Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Bookish Things



Thanks to Stephanie of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)



Here is a smattering of the books I picked up for my Kindle last week.  Covers are linked to GoodReads w/the exception of Danny Iny's book, which is linked to Amazon.  (Links have no affiliate status):





Crete: A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope.

Aridela: Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls.

The north wind brings a swift ship and two brothers who plot Crete's overthrow. Desire for this woman will propel their long rivalry into hatred so murderous it hurtles all three into an unimaginable future, and sparks the immortal rage of the Erinyes.

A woman of keen instinct and unshakeable loyalty. A proud warrior prince and his wounded half-brother. Glory, passion, treachery and conspiracy on the grandest scale.



Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams - #review

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (June 28, 2016)

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the roaring twenties brilliantly to life in an enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York society.

Thursday Bookish Things


Thanks to Tina at Mommynificent and Katherine at Katherine's Corner for hosting these wonderful link-ups!  Click on the buttons to see the other participants and link-up!

TT&HH is a meme hosted by Lexxie at (un)Conventional Book Reviews.  All y'all readers out there are welcome to share a food or drink related quote from a book you are reading or have read.  Click the button above to get the full details and to link up your post(s)!



The bomber’s latest threat has thrown the Crisis Management Unit into chaos! As Lara Grant struggles to hold her fractured team together, she discovers a possible connection between this case and her own past--something she can’t reveal to anyone, especially now. Because when the bomber’s next target chooses to keep his secret, terror turns to an intimate form of torture, and anyone’s past can be used against them...


Thirsty Thursday

at approximately 76%...

"Xander was cussing out the coffeemaker a few minutes ago, Ty is on his way, Mercer is in Victoria's office and Nick is talking to Christina," she answered.  "And, by the way, I don't think she has gone home at all."
James dropped his bag at his desk and yawned.  "I'm going to go help my partner curse the coffee machine," he said, already walking away.
Jennifer grabbed her coffee cup.  She took a swallow before nodding her head toward Victoria's office.
"Mercer was here when I got in and told me to keep pursuing our list from BrainWave."  She sighed.  "It's a beast.  But I guess I shouldn't complain.  Without it we might have anything to go on."
"Don't worry, we can still complain," Lara said.  "Just quietly.  Or you know, at the coffeemaker."

Booknificent Thursday & Thursday Favorite Things

So far, I am really enjoying this series!  They call it a 'serial novel'.  It's one story told in 8 parts.  As opposed to a novel series, where there are separate stories linked usually by the MC; in Tough Justice: Countdown 2.3, it's all one case for the CMU (Crisis Management Unit) of the FBI.  A serial bomber is blackmailing the city's power players.  They go public with their past misdeeds, or he will set off a bomb.  (So far, three people have declined to go along, and 3 bombs have been set off, killing dozens of innocent people.)

The parts are nice bite-sized sections of the overall story.
The end of each installment leaves you hungry for more.

Fans of, say, Tom Clancy or John Le Carre (to name but two), will love this serial novel!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday Books and Other Things

Thanks to The Purple Princess for hosting Teaser Tuesday at her blog, The Purple Booker.  Thanks to Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea for hosting FCFP.

Thanks to Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me for hosting this link-up!  (Actually, it's hosted on a baker's dozen or so of blogs, so I guess I'll have to rotate where the link goes each week.  That's actually a 'note to self' because sure as shootin' I'll forget.


This book (or series?) is rather interesting.  They call it a 'serial novel', published in eight novella length installments, and written by a total of 4 different authors!  Both quotes are from part 1.)


FBI Special Agent Lara Grant thought that she'd put her past behind her--finally--with her last case. But now a serial bomber is targeting Manhattan's elite power players, offering them a choice between saving hundreds of lives or seeing their darkest secrets exposed. Lara is working with the Crisis Management Unit to stop the bomber, but how will she react when she's the one who has to choose between truth...or death? 

As the clock ticks down, Lara braces for another confrontation with evil. And no matter what, she'll make sure her enemy's first mistake is also his last...


