Friday Book Round-Up: 10 Heart-Wrenchingly Disappointing Books #FridayReads #books


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Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. 

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I received an email this week announcing that Dan Brown has a new novel coming out this Fall called Origin. I was instantly intrigued and wish listed it. I mentioned it to Mr. N over dinner and he promptly reminded me how much I disliked Dan Brown’s previous release, Inferno. I totally misplaced how much I loathed Dan Brown and how I threw the hardcover in the river nearby (not in real life as that’s littering, but what a great visual, eh?). It was such a disappointment… and that got me thinking.

 

As readers, we’ve all been disappointed by books. Whether it’s our favorite author trying a new genre, a book recommended to us by friends/family/strangers/Goodreads Buddies, or everyone is talking about a must-read book, we’ve all read a book that just didn’t live up to the hype. So, I thought and thought ‘til my head hurt, and created a top 10 Heart-Wrenchingly Disappointing Books. Check out my list and then add your own in the comments below. Friends don’t let friends read bad books…

 

Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon Book 4) by Dan Brown  (Author)

Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

 

One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel by Jeaniene Frost  (Author)

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving-leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

“Cat and Bones are combustible together.”  #1 bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

“The Frost name guarantees quality!” Romantic Times.

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki  (Author)

April 2017 marks 20 years since Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad first made waves in the Personal Finance arena.
It has since become the #1 Personal Finance book of all time… translated into dozens of languages and sold around the world.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

20 Years… 20/20 Hindsight
In the 20th Anniversary Edition of this classic, Robert offers an update on what we’ve seen over the past 20 years related to money, investing, and the global economy. Sidebars throughout the book will take readers “fast forward” — from 1997 to today — as Robert assesses how the principles taught by his rich dad have stood the test of time.

In many ways, the messages of Rich Dad Poor Dad, messages that were criticized and challenged two decades ago, are more meaningful, relevant and important today than they were 20 years ago.

As always, readers can expect that Robert will be candid, insightful… and continue to rock more than a few boats in his retrospective.

Will there be a few surprises? Count on it.

Rich Dad Poor Dad
• Explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to become rich
• Challenges the belief that your house is an asset
• Shows parents why they can’t rely on the school system to teach their kids
about money
• Defines once and for all an asset and a liability
• Teaches you what to teach your kids about money for their future financial
success

 

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason: A Novel by Helen Fielding  (Author)

With another devastatingly hilarious, ridiculous, unnervingly accurate take on modern womanhood, Bridget Jones is back. (v.g.)

 

Monday 27 January

 

“7:15 a.m. Hurrah! The wilderness years are over. For four weeks and five days now have been in functional relationship with adult male, thereby proving am not love pariah as recently feared.”

 

Wednesday 5 March

 

“7:08 p.m. Am assured, receptive, responsive woman of substance. My sense of self comes not from other people but . . .from . . .myself? That can’t be right.”

 

Lurching from the cappuccino bars of Notting Hill to the blissed-out shores of Thailand, everyone’s favorite Singleton Bridget Jones begins her search for The Truth in spite of pathetically unevolved men, insane dating theories, and Smug Married advice. She experiences a zeitgeist-esque Spiritual Epiphany somewhere between the pages of How to Find the Love You Want Without Seeking It (can self-help books really help self?), protective custody, and a lightly chilled Chardonnay.

 

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell  (Author)

t’s a jungle out there. Dress accordingly.

In her fourth book, Candace Bushnell brings readers close to three powerful New York City women, each at the top of her field, each navigating her way through work, relationships, success, and scandal.

Nico O’Neilly is the ultimate executive-glamorous and always in control–until her marriage loses steam, and she is tempted to find refuge in the arms of a younger man. Wendy Healy, president of Parador Pictures and mother of three children, may not be able to save her most important production–her family. And Victory Ford, a wildly successful fashion designer and girlfriend of a billionaire, begins to question love and money–why shouldn’t a woman be as rich as a man?

 

Full House (Max Holt #1) (Full Series) by Janet Evanovich  (Author)

Polo instructor Nicholas Kaharchek senses danger the minute he sees Billie Pearce. She represents everything he’s always avoided. Happy in her home life, a divorced mother of two, Billie is the epitome of stability. She’s also irresistibly fascinating to the footloose Nick, who is instantly attracted…in a car crash sort of way. Their fateful meeting will put them on a collision course of seduction, dysfunction, mayhem, murder―and maybe even love…

 

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1) by Veronica Roth  (Author)

This first book in Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel the inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions of teen and adult readers.

 

Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series, Divergent and its sequels, Insurgent and Allegiant, are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language.

 

One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

 

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  (Author)

The #1 New York Times bestseller from “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory is a rich, compelling novel of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue surrounding the Tudor court of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and the infamous Boleyn family.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of the handsome and charming Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family’s ambitious plots as the king’s interest begins to wane, and soon she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. With her own destiny suddenly unknown, Mary realizes that she must defy her family and take fate into her own hands.

With more than one million copies in print and adapted for the big screen, The Other Boleyn Girl is a riveting historical drama. It brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe, and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart.

 

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes  (Author)

Frances Mayes – widely published poet, gourmet cook and travel writer – opens the door on a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. She finds faded frescoes beneath the whitewash in the dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles – and even a wayward scorpion under her pillow. And from her traditional kitchen and simple garden she creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, all included in this book. In the vibrant local markets and neighbouring hill towns, the author explores the nuances of the Italian landscape, history and cuisine. Each adventure yields delightful surprises – the perfect panettone, an unforgettable wine, or painted Etruscan tombs. Doing for Tuscany what Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. A celebration of the extraordinary quality of life in Tuscany, UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is a feast for all the senses.

 

Seven Sisters (Seven Sisters Series Book 1) by M.L. Bullock  (Author)

Carrie Jo has a secret—she dreams about the past. The handsome and wealthy Ashland Stuart has hired her to uncover the history and the secrets of Seven Sisters, an aging antebellum mansion in sultry downtown Mobile, Alabama. A series of dreams, an untimely death and the betrayal of someone she loves lead her back in time to uncover the truth about a missing young heiress and a web of secrets. Will Carrie Jo slip into the shadows of Seven Sisters, following in the ghostly footsteps of the lost young woman, or can she solve this tragic mystery and find her own happiness?

 

 

What’s the most disappointing book that you’ve read? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Blackheart by Raelle Logan @GallegKris #FridayReads #HistoricalRomance @MoBPromos


 

BLACKHEART

 

The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1 by @MarloBerliner #YA #Paranormal #bookreview


TGCCover

 

Title: The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Marlo Berliner

Genre: Upper YA Paranormal with Adult Crossover Appeal

 

Book Blurb:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

 

Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

 

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

 

To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

 

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he’s being pursued. Demons are after him because he’s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

 

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea.

 

 

My Review:

Michael Andrews has a charmed life, that is, until his young life is cut short due to an accident. But contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t move on to Heaven or Hell; he’s roaming haplessly among the living. Not sure what to do or how to feel, he clings to the past and pines for the future he’ll never get. But then he meets Tom who becomes like a mentor to him. He discovers he’s got the Devil on his tail, hunting him down to drag him into Hell. Just when the afterlife was getting interesting…

 

Michael on the run when he bumps into Sarah, a ghost just like him, and they instantly connect. Can two spirits fall in love? Anything is possible but it’s against the ghostly rules. Is their love affair over before it starts and why does the Devil want his soul so badly?

 

I’m a huge paranormal fan and this ghostly tale, while not scary in any way, sheds light on what the afterlife might be like. Confusing, sad, overwhelming, happy, are some of the emotions portrayed which made me think long after I finished the book.

 

I took a full star off my rating for the abrupt ending. I know that this is book one in the series but for me to read the next one, there needs to be some kind of conclusion, a plot arc closed, something. Disappointing.

 

I loved the backdrop of New Jersey and the author’s descriptive narration transported me. The world-building in The Ghost Chronicles, while not 100% original, suspended my disbelief completely. I was completely taken into Michael’s head through his POV and his reactions made it an excellent read. The romance, while sweet, made me smile. Michael and Sarah are so cute together, exploring love and desire as ghosts.

 

If you love paranormal with a touching romance, pick this up today. I look forward to reading book two and seeing what happens next.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “To be warm again, to tingle again, to feel again, these sensations were so familiar, yet already so forgotten.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon –

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

Barnes & Noble –

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ghost-chronicles-marlo-berliner/1123052689?ean=9780996972413

 

Walmart –

https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Ghost-Chronicles/54934980

 

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Author Biography:

Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. The book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named a FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency and she writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is also a freelance editor with Chimera Editing. Her second book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES BOOK 2, will be released in August 2017.

 

When she’s not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.marloberliner.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marlo-Berliner/e/B017EVF4AS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarloBerliner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marloberliner
Instagram: https://instagram.com/marloberliner
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14560514.Marlo_Berliner

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

It’s #Paranormal/ #ParanormalRomance Day on the #POTL Blog! #books #FridayReads #amreading


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Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. It’s Paranormal/Paranormal Romance Day here on the POTL Blog (review to come later this morning) and I wanted to share with you my top seven all-time favorite paranormal/paranormal romance series. They’re not in any particular order (other than me remembering them) and I highly recommend them. The book titles are for the first book in the series. I’d love to hear your favorites so please comment below.

 

Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

 

There’s a pawnshop with three residents. One is seen only at night. There’s a diner, but people stopping there tend not to linger. There’s a newcomer, Manfred Bernardo, who just wants to work hard and blend in. But Manfred has secrets of his own…

 

Lucifer’s Daughter (Princess of Hell Book 1) by Eve Langlais

It drives my dad nuts I’m such a goody two shoes, but the fact that I’m a virgin makes smoke pour from his ears. See, I’m determined to save myself for love, but daddy dear, more commonly known as Lucifer, just wants me to stop being an embarrassment. Would it kill you to sin a little?

Maybe he’ll get his wish because I met an intriguing hunk last night in my bar. Could he be the one? He certainly melts my panties like marshmallows over the coals of Hell, but do I dare trust him? My last boyfriend thought he’d gain infamy by killing me. He’s infamous all right. Dad had him mounted on a wall, his version of modern art titled, ‘Touch my baby girl and die’. Cute in a twisted way.

My love life isn’t the only thing I’ve got to worry about. There’s someone threatening the denizens of Hell, and while my daddy says to not worry my pretty little head about it, I an involved because whoever is behind the attacks keeps coming after me.

Bring it. I’m not afraid. Being a princess of Hell means that sometimes I have to grab a demon by the horns and slap it around. It’s what keeps my ass looking great.

Nothing in my life is ever simple, and I blame that on my dad, Lucifer. Assassination attempts, hellhounds, and a rebellion in Hell? A piece of cake compared to the turmoil in my heart. No one ever told me love would be the toughest battle of all.

 

Sanguinary (Night Shift Book 1) by Margo Bond Collins

Detective Cami Davis and her sexy, cowboy-turned-vampire informant are all that’s standing between humanity and monsters who would rule the world—and all that’s standing between them having a torrid love affair is the fact that he’s an enemy of humanity.

 

THROUGH DARKEST TEMPTATION

 

When Dallas police detective Cami Davis joined the city’s vampire unit, she planned to use the job as a stepping-stone to a better position in the department. She didn’t know then what she knows now: A silent war rages between humans and their supposedly pacified predators, and the vampires are winning. With the clock running out on her kind, Cami will do whatever she must to defeat the “Sanguinary.”

 

Enter Reese Fulton, a disaffected ex-cop and a vampire. She can’t exactly trust him, but with his cowboy boots and good-ole-boy drawl he’s the perfect beard for Cami’s fledgling undercover operation. Yet playing Reese’s Claimed—a vampire’s personal bloodgiver—isn’t as straightforward as she was led to believe. His bite is as enthralling as his dimpled smile, and soon Cami is wondering which will pose more of a challenge: subduing the enemies of humanity…or her own desire.

 

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

An erotically charged, addictive thriller from the future queen of suspense.

Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds, and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.

But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her “family,” she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she’s increasingly uncertain if it’s the right one.

An erotically charged thriller, Bitten will awaken the voracious appetite of every reader, as the age-old battle between man and beast, between human and inhuman forces, comes to a head in one small town and within one woman’s body.

 

Raven’s Peak (World on Fire Book 1) by Lincoln Cole

A quiet little mountain town is hiding a big problem. When the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak start acting crazy, Abigail Dressler is called upon to discover the root of the evil affecting people. She uncovers a demonic threat unlike any she’s ever faced and finds herself in a fight just to stay alive.

 

Abigail rescues Haatim Arison from a terrifying fate and discovers that he has a family legacy in the supernatural that he knows nothing about. Now she’s forced to protect him, which is easy, but also to trust him if she wants to save the townsfolk of Raven’s Peak. Trust, however, is something hard to have for someone who grew up living on the knife’s edge of danger.

 

Can they discover the cause of the town’s insanity and put a stop to it before it is too late?

 

Slouch Witch (The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Magic Book 1) by Helen Harper

Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now. 

Let’s get one thing straight – Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she’s probably the last witch in the world who you’d call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she’d spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart’s content.

However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she’s yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order’s noses.

It doesn’t exactly help that she’s been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy’s concerned, he’s a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

And if he makes her go to the gym again, she’s definitely going to turn him into a frog.

 

Fugitive of Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Protector Book 1) by Linsey Hall

In the city of Magic’s Bend, I protect what’s mine. No matter what.

To the world, I’m a just a Conjurer. To my closest friends, I’m a FireSoul–a dangerous Magica with forbidden powers and a dragon’s soul. The downside? If anyone discovers what I am, I’m dead. So I lay low, kicking butt with my weapons, not my magic.

Things get ugly when I witness the murder of a powerful vampire ally and become the key suspect. Soon, I’m hunted by the sexiest, strongest supernatural I’ve ever met. Ares is an unheard of vampire hybrid, and it’s hard to say if he wants to kiss me or kill me.

I’ve got three days to catch the real killer. The bad news? It will take my forbidden magic to succeed. But can I control it, much less keep my secret with Ares watching my every move? Especially when the stakes get ever higher?

I’m used to protecting others…now I have to protect myself.

Fugitive of Magic is a fast-paced fantasy mystery with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

 

 

What’s your favorite paranormal/paranormal romance series? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Friday Book Round-Up Reveals Mrs. N’s Top 20 #sciencefiction/ #fantasy #books! #FridayReads


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Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I’m back from vacation and I noticed that over on Goodreads, they’re celebrating science fiction/fantasy books. So, I thought I’d dive in and list my ten favorite science fiction and ten favorite fantasy books of all time. Many of these books are classics and some are new releases. Let’s start with science fiction.

 

Top 10 Science Fiction Books –

 

Ender’s Game (The Ender Quartet series Book 1) by Orson Scott Card  (Author)

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

 

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

 

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

 

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

 

Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

 

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury  (Author)

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

 

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley  (Author)

Now more than ever: Aldous Huxley’s enduring “masterpiece … one of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century” (Wall Street Journal) must be read and understood by anyone concerned with preserving the human spirit in the face of our “brave new world”

 

Aldous Huxley’s profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. “A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine” (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history’s keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.

 

“Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English.” —Chicago Tribune

 

The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle  (Author)

THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL TIME…


THE HISTORY OF HUMAN ORIGINS…


WILL BE REVEALED.


70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.
Until now.
The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.

 

From the Hardcover Edition

Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep inside an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, hiding a secret that will rewrite human history.

In a lab in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Kate Warner has made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous–for her and for the entire human race. Her discovery could set off the next stage of human evolution, an event that might kill 99% of the global population.

With time running out, Kate races to unravel the truth about the Atlantis Gene. At each turn, she is thrust deeper into a conspiracy spanning thousands of years–and a mystery rooted in her own past. The history of human origins is not as it seems, and the future hangs on a decision she must make.

About The Atlantis Gene
THE ATLANTIS GENE is a thought-provoking technothriller about global genetic experiments, ancient conspiracies, and the mysteries of human evolution. Its complex characters and historical and scientific details will stay with you long after you finish. This fast-paced adventure is the first book in The Origin Mystery Series (now in development at CBS Films to be a major motion picture).

 

Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson  (Author)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

 

What would happen if the world were ending?

 

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

 

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

 

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

 

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

 

The Giver (illustrated; gift edition) (The Giver Trilogy Book 1) by Lois Lowry  (Author)

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

 

The Key: Project Enterprise Book 1 by Pauline Baird Jones  (Author)

The key will unlock more than an unknown civilization; it will define who one woman will become….

