Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book spotlight of Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould

Adoring Addie (The Courtships of Lancaster County #2)
Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould

From Good
 When Addie Cramer’s mutter and daed decide Phillip Eicher is the man for her to marry, they claim she must honor them by obeying their wishes. But then she falls in love with Jonathan Mosier–part of the family with whom the Cramers have a long-held grudge.
With the help of others in her community who long to see the quarrel healed, Jonathan and Addie struggle to continue their relationship against both sets of parents’ wishes. But when one of Addie’s vengeful brothers harms a member of the Mosier family, Jonathan intervenes and is banished from Lancaster County.
A distraught Addie determines to find the true reason for the grudge between the two families, hoping to tear down the animosity of the past. Can their love for each other bridge the divide between their families? Or are they destined to remain apart forever?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Audio Book Review of Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark read by Jan Maxwell

Daddy's Gone A Hunting | [Mary Higgins Clark]
Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark
Read by Jan Maxwell

Publisher's Summary

In this new novel by the #1 New York Times best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark, the reigning "Queen of Suspense", a dark secret from a family's past threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly.
When the family-owned furniture firm, including the mansion where priceless antiques are kept, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, Kate must escape to save her life. But the suspicious circumstances point to her involvement. Was the explosion set deliberately? Why was Kate, a gorgeous CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, on the premises at that hour? And why was Gus, a retired and trusted employee, with her? Now Gus is dead and Kate lies in the hospital gravely injured. Hannah, Kate's sister and a rising fashion designer, must discover what drew them there and what dangerous secrets lies hidden in the ashes.
Step by step, in a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international best sellers for years. Daddy's Gone A Hunting presents the listener with a perplexing mystery and a fascinating cast of characters - one of whom may just be a ruthless killer.
©2013 Mary Higgins Clark (P)2013 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

My Take:

I haven't read a Mary Higgins Clark Book in a good long while so I thought I would give her latest book a try.  This book is just like the other books of hers that I remember.  The mystery kept me guessing till the twist was revealed and it was all done with no language or sexual descriptions (although several of the characters are portrayed as being very free with their sexual favors).  

I thought that Jan Maxwell did a good job with the narration and I will be on the lookout for other books read by her.

If you have read Mary Higgins Clark before you will probably like this audio book.  I would recommend this book if you are more the type of person who likes their mysteries on the cozy side.  I will be looking for more.

I received a review copy fo this book from Simon and Schuster Audio in exchange for my honest review.

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I am linking up at for Sound Bytes.  A Weekly roundup of audio books.  Head over and you just might find your next listen. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Chapter Peak of Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

B&H Books (June 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Laurel Teague for sending me a review copy.***


Melody Carlson has written around 200 books for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

Visit the author's website.


With high hopes, Daphne Ballinger lands her dream job at The New York Times. But it's not long until writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her own failed romance, and her love of the city slowly sours as well. Is it time to give up the Big Apple for her small hometown of Appleton?

When her eccentric Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizeable estate to Daphne, going back home is an easy choice. What isn’t easy is coming to terms with the downright odd clauses written into the will.

Daphne only stands to inherit the estate if she agrees to her aunt's very specific posthumous terms -- personal and professional. And if she fails to comply, the sprawling old Victorian house shall be bequeathed to . . . Aunt Dee’s cats.

And if Daphne thinks that’s odd, wait until she finds out an array of secrets about Aunt Dee's life, and how imperfect circumstances can sometimes lead to God's perfect timing.

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (June 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433679302
ISBN-13: 978-1433679308


When Daphne Ballinger graduated top of her class with her degree in journalism, in the memorable year of 2000, she had promptly moved to the city to launch her illustrious career writing for The New York Times. And why not dream big? Because really, how many grads landed such an impressive job straight out of college?

Her plan had been to work hard and quickly scale the ladder to success. By thirty she would have a corner office with a window overlooking the river as well as an apartment on the west side. By her midthirties, she would have published her first book. But similar to the plans of mice and men, Daphne’s best-laid schemes had gone awry.

She stuffed a worn pair of brown Prada pumps into her Hermès bag (splurges she’d indulged in back when she still believed you should dress for the job/life you wanted). Then she sat down to put on her comfy-yet-unfashionable white sneakers. After tying the first shoe, she sat up straight and looked around the messy apartment.

Daphne knew it was cliché but, on gloomy days like today, it truly did feel like the walls were closing in on her. Most of the time, she could overlook the crowded space. She could walk right past piles of papers and miscellaneous pieces of clothing and empty take-out boxes . . . and not even notice. But this morning, the apartment actually seemed to stink. When was the last time they’d really cleaned this place?

She shared this three-bedroom apartment with Greta and Shelby. And in previous years Greta, the lease owner, had always proclaimed April as spring-cleaning month. But it was already mid-May and no one had lifted a finger. And Greta, obsessed with a new job promotion, hadn’t complained once. Daphne’s gaze skimmed over gritty windows, dingy curtains, dust-covered surfaces, piles of clutter, sun-faded carpet. . . . How had she stayed here so long?

