Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book



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.

What a fun topic this week. Though I really should be doing something else, I had to take part in this one. 


This is definitely a case of loved a cute cover and thought the title was adorable. This e-book collection is no longer available, but based on reviews, I probably wouldn't have read it anyway. Still a cute cover and adorable title. 


Not my normal read, but the cover on this book is stunning. Reviews are good as well. 



I bought this one because of the title--an historical event which I am familiar with--but also because I enjoy the author's work.


This is such a pretty cover, I couldn't resist. Having library in the title didn't hurt its chances either. 


First word Christmas and set on a lake...definitely needed to add this to my TBR pile. Love the cover, too.


I was already a fan of Kathi Macias' books when this one came out. She has released several Christmas stories, but this was my favorite and the cover is lovely. The title is also pleasing to me, thinking about a journey home for Christmas.


This is my favorite Harry Potter cover. I would have read the book regardless of the title or the cover art, but the green and yellow colors on this one makes it an attractive cover. 


Bought this one solely because of the title. Maybe it is an editor thing. :)


Another great title. Love the colors on this cover as well. Really need to read this one.


A pretty house on the water at sunset. Need I say more?

What do you think of my list? Have you read any of these? What is a book you have bought because you liked the title or cover?

Sunday, August 1, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - Aug 2

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 August. This will be a busy month with at least two new listings, a trip to Chicago for leadership training, the girls heading back to North Carolina, and the Lil' Princess starting her final year of high school. 

This last week was a fun one. I had three closings, so I felt I could spend some time at the end of the week indulging in my other passion--writing. I finished two chapters of my middle grade historical, which means it is 80% complete. I have figured out how the rest will go, but I need to write it. Today, I'm meeting with one of my critique partners to hand over these two chapters for feedback. Other than that, I did some cleaning, scheduled some blog posts, and made some good food.




Dwight and Travis looking adorable


The view during showings this weekend


Theo likes to walk in the woods (very buggy lately)


Chicken pot pie


Chicken and rice soup


As far as reading and reviewing goes, I am desperately working to stay ahead of the game. I finished this fabulous memoir-in-verse on Sunday. Look for my review at this blog on August 18.



These are next on the list. 








If I am wise, after that I will concentrate on my large TBR pile. 






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.

Nothing in my physical mailbox this week, but I did order this book. I will be editing the second book in the series, so I want to read this one to remain as consistent as possible. 



Brave Eagle grows to manhood amid the constant changes and turmoil on the Plains. Now, in a world full of choices, Brave Eagle must make many decisions, some for his survival. This period is a time of exploration, discovery, and settlement in the West; intervention and treaties with the U. S. Government; leadership issues between the peace chief Black Kettle and the war leader Roman Nose, the Dog Soldiers, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Massacre at Washita. Is Brave Eagle to be a man of war or a man of peace? Is he to be a fierce frightening warrior or a wise peacemaker? Can he learn to adapt to the white man's world, or would he be able to hold on to the rich traditions of the grandfathers? In the middle 1800's, the white man's world collides with the world of the Native Americans. How would this affect the people of the Plains? Where will this life journey take Brave Eagle?

Doesn't this book sound amazing? I've read about this time period before, so I feel that will help me understand the characters. 

That's it for me. Hope you have a great week. 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Book Spotlight: Safe Harbour by Mike Martin

 


Title: SAFE HARBOUR
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: 264
Genre: Mystery


Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city. But he still manages to enjoy all of the good things in life. His family, old and new friends, and the love of living so close to the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome back to St. Windflower Mysteries.

PRAISE

“Safe Harbour is a thought-provoking, fast-paced read. The mystery woven around his home life is very nicely done, containing just the right amount of tension and development to make for an inviting leisure read.” – Midwest Reviews

CHAPTER ONE

Windflower looked across the lake. Well, he would have if he could have seen anything through the thick blanket of fog that had been sitting on Quidi Vidi Lake for the past seven days. One whole week, he thought. Every day since they had arrived in the port city of St. John’s, it had been the same. Windflower knew the lake was out there because he remembered running around it as his daily exercise when he was temporarily stationed here a few years back.

Sheila Hillier, his wife, knew the lake was out there as well. She’d spent a couple of months doing rehab at the nearby Miller Centre when she was recovering from a serious car accident. If there wasn’t any fog, she could look out her window in May and see the rowers getting their practice in as part of their training for the Royal St. John’s Regatta, an annual event that took place down there in August.

