Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Top Ten Books or Covers That Make Me Think of Summer Vacation



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.    

Welcome to the first Tuesday in June. It's been nearly a month since a Top Ten Tuesday was posted here, so we are overdue. 

June used to be a hectic month and the time when our schedules changed. The girls had end of the school year events and sports wrapped up for the season. Now that the Lil' Diva is working full time, and the Lil' Princess ends her school year in May, the only thing that has remained the same is our summer vacation. We leave the last Friday in June for the Outer Banks. I can't wait! 

With this week's topic of books or covers that feel/look like summer, I already knew what I would do. Here are my...

Top Ten Books or Covers That Make Me Think of Summer Vacation


We stay in a house one mile from the Wright Brothers National Memorial. We've visited the museum a couple of times and climbed the hill to the monument. 


Though the fictional town of Cedar Cove is based on Port Orchard, Washington, like the Outer Banks, it has a lighthouse. Well, the OBX has several. We have been to most of them, and the girls climbed the Cape Hatteras Light with their dad. 


Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop mysteries are actually set in Savannah, GA, but the OBX has several thrift and consignment shops along 158, which is the main highway going through the Outer Banks.


The Moonlight Harbor series is set on the Washington coast, but it makes me think of Manteo. They have many beautiful spots, some areas are a bit rundown, but they both attract people who love the more peaceful way of life. 


The fictional Belle Isle in Mary Kay Andrews' story of a woman who is waiting by the ferry dock for her husband's arrival when she is served papers, is based on Bald Head Island in NC. We travel by ferry to Ocracoke Island off the Hatteras coast. This also ties into Wilmington for us, because Bald Head is on the east side of Cape Fear River Basin, which contributed to Wilmington's development as a port community.  


I have always wanted to spend winter on the OBX, especially Christmas. The family isn't into it, but I am so down if they ever change their minds. 


This is a post Civil War novel set in Nags Head, which is an OBX resort village. The author grew up in Virginia and visited the Outer Banks many times throughout her childhood and into adulthood. She has written three books in this series. Nags Head is the village down the highway from where we stay in Kill Devil Hills. Nags Head is known for a lot of things, but we like their hammocks.


This is a dual timeline novel. A young woman is the sole survivor of a shipwreck off the North Carolina coast in the late 1880s. Then, 130 years later, a young widow moves to the Outer Banks to start a new life. After that, the lives of these women become intertwined. We have been to Cape Hatteras more than once. They have a wonderful Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, which is currently undergoing renovation. 


Like many booklovers, I enjoy visiting bookstores across the country. It's probably no surprise that bookstores come and go, so we try to support them as best we can. Downtown Books in Manteo is a yearly visit. We also visit Books to be Red when we make it out to Ocracoke. 


Eva Gates set her Lighthouse Library Mystery on Bodie Island on the Outer Banks. We have been there more than once. One of my favorite photos of the girls was taken there. This is one of those series I will probably never catch up on, since she is already 10 books in. 

So, what did you think of my list? Have you read any of these? 

Monday, June 5, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - June 5

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 the first Monday in June. I hope you had a nice week. Mine was tremendously busy, but also pleasantly productive. Tons of real estate fun, finished two editing projects, spent a tiny bit of time in my kitchen, and even finished reading a short book. On Sunday, I completed my North Carolina continuing education to retain my real estate license. Now, I am good in all three states (MA, CT, NC) until 2024. Thank goodness for that. 

As far as reading goes, I feel more accomplished as well. My Goodreads goal for 2023 is on track, and I'm working to stay on top of reviews for this month. 

My review of this book appeared last week at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection


I also reviewed this book at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection. You can read my review here


I finished this one on NetGalley and posted a review here as well. 



Loving this one so far, but I expected nothing less than wonderful from my dear friend.




I hope to finish this NetGalley download this week. Progress shows 57%.


This book will be next.


I was approved for Charlotte Hubbard's upcoming Promise Lodge novel on NetGalley, so that is also on my list.



Upcoming virtual book tours:
  • A Final Farwell by Marilyn Meredith - June 20 (review)
  • All That Glitters by Mike Martin - June 29 (review)
  • Single Parents Rock! by Jaret Martino - July 19 (review TC&TBC)
  • The Unempty Spaces Between by Louis Efron - July 20 (review)
  • Exits by Stephne C. Pollock - August 7 (review)
  • Ravage & Son by Jerome Charyn - August 21 (review)

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.