Sara Donovan, an elite member of Project Enterprise, signs up for a mission that will take her far beyond the safety of her galaxy and into one torn apart by warfare. Shot down, she finds herself on an inhospitable planet with an alien resistance fighter who has a few secrets of his own.

Kiernan Fyn is a member of a resistance group called the Ojemba. Kiernan has enough of his own troubles without adding a mysterious alien female searching for answers to the list. He is given little choice when Sara is targeted by three separate forces believing she has the key to a long lost civilization – a key they are determined to possess.

Together, Sara and Kiernan must avoid capture, and deal with their growing attraction for each other, while they search for a mysterious, hidden city on a planet that brings Sara closer to understanding her baffling abilities and her mother’s past.

Don’t miss out on the excitement in this Independent Book Bronze Medal and Dream Realm Awards Winner! Join Sara and Kieran today as they discover where the key is hidden and stop those that would use the secrets left behind by a lost civilization for their own agenda.

 

1984 (Modern Classics Series): Big Brother Is Watching You – A Political Sci-Fi Dystopia by George Orwell  (Author)

1984 is a political and dystopian science-fiction novel set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania. It is a mind-numbing world which in a state of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Dictated by a political system, called Ingsoc, the lives of its people is under the control of privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thought crime.” Due to the novel’s huge popularity, many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. It has also popularised the adjective “Orwellian”, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.
George Orwell (1903-1950) whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

 

Exordium of Tears (The IX Series Book 2) by Andrew P. Weston  (Author)

Fight or Die…
Victorious in a star-flung battle against the inhuman Horde, Earth’s fabled 9th Legion of Rome; the U.S. 5th Company’s 2nd Mounted Rifles; and a Special Forces anti-terrorist team settle on Arden, their adopted planet, to raise families and live in peace.
But soon, state secrets are revealed: The greatest of the inhuman Horde didn’t join the battle, but yet lurk among Arden’s outer colonies, posing a grave threat.
Humanity’s Ardenese defenders send a flotilla of ships to far Exordium, the world where the Horde outbreak began, with orders to reclaim the outer colonies…
Exordium . . . where the Horde awaits . . . where the cream of Arden’s fighting force must engage this adversary of unrivaled power…
As worlds are sundered, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated, a universal conflict proves again that…
Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

she reads books

 

Top 10 Fantasy Books –

 

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien  (Author)

Read the definitive edition of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in middle-earth in this classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie.

 

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.

 

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.

 

Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.

 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley  (Author)

In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.

 

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet Book 1) by Madeleine L’Engle  (Author)

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

 

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

 

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

 

Harry Potter series (any book) by J. K. Rowling

From Book 1: “Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is currently the featured read in Pottermore’s Wizarding World Book Club.Visit Pottermore to sign up and join weekly Twitter discussions at WW Book Club.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde  (Author)

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection with Bonus Book: Boxen by C. S. Lewis  (Author), Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)

This collection contains all seven books in the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia without art, to appeal to older readers. This special ebook edition includes an introduction by C. S. Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, and full text and art for Lewis’s very first work—Boxen!

 

Experience C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety—The Magician’s NephewThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His BoyPrince CaspianThe Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe Silver Chair; and The Last Battle. This bundle comes with a special introduction by Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson, for a behind-the-scenes look at Lewis while he was writing the book.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia has become part of the canon of classic literature, drawing readers of all ages into magical lands with unforgettable characters for over sixty years. Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world.

 

And then discover the world before Narnia with Boxen, a collection of stories written by C. S. Lewis and his brother when they were children, with the authors’ own delightful illustrations. For every reader who has been captivated by the magic of Narnia, Boxen will open a window to another enchanted land and offer the first glimmer of C. S. Lewis’s amazing creativity.

 

The Clan of the Cave Bear (with Bonus Content): Earth’s Children, Book One by Jean M. Auel  (Author)

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

 

Legends of Windemere series by Charles E. Yallowitz

From Book 1: Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

 

The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials 1st Edition, by Philip Pullman  (Author)

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other…

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which contintues with The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction
Published in 40 Countries

 

What’s your favorite science fiction/fantasy book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

The Andalucian Nights Trilogy + #EntertoWin @FieldingHannah’s FAN-tastic Fiesta #FridayReads


Andalucian Nights trilogy

 

Title

The Andalucían Nights Trilogy

 

Author

Hannah Fielding

 

Genre

Romance

 

Publisher

London Wall

 

Book Blurb

The award-winning epic Andalucían Nights Trilogy sweeps the reader from the wild landscapes of Spain in the 1950s, through a history of dangerous liaisons and revenge dramas, to a modern world of undercover missions and buried secrets. Romantic, exotic and deeply compelling, and featuring a memorable cast of characters, including a passionate young gypsy, a troubled young writer and an estranged family, The Andalucían Nights Trilogy is a romantic treat waiting to be discovered.

 

FANtastic Fiesta poster

 

Special Giveaway

This month, I’m having a FAN-tastic Fiesta, to celebrate the launch of my Andalucían Nights trilogy in a special, all-in-one edition.

Here’s what you can win in the Fiesta!

 

prizes

 

That’s six prize in total: each book in the Andalucían Nights trilogy, plus three beautiful, authentic Spanish hand fans. Entry is open to all (I will post internationally) via the Rafflecopter form below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Or, enter directly on Hannah’s own blog:

http://hannahfielding.net/fan-tastic-fiesta/

 

All that is left to say is Buena suerte – Good luck!

 

Excerpts:

Click here to read – https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/fiery-romance-set-in-sultry-spain-andalusian-nights-series-by-fieldinghannah-books/

 

Buy Links

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Andalucian-Nights-Trilogy-Award-winning-Romantic-ebook/dp/B06XKZ2XKC/

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Andalucian-Nights-Trilogy-Award-winning-Romantic-ebook/dp/B06XKZ2XKC/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andalucian-Nights-Trilogy-Award-winning-Romantic-ebook/dp/B06XKZ2XKC/

 

Portrait of Hannah Fielding and photos of where she writes.

 

Author Biography

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

 

Hannah is a multi-award-winning novelist, and to date she has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and the Andalusian Nights Trilogy – Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – her fieriest novels yet, set in sunny, sultry Spain.

 

Social Media Links

Website: www.hannahfielding.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fieldinghannah
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hannah-Fielding-Author-Page-340558735991910/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5333898.Hannah_Fielding

An Inspirational Thought, Friday Book Round-Up Update and a #Freebie! #inspiration #FridayReads


vacation-2217498_640

 

Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people. — Tena Desae

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

 

I ran across this quote the other day and it really inspired me. It sums up how to live a happy, successful life. Thank you, Tena, for putting into words what it means to live life to the fullest.

 

Take my advice and be positive, work hard, never give up hope, keep learning new things and surround yourself with encouraging, happy people.

 

Friday Book Round Up

 

Friday Book Round-Up Update:

 

Last week I asked you for help in choosing which book I’ll bring with me on vacation. There were plenty of great responses and after much thought, I decided to go with A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. I know it wasn’t on my list and I’ve read it a zillion times but it’s a classic and it will allow me to escape.

 

Friday Book Round-Up is on hiatus (vacation) but will return August 4th.

 

Thirsty for Water Banner

 

A Freebie:

 

As we’re about to go on vacation, we thought we’d give everyone a free book. Thirsty for Water is a mega quick story about a high school girl and her paranormal encounter with a little boy from Africa. It has a good message and is a clean read. No swearing, no adult situations, even little kids would like it.

 

Blurb —

Juliet can’t wait to graduate from high school and finally move on with her life. Five more days and she’s free. She gazes out the window while her history teacher, Mrs. Johnson, drones on about war, famine and lack of water in Africa.

 

A gong rings, startling Juliet out of her daydream. She looks around to see if it was one of her classmates pulling a prank when a little boy carrying a spear appears. Is he a ghost or something more? He pleads for her help and before she can argue, she is transported to a small village in Africa. History comes alive like never before and Juliet must decide how she can help Noko and his village before it’s too late.

 

Thirsty for Water tells the story of Africa and the need for water in an approachable way for children of all ages. A great learning tool for teachers, parents and libraries.

 

FREE on Amazon Worldwide July 21 – 25!!!

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q?

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q?

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q?

 

Please take a moment and share this great freebie.

 

We’ll be on vacation July 21 – July 31. We’ll return August 1. 

 

Mr. N and Mrs. N

Just Friends by @AuthorStacyGold is Hot Enough to Melt Ice #romance #bookreview #FridayReads


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Title: Just Friends

Author: Stacy Gold

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella

 

Book Blurb:

Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

 

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

 

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

 

My Review:

Taya is going through a rough patch and is staying with her sister’s family. They’re enjoying some fun on the slopes when her brother-in-law gets hurt. The last person she expected to run into is her old friend and high school crush, Jordan. Looking hot enough to melt the snow beneath his feet, Taya’s desire for him resurfaces. He invites her to come skiing tomorrow and she reluctantly accepts. It’s not like he’s interested in her, right?

 

Jordan can’t believe his good luck when he runs into Taya again. All his feelings rush back ten-fold but he’s a single dad now and he has responsibilities. The more time he spends with her, the stronger his passion engulfs him. When she gets stranded due to a snow storm and he offers his tiny little camper as shelter, he can’t resist her charms any longer. Will their friendship go up in flames or will they stay just friends?

 

I loved this ski romantic short story. It’s about second chances, unrequited love and doing what you love to do. Told in dual POV, you get both sides of the attraction, which I adored! Taya and Jordan have electrifying chemistry, so much so that my fingers were singed. I read it in one sitting and was sad when it ended. I want more!

 

If you’re looking for a romantic quickie, pick up this book. Highly recommend!

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“I’d forgotten what it felt like to have fun. And to be around a man who looked at me like I was beautiful and strong, and smart enough to do anything.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

99 Cents for a limited time at all retailers!

Universal Buy Link http://stacygold.com/books/

 

StacyGoldHS2-2017-crop1-sm

 

Author Biography:

Compulsive tea drinker.  Outdoor sports junkie. Lover of good (and bad) puns.

 

Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a non-profit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing, or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: AuthorStacyGold

Twitter: @AuthorStacyGold

Instagram: authorstacygold

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/author/stacygold

GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16423091.Stacy_Gold

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Mrs. N Needs Your Help! Choose Which #Books to Take on #Vacation! #amreading #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. It’s one week until we go on our summer vacation. I’m trying to figure out which book(s) to bring with me to read beside the pool and after my daily spa treatment. So, I went online to Amazon and found some contenders. Which one should I choose? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Desperate Bride (Forever Brides) by A.S. Fenichel  (I have the ARC, thanks to Netgalley)

An unexpected promise . . . an everlasting passion.
 
An accomplished musician, Dorothea Flammel has refused more proposals than any London debutante; her only true love is her music. Dory’s shimmering talent and beauty have long been adored from afar by Thomas Wheel, an untitled gentleman who can only dream of asking for the hand of a nobleman’s daughter. But when her father, the insolvent Lord Flammel, arranges for Dory to marry a lecherous Earl in order to pay off a debt, she runs to Thomas—and proposes marriage to him.
 
Eloping to Scotland saves Dory from a disastrous fate, but what is for her a mere marriage of convenience proves more passionate—and more complex—than either imagined as rumors, scandal, and buried emotions come to light. And when a vengeful challenge from a drunken and embittered Lord Flammel puts Thomas’s life on the line, will the fragile trust between husband and wife be enough to save them both?

 

The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks by Charles E. Yallowitz

Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

 

 

Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV by Joe Buck

In this New York Times bestselling memoir, the announcer of the biggest sporting events in the country—including the 2017 Super Bowl and this century’s most-watched, historic, Chicago Cubs–winning World Series—reveals why he is one lucky bastard.

Sports fans see Joe Buck everywhere: broadcasting one of the biggest games in the NFL every week, calling the World Series every year, announcing the Super Bowl every three years. They know his father, Jack Buck, is a broadcasting legend and that he was beloved in his adopted hometown of St. Louis.

Yet they have no idea who Joe really is. Or how he got here. They don’t know how he almost blew his career. They haven’t read his funniest and most embarrassing stories or heard about his interactions with the biggest sports stars of this era.

They don’t know how hard he can laugh at himself—or that he thinks some of his critics have a point. And they don’t know what it was really like to grow up in his father’s shadow. Joe and Jack were best friends, but it wasn’t that simple. Jack, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals for almost fifty years, helped Joe get his broadcasting start at eighteen. But Joe had to prove himself, first as a minor league radio announcer and then on local TV, national TV with ESPN, and then finally on FOX. He now has a successful, Emmy-winning career, but only after a lot of dues-paying, learning, and pretty damn entertaining mistakes that are recounted in this book.

In his memoir, Joe takes us through his life on and off the field. He shares the lessons he learned from his father, the errors he made along the way, and the personal mountain he climbed and conquered, all of which have truly made him a Lucky Bastard.

 

Camino Island: A Novel by John Grisham

A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.

 

A Quiet Life in the Country (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 1) by T E Kinsey

Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they’ve just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life.

 

But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There’s a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation…

 

As Lady Hardcastle and Flo delve deeper into rural rivalries and resentment, they uncover a web of intrigue that extends far beyond the village. With almost no one free from suspicion, they can be certain of only one fact: there is no such thing as a quiet life in the country.

 

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic Book 1) by Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

 

But on the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

 

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. Meanwhile, the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—and the penalty is death.

 

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

 

The King by Skye Warren

The highest stakes…

My father gambles every night, falling deeper and deeper into debt. When he hits the bottom, he places a new bet: his daughter. I’m his entry bet to the biggest underground poker game.

Every kind of danger circles the velvet-covered table, but only one man makes me tremble.

A trailer park princess.

The son of a criminal king.

We don’t belong together, but I’m caught in a twisted game.

His eyes meet mine with dark promise. And when he puts down his cards, I know I’m going to lose more than my body. I’m going to lose everything.


THE KING is the first book in the new Masterpiece duet about risking your heart and finding yourself. It’s a spin-off from the USA Today bestselling trilogy but can be read separately.

 

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 tales of extraordinary women by Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo

“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. Each woman’s story is written in the style of a fairy tale. Each story has a full page, full color portrait that captures the spirit of the portrayed hero.

“A must-have for the nightstand of every girl or young woman you know.” – Geri Stengel, Forbes

“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is the most crowdfunded original book in history. It was created with the support of 25,000 backers from 71 countries who pledged 1.3 million dollars to help the creators bring the first edition to life.

 

Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of The Nightingale and Sarah’s Key, inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

 

Have a fabulous book to read on my vacation to recommend that I didn’t list? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

It all comes down to this — A Guardian Falls by @RTranBooks #fantasy #bookreview #FridayReads


A Guardian Falls

 

Title: A Guardian Falls (Chronicles of the Coranydas Book 2)

Author: R. Tran

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

All looks bleak when Mara is forced to return home after her love’s brush with death. She only has one magical artifact and the army seems out of reach. The consequences should she fail or even succeed finally set in and Mara has doubts about everything.  There will be a war of blades and magic with Mara at the center, but Mara wonders if she has the strength to survive.

 

My Review:

It all comes down to this: the final battle.

 

After rescuing her lover from her enemy’s clutches, Mara returns home exhausted, feeling defeat seep into her bones. As the enormity of the situation crushes her spirit, she starts to doubt everything and everyone. What if she fails? What if she succeeds? Will the Shield hold? Will she have the strength to survive? Before she’s ready, her enemy attacks and she must lead her own army. A fierce battle ensues and when all is said and done, Mara lives out her destiny.

 

Like Lord of the Rings, A Guardian Falls is rich with action scenes, intricate plot with a lot of secondary characters and a few twists I didn’t see coming. Tran takes us on an epic journey where Mara is once again doubting her destiny and abilities. I know many readers enjoy seeing their hero almost fail but it’s not my cup of tea. I like a strong hero, ready to kick butt anytime, anywhere.

 

A Guardian Falls is reminiscent of The Walking Dead, in that there are a multitude of diverse characters, each with its own view of the story.

 

If you love a good epic fantasy with a killer final battle, pick up A Guardian Falls. It’s worth it for the action scenes alone.

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“I only want one man’s life. It’s a shame so many will have to die defending him.”