(***FYI - the book quotes contain two mild instances of 'adult language'.  If this may offend you, please skip directly to the bottom for the 'Tuesday Talk' section.  In movie rating speak, it would probably get a PG or PG13.)  


from ~location 604 on the Kindle:

He left the bathroom and noticed that her spare bedroom door was cracked open a bit.  He'd never been in there and had assumed she either used it as a workout room or a home office.  The door had always been completely closed before.  
Curious, he shoved the door open a little farther and then froze.
What in the hell?
His heart dropped to the floor as he stared around the room in disbelief....



From the prologue:

Dammit, he'd been so careful.  And now this.
I know what you did with all that money.  I'll keep your secret but it will cost the lives of innocent people.  Or confess to the press and nobody gets hurt.  The choice is yours.  You have until noon tomorrow.



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Bookish Post - Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell


Thanks to Tina at Mommynificent and Katherine at Katherine's Corner for hosting these wonderful link-ups!  Click on the buttons to see the other participants and link-up!

TT&HH is a meme hosted by Lexxie at (un)Conventional Book Reviews.  All y'all readers out there are welcome to share a food or drink related quote from a book you are reading or have read.  Click the button above to get the full details and to link up your post(s)!





After the events of Blood Money, CIA case officer Bai Hsu is assigned to a high-security private school for what he’s told is an easy assignment. Just a few months after he arrives, a hostile operative with ties to North Korea tries to break in to a school event, with motives unknown.

As his investigation progresses, he unravels a plot that, if not stopped, will result in the untimely and murderous deaths of tens of millions of people. In order to stop the attack, Bai must recruit the one person he absolutely cannot trust in order to break into one of the most isolated, dangerous countries in the world.

Bai Tide is Bai’s greatest challenge yet. A mission that will take him from the windswept beaches of San Diego to a whiteout blizzard in the foothills of Pyongyang, and make him question everything he thought he knew about working in the field…and about himself.

Note:  I just finished reading Bai Tide and will review it on the blog as part of a TLC virtual book tour on February 6, 2017!



The following quote from Bai Tide shows why even well trained spy types sometimes have trouble when they conduct operations in hostile territory.  It also describes two characters' breakfasts ... someplace that will probably never show up on Michelin's radar.

"She'd already thrown a few handfuls of oats into the trough by the time I joined her, neither of us feeling the need to speak as we worked to chew our breakfast.  We washed our oats down with cautious sips of frigid water until our stomachs registered they'd had enough.  Cindy draped a tattered saddle blanket from a dark corner of the barn around her shoulders, and we set off through the snow again, grateful to have slipped away before the villagers found us."



I'm also shelf-deep in the

so if you want to party with 68 other readers around the world at any point in the next 10 days, head on over (click the button) and sign-up!  There are no goals or levels that you do not set for yourself, just sharing the reading vibe goodness!



Did you come here specifically for one of the memes?  Which one?

Are we friends on GoodReads?  If not, would you like to be? :O)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell - #review

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene in Cambridge, Massachusetts when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer genius niece Lucy. But how can it be? It’s clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost twenty years ago.

As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece, whom she has loved and raised like a daughter. That film clip and then others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn. She doesn’t know whom she can tell—not her FBI husband Benton Wesley or her investigative partner Pete Marino. Not even Lucy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My #WintersRespite Readathon Sign-up/Goal Post

So, winter is about 1/3 gone and, yeah, I'm ready for some respite.  In swoops Michelle at Seasons of Reading Blog (chock full of bookish challenge and readathon goodness) to provide just that.

It's pretty laid back (think curling up in front of a fire with a comfy quilt and a nice mug of hot chocolate) and a turning the pages of a 'book book' or lots of swiping with your reading finger! *lol*

If you want to challenge yourself to read more than you did last year, go for it!  If you don't have a lot of time for sitting down and reading, one book can make a successful readathon for you!  (Audio books are supposed to be good for those with busy schedules as well ... but I don't listen to many of those.)

So anyway...

1.  Finish up 3 of the books listed on my "currently reading shelf" on GoodReads:

  • Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell - Asian American 'company' man tries to foil plots kidnap a young Asian woman who just happens to be a brilliant nuclear physicist and one the could cause the death of tens of millions of people.  About half-way through.  Enjoying so far!
  • Altdorf: The Forest Knights #1by J.K. Swift -   I chose this book in the first place for the European Reading Challenge and also because it takes place in 13th/14th century Switzerland - where my mother was born.
  • Hound of the Sea by Garrett McNamara - radical surfing memoir.  Received for a book tour.