When Charlotte contacted me about her upcoming release, I knew I would say yes. I don't even mind reading on NetGalley with my phone app. 




Returning to the fan-favorite world of the closeknit Amish community of Promise Lodge, the small-town Missouri setting of her beloved Amish inspirational romance novels, the author continues to delight readers with uplifting tales of faith, family, and the blessings and happiness of true love and caring partnership. For fans of Shelley Shepard Gray and Beth Wiseman.

When Karen Mercer and Andi Swann come to Promise Lodge for a week’s stay, the Kuhn sisters quickly detect the guests are not Plain folk, despite their kapps and homemade dresses. Entranced by the idyllic Amish lifestyle they’ve read about in romance novels, the visitors have gone undercover to revisit the place that was once the church camp where they spent happy summers. They mean no harm—but when the truth is uncovered, their deception has an intriguing impact on the faithful, hard-working community . . . 

 Meanwhile, amid bustling preparations for a spring wedding, a shy horse trainer is encouraged to share his colorful world with a newcomer awaiting a miracle . . . while the widowed baker of luscious Promise Lodge Pies sees a long-time friendship in a romantic new light. And in the wake of a destructive storm, Karen and Andi’s insider knowledge of the grounds may offer the safe passage they all need to renew and rebuild—stronger than ever . . .

I hope to be able to check in with all of my blogging friends throughout the day, but if my schedule gets away from me, I promise to visit this week. Happy reading!

Monday, May 29, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - May 29

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 the final Monday of May. For those of us in the States, today is Memorial Day, a time to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. We will be joining in the National Moment of Remembrance today. 



The weather has been beautiful for the unofficial start to the summer. Though officially summer will not begin until June 21st, many consider Memorial Day weekend the kick off to summer. 



The United States Honor Flag™, which flew over the rubble of 9/11, made its way to Rick's Place in Wilbraham this month. Rick Thorpe died in the South Tower on September 11th. This non-profit, dedicated to providing free grief support to children, teens, and families, is one whose board I am proud to sit on.

Moving on to lighter happenings, the pets have enjoyed the warmer weather. 



The Lil' Diva and the Lil' Princess had fun at the Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium recently with one of their friends. 


As far as reading goes, I am making good progress. No audio books lately. I might find one to grab before I drive up for inspections at a property on Tuesday.

My review of this book will appear today at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection


Look for my review of this book on Wednesday, also at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection. 



I need to finish this one by June 2. 


I started this one over the weekend on our drive to Worcester to see the nephew's baseball tournament.


I also started this graphic novel that I downloaded from Netgalley.


This book will be next.



Upcoming virtual book tours:
  • A Final Farwell by Marilyn Meredith - June 20 (review)
  • All That Glitters by Mike Martin - June 29 (review)
  • The Unempty Spaces Between by Louis Efron - July 20 (review)
  • Exits by Stephne C. Pollock - August 7 (review)
  • Ravage & Son by Jerome Charyn - August 21 (review)

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.

Nothing in my physical mailbox this week, but I grabbed this one on sale for my Kindle.



Most books about Abraham Lincoln end on April 14, 1865, the day he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre. But that historic event takes place near the beginning of The Last Lincolns, a singular title in the vast output of Lincolnia and one of the most unusual books ever written on the sixteenth president and his family. Going far beyond that fateful day into uncharted territory, it's a gripping page turner written by a TV producer with proven storytelling skills.

This absorbing American tragedy tells the largely unknown story of the acrimony that consumed the Lincolns in the months and years that followed the president's murder. This was not a family that came together in mourning and mutual sadness; instead, they fell out over the anguished mental condition of the widowed Mary. In 1875, Robert, the handsome but resentful eldest Lincoln child engineered her arrest and forcible commitment to an insane asylum. In each succeeding generation, the Lincolns' misfortunes multiplied, as a litany of alcohol abuse, squandered fortunes, burned family papers, and outright dissipation led to the downfall of this once-great family.