 

My Rating:  3.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072LJV5Z5

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072LJV5Z5

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B072LJV5Z5

 

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35392453-a-guardian-falls

 

R Tran

 

Author Biography:

R.Tran is a first-time author who started writing as therapy after losing her father at 16. Her first manuscript was finished 4 years later, but sat around for years gathering dust before she had the courage to let someone read it. Sixteen years and many revisions later, what began as therapy is now a published novel.
Twenty years after her father’s death she has a husband, two children, and a dog he never met.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.rtranbooks.com

Blog: https://rtranbooks.wordpress.com/

Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/Rtranbooks/

https://m.facebook.com/AGaurdianFalls/

twitter: @rtranbooks

email: (used for book promotions) rtranbooks.com@outlook.com

goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16335980.R_Tran

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/r-tran.html

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

“a fun trip turns intense” Detours in Time by @PamSCanepa1 #sciencefiction #books #FridayReads


 DetoursTimeBookcoverV61625 (2)

 

Title:  Detours in Time

Author:  Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb: 

Feisty Tabatha, a struggling artist, and Milt, an awkward Science professor set off on a journey to the future.  What was supposed to be fun soon turns quite intense when they make discoveries about their future selves and end up on other “detours.”  The two set events into action that may save one life, yet destroy another.  Can these friends of completely different mindsets agree on a course of action?   Can Tabatha stick to Milt’s rules of time travel?  Both Milt and Tabatha struggle to witness and not participate in a place and time that is not yet their own.

 

Amid the backdrop of a future that reveals great wonders and horrors, Tabatha and Milt must resist the temptation to use discoveries from future technology to aid them when they return to the present.  Detours in Time starts as a fantastic escape and grows to present many moral dilemmas and surprises that can either destroy the strongest bond or bring two people closer.

 

Excerpt:

“What’s wrong?  Not enamored with caterpillars, are you?”

 

“Nope.  But I think you knew that.  Don’t let that near me.”

 

He let it down slowly and hesitantly, as if having been forced to choose between the bug and Pinky.  He was like a teenage boy when it came to bugs, worms, caterpillars.  Pinky hated bugs, but still found his excitement amusing.   He was truly a young soul in that fifty-year-old body, that honestly didn’t look fifty, anyhow.

 

“You like it here, don’t you?”  It was a statement of fact.

 

“Of course.  And I’d stay if I could.  But we can’t.”

 

“Why not?  It’s not like you would change anything that has already happened.”  Pinky opined.

 

“Oh, but I might.”  Pinky frowned in consternation, but he continued.  “This future is based on many things that happened between 1997 and 2047.  Just imagine what they are doing with cryogenics now!  I have a life to live from 1997 to….I don’t know what year.  To take out just one thing I’m going to do could have a ripple effect.  And we can only change the world by living our own lives.  That is what I believe.  Who knows if I might make an amazing scientific discovery between then and now–other than time travel by Envo, that is, although evidently, someone else took the credit.  Perhaps I make even another astounding discovery that someone else will take credit for.  And don’t forget, I single-handedly unravel the thrill of time travel, rendering it illegal in our land!  It is apparent that fame is not my destiny.”   He had worked himself into a gloomy mood.

 

“Calm down, Milt.”  Pinky patted him on the back.  “Let’s just enjoy what we see around us.”

 

 

Buy Link:

Get your copy of Detours in Time in Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, or paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF

 

Pam85450895F163

 

Author Biography:

Author Pamela Schloesser Canepa had a childhood full of travel and moving, fueling her writing of poems and stories as a child to provide entertainment for long trips. After a while, her family settled in the southeast. Writing provided an outlet for private thoughts and emotions for years, until she decided to self-publish fiction in 2016. Pamela’s genres include science fiction, paranormal fiction, and poetry of all types. The “Made for Me” series was Pamela’s first published fiction series. Currently, Pamela is working on a sequel to her time travel novel and may soon publish some of her paranormal short stories.

 

Follow me for updates and new releases!

https://www.facebook.com/pamelacanepablog/  (Author Facebook)

https://twitter.com/PamSCanepa1

Amazon Author site:  http://amzn.to/1t3BYGU

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15166012.Pamela_Schloesser_Canepa

Blog:  http://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com

Author website: http://pamelascanepa.weebly.com

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/pamschloesserca/

Quest of a Warrior by @m_morganauthor #Giveaway #paranormalromance #FridayReads


QuestofaWarrior_w10770_750

 

QUEST OF A WARRIOR by Mary Morgan

 

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

 

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Blurb:

“You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”

Fenian Warrior, Conn MacRoich has traveled the earth for thousands of years, guarding the realm between mortal and Fae. His deeds are legendary. Yet, one mistake will force him on a journey to fix a broken time-line. However, on Conn’s quest, he must face a human female who will eventually bring this ancient warrior to his knees.

When Ivy O’Callaghan inherits her uncle’s estate, she never imagines there will be more secrets to unravel, including the one she hides from the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger, she learns to trust and step out of the shadows. However, nothing prepares Ivy when she learns Conn’s true identity.

As the loom of fate weaves a thread around the lovers from two different worlds, will the sacrifices they make lead them to love? Or will their secrets destroy and separate them forever?

 

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win a Signed Print Copy of QUEST OF A WARRIOR by Mary Morgan, a Celtic Jeweled Bookmark or a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

 

All you have to do is leave a blog comment at the bottom of this spotlight and then click on this link:

 

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e1c4f646/?

 

Giveaway runs until July 31st and is open to residents of US and Canada.

 

 

Excerpt: 

Putting a fist to her mouth to stifle the laughter, Ivy turned when the front door to the pub blew open. The cold blast of air lashed across her face, but she gave no care. Her mouth became dry as the man stood there blocking what little light remained in the sky. His silver-blond wavy hair whipped around his chiseled face shaded by a light beard. Yet, it was those eyes that bore into hers—holding her captive. Were they silver or ice blue? She blinked several times, and swallowed.

 

 

The giant stepped into the pub and closed the door. Ivy’s gaze traveled the length of him as he made his way past her to the bar. She couldn’t help but follow him with her eyes. He was sinfully dressed in all black—jeans, boots, leather jacket opened to reveal a black tee. He was magnificent.

 

 

“Sweet Brigid,” whispered Erin. “Have the Vikings invaded Glennamore again?”

 

 

The woman’s words snapped Ivy out of her lustful trance. She looked at her friend. “Vikings in Glennamore?”

 

 

Mac placed her coat over her shoulders and chuckled. “Do not fear they were banished many centuries ago. I’ll go see what the Viking wants. I’m sure he’s only passing through and needs a pint and some food. There’s nothing in Glennamore to raid.”

 

 

The room blurred, and Ivy brushed a hand over her brow. “Not a Viking,” she uttered softly.

 

 

Erin placed a hand on her arm. “Are you all right?”

 

 

Ivy lifted her head. The gorgeous man leaned against the bar as Mac made his way to him. “I said he’s not a Viking.”

 

 

Erin smirked. “You could have fooled me.”

 

 

The man straightened as Mac pointed a finger directly in Ivy’s direction.

 

 

Ivy was unable to move, the words tumbled free as if spoken by someone else. “He’s an ancient Celt.”

 

 

The stranger immediately glanced her way, shock registering across his face as if he had heard her spoken words.

 

 

“Good Lord, you’re as white as a sheet, Ivy Kathleen.”

 

 

She barely heard Erin’s words. The Celt moved toward her, a frown marring his handsome features. A tremor slithered down her spine as she lifted her head up to meet his gaze.

 

 

“Ivy O’Callaghan?” The soft burr of his voice brushed over her face, and she couldn’t determine if it was Irish or Scottish.

 

 

Her mouth stayed dry, making her unable to acknowledge the man’s question. Nodding slowly, she took a step back. Then the Celt smiled, and Ivy thought she would melt right there on the floor. How could anyone look that gorgeous?

 

 

Erin nudged her. “Forgive my friend, Ivy Kathleen, she seems to have lost her voice.”

 

 

Recovering her wits, Ivy replied, “Sorry. I’m done telling stories about my life in the States.”

 

 

The Celt arched a brow. “Not interested in your stories. Sean Casey sent me to inspect your repairs.”

 

 

“You know Sean?” interrupted Erin.

 

 

Smiling, the man nodded. “Most of his life. I’m Conn MacRoich.”

 

 

Buy Links:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Quest-Warrior-Legends-Fenian-Warriors-ebook/dp/B072HPBMDM/

Barnes&Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/quest-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/1126404360/

The Wild Rose: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5086-quest-of-a-warrior.html

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/quest-of-a-warrior

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/quest-of-a-warrior/id1231868317?mt=11

 

 Mary Morgan

 

Author Biography:

Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

 
Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

  

Author Links:

WEBSITE:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com

BLOG:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog

TWITTER:  http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/

PINTEREST:  www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

Friday Book Round-Up Celebrates #Canada and #Canada150! #books #history #FridayReads


Canada 150 graphic

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Tomorrow is Canada Day and up here in the North, we’re throwing a huge party. Why? It’s the 150th anniversary of Confederation and all of Canada is celebrating. I thought it would be fun to highlight some fun, educational books on Canadian history and Canada 150. So here they are:

 

Now You Know Canada: 150 Years of Fascinating Facts by Doug Lennox  (Author), Jean-Marie Heimrath (Contributor)

Just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday is this collection of the best in Canadian questions and answers, covering history, famous Canadians, sports, word origins, geography, and everything in between.

 

 

Canada by Mike Myers (Author)

In this instant national bestseller, comedy superstar Mike Myers writes from the (true patriot) heart about his 53-year relationship with his beloved Canada.

 

Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: “no description of me is truly complete without saying I’m a Canadian.” He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland.

 

His hilarious and heartfelt new book is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment. It is Mike Myers’ funny and thoughtful analysis of what makes Canada Canada, Canadians Canadians and what being Canadian has always meant to him. His relationship with his home and native land continues to deepen and grow, he says. In fact, American friends have actually accused him of enjoying being Canadian—and he’s happy to plead guilty as charged.

 

A true patriot who happens to be an expatriate, Myers is in a unique position to explore Canada from within and without. With this, his first book, Mike brings his love for Canada to the fore at a time when the country is once again looking ahead with hope and national pride. Canada is a wholly subjective account of Mike’s Canadian experience. Mike writes, “Some might say, ‘Why didn’t you include this or that?’ I say there are 35 million stories waiting to be told in this country, and my book is only one of them.”

 

This beautifully designed book is illustrated in colour (and not color) throughout, and its visual treasures include personal photographs and Canadiana from the author’s own collection. Published in the lead-up to the 2017 sesquicentennial, this is Mike Myers’ birthday gift to his fellow Canadians. Or as he puts it: “In 1967, Canada turned one hundred. Canadians all across the country made Centennial projects. This book is my Centennial Project. I’m handing it in a little late. . . . Sorry.”

 

 

Canada 150 Colouring Book by Paul Covello (Author), Leor Boshi (Author)

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with 150 scenes that celebrate the beauty of our home and native land.

 

 

The Promise of Canada: 150 Years–People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country by Charlotte Gray  (Author)

What does it mean to be a Canadian? What great ideas have changed our country? An award-winning writer casts her eye over 150 years of Canadian history.

 

“Our country owes its success not to some imagined tribal singularity but to the fact that, although its thirty-five million citizens do not look, speak or pray alike, we have learned to share this land and for the most part live in neighbourly sympathy.” —Charlotte Gray, from the Preface of The Promise of Canada

 

On the eve of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations comes a richly rewarding new book from acclaimed historian Charlotte Gray about what it means to be Canadian. Readers already know Gray as an award-winning biographer, a writer who has brilliantly captured significant individuals and dramatic moments in our history. Now, in The Promise of Canada, she weaves together masterful portraits of nine influential Canadians, creating a unique history of the country over the past 150 years.

 

What do these people—from George-Étienne Cartier and Emily Carr to Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood, and Elijah Harper—have in common? Each, according to Charlotte Gray, has left an indelible mark on our country. Deliberately avoiding a “top down” approach to our history, Gray has chosen people whose ideas have caught her imagination, ideas that over time have become part of our collective conversation. She also highlights many other Canadians, past and present, who have added to the ongoing debate over how we see ourselves, arguing that Canada has constantly reimagined itself in every generation since 1867.

 

Beautifully illustrated with evocative black and white images and colourful artistic visions of our country, The Promise of Canada is a fresh take on our history that offers fascinating insights into how we have matured and yet how—150 years after Confederation and beyond—we are still a people in progress. Charlotte Gray makes history come alive as she opens doors into our past, our present and our future, inspiring and challenging readers to envision the Canada they want to live in.

 

 

Dreams and Promises: Love, Loss and Redemption in a Land of Infinite Promise by Anna Markland  (Author), Jacquie Biggar  (Author), Sylvie Grayson  (Author), Reggi Allder  (Author), LizAnn Carson  (Author), Alice Valdal  (Author)

Rendezvous: Ian Donaldson is a gentleman clerk with the NW fur trading company in 1815. Newly arrived in Fort William from Scotland, he is immediately drawn to Nindaanis, a metis woman with an illegitimate child. When the baby’s voyageur father returns for the annual Great Rendezvous, Ian defies convention and fights for the woman he loves.
Prairie Storm: It’s 1918, and prairie farmer Shane Narraway is doing his best to help feed the Allied troops overseas. But his real goal is to marry Emily Waddell. With the war news worsening daily, his brother fighting in Europe, and the outbreak of the Spanish flu, Shane’s life is about to unfold in ways he never imagined.

 

When The Boys Came Home: When Dot McGuire’s fiancé is reported missing during the Great War, she accepts the inevitable and builds a new life for herself. Then he comes home, suffering from amnesia. Does her future lie in the old dream, or in the changing world of the roaring twenties?

 
Glowing Hearts: A Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and a British nurse meet in London during the Blitz. Can the love that blossoms between them survive the ravages of war?

 

Once Upon an Attic: Kate is Jamie’s ideal woman. His meddlesome grandfather agrees. Only two problems stand in the way: Kate has uncovered Gramps’ long-hidden love story, and Gramps is… a ghost.

 

My Baby Wrote Me A Letter: A family’s brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives. Grace Freeman is eight months pregnant, and with her navy husband away on a mission, she craves the security of her childhood home in Canada. When she finds a letter written by her long-lost mother, it creates a tear in the foundation of those she loves. Can Grace find a way to bring her family peace, or will a message from the past destroy their future?

 

 

Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens: A History of Indian-White Relations in Canada (The Canada 150 Collection) by J.R. Miller  (Author)

Highly acclaimed when the first edition appeared in 1989, “Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens” is the first comprehensive account of Indian-white relations throughout Canada’s history. J.R. Miller charts the deterioration of the relationship from the initial, mutually beneficial contact in the fur trade to the current impasse in which Indians are resisting displacement and marginalization.

 

This new edition is the result of substantial revision to incorporate current scholarship and bring the text up to date. It includes new material on the North, and reflects changes brought about by the Oka crisis, the sovereignty issue, and the various court decisions of the 1990s. It also includes new material on residential schools, treaty making, and land claims.

 

 

150 Things To Do In Canada: Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary By Discovering Things To Do Across Canada (#Canada150) by I Backpack Canada (Author)

Celebrate #Canada150 with 150 Things To Do in Canada!
2017 marks Canada’s 150th Anniversary. In celebration of this monumental year, award winning travel blog “I Backpack Canada” has released a detailed summary of 150 Things To Do In Canada! Plan your upcoming travels to Canada and do your best to include a handful of these insightful tips on Canadian destinations, Canadian food, outdoors, adventure, and attractions.

What’s in this eBook?
I Backpack Canada has explored Canada from coast to coast and written about some the most unique and engaging destinations across this nation. With so many amazing things to do when you visit Canada, this travel guide filled with summaries will help point you in the right direction. This eBook includes things to do in every province and territory in Canada. Meaning no matter where you’re planning on traveling this summer, you can celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with an itinerary filled with jaw dropping adventure.

A simple guide to things to see and do in Canada
Wow your friends with local travel tips to destinations across Canada. Find the perfect beach in Vancouver for a warm summer’s day, discover the best places to escape Calgary’s urban sprawl, or escape the concrete jungle of Toronto to some of the most pristine trails, beaches, and activities to keep you entertained all year long.

Who is this book for?
With a population of just over 35 million people, Canada may be small in numbers, but you will be astounded with the incredible distances and land mass of this stunning part of North America. Whether you’re backpacking, RVing, Camping, or driving across Canada, this eBook will help provide some superb options in every province and territory. Perfect for reading on the long drive to your next Canadian destination.

Read this small novella on things to do if you’re a:

 

  • Backpacker

 

  • Weekend Travel Enthusiast

 

  • RV / Campervan cruiser

 

  • Outdoorsy person

 

  • Exploring your own backyard

 

  • Discovering cities across Canada

 

  • Lover of food, drink, and fun

 

  • Want to know more about different provinces and territories

 

 

A Chapter for Each Province & Territory
150 Things To Do In Canada is sure to provide you with hours of reading. Each thing to do is formatted into a chapter dedicated to it’s parent province or territory. Making it the perfect travel guide to flip through and see what interests you.

