McMurray
Rattlesnake Crossing by J.A. Jance
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
The Silenced by Heather Graham
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig Albert
Total Exposure by Tori Carrington
There Was A Little Girl by Ed McBain (Audio Cassettes)
The Old Silent by Martha Grimes (Audio Cassettes)


New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
PAIRS:
Betty Neels: The Girl With Green Eyes and the Damsel in Green
Linda Howard: The Touch of Fire and Loving Forever
SINGLES:
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke by Jillian Hunter
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Love Letters From a Duke (The Bachelor Chronicles Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small
Only With Your Love (Vallerands Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas
Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux
Valentine by Jane Feather
A Visit From Sir Nicholas (Effington Family Book 9) by Victoria Alexander
Winter Fire by Jo Beverly


New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins
All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016

SINGLE:
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Critical by Robin Cook


New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
SINGLES:
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
The Champion by Heather Grothaus


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette

New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015

SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,047+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

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

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

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review: Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick

A bit repetitive in the middle but the ending on this pulls it together.
Xenogeneic: First Contact
by Lance Erlick
File Size: 3728 KB
Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books (March 8, 2017)
ASIN: B01N5Y82JY
Genre: Sci Fi, Alien First Contact
My Rating: 3.75 of 5.0


Xenogeneic: First Contact is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.
Dr. Elena Pyetrov's father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.
The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth's neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home--Earth. Unable to live in Earth's toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.
Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.
While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.


Review:
Elena has spent her life preparing to follow her father into space. She’s broken off with her fiancé, Marc, a marine who seeks just a bit too much control over her decisions. Elena’s scheduled space trip is almost cancelled by political opposition. She gets surprising clearance at the last minute only to arrive on ship to find Marc and a few other rejected candidates have been swapped with the approved crew.

The shuttle never makes it to the moon landing but veers off course at a speed that has no explanation. The shuttle crashes on a planet that is supposed to be Europa – the original destination. Elena, Marc and another crew member find themselves healed of injuries and transported to a strange cave. As they explore the lush ‘paradise’ cave, Elena stumbles upon a home like her childhood home. There she is shocked to find her father and a thirteen-year-old, half sister, Thelma. Thelma appears to be autistic, speaking only in rhymes and suffering from seizures.

More of the shuttle crew and passengers begin to appear and some of them quickly exhibit disturbing behaviors. Elena learns that she and her shipmates have been imprisoned by an alien race, the Knooks. This race rewards the women, with supplies and survival, if they become pregnant. Numerous human groups have formed competitive clans. The men tend to attack other clans, killing the males and raiding for women. Elena fights against this primitive mentally, seeking a peaceable alliance and trying to negotiate with the Knooks.

Much of the middle of the book is spent on brutal clan battles and Elena’s attempts to learn the secrets, intentions and methods of the aliens. Elena does learn that the technology of the Knooks is superior to humans and that the female race plans to take over earth as soon as they can raise their mutated children.

The Knooks are basically all powerful and controlling. It is frustratingly unclear why they allow Elena to move about as freely as she does without punishment. The coyote images of Elena’s half Navaho heritage, are continually hinting that the situation is not all it appears to be. It is well into the book before it becomes clear that Elena is being used -- for some purpose or another.

The last 25% of the story finally moves forward with hopeful (rather than hopeless) action and some surprising twists. I am glad I chose to read to the end as it brings sense to the rest. The writing is a little choppy – as if written for a younger audience (as in the tech/text generation). The middle seems to bog in repetitive and almost hopeless scenes. The characters are not strongly endearing until the end. I do encourage pushing through to the action and suspense near the end, which I enjoyed. Fans of alien First Contact sci fi might want to give this a try.

I received this ebook, for an honest review, through iReads Book Tours. Enjoy the Author Guest Post/character interview and check out the Giveaway at this LINK.

Lance Erlick Guest Post, Book Spotlight and Tour Giveaway

Please see my review post HERE.

