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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday Post August 2, 2015/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday August 3, 2015

Sunday Post - It's Monday! is still not up and linking while Sheila finds her way after her family tragedy.
Kathryn at Date Book suggested linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

This meme starts at Book Journey!
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I fought the cough all week going to bed early in hopes I would sleep without coughing. It resulted in a lot of reading/listening!

I finished three ebooks and three audios. I just managed to post three reviews by squeezing two in at the end of the week. I also posted the usual memes.

I didn't get to do any visiting since I barely was online. I came home, ate something light and went to bed. I didn't have any energy to fight with the old computer. I hope to get the new one set up this week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Audible Book Review: Sector 64: Ambush by Dean M. Cole; Sci Fi Suspense; my rating 4.0.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (and Print)

Dying to Read (The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1): A Novel 
by Lorena McCourtney 
This is a fun, easy read.
I picked up print copies at discount for our Ladies Book Club on August 1, which got postponed. Review and giveaway will post later this week.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible

Double Dip: A Davis Way Crime Caper
Written by: Gretchen Archer
Narrated by: Amber Benson
This was another great fun story continuing Davis' crazy antics.
I received this from Claire McKinneyPR.
I plan to post reviews for all three books this week.
Click on book title for full description.

3. eBook/Kindle

A Curse of Ash and Iron
by Christine Norris
This was rather unexpectedly good. 
I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.

4. Audible

Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1
Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
This was Great Entertainment!
This was from 2013 in my Audible library.
Publisher's Summary
From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson, comes the first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series - Steelheart. Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.
But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He's seen Steelheart bleed.
And he wants revenge.
©2013 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2013 Audible Inc.

5. eBook /Kindle

Footsteps in the Sky
by Greg Keyes
I was attracted by the cover and ended up enjoying this story.
I selected this at NetGalley.
The pueblo people who landed on the Fifth World found it Earthlike, empty, and ready for colonization . . . but a century later, they are about to meet the planet’s owners

One hundred years ago, Sand’s ancestors made the long, one-way trip to the Fifth World, ready to work ceaselessly to terraform the planet. Descendants of native peoples like the Hopi and Zuni, they wanted to return to the way of life of their forebears, who honored the Kachina spirits.

Now, though, many of the planet’s inhabitants have begun to resent their grandparents’ decision to strand them in this harsh and forbidding place, and some have turned away from the customs of the Well-Behaved People. Sand has her doubts, but she longs to believe that the Kachina live on beyond the stars and have been readying a new domain for her people.

She may be right. Humans have discovered nine habitable worlds, all with life that shares a genetic code entirely alien to any on Earth. Someone has been seeding planets, bringing life to them. But no other sign of the ancient farmers has ever been discovered—until one day they return to the Fifth World. They do not like what they find.

Originally written in 1994, Footsteps in the Sky is finally being released in digital form by Open Road Media.

6. Audible

Double Strike
Written by: Gretchen Archer
Narrated by: Amber Benson
I enjoyed this adventure too - hope for more.
I received this audio from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.
Publisher's Summary
Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn’t a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don’t trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history: the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two. Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three problems: She’s desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer. Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three goals: Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for future gaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good. Double Strike. A VIP invitation to an extraordinary high-stakes gaming event, as thieves, feds, dance instructors, shady bankers, kidnappers, and gold waiters go all in.
©2014 Gretchen Archer (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery (A Cajun Country Mystery)
by Ellen Byron
This is starting out to be a fun cozy. 
I selected this through NetGalley.
Check in for some Southern hospitality in Plantation Shudders, the Cajun Country series debut from Ellen Byron.
It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival—elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other - one from very unnatural causes - Maggie and her family suddenly become suspects in a murder.
With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron’s charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

2. Audible

Written by: Peter Clines
Narrated by: Ray Porter
I selected this from my own Audible Library.
Publisher's Summary
Audie Award Nominee, Science Fiction, 2013
Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.
There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s. Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends. Or the end of everything....
©2012 Peter Clines and Permuted Press (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

3. eBook/Kindle

Dark Horse
by Michelle Diener
I selected this at NetGalley because it sounds really good.
Some secrets carry the weight of the world. Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally--a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided. Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being. She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games. In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

June 1, 2015- I am still up to date on Bible reading and greatly enjoying the readings-- It seems my eyes are open to more details and meaning.. I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church. I am also listening to the companion commentary online.

I posted three reviews last week which left one and six new for this week. So it should be busy on reviews.
I am reading two NetGalley titles and added one. That brings my shelf down to five NetGalley titles.
I hope to do a few more TBRs in August. 