But it was a long way from spring as Windflower gazed out his window at the typical scenery for a January morning. He was the first one up, except for Lady, his collie, and Molly, the cat who never seemed to sleep anyway. She would close her eyes sometimes, but Windflower had never come into a room with her in it when she wasn’t awake and watching him. Windflower liked this time of day when his two children got up. They were Amelia Louise, his soon-to-be two-year-old daughter, and his almost-daughter, Stella, who he and Sheila were fostering.

He liked this house on Forest Road, too. It wasn’t similar to his and Sheila’s in Grand Bank on the southeast coast of Newfoundland, but for a rental it suited them perfectly. It had four bedrooms, two and a half baths and a large backyard for the kids to play in and, if the weather held, for Windflower to barbeque. But the likelihood of the weather staying just simply foggy and damp was not good. There was snow in the forecast and more snow coming after that.

Windflower had been in snowstorms in St. John’s before. It was hard to miss one if you travelled here regularly in the fall, winter or spring. And they didn’t come with a few flakes or a few inches of accumulation. No, snowstorms here often meant feet of snow, sometimes in the double digits, and he had come out some mornings to look for his car, only to find it buried under a virtual mountain of snow. The worst storms came in double or even triple waves. That’s when a storm system would blow through and dump one load of snow and then drift out to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately for the good people of St. John’s, it would blow back in and repeat the damage—sometimes more than once.

Windflower grabbed his anorak and hat and took Lady out to the backyard. He also brought his smudging kit. Inside were small packets of his four sacred medicines: cedar, sage, sweetgrass and tobacco. There was also an abalone shell, a small box of wooden matches and an eagle feather fan that had been gifted to him by his grandfather many years ago.

He placed small amounts of each medicine in his abalone shell and lit them with a wooden match. Smudging was a way to cleanse his body, mind and spirit, and how he smudged was to use a fan or the feather to pass the smoke from the burning herbs over his head and body. He even sent the smoke under his feet.

He had been taught to pass the smoke over his head to give him clear thoughts and wisdom, over his heart to keep it pure and lead him to wisdom, and under his feet to let him walk a straightforward path in his daily life. He would also allow the smoke to linger around him as long as he could to remember that he was not alone in the world. Then, when he was finished, he would lay the ashes on bare ground so that all negative thoughts and feelings would be absorbed by Mother Earth. Lastly, he would pray. Today his prayers were all about gratitude.

This was a good morning to be grateful, thought Windflower. Amelia Louise was a happy, healthy child. Sheila was happy to be back in school full-time as she pursued her dreams of an MBA. And little Stella, their four-and-a-half-year-old who’d been through a lot in her life, including the recent loss of her mother, was starting to settle into their household. Windflower himself had just started a new assignment as public outreach coordinator with the regional Royal Canadian Mounted Police office in St. John’s.

Sergeant Winston Windflower had been a Mountie for all his working life. After training in Regina, he was posted to British Columbia for two years on highway patrol and another couple of years in Halifax before arriving to the province nine years ago for a posting in Grand Bank. Wow, he thought. That was a long time. Most of his career had been spent in the field and on the ground, so he was a bit apprehensive about this job in St. John’s. It was only for a year, but it was his first desk job. He wondered if he’d become stir-crazy sitting in the office so much. But that was something else he could pray about.

His last prayer was for himself. He didn’t pray for patience. His uncle told him never to pray for patience because Creator would only send more opportunities to practice it. Instead, he prayed for calmness and guidance, and for the wisdom and courage to ask for help. That was something he wasn’t very good at, and something he surely needed.

His prayers and rituals complete, he and Lady went back inside to start the rest of their day. Things happened quickly in his house once everyone was up in the morning. Windflower put on the coffee to get himself ready. Soon, he could hear Amelia Louise calling out and Sheila moving to get her. He went upstairs and saw that Stella was also awake but shy and uncertain about what to do.

Windflower went through her clothes for the day with her. Stella was going to school for the first time, junior kindergarten, and Windflower could tell she was both excited and afraid. He and Sheila had talked to her about it again last night to try to reassure her, and this morning Stella was trying to put on her brave little girl face. But she started to cry as Windflower was leaving, so he went back and held her. Once she stopped crying, he left her to get dressed and went downstairs.

It was Sheila’s first day back at school, and she was looking a little anxious too. Windflower went to her and gave her a hug.

“I guess it’s a big day for everybody,” said Sheila. “New job for you, Stella and I both going to school and Amelia Louise to daycare. Are we out of our minds?”

Windflower laughed. “It will be different, but once we all get our routines down, it’ll be fine,” he said. He poured both of them a cup of coffee. “I’ll make some oatmeal if you check on Stella. She looked like she might be having second thoughts about this school thing.”