  • write/post review of Bai Tide.  (cannot post until Feb 6th - is on a book tour)
  • write/post review of Altdorf
  • write/post review of Hound of the Sea

Now, I know that is not really a reading goal, but if I let things pile up too much, between finishing a book and writing the review ... let's just say it gets messy in my head! *lol*  It's like doing dishes after every meal.  It does nothing for your nutrition, but if you don't, they turn into a big stinky pile in your kitchen sink!

3.  spend today (Tuesday, 17 January, 2017) going through my various challenges, etc, and make a 'lineup' for the rest of the read-a-thon and the month.  I don't expect to be reading all of this, it's just my next read from each of my reading challenges more or less.

a.  When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna
b.  A Death by Any Other Name by Tessa Arlen
c.  Tough Justice: Takedown (#1-8) by Cassidy, Snell and Curtis
d.  Gateway to Nifleheim by Glenn G. Thater
e.  A Dead Red Oleander by R.P. Dahlke
f.  Every Trick in the Rook by Marty Wingate
g.  The Jakarta Pandemic by Steve Konkoly
h.  The Year God's Daughter by Rebecca Lochlann
i.  Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
j.  No Ifs, Ands or Bears About it by Celia Kyle
k.  Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers

4.  Finish one reading challenge.  (Actually, the European Reading Challenge is a good candidate for this goal, as I signed up for 3 books - from three different European countries.)  And Altdorf represents my 2nd book for that challenge.

(When I finish The Year God's Daughter (above) I will have finished my commitment to the European Reading Challenge!)

5.  Read at least 2 books for the COYER challenge.

6.  Visit 3 other #WintersRespite blogs each day (starting today).

That's probably enough goals for now.  Once I really get underway, I'll see how things are going and adjust as necessary.


1st Updates in Blue entered on Friday, 20 January, 2017 2033 hrs.
2nd updates in Red entered on Saturday, 21 January, 2017 2025 hrs

Devil Sent the Rain by Lisa Turner - #review

Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 27, 2016)

Edgar-nominated and bestselling author Lisa Turner’s hard-boiled Detective Billy Able returns in this dark Southern mystery about the murder of a dazzling Memphis socialite—and the scandals revealed in the wake of her death

The heart can be an assassin. Detective Billy Able knows that from experience.

Fresh from solving Memphis’ most sensational murder case, Homicide Detective Billy Able and his ambitious new partner Frankie Malone are called to a bizarre crime scene on the outskirts of town. A high society attorney has been murdered while dressed in a wedding gown. Billy is shocked to discover he has a very personal connection to the victim. When the attorney’s death exposes illegal practices at her family’s prestigious law firm, the scandal is enough to rock the southern city’s social world.

In a tale of the remnants of Old South aristocracy and entitlement, twisted by greed and vengeance, Billy must confront the secrets of his own past to have any chance at solving the murder of the girl he once knew. But as he seeks the truth, he’s drawn closer to an embittered killer bent on revenge—and eliminating the threat Billy poses.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Bookish Post - January 16, 2017



Thanks to Stephanie of Tynga's Reviews, Kathryn at Book Date, Ramona at Create With Joy and Janice at Mostly Blogging for hosting these respective link-ups!  (Click on the buttons to go to the respective blogs.)




An espionage thriller for people who like explosions and sarcasm.

CIA case officer Bai Hsu is stationed in San Diego, where his job is to safeguard the valuable emotional collateral of some of the world’s most powerful people (read: their kids). Just when he thinks he’s landed the easiest assignment of all time, an operative starts targeting the school and it’s up to Bai to figure out who the operative is after, and why. This fast-paced story will take you from the picturesque beaches of San Diego to a deadly blizzard in Pyongyang and make Bai question everything he thought he knew about working in the field, and about himself.

And in the e-book department, here is a selection of this week's titles:

Monday, January 9, 2017 - 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book by Scott Hughes
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - Chez Stinky by Susan C. Daffron
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - The Trouble With Flying by Rochelle Morgan
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - Food BS:  Where Science, Sanity and Satire Collide by Barbara McDermott
Friday, January 13, 2017 - Written in Blood by Sheila Lowe
Saturday, January 14, 2017 - Before He Sees (MacKenzie White Mystery #2) by Blake Pierce
Sunday, January 15, 2017 - The Genghis Tomb by Daniel Leston



I'm still working on Altdorf, due to having a couple of days with not a lot of reading, while I caught up some things on the blog for the Winter Mini-Bloggiesta.  I'll probably go for Bai Tide (above) after that, as it is for a book tour in early February.



