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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Audible Review: The Remaining: Allegiance by D. J. Molles

This wasn’t the strongest episode but I thought it still moved forward well.
The Remaining: Allegiance
Written by: D. J. Molles
Narrated by: Christian Rummel
Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
Series: The Remaining, Book 5
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:02-24-15
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Sci Fi, Post Apocalyptic
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
This is the fifth novel in the action-packed series following Special Forces Captain Lee Harden and a group of survivors struggling to make their way in a ruined world. After a bacterium has turned 90 percent of the population into a ravenous horde, Lee must complete his mission: SURVIVE, RESCUE, REBUILD.
©2015 D.J. Molles (P)2014 Audible Inc.

This is the fifth novel in the series. Lee is trying to recover from his injuries and struggles. He is trying to help with the state of leadership at Camp Ryder, while trying to figure out how he can help the two convoys that went east and west.

LaRouche has gone missing from the east group leaving Wilson to continue the scrambling efforts to destroy the bridges over the Roanoke River. The team is on a desperate race to stay ahead of the infected hordes they can hear and see on the north side of the river.

Harper’s team has reached Eden only to discover that they may be too late to prevent the spread of the infected hordes there. His team has been joined by a group of Marines although there is some friction between the Camp Ryder team and the Marines. An impulsive and angry decision puts one team member down with a broken leg. But real trouble appears when a betrayal takes place.

While we follow the usual characters, we also get to follow new characters. Abe and Luke were part of Project Hometown until they got new orders. They have begun to question if they are doing the ‘right’ thing. They are moving in one direction but become captives of a new element in the story.

Things move quickly in this episode following five different threads. There is still good action and much conflict as personalities continue to mold with the new realities and moralities of the situation. Sides are being drawn between those who support the concept of Project Hometown and those who are committed to follow the new President with the plans to abandon the southern states to the hordes. Lee and Camp Ryder have to face the fact that they cannot succeed without gaining new alliances.

This installment has a bit too much internal introspection that creates strange pauses. Still, I am completely wrapped in this series and I am anxious to listen to the next book to find out what happens. (There is still a lot of violence and language continuing in the series although maybe not as heavy or noticeable/memorable.)

Audio Notes: I don’t have much new to add regarding the excellent narration by Christian Rummel. I read the two novellas on Kindle and I am glad to be back to audio for the rest of the series. The narration enhances the intensity and entertainment value for me.

Links to my reviews of the earlier books:
The Remaining, Book 1
The Remaining: Aftermath, Book 2
The Remainig: The Refugees, Book 3
The Remaining: The Fractured, Book 4
The Remaining: Trust: a Novella
The Remaining: Faith: a Novella

I selected this with a September Audible Credit. This adds to my Audio Challenge.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Post October 4, 2015/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday October 5, 2015

I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's Monday! at Book Journey is active again too.

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.

My DH and I enjoyed a relaxing Bahama's cruise.  We met many Christians on the ship which was encouraging and refreshing for us. We were glad to return before bad weather but I am mindful of (and prayerful for) the many states experiencing rain and flooding this past week. 

I enjoyed my reading and listening.  I finished three books: two audio and one ebook. I posted five reviews and the usual memes posted.

I didn't visit last week as I was away on cruise with limited internet. I hope to do better this week.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review (Plus Giveaway Link): The Last Chance Christmas Ball - Collection of Eight Wonderful Authors; Historical Romance, Holiday; my rating 4.5.
Finished Reading:
1. Audible/MP3

The Remaining: Extinction
by D.J. Molles
Narrated by: Christian Rummel
I think this is the conclusion but 
I would like more.
I will post my review this week.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle + Print

First the Dead: A Bug Man Novel
by Tim Downs
We discussed this at Ladies' Book Club on Saturday October 3, 2015. 
I will post a review and giveaway later this week.
Click on book title for full description.

3. Audible/MP3

Annihilation: Love Conquers All
Written by: Saxon Andrew
Narrated by: Liam Owen
I needed more sci fi after finishing The Remaining series so I pulled this from my Audible Library from August 2014.
Publisher's Summary
Annihilation: Love Conquers All offers humor and a tale of enduring love against the backdrop of galactic war on a grand scale.
Tag, an exceptional young human living in Central City on the planet Earth, tries to keep his powerful, one-of-a-kind skills undetected by leading an ordinary life and staying under the radar. But one day, on the way home from school, Tag's compassion leads him to make a decision that alters the course of his life - and history.
The Alliance of Worlds, which includes Earth as a ruled non-member, has decided that humans are to be annihilated as an example to anyone who discovers an ancient alien technology, even though there is no proof against them. The Alliance thinks fifty thousand warships can do the job. Unfortunately, the humans are not cooperating with their plan and one young human who has fallen in love will change everything...
In this epic story, author Saxon Andrew takes us into the future and the lives of human and nonhuman characters alike. Along with a hearty dose of battles and spaceships, this is a story that offers humor and a tale of enduring love against the backdrop of galactic war on a grand scale.
©March 2011 Saxon Andrew (P)2014 Saxon Andrew Publishing LLC.

Currently reading:
1. Print Book

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story, O'Malley Series #1
By Dee Henderson
I haven't quite finished this although we discussed it Saturday at ladies' book club.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
Written by: Lynne Olson
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
I had this in my Audible library since 2011 so it is part of my TBR Challenge. 
I am about 5 hours in and finding it quite interesting.
Publisher's Summary
In Citizens of London, Lynne Olson has written a work of World War II history even more relevant and revealing than her acclaimed Troublesome Young Men.
Here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time. The three---Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR's Lend-Lease program in London; and Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain---formed close ties with Winston Churchill and were drawn into Churchill's official and personal circles. So intense were their relationships with the Churchills that they all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister's family: Harriman and Murrow with Churchill's daughter-in-law, Pamela, and Winant with his favorite daughter, Sarah.
Others were honorary "citizens of London" as well, including the gregarious, fiercely ambitious Dwight D. Eisenhower, an obscure general who, as the first commander of American forces in Britain, was determined to do everything in his power to make the alliance a success, and Tommy Hitchcock, a world-famous polo player and World War I fighter pilot who helped save the Allies' bombing campaign against Germany. Citizens of London, however, is more than just the story of these Americans and the world leaders they aided and influenced.
©2010 Lynne Olson (P)2010 Tantor

3. eBook/Kindle

Children of the Comet
by Donald Moffitt
This releases October 13, 2015 so I am reading it now to review. I am 15% in.
I received this through NetGalley.
In the far future, on top of a gigantic tree rooted in the ice ball of a comet, a young man’s journey leads to unexpected encounters

In this brand-new cosmic adventure by the author of The Genesis Quest and The Jupiter Theft, Torris, son of the Facemaker, knows only his small community at the base of the great Tree on a comet with almost no gravity or atmosphere. Torris’s daily struggle for survival includes harvesting frozen air to keep breathing, dodging flutterbeasts, and hunting meatbeasts for food. When it comes time to make his vision quest to the top of the Tree, Torris is completely unprepared for what he finds: first, a thieving and hostile fellow quester; then, Ning, a female hunter from a neighboring tree-bearing comet, who has catapulted across empty space in search of food to save her family; and ultimately, alien visitors in a massive starship that has spent billions of years crossing the galaxy.

Shocked at the cultural differences between his home and Ning’s and stunned by the changes precipitated by the arrival of the spaceship, Torris must learn quickly, adapt even faster, and face an uncertain and rapidly changing future unlike anything he has ever imagined.

4. eBook Kindle

Kiss of Midnight: A Midnight Breed Novel (The Midnight BreedSeries Book 1)
by Lara Adrian
This has still been pushed to the side but I do expect to start it before week's end. 
Click on book title for full description.

October 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 five reviews last week which was good for being out on cruise! This left only one old plus the three new titles from this week.
I finished one book from NetGalley and started another this week. I didn't add any new books (although tempted!) so my waiting NetGalley shelf is now six.
I am pulling in more books off my Kindle and Audible shelves for my TBR Challenge - I just have to read them and not postpone them. :-) 

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 select any review books and I didn't purchase any except I added more free kindle titles to my library.

(I still have many author requests, old and new ones, to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles







Over the past week I again added 55 free Kindle titles to my library. 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 October 4, 2015

It was lovely to be back with home church family this morning. The pastor we are supporting in Haiti is here for local spiritual days. The Band of Brothers returning from the Haiti trip had a remarkable story to tell about one of our friends who was detained and arrested. Thank God that He was in control and used the situation as an opportunity to share witness to God’s grace and glory! (More on that another time.)

Pastor’s Sermon was “How Big is Your God?”
Our ‘home’, Earth, is just a teeny speck in the observable universe. Yet God is the creator of all of that observable universe. We need to remember that the closer you get to the action, the less interference there is. If we want a closer relationship with God, we have to keep praise, worship and prayer in the forefront of our lives.

Pastor shared the story of Jesus healing the blind man from Luke 18:35-43. See also the version in Mark 11:46-end where it says that the blind man cast off his coat – the coat was his right to a beggar’s position. When we trust God to get us out of a position of begging we move to Him and move to a position of blessing.
Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is!
SO -- How big is your God?

I am sharing a video that includes images our pastor shared in still shots.

There are other fascinating links too: check here or just google search "earth compared to universe".

I found this song to share to fit today's message.

Verses for Today:
Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

God created us, sent His only son, Jesus, to redeem us since we can never be good enough on our own. And He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us through our days here in this ‘foreign world”. I am thankful that I believe in an Almighty, all powerful God. I can feel peace and joy knowing He controls the world and yet cares for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #222 Comment Giveaway for October 3, 2015

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
I am glad to be home and I am praying for those folks who went on the Bahama cruise the day we returned. Their trip may have been a bit rocky.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Twelve commenters do not read fanfiction and at least three of us had to look it up to see what it meant.  Miki, Fredamans and Nikki have read fanfiction. Alyn noted that some stories we have read might have been fanfiction but we didn't realize it - like 50 Shades of Grey and The Mortal Instruments series.

The regular Winner from SBB #221 comments is: #2 Natalija 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 #221 (One Question.)

Marjorie asks: Do you feel as though you are online too often??
[I consider this different from a previous question of how much time we spend on the computer.] I am online each day if I am posting a review or meme on my blog or posting reviews at Amazon and NetGalley. And I try to visit 10 to 20 other blogs each week although that doesn't always happen. Other than that I do not spend much time "online". I rarely visit Facebook and Goodreads because they take too much time.  Oh - I am online too to pick up free kindle books, which goes pretty quickly, and to pick out new audible books which takes longer.  I don't see much way to reduce the time unless I choose to do less on the blog.
Image found at

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:
Marjorie asks: Do you feel as though you are online too often??

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 October 10, 2015 at 5 PM central.

Book Review: Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders: A Novel by Julianna Baggott

This is not my usual reading taste but in the end I found it remarkable.
by Julianna Baggott
File Size: 1098 KB
• Print Length: 337 pages
• Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316375101
• Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (August 18, 2015)
• Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Women's Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

"A mesmerizing tale of star-crossed love and of the dark secrets in a fracturing family . . . This novel is so full of wonders that it leaves you haunted, amazed, and, like every great read, irrevocably changed."--Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

The reclusive Harriet Wolf, revered author and family matriarch, has a final confession-a love story. Years after her death, as her family comes together one last time, the mystery of Harriet's life hangs in the balance. Does the truth lie in the rumored final book of the series that made Harriet a world-famous writer, or will her final confession be lost forever?

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders tells the moving story of the unforgettable Wolf women in four distinct voices: the mysterious Harriet, who, until now, has never revealed the secrets of her past; her fiery, overprotective daughter, Eleanor; and her two grown granddaughters--Tilton, the fragile yet exuberant younger sister, who's become a housebound hermit, and Ruth, the older sister, who ran away at sixteen and never looked back. When Eleanor is hospitalized, Ruth decides it's time to do right by a pact she made with Tilton long ago: to return home and save her sister. Meanwhile, Harriet whispers her true life story to the reader. It's a story that spans the entire twentieth century and is filled with mobsters, outcasts, a lonesome lion, and a home for wayward women. It's also a tribute to her lifelong love of the boy she met at the Maryland School for Feeble-minded Children.

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders, Julianna Baggott's most sweeping and mesmerizing novel yet, offers a profound meditation on motherhood and sisterhood, as well as on the central importance of stories. It is a novel that affords its characters that rare chance we all long for--the chance to reimagine the stories of our lives while there's still time.

This is a most unusual book. It starts out with a punch as Harriet announces she was born dead… She then proceeds to explain. Although Harriet is the primary figure, the book weaves in and out of her life and through the lives of her stubborn and controlling daughter, Eleanor, and Eleanor’s two daughters, rebellious, bitter, Ruth and fragile but inquisitive Tilton. Harriet slowly shares her background as a seemingly moronic child placed at the Maryland School for Feeble-minded Children, a specialized school, in the early 1900s. After a number of years it is discovered that Harriet is actually a genius but her father views a genius female child as a waste and leaves her in the school. Harriet meets a young boy at the school and they fall in love.

Harriet’s mother discovers by accident that Harriet is alive and she immediately brings her home from school. Mother and daughter have several wonderful years together, while dad remains late at work and out of the way. Harriet’s live is set in a tail spin when her mother dies and her father returns the senior teen to another facility. Eventually Harriet moves out on her own and establishes a life that ultimately leads to writing a series of six books that reach great popularity and academic acclaim. Everyone was sure there was a seventh book but Eleanor insists she does not have it and keeps her house closed to any fans or inquiries.

The story shifts chapters between the four female characters and the reader gets to see the strengths, weaknesses and the dysfunction of each. Eleanor’s circumstance was impacted by events that led to her husband leaving. Eleanor adopted the attitude: “Human beings are shaped by tragedy and this one’s ours.” Ruth blamed her mother for her father walking out and resented her mother’s focus on her fragile sister. Once she left home Ruth had not expected to return, even to save Tilton as she had once promised. Tilton is a lovely character full of gentleness and joy. It is so sad that she has been completely overprotected by her mother. As the current lives of Eleanor and her girls unfold and head toward collision, Harriet’s tale continues to reveal the great joys and loves of her life. The story and the characters finally “bloomed”.

The writing is smooth with a lyrical tone and some incredible descriptions. The historical elements regarding treatment of the ‘feeble-minded’ are rather fascinating. The difficult and tangled feelings between mothers and daughters is a primary focus of the book.

I am not big into drama and I almost stopped reading this at about a third in. I found it somewhat depressing as well as outright bizarre. I am glad I persevered as the ending made the entire book worthwhile for me! I am sure that readers who enjoy family drama would like the journey better than I did but I am glad that there was light and love revealed at the end. The author states a precept that I have long believed that “joy needs sorrow to understand itself. And sorrow, without joy, has no bearings” (location 707). She also makes a clear point that each individual has a unique life experience that results from their unique way of perceiving (location 2140). My final impression of the total work: remarkable.

This is a book I was invited to read at NetGalley. It qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge.


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