Learn more about I Backpack Canada
Don’t forget to visit the award-winning travel blog “I Backpack Canada” for more travel tips and an even larger amount of things to see and do in Canada.

 

 

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!: The Birthday Party by Graham Harrop (Author)

A whimsical and affectionate look at Canada’s

150th Birthday, by cartoonist Graham Harrop.

Find out what the animals REALLY think about

the ongoing anniversary celebrations!

 

 

Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada From the Vikings to the Present by Conrad Black  (Author)

Masterful, ambitious, and ground-breaking, this is a major new history of our country by one of our most respected thinkers and historians — a book every Canadian should own.
From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes the definitive history of Canada — a revealing, ground-breaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation.
Spanning 874 to 2014, and beginning from Canada’s first inhabitants and the early explorers, this masterful history challenges our perception of our history and Canada’s role in the world. From Champlain to Carleton, Baldwin and Lafontaine, to MacDonald, Laurier, and King, Canada’s role in peace and war, to Quebec’s quest for autonomy, Black takes on sweeping themes and vividly recounts the story of Canada’s development from colony to dominion to country. Black persuasively reveals that while many would argue that Canada was perhaps never predestined for greatness, the opposite is in fact true: the emergence of a magnificent country, against all odds, was a remarkable achievement. Brilliantly conceived, this major new re-examination of our country’s history is a riveting tour de force by one of the best writers writing today.

 

 

Celebrating Canada: Decorating with History in a Contemporary Home by Peter E. Baker (Author), John A. Fleming (Foreword, Contributor)

Inspired by the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, Quebec author and antiques professional Peter E. Baker brings life to Canadian history and demonstrates how antiques and folk art can successfully be incorporated into a contemporary lifestyle, providing a home with a unique identity.

 

 

Canada 1867 – 2017 by Paul Taillefer (Author)

Bilingual Edition: English-French

In compiling, writing, and illustrating the most important event that marked the History of Canada each year since Confederation, the author restricted his choices to history, political, economic, and cultural phenomena.

 

In the 1960s, the author acquired hundreds of clippings, magazines, encyclopaedias, and history books pertaining to Canada’s history. He had contemplated preparing a special project for Canada’s Centennial with them, but was forced to drop the idea for lack of time.

 

In retirement, he was urged by his wife Pierrette, who saw his archives lingering in filing cabinets and his personal library, to get to work on his project. He did so at the end of 2012. This is the result.

 

Dans ce livre, pour chaque année depuis la Confédération en 1867, l’auteur présente et illustre le moment qui a marqué l’histoire sociale, politique ou économique de notre pays.

 

Depuis les années 1960, l’auteur a constitué ses archives personnelles à même les journaux, les magazines, les encyclopédies et les livres d’histoire. Il avait envisagé de publier son livre pour le centenaire de la Confédération, mais le temps lui a manqué. C’est son épouse qui l’incita à reprendre la plume pour le cent cinquantenaire ou à abandonner l’idée!

 

C’est ainsi qu’à la fin de 2012, maintenant à la retraite, l’auteur se mit au travail et en voici le résultat.

 

 

Have a Canada, Canadian History or Canada 150 book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

All the Presidents’ Gardens by @martamcdowell #gardening #history #FridayReads


All the Presidents Gardens

 

Title: All the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses—How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America

Author: Marta McDowell

Genre: History, US History, Horticulture, Gardening

 

Book Blurb:

A New York Times Bestseller and AHS Book Award winner

 

The 18-acres surrounding the White House have been an unwitting witness to history—kings and queens have dined there, bills and treaties have been signed, and presidents have landed and retreated. Throughout it all, the grounds have remained not only beautiful, but also a powerful reflection of American trends. In All the Presidents’ Gardens bestselling author Marta McDowell tells the untold history of the White House Grounds with historical and contemporary photographs, vintage seeds catalogs, and rare glimpses into Presidential pastimes. History buffs will revel in the fascinating tidbits about Lincoln’s goats, Ike’s putting green, Jackie’s iconic roses, and Amy Carter’s tree house. Gardeners will enjoy the information on the plants whose favor has come and gone over the years and the gardeners who have been responsible for it all.

 

All the Pres Garden Page 1

 

My Review:

This book is ostensibly about the White House Garden.  The portions of the book that deal specifically with the White House Garden are brilliant.  There are so many interesting points and asides that come from the creation, maintenance and re-imagining of the White House Garden.  If the book was solely about the White House Greenery then I might have rated it 5 stars.

 

The problems here stem from the admirable attempt of the author to offer context.  The need for context takes the reader far from the singular and for much of the book, this is simply the history of the American Garden.  I was lost in the minutiae of seed creation and trends in American Gardens.

 

The entirety of the book mutes the wonders of a great book on White House Gardens.  Aficionados of gardening in general and people interested in an unique approach to White House history will love this book.  A fun read for the avid gardener in the cold of winter as they wait impatiently for spring to come.

 

My Rating:  3.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/All-Presidents-Gardens-Madisons-Roses-How-ebook/dp/B01DFY6HCC

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/All-Presidents-Gardens-Madisons-Roses-How-ebook/dp/B01DFY6HCC

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Presidents-Gardens-Madisons-Roses-How-ebook/dp/B01DFY6HCC

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25810724-all-the-presidents-gardens

 

Author Biography:

I live, garden and write in Chatham, New Jersey where I share my garden with my husband, Kirke, assorted wildlife and approximately 10,000 honey bees. You will often find me at the New York Botanical Garden, where I teach landscape history and gardening courses. My new book, All the Presidents’ Gardens, is coming out from Timber Press in October 2016. (I’m excited!) When I’m not gardening I like to read and knit and cook and eat, though not all at the same time.

My husband, Kirke, summarizes my biography as “I am therefore I dig.”

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.martamcdowell.com/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7444.Marta_McDowell

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

#CharacterInterview: Coel from Just One Mistake by @libraryoferana #SFF #fantasy #FridayReads


Tales of Erana Series

 

My name is Coel, I am a bard. I make my living singing and selling songs.

 

At least that’s the way it should be, but of course things are rarely that simple, I am a wanted man. I would say I am innocent, but two men are dead by my hand and as much as I wish it that is the truth. These days I must supplement my income by any means necessary for those in my position do what they must do see another dawn.

 

Presently I live at the Stuck Pig Tavern, in Varlek. It’s not exactly the height of comfort but it does have the advantage the clientele don’t ask awkward questions and the Order of Witch-Hunters leave it alone. This is worth the leaky roof and dubious ale.

 

I’m what’s called a Bard Adept – so I have recently learned by music and the handful of other magical skills I have are just that – fuelled by magic. Possession of magic is illegal here so I have to be careful. The music side is reasonably easy to hide, the rest – not so easy. It’s all a bit new so I can’t really control it properly, it controls me, I suppose.

 

 

What is your greatest fear? 

It used to be death – but when one walks with death it becomes less frightening. Now – I’d say losing my music. I could not live without the songs and tales in my soul.

 

What is your greatest extravagance? 

My rebec. It’s a bit old now, but if she needs strings or polish she gets them. I’d rather go hungry than have an unplayable instrument. Music is my blessing, my curse and my soul.

 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? 

Pride. It is easily lost and brings out the worst in a person.

 

Which talent would you most like to have? 

I’d like to be able to be invisible – to walk around unseen. I’m learning that some adepts can. Shadowplay they call it, and some mages can fool the sight. I’ve called up shadows a couple of times but usually it doesn’t work unless I REALLY need it. To be truly able to vanish – that would be extremely useful.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

I’m still alive!

 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 

Despair. I have been there more than once. Because of my lust I caused the death of two men, the ruin of a woman and the shame of my own kin. I’ve been hungry and cold, I’ve been terrified out of my wits, and I have been seriously wounded but nothing is like the pain of knowing one has nothing left to live for and knowing it was all by one’s own hand.

 

I have made some amends for what I have done but my debt is far from paid.

 

What is your greatest regret? 

How long do you have? As I said I killed a man, it was an accident. He was my lover’s husband and he found us together. In the light of day I say it was self-defence, but in the darkness of my nightmares I know it wasn’t. I don’t regret killing him, but I regret getting caught in the situation I did. Another man hanged for my crime and I stood by and watched him die. That is the murder I truly regret. That poor man was an elf, and elves have no rights. Would it have made a difference if I’d confessed? Maybe. But I was too much a coward for that.

 

How would you like to die? 

I spend a lot of time and energy not dying. So far it’s working but luck is a fickle mistress.

If I get a choice I’d say old, rich and famous. At the rate I am going it’s likely to be young, broke and infamous.

 

TOE Just One Mistake

 

Title Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake

Author A. L. Butcher

Genre Fantasy

 

Book Blurb 

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

 

Buy Links 

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2pQADCj

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2orn0s9

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/696686

Kobo http://bit.ly/2oMTwdh

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2puZ4WL

 

Print Editions

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1546421726/

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1546421726/

 

Audio

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2sp7Hqk

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2tikBCW

Audible.co.uk http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Tales-of-Erana-Audiobook/B071WXK5D3/

 

Excerpt

The candle spluttered in the attic as the wind curled about the badly thatched roof. Glowglobes were currently beyond Coel’s means so in the small flickering circle of meagre light Coel assessed his night’s takings. The tavern wench had gone to her own bed or someone else’s and in many ways he was glad; any undue attention would be unwelcome in the circumstances. Coel had got away with the theft, at least he could hear no hue and cry from below or boots on the stairs. With luck the fellow would either not miss the trinket or simply not recall his movements that evening. There had been no mistake, not this time.

 

Darkness oozed lazily in the remainder of the room, nosing into corners, under furniture and behind Coel, unseen, part of it detached. “That was quite a performance, bard. You have some talent, and not just your music. Although your judgement is flawed, it never wise to steal from a thief,” the voice was smooth, like liquid velvet and very sure of itself.

 

Coel’s hand moved towards the dagger nestling in his belt; it would not be the first time he had been called on to defend himself, although that was how he had ended up in this mess he thought bitterly. Just one mistake, then another and now, it would seem, another.

 

“I do not know of what you speak! I am not a thief.” His brain caught up and he continued, “How did you get into my room? The door was locked. I’m not a bloody fool.” Coel could hear his own heart pounding. There was something about this man which frightened him. He felt like a mouse beneath the gaze of a cat. Perhaps the hangman’s noose would have been the better option.

 

The slate-grey cloak swirled around boots of ebony leather and the cowled figure chuckled. “That lock was barely a moment’s work. I must have a word with the owner of this place about his security. I have yet to find a door in Erana which will not yield to me. You may as well remove your hand from that blade, or would you bet your life you are swifter than the Thiefmaster? I doubt it, boy, I doubt it. Believe me when I say you would be dead before that knife left its scabbard. It would be a pity to waste such talent, would it not?”

 

Coel removed his hand from the dagger, his sense telling him that continuing to draw it would be a terminal decision. Instead, he placed he placed his hand on the table and the voice breathed into his ear, Coel shivered, he had not heard the man move.

 

“I thought not. Sensible lad, if a lying one. This too can be a skill which can save your life, if it is used correctly and with assurance,” Darius told him.

 

This menacing shape was right behind him and Coel began to turn, opening his mouth to protest, and found a gloved hand on his jaw, firm but not unduly painful. “Curious are we not? This may sometimes serve you well. As for other occasions, it is wise to accept things as they are, this is one such occasion… Coel.”

 

The bard caught his breath, how did this man know his name? The sweat began to pool in his back, making his shirt stick unpleasantly to his skin. Had this man been hired to kill him? Had his mistake finally caught him up? Yet as Coel’s brain frantically grasped at any hope and his fingers tried to overrule his brain and reach for the dagger he realised the man had said he was a thief. A robbery, that was not so bad. It would not be the first time.

 

“This is not a merely social call; you are honoured for the Master of Thieves does not always test a potential recruit’s skills for himself.”

 

Just One Mistake Print

 

Author Bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a  A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series, She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

 

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Rolf’s Quest (A Medieval Encounter Book 1) by @Aubreywynne51 #bookreview #historicalromance


rolf-s-quest

 

Title: Rolf’s Quest (A Medieval Encounter Book 1)

Author: Aubrey Wynne

Genre: Historical Romance, Romantic Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

A wizard, a curse, a fated love…

 

When Rolf finally discovers the woman who can end the curse that has plagued his family for centuries, she is already betrothed. Time is running out for the royal wizard of King Henry II. If he cannot find true love without the use of sorcery, the magic will die for future generations.

 

Melissa is intrigued by the mystical, handsome man that haunts her by night and tempts her by day. His bizarre tale of Merlin, enchantments, and finding genuine love has her questioning his sanity and her heart.

 

From the moment Melissa stepped from his dreams and into his arms, Rolf knew she was his destiny. Now, he will battle against time, a powerful duke, and call on the gods to save her.

 

My Review:

True love, without the use of magic, will free the great Merlin from his own mystical prison but can it be done?

 

Back in the day, the great wizard Merlin fell in love with a woman who loved another. Merlin cast a love spell on her and in retaliation, she cursed him and all his future generations. The first-born son of each generation will have the opportunity to choose fated love without the use of magic.

 

Rolf was brought to Merlin when he was only ten years old and the fate of Merlin and future generations is in Rolf’s hands. Rolf thinks he’s learned from his ancestors’ mistakes but destiny is a funny mistress because when he meets his beloved, the woman who can break his family’s curse, she’s already engaged to another.

 

Melissa has been engaged to Charles Roker, a duke, from the time she was small. A partnership between two families to strengthen alliances, not for love. Melissa starts having intoxicating dreams about a mysterious man with dark hair and when he appears at King Henry II’s coronation, she’s left to wonder if his story of fated love and Merlin is true. Desire wars with allegiance to her father but she has one ally: the Queen. She must choose between love and loyalty. Can she marry a man she barely knows yet his kisses make her dizzy as if she’s drunk too much spiced wine? And what about this curse? Will true love conquer all or will magic cease to be?

 

I was captivated by the historical romance from the first page and honestly, didn’t want it to end. Wynne is historically accurate throughout the book, from the clothing to historical people/events to how society behaves and even cultural traditions (such as weddings and coronations). I was immersed in the 12th century and it was glorious.

 

I loved Roker, Melissa’s fiancé, and it was quite enjoyable seeing his evil mind process events out of his control. He fought for Melissa’s hand and when fate intervenes, his world is turned upside down. His actions, as well as his frame of mind, amped up the suspense and intrigue.

 

At the end, Rolf’s Quest is a testament to love and lovers. It reminded me of The Princess Bride as well as Ladyhawk. I highly recommend it and I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author (via Netgalley) in the hopes I’d review it.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Rolfs-Quest-Medieval-Encounter-Book-ebook/dp/B01N6IY5E9

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Rolfs-Quest-Medieval-Encounter-Book-ebook/dp/B01N6IY5E9

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rolfs-Quest-Medieval-Encounter-Book-ebook/dp/B01N6IY5E9

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rolfs-quest-aubrey-wynne/1125362109?ean=2940154235898

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/rolf-s-quest

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rolfs-quest/id1187969530?mt=11

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33650888-rolf-s-quest

 

Aubrey Wynne

 

Author Biography:

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas.

Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, the first in A Chicago Christmas series, received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, and Heart of Excellence awards.

Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served for the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” launched in 2017 with Rolf’s Quest, winner of the 2016 NTRWA Great Expectations award.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://aubreywynneauthor.com/

 

Blog https://aubreywynneauthor.com/blog/

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/Aubreywynne51

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

It’s #NationalKissingDay and We’re Celebrating Swoon-Worthy Kisses in #Books! #FridayReads


kiss 1

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Today is National Kissing Day and in honor of that, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite books that have toe-curling, romantic kisses in them. Some of them are sweet, some steamy but all from books I have read. So without further ado, here they are:

A Knight in Shining Armor (The Montgomery/Taggert Family Book 15) by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux’s beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation.

Once upon a time…as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress….

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there…until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past—or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Twilight’s Encore: Wounded Hearts- Book 3 by Jacquie Biggar

One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Foolish Bride (Forever Brides) by A.S. Fenichel

Sadly ever after . . . unless some dreams really do come true?

Elinor Burkenstock never believed in fairy tales. Sure, she’s always been a fool for love—what woman isn’t? But Elinor knows the difference between fiction and truth. Daydreams and reality. True love and false promises. . . . Until the unthinkable happens, and Elinor’s engagement is suddenly terminated and no one, least of all her fiancé, will tell her why.