AUTHOR GUEST POST:

INTERVIEW WITH ELENA PYETROV
Where are you from? Tell us a little about your family.
My parents were very much the odd couple. My mom was Navajo. My father immigrated to the United States as a boy from Eastern Europe. They met in college and fell in love, which caused my mother’s family to disown her. In return, she turned her back on her culture, depriving me of my heritage, though to be honest, I was more interested as a child in my father’s stories about space. After winning my mom’s hand in marriage, my father was accepted to the astronaut program, which involved us moving and him being absent in training or on missions. He finally got what he really wanted, a trip out to Jupiter to explore. That’s where he disappeared, eighteen years ago. His ship vanished with no further communication.
How did that make you feel?
His mission caused him to miss my sixteenth birthday, for which I cursed him. Then my brother Leo committed suicide and my mom died shortly afterwards of a broken heart. I was full of anger over my father abandoning us. Yet somehow he’d gotten under my skin to the point I had to go into space myself, to see what he saw. I guess on some level I thought it would bring me closure and help me move past looking up to him and then losing him. We didn’t even have a body to bury. Now I’m left with regrets that I’d run off his last night on Earth. I wanted to punish him and ended up punishing myself.
Is that why you’re so obsessed, some would say, to venture out to Jupiter?
Obsessed? I’ve heard that many times from those who don’t think we should explore. My father and I used to play this game about first contact with an alien species. How would we be able to communicate? What would be our basis for working together cooperatively as opposed to how humans often react with suspicion when confronted with strangers? Actually, my goal is Europa, the water moon of Jupiter. We’ve speculated for some time that there could be life or the precursors of life beneath or even in the ice sheets. Even if what we find is a primitive life form, it would be a giant step toward exploring the questions my father used to ask. Humans are a curious species. We have a need to know. I certainly do, and not just because of my dad. He opened worlds for me to explore. What really is out there and what can we learn from what we find?
So what did you find on your journey to the outer solar system?
I wouldn’t want to give away too much of the story, but let’s just say we didn’t land where I expected, we didn’t find what we were looking for, but it was vitally important that we found what we did before it was too late for the human race.


Xenogeneic: First Contact
by Lance Erlick

Book Description:
Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.

Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.

The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.

Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.

While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

Author's Bio:
Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series--Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contactabout encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.


Connect with the Author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest 
Tour Participation Available HERE.

Giveaway:
Win a copy of Xenogeneic: First Contact. One person will also receive a $25 Amazon gift card (print open to USA and ebook for int’l) 2 winners total
Ends April 15
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Audio Book Review: The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

This is a fascinating dystopian with strong characters and plot.
The Fifth Sacred Thing
Written by: Starhawk
Narrated by: Maya Lilly
Length: 21 hrs and 52 mins
Release Date:08-29-16
Publisher: Maya Lilly
Genre: Sci Fi, Dystopian, Environmentalism
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
One act of courage can change the world.
The year is 2048. Climate change and bio-warfare have ravaged much of the Earth, and societal meltdown has splintered the US into fragments. But out of the ruins, Northern California has built a thriving culture based on respect for the four sacred things: air, fire, water and earth.
The Fifth Sacred Thing is an epic tale of freedom and slavery, love and war, and the potential futures of humankind. It tells of a 21st century California clan caught between two clashing worlds: one based on tolerance, the other on repression. It is both a love story between two people and a war story between two opposing ideals.
©1993, 1994 Miriam Simos (P)2016 Miriam Simos


Review:
Madron is a young healer who lives in a future San Francisco that has become an isolated, utopian society in a broken world. Madron lives with her friends and lovers in a multifamily home. Their matriarchal head is Maya, who is nearing 100 years. Maya is of Native American ancestry and has shared her history and stories of the past. She is one of the elders who choose to pattern their community on peace and respect.

Their community thrives as they care for and share the four sacred things: air, fire, water and earth. The people all share in the work; there is no racial division, no crime and no poverty. Some have more than others – not much – but all have enough. No one goes hungry or in need as friends and neighbors help whenever a need exists.

