Monday, March 1, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Mar 1

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.

Welcome to March. It looks like it will come in as a lamb with temperatures in the 40s during this week. Hopefully, precipitation will be light this month. I am ready for spring now that the three-tier garden bed planter I ordered arrived.

I had given up gardening by last fall because I don't have time for it. Then I realized I really would miss gardening, so I needed to make it more manageable. This planter will keep me from over investing in plants and will reduce weeding since I will buy soil for it. I ordered this year's seeds/plants over the weekend. 

In my reading world, I finished this fabulous book. Look for my review on March 19. 




I started this next one, which is coming up for review on March 10. 



I am also reading this one. The review will appear on March 29. 

My hope is to have the review of this next book done by March 31 at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection


I will also review this one at my children's book blog in March.



Then this one is next. 



 







Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

My mailbox held one cute treat this week.



After a series of terrifying events, Elanora is transported to a strange neighborhood where the only way to get about is by water and the only food to eat is the grasses of the marsh. When she discovers that the water level in her new home is falling, she suspects humans are the cause and puts together a plan to save the creatures who live there.

Will Elanora persuade the colony and swimmers to overcome their fear of the unknown and embark on a dangerous journey to their new home?

How is your reading coming along? Have you found yourself reading more or less lately? What's the next book you plan to read? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Happy Tuesday! Hope you are having a great week. This should be a fun topic to tackle. Sometimes books are supposed to be funny, and sometimes the characters act funny to lighten the mood or because they are sarcastic. Here is my list of...

Top Ten Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud


Lee Alvarez falls into the smart and sarcastic category. I love Heather Haven's female protagonists. They tell it like it is, and they can solve crimes, too. 


I read this in 2009 and still have it somewhere in my house. The main character is a genius who opens the book by saying, "My name is Owen Birnbaum, and I'm probably fatter than you are." His inventions are cool and he describes them in great detail, which middle grade readers will enjoy. The sad part is that he is profusely teased. The zany part is in how he copes with it and how he tries to track down the thief stealing the cookies from his lunch.


Jen is a bold class mom whose antics leave you in stitches. 



Though this book is uproariously funny, it really wasn't my style. I laughed a ton, but it's too "gorily specific" and "raunchy" for me.


This is another one that really tickles the funny bone, but its contents might not be for everyone.



The characters in Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series are the reason this one makes my list. The antics of Reagan, Aunt Kiki, and Mercedes leave you rolling with laughter. This is all offset by local heartthrob Walker Boone who provides tons of sexual tension. 


There were two series whose new releases my girls used to anticipate: Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries. So much of what happens to Nikki Maxwell is relatable to young people in junior high school. Delivered in diary style tidbits, these are all fun reads. 


A group of local housewives going on strike and leaving Christmas planning up to their husbands lends itself to numerous funny moments. This is my favorite book by Sheila Roberts. 


Stories with violent ghosts probably don't come to mind when you think of books that make you laugh out loud, but if you knew Melanie Middleton you would understand. Stuff happens to this woman that is just crazy. And, of course, she sees dead people. Then there is how Jack effortlessly gets under her skin and her best friend, Sophie, who seems determined to empty Melanie's pocketbook restoring her historical home. As intense as these stories can be, the characters also give you many reasons to laugh.


I don't read a lot of contemporary romance, but when I do I look for something that includes a fair amount of humor in it. This one fits the bill. I enjoyed it because the characters were real--Erinn isn't stunningly beautiful and Jude is a hunk but totally flawed,. This is probably one of the funniest romances I've ever read.

So, what do you think of my list? Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Monday, February 22, 2021

Book Spotlight: The Morpheus Decision by Seeley James

 


Who killed Chloe England? 

When a friend from her days in international soccer, now a British constable, is murdered, Pia Sabel uncovers an assassination ring catering to the ultra-rich – putting her dead center in their crosshairs.

For most of her life, Pia Sabel worked through the pain of losing her parents, threw herself into her work, and lived with insomnia. Now her doctor warns growing paranoia will soon threaten her mental health. She escapes to rural England to mourn the loss of her friend. On arrival, she is attacked by a mob, dismissed by officials, and ridiculed by high society for inquiring about an English Lord and a British institute. The more people tell her not to ask questions, the more she questions their motives.