Sir Michael Rollins’s war-hero days seem far behind him when, after one last hurrah before his wedding, he gets shot and his injuries leave him in dire shape. He wants nothing more than to marry Elinor, the woman of his wildest dreams. But Elinor’s father forbids it . . . and soon Michael is faced with a desperate choice: Spare Elinor a life with a broken man or risk everything to win her heart—until death do they part?

Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Will his call of duty break both their hearts?

Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?

The Guardian’s Witch (The Stelton Legacy) by Ruth A. Casie

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

The Du Lac Devil: Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

The Award Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

The Du Lac Devil is a standalone novel and has a recommended reading age of 16+

Desert Sheikh vs American Princess: Jewels of the Desert Book 2 by Teresa Morgan

When he kidnapped a princess, he didn’t count on her…

Walid Al Kalam’s plan is simple. The American Celebutante Noelle Oldrich will remain in his palace until her father pays his debts. Without the money her hotel magnate father owes him, Walid cannot fulfill his commitment to the pipeline that represents the future of the small middle eastern country of Askar.

But Noelle isn’t the passive, agreeable guest that she should rationally be. Instead, the willful American princess disrupts the peace of his home, and his peace of mind. Whether she is running through his courtyard in skin-tight gear or braiding together a rope to lower herself out a window, the intelligent beauty threatens his very sanity.

Enter the pirate princess…

No way will any sheikh keep Noelle Oldrich captive, even if she does want to rip the stuffy suits off the hot Arabic David Beckham clone.

She might be good for nothing but spending money and wearing clothes, but Noelle will escape the sexy sheikh’s palace, no matter what. She has to—no way will her father pay his debt. The only help she’s going to get is from her childhood imaginary friend, a pirate princess who is ready to make the stupid, sexy sheikh walk the plank.

A fabulous jewel…

Noelle’s one chance to pay her own ransom and escape the sheikh’s control is to find the legendary jewel, the Palm of Askar, lost for decades.

If she finds the diamond, Walid will have to let her go, but his drugging kisses threaten to turn her into a willing captive…

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

Believing he is cursed, Tristram, Lord Trevena, the Earl of Longstone, agrees to do just one favor for a friend, to dance with the man’s sister, but the beautiful and headstrong Isabel Albryght will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart.

A PROPHECY FORETOLD

Raised by her doting older brother, Isabel Albryght grew up cosseted and protected. She enjoyed her life in the country, her books and her freedom. Then Weston married. Within months Isabel’s best friend married. It seemed it was time for Isabel to marry, too, except, socially awkward and a bit too keen for most of the ton, she proceeded to have the most horrible season on record…until she was approached by Tristram, the Earl of Longstone.

Twice. Two dances. That was all Tristram could offer anyone when considering his family curse, which had taken all he loved in the last ten years, so his promise to the beautiful Miss Albryght’s brother was simply that. The ton would soon see she was a desirable partner, her awkwardness would fade and other young swains would beat feet to her doorstep. But then he held her in his arms, and the delightful Isabel became his beating heart. Headstrong and full of passion, she believed she might waltz them away from Death. She alone could tempt him to try.

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella by N. N. Light

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Have a swoon-worthy kiss from a book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

MRS N, Book Addict

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Today is National Kissing Day and in honor of that, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite books that have toe-curling, romantic kisses in them. Some of them are sweet, some steamy but all from books I have read. So without further ado, here they are:

A Knight in Shining Armor (The Montgomery/Taggert Family Book 15) by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux’s beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation.

Once upon a time…as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress….

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there…until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past—or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Twilight’s Encore: Wounded Hearts- Book 3 by Jacquie Biggar

One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Foolish Bride (Forever Brides) by A.S. Fenichel

Sadly ever after . . . unless some dreams really do come true?

Elinor Burkenstock never believed in fairy tales. Sure, she’s always been a fool for love—what woman isn’t? But Elinor knows the difference between fiction and truth. Daydreams and reality. True love and false promises. . . . Until the unthinkable happens, and Elinor’s engagement is suddenly terminated and no one, least of all her fiancé, will tell her why.

Sir Michael Rollins’s war-hero days seem far behind him when, after one last hurrah before his wedding, he gets shot and his injuries leave him in dire shape. He wants nothing more than to marry Elinor, the woman of his wildest dreams. But Elinor’s father forbids it . . . and soon Michael is faced with a desperate choice: Spare Elinor a life with a broken man or risk everything to win her heart—until death do they part?

Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Will his call of duty break both their hearts?

Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?

The Guardian’s Witch (The Stelton Legacy) by Ruth A. Casie

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

The Du Lac Devil: Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

The Award Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

The Du Lac Devil is a standalone novel and has a recommended reading age of 16+

Desert Sheikh vs American Princess: Jewels of the Desert Book 2 by Teresa Morgan

When he kidnapped a princess, he didn’t count on her…

Walid Al Kalam’s plan is simple. The American Celebutante Noelle Oldrich will remain in his palace until her father pays his debts. Without the money her hotel magnate father owes him, Walid cannot fulfill his commitment to the pipeline that represents the future of the small middle eastern country of Askar.

But Noelle isn’t the passive, agreeable guest that she should rationally be. Instead, the willful American princess disrupts the peace of his home, and his peace of mind. Whether she is running through his courtyard in skin-tight gear or braiding together a rope to lower herself out a window, the intelligent beauty threatens his very sanity.

Enter the pirate princess…

No way will any sheikh keep Noelle Oldrich captive, even if she does want to rip the stuffy suits off the hot Arabic David Beckham clone.

She might be good for nothing but spending money and wearing clothes, but Noelle will escape the sexy sheikh’s palace, no matter what. She has to—no way will her father pay his debt. The only help she’s going to get is from her childhood imaginary friend, a pirate princess who is ready to make the stupid, sexy sheikh walk the plank.

A fabulous jewel…

Noelle’s one chance to pay her own ransom and escape the sheikh’s control is to find the legendary jewel, the Palm of Askar, lost for decades.

If she finds the diamond, Walid will have to let her go, but his drugging kisses threaten to turn her into a willing captive…

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

Believing he is cursed, Tristram, Lord Trevena, the Earl of Longstone, agrees to do just one favor for a friend, to dance with the man’s sister, but the beautiful and headstrong Isabel Albryght will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart.

A PROPHECY FORETOLD

Raised by her doting older brother, Isabel Albryght grew up cosseted and protected. She enjoyed her life in the country, her books and her freedom. Then Weston married. Within months Isabel’s best friend married. It seemed it was time for Isabel to marry, too, except, socially awkward and a bit too keen for most of the ton, she proceeded to have the most horrible season on record…until she was approached by Tristram, the Earl of Longstone.

Twice. Two dances. That was all Tristram could offer anyone when considering his family curse, which had taken all he loved in the last ten years, so his promise to the beautiful Miss Albryght’s brother was simply that. The ton would soon see she was a desirable partner, her awkwardness would fade and other young swains would beat feet to her doorstep. But then he held her in his arms, and the delightful Isabel became his beating heart. Headstrong and full of passion, she believed she might waltz them away from Death. She alone could tempt him to try.

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella by N. N. Light

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Have a swoon-worthy kiss from a book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

MRS N, Book Addict

Friday Book Round Up Celebrates Family-Friendly #Books! #FridayReads #FathersDay #Kids


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This weekend, a lot of families will get together and so in honor of that, I picked some special family-friendly books. They range in genres but all are geared around families. Without further ado, here they are:

 

Families on Foot: Urban Hikes to Backyard Treks and National Park Adventures by Jennifer Pharr Davis  (Author), Brew Davis (Author)

Families on Foot is an interactive guide for families to help motivate children to enjoy hiking and walking in nature. The progressive book would outline basic steps to help families with kids grow from beginner to intermediate hikers and to cultivate a love and enthusiasm for the outdoors. (Going beyond this to “advanced hiker” is beyond the scope of this book and the need for families.) Elements include a basic checklist of gear and safety needs, simple exercises for the whole family to prep for getting out on the trail, real life stories (perhaps crowdsourced from the AHS community), and ideas and activities for making the experience fun for kids of all ages. Chock full of aspirational color photography featuring diverse people and kids, the book is also practical in nature, offering information on gear checklists and how to use GPS, read a map, and predict weather before going out on the trail. It would feature experiences in everything from neighborhood parks to secluded trails. Additionally, the book reflects the hallmarks of the American Hiking Society, with whom we would work to make this book a success.

 

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from the Pantry (Lab Series) by Liz Lee Heinecke  (Author)

At-home science provides an environment for freedom, creativity and invention that is not always possible in a school setting. In your own kitchen, it’s simple, inexpensive, and fun to whip up a number of amazing science experiments using everyday ingredients.

 

Science can be as easy as baking. Hands-On Family: Kitchen Science Lab for Kids offers 52 fun science activities for families to do together. The experiments can be used as individual projects, for parties, or as educational activities groups.

 

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids will tempt families to cook up some physics, chemistry and biology in their own kitchens and back yards. Many of the experiments are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids, so families can discover the joy of science together.

 

 

Funny Joke Book for Kids 2017: Really Funny Family Friendly Jokes for Kids! (Kids Jokes) by Joe King (Author), Alex Blaine Layder  (Author), Christopher C. Harris (Author)

Funny Joke Book for Kids 2017

 

Really Funny Family Friendly Jokes for Kids!

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 

“Laughter is the best medicine”

 

 

Keep your kids laughing and entertaining their friends with this book of funny and family friendly jokes. Help them entertain their friends at school, make those long car trips more fun, and get a giggle for yourself along the way! These funny jokes, knock knocks, and riddles will entertain the entire family. And for those budding comedians in the house, several types of jokes to try out and find your own style.

 

With artist illustrations showing just how funny these jokes for kids can be, this joke book will never be far out of reach.

 

They say laughter is the best medicine so this book is perfect for:

  • A long car trip
  • The waiting room at the doctor’s office
  • The first day of school
  • Birthday gifts that are sure to please
  • An opening joke for the big presentation at school
  • Encouraging your child to read
  • Cheering you up after a hard day at work

 

Download now and always be ready to crack a smile!

 

Who says sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?

A: A guy who has never been hit with a dictionary.

 

Q: How do you make a fire with two sticks?

A: Make sure one is a match!

 

  1. Why did the banana go to the hospital?

A: Because he wasn’t peeling well!

 

Q: What’s the slipperiest country?

A: Greece!

 

Q: Why can’t you say a joke while standing on ice?

A: Because it might crack up!

 

Q: Why did the orange stop in the middle of the hill?

A: It ran out of juice!

 

Q: What do postal workers do when they’re mad?

A: They stamp their feet.

 

Q: Why are the floors of basketball courts always so damp?

A: The players dribble a lot.

 

Q: What starts with E, ends with E and only has one letter?

A: An envelope.

 

Q: What is at the end of everything?

A: The letter G.

 

Q: What nails do carpenters hate to hit?

A: Fingernails.

 

Q: How do locomotives hear?

A: Through the engineers.

 

Q: Why is tennis such a loud game?

A: Because each player raises a racquet.

 

Q: Who earns a living by driving his customers away?

A: A taxi driver.

 

Q: What two things can you not have for breakfast?

A: Lunch and dinner.

 

Q: What did one eye say to the other?

A: Between you and me, something smells.

 

Q: Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team?

A: She ran away from the ball.

 

A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian  (Author)

Siobhan Vivian’s sparkling YA debut… now in paperback!

 

Ruby’s turning sixteen . . . but the day doesn’t turn out to be as sweet as it’s supposed to be. Her long-lost father shows up, and Ruby doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Instead, she wants to hang out with her friends–loyal Beth, dangerous Katherine, and gossipy Maria. They have plenty of advice for her–about boys, about her dad, about how she should look and what she should be feeling. But really, Ruby doesn’t know what to think or feel. Especially when a new boy comes into the picture . . . and Ruby discovers some of her friends aren’t as truthful as they say.

 

Why a Daughter Needs a Dad: 100 Reasons by Gregory Lang (Author), Janet Lankford-Moran (Photographer)

A New York Times Bestseller!

 

Show Dad your appreciation with this classic from New York Times bestselling author Greg Lang. Why A Daughter Needs a Dad has been bringing together fathers and daughters for over a decade, and makes the perfect gift for dads everywhere.

 

To a daughter, no one is stronger or braver than her dad. He’s someone to laugh with and a shoulder to cry on, and no matter what, there’s no place safer than in her father’s arms.

 

A Daughter Needs a Dad…

  • To tell her truthfully that she is the most beautiful of all
  • To teach her to believe that she deserves to be treated well
  • To show her how to fix things for herself
  • Who will not punish her for her mistakes, but help her learn from them
  • To teach her what it means to always be there

 

Featuring over 40 breathtaking black & white photos, Why A Daughter Needs a Dad celebrates 100 reasons why Dad’s steadfast love is the guide his little girl needs to become the woman she’s destined to be.

 

Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead  (Author)

The ultimate DIY project guide for techie dads raising kids in their own geeky image, in the spirit of The Dangerous Book for Boys

 

Today’s generation of dads grew up more tech-savvy than ever. Rather than joining the Little League team, many grew up playing computer games, Dungeons and Dragons, and watching Star Wars. Now with kids of their own, these digital-age dads are looking for fresh ways to share their love of science and technology, and help their kids develop a passion for learning and discovery.

 

Enter supergeek, and father of two, Ken Denmead. An engineer and editor of the incredibly popular GeekDad blog on wired.com, Ken has created the ultimate, idea-packed guide guaranteed to help dads and kids alike enjoy the magic of playtime together and tap into the infinite possibility of their imagination. With illustrations throughout, this book offers projects for all ages to suit any timeframe or budget. With Denmead’s expert guidance, you and your child can:

 

  • Fly a night-time kite ablaze with lights or launch a video camera with balloons

 

  • Construct the “Best Slip n’ Slide Ever,” a guaranteed thrill ride

 

  • Build a working lamp with LEGO bricks and CDs

 

  • Create a customized comic strip or your own board game

 

  • Make geeky crafts like cyborg jack-o’-lanterns or Ethernet cuff links

 

Brimming with endlessly fun and futuristic tidbits on everything from gaming to gadgets, GeekDad helps every tech-savvy father unleash his inner kid-and bond with the next generation of brainiacs.

 

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman  (Author), Ros Asquith  (Illustrator)

This fun and fascinating treasury features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of home life-from houses and holidays, to schools and pets, to feelings and family trees. Ros Asquith’s humorous illustrations perfectly complement a charming text from the acclaimed Mary Hoffman; kids will love poring over these pages again and again. A celebration of the diverse fabric of kith and kin the world over, The Great Big Book of Families is a great big treat for every family to share.

 

 

Have a family-friendly book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Life & Death in Old Peking: A Guest Post by @GDSheppardUK #FridayReads #books #truecrime


Life and Death in Old Peking

Life & Death in Old Peking; the Murder of Pamela Werner

A Guest Post by G. D. Sheppard

 

As a police officer, it can be difficult to switch off from work. You can’t stop seeing the world through police eyes. And that was very much the case when I was leant a book to read a few years ago. The subject was the brutal unsolved murder of Pamela Werner, a young British woman in Peking in the winter of 1937.

 

Pamela had been cycling home in the dark from a skating rink. She never made it home. Her body was found the next morning in a shallow ditch under the shadow of the city-wall. She had been mutilated beyond recognition and, most mysteriously, her heart stolen.

 

The crime terrified the large community of Western foreigners living in Peking. But the case frustrated the police and remained unsolved. The recent account I read now pointed to the guilt of several local residents – as revealed by the preserved investigative letters of the victim’s elderly father.

 

But I wasn’t convinced. Not at all. From a policing perspective, the evidence didn’t add up. Something, I realised, was very wrong.

 

So I visited the UK National Archives in Kew and examined the father’s letters myself – some 150 typed pages addressed to the Foreign Office in the late 1930s. And I found that my instinct had been correct. But in addition to that I saw immediately that there was far more to the case than had been revealed.

 

I delved further, spending two years studying the evidence provided by documents and archives from across the world – from the USA to Australia, from China to Italy: letters about the murder between diplomats; articles in the local press; military propaganda; secret reports of espionage and political assassination. There was so much more to the crime than had ever been made public. I also found the list of suspects growing: doctors, journalists, diplomats, soldiers. And there throughout, bringing his influence to the case, was the enigmatic and controversial figure of Sir Edmund Backhouse – one of the greatest fraudsters of the 20th century.

 

Having gathered a wealth of evidence I then felt compelled to write of the affair, explaining not only the facts behind the crime itself, but also the extraordinary lives of those involved, and of a way of life in a China that was soon to disappear with the advent of war and the triumph of Mao’s communism.