But the communities beyond them are a threat to their way of life. Maya’s grandson, Bird, who was Madron’s first love, left the community at age 19. He and several others determined they must stop the power plant that was leaking radiation and poisoning the lands. It has been ten years since anyone has had word about that group of young rebels. Madron moved on to other lovers but Maya is convinced that Bird is still alive. Madron and others use special “witch” or magic powers in their healing arts. Madron is battling a new virus in the city that she believes was introduced by their enemy neighbors, the Stewards.

The Stewards are the corporation communities who have taken over surrounding cities. The Stewards are controlled by the few wealthy elites who use everyone else in a slave society. They subject women to breeding pens where the children are removed to be raised, trained and mind conditioned for the Steward’s army.

The author moves from Maya and Modron to Bird’s dire situation in prison. Another prisoner helps to shake Bird from his drug induced memory loss. They escape and Bird meets other resisters as he makes his way back home. People are thrilled at his return but are soon distressed by his news that the Steward Army will soon be coming to take over their city. The city council, with a voice for everyone, must decide if they will arm themselves for the fight or find another way to face the enemy.

The author created a fascinating future world with divided communities showing a spectrum from the best situation of sharing to the worst, brutally and chemically controlled polarized situation. In between there are pockets of struggling rebels and “monsters” (disfigured outcasts).

Soon after I began listening, I knew that this story presented a world that I might not be totally comfortable with. Although I believe in spiritual healing, I do not tie that into magic and mysticism. Maya and Modron’s family relationships are very near a ‘coven’ though not necessarily declared “witches”. Their free spirited, sexual openness contrasts sharply with the other communities which are portrayed as sexist, racist and repressive.

It is interesting that this was written back in the 1990s. The writing flows as the author portrays the situations and characters with rich detail. Starhawk created very engaging characters and plausible situations based on our society’s divisions. I wanted to follow the characters struggles to see how they faced the greatest challenge. I loved their special defenses and am glad that I selected this book to review.

Audio Notes: Maya Lilly does a superb job with the narration. The voices are varied with the characters and she even sings beautifully, sharing and enhancing the characters. The narration enriched this story and I highly recommend listening to this unique story.

I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.

This is a good video, from the author’s website, that gives a synopsis of the story:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Post March 26, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday March 27, 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.

This was another rather crazy week but worked pretty good. I have some good file work going on..
We had rain today but we are expected 80 degree days this week.
I just keep praying for the many areas of distress in the states and around the world.

Reading was enjoyable as I finished four titles (only one on review deadline). I finished one ebooks and one audio for review and two audios from TBR. I posted two reviews plus I posted all of my usual memes.

I continue to enjoy my brief blog visiting to 25+ blogs again last week.
Blog shout out: This is a blog acquaintance of several years - she does a book review everyday! PussReboots.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Feature and Tour Giveaway: Ashes by Steven Manchester. Giveaway Copies of book, ending 4/23/17.
  • ET (Providence Book Promotions)- Book Review: Ashes by Steven Manchester; Fiction, Family Drama; my rating 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Providence Book Promotions)


Ashes
by Steven Manchester
This is well done, interesting family drama.
I received this from Providence Book Promotions.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio (ABJ)


The Fifth Sacred Thing
Written by: Starhawk
Narrated by: Maya Lilly
This is a fascinating story.
I received this audio book from the publisher
through Audiobook Jukebox
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audio (TBR)
Excerpts from The Encyclopaedia Britannica Audiobook


Excerpts from The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Eleventh Edition
Written by: Various
Narrated by: full cast
This was a fun, quick listen from my Audible TBR shelves (2016).
Publisher's Summary
Prepare yourself for the ultimate multicast performance. We've gathered many of Audible's most popular narrators to bring to life some of the most extraordinary words ever written. 19 words, in fact, carefully selected and arranged alphabetically as in their original source: the 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. We created this enlightening journey from AUDIENCE to LITERATURE because you asked for it. You said you could listen to your favorite narrators read the phone book, bookcase assembly instructions, or a restaurant menu. With this production we've proven that a truly talented narrator can, in fact, take any work and make it extraordinary. Enjoy!



