Monday, November 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Nov 18



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

It is a cold Monday here in Western Mass. We have had hardly any fall. We slipped right into cold winter weather. Some flurries here and there, but nothing to worry about yet. The yard and house are as ready as they will be.

I'm in the middle of this one and loving it. Not a surprise since I love everything Charlotte Hubbard has written. What I enjoy most about her books is that she stays true to her genre and style, but always provides readers with a fresh and engaging story.




After that, I need to catch up with these from my TBR pile.










This is a new book that arrived this week to help with my 2020 goals. 




What are you reading this week? Any good seasonal titles on your list?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Spotlight: His Christmas Wish by Melissa McClone


Carly Bishop loved Christmas…until tragedy struck.

Distraught and grief-stricken over the deaths of her fiancé and brother, she left Hood Hamlet and her Christmas spirit behind, to start over somewhere new. But now, six years later, her family needs her. Carly returns home to face her past and give her niece and nephew the best Christmas ever.

Burdened with guilt, Jake Porter believes he could have saved his two friends on that fateful day and kept Carly from experiencing such a heart-wrenching loss. When she arrives in town, Jake wants to make amends so they can both finally move forward with their lives.

As Jake helps Carly experience the magic of Christmas so she'll embrace the holiday again, will he also be able to open her heart to something else she’d given up on…love?

Previously published as Rescued by the Magic of Christmas.

Mountain Rescue Romance series

Book 1: His Christmas Wish
Book 2: Her Christmas Secret
Book 3: Her Christmas Kiss
Book 4: His Second Chance
Book 5: His Christmas Family

File Size: 636 KB
Print Length: 262 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1944777105
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Cardinal Press, LLC (November 1, 2018)
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07JB2C6X5

Purchase here!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Nov 12




First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.



Prologue

I, Beatrice of Savoy, am mother to four queens. What other woman in the history of the world could make this claim? None, I warrant, and none ever will.

Learn more about this book on Goodreads.




Monday, November 11, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Nov 11



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


Welcome back to Monday. I hope you had a fabulous week. On this Veteran's Day, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to all who have served our country. May God bless you and your families.

This weekend, I took my first full weekend off since before we left on vacation. Though I sent an email and answered a text or two, most of the weekend belonged to family and tasks around the house.

In my reading world, I've begun to prepare for next year's reading. I'm rearranging my books and going through the bookshelves to donate some to the library, and then make sure I have only the books I need to review on the shelf in my office. It looks like I am down to about a dozen printed ones. I can't even think about the e-books yet. My Kindles are coming to the end of their lives and I'm not sure when I will replace them.

Last week I reviewed:

The Emotion Thesaurus
Federal Pianist
Silent Meridian and A Pocketful of Lodestones

I started this book last night. It shouldn't take me long.




After that, I need to catch up with these from my TBR pile.












What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Reviews: Silent Meridian and A Pocketful of Lodestones by Elizabeth Crowens

If you enjoy novels that defy categorization, Silent Meridian, the first book in The Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens, might be worth investigating.

John Patrick Scott is a naïve but ambitious student studying music at the University of Edinburgh when he first meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The latter's obsession with a legendary red book and the transmigration of souls brings these two men together. While most know Scott as a concert pianist, he is also a paranormal investigator and time travel professor.

Together, these men will travel through time as detailed in Scott's diaries which fill this novel.

What drew me to Silent Meridian is its time travel aspect and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Readers have called it steampunk or alternate history, and the book's press release adds fictional memoir to the list. This may have presented a formula reader such as myself with challenges in fully appreciating the novel. Crowens wove together a unique story that introduced alternate histories for several well-known characters, like Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and others, which I found rather fascinating. Scott's dreams and his initiation in to a secret society that led him to come into possession of the red book were also elements I enjoyed. I just felt confused a good part of the time. That said, I gave the second book in the series a shot, because Silent Meridian is well written, and a reader appreciates that.

Series: The Time Traveler Professor (Book 1)
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC; 2nd ed. edition (June 12, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1950384047
ISBN-13: 978-1950384044

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


The second book in the series, A Pocketful of Lodestones, opens with John Patrick Scott enlisting to serve in World War I in August 1914. During basic training, he is plagued by a series of strange dreams and the odd souvenirs left behind as proof he had not simply imagined his travel. Scott is also tormented by the horrors of war and a platoon sergeant who has it in for him.

In the next book of The Time Traveler Professor series, World War I takes center stage. So, in this respect, history lovers or readers who enjoy alternative history may be more drawn to A Pocketful of Lodestones than the first book. I feel, however, that reading Silent Meridian first will help readers understand the characters and concepts better than if they pick up the second book as a stand alone.

While my confusion remained a bit of an issue with this novel, I felt disappointed with the cliff hanger ending. I'm just not a fan. Crowens creates the perfect set up for a third book, but I never like being cajoled into buying another book just to continue a character's adventures that begin in the book before it; blame television in the 70's and 80's where every issue was resolved in 30 to 60 minutes.

Still, I admire Crowens' imagination and ability to create an engaging cast of characters and explore alternate histories for well known figures. This would be a fascinating movie or television series.

Series: The Time Traveler Professor (Book 2)
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC (August 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1950384055
ISBN-13: 978-1950384051

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

I received a free paperback copy of both books from the author. These reviews contain my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Monday, November 4, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Nov 4



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Welcome to November. Not sure how that happened. Tomorrow is the Lil' Princess' 16th birthday. Not sure how my baby is sweet sixteen either.

As you'll see from earlier posts, I'm working on catching up on reviews. I'm hoping work slows down soon--though my wallet might not like that very much.

Look for my review of this one coming soon.





I am starting this one tomorrow.



After that, I need to catch up with these:




Then I want to focus on these:







What have you been reading?

Book Review: Federal Pianist by John Robilette

If you ever wondered about the ridiculousness of government bureaucracy, but didn't want to read a pundit's book about it, Federal Pianist would be a good alternative.

Jason Angeletti has found himself out as faculty member of the piano department and dropped into the middle of the chaos known as the federal government when he becomes a political appointee during the Reagan administration. His task is to travel the world playing concerts and representing the United States. Not a bad gig if Harry Cone was actually liked by anyone other than the President and the project hadn't been squashed before it even started. Still, Jason winds up in Washington with no idea what he is really getting himself into.

What a fun novel! Based upon the author's own time as a political appointee where he created and directed the Artistic Ambassador Program for the United States Information Agency, this fictionalized account is made even more comical by how true to life it depicts the nonsense of government bureaucracy. Fired and rehired, people coming and going so often you might miss someone if you blinked twice, the warring factions with different agendas and more are all depicted with an entertaining wit that makes for an enjoyable story.

Dr. Robilette seems like he's led one heck of a life. How many people can say they played a recital at a president's inauguration?

If you enjoy biographical fiction or stories where government life plays a role, you'll appreciate Federal Pianist by John Robilette.

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Teitelbaum Bertrand Publishing; 1 edition (August 11, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1732691401
ISBN-13: 978-1732691407

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.