 

Leaving the Metropolitan police after thirty years I was finally free of restraints to twin that professional experience with a fervent interest in modern history: Life and Death in Old Peking; the Murder of Pamela Werner is the result. Eighty years after the murder, the book explores every evidential avenue, examines all the suspects, and brings the reader to the door of the guilty. Peking in 1937 was a fascinating time and place, one worth the study, and it provides a tale very much worth the telling.

 

 

Title:  Life & Death in Old Peking; the Murder of Pamela Werner

Author:  G D Sheppard

Genre:  History, True-Crime, Espionage, World War 2

 

 

Book Blurb:

The brutal murder of Pamela Werner in 1937 in pre-communist Peking horrified the foreigners living within the ancient walled capital. The appalling injuries the young British woman suffered were as barbaric as they were mysterious. Months later, China was engulfed by war with Japan, and the macabre crime remained unsolved with the murderer still at large.

 

Life & Death in Old Peking investigates this cold case, using primary source material hitherto unexamined.

 

Latterly, there has been a rekindling of interest in the death of this unfortunate woman with the account of her murder being derived solely from archived letters of her idiosyncratic father, E.T.C. Werner, a renowned sinologist and long-time member of the China consular service.

 

In contrast, Life & Death in Old Peking dissects the crime, utilising a broader range of historical sources. The context of her death and its investigation are examined. Men, whose lives intersected with that of Pamela’s, and who thus have been previously named as suspects, accessories, or indeed, murderers, are scrutinized, with their characters and motivations put under the spotlight. Allegations of a political motive to her death are revisited using the newly discovered secret correspondence between the enigmatic Sir Edmund Backhouse and the British Embassy.

 

In this manner Life & Death in Old Peking touches on many extraordinary lives led by foreigners in a China long since vanished.

 

Who killed Pamela Werner? Why was the answer to this mystery out of reach for so long?  Is it possible that the solution has been overlooked?

 

Yes. Until now.

 

 

Excerpt:  

Chapter one – The Discovery; body found beside the city wall

 

 

The Times newspaper of Saturday 9 January 1937 carried a sensational headline:

British girl’s death in Peking; Murder Suspected

 

The British authorities and the Chinese police are investigating the mysterious death last night of Pamela Werner, a 17-year-old British girl, the daughter of Mr. Chalmers Werner, the author and former British Consul at Foochow. She disappeared yesterday evening after skating at the French club rink.

 

The body was found this morning inside the city wall and 250 yards from the girl’s home, at one of the loneliest spots in the city. It had been so badly mauled by stray dogs as to be unrecognizable and to make it difficult, except after a careful medical examination, to hazard a guess how she met her death, but in view of the lack of evidence that an accident had happened murder must be suspected.

 

The Times had been quick off the mark. It was impressive. The famous Fleet Street newspaper had a local correspondent and teleprinters, but Peking was a long way from London and the victim’s body had only been discovered some 18 hours or so before going to press. The article did contain a few errors – Pamela Werner was nearly twenty, not seventeen, and her father’s name was Edward rather than Chalmers Werner, but it was a timely piece of journalism arriving on the breakfast tables of its British readership, distracting them from the miserably wet winter they were enduring that year.

 

Despite the intense media interest, the story may have escaped the notice of the British Foreign Office in Whitehall as the following months proved to be a turbulent time for international relations. After years of military skirmishing and political feuding, 1937 saw the commencement of the long anticipated war between China and Japan, a conflict that eventually resulted in the death of over twenty million people. Closer to home, at least from a British point of view, was the Spanish Civil War, already in its second year: another conflict costing close to half a million lives.  And as if to signal future intent, the expanding armed forces of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy both sent military aid to the Spanish Nationalists. For much of the world, war, or the threat of war, loomed large.

 

By the following summer the murder, still very much the talk of Peking, appears to have slipped beneath the Foreign Office radar entirely.

 

Question time in the House of Commons, Westminster, 16 June 1937 found Anthony Eden, later prime minister, but at that time Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Neville Chamberlain’s government, fielding questions from members of parliament. Most posed that Wednesday afternoon concerned the pressing and thorny subject of the civil war in Spain but one question was related to more distant international troubles. Harry Day, the Labour MP for Southwark Central, rose from the green bench to ask Eden about the instability in China, and: to what extent the lives and property of British subjects had been adversely affected during the previous twelve months? And what steps had been made to safeguard them?

 

Ministers were given notice of tabled questions, giving their support staff time to gather facts and prepare meaningful answers. Rising to reply, Eden stated, reassuringly, that no British subjects had been kidnapped or murdered, and that all possible efforts were being made to safeguard their lives and property. And with that, Eden and the House moved swiftly on to the subject of the war in Spain.

 

Many MPs were well known for asking ministerial questions as doing so kept their names in the newspapers. Harry Day was one of them. When his turn to present a question was called by the Speaker it was often met with an amused chant from the House of Another Day, Another Day. 3 Coming as it did a few weeks before the event that triggered full Sino-Japanese conflict, Day’s China question appears to have received only limited press attention.

 

But a month or so later Eden had to apologise. He had got his facts wrong. Unwittingly, he had misled the House. For Harry Day had since received a strongly worded letter from a stranger living in Peking, the retired British consul, E.T.C. Werner, whose daughter had been murdered in that city on 7th January. The father, it transpired, had read of Day’s question and Eden’s reply stating there having been no murders in a British newspaper in China and was outraged.

 

In Peking, however, Pamela’s murder was front page news.

 

The Peking Chronicle – Saturday 9 January 1937:

Dead Body of Young Foreign Woman Found in Gully along City Wall

 

Victim believed to be Pamela Werner, daughter of Mr. E.T.C. Werner; Post-mortem Examination Made; Inquest This Morning.

 

So ran the headline story of Peking’s English language newspaper the morning after crime’s discovery. Accompanying the report was a grainy photograph showing where the body was found in a ditch at a remote and desolate spot directly under one of Peking’s immense city walls. The foreign community was appalled by the news that one of their own had been murdered. Separate and detached from much of Chinese society, as most of them were, foreigners were rarely touched by serious crime. Few could have imagined how many of their number; diplomats; doctors; journalists; soldiers, would sooner or later be implicated as murderers or conspirators in the crime. As details of rape and mutilation were leaked to the press, shock changed to horror. There was a clamour for more information. The local papers obliged.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Paperback edition

Kindle edition

 

Amazon.co.uk

Paperback edition

Kindle edition

 

 GD Sheppard

 

Author Biography:

Born and raised in London, G D Sheppard is a retired police officer with thirty years’ service with the Metropolitan Police and in the Northeast of England. With commendations for crime detection, his policing experience includes working areas as wide-ranging as London’s West End to former coal-mining towns, from rural villages to inner-city housing estates.

His enthusiasm for history and sharp eye for telling evidence has resulted in articles in History Today. Other interests include paleoanthropology, physical fitness, and playing the classical guitar. He now lives and writes in Surrey, UK.

 

Social Media Links: 

Twitter  @GDSheppardUK

 

Independent Press Award-Winning Alexander’s Quest by @SweetPea_Media #Erotica #FridayReads


 

IPA Erotica Winner Square

 

Title: Alexander’s Quest (Knights of Kybora Book 1)

Author: S. Jackson

Genre: Paranormal Erotica/ Science Fiction Erotica

 

Book Blurb:

ALEXANDER’S QUEST was recently named the 2017 Winner of the Independent Press Award for Erotica!

 

Alexander Dunham has it all – devastating good looks, money, women, and the most exclusive sex club in Texas; but he doesn’t have what he needs. It would take Summer Walker, a sexy little co-ed that he literally slams into on campus to set off a trilogy of events that threaten to dismantle everything in his carefully constructed life, and awaken desires in him he didn’t know he had.

 

Alex is convinced he’s demon possessed when a voice enters his head and hounds him to act on insatiable cravings he has for Summer and his roommate Noah, which makes him resist even more. But when his disobedience is met with a flurry of pain that is teeth gnashing raw, he realizes soon enough that resisting the demands of his demon is futile.

 

IPA_badge

 

Excerpt:

Alex watched her struggle to put the pieces of that day together like the horrible jigsaw puzzle it was.

The best he could wish for was that when she snapped out of her reverie, her memory would be as hazy as that fateful afternoon on campus.

She teetered in her chair from the powerful images zinging through her mind and to Alex’s alarm, she passed out. When she came to a few seconds later, he was sitting beside her pressing a wet towel on her forehead.

Her amber-colored eyes peered up into his bottomless gray pools warily.

“What happened?”

Alex exhaled. Crises averted. She didn’t seem to remember.

“You seemed a little unsteady,” he offered quickly.

“Oh,” she said, blinking.

“Are you OK?” he asked, genuinely concerned.

Summer sat up straight and removed the cloth from her head.

“I’m fine. Must be the heat,” she stammered.

“It does take some getting used to. I’m glad you were able to make it, through the heat and all.”

He continued, “I’m Alexander Dunham.” He said this politely as he gripped her upper arm to give her support. “Why don’t you relax while we wait for the other recipients?”

There were no others, but she didn’t know that.

Summer’s posture eased and calm fell upon her face. Alex was relieved. He’d wanted her unguarded. It would buy him some time to get to know her better.

When the door had opened just minutes before, the sweet smell of jasmine and mint had wafted in, the same as he’d detected that first day.

Alex gritted his teeth to tamp down an escalating desire to touch her again, and a growl he’d tried to stifle, vibrated from his chest.

Summer narrowed her eyes.

“What was that?” she asked nervously.

Shit! She’d heard. Alex tried to school his features before responding. He knew he had to get his impulses under control.

“What?”

“It sounded like a growl,” she said, looking around. “You didn’t hear it?”

“No.”

Lie. He’d not only heard it, he’d felt it.

Summer huffed and chuckled. I must be losing it big time, she thought.

“You must really think I’m crazy, but I could have sworn I’d just heard—” She stopped herself when she saw his grim expression.

“Never mind,” she said, waving her hand.

Alex stood up and walked toward the window.

He’d needed to step away from her to get his bearings. Being so close was more than a notion, and she wasn’t making it any easier.

Like the time before, she had chosen to wear next to nothing. Compared to his formal suit, one of them was either under- or overdressed. To be fair, he hadn’t specified a dress code.

She had on a floral mid-drift-baring tank top and a threadbare pair of denim cutoff shorts. The shorts were washed out with frayed ends and tears, with a buttery soft, overly worn look to them.

Her hair, braided in parts, banded around her head in the style of a Venetian Goddess hung in soft waves down to her waist.

Summer’s appeal was that she was authentically vintage and as unaffected as a fresh wildflower picked from the ’70s.

Alex grunted and tried not to think about tossing her sweet little ass on the table and devouring her.

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alexanders-Quest-1-Knights-Kybora-ebook/dp/B0728BR89J

 

Google Play: https://books.google.ca/books?id=rgIkDwAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/alexander-s-quest

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alexanders-quest-s-jackson/1121236931?ean=9781537892245

 

Author Biography:

S.Jackson’s love for reading started when she was ten years old and was allowed to travel to libraries and book fairs around the Washington, DC metropolitan area alone. Her idea of utopia is to sip exotic teas in a botanical garden surrounded by books and red bottom shoes.

She is ecstatic to be the recipient of the 2017 Independent Press Award for Erotica for the first book in her Knights of Kybora series, Alexander’s Quest.

 

 

Social Media Links:

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

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SweetPea_Media

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/S-Jackson/e/B00VO7HH5E/

 

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16095259.S_Jackson

 

 

 

Good Enough to Dream by Roger Kahn @Dodger_Kahn #bookreview #baseball #FridayReads


Good Enough to Dream

 

Title: Good Enough to Dream

Author: Roger Kahn

Genre: Baseball, Sports, Memoir

 

Book Blurb:

Roger Kahn’s first major league hit, THE BOYS OF SUMMER, was his runaway bestseller that immortalized the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers. Now Kahn does the same for players whose moment in the sun has not yet arrived.

GOOD ENOUGH TO DREAM is the story of Kahn’s year as owner of the Class A, very minor league, Utica Blue Sox. Most of the Blue Sox never made it to the majors, but they all shared the dream that links the small child in the sandlot with the superstar who has just smacked one out of the stadium. This is a look at baseball unadorned, a game still sweet enough to lure grown men to leagues where first-class transportation was an old school bus and the infield was likely to be the consistency of thick soup. It is a funny and poignant story of one season, and one special team, that will make us hesitate before we ever call anything “bush league” again.

Praise for Roger Kahn:

“As a kid, I loved sports first and writing second, and loved everything Roger Kahn wrote. As an adult, I love writing first and sports second, and love Roger Kahn even more.” —Pulitzer Prize winner, David Maraniss

“He can epitomize a player with a single swing of the pen.” —TIME magazine

“Roger Kahn is the best baseball writer in the business.” —Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books

“Kahn has the almost unfair gift of easy, graceful writing.” —BOSTON HERALD

 

My Review:

A book about the 1983 Blue Sox by Roger Kahn.

 

This is a wonderful book because it is not about a team you intrinsically know.  This is not the story of the ‘55 Dodgers or the ‘61 Yankees or the ‘75 Reds or the ‘77 Yankees or the ‘87 Twins or ‘91 Twins or ‘92 Blue Jays or ‘93 Blue Jays.

 

This is a story about a bunch of young guys who play baseball because they have the chance to be paid for the privilege.  It is a chronological tale that covers the season that has fun, sadness, excitement, turmoil and simply life and baseball.

 

A fantastic read for every baseball fan and for everyone who might like baseball.  A treasured part of my baseball book library that I have owned for decades.

 

Disclaimer: I bought the hardcover when it was first released in 1985.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Good-Enough-Dream-Roger-Kahn-ebook/dp/B009Y8S7JA

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Good-Enough-Dream-Roger-Kahn-ebook/dp/B009Y8S7JA

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Enough-Dream-Roger-Kahn-ebook/dp/B009Y8S7JA

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/137789.Good_Enough_to_Dream

 

Author Biography:

Roger Kahn, a prize-winning author, grew up in Brooklyn, where he says everybody on the boys’ varsity baseball team at his prep school wanted to play for the Dodgers. None did. He has written nineteen books. Like most natives of Brooklyn, he is distressed that the Dodgers left. “In a perfect world,” he says, “the Dodgers would have stayed in Brooklyn and Los Angeles would have gotten the Mets.”

 

Social Media Links:

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Roger-Kahn/e/B000AQ1PQC

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/Dodger_Kahn

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

Friday Book Round-Up Batters Up to Some Amazing #Memoirs! #books #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Baseball is heating up, along with the weather, and my thoughts turn to some of my favorite baseball memoirs. This is different from MR N’s all-time favorite baseball books because, well, it’s me, MRS N. I’ve been a HUGE fan of baseball since I was little. I attended every Minnesota Twins game (with my grandparents) in 1987 and saw their miraculous World Series win! So, here are my top baseball memoirs:

 

I Love This Game!: My Life and Baseball by Kirby Puckett

The smiling, perpetually upbeat Minnesota Twins center fielder recounts his life on and off the field, including an in-depth discussion of a career that includes two World Series rings, five Gold Glove awards, and many other accolades.

 

Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin

By the award-winning author of Team of Rivals and The Bully Pulpit, Wait Till Next Year is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s touching memoir of growing up in love with her family and baseball.

 

Set in the suburbs of New York in the 1950s, Wait Till Next Year re-creates the postwar era, when the corner store was a place to share stories and neighborhoods were equally divided between Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans.

 

We meet the people who most influenced Goodwin’s early life: her mother, who taught her the joy of books but whose debilitating illness left her housebound: and her father, who taught her the joy of baseball and to root for the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Gil Hodges. Most important, Goodwin describes with eloquence how the Dodgers’ leaving Brooklyn in 1957, and the death of her mother soon after, marked both the end of an era and, for her, the end of childhood.

 

The Umpire Strikes Back by Ron Luciano, David Fisher

Here is Ron Luciano, the funniest ump ever to call balls and strikes, a huge and awesome legend who leaps and spins and shoots players with an index finger while screaming OUTOUTOUT!!!! Now, baseball’s flamboyant fan-on-the-field comes out from behind the mask to call the game as he really sees it.

 

Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain by Marty Appel

Our captain and leader has not left us, today, tomorrow, this year, next … Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him.”

—Honorary plaque to Munson in Yankee Stadium

 

Thurman Munson is remembered by fans as the fiercely competitive, tough, and—most of all—inspiring Yankee captain and champion from the wild Bronx Zoo years. He is also remembered for his tragic death, at age thirty-two, when the private plane he was piloting crashed in Canton, Ohio, on August 2, 1979.

