Monday, November 28, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Nov 28

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday.   

 


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.   

Hello, everyone! Hope those who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice weekend. Here are some photos from our weekend.


Theo hanging out Thanksgiving morning


Dwight investigating the Lil' Princess' Black Friday deals


Travis helping with outdoor decorating...or at least thinking he is


Did anyone brave going out on Black Friday? That is so not my thing. I'm much more of a Cyber Monday kind of person when I am not shopping local. 

We went to see my mother-in-law on Thursday and shared a wonderful meal made by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. All I had to do is bring the fudge and the cookies. It still seems so strange that I am not cooking for a large group every holiday. I think Christmas day will be at our place with the kids and some of their friends. 

With everything that happened last week--planned and unexpected--I did not sit down to read like I intended. So, I am still working on this one. 


I did, however, finish listening to this excellent nonfiction book by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. My review is on Goodreads and should be up on Amazon soon. 


With this book, I completed my 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge! I still might finish A War in Too Many Worlds before the end of the year. I would also like to post reviews for these two at  my children's book blog this week.



After that, I really need to read this book because its review is so overdue. 



I am reviewing this one in January, but I didn't sign up to review anything in December because I have a ton of stuff going on. 




Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Will someone please tell me to stop grabbing Kindle freebies. LOL! Lately, there have been so many books that caught my eye. That should mean more First Chapter Reviews to read here next year.




The Lil' Princess' flight was canceled because of bad weather in Wilmington. So, we will be off early tomorrow to bring her to Hartford to catch her new flight. After that, we will see what the day brings. I have lots of phone calls to return from the holiday weekend. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Book Spotlight: To Catch the Setting Sun by Richard I. Levine


There’s a killer loose on the island of Oahu. His targets? Young, native-Hawaiian women. But it also appears that he’s targeting and taunting Honolulu police detective Henry Benjamin who knew each victim and whose wife, Maya, had been the first name on that list. In addition to battling his personal demons, this New York transplant’s aggressive style didn’t sit well with his laid-back colleagues who viewed Henry’s uncharacteristic lack of progress in the investigation as evidence that fueled ongoing rumors that he could be the killer. Was he, or could it have been someone within the municipal hierarchy with a vendetta? As it was, after thirteen years on the job Henry had been disillusioned with paradise. His career choice long killed any fantasy of living in a grass hut on a wind-swept beach, being serenaded by the lazy sounds of the ocean and a slack key guitar. Instead, it had opened his eyes to a Hawaii that tourists will never see.


Read an excerpt

The reflection from scattered tiki torches competed with the moonlight flickering across the black velvet lagoon. Gentle trade winds, carrying the sweet peach-like scent of plumeria, tickled the flames and the palm fronds. Clearly a welcomed reprieve from five straight days of stifling temperatures. A catamaran and a couple small outrigger canoes, their artfully painted fiberglass hulls made to look like the wood of ancient Koa trees, were pulled up along the sandy shoreline. The heavy beat of drums reverberated off the tall palms and set the rhythm for a half-dozen pair of grass-skirted hips dancing on the main stage while vacationers laughed, ogled, and stuffed their faces with shredded pork, scoops of macaroni salad, steaming flavored rice wrapped in Ti leaves, thick slices of pineapple, papaya, mango, and freshly roasted macadamia nuts that were all artfully displayed on wide banana leaf covered center pieces. They sat cross-legged in the sand, sipping Mai Tais from plastic cups made to look like hollowed out coconut shells, lost in a tropical fantasy that came complete with a souvenir snap shot taken with an authentic hula girl—the perfect paradise as portrayed on the website. The noise from the music, chanting, and laughter, drowned out the frantic noise of the nearby kitchen, and it drowned out the desperate pleas and painful cries of Makani Palahia from the far side of the beach at Auntie Lily’s Luau Cove and Hawaiian Barbecue. 


Purchase from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UkjBee 

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3BRB0mv

Apple iBooks: https://apple.co/3dVBaBj


Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii. 