Unconquered and unafraid, she investigates the murder and exposes a well-connected web of billionaire suspects. Along the way, she touches a nerve, bringing down an avalanche of killers on top of her. Unable to trust anyone, from the handsome Scot she wants to know better to Britain’s titled class, she must unravel the clues before more victims land in the morgue. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Pia finally discovers the truth about who killed Chloe England. A revelation sure to endanger everyone she loves.

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE!


 

Book Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

Blood drifted over the curb on its way to the gutter as Chloe England tried to shift her gaze for a better look. Her eyes wouldn’t respond. Not even a blink. Her vision was fixed on the chemist’s across the narrow lane. Closed. And for a long time judging by the dirty windows.

Her arms and legs wouldn’t move either. The blood felt warm on her cheek. Chloe had the strangest feeling it was her blood. After all, she was lying on her side with her face pressed to the cement, but she wasn’t sure why. When she tried to think, all that came to mind was TS Eliot from a boring literature class long ago:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,

And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker;

And in short, I was afraid.

She’d rather have been on the pitch playing football than stuck in a classroom reading that drivel.

Chloe sensed a presence lean down over her. Maybe it was a good Samaritan who could help her up. Her muscles weren’t responding. Someone reached over her shoulder and plucked the phone out of her hand. The person disconnected her call.

So, not a good Samaritan.

Chloe felt embarrassed. The stalker just cutoff the voicemail to Pia Sabel before she’d finished. What would Sabel think of the poorly worded message? Rambled on like a fool, she did. To top it off, she’d blanked before telling Sabel what she wanted. Such bad form. A throbbing pain came from the back of her head. Along with the throb came a dim memory of the previous few seconds. She’d been chattering on about the woman in the hospital and her ridiculous story about people who could kill your enemies through their dreams. For a fee. Had she told Sabel that part? It’s what she’d intended to say. Now that she thought about it, she’d prattled on about their rivalry on the soccer pitch. Was that all the further she’d got?

Hardly a rivalry, though. Chloe did her best to defend for England in every game—but who could stop Sabel? Chloe remembered their first encounter. The young phenom was sixteen and out to prove herself in a friendly. Chloe had twenty-five caps by then. She’d considered the teenager a trifle. Young Sabel came straight at her, no fear. Charging in like a freight train. But she was ready. She herded the kid to the sidelines, making the only option to go out of bounds. Sabel played into it, dribbling into a rapidly narrowing lane with nowhere to go. Rookie mistake. Then Sabel popped the ball between them, waist high, smacked it with her knee, sending it over Chloe’s head. Using her height advantage, Sabel jumped in the air like a rocket and headed a perfect cross to the American forward flying up the middle. It happened so fast Chloe could only laugh. What the hell was that? Thank god the game didn’t count for anything.

Sabel was a thorn in her side for the next four years. The Mexicans called her La Tigresa—the tigress—for good reason. And the international press adopted the nickname. But in the privacy of England’s locker room, especially among the defenders, she was known as that cunt. When Chloe retired, she rejoiced that her endless nightmares of Sabel hurtling toward her would finally end.

Now they were both out of the beautiful game. Chloe had bounced around until she found her calling: police constable. Who would’ve thought? All those years leaving your blood, sweat, and tears on the pitch for your country and what career options await you? Sportscaster? A crowded field. Coach? Underpaid profession. Talent scout? Too many rows with desperate parents—whose children didn’t know the difference between a football and a cheese loaf—kept Chloe out of that one. Then Dad suggested she follow him into the Greater Manchester Police, the illustrious GMP. It wasn’t the bright lights and big stage she’d hoped for. It had even caused her some embarrassment when dialing Sabel. How you doing, old frenemy? Running a huge company these days, I hear. Chilling with presidents and prime ministers, are we? Me? Oh, you know, constable. Still. Working on becoming a DI like Dad, though. So, what’s new?

Yeah. That was a tough call.

She hoped she hadn’t botched it. It was important. Sabel’s name was on the nutter’s list. Even if La Tigresa had been hell to defend, she did deserve to know someone had her on a list. It might be nothing, but some of the names on the list were dead. And Chloe hoped Sabel would help her figure it out. Reconnect for some laughs. Maybe.

A warm hand touched Chloe’s neck. Not in a kind way. The person who’d taken her phone feeling for a pulse? She tried to check her heartbeat, too. She wasn’t feeling it. Or was she? Not strong, anyway. Was she dying?