4. Audio (TBR)
We Like You so Much and Want to Know You Better Audiobook


We Like You so Much and Want to Know You Better
Written by: Dave Eggers
Narrated by: Dion Graham
This is an engaging brief introduction to The Circle. from my Audible TBR shelves (2013).
Publisher's Summary
A million people, a billion, wanted to be where Mae was at this moment, entering this atrium, 30 feet high and shot through with California light, on her first day working for the only company that really mattered at all.
A story from The New York Times Magazine, adapted from The Circle, a new novel by Dave Eggers.
Listen to the rest of The Circle and listen to more from The New York Times.
©2013 The New York Times Company (P)2013 The New York Times Company




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (iReads Book Tours)


Xenogeneic: First Contact
by Lance Erlick
This jumps into action and danger.
Reviewing for iReads Book Tours with Author Guest Post on March 30, 2017.
Xenogeneic: First Contact is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio (ABJ)


The Hollow Hills: The Arthurian Saga, Book 2
Written by: Mary Stewart
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
This is a book I read back in the 70s! 

I am loving the audio so far.
I received this audio book from the publisher

through Audiobook Jukebox
Publisher's Summary
The spellbinding, suspenseful story of how Merlin, the Enchanter, helped Arthur become the king of all Britain - a magnificent novel set in a time when no life is safe, no law stable.
Keeping watch over the young Arthur Pendragon, the prince and prophet Merlin Ambrosius is haunted by dreams of the magical sword Caliburn, which has been hidden for centuries. When Uther Pendragon is killed in battle, the time of destiny is at hand, and Arthur must claim the fabled sword to become the true High King of Britain.
The prophetic voice of Merlin communicates not only the bristling atmosphere of the story's ancient setting, but also its profound relevance to our own time. Once again, as she did in her best-selling The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart provides a glowing recreation of pre-Camelot England.
©2016 Mary Stewart (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.



3. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Codename Lazarus: The Spy Who Came Back From The Dead
by A.P. Martin
This looks like a good spy story.
I received this through NetGalley.
Spring 1938 and Great Britain is facing potentially lethal threats: the looming war with Germany; the fear that her Secret Service has been penetrated by Nazi agents and the existence of hundreds of British citizens, who are keen to pass information to her enemies.
John King, a young academic, is approached by his Oxbridge mentor to participate in a stunning deception that would frustrate Britain’s enemies. As King struggles to come to terms with the demands of his mission, he must learn to survive in a dangerous and lonely ‘no man's land’, whilst remaining one step ahead of those in hot pursuit.
Adapted from a true story, ‘Codename Lazarus’ takes the reader on a journey from the dark heart of Hitler’s Germany, across the snowy peaks of Switzerland to the horrors of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the London Blitz, before reaching a thrilling and decisive conclusion, from which none of those present emerges unscathed.


March 26, 2017 - I am up to date with 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.

I completed four new books and posted two reviews; this will mean I have three reviews for this week plus the scheduled tour review.
I have 14 NetGalley Titles remaining and 10+ author titles in my queue.


We're working on a new poetry collection that should be on NetGalley this week. 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 didn't receive any review books this week.
I did purchase two Audible daily deals.
I didn't purchase any ebooks again this week!
I picked up a good number of free kindle titles again. (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
NONE


Won
NONE

Purchased
I bought two Daily Deals at Audible:

The Life She Wants
• By: Robyn Carr
• Narrator: Therese Plummer
• Duration: 11 hrs and 26 mins
(Daily Deal $3.95) I figured this was worth the price for a reliable author/narrator team.



Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories
• By: Rudyard Kipling
• Narrator: Bill Bailey , Richard E. Grant , Colin Salmon , Tim McInnerny , Bernard Cribbins , Celia Imrie , Martin Shaw
• Duration: 2 hrs and 32 mins
(Daily Deal $.99) I thought this would be good to share with the grandchildren.


Free

I added only 58 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 March 26, 2017

An elder brother, retired pastor, spoke to us again in Sunday School. Although he noted the distress in the world today, he encouraged us to be like Paul, pressing on toward the goal for the prize. Philippians 3:13-14. He inspired us by his resolute faith in God’s control of affairs.