“I can’t promise to be here more than a year,” Daphne had informed Greta Phillips when she first moved to the city right after graduation.

A coworker at The Times had tipped off Daphne about a friend looking for a third roommate for an apartment in Brooklyn. And although the location was lackluster, it was near the subway and the rent was affordable. Besides, it would just be a temporary stop—the bottom rung on her ladder to success—or so she had naively believed.

“And after a year?” Greta had asked Daphne with a single arched brow.

Daphne simply smiled . . . perhaps a bit smugly upon reflection. “Oh, I plan to move into my own place by then.”

“Your own place?” Greta seemed humored by this declaration. “Really?”

“Oh yes. This is just the first step for me.”

“Well, I still need you to sign a one-year lease. After that, we’ll see.”

Daphne had hesitantly signed that “confining” lease, wondering how Greta would react if she was forced to break the contract before the year was up. Although numerous other roommates had come and gone during the next thirteen years, climbing their own ladders to success, Daphne had stayed . . . and stayed . . . and stayed. Remembering the arrogant assumptions of her youth was embarrassing.

“Hey, Daphne,” Shelby called out cheerfully. Shelby was the most recent roommate, less than six months ago she’d moved here straight from her family’s Connecticut home. “I’m heading out early this morning. So you’ll have to put Oliver in the bathroom. Okay?”

Daphne looked over to see Shelby looking sparkly and stylish as she opened a golden shoe box. After tossing the lid, tissue paper, and red shoe bags aside, Shelby extracted a dark-colored shoe with a sole that flashed like a stoplight. Shelby slipped on the first high-heeled pump, pointing her toe to admire the sleek black patent leather. “Classy, huh?”

“Another pair of Louboutins?” Daphne frowned, knowing she probably sounded like somebody’s mother. But really, Shelby couldn’t afford such extravagances.

“Yes. Can you believe it?” Shelby giggled. “I think I’m going to need a twelve-step program before long.”

“Or a raise.”

Shelby waved a hand, hopping on one foot as she tugged on the other shoe. “I’d rather settle for a nice, big diamond.” Shelby was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, and sometimes Daphne worried that the pretty young woman had seen How to Marry a Millionaire one time too many.

“So how is that working for you?” Daphne knew Shelby had been flirting with her boss’s son for the past several weeks. She also knew the boss’s son had recently divorced his second wife.

Shelby stood up straight, pushing her short, sassy blond hair back into place with a confident-looking grin. “As it turns out, John Junior is taking me to Club 21.”

“21?” Daphne was impressed. The whole time she’d been in New York, she’d only been there once. And here Shelby was going after just a few months. This girl worked fast.

“Yes. I told John Junior that I’d been dying to go there ever since I moved to the city. And we’re going there tonight. Can you believe it?”

“Can you believe it” was Shelby’s favorite expression and sometimes, after hearing it a few dozen times in the course of an evening, Daphne sometimes wanted to gag the girl. “That’s wonderful, Shelby.” She stood and smiled. “I hope you and John Junior have a lovely time.” Did Shelby really call him John Junior—to his face?

“Oh, we will.” Shelby reached for her hot pink umbrella, holding it in front of her like a scepter. “The weatherman predicted showers this morning. So don’t forget your umbrella.”

“I hope the rain doesn’t ruin your pretty new shoes.”

“No worries.” Shelby shrugged. “John Junior is picking me up in his car this morning.”

“He’s driving you into Manhattan at this time of day?”

“No, silly, that would be insane. He’s giving me a ride out to his parents’ home in the Hamptons. John Senior is working at home today, so I’ll be working there too.”

“Oh . . .” Daphne nodded. That explained the new shoes, stylish suit, perfect hair. Shelby was out to impress Mrs. John Senior. “Well, have a good day.”

“Oh, I’m sure I will.” Shelby opened the door to peek out. “There he is now—right on time. You should see his car, Daphne.” She stepped outside, then looked back in. “Don’t forget to put Oliver in the bathroom.”

Daphne went over to the front window, watching as Shelby skipped down the cement stairs in her new shoes, swinging her bright umbrella in time with each step. Sometimes it was as if Shelby were starring in her own movie. She paused midway down the steps, waving to the man who was just getting out of the silver Jaguar in front of their building. From her vantage point, Daphne could see the balding patch on the top of the man’s dark hair, and for some pathetic reason this comforted her.

Still, as she stepped away from her voyeurism, she didn’t wish ill for young Shelby. If John Junior was truly a nice guy, she hoped he would produce a diamond . . . in due time. Daphne hadn’t known Shelby long, but she knew the old-fashioned girl dreamed of a big white wedding and a houseful of kids. It was sweet, really.

“Oliver,” Daphne called out as she grabbed a yogurt carton from the fridge. “Here, kitty-kitty.” She reached into Greta’s bag of kitty treats, singing out enticingly. “Here’s a treat for you, Oliver. Here, kitty-kitty.”