Charles Lachman traces the story right up to the last generation of Lincoln descendants: great-grandson Bob Lincoln Beckwith, his estranged wife, Annemarie, and her son, Timothy Lincoln Beckwith. Bob, who was according to all medical evidence sterile, believes the son who bears the Lincoln name was the product of an adulterous affair. Annemarie, however, wanted the boy to be a Lincoln, putting the child in line for a vast inheritance. There's even evidence uncovered by Lachman for the first time that a scheme to obtain possession of the Lincoln fortune was orchestrated by Bob Beckwith's chauffer, who may have been the notorious outlaw and skyjacker, D.B. Cooper.

Published in advance of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday in February 2009, The Last Lincolns provides an unforgettable glimpse into the personal legacy left by the man who could unite a nation…but not his own family.

I will be in and out today, working on wrapping up that editing project that is overdue. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Series Spotlight: Ghost Hunter Series by Peter J. White


“Peter J. White and his Ghost Hunter: The Hollow Men should be at the top of that list and profiled on library book recommendation lists as a standout.”

 — Midwest Book Review

 ________________

Inside the Book

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Title: The Hollow Men
Author: Peter J. White
Publisher: Self/English Unlimited LLC
Pages: 496
Genre: Paranormal Vigilante Justice Thrillers / Classic Horror

When the ghostly victims of a small-town crime lord find him, ex-special forces soldier Max Sinclair realizes the only road to peace is to serve them the justice they crave.

But the Bannister clan has tentacles that reach from Eastern Washington into Mexico, trafficking women across the border and into their brothels. Haunted by visions of the dead, Max burns a swath through the Bannister empire, doing his best to set the dead free, but odds are he’ll be joining them before he’s done.

The Hollow Men is the first novel in the Ghost Hunter series about a vigilante who sees the dead—Max Sinclair. Haunted by visions and longing for justice and redemption, Max hunts down evil incarnate—his soul hanging in the balance as he walks the line between the dark and the light.

“Peter J. White and his Ghost Hunter: The Hollow Men should be at the top of that list and profiled on library book recommendation lists as a standout.” —D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review/Editor, Donovan’s Literary Services.

★★★★★ “Gripping and Timely Page Turner: From the first line, this tale grabs you and draws you in. Human trafficking is the dark side of our civilization, the modern, brutal form of slavery. Mr. White takes this subject on with a hard punch and a supernatural twist that keeps you on the edge of your seat.“—Amazon Reader

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3MUrlCK 

 

Inside the Book

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Title: Slouching Toward Tenancingo
Author: Peter J. White
Publisher: Self/English Unlimited LLC
Pages: 547
Genre: Paranormal Vigilante Justice Thrillers/Classic Horror

Max Sinclair is heading straight into the heart of evil: Tenancingo—center of the Mexican human trafficking industry. There’s a man down there that’s done someone he loves wrong, and Max aims at setting things straight.

On the way, he’s accumulated some powerful enemies—of the cartel variety—and attracted the attention of the Black Queen: Mexico’s most prominent priestess to Santa Muerte.

Hunted by the Queen, haunted by the dead, fueled by a fierce desire for justice, Max wages war against the evil that blackens the land. But with the Barrera cartel’s five million dollar bounty on his head, odds are he won’t make it to his final reckoning.

Slouching Toward Tenancingo is the second novel in the Ghost Hunter series about a vigilante who sees the dead—Max Sinclair. Haunted by visions and longing for justice and redemption, Max hunts down evil incarnate—his soul hanging in the balance as he walks the line between the dark and the light.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mFTFyh 

Inside the Book

· ┈┈┈┈┈┈ · ꕥ · ┈┈┈┈┈┈ ·

Title: Bangkok Redemption
Author: Peter J. White
Publisher: Self/English Unlimited LLC
Pages: 656
Genre: Paranormal Vigilante Justice Thrillers / Classic Horror

Back in Thailand, Max Sinclair is hot on the trail of a Thai gangster who killed the one he loved. But when a street child he’s befriended is snatched up by a ring of pedophiles, Max diverts his mission of vengeance to save her.

Max is thrust into a world of Black Magic, Spirit Doctors, human sacrifice, and The Ancient Ones: forces older than mankind who work to extinguish the light.

Meanwhile, he’s stepped right in the middle of a power struggle between a Thai Mafia kingpin and his counterpart in the Russian Mafia.