Pastor continued the DNA Who We Are series.
Recapping:
Week 1. We must always be advancing the Gospel to win the world to Christ.
Week 2: We must have discipleship with movement that leads to greater commitment and life change.
This week- 3: We must have fellowship that builds belonging.

When we face new settings we often feel like strangers. Everyone else knows each other, but you are the stranger. The existing group has a closeness accompanied by openness. We want that family feel. A strong church will have a fellowship culture that is accepting; not a culture that judges spirituality.

Fellowship is defined: The communion or common faith, experiences and expressions shared by the family of believers, as well as the intimate relationship they have with God.

The church community needs time to meet face to face. There, fellowship can build trust; build belonging. Believers are all one in Christ. Galatians 3:26-29.

Fellowship breaks down the walls that our culture has put up. Shared faith in Christ breaks down those walls. There is only one significant barrier that remains - shared faith. Jesus came to divide- believers and unbelievers. We share the joy of fellowship. 1 John 1:3-7.

Point: Fellowship builds belonging. Belonging built on faith in Jesus and relationship within the church.

Fellowship is not an event, like a potluck supper, but a way of life. It should be revealed in the lives of believers. 2 Corinthians 3:2. It should result in “hearts tender and compassionate” as we live in Unity. Philippians 2:1-4.

Fellowship is intentional. Trust requires mutual vulnerability. Healthy churches have a commitment to fellowship. This is part of body ministry. A Church that welcomes and unifies family, not allowing division.

This is an old favorite song which I think fits what the church legacy should be
 – And fits the SS and Sermon messages.
Verses for Today:
Philippians 2:1-4 NLT
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Lord, help me to be committed to fellowship, sharing your love to further your kingdom.

Related image

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #296 Comment Giveaway March 25, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

Ten of us like or expect to see some growth in the characters of the stories we read. The others feel it depends or don't look for much growth as the characters are defined by a set time and set role.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #295 comments is: #8 Mystica who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated **Old (and soon to be updated) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: AARGH - another crazy week, helping with my son's project and forgetting to pull books for new lists. I have to put it on my calendar or it won't happen. Guess I got lucky another international winner was picked this week.
Thanks for being patient with me!
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #296
(One Question.)
Rosebud asks: Books by what author are instant buys for you??
I used to have instant buys and authors whose books I would hunt down for my collections. Not so much anymore but I can think of several that fit this category sort of -- it isn't quite instant - I wait till my Audible credits renew if I have too: New books in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs; the Destroyermen Series by Taylor Anderson; the Monster Hunter International series by Larry Correia; S.K. Dunstall (currently reading the Confluence series) and old time favorite Mary Balogh.
Image found at Race and Technology.

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.
Questions for March were contributed by: Marjorie, Elizabeth, Becky and Rosebud. Random.org chose 1 so Marjorie gets a GC.

Your turn to share: Rosebud asks: Books by what author are instant buys for you??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. 2-4-17: I FINALLY have some new "Love" and Christmas titles! I hope to get the picture posted later this week.

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 April 1, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway March 24, 2017

Happy Friday!
This week I have spent time each night formatting a course to help my son study. It's been time consuming but rewarding to help him. :-)
My office work was busy and mostly productive. I question the practice of having staff take off for spring break!

I sure hope the weather is settling down to a nice spring for everyone (or fall for the other side of the world.)

TO ENTER FRIDAY PICK

US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the March 17 Pick. There were no automatic wins again this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were TWO titles blocked again this week.

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from March 17 Pick:
ELIZABETH gets Mistletoe Marriage
and
MARYP gets a GC.

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}

I found this and plan to share with my granddaughters 
who have been stuck in the office all week!
Image was found at Growing Book By Book.