 

Munson is the intimate biography of a complex and larger-than-life legend. Written by former Yankees public relations director Marty Appel, who worked closely with Thurman throughout his career, Munson captures the little-known details of the young man from Canton and his meteoric rise to stardom in baseball’s most storied franchise. Appel examines the tumultuous childhood that led Thurman to work feverishly to escape Canton—and also the marriage and cultural roots that continually drew him back.

 

Appel also opens a fascinating door on the famed Yankees of the 1970s, recounting moments and stories that have never been told before. From the clubhouse and the dugout to the front office and the owner’s box, this thoughtful baseball biography delves into the affectionately gruff captain’s relationships with friends, fans, and teammates such as Lou Piniella, Bobby Murcer, Graig Nettles, and Reggie Jackson, as well as his colorful dealings with manager Billy Martin and his surprisingly close bond with owner George Steinbrenner. Munson paints a revealing portrait of a private Yankee superstar, as well as a nostalgic and revelatory look at the culture—and amazing highs and lows—of the 1970s New York Yankees teams. More than a biography, Munson is the definitive account of a champion who has not been forgotten and of the era he helped define—written with the intimate detail available only to a true insider.

 

Kent Hrbek’s Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout (Tales) by Kent Hrbek  (Author), Dennis Brackin (Contributor)

Big first baseman Kent Hrbek was one of the games true characters, a throwback whose personal tastes were every bit as Ruthian as the monstrous homers for which he is remembered. At a time when professional athletes were discovering the benefits of personal trainers and dieticians, he frequently expressed his preference for a diet of junk food and beer. He and teammates like Gary Gaetti, Tom Brunansky, and late Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett played the game with a passion seldom seen in modern sports, and brought fun and humor into the Twins clubhouse. It was a place where a manager had to ban the cleaning of fish in the trainers room, and where practical jokes were more commonplace than scouting reports. It wasnt all fun and games, however. Hrbek and Gaetti became best friends, but had that friendship strained when Gaetti found religion and tried to push his beliefs including no beer onto Hrbek. Finally, late in his career, Hrbek battled serious shoulder injuries before retiring.

 

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert W Creamer

“The best biography ever written about an American sports figure.” —Sports Illustrated

 

Nearly a century has passed since George Herman Ruth made his major league debut, and in that time millions of words have been used to describe baseball’s greatest hero. But for a man like the Babe, for whom the phrase “larger than life” seems to have been coined, those millions of words have created a mythologized legacy. Who was the real Babe Ruth?

 

Relying on exhaustive research and interviews with teammates, family members, and friends, historian Robert W. Creamer separates fact from fiction and paints an honest and fascinating portrait of the slugger. This is the definitive biography of a man who was, in legend and in truth, the best who ever lived.

 

Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character by Marty Appel

The definitive biography of one of baseball’s most enduring and influential characters, from New York Times bestselling author and baseball writer Marty Appel.

 

As a player, Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel’s contemporaries included Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson . . . and he was the only person in history to wear the uniforms of all four New York teams: the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Mets. As a legendary manager, he formed indelible, complicated relationships with Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Martin. For more than five glorious decades, Stengel was the undisputed, quirky, hilarious, and beloved face of baseball–and along the way he revolutionized the role of manager while winning a spectacular ten pennants and seven World Series Championships.

 

But for a man who spent so much of his life in the limelight–an astounding fifty-five years in professional baseball–Stengel remains an enigma. Acclaimed New York Yankees’ historian and bestselling author Marty Appel digs into Casey Stengel’s quirks and foibles, unearthing a tremendous trove of baseball stories, perspective, and history. Weaving in never-before-published family documents, Appel creates an intimate portrait of a private man who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 and named “Baseball’s Greatest Character” by MLB Network’s Prime 9. Casey Stengel is a biography that will be treasured by fans of our national pastime.

 

Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell

Roger Angell’s chronicle of baseball’s most fascinating and unforgettable years

 

Classic New Yorker sportswriter Roger Angell calls 1972 to 1976 “the most important half-decade in the history of the game.” The early to mid-1970s brought unprecedented changes to America’s ancient pastime: astounding performances by Nolan Ryan and Hank Aaron; the intensity of the “best-ever” 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox; the changes growing from bitter and extended labor strikes and lockouts; and the vast new influence of network television on the game. Angell, always a fan as well as a writer, casts a knowing but noncynical eye on these events, offering a fresh perspective to baseball’s continuing appeal during this brilliant and transformative era.

 

Have a baseball memoir to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Friday Book Round-Up Spotlights 11 #DDay and #WorldWarTwo #Books! #FridayReads #AmReading


Friday Book Round Up

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up! In honor of D-Day next Tuesday, MR N is taking over Friday Book Round-Up. He’s talking about his favorite genre: World War Two History. Having a Master’s degree in World War Two History as well as a minor in Military History, he knows his stuff. Here is MR N’s Top Eleven World War Two books. Each one is in our private library and are well-read. Some are out of print but are worth it to have in your book collection.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.

Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson’s narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

Mr. N’s Review: Part 1 of the Liberation Trilogy. Atkinson has written the definitive history of the War in North Africa from Torch to the end. He takes the gloves off and there is no reverence for leader or soldier in this writing. It is realistic and at times disturbing but the truth is the truth. Atkinson seems to have issues with some famous generals * some that I worship * but be that as it may, this is the history of this part of World War II. It will take a treasured spot on my military history book shelf and now I must acquire the next two copies of this series.

 

Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, a day that changed the course of history.

 

D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged. Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be.

 

The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, it moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant.

 

MR N’s Review: Beyond debate this is THE book on D-Day.  There never needs to be another one written.  Ambrose wrote this definitive history in 1994.  He painstakingly takes the reader from the who and what was involved, how it was planned, set up, the complete story of every aspect of the greatest invasion in history.  You get the real feel for what happened and what sacrifices the greatest generation made to keep our world safe and free.  At least in the 20th century.  Safe and free are relative terms these days.  A must read for those who do not fully understand what D-Day was and a must re-read.  A book that needs to be kept close on your shelf of favourite books.

 

This classic and inspiring account of the progress of the 7th Armoured Division from the sands of North Africa to the cold of wintery Holland and the mud of a German springtime. Based on official records, and written by one of the division’s key officers, this book is an outstanding testament to the officers and men of an astonishing unit. The division’s reputation was born in the desert. It first went into action against the Italians in 1940 and then, subsequently, fought Rommel’s Afrika Korps in Montgomery’s successful Western Desert campaign. It was during this period of intense fighting that the division won its affectionate nickname of Desert Rats. From there the division was transported to Italy and, later, Normandy and from then on was almost constantly in battle until the end of the war. The Desert Rats was written with official support, and with the help of most of the division’s senior officers, and the author has been able to provide a unique insight into the workings of a formidable unit. The book stands testament to the unique morale of the division and is an enduring story of difficulties overcome. Major-General Verney served as a tank brigade commander in World War II and went on to command 7th Armoured Division in Normandy in 1944.

 

Operation Ultra was designed to intercept and decode German signals sent using Enigma, the top-secret German cypher machine. F.W. Winterbotham, was the man responsible for the organization, distribution and security of Ultra. This is his personal account of the operation.

 

It was the longest battle ever fought by the US Army,

 

Thirty thousand American GIs were killed or wounded.

 

A battle that has been ignored for more than fifty years – and one that should never have been fought.

 

From September 1944 to February 1945, eight US infantry and two US armoured divisions were thrown into the ‘green hell of Hurtgen’: fifty square miles of thick, rugged, hilly woods on the Belgian-German border, full of German soldiers in a deadly network of concrete bunkers.

 

The butcher’s bill was high; casualty rates ran to 50 per cent and more for most rifle companies.

 

The High Command, from the relative comfort and security of their headquarters, miles away from the forest, refused to admit there had been a mistake. Careers, and the pride of the army, were at stake.

 

More troops were poured in and the slaughter continued, to capture an objective that had long since lost any real purpose.

 

The Battle of Hurtgen Forest is a classic account of the price fighting men must pay for the prideful blunders of their commanders.

 

‘A classic account of a terrible battle.’ – Tom Kasey, best-selling author of ‘Trade Off’.

 

Charles Whiting (1926-2007) was one of Britain’s most prolific military writers, with over 300 books to his credit. He saw active service in the Second World War, serving in an armoured reconnaissance regiment attached to both the US and British armies. His books therefore possess the insight and authority of someone who, as a combat soldier, actually experienced the horrors of the Second World War.

 

Charles Whiting is the author of numerous history books on the Second World War. Under the pen name of Leo Kessler he also wrote a series of bestselling military thrillers, including ‘Guns at Cassino’ and ‘Valley of the Assassins’.

 

The top secret, World War II, spy training school strategically placed in Canada, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Where Ian Fleming created ‘James Bond’ and where the CIA was born.

 

Shortly after midnight on 06 June 1944, the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions parachuted into Normandy as the leading edge of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France. Their mission was to secure the exits to the Utah Beach D-Day landing areas. That mission was vastly complicated by missed drop zones, a dark night, flooded terrain, and the German Army.

 

S.L.A. Marshall, a pre-war journalist, was seconded into Army historian duties and conducted extensive after-action interviews with the paratroopers. Those interviews are the basis of “Night Drop”, very much a fox hole, minute to minute view of a long, confused night of fighting. “Night Drop” conveys a powerful sense of what that experience must have been like.

 

It must be noted that Marshall was not a professional historian in the modern sense of that term. His narrative reads like an extended newspaper account, with lots of little personal details and a fair amount of the period’s purple prose news writing. It is a little tough to tell where the paratroopers leave off and Marshall picks up. There are no footnotes, nor any real attempt to objectively analyze what went on. And Marshall makes no pretense of attempting to get both sides of the story.

 

Within those limitations, Marshall has provided an exciting account of airborne combat on D-Day; “Night Drop” is highly recommended to those readers looking for the details on the heroic sacrifices by the first US troops into France on D-Day.

 

Was the extermination of the Jews part of the Nazi plan from the very start? Arno Mayer offers a startling and compelling answer to this question, which is much debated among historians today. In doing so, he provides one of the most thorough and convincing explanations of how the genocide came about in Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, which provoked widespread interest and controversy when first published.

 

Mayer demonstrates that, while the Nazis’ anti-Semitism was always virulent, it did not become genocidal until well into the Second World War, when the failure of their massive, all-or-nothing campaign against Russia triggered the Final Solution. He details the steps leading up to this enormity, showing how the institutional and ideological frameworks that made it possible evolved, and how both related to the debacle in the Eastern theater. In this way, the Judeocide is placed within the larger context of European history, showing how similar ‘holy causes’ in the past have triggered analogous – if far less cataclysmic – infamies.

 

The horrifying story of the D-Day rehearsal that went terribly wrong. A must read, in MR N’s opinion.

 

This is the dramatic story of the German defeat of the Allies in northern France and the Low Countries in 1940. Covering the campaign as a whole, it examines the issues from all sides, including those of the French, British, German and other involved nations.

 

Ballantine Books PB copyright 1956; with printing May 1960. 154 pp. Size MMPB. Binding intact; no loose pages. Covers and pages clean and unmarked. Originally published as “German Raider Atlantis”, this edition issued with tie-in to the Italian movie starring Van Heflin as Cmdr. Rogge and Charles Laughton as the British admiral who tracked him down. The “Atlantis” succeeded in sinking or capturing 22 merchant ships between about Mar 1940 and Nov 1941. Presented in a matter of fact, proud but not boastful manner, Cmdr. (later Adm.) Rogge describes his command and the ship and its successes in sufficient detail with sympathy and respect for his captives that the reader comes to understand why he was one of the few flag officers not prosecuted for war crimes at the end of WWII. Text includes an Appendix “The Other Side of the Story”, detailing the British efforts and eventual success in tracking down the “Atlantis” and sinking it.

 

What World War Two (including D-Day) book(s) do you recommend? Share in the comments below.

 

 

Mr. N the World War Two Reader/Scholar

Meet Judy Bruce, the Author Behind The Wind Series #FridayReads #books #AuthorInterview


Judy Bruce

 

It’s not often I meet an author who creates such vivid characters in a Midwest small-town setting that I feel like I’ve grown up and intimately know them. Such is the case for Judy Bruce and her Wind series. She’s got an uncanny ability to write mystery/suspense and I really enjoy reading her books. I begged and pleaded for an interview which she agreed to. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Judy Bruce. Take it away, Judy! 

 

What is your writing process?

Mulling—that’s the start. I get ideas rattling around in my noggin, but they need time to come together into something coherent. With the Wind Series, I already have my location and many of the characters, so I need a central event—a cross burning In Fire in the Wind, and new, necessary characters.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am definitely a plotter: I develop my central idea, write down plot events, characters, time of year, and just keep finding more ideas and writing these thoughts down on the stashes of paper I keep in easy access throughout the house.

First, I make a general outline based on a three-act structure, always remembering to put plenty of important events in the middle of the story. Meanwhile, I keep stirring my brain for more ideas as I complete outlines for each part. Part one and two will have a more complete outline, with basic ideas in part three. Dialogue gets added to each part as I think of them.

Then I’ll get the itch, and I’ll start writing, always adding ideas to other parts of the story. I’m a Baby Boomer, so I still use paper—lots of it. I’m very good at recycling, so that eases my conscience.  I’ll push through to the end. I always feel a tremendous letdown when I finish, so I ease that by jumping right into my revising process.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Sometimes a name is important to the character, sometimes it’s not. My main character is Megan Docket, a short, strong first name and an ethnically-appropriate last name. Docket was also the name of the notebook brand I was using when I started the series. She’s a lawyer, and the name also has a legal meaning.

Other times, when I name someone, I’m just having fun—Melvin Poots is a retired minister as is Eldon Strumple, which I think sounds Dickensian. I’m not naming characters in a STAR WARS movie, so I need to keep names appropriate in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishments have nothing to do with writing—they involve marrying a good man and giving birth to two wonderful children.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I hope to be doing exactly what I’m doing now—writing.

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

My least favorite part of this whole process is marketing. I just wanna write, ya know? I publish with a small press, so the marketing is my task. And if I’m marketing, then I’m not writing.

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Subjects that I wouldn’t want to write about include rape (it’s not my experience and I just don’t want to deal with it). Also, I don’t like child abduction, bullying, etc. I don’t write about things I don’t enjoy seeing, reading, etc. Reading the newspaper is bad enough.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

Fire in the Wind is the fourth book in the Wind Series. Lies in the Wind, a murder mystery, should be published in fall or winter of 2017. All eight books in the series have been written. I’ve also written a World War II story called Death Steppe—a Russian war widow is sent to the front as a medic where she meets an injured German officer. Things don’t go well.

 

Do you write naked? What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told? Have you ever been in trouble with the law? Have you ever gotten into a fight?

I guess I’m pretty boring because I don’t write naked, and I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’m a generally truthful person, but because I write fiction, I’ve told thousands of lies, more with each book!

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Here again—boring. I don’t have any addictions.  I don’t smoke. My mother died of emphysema, so that was never happening. I drink here and there—Saturday night is movie night in the Bruce household, so that means a glass of red wine and Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins! Yeah, I’m a crazy lady. Some great writers come from dark life experiences—mine has been pretty sunny, except for family deaths. So I rely on a vivid imagination and the persistent need to tell stories. I’d rather be an unsuccessful writer without demons. Have you ever looked into the background of Virginia Woolf? No, thanks.

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

As a child, I responded to the fact that I had two older brothers. So I played baseball and G.I. Joes before I played Freeze Tag and Barbies with younger sisters. I recall a doll I loved, Bridget. She had hard plastic skin and a head that kept falling off. My dad used black electricians’ tape to hold it on. Later an uncle came up with a more durable solution—tar. I only remember carrying her around naked, but she must have had some clothes at some time. My daughter still has that doll in her closet, now with clothes.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

Dreaming in character—I’ve done that many times with Megan, usually when I’m writing a first draft. It’s weird when I dream as Megan. The setting was always at my childhood home with my parents, now deceased, and a younger sister, also deceased. They’re pleasant dreams without much plot, but so odd.

 

Fire in the Wind

 

Title: Fire in the Wind (Wind Series #4)

Author: Judy Bruce

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

The fourth story in the “Wind” series finds Megan outraged by a cross burning on her land, and she forms the Night Posse and then strikes back. Meanwhile, she is saddened by the tragic illness of her dear friend, James. After her new boyfriend is killed, she is jailed for his murder. Later she fights to the death in the darkness against an avenger. An undercover cop pursues her. When a dying James attempts to end his life, Megan is forced to act.

 

Mrs. N’s Review:

Life is never easy and fraught with pain. For Megan Docket, truer words haven’t been spoken. She’s still reeling from the murder of her unborn baby girl, the pain rendering her inconsolable.

 

Megan knows something is wrong and as she looks out onto her land, surrounded by friends and family, fire lights the sky. A fiery cross of hate on her property and anger burns in Megan’s belly. Who would do such a thing? The KKK haven’t been seen in her community so who’s behind it? It’s an omen, only Megan hasn’t any idea where to turn.

 

James, her dear friend and father-figure, is struck down with a stroke. If it hadn’t been for Megan sensing it, he’d probably be dead. As James recovers in the hospital, Megan must come to terms with James’ ill health.

 

Days before her divorce from Brian is finalized, men are swarming around her like bees to honey. There’s her current boyfriend, Zane, who is dealing with PTSD. Brian, her soon-to-be ex-husband, wants to come back, making empty promises. There’s newcomer Raz, an Arab Christian man, who makes Megan’s life more complicated (is that even possible). Then there’s Jay, a salesman who melts her insides with his sultry gaze. It’s raining men for Megan and she must weed through the platitudes to discover who’s honest and true. But when Raz is murdered after they have an argument and Megan is arrested, has her tormented past caught up with her? Only the Wind knows for sure…

 

I know I said this before, but this is Judy Bruce’s best book yet. From emotionally-charged life events to being arrested for murder, Megan finds herself at a crossroads between love and pain. Which path does she choose? Or is the choice out of her hands? An intriguing sub-plot and one that made me contemplate things.

 

The main plot is two-fold: quality of life after a stroke and racial hatred. Events such as cross burnings and discrimination based on religion/skin color are at the forefront of Fire in the Wind. Bruce doesn’t shy away from these societal issues and I, for one, am glad. She lays bare how hatred festers and is illogical. Beautifully written and I wish I could force hate groups to read this book.

 

The second part of the plot deals with quality of life after a stroke. James wrote in his will a Do Not Resuscitate order and made it very clear he didn’t want to live off of machines. Derek and Vonny are James’ children who are trying to deal with the situation as best as they can but don’t want to say good-bye to their father. Bruce creates an interesting scenario and while I don’t offer my personal opinion here, Bruce exposes Megan to all the conflicting emotions that comes with assisted death/suicide. It touched me so much that I cried. Yes, I was so immersed in the story, I couldn’t help myself.

 

Fire in the Wind is an unconventional mystery/suspense that I couldn’t put down. Plot twists kept me trying to figure out what was going on before it was revealed. I enjoyed Megan’s men troubles and found myself laughing out loud at a few lines. I can’t recommend this book enough! A must read!

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“The hands still held me. Why was I bound to so much pain? They all hurt me – Dad, Mom, Bill, Brian, Zane, Beverly, James, Derek, Vonny, even Scottie. The people I cared about the most hurt me the most. If I gave Jay the chance, he would probably hurt me, too.”

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Wind-Judy-Bruce/dp/1576386228

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-in-the-wind-judy-bruce/1126241786?ean=9781576386224&offerid=239662

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34910493-fire-in-the-wind

 

Author Biography:

Judy Bruce is a novelist and screenwriter. In addition of her acclaimed novel, Death Steppe: A World War II Novel, three stories have been published from her Wind Series: Voices in the Wind, Alone in the Wind, and Cries in the Wind. Her next novel, Fire in the Wind, will be published in the spring of 2017 by Merriam Press, with Lies in the Wind to follow in the fall of 2017. Judy maintains a website at https://judybruce.com  and a blog at https://heyjoood.com . She is a wife, mother, and sister residing in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Creighton University law school graduate. Her autistic son keeps her in touch with her quirky side.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.judybruce.com/

Blog http://www.heyjoood.com/

Facebook: You can find her on her public Facebook site (try Judy Bruce 1481)

 

The Blakeney Brother Adventure Series by @author_vanessa #eroticromance #suspense #FridayReads


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The Blakeney Brother Adventure Series

 

Four brothers living on the edge of the law

 

smugglers bounty cover

 

Title: Smuggler’s Bounty (Book 1)

Author: Vanessa Liebe

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance / Mystery & Suspense

Publisher: Blushing Books

 

Book Blurb:

Elizabeth Thornton is left all alone in Georgian England after losing her parents in a tragic accident, so she travels to Cornwall to live with her kindly, older, and very proper Aunt Judith. Soon, however, she begins to suspect her aunt of hiding something nefarious. Determined to learn the truth behind the strange goings on, she sets out on a quest for the truth. A quest that leads to danger, and trouble with the law, and a very handsome smuggler with a firm hand and smoldering, sexy eyes who is as determined to keep Elizabeth safe as she seems to be to put herself in harm’s way.

William is growing tired of the smuggler’s life of danger and instability. If he can just finish his last run, he can give it all up and finally settle down, find love, and start a family. But he already has a preventative officer hot on his heels who is determined to end his career and throw him in jail – or worse. The beautiful, headstrong Elizabeth is a complication he does not need. But she, too, is hot on his heels – and irresistible. Now he must avoid capture, and find time to discipline this woman with an appetite for adventure, who seems determined to steal his heart.

When these two are together passions ignite, sparks fly, and danger lurks around every corner. Can Elizabeth and William avoid the law? Will they finally find the happiness that has so long eluded them both?

 

Excerpt:

She closed the library door and immediately went over to the fireplace with her lantern.

 

She managed to light the candle in it with the tinder box she’d been given and then pulled on the fire poker once more. The entrance slid open and she ducked down to go inside. She was so keen to explore that she didn’t consider that it might be dangerous, and simply stepped into the tunnel. There was a catch just inside the tunnel that closed the door behind her.

 

Elizabeth took a deep breath and walked forward with her lantern lighting the way. The tunnel was all wooden paneling at first and so she thought she must still be inside the house. But she soon came to some steps that led a long way down. Then she had to be careful, holding the lantern and her skirts up around her as she made her way carefully down them. When she reached the bottom, the walls were roughly hewn rock and she felt that thrill of adventure again as she realized that she must be underground somewhere.

 

Elizabeth was so preoccupied with her thoughts that it was a complete shock when she was suddenly grabbed from the side. She dropped her lantern with a shriek and the glass casing smashed. The candle sputtered out and she was left in complete darkness with the man who had grabbed her. He covered her mouth to stop her cries and held her tightly against him.

 

Elizabeth kicked and struggled in panic before biting hard into the hand that covered her mouth. The man swore but held onto her.

 

“Curiosity killed the cat, sweetness,” the man purred into her ear, causing her neck hairs to stand on end. “And if you bite me again you little hell cat, I’ll bite back.”

 

She shivered in fear, and something else she’d rather not admit to, at the sound of that voice. It was the handsome smuggler from last night – the leader. Although Elizabeth was scared of what he might do with her for meddling, she hoped that she could reason with him, especially if she let him know who her aunt was. However, all coherent thought stopped as he ran a hand over her body.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US (Currently on sale at $0.99) https://www.amazon.com/Smugglers-Bounty-Blakeney-Brothers-Adventures-ebook/dp/B01E2NULBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495838484&sr=8-1&keywords=vanessa+liebe

Publisher http://blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3798

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/smugglers-bounty-vanessa-liebe/1123649273?ean=2940157779085

 

Vanessa Liebe

 

Author Biography:

Vanessa Liebe is the author of fun, sexy erotic romance and erotica, both contemporary and historical. She mostly writes in the Fantasy and Paranormal categories as she likes a man with bite.

Vanessa is married with three children and resides in Hampshire, South East England. When not house training her children, reading or writing, she likes to sit in the garden with a glass of rose wine.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009945581362

Twitter: https://twitter.com/author_vanessa

Blog: https://vanessaliebe.com/

 

 

TamingTheSpy

 

Title: Taming the Spy

Author: Vanessa Liebe

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance / Mystery & Suspense

Publisher: Blushing Books

 

Book Blurb:

Cameron Blakeney is a man on a mission. Well, more than one, actually. Not only does he wish to reunite his brothers, separated from him in childhood, but he’s a spy for the Crown. When he’s tasked to observe two French spies in Portsmouth, he hopes to use the opportunity to locate his youngest brother, too. What he’s not expecting is to be working with a co-agent in the form of the lovely, undisciplined Lady Arabella.

Lady Arabella Willoughby enjoys working as a female spy and is looking forward to her latest assignment. However, when she discovers her co-agent is Cameron Blakeney, she’s not so enthralled. Her one-time childhood friend and hero seems to relish taking her to task over the slightest ‘misdemeanor’.

Their mission sees them traveling across the beautiful English countryside, but it is all they can do to stay focused on their goal and not each other. For his part, Cameron is enjoying teaching Arabella new things. Things like how to reveal secrets written in invisible ink, and how to pleasure a man with her mouth.

Arabella is a devoted student and learns all of her lessons well. Lessons that include learning to find pleasure in being over Cameron’s knee, bare bottom upturned, legs spread, and with his hand coming down to help her realize the error of her headstrong, reckless actions.

Publisher’s note: This suspenseful romantic spy story contains scenes of domestic discipline and explicitly described sexual scenes.

 

Excerpt:

Cameron knocked on the spymaster’s door and entered.

 

“Good morning, Cameron.”

 

“Good morning, James.”

 

The two men had known each other for years and Cameron was glad that at least here in this office he could be an ordinary man again.

 

“How’s the estate?”

 

“Flourishing,” Cameron told the older man with pride. “Despite personal circumstances, my father managed everything with great efficiency. I barely have to do anything. I also have a very capable steward.”

 

James Coleridge nodded. Then pierced him with an intelligent gaze. “And your brothers?”

 

Cameron actually felt a lump in his throat at mention of them. They’d been separated for so long. “As you know I’ve found one of them, Gabe. Along with his wife. I’m continuing my search for the others. I believe William may be down in Cornwall, so I have sent runners there to find out.”

 

“Well, I have a mission for you and while you’re doing it, it may offer you an opportunity to search for your youngest brother.”

 

Cameron was immediately intrigued. “What do you mean?”

 

The other man clasped his hands and leaned on his elbows on the desk. “I have knowledge of two French spies coming to Portsmouth.”

 

A growing sense of anticipation was felt. This was what he was meant for—code breaking, dangerous undercover and intelligence gathering work, not dancing with pretty debutantes at balls.

 

“Do tell me more, James.”

 

“You’ve heard of Brochand & Fouché?”

 

Cameron raised a brow. “I believe so. Amongst my travels for the Crown.”

 

“They’re coming to England to gather intelligence from certain French engineers studying here.”

 

“Naval and industrial spies?”

 

“Exactly so. They’re landing in Portsmouth, so they’ll begin with the naval intelligence. I strongly suspect that their final destination will be London to mix with the political elite of the haut ton.”

 

Cameron rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “The engineers would be unable to attend social gatherings of course. Do they have an aristocratic contact?” If there was a traitor, Cameron wanted to know.

 

James gave a brief shake of his head. “Not that I’m aware of. It will be part of your role to find out. I believe they will have to coerce or blackmail someone into helping them. Or they may bribe someone, in which case do they have finances available to them?”

 

Cameron’s jaw tightened. “There’s bound to be some fool with pockets to let or a gambler they can exploit.”

 

“Well, you’ll be following them around, so you can discover all of this for me, including any money trails,” the older man said.

 

Cameron’s eyes widened. “Following?”

 

“Yes. Don’t look surprised, Cameron. You’re ideally placed for this task. I want you to watch them in Portsmouth, follow them around in various disguises and report back to me. If they send any correspondence, I want you to intercept it and read it. If it gives away quantities of armaments, I wish for you to downgrade them. And send a replacement. If not too much is given away, you can reseal the letter.”

 

“Yes. Fine.” Cameron was used to operating in such a manner. “And if they leave Portsmouth?”

 

“Send a message back to me, but always follow them. I want to know everywhere they go, who they meet, especially once they are here in London. You can be yourself at social events, as can your co-agent, for you are both already well known amongst the ton and can mix naturally with the political elite, without drawing attention to yourselves.”

 

The sudden mention of a co-agent surprised him. Cameron had always worked alone before. It was less dangerous. “My what?” He couldn’t his displeasure.

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Taming-Blakeney-Brothers-Adventures-Book-ebook/dp/B01MAY9LL6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Publisher http://blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4305

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-the-spy-vanessa-liebe/1124875817?ean=2940156787364

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/taming-the-spy

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/taming-the-spy/id1166404620?mt=11

 

TheHighwayman'sProposal_500x755 (2)

 

Title: The Highwayman’s Proposal

Author:  Vanessa Liebe

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance / Mystery & Suspense

Publisher: Blushing Books

 

Book Blurb:

Gabriel Blakeney is a man who protects those he loves at all costs. If that means becoming a highwayman to help support the community that raised him, then that’s what he’ll do. Risking his life each night, he robs from the rich to redistribute among the poor. He does it to survive. But what he’d really like is to find a woman of his own to protect and love. Despairing of ever finding her, things change one night when he meets Lady Caroline Godwin. Here is a lady who needs protecting, all right – from herself.

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And Caroline Godwin is desperate. Her father has lost a fortune at cards and is bed bound after a stroke. Somehow, she must raise the money within a month or lose her home. Worse, she may be forced to marry the despicable Lord Shard – her father’s creditor – to protect the family name and pay the debt. Frantic, Lady Caroline remembers being held up a few weeks ago. She makes the audacious decision to rob the handsome highwayman. But Caroline gets far more than she bargained for.

 

With card sharps, traitors, and the militia to worry about, Gabriel and Caroline find danger ever present. He is determined to keep her safe throughout, even if that means a trip over his knee.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

“Stand and deliver!”

 

The demand came loud and clear, as Lady Caroline Godwin’s coach came to a sudden stop. She sucked in a deep breath, holding onto the sides of her bench seat to brace herself against falling off. Her maid did the same, looking up at her in fright. “Oh, my lady. It’s a highwayman. I knew we shouldn’t have travelled at night.”

 

Lady Caroline couldn’t have agreed more. However, upon receiving news that her father was gravely ill and had lost a fortune at cards again, she knew she must leave London and return home. Travelling at night to get there as quickly as possible had seemed worth the risk. Not only did she need to know exactly how much her father had lost, she knew that her mother wouldn’t be able to cope with the situation. Her father had suffered a stroke immediately after losing and was currently bed bound.

 

Lady Caroline tried to reassure her maid. “I need you to be calm, Maisie. If we do as the rogue asks, we will come to no harm.” Yet after the initial shout, there was no sign of the highwayman. Furious both at her father for gambling away his money, and for getting stopped like this, Lady Caroline was feeling brave rather than scared. She was about to get out of the coach and see what was going on, when there were a few muffled curses from above them, a few thumps and then silence. She frowned, straining her ears to hear more.

 

“He’s going to kill us all!” cried Maisie fearfully, before fainting.

 

Lady Caroline looked at her maid lying in a crumpled heap on the bench seat opposite and couldn’t help feeling even crosser. “For heaven’s sake,” she muttered. And what has happened to my coachman and footman? “Frank? George?” she called out. She was met with silence.

 

 

She gasped as the door was suddenly pulled open and a tall, masked figure appeared, holding a pistol. The man, dressed all in black and with a tricorn hat on his head, looked around the coach, before returning his gaze to her. The pistol was aimed at her. “Good evening, my lady.”

 

Lady Caroline stared at him. The moonlight shone down on him, but didn’t reveal much, due to his dark clothing and black eye mask. She could make out sensual lips though, her gaze drawn to them because it was the only part of his face she could clearly make out. Then her gaze dropped to the pistol aimed at her and she felt renewed anger. He’d caused her maid to faint, he’d done god knows what to her male servants and now he was aiming a weapon at her. She raised her chin and glared at him. “It was a good evening, until you came along,” she told him. “What have you done to my coachman and footman?”

 

The highwayman had the nerve to grin at her. “They’re gagged and bound, my lady. But unhurt.”

 

He climbed into the carriage, sitting down opposite her, on the edge of the seat, next to her unconscious maid. “Now, if you don’t mind handing over some of your baubles, I will leave you in peace.”

 

Thanks to her father, Lady Caroline didn’t have much in the way of jewelry. What she did have held no value. She looked down her nose at him. “I’m afraid you’ve robbed the wrong coach tonight.”

 

 

Buy Links:

Publisher http://blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=4157

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Highwaymans-Proposal-Blakeney-Brother-Adventures-ebook/dp/B06ZYWTJWT/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text