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 

I didn't get to reply to the new author-offered books while I was crawling in bed.
I added just one NetGalley title and purchased one Kindle bundle. I am still trying to decide on my two Audible choices.
I downloaded the free Audio pair from SYNC and I added more free kindle titles to my library.

(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests, old and new ones, to consider and reply to.)
Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I selected one title at NetGalley this week.

The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood Book 1)
by Jeff Wheeler
In a world full of magic and mystery, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and rightful heir to the throne.... Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself free and save the realm she loves—even if her people have forgotten her?

This author seems to have created a special fantasy world and the story was enticing.


I purchased on .99 cent bundle. I think I will have to do another month of no purchases I have to force myself to resist these as there are so many that tempt me. 
Dying to Read Collection
by Susette Williams, Cynthia Hickey, Janice Thompson, Christy Barritt & Traci Tyne Hilton

Free Downloads from AudioFile SYNC 2015 for week Twelve.

Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles
by Tanya Lee Stone
Read by J.D. Jackson

John Ball’s In the Heat of the Night
by Matt Pelfrey
Read by Ryan Vincent Anderson, Michael Hammond, Kalen Harriman, Travis Johns, James Morrison, Darren Richardson, Tom Virtue

Over the past week I again added 45 free Kindle titles to my library this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement August 2, 2015

I missed church again this morning as was coughing and dragging after an interrupted night with about four hours sleep. This week our daily Bible readings have been in 2 Chronicles 19-30, Psalm 21-25 75, Romans 10-16 and Proverbs 20. One of my prior studies, Through the Bible in One Year, notes that Chronicles is a retrospective review of the history of the people of Israel and provides a vital lesson from them and for us: “a nations’ response to God is the decisive factor in its history.” (Page 49.)

God blessed Israel, His chosen nation, but punished them to the point of removing His protections and blessings, even allowing them to be carried off, because they turned away from His commands, worshiped idols and allowed sin to run rampant. I have no reason to think He will not bring similar punishment on America as it’s people scorn His blessings and turn more and more to their selfish desires, allowing wickedness to abound.

What can we do?? We are called to be watchmen. We can pray and we share God’s Good News.
[Related posts: The Harbinger, The Mystery of the Shemitah, Four Blood Moons, and If My People Prayer Guide.]

This is a powerful praise song we have been singing at Church: Victor’s Crown.
I think it fits for this message.
Verses for Today:
2 Chronicles 30:8-9
8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

Lord, I thank You for Your blessings and guidance. I thank You for Your Glory. I trust in Your plans. I trust Your faithfulness, mercy and grace.

Book Review: If My People . . .: A 40-Day Prayer Guide for Our Nation By Jack Countryman

This is an inspiring prayer devotional.
By: Jack Countryman

  • File Size: 178 KB
  • Print Length: 59 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1404187286
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 27, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 27, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • ASIN: B003DS6OII
Genre: Devotional
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

If My People guides believers on a 40-day prayer journey in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14.
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
In the days prior to the election, this prayer booklet guides believers through 40 days of prayer, plus providing seven prayers from past presidents, inspired during some of our country's darkest days.

This is a very easy, but powerful 40-day prayer devotional. It was originally released before the election in 2008 as a tool to help increase spiritual awareness and the need for repentance and renewal. The version linked was re-released before the 2012 elections. Anyone who has read the Bible is familiar with the 2 Chronicles 7:14 promise reflected above.

This study guide pulls daily readings from new testament and old and pairs them with a succinct prayer for each day of the 40 readings. At every five day interval there is a quote from an American President that acknowledges God’ sovereignty and hand on America from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. The political affiliation of the president is not important, but their acknowledgment of the importance of prayer is vital. I found these entries inspiring. I also found the few pages of revival history at the end of this slim volume interesting.

Times and conditions in America were at least troubled from a Christian perspective in 2008, and again in 2012. In my opinion, conditions have deteriorated since then. I do love my country and I pray for our people. I love My Lord more and understand the righteous anger He has every right to wield.

I think this is a guide for prayers that should be repeated often by every faithful American. It would be grand to do the study as a group but even individually, the prayers are important. I believe that God hears our prayers and that prayers give strength to others, and angels, in the unseen battles that wage around us.

I selected this guide on sale at to share with Ladies Book Club.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #213 Comment Giveaway for August 1, 2015

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
I have had to struggle through my busy week with my cough/cold. The very sweet, faithful and called Doctor who runs our church "Faith Health Clinic" brought cough syrup to my home earlier in the week and called me to come into the clinic today. He said I have flu symptoms for which he prescribed several medications. Hopefully it will clear up sooner than later!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Miki, Carol L and SueF each named series they would like continued. I will be checking into those series. :-) Nine commenters could not think of any short series they would like continued although most thought there were some and two liked longer series. Two said they didn't know any series they would like continued.