New Book Group #71 March 10, 2017
Mysteries and Thrillers
PAIR:
Matthew Reilly: Temple and Area 7
SINGLES:
Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George
‘E’ is for Evidence by Sue Grafton
In Plain Sight by C.J. Box
Keepers by Gary A. Braunbeck
Lullaby and Goodnight by Wendy Corsi Staub
One Dark Night by Kevin F. McMurray
Rattlesnake Crossing by J.A. Jance
The Cat Who Sang for the Birds by Lillian Jackson Braun
The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
The Silenced by Heather Graham
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig Albert
Total Exposure by Tori Carrington
There Was A Little Girl by Ed McBain (Audio Cassettes)
The Old Silent by Martha Grimes (Audio Cassettes)


New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
PAIRS:
Betty Neels: The Girl With Green Eyes and the Damsel in Green
Linda Howard: The Touch of Fire and Loving Forever
SINGLES:
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke by Jillian Hunter
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Love Letters From a Duke (The Bachelor Chronicles Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small
Only With Your Love (Vallerands Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas
Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux
Valentine by Jane Feather
A Visit From Sir Nicholas (Effington Family Book 9) by Victoria Alexander
Winter Fire by Jo Beverly


New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins
All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016

SINGLE:
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Critical by Robin Cook


New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
SINGLES:
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
The Champion by Heather Grothaus


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette

New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015

SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,047+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

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

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

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: Ashes by Steven Manchester

This is a fascinating view of family issues and, more importantly, life choices.
Ashes
by Steven Manchester
File Size: 5134 KB
Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books (February 21, 2017)
ASIN: B01NBWB1FT
Genre: Family Issues
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Please see the Book Feature and Giveaway Post for more information about the author and a chance to win this book.


Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other's company. It's either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he's left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.
At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, ASHES puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2017 LOS ANGELES BOOK FESTIVAL
WINNER, GENERAL FICTION, GREAT NORTHWEST BOOK FESTIVAL


Review:
Jason and Tom Prendergast are brothers who don’t see that they have much in common except an abusive father whom they both consider an SOB. Their father, who raised the boys, has died and left a letter for them that they can only claim if they join together to take his ashes across country. They must provide picture proof to the attorney to be entitled to open the letter. Both men are reluctant as they are middle aged men who have been estranged for years – once by a childhood betrayal which was compounded by an adult betrayal. Yet their curiosity compels them to proceed.

Jason is a tough prison guard who takes no guff from anyone. Tom is a college professor who appears to have a meek, passive-aggressive nature. Although neither brother is initially very likeable, the author uses the road trip to reveal the depths of the characters, their emotional barriers and vulnerabilities; their dreams and disappointments in life. The men have matured through different career paths but they discover that each has strengths the other doesn’t have and they have a common tie in their love and caring for their children.

Family drama is not my usual book selection. (As a former divorce attorney, I have seen my fair share of dysfunctional families.) I selected this story for review because I was curious to see how the author dealt with the theme. Kudos to Steven Manchester as he made this drama engaging and relatable.

I was impressed how Mr. Manchester slowly showed the brothers their common core and their unique strengths. I was fascinated by the many issues that were subtly addressed through the journey: police profiling, truckers, child custody, volunteering to help others, relational religion versus liturgical religion, the meaning of honor in life and the most important legacies of life.

There is a good bit of gritty language and a few crude scenes – both not my favorite reading. On the other hand, there is wonderful phrasing and an excellent portrayal of lives that may hit close to home for many. I’m not sure if it is too much of a spoiler but I feel compelled to share one lesson that I loved that was expressed in this story. The brothers discover, as they share their memories and current situations, that we make the choices how to live our lives despite our parents, spouses or careers. We can choose to do right or wrong and we can choose to be angry and bitter or move on and find our own happiness.

I like that the characters surprised me at times. The end of the journey and its aftermath have an emotional surprise and impact. I recommend this to readers who do enjoy family drama and especially to readers who might have estranged family members. This story provides a perspective that is worth reading.

I received this from the author and Providence Book Promotions in December 2016. It qualifies for 2017 NetGalley, Mount TBR and “A” in 2017 Alphabet Soup Challenges.

Another book I enjoyed by Mr. Manchester: The Thursday Night Club: A Tale of Christmas Spirit.

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