(linked to Pinterest page where I found this)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Perception by Lee Strauss - #review

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Vampyre Legal Chronicles: Marcus by CC MacKenzie - #DNFreview

Magic will return to the human realm of Earth. And Earth will burn as the ground shakes and mankind will perish under the combined fists of pestilence and disease. And magic will rule the land. And so it begins... 

Take one broodingly hot vampyre. Add one gorgeous New Born. And this is just the beginning...

40 Ways to Get Closer to God by Jerry MacGregor - #review #

Practical Steps to a Deeper Faith

Sometimes faith demands action. This practical book gives Christians ideas for how to adjust their hearts to get closer to God.

Friday Bookish Post - Altdorf by J.K. Swift


Thanks to Freda from "Freda's Voice" and Gilion at "Rose City Reader" for hosting these bookish link-ups!  Click one of the buttons to go to the link-up page.

Book Blogger Hop   

Thanks to Billy B at the "Coffee Addicted Writer" for hosting this link-up!  Click on the buttons above to go to his blog.

Thanks to Ramona at Create With Joy, and Janice at Mostly Blogging for these fun link-ups!  Click on the button to visit the sites to join in!  The more the merrier...really! :O)



At the end of the thirteenth century, five hundred orphans and second sons are rounded up from villages in the Alpine countryside and sold to the Hospitaller Knights of St John. Trained to serve as Soldiers of Christ, they fight in eastern lands they know nothing about, for a cause they do not understand.

Thomas Schwyzer, released from his vows by the Grandmaster of the Hospitallers, returns to the land of his birth a stranger. Once a leader of men, and captain of the Order's most famous war galley, he now settles into the simple life of a ferryman. He believes this new role to be God's reward for years of faithful service fighting the Infidel in Outremer.

Seraina, considered a witch by most, a healer by some, is a young woman with a purpose. A Priestess of the Old Religion, and the last Druid disciple of the Helvetii Celts, she has been gifted by the Great Weave to see what others cannot. Her people need her guidance and protection now more than ever. For Duke Leopold of Habsburg, in his efforts to control the St. Gotthard Pass, builds a great Austrian fortress in Altdorf. Once finished, the Habsburg occupation will be complete, but the atrocities visited upon her people will have just begun.


Like shepherds from Hell, the demons drove their flock of evil spirits and twisted minions over the Alps far into the valleys below, spreading disease, insanity, and chaos.  The only warning of their approach was the fohn, a warm, dry wind that preceeded the horde's arrival.  It was not superstition or myth to the locals, but simply and event that occurred a scattering of times every year, and the fohn in the late winter of 1314 was longer and warmer than any could remember.


Pirmin cursed Thomas in his native Wallis dialect, and although Thomas could not understand the words, he was glad ten feet of water separated him from the enraged giant.


Thanks to Elizabeth from Silver's Reviews for this week's question:

Is every day a reading day for you?

Unless I'm sick or on the road to Texas (in-laws).  It's not unheard of to finish an average length book in a day, but some days are busier than others.  Now that I've 'rediscovered' reading for pleasure, I really think their should be a UN RDA of Reading!



So what's up with YOU these days?  If you have a post for any of the above link-ups, feel free to leave your link in your comment!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's Winter Bloggiesta Time! *New Updates*

Thankfully I subscribe to Silver's Reviews Blog, because she reminded her readers that it is time for the Winter 2017 Mini Bloggiesta this weekend!  The above button is linked to the bloggiesta challenge sign-up page.