“Like the rest of us,” said Sheila. “I’ll leave Amelia Louise to help you.”

That was one way to describe Amelia Louise’s activities while Windflower got breakfast ready. From teasing the cat, to trying to pull Lady’s tail off, to upsetting Sheila’s craft basket in the living room, Amelia Louise kept her father busy and alert. But somehow he managed to slice up some fruit and get everyone a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and maple syrup. An even bigger miracle was getting everyone out the door on time.

Windflower helped Sheila put Amelia Louise in the car so she could drop her off at daycare first and then take Stella to her kindergarten class. She would go into Memorial University later for her first morning class. He was fine. He could take his time and walk over to the RCMP offices across the lake, the one he couldn’t see for the fog. He cleaned up, got the pets all organized and started his first morning walk to work.

Order from Amazon!



Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 10 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Safe HarbourA Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writing Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore




Monday, July 26, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - July 26

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.

Would someone please tell me where summer is going? How is it already the end of July? By this time next month, the Lil' Princess will be starting her senior year at WMA. 

We celebrated my mother-in-law's 89th birthday on Sunday. I am hoping she at least gets to see her 90th birthday; something denied my father-in-law thanks to COVID. I am so thankful to have such a strong woman of faith in my life. 



The husband and I also got a chance to see the Red Sox beat the Yankees this weekend. I swear I am not the reason he has gotten so gray. I totally blame the Lil' Diva and Lil' Princess. 



Travis & Dwight were their usual curious selves this week.



As far as reading goes, I am trying to stay on top of it. Work has been crazy, but I am hoping for a tiny slow down in August. 

I finished this middle grade mystery yesterday. You can read my review at my children's book blog



I need to start these soon if I don't want to fall behind. 







I might try to read something just because I want to after that, but another new book arrived this week that I need to read. Check it out below.









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.

I found this in the mail last week and couldn't be happier. 




Founded by five unmarried and enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace in small-town Missouri is preparing for a joyous Christmas season. But will the holiday also bring unexpected tidings of love?

Twin sisters Molly and Marietta Helfing are eagerly anticipating Christmas, with Marietta fully recovered from cancer and their noodle making business thriving. But Molly clearly misses having former tenant Pete Shetler and his rambunctious dog, Riley, around. Marietta can’t ignore Molly’s feelings for Pete—or the anxiety it stirs within her. Convinced her illness has made her unmarriageable, Marietta wonders what kind of life she’ll have if her sister marries—despite Molly’s promise to never leave her behind. . . 

 Then a fire destroys the home of Amish neighbors and Molly and Marietta graciously make room for widower Glenn Detweiler, his dat, and his two young boys. When Pete returns to help the family rebuild, Molly relishes her reunion with the handsome carpenter, while Marietta delights in mothering Glenn’s boys—and is surprised by her poignant bond with their quiet, brooding father. Soon everyone is wondering if this season will bring the blessing of a merry double wedding to Morning Star . . .

What is on your list to read this week?

Monday, July 19, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - July 19

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.

Here we are at Monday again. Hope you had a nice week. We are experiencing unbelievable amounts of rain here. Flash floods, flooded basements, and washed out roads. I can't remember the weather being this rainy for so long ever... and I've lived here my entire life. Maybe I just blocked it out along with all those bad childhood memories. LOL!

Our unofficially adopted daughter turned 18 last week. Her dad threw her a huge birthday/graduation party. We got rained on, but it was a great time.


Daughter #3 is the same age as the Lil' Princess, but because LP's birthday is in November, they are a year apart in school. 

My birthday was Monday, which means I am creeping even closer to 55. Yikes! The Lil' Diva bought me some nice flowers.



I sometimes wonder how Theo doesn't hate us with all the ways we make him miserable. The Lil' Diva bought him a sweatshirt this week. 


Dwight and Travis look adorable, but don't let them fool you. They are total mischief makers. 


In my reading world, I surprised myself by finishing off and reviewing my first Murder, She Wrote novel. 


Read my review here.


I am reading this one. 



Though I could probably work another Murder, She Wrote novel in before these reviews are due, I think I will behave and start these right away. 






I also signed up for this book tour in October.









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.

I was so excited to see this one arrive in the mail this week. I sat in on a great Zoom conversation with the author, editor, and illustrator of this book on Sunday. 



I also grabbed this Kindle freebie, because you can never have enough books; though some might argue with me if they saw my closet.  



That's it from me this week. What are you reading? Do you have any good cozy mystery recommendations for me? I love to read them.