The regular Winner from SBB #212 comments is: #13 Mary P who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. I'm hoping to update the book choices this week. Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #213 (One Question.)

Booklady asks: Q1 If you were able to meet any author (living or dead), who would it be and what would you discuss??
A: I double checked my list of questions and did not find this asked before. This is a really hard question. I've been fortunate to meet a few modern day authors. I can think of several living, and a few dead, authors that I might like to meet and depending on who, the discussion might vary (i.e. romance authors v. sci fi authors v. mystery authors). I just finished a book by Brandon Sanderson so tonight I think I might like to meet him and discuss fantastical weapons and tools.
Image found at Brandon

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify to use.

Your turn to share:
Booklady asks: Q1 If you were able to meet any author (living or dead), who would it be and what would you discuss??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the  Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. One of these days I will get together a new box of Christmas titles.)

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday August 8, 2015 at 5 PM central.

Book Review: SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Fox by Don Mann, Ralph Pezzullo

This is a fast-paced story of military action that includes personal elements giving it more depth.
SEAL Team Six: Hunt the Fox
by Don Mann, Ralph Pezzullo
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316377481
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (May 12, 2015)
  • Publication Date: May 12, 2015
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Military Thriller
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

In war-torn Syria, the heroes of the SEAL Team Six series defuse an ISIS warlord's explosive plot.
After a meeting with a CIA source in Istanbul ends in tragedy, SEAL Team Six Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker vows revenge. He suspects the men who attacked him and his contact are involved in the the latest and most harrowing scheme SEAL Team Six is charged with preventing, in a region that grows more volatile by the day.
Syria's government is unraveling, with the alliances among rebel groups increasingly complex and ISIS dangerously in the mix. Farid al-Kazaz, aka the Fox, leads the most threatening of the ISIS factions. The Fox believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the murder of the Fox's brother and is planning a sarin gas attack that would wreak havoc across not just Syria, but the entire Middle East. It's up to Crocker and the rest of SEAL Team Six to stop a ruthless killer and keep an explosive plan from detonating.
The SEAL Team Six series has been hailed by special forces veterans and members of the intelligence community as a fascinating, behind-closed-doors look at the real-life heroism of our country's bravest soldiers. Now, Mann and Pezzullo use their experience and insight to tell the story of a terrifying plot ripped straight from the headlines.

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Crocker is finds himself and his situation contact under attack in Istanbul, ‘...Europe’s largest city..., twice the size of London.’ He doesn’t yet know why he and his team have been summoned but they are soldiers who come when called. He meets with his local government commander with two foreigners, a successful business man and a beautiful, if fierce looking, young woman. The business man conveys news of a sarin gas located in Syria that could fall into the hands of ISIS where it would be a devastatingly dangerous weapon. The Seal Team, if given the higher-up go-ahead, must sneak onto a foreign air force facility to capture the gas canisters before they fall into the wrong hands. Then they will have to out race several different factions of warring troops covering the territory between the base and Turkey.

In this area of hostile peoples, with different political and ideological motives, it is difficult to know who can be trusted. Before their job is over, the team has to hunt down betrayers and “the Fox” as threats are made against civilians out for nothing more than pleasure on an American vessel.

I enjoy the fast-paced military danger and stealth elements of this series. But there is more that makes the stories fuller. The author shares personal emotions of the primary character, including relationship struggles he faces with his wife and graduating daughter at home. These are stark realities that many of us who do not have family members in active, dangerous, military situations do not think of or appreciate as extra problems our soldiers have to cope with.

I also liked the depth of political history (sit rep) and sensory input that add background to the military story. This is a reminder that there are so many conflicting interests in the middle east that it makes it difficult to know who and how to help and more difficult to know who to trust. Stories like this help provide some understanding, and I guess provide a vague acceptance, of our troops involvement by taking the view that war against terrorism, and keeping our defenses secure, often requires action on foreign soil. There is also a portrayal of the unfortunate simple civilians who are caught in the gritty ravages of war that is not of their own choosing. This fuels the American penchant for seeking to help in humanitarian situations even when our help isn’t always wanted or appreciated.

The story has a good mixture of history, military action, intrigue and personal and emotional investment. The overall effect makes for an engaging reading experience. This is the second story I read in the series (Seal Team Six: Hunt the Wolf) and I find they can be read fine as stand-alones. I recommend this story (and series) to those who enjoy military suspense that includes some personal touches.

I received this title through NetGalley for an honest review. It is part of my NetGalley Challenge.


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