Caught in the middle of a triangle of powers seeking to dominate the land, Max doesn’t stand a chance of surviving.

But he will not be denied, no matter the cost.

And maybe, along the way, he’ll find the balance he seeks, and ultimately, redemption.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/40hqZJr 

 

Inside the Book

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Title: The Bad Beginning
Author: Peter J. White
Publisher: Self/English Unlimited LLC
Pages: 614
Genre: Paranormal Vigilante Justice Thrillers / Classic Horror

Go back to the beginning of the highly-rated Ghost Hunter series with this prequel:

Max Sinclair, a former special forces officer, thought he could leave his violent past behind when he resigned his commission and moved to Thailand to train in Muay Thai.

But when the powerful and dangerous Amnat Meut, the Thai mafia, begins enlarging their grip on the world of Muay Thai boxing, Max’s peaceful retreat becomes a fight for survival.

As he battles to protect his beloved camp and the people he’s grown to care for, Max discovers a hidden ability to see the dead. But will his newfound gift be enough to save him from losing everything, including his very soul?

Ghost Hunter: The Bad Beginning is the gripping prequel to the series, delving into the dark past and supernatural powers of one man’s quest for redemption.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/40kGCQr

Book Excerpt of The Hollow Men



Max killed the big Kawasaki Ninja.

A hot wind whistled, blowing sand and dust cross-wise. A tumbleweed the size of a large dog scratched its way across the road and into the desert.

He stepped up onto the old fashioned boardwalk, his boots clomping on the weathered wood, and made his way into Riker’s Bar.

Inside, the room was dim and smoky, despite laws to the contrary.

A few scattered cowpoke-looking men sat at tables with varying amounts of empty beer bottles in front of them, three men at the bar. 

No one looked. 

Max strode to the bar and threw a leg over a stool.

“Bushmill’s. Beer back,” he said.

The bartender gave him a long look, nodded, and turned to serve up the drinks.

Max put his elbows on the bar and used the mirror to scope out the room.

Just as he thought. 

He’d counted eight men at the assorted tables on his way in.

Now there were nine. And a woman in a red dress.

“A goddamn red dress,” Max said. “Shit.”

What the hell is it with dead women and red? Do women attracted to danger and bad men like red? Did their men dress them before they killed them

“Excuse me?” said the bartender.

Max looked away from the mirror.

“Nothing,” he said. “Thinking out loud.”

The bartender gave him another look.

“I seen you before?” he asked.

“Doubt it,” Max said. “Never been here.”

“Huh,” said the bartender, “I would’ve sworn....” 

“I get that a lot,” Max said. “Common type: Bald guy, goatee.” 

“Huh,” said the bartender again.

Max looked around the bar: booths against the wall, tables scattered at the periphery of a dance floor, some pool tables and actual pinball machines in the back. Standard. He didn’t imagine there was much need for anything to draw in customers: those who drank would come. 

“Bar’s been here a while?”  Max said.

The bartender leaned back and crossed his arms.

“Yup. Big times here in the old days.”

“It goes back that far? Oil boom days?”

“Yup. Black Callahan’s place, originally.”

Max frowned.

“Black Callahan. He the one that got himself hanged?”

Max scrutinized the man next to the woman in the red dress in the mirror. 

Big fellow. Old-fashioned fancy, shirt with a string tie, black leather vest, cowboy hat. Jet black hair, beady eyes, five o-clock shadow like sandpaper on his face.

The man’s gaze stayed fixed, riveted. Unnatural. He didn’t move. Didn’t blink. 

Neither did the woman beside him.

She was a beauty. The red dress complimented her red hair. Fair skin, with a dusting of freckles. Bright eyes that never moved or blinked.  

The couple looked as if they’d been captured in amber, a static holographic image.

The bartender stepped forward.

“You know the history?”

Max nodded.

“Heard of it.”

The men in the room worked their drinks, their talk low. 

The couple at the table shifted.

The big man’s face colored and contorted, a mixture of rage and pain rippling across his features, bending them into the mask of a devil.

The woman’s bright eyes bulged, and the top of her head dented in, blood and brain matter running down her pretty face.

“Killed her right here in this bar,” the bartender said.