She was not fond of Greta’s fat gray cat and, unfortunately, Oliver seemed to sense this. Still, she kept her voice sugary as she walked around calling for him, “Come on, Oliver, come get your yummy-yummy kitty treat.”

She eventually found him hunkered down in Greta’s bedroom with a guilty expression, but if he was doing something he shouldn’t, Daphne did not want to know. She had learned the hard way to keep her own bedroom door closed. For some twisted reason Oliver sometimes preferred a nice soft bed to his smelly litter box in the bathroom.

“There you are, you darling little scoundrel,” she said in a saccharine tone. As he looked up, she curled her arm around his hefty midsection. “Got you.” Then she quickly packed him off to the bathroom, tossing in the treat with him behind it. “Have a good day, you spoiled fat cat.” Daphne closed the door firmly. It wasn’t that she disliked cats in general. She just didn’t care much for Oliver.

By the time Daphne locked up the apartment and was on her way to the subway, it was already starting to rain. And despite Shelby’s reminder, Daphne had set off without her umbrella and there wasn’t time to run back and get it now. Consequently, as the clouds opened up and let loose, she got thoroughly drenched in the short distance to the subway. Waiting with the other dampened commuters, she tried to shake off some of the moisture before the train arrived, then she hurried in with the crowd, finding a spot in the back of the car where the air was smelly and muggy and close.

Firmly planting her feet, Daphne held tightly to a pole and, shutting her eyes, attempted to imagine herself in a happier, cleaner, dryer place. Like the Grand Canyon where her dad had taken her as child one summer. She breathed deeply as she recalled the beautiful painted mountains changing hues of golds, reds, and russets at sunset.

This was a trick she’d taught herself years ago, her way to combat the claustrophobia that she sometimes suffered in the city. One would think she’d be over her dislike of tight spaces by now, but on days like today the anxiety seemed to lurk just below the surface. She remembered when she had been in love with New York. Some called it the Big Apple Honeymoon Phase, but it had lasted several years for her. However, like so many other things in her life, it had gotten a little tarnished and dull over the years. And as she emerged from the subway, back into the drizzling rain and noisy traffic, she didn’t much like the city.

By the time Daphne reached her cubicle at The Times and peeled off her soggy jacket and slushy sneakers and stashed them in a sodden pile in the corner, her long auburn hair, which she’d spent thirty minutes straightening this morning, now resembled Bozo the Clown. Not that anyone would particularly notice or care since most of her day was spent on her own.

Daphne was a wedding writer—one of several—and she had been doing the same thing for more than ten years. She could write one of these pieces in her sleep. In fact, sometimes she did. Oh, not for the paper, but she would lie in bed writing another piece. They ran about 250 words, five or six paragraphs, all meant to impress the bride and the groom and their family and friends.

She turned on her computer and perused her e-mail, sifting through junk and flagging some, and then on to read today’s assignments. This time of year was usually fairly busy, but to her surprise there was only one happy couple waiting for the spotlight, and she managed to spend two whole hours on making them seem larger than life. Hopefully they would appreciate her efforts.

Then with still an hour until lunch, she imagined what she’d write for Shelby’s wedding announcement, and because she was bored and didn’t like to appear idle or get caught playing Spider Solitaire, she decided to hack a phony baloney announcement for her romantic roommate.

Miss Shelby M. Monroe and John Junior Millionaire were married on Friday night in May at Club 21 in downtown Manhattan. Family friend and celebrity entrepreneur Donald Trump, who became an ordained minister for this monumental occasion, officiated the extravagant
event where no expenses were spared.

The beautiful bride, twenty-three, and the prematurely balding bridegroom, of undetermined age, met at the bride’s place of employment, which is also the bridegroom’s father’s multimillion-dollar investment corporation.

Miss Monroe, who will not be keeping her name since it’s not really her name, will give up her career, which wasn’t really a career, in order to raise a houseful of boisterous children. She is the daughter of a once-prestigious family who resided in Westport, Connecticut, until her father’s investment corporation was dissolved in a scandal involving insider trading. Now, despite some diminished wealth, the bride’s parents are enjoying an early retirement abroad.

Mr. Millionaire, who goes by John Junior, holds some mysterious position in his father’s corporation, where not much actual work is required of him. John Junior graduated from some Ivy League school,
where his family probably had some really good connections.

Following an over-the-top honeymoon, which probably involved
a beach in an exotic locale, the happy newlyweds will reside
in a penthouse apartment on the upper west side.

The bridegroom’s first two marriages ended in divorce.
Hopefully the third time will be the charm.

Feeling a bit juvenile, not to mention catty, Daphne hit the select all and delete buttons. Best not to leave something like that lying around for too long. She was about to shut down and go to lunch when her cell phone rang. She got up and grabbed her bag. After digging for her elusive phone and expecting it to be Beverly since they were meeting for lunch today, she was surprised to discover it was actually her father. He rarely called her in the middle of the day. Not unless something was wrong.

“Dad?” she said with concern. “What’s up?”