Visit Richard’s Amazon Page or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.



Tuesday, November 22, 2022

New Release: The Christmas Story & Other Beloved Stories of Jesus by Linda Weaver Clarke


 

These inspiring stories of Jesus are told in narrative style to help readers understand the life of Jesus Christ. This style of writing brings the stories to life for ages twelve and older, so you can understand the scriptures better. The font is larger for easier reading, especially for children, teenagers, and grandparents. You will read about the birth of Jesus, His miracles, the last supper, and His resurrection.

This book includes beautiful inspirational paintings by Del Parson, the renowned artist. Each painting gives the feeling of reverence and peace. You can actually feel the love that Jesus has for all of us. To learn more about Del Parson and his inspirational paintings, visit www.delparson.com

You can visit Linda Weaver Clarke at www.lindaweaverclarke.com

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BJYM9VDY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (October 22, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 67 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8359482974
  • Purchase here!

Monday, November 21, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Nov 21

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday.   

 


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.   

Happy Monday, everyone! Are my US friends getting ready for Thanksgiving? Are any of your Christmas decorations up yet (if that is what you celebrate)? And, have you started your holiday shopping? Doesn't it seem this time of year that everything just rushes all the way through to the end of the year? I just sent out my Thanksgiving Day cards, but now it is time to order the holiday ones. 

The Lil' Princess made it home a day later than expected because of her flight being canceled, but we are thrilled to have her with us through to next Sunday. The girls and I went to Salem this weekend. Can't believe I have never been when it is only an hour and 45 minutes away. 


Visitor's Center


Inside one of the local businesses


Shops on the waterfront




Waterfront

Reading has been almost non-existent lately, but I am one book shy of meeting my Goodreads goal of 40 books for the year, so I am feeling optimistic. I have been listening to this book on Audible. It is one of those books that everyone recommends, so I figured I would try Audible and listen to it on my drives back and forth. Not a real fan of the narrator, but it's a good book.



I finished this Sheila Roberts book on the plane. You can read my review here. Do we smell another Hallmark movie in this author's future?


I am reading this one as well. 


I need to read these next.




I am reviewing this one in January.






Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Good thing I didn't buy any books in Salem, but I was tempted. Here are some Kindle freebies I picked up this week.





That's it for me. I will be out the door by 8:30 this morning, so I will be checking in with bloggers after that. Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Book Review: The Road to Christmas by Sheila Roberts

 

The Road to Christmas by Sheila Roberts is the perfect blend of heartwarming family drama, romance, and seasonal fun.

Julia, youngest daughter of Michelle and Max, invites everyone to her new house in Idaho for Christmas. Michelle and Max aren't thrilled about going, but with their marriage in shambles and divorce imminent, they want the family to have one last holiday together.

Michelle and Max's two other daughters, Audrey and Shyla, are driving in from California, hoping they might find Audrey a sexy rancher along the way. What they don't plan on is being stranded for the holidays when the car breaks down.

Grandma Hazel and Grandpa Warren have the shortest drive, but Hazel isn't thrilled about the idea of driving all that way in the snow.

As three generations of the family make their way out in the snow to visit Julia, their adventures lead to one memorable family Christmas.

This might just be my favorite Sheila Roberts Christmas story. It has drama. It has humor. It has romance. And it is all set during a snowy Christmas. What could be better? I loved getting to know this family. I could read this novel a second time. 

With The Road to Christmas, Roberts proves once again why she is the queen of the Christmas novel. As each set of travelers comes up against their own obstacles, readers enjoy getting to know them, crying with them a little, and laughing with them. This is such a sweet story, and Roberts' keen eye for detail makes the reader feel like they are right there with these characters. My hope is that Hallmark or Lifetime Movie Network decides to turn this one into a movie, because it would be amazing to see this story unfold on the small screen. 