1.  Post review for 40 Ways to Get Closer to God on my blog.
(Friday, January 13, 2017 10:07 am)

2.  Post review for 40 Ways to Get Closer to God on GoodReads.
(Friday, January 13, 2017 10:07 am)

3.  Post review for 40 Ways to Get Closer to God on Amazon. 
(Friday, January 13, 2017 10:07 am)

4.  Post DNF review for The Vampyre Legal Chronicles: Marcus on my blog.
(Friday, January 13, 2017 1613 hrs)

5.  Post review for The Vampyre Legal Chronicles: Marcus on GoodReads.
(Friday, January 13, 2017 1613 hrs)

6.  Post review for The Vampyre Legal Chronicles: Marcus on Amazon.
(Friday, January 13, 2017 1613 hrs)

7.  Post review for Perception on my blog.
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 0804 hrs)

8.  Post review for Perception on GoodReads.
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 0804 hrs)

9.  Post review for Perception on Amazon.
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 0804 hrs)

10.  Add a "Book Review Policy" page.
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 1001 hrs)

11.  Clean up my sidebars.
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 0945 hrs)

12.  Write two reviews that are A.G.E.S. out of date.
a.  Well bugger.  I went and made an entire post for "Deliver Her", which I was to have posted on October 26, 2016.  Then I went to contact the tour company and found out that I had actually posted a review on November 16th, 2016.  So I'm counting that as one of my two OLD reviews:
b.  Devil Sent the Rain - originally due October 11, 2016: 
(Sunday, January 15, 2017 1054 hrs)

13.  Complete one past mini-challenge.


So what are you doing this weekend?  (In any case, I hope you all have a great time!)



(see above)
Friday, January 13, 2017 - 1613 hrs - HUZZAH!  One more review and I am caught up with reviews for books read in 2017.  I'm a little freaked about keeping up this year, since I've fallen behind so badly before.

Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer - #review

Thirteen-year-old Abby Leigh yearns for her family to be reunited - in Cambridge, not Castine Island where she feels like an outsider. Her younger brother, Jordan, is having no problem fitting in and making friends.

Everyone on Castine Island is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the purple moon, caused by a comet entering the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists expected this thrilling phenomenon and food companies are churning out purple-colored products in celebration of the comet’s arrival.

My 2017 Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge Sign-Up

The Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge is hosted by the folks at NovelKnight.  Click the button to go to the sign up page.  Here are some bare bones details:

YOU set your own reading goal. YOU pick the books. YOU read at your own pace.

Whether you’re a casual reader looking to work on your TBR list with a bunch of people, or a competitive reader seeking a bit of extra motivation this year, Beat the Backlist is for you. Everything is optional and there are only 2 guidelines.

The idea here isn’t to make this a competition, but to help you shrink your TBR with a bunch of other people doing the same thing


And there is a NYC Public Library FULL of fun extras, with the proviso that you can do as much as you have time for, or as little as ... well ... you have time for. *lol*  The idea is to get those old musty paged books off the shelf.  In this day and age you could also say get those poor old files that thought they were buried so far in your digital jungle that even Indiana Jones couldn't find them out to the light of day!

(And yes, I have a vivid imagination.  What can I say?  I read.)

Anyway, my GoodReads Challenge is 52 books (1 per week), so I'll make that my goal number for this challenge as well.  (I'll wind up reading more, of course, but I haven't had my coffee yet this morning and, well, picking a number out of a hat just seems like it requires too much brain power right now.) :p

I'm signing up for the Hogwarts Mini Challenge as well (you sign up for one of the houses and then get points for various bookish activities) - sounds like a LOT of fun!

And I'll participate in as many of the scavenger hunts, chats, etc. etc. etc. as I can ban the rest of the family off the computer for as well!



1.  The Parting: The Courtship of Nellie Fisher by Beverly Lewis - July 20, 2015 - 352 pp
2.  The Wave at Hanging Rock by Gregg Dunnett - December 17, 2016 - 362 pp
3.  Unknown to History: a story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland by Charlotte Mary Yonge - August 26, 2013 - 614 pp
4.  Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer - September 10, 2013 - 212 pp
5.  The Vampyre Legal Chronicles - Marcus by CC MacKenzie - October 26, 2016 - DNF at page 106
6.  40 Ways to Get Closer to God by Jerry MacGregor and Keri Wyatt Kent - October 10, 2016 - 195 pp
7.  Perception by Lee Strauss - December 16, 2016 - 313 pp

(the above books were read prior to challenge sign-up *sigh*)

8.  Altdorf: The Forest Knights by JK Swift - February 2, 2014 - 321 pp


Week Ending Saturday, January 14, 2017: