Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, May 31, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves

I did not get that many this week.  Two from the Library, one I purchased and two I received for review.

From the Library:

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter


Brambleberry Shores by RaeAnne Thayne

For Review:

The Guild of Assassins by Anna Kashina

Wedding at Cardwell Ranch by B. J. Daniels
Open Contest:

Vengeance Is Mine by Harry James Krebs Book Blast and Giveaway  - Book and Amazon Gift Card

What Else I Read and Listened to in May

These are the books and audio books I read but did not review on my blog this month.

Audio Books:

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - I read the book several
years ago and when I saw the audio book I picked it up.  I think it was even better as an audio book and it was great in paper.   The dialog between Jess and Dain is priceless.  They are two people made for each other but the road is difficult.  If you have never read or listened to Lord Of Scoundrels you are missing a treat.

Rafferty's Wife by Kay Hooper - This is a fairly short story that is more romance than anything else.  I enjoyed it and liked the characters.  There was some mystery in the story but I caught on to the twist quickly.  The book is part of the Hagen series.

Books and Novellas:

Broken Protocols by Dale Mayer - I could not pass this up. A talking cat. Mine talks to me all the time but I never understand. Scientist who study cats say they each make up their own language making it harder for us to understand but Charmin Marvin arrives in the future talking so Dani can understand him. He is a great character. Dani, Milo and Levi carry the story with Charmin and they do a great job. Broken Protocols is a quick fun read. It helps set the stage for future novella's in the series. It starts the world building but really just gives a glimpse. More of that will probably come in future stories. What it does best is build the characters. Milo, the perpetual 16 year old, Dani who comes from 200 years in the past and Levi the responsible one. And of course Charmin Marvin. The story ends with a solution to one problem but with many more on the horizon. I liked how this series starts and look forward to future book in the Charmin Marvin novella series.

Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent - If you want a quick funny read this is the book for you.  Shannon Jacoby and Declan McCormick are both great characters.  Shannon is a mystery shopper who meet Declan when she is checking out the men's bathroom on a mystery shop.  The scene was so funny I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hare.  Part of the Sweet Life collection that is out as part of Brenda Novak's annual auction.  This was the first book by Kent and I will be looking for others.

In To Deep by RaeAnne Thayne - Great story with romance, danger and mystery.  Will Tanner is back home helping out as the temporary sheriff while he heals from a gun shot wound.  Andrea McPhee came to town five years ago to heal from a very bad marriage.  Will is a big grouch and Andrea is bright and full of life. Of course they get together but not without a rough journey.  Another book from the Sweet Life collection.  This is one that was released in 1997.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson - I enjoyed the history in The Devil in the Marshalsea but I found the story to be a little slow. Tom Hawkins, the hero, is flawed and the flaws make him interesting. The people he meet and interacts with help flesh out the story. Tom has to solve a mystery to get out of debtors prison. That leads him into a lot of danger. While I though the story line was well though out I found the writing to leave something to be desired. Several times I would really get into the story only to lose interest as the writing went in another direction and I lost interest. I also got tired of Tom saying he should have known. Read it for the history if nothing else.

In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman - Goodman takes us back to Bitter Springs for another visit with some of her favorite characters while introducing some that are brand new.  Jane Middlebourne is the mail order bride and Morgan Longstreet is the groom.  Jane needs to escape and Morgan needs a wife.  They have some of the usual problems but the main one is Morgan's past.  You get to know and like both Jane and Morgan before the big problem develops.  Well written and entraining Goodman has penned another good story.

Maid to Fit (Man Maid #1) by Rebecca M. Avery - A cute story that starts a new series.  The Man Maids are four former military men.  One has inherited a maid service and offers jobs to the other three.  Ronnie Brown is featured in book one.  Kayla Clark hires Ronnie to bring her house into order and help with her teen-age daughter.  They have a very interesting journey before they get to the HEA.  Ronnie is a great character and has wonderful organizational, cooking and cleaning skills. Kayla is overworked and stressed with long hours at work, a teenage daughter and a mother in a nursing home.  Both find something they needed as the job progresses.  Of course there are problems but this is a romance and the journey is the interesting part.

A Deeper Dimension by Thea Harrison writing as Amanda Carpenter -  I picked this one up because I love Thea Harrison's Elder Races series and was curious about her early romance books. A Deeper Dimension is a contemporary romance but written in 1984 when people were still using typewriters.  (I remember that but a lot of you reading this do not.)  It was a nice story with great characters.  I loved Diana, a very strong woman who had never had a family and really did not understand love.  I wanted to hit Alex who just did not understand why Diana reacted as she did.  There was a really rough journey to their HEA but they finally did get together.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - Silver Mirrows by A.A. Aguirre

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and
Come Join us!

The Beginning:

"One month ago the world nearly ended."

The Friday 56:

""There was not way to be sure if she was conscious of the motion, but her thumb traced over his, and her fingertip rose and fell over the scars on his knuckles." page 56

From Silver Mirrors (An Apparatus Infernum Novel) by A.A. Aguire. I loved Bronze Gods, the first book in the series. Silver Mirrors is on my TBR pile and is the next book to go from unread to read.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

V-S Day:A Novel of Alternate History by Allen Steele

Alternate History

From Goodreads:

With a gift for visionary fiction that “would make Robert A. Heinlein proud” (Entertainment Weekly) three-time Hugo Award-winning author Allen Steele now imagines an alternate history rooted in an actual historical possibility: what if the race to space had occurred in the early days of WWII?

It's 1941, and Wernher von Braun is ordered by his Fuehrer to abandon the V2 rocket and turn German resources in a daring new direction: construction of a manned orbital spacecraft capable of attacking the U.S. Work on the rocket—called Silbervogel—begins at Peenemunde. Though it is top secret, British intelligence discovers the plan, and brings word to Franklin Roosevelt. The American President determines that there is only one logical response: the U.S. must build a spacecraft capable of intercepting Silbervogel and destroying it. Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid-fuel rocket, agrees to head the classified project.

So begins a race against time—between two secret military programs and two brilliant scientists whose high-stakes competition will spiral into a deadly game of political intrigue and unforeseen catastrophes played to the death in the brutal skies above America.

V-S Day by Allen Steele has been on my wish list since it came out in February.  When I found it on the new books shelf at my library I checked it out and started reading.  Set in the present and the past it tells a great story of what might have been.

History and how it is changed is the main thrust of the story.  The change started in December of 1941.  Germany started a new space program and the U.S followed.  V-S Day tells what happened in both the U.S. and Germany as they work to develop a space plane.  The story line is very well developed, the characters interesting and the plot is full of tension. 

When all is said and done I think many of us will wish that this were our history instead of an alternate history. 

I loved the book, the writing and the story.  I enjoyed reading a story where we got to space and stayed instead of how we have shut down and stayed on earth.

ACE Books published V-S Day, a Novel of Alternate History by Allen Steel in 2014.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature sponsored by Breaking the Spine.  It is a great way to share upcoming releases.

I am waiting on Rebel (Star Cat Chronicles, # 10) by Cheryl Brooks.  I love all of the sexy men in this series and am looking forward to July 1, 2014 when I get to meet another one.  

From Goodreads:

He helped to find her kidnapped friends. Will he let her steal his heart?

Kimcasha has lived by her wits since she lost her family when she was eight years old. So when three of her friends vanish, she has no fear about using herself as kidnapper’s bait, until a stranger foils her plot…

After ten years of selling his services in a brothel, Onca has decided to retire. A refugee of planet Zetith, he has no family, no surname, and no woman—until he rescues a young homeless girl from a kidnapper. Onca helps Kim find her friends, but as their intense attraction deepens, he begins feeling too jaded for someone so innocent. It’s up to Kim to convince him otherwise.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vengeance Is Mine by Harry James Krebs Book Blast and Giveaway


Driven by a traumatic, violent event in his teenage years, Benjamin Tucker, bestselling true crime author, is obsessed with helping authorities solve savage crimes near his home turf of Holly Springs, North Carolina. When a series of decapitated female victims is found in neighboring communities, he is helplessly drawn in to the investigation to help bring the killer to justice. But in a bizarre twist of events, the psychopathic murderer becomes fascinated with Tucker and stalks him, presenting him with unimaginable, grotesque gifts. The hunt for the killer turns personal and Tucker isn’t sure if he’s become the killer’s idol or his next victim.

Vengeance is Mine, a gripping thriller with a healthy dose of droll humor, is a tale of sadistic revenge guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.


After receiving his BA in applied physics from Aurora University in Illinois, Harry spent thirty-seven years with United States Department of Energy Contractors as a senior
mechanical engineer. He designed, built, maintained, and operated large experimental detectors for high-energy physics experiments at national laboratories such as the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the Superconducting Super Collider, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University.

Krebs always wanted to write mystery novels, but his engineering career left him little time to write until now. His first novel, Fractured Persona, is based on a recurring dream where he would wake up in someone else’s body and life.

The author and his wife currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina with their Chihuahua, Lucille.


Giveaway is open to International.  Must be 13+ to Enter – 1 Winner will receive Autographed Print Copies of Fractured Persona and Vengeance is Mine + $20.00 Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to visit the other blogs doing the Vengeance Is Mine Book Blast. 

Teaser Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - Court of Conspiracy by April Taylor

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 

The Teaser:

"Luke Ballard.  The perfect weapon.  Those inside the palace would see him as a peasant of no account.  Those outside the palace would know him as the kind apothecary from the Outer Green."
3% on my Kindle

The Book:  Court of Conspiracy (The Tudor Enigma #1) by April Taylor - A mix of magic, history and alternate history where Ann Boleyn has first a daughter and then a son who is now King of England.  Several attempts have been made on the life of Henry IX and Ann has chosen Luke Ballard to investigate.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Musing Monday, May 26, 2014 - In The Black (Tales From the Edge #!) by Sherly Nantus

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
Today I am musing about a Science Fiction Romance book.  If you have been on my blog much you know that Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance are my favorite for reading.  I recently received In the Black (Tales from the Edge, #1) by Sheryl Nantus from Netgalley and I just finished reading it.
It is SFR but SFR with a difference.  First look at the premise:
  When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies.
OK, a ship full of courtesans.  That is a first for me.  So it must be erotica,  Yes.  No!!!  Instead this happens:
 When one of her girls turns up dead, it's Sam's job to find out who killed her, fast.

So it is a mystery but wait a minute it is suppose to be a romance.  Where does that come into the story.  Here is where:

Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on the draw. But when his vacation gets replaced by an assignment to help find the killer, he can't help angling for a little action with the saucy, hard-charging Sam.

They are attracted to each other but guess what?
But when the killer threatens the Belle again, romance will have to wait.

I have to admit In the Black was a really fun read that kept me guessing the entire time.  The mystery is really fun, Sam is a great character, Marshal Daniel is a match for Sam and the way Sheryl Nantus got to the HEA without changing the responsibilities and commitments both Sam and Daniel had was unexpected and very elegant.   All in all a great fun read that has a unusual setting.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Concealed in Death (In Death #38) by J.D. Robb


From Goodreads:

The incomparable J. D. Robb presents the latest moving and suspenseful novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Eve Dallas series.

In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately—and by the time she’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force’s new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.

Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.

I have been reading the In Death Series from the beginning.  By the time you get to #38 in a series there is a strong probability that some will be very good and some just average.  While that has been true with this series Concealed in Death is the best I have read in a while. 

The mystery is just that.  I knew who was guilty as soon as Eve did but it took her awhile and I enjoyed going on the journey with her.  There were some great scenes in the book that were related to the mystery but involved Eve and many of the main characters.  Each highlighted the way Eve has changed as the books progress.  I loved the one where Mira’s husband Dennis gave Eve a hat and gloves. 

In Death is a fun series and each book can be read as a stand-alone but reading the entire series in order is a lot more fun.  I am looking forward to the next book and seeing more of Eve and Roarke.

Wheeler published the Large Print edition of Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb in 2014.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, May 24, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves



The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis

Mark of the Wolf by Madelaine Montague

The Awakening by Kaitlyn O'Connor

I won this wonderful box of goodies from Deal Sharing Aunt.  Just the goodies, not the cat checking them out.  She didn't come in the mail.  She came from the Shelter. 

For Review:

The Descartes Legacy by Nina Croft

The Winter King by C. L. Wilson

Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson

Traitor's Blade by Sebastien De Castell


In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman

Maid to Fit by Rebecca Avery
Posts with Contests this Week: -a Sweet Life Boxed set - a $25.00 Amazon certificate

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56, May 23, 2014

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and
Come Join us!

The Beginning:

"I am eating my ninth cinnamon raisin bagel with maple horseradish cream cheese and hazelnut chocolate spread. Don't judge me. It's my job to eat this."

Page 56 or somewhere on my iPhone:

"Then I look down. Chipped red nail polish peeks up at me from my open-toed navy shoe. Aside from being outed as a transgendered man in here, there's no plausible reason why any men's room stall occupant should have red toenails."

From Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent.  I could not read for laughing while reading Shopping for a Billionaire. This is one of the books in The Sweet Life boxed set offered during Brenda Novak's annual Auction for Diabetes Research and will only be available for a short time. The set is only 2.99 and all the proceeds go to Diabetes Research.

Go to the Rafflecopter entry form on the bottom of the post link below:

A Sweet Life Boxed Set (Fourteen Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research)

for a chance to win a free set.