Once, she’d run to the scene of a man hit by a car. It was obvious to everyone around him that he was a dead man with a few seconds of life left, yet he had no idea. He kept apologizing for being a bother.

That’s when Chloe remembered the loud crack. The sound of metal connecting with bone. Big bone. Hollow. Like her skull. Is that where the blood was coming from?

She felt it now. Sliding down the back of her head, into her hair, onto the sidewalk. Someone had smacked her a good one with a baton. They could fix that in casualty, right?

The hand withdrew. Chloe heard someone walk away. The street was empty. Thick dark clouds obscured the remnants of twilight. The heavy sky closed in on her. It would rain soon.

It was her own fault, Chloe realized. She’d been so preoccupied with the call to Sabel—trying not to sound like one of those barking-mad fans—that she hadn’t noticed where she was going. It was a mistake. She’d taken the shortcut. A short, dark lane lined with defunct businesses. Now she wouldn’t have a chance to save Pia Sabel’s life. She wouldn’t be the heroic constable who solved the dreamland-assassins mystery.

Worst of all, there would be no security video of who killed Chloe England.



Seeley James’ near-death experiences range from talking a jealous husband into putting the gun down to spinning out on an icy freeway in heavy traffic without touching anything. His resume ranges from washing dishes to global technology management. His personal life ranges from homeless at 17, adopting a 3-year-old at 19, getting married at 37, fathering his last child at 43, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim at 59, and taking the occasional nap.

His writing career ranges from humble beginnings with short stories in The Battered Suitcase, to being awarded a Medallion from the Book Readers Appreciation Group. Seeley is best known for his Sabel Security series of thrillers featuring athlete and heiress Pia Sabel and her bodyguard, veteran Jacob Stearne. One of them kicks ass and the other talks to the wrong god.

His love of creativity began at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in sales and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction. 





It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Feb 22

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.

Welcome back to Monday. With this being the last week of the month, I am committed to several real estate tasks. Last week, I finished one editing project and made it through the first round of another. I still have one more manuscript to work on. Maybe one day I will get to my own writing. I really can't complain. I love editing. 

My reading is slow going, which is bad since I have so many books to review in March. 

I read this one over the weekend. My review will be posted at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection this week. 




I am currently reading one of Jon Land's latest books. I loved this series when Margaret Truman wrote it. 




Next up are these for virtual book tours. 



I am hoping to get to this review book next. 



Then I would like to read one of these.





A non-fiction book would be fun to toss into the mix. Maybe this one.


 







Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.


My physical mailbox remained empty this week, but I am planning on ordering Duffy Brown's latest Consignment Shop Mystery when it comes out in paperback today. 


That's it from my neck of the woods. What are you reading this week? 

Monday, February 15, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Feb 15

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! Did you have a nice weekend? We ate out at a new restaurant on Friday. It was okay, but doubt we will be back. I managed to get most of the house cleaned and some furniture moved around. Now, if I could only get into that bonus room and set it up the way I want to, I would be thrilled. 

We are awaiting the latest snow storm, which is supposed to start this afternoon and run through Tuesday evening. Three inches of the white stuff followed by a nice layer of ice. Then the possibility of more winter weather on Thursday. Doesn't that sound lovely? I can't imagine why I haven't moved south yet.

As far as reading goes, it has been slow. Two editing projects have taken up a fair amount of my time. 

My review of The Wormwood Mysteries: Secret of Lake Falls appeared last week at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection soon. 



I also reviewed The Clothesline Code at TC&TBC on February 3.




I am currently reading one of Jon Land's latest books. 




Next up are these for virtual book tours. 



Remember when I said I planned to reduce the number of virtual book tours I participate in? Well, this is not starting off well. I've requested more books for March than I usually do. 

This one needs to come next since I promised to review it.




Then I would like to read one of these:















Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

My mailbox held one recent treasure. 


I will review A Playmate for Imani by Rebecca O. Hayes at my children's book blog this month.


I received digital copies of the following two books for review.






I also downloaded this one when it was free for my Kindle.



I must be in a picture book mood lately.

That's it for me. What have you been in the mood to read lately? Did you read any romance novels this month? If you could only buy books in one genre, what would that be?

Hope you have a great day.