If you enjoy sweet seasonal stories, The Road to Christmas is a perfect choice.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ MIRA; Original edition (September 20, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0778386562
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0778386568

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

Purchase from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BOS5yL

Walmart: https://bit.ly/3UAwIZs 



Monday, November 14, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Nov 14

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday.   

 


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.   

Hello from beautiful Orlando! I've spent the last few days with my real estate colleagues at the NAR Convention. I've enjoyed my time here, but landing at home will feel so good... even if it will be cold.

I always think I will have more down time when I attend a conference than I actually do. I bring projects to work on, but there are so many great events, I don't get to them. I should be home late morning today, so I will make progress then. The conference has inspired some new productivity ideas as well.

Last week, my First Chapter Review of this Canadian historical novel appeared here.


I finished this Sheila Roberts book on the plane. Look for my review on November 17. 


I will continue reading this one on the plane ride home.


I need to read these next.








Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I downloaded this book on Audible with a credit.


I also grabbed this Kindle freebie last week.


That is it from me today. I will visit your blogs once I land. Hope you have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Book Blast & Giveaway: Avalon by Vanessa Morgan



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vanessa Morgan will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Avalon is now also available in French!

Some cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.

With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even the landlord ordered to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon's demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.


Read an Excerpt

Around three o’clock that night, Avalon was fed up with the strange man in his bed. He plonked his rear down on Gilles’ pillow, complaining fretfully in his ear while tapping him on the face.

After nearly an hour of incessant wailing and poking, more drastic measures were required. The new solution: pushing Gilles out of bed.

Avalon succeeded.

Climbing back under the covers wasn’t an option. Unable to sleep, Gilles got up. "I guess I didn't pass the test."

"Give Avalon some time. Maybe he was just irked because you took his side of the bed."

But Gilles had already understood that this wasn't going to be a one-time event.

For several minutes, Gilles and Avalon sized each other up. Then Gilles said, "I’d better leave the two of you alone now. It’s clearly what the little guy wants."

I swear I could see Avalon smirking when Gilles put on his jacket and left.

Instantly, Avalon leapt onto me, and compensated for the evening before. He entered a kiss-induced trance. This cat was all about exclusivity, and when granted that exclusivity, his love was immense.

"Are you really that happy that Gilles is gone?"

In reply, Avalon looked at me with swoony eyes and purred loudly, then swatted out his paw to urge me to continue to pet him, which I did.

A phone call interrupted our tender moment. It was Gilles.

"There won't be any train to Brussels for hours," he said. "Is it okay if I come back to your place for a while?"

"Of course." His return would offend Avalon, but I couldn’t possibly leave Gilles outside in the rain for several hours.

As soon as Gilles appeared at the front door, Avalon’s pupils widened to a pitch black.

Let's see who's the boss here, he seemed to be thinking.

Being a cat of action, Avalon went through his usual attention-seeking routine: making a selection of irritating noises, scratching the wallpaper, and pushing objects to the ground.

When that didn't work, Avalon opened Gilles' overnight bag and threw out a piece of clothing. His eyes so dark and evil they could be gateways to hell, Avalon stared at his adversary and waited for a reaction. He then pulled out a box of gel wax. Again, he looked up at Gilles to make sure he understood that all this bungling was meant to get a message across. A third object followed, then a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, until there was nothing.

Hell-bent on winning the game, Avalon took Gilles' coat in his mouth and towed it toward the front door. There, he used his right paw to tap the keys hanging from the wooden doorframe.

Avalon’s message couldn’t be any clearer: there was room for only one man in my life. A feline one.

About the Author:
Vanessa Morgan is the editor of the movie reference guides When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children. She also has had one cat book (Avalon) and four supernatural thrillers (Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Clowders) published. Three of her stories have been turned into movies. She has written for myriad Belgian magazines and newspapers and introduces movie screenings at several European film festivals. She is also a programmer for the Offscreen Film Festival in Belgium. When she's not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching movies, eating out, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.

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The French version of the book can be purchased at Amazon for only $0.99.

a Rafflecopter giveaway