“Figured,” said Max. 

“Bashed her head in, that table over there.” The bartender gestured at an empty table in the back. “With a hammer.”

“Hmm,” said Max. “Looks more like the butt of a pistol, to me.”

“What?” said the bartender.

Max shook his head, looked away. 

“Heard different. That’s all.”

Max picked up the shot of Bushmill’s.

“Bottoms up.” 

He threw the shot back in a fluid motion, grimaced, picked up the short glass of beer and tossed that down on top of the whisky.

“Better,” he said, wiping his lips with the back of his hand.

“You sure I ain’t see ya before?” the bartender asked.

Max shook his head.

“I told you. I’m a common type, that’s all.”

The bartender’s eyes didn’t waver, “Nope. Something tells me there ain’t nothing common about you at all. Not a thing.” 

Max’s smile never touched his eyes. 

“So I’ve been told,” he said. “What do I owe you?”  

He reached back to pull the wallet from his pocket, and the bartender jumped a little.

“Easy,” said Max. “Just getting my wallet.”

“Sorry,” the bartender said. “Just feeling a little spooked, I guess. Been feeling that way since you come in.”

Max met the bartender’s gaze until the bartender turned to polish the glass in his hand.

“Yup,” Max said. “Get that a lot.”

He slipped a ten dollar bill out of his wallet and laid it on the bar.

“Keep the change,” he said.

The bartender offered him a nervous smile in return. “Thanks,” he said.

Max nodded, took a last look at the tableau in the mirror—the demonically twisted face on the big guy, the bulged eyes and brain matter on the face of the redhead—then turned to go.

Just eight men in the room.

“Right,” Max said.

He eased the door closed behind him on the way out, pulled it shut.

Boots on the boardwalk and back to his motorcycle.

“Shit,” he said. “Cannot get a break.”

He threw a leg over the bike, kicked it off its stand and started it up.

“Seriously.”

The bartender picked up Max’s shot and beer glasses, carried them to the sink as the rumble of Max’s motorcycle faded.

He spun quickly, shot a look at the room, relaxed a little, and turned back to the sink.

More...





About the Author

Peter J. White was born in Colorado and raised in SE Alaska. He has degrees in Education, French, and an MFA in Creative Writing. He taught ELL in Bangkok, Thailand for six years, and currently teaches high school English in Washington State. Hobbies, past and present, include writing, bicycling, mountain climbing, kickboxing, MMA, and yoga.

Website: https://peterjwhite.weebly.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088706454075


Sponsored By:

Sunday, May 21, 2023

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday - May 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.       

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great week. Mine was filled with the typical appointments, meetings, and driving. At least I got a chance to listen to a good book! And I accomplished a fair amount of things. Not cleaning the house, but other stuff. :) 

The Lil' Diva and Lil' Princess attended the Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. I am fairly certain that mom stress never goes away. Even though they are adults, I have to pray a lot while they are driving, out at crowded events without us, and pretty much not in my site or safe at home. Any one else relate? 

Here is what my reading world looks like. 

Reviewed this Bible study. You can read my review here.


Reviewed this personal growth book... well, what I read of it anyway. Read my thoughts here.



I also finished listening to this book on Audible. Loved it! Thankfully, I already own it in hardcover, because there are resources I want to check out.



Read a few pages of this one.



I finished this book. Look for my review soon at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection



Look for my review of this one on May 29 at TC&TBC.


I will start this one soon, but I need to complete an editing project first.



Upcoming virtual book tours:
  • The Ghost Hunters Series Spotlight - May 22
  • The Giving Back Tree by Tarky Lee - May 29 (review at TC&TBC)
  • A Final Farwell by Marilyn Meredith - June 20 (review)
  • All That Glitters by Mike Martin - June 29 (review)
  • The Unempty Spaces Between by Louis Efron - July 20 (review)
  • Exits by Stephne C. Pollock - August 7 (review)
  • Ravage & Son by Jerome Charyn - August 21 (review)

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.

My mailbox saw more action than usual because I signed up for a couple more virtual book tours, and because I ordered a used book from Amazon. 




I also requested this one from NetGalley. The phone app has certainly made using NetGalley much easier for me.



Hope you read and received some great books last week. I look forward to visiting you.