“Hello, Daphne. I’m afraid it’s bad news.”

“What?” Her throat tightened. He’d had some health issues last winter. Hopefully it wasn’t worse. She’d lost her mother as a small child. Dad was all she had left of her immediate family.

“It’s Aunt Dee . . . she passed away this morning. Her lawyer just called to inform me, and I thought you’d want to know.”

“Aunt Dee.” Daphne sank back down in her chair. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Dad. I know how much you loved her. I loved her too. And I’d been hoping to get out there to visit you and her this summer. I can’t believe she’s gone.”

Tears filled her eyes as she suddenly recalled the summers she’d spent at Aunt Dee’s house as a child when Dad was busy with work. Aunt Dee had tried to make up for Daphne losing her mother. Daphne and Aunt Dee had always enjoyed a special connection and a shared name.

“If it’s any consolation, she died peacefully. In her sleep.”

“How old was she?” For some reason, Daphne couldn’t recall her aunt’s age. She knew she was older than Dad, but in a way Aunt Dee had seemed timeless. Maybe it was her youthful spirit.

“She would’ve been ninety-one in July.”

“Ninety-one? Wow, I had no idea she was that old.”

“Yes. She never really told anyone her real age. But she enjoyed a good, full life.” He sighed. “Even though she never married or had children, she seemed to have a good time in whatever she did. She traveled. Had lots of friends. Dee lived life on her own terms. And she always seemed happy.”

“She did—didn’t she?” Daphne let out a choked sob as she reached for a Kleenex, wiping the tears now streaming down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry, honey. I hate to be the bearer of sad news. But I knew you’d want to know.”

“Yes. I appreciate that. I don’t know why I’m taking this so hard.” She blew her nose.

“Will you be able to make it out here for her memorial service?”

“Yes, of course, Dad.” She reached for another tissue.

“Oh, good. I’m in charge of everything. And I could really use your help with the arrangements. I mean, if you can come out here soon enough . . . I’ll understand if you can’t drop everything.” His voice sounded tired and weak, but maybe it was just sadness.

“How are you feeling? I mean, with your heart and cholesterol and everything. Are you okay?”

“Oh, sure, honey. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.” He sighed. “When do you think you can get away?”

“I’ll find out as soon as we hang up. And I’ll get right back to you,” she promised.

“Thanks, Daph. I can’t wait to see you.”

They said good-bye, then she grabbed her purse and hurried up to her boss’s office, feeling she’d get better results if she asked in person. Hopefully Amelia wouldn’t have left for lunch yet. However, when she got up there, Daphne could tell by the darkened office that Amelia was already gone.

“Amelia left early for a lunch meeting,” her assistant told Daphne. “Want me to leave her a message for you?”

“No. I’ll come after lunch. When do you expect her back?”

Fiona shrugged. “Well, you know how those working lunches can drag on forever. I wouldn’t expect her until three or maybe even four.”

“Thanks. I’ll stop by later.” Daphne headed out to meet Beverly, calling her as she walked toward their favorite dining spot. She left a message saying she was running late. Then she called Dad and explained that her boss was out. “As soon as I know, I’ll call,” she assured him.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared and the city, now scrubbed fresh and clean, should be shimmering in the sunshine. And yet, as Daphne hurried down the street, everything around her still felt dull and gray and dismal.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Under Cozy Covers -Father's Day Murder by Leslie Meier

Under Cozy Covers is a new feature that I am starting on the blog that I will try to feature or do a book review of a cozy mystery. 

First Up is

Father's Day Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #10)
Father's Day Murder by Leslie Meier

From Good Reads:
 When her part-time reporting gig gives Lucy the opportunity to attend a Boston newspaper conference, she looks forward to the vacation from domestic bliss. But upon leaving Tinker’s Cove, she quickly discovers that alone time can be kind of…lonely. And in between libel workshops and panel discussions, Lucy takes a guilt trip. She feels terrible that she won’t be home to help her husband celebrate Father’s Day.

But when Luther Read—head of a nearly bankrupt newspaper dynasty—suddenly drops dead, Lucy has other things to think about. Murder, for instance. She’s not buying the theory that Luther died of an asthma attack. The man just had too many enemies. Always the intrepid snoop, Lucy vows to investigate. But she can’t help wondering if her name will end up on a byline—or in an obit…

My Take:  This was a delightful change of pace in this series.  Instead of Lucy investigating a murder in Tinker's Cover  she is there when a highly important newspaper man dies which goes from an allergic reaction to murder as the cause  of death and are there alot of suspects.   Lucy is in Boston to attend a newspaper convention when at an awards banquet the man getting the biggest award falls over dead.  So she has to try to solve the murder while she is attending workshops and feeling guilty about leaving her family home alone.  It was kind of nice seeing Lucy out of her element a bit and away from her family and out exploring a new city along with her investigating the murder.  I liked that this book didn't have alot to do with her family (although they were in the story)  It just seems like her kids and even her husband are all spoiled brats at times.  Her husband is my absolute least favorite character of the whole series.  I will be continueing with this series as I do enjoy it .  

This book is from my personal library. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Quarryman's Bride by Tracie Peterson

About The Quarryman's Bride:

The latest book in the Land of Shining Waters series.

Peterson Hits the Bestseller Lists Again and Again!

Emmalyne Knox and Tavin MacLachlan were destined to be together . . . until the tragic deaths of Emmalyne's youngest sisters. Family tradition mandates that the youngest daughter should remain single to care for her parents in their old age, and now that daughter is Emmalyne. Her father unyielding, Emmalyne surrenders to her duty, heartbroken. Tavin leaves town, equally devastated.

Years later, Emmalyne's family moves, and she and Tavin meet again. Their feelings for each other are as strong as ever, but their painful past and Emmalyne's father still stand between them. Soon both families are in the midst of the growing conflict rising between the workers at the granite quarry that Tavin's father owns and operates. When a series of near-fatal accidents occur, Tavin must figure out who is behind the attacks before someone gets killed.

Bound by obligation, yet yearning for a future together, can Emmalyne and Tavin dare to dream that God could heal a decade-long wound and change the hearts of those who would stand in the way of true love?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Tracie:

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. 

Visit Tracie's Web site at
My Take:I have been a fan of Tracie Peterson ever since my husband bought me the Heirs of Montana series one Christmas.  I read those books one after another (which I rarely do).  I wasn't quite as caught up with this book but I still found it a compelling read and I enjoyed it.  I don't think that I could have made some of the choices that Emmalyne did throughout the book.  I guess if I thought that it was the Lord's will as she did I would be able.
If you like historical fiction or just a well written story then I think you would enjoy this book.  Even though this is the second in a series it can be read alone but I think you will want to read the first book too  (The Icecutter's Daughter , Land of Shining Waters Series).

I received a review copy from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Audio Book Review of No Distance Too Far by Lauraine Snelling Read by Sina Nielsen

No Distance Too Far (Home to Blessing, #2)
No Distance Too Far by Lauraine Snelling
Narrated by Stina Nielsen

When she is called home unexpectedly to help in a family medical emergency, physician Astrid Bjorklund learns of a deadly measles outbreak on the nearby Indian reservation. She immediately senses the Spirit tugging her to help the Indians and wonders if her "mission field" is not so far away as she had imagined. But if she follows God's call, will love pass her by?

My Take:  This is the second in the series that focuses on Astrid Bjorklund.  She has felt lead to attend a mission school to prepare her to go to Africa.  She is called home for an emergency and starts to question this course of action.  Sometimes that romantic storylines in these Christian Historical Fiction books can be really frustrating.  I have enjoyed the books I have listened to about Blessing, North Dakota. 

Narrator Stina Nielsen does a great job as she has done with all the books in this series.  I wish she would read another series by Lauraine Snelling that the current narrator wasn't that great.  I would listen to anything that she is reading.  

This book was taken from my person audio book library. 

Audio Book Week Discussion - Audio Book Resources

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 Today is the final day of  Audio Book Week.  It is not the last day to enjoy audio book goodness.  Every Week you can join in on Soundbytes at every Friday.

Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us! We’d particularly love to know what narrators or publishers are active in social media or do a great job communicating with listeners.

I usually learn about great audiobook titles from other bloggers, publisher's emails, new arrival lists at Audible.

I buy my audiobooks from  I have the 2 credit a month plan.  I also get books occasionally from the library but it is a very small selection.  I do reviews for Audiobook Jukebox, Simon and Schuster,  I use to belong to but decided I would rather up my credits on Audible.  I have used Librivox in the past and just recently have gotten my husband to listen to Shakespeare on it.

I receive an email from Simon and Schuster every month with a list of books available.  I also get an email from twice a month with two books to choose from (I need to review one book every 3 months to stay in the program).  I haven't really had much contact with narrators but am open to explore this area.

It's been a great week and I have discovered several new blogs that I will visiting regularly.

Happy Listening everyone!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Audio Book Review of Carrie and Me: A Mother Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett Narrated by Carol Burnett

Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story
Carrie and Me: A Mother Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnet
Narrated by Carol Burnett

From Good Reads:
 “More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles: the ones we share with our closest and dearest, and the one we bestow on a total stranger who needs it right then, and God has put us there to deliver.” — Carrie Hamilton

You are about to meet an extraordinary young woman, Carrie Hamilton. The daughter of one of television’s most recognizable and beloved stars, Carol Burnett, Carrie won the hearts of everyone she met with her kindness, quirky sense of humor, and wonderfully unconventional approach to life. Living in the spotlight of celebrity, but in an era when personal troubles were kept private, Carrie and Carol made a brave display of honesty and love by going public with teenager Carrie’s drug addiction and recovery. Carrie lived her adult life of sobriety to the fullest, enjoying happy and determined independence and achieving a successful artistic career as an actress, writer, musician, and director. Carrie’s passion for life and her humorist’s view of the world never wavered as she aggressively battled cancer. Carrie died at the age of 38.

Carrie and Me is Carol Burnett’s poignant tribute to her late daughter and a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life. Sharing her personal diary entries, photographs, and correspondence, Carol traces the journey she and Carrie took through some of life’s toughest challenges and sweetest miracles. Authentic, intimate, and full of love, Carrie and Me is a story of hope and joy that only a mother could write.

My Take:  I grew up watching Carol Burnett and her wonderful show.  I have always loved her in various things that she has been in especially the movie Four Seasons.  I knew that one of her children had a drug problem and I remember seeing her on her tv show Fame.  This is a story taken straight from Carol's correspondence with her daughter.  The last part of the book is the unpublished play that Carrie was working on right before she died.  I liked the spunk behind the girl and truly admired her attitude that she had about her cancer and how she was going to fight it.  It was interesting hear the various exchanges between Carol and Carrie especially after her struggle with drugs.  Carol didn't give up on her daughter and was there for her every step of the way.  

Now onto the play.  I didn't like it.  There was alot of language and it just felt wrong coming out of Carol Burnett's mouth.  I thought that much of the play was predictable and I had the surprise twist figured out long before the end.  

Carol Burnett did a great job of narrating the book.  She knew when to put in the right expressions and pauses.  

If you like memoirs or just grew up with Carol You would probably like this book.

I received a review copy of this book from Simon and Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Audio Book Week Thursday Discussion Post

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Thursday's Discussion Question for Audio Book week as hosted by Jen at

What do you do while you listen? Any particular tasks or games that you find amazing for audio time?

As I have been reading everyone Else's  post on this subject I find that I am like many other audio book fans.  I listen while I drive to work.  Since we live in the country and basically have to drive 1/2 to go into Lancaster I usually have an hour whenever I go anywhere.  I have about a 35-45 minute drive to week four days a week so that is about an hour and a half a day  plus I have started babysitting my granddaughter so I have another 2 hours a week taking her back to her mom.  I listen occasionally while I am on the computer if I am really caught up in a book.  I don't listen often while I do housework but I have started doing it more.  I always listen for at least a half an hour before I go to sleep.  I make sure it is something that doesn't have to much action to it.  That does the opposite of what I want which is to relax.  I have played Candy Crush Saga while listening a few times but there again I was really into the book. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Audio Book Week Middle of the week Meme

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We Continue our wonderful week of Audio Goodness with day three Discussion question.  Head over to  to see all the wonderful stuff going on for this week. 

Current/most recent audiobook:

I have several books going on right.  The one I listen to mainly is

The Program (The Program, #1) 

The Program by Suzanne Young Narrated by Joy Osmanski


Impressions: Not sure, I am not really getting into this book, Maybe because I just listened to The 5th Wave and the narrator is really kinda monotoned. Just not feeling it. 

Also listening to 

Private London | James Patterson,Mark Pearson 

Private:London by James Patterson and Mark Pearson narrated by Rupert Degas.


Impressions:  I listen to this before I go to sleep which maybe a problem as I have to really concentrate at times on the narration as the narrator has a British Accent and it is difficult at times understanding what he is saying.  From what I have listened to so far, It is your typical James Patterson Thriller.

 Also listening to 


Reunion | [Karen Kingsbury, Gary Smalley] 

Reunion by Karen Kingsbury narrated by  Sandra Burr

Impressions;  I listen to this on the weekend for my before bed book.  My husband doesn't like James Patterson so this book fits perfectly.  So far it is as great as the other books in the series. 

Current/most recent favorite audiobook:


The Cherry Cola Book Club | [Ashton Lee] 

The Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee read by Marguerite Gavin.  This is my audio Review for today.  Great book!!


Favorite narrator you’ve discovered recently:

I haven't really discovered any new narrator that I would call my favorite but I haven't had one that I absolutely hate either.


One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist:


A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book I | [George R. R. Martin] 

Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin Narrated by Roy Dotrice. 

I have just recently started watching the show and wanted to start the book.  I hope that by watching the show first it may give me a headstart on all of the many characters.  And since I like to listen to long books and this is almost 34 hours it seems to be the perfect book for me to have going over the summer.  Now I just have to figure out when I will fit it in. 




Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee Narrated by Maguerite Gavin

The Cherry Cola Book Club
The Cherry Cola Book Club
by Ashton Lee
Narrated by Maguerite Gavin

Publisher's Summary from

Set in a small town in Mississippi, The Cherry Cola Book Club is the touching and sometimes hilarious story of a young, upbeat librarian who has been given an ultimatum to increase the library’s circulation dramatically - or risk having to close its doors.
Maura doesn’t just start a book club; she gets involved in unique and unexpected ways with her library patrons. She entertains and advises them, she has potluck dinners, and life in the town begins to imitate art. The patrons begin to relate their own lives to the work of writers like Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee. In moving and personal ways, Maura helps them deal with such subjects as long-lost love and a brush with death, offering advice on nearly everything - including romance. No topic is off limits. Along the way, Maura raises the profile of the library - but will it be enough?
©2013 Ashton Lee (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

My Take:  I just adored this audio.  It was filled with quirky characters and and it had you routing for the good guys from the very start.  The good guys being Maura Beth and all the members of The Cherry Cola Book Club.  Maura Beth is the librarian at the local library and she is threatened with the closer of  library if she doesn't get her patronage up.  A chance meeting gives her the idea of starting a book club and they read southern writers including Harper Lee and Margaret Michell.  I like the creative of everyone involved.  This book can be listened to around middle age children.  There is hardly any language and sex is alluded to but not actually talked about.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about other people reading.  This also addresses a very real problem with libraries today.  The lack of funding.  But how they would be missed if they go the way of extinction.

I thought the narrator did an excellent job of catching the southern accent and charm of the characters.

I received a review copy from as part of the review program in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pennsylvania Patchwork by Kate Lloyd

About Pennsylvania Patchwork:

Seattle native Holly Fisher is smitten by Lancaster County, its simplicity and her long lost relatives. In the sequel to bestselling Leaving Lancaster, Holly embraces the Amish culture, learning to slow down to see what --- and who --- really matters.

Meeting the family that her mother had kept hidden from her, Holly comes face to face with her real life and blood legacy. She also falls for the charming Zach, a handsome Mennonite veterinarian who is everything she's ever wanted in a husband: confident, kind, successful, and authentic. And Zach proposes marriage. Is this too soon? Is this the right choice? Mother and Amish grandmother think she's rushing into too much of a lifestyle change. Holly is in love with Zach and that precludes everything. Until she meets an attractive Amish man. And an old suitor shows up.

Pennyslvania Patchwork is the moving, richly told story of one woman's heart, her faith and trust, and the choices she makes. Never easy, but one choice can change your destiny.

Purchase a copy:

Meet Kate:

Author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels. She is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest. Kate studied painting and sculpture in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including car salesman and restaurateur.

Learn more about Kate at

My Take:  I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the first in the series and really liked this one also.  I am looking forward to the last one in the trilogy .  I became alittle frustrated when the author would hint about problems going on but then wouldn't reveal what the problem was until much later.  There sure are alot of secrets in group of Amish people and Mennonite people.  Holly has to make choices concerning what she really wants out of life and she has to let go of something she really wanted in order to get what she really needs and in the end wants. 

I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse  in exchange for my honest opinion.

My Very First Noah's Ark Playtime By author: Lois Rock Illustrated by: Alex Ayliffe

My Very First Noah's Ark Playtime
By Lois Rock
Illustrated by Alex Ayliffe

Description: This fun activity book includes on-the-page puzzles, games and stories - all based around the story of Noah - with a page of stickers to use to complete the activities throughout. This handy book will be welcomed by parents and carers looking to entertain active children during holidays, on journeys, or to fill the time on a rainy day.

My Take:  This is a really cute book that any child with a love of stickers would love to have.  It has other activites to do throughout the book like counting and even a recipe for gingerbread.  And all along with the fun is the story of Noah and the Ark being told.  Great little book that is perfect for keeping kids busy during hot days and rainy days.

I received a review copy of this book from Kregel in exchange for my honest review. 

First chapter Peak of Lights, Cowboy, Action by Lesley Ann McDaniel

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Love Inspired (June 4, 2013)

***Special thanks to Lesley Ann McDaniel for sending me a review copy.***


LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, animals, and musical theatre.

Born in Missoula, Montana, she was one of the original Dwarfs in the Missoula Children’s Theatre’s inaugural production of “Snow White”, which is still touring the world.

While earning a degree in acting at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God’s guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of romance and young adult fiction.

Between working as a homeschooling mom and as a professional theatre costumer, Lesley has completed several novels. She would have done more by now if she didn’t also occasionally stop to clean the house and fold the laundry. Fortunately she loves to cook, so no one in her family has starved yet.

She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area with her husband, two daughters, three cats and a big loud dog. In her spare time (ha!) she chips away at her goal of reading every book ever written.

Visit the author's website.


Will COURTNEY JACOBS do whatever it takes to keep her job as personal assistant to an A-list movie actress? While filming in Thornton Springs, Montana, Courtney’s demanding boss insists she set her up with ranch owner ADAM GREENE as a romantic “diversion”. The only problem? Courtney’s fallen for him herself. Now she’s forced to merge the resurrection of her lost faith, her growing love for this town, and her attraction to Adam with her Hollywood career ambitions. What’s a girl to do?

Product Details:
List Price: $4.99
Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373486634
ISBN-13: 978-0373486632


Courtney Jacobs doubted there could be enough coffee in all of Thornton Springs, Montana to see her through this movie shoot.

After filling her paper cup with the morale-boosting brew, she headed back toward the set. All around her, sleep-deprived crew members hustled to transform this charming burg into an old western town. She checked her watch. Seven AM. Within an hour, Keith Kingsley, the temperamental director of North to Montana—N2M to insiders— would be ready to call ‘action’, and he wasn’t exactly known for his patience.

“Move it or bleed!” A rigger bellowed as he charged past, swinging an aluminum grip stand just over her head.

She danced around a coil of electrical cables then sidestepped a set painter as he examined the distressing he’d given a storefront. Wincing as the gaffer shouted out coarse instructions to his crew of lighting techs, she ducked to avoid a swooping boom pole.

A contented sigh slipped through her lips. With just four independent films on her résumé— two a year since graduating from college—she felt lucky to have booked a major studio-backed project so early in her career.

She’d been hired as personal assistant to the star, Angela Bijou—an A-list actress with a reputation for supreme diva behavior and for taking up with her leading men. Angela had made it clear from day one that Jeffrey Mark Caulfield (sizzling from the recent success of The Pharaoh’s Tomb), would be no exception.

The bleep of Courtney’s cell phone drew her from her wandering thoughts. Balancing her still-full cup on the edge of her clipboard, she opened a text from the key costumer.

‘Ms. Bju s neded 4 a finl fttng of hr Act 3 pRT gwn 2moro @ 2. B sur sh’s thr.’

Courtney gnawed at her lower lip. If Ms. Bijou didn’t know about the fttng, it would be one more thing for her to take out on Courtney.

Hurrying down the center of the newly dirt-encrusted street, she clenched her cup between her teeth and shoved her clipboard under her arm. She flicked open the phone keyboard and tapped out a response while dodging a gaggle of grips positioning an old wooden wagon by the edge of the just-built boardwalk.

‘2moro @ 2. No woriez.’

Nearing the area where the first scene of the day would be shot, Courtney hit ‘send’ and scanned the street. Several cast members milled about in costume but—no surprise—Angela wasn’t among them. Giving a cursory glance to the pink berry Swatch she’d been given as a ‘thank you’ from her actress on her last movie, she headed toward the make-up trailer in the hope that Angela had made it to her call on time.

Striding across the set, she drank in the liveliness of her surroundings. It was great being a part of something this vital. So what if her job at the moment was keeping the leading lady on-schedule? She was an indispensable cog in the machine.


Stopping in her tracks, Courtney spun around to face the familiar angry command. From the first day of rehearsals, Angela Bijou had demonstrated an annoying articulation of Courtney’s name that made the word itself sound like an outright accusation.

“You had better explain what’s going on here!” The woman stormed toward Courtney with a heated, resolute gait and fire in her famous jade green eyes. Her flimsy peach silk cover-up and matching turban signified that she hadn’t yet made it to hair or wardrobe, and screamed look at me—I’m a star.

Courtney opened her mouth to respond, but Angela cut her off with a tirade that rivaled Hurricane Katrina.

“Are you completely incompetent?” Angela screeched as she planted her lithe form two feet from where Courtney stood.

As the blood rose to her face, Courtney became painfully aware that the entire cast and crew had turned to gawk. “What’s the matter, Ms. Bijou?” She fought to keep her tone level.

“What’s the matter?” Angela tossed her platinum pin-curled head back with such force her tiny neck made a faint cracking sound. “The ‘matter’ is that I have no water in my trailer.”

Courtney let that register. All this fuss over a plumbing problem?

“D’eau Douce.” Angela crossed her willowy arms. “Imported from France. Does that ring a bell? I’m supposed to have four sixteen ounce bottles chilling in my trailer every morning when I arrive.”

“Oh….” Courtney skimmed her memory. “For…drinking?”

“Yes, for drinking.” Angela gave her a scowl that implied she should audition for the next season of American Idiot. “I wash my face in pure Norwegian spring water, which by the way I didn’t see in there either.”

Courtney heard herself utter something about making a few phone calls to Norway as she took a giant step backward.
“Look,” Angela apparently wasn’t done yelling. “I need sixty-four ounces a day. How else am I supposed to keep my skin so youthful and clear?” She drew her fingertips across her youthful, clear cheek for emphasis. “Every. Single. Day.”

“Uh… okay, Ms. Bijou.” Courtney scribbled out a note on the top page of her clipboard as she took a half-step in what she hoped was the direction of water of all desirable nationalities. A thought stopped her cold. “Was that sixty-four ounces of the drinking water or the washing kind?”

Angela’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t play dumb. Obviously, you knew about this.”

Gripping her half-cup of tepid coffee between her thumb and her index finger, Courtney flipped through the papers on her clipboard as if to exonerate herself from this allegation. She knew nothing about her actress’ water preference and made a mental note to be sure always to ask in the future.

With what she hoped would read as a competent smile, she turned to go, smacking into a carpenter as he flew past with an armload of railroad ties. Coffee flew from her cup, splashing across her papers and down the front of her sea green t-shirt. She winced.

Angela’s shrieky voice rang out from behind. “Check my contract! I need my water every day I’m on the set. I’m supposed to have it!”

Courtney clutched her clipboard to her stained front and darted toward what appeared to be a grocery store in the next block. If the last five minutes were any indication of things to come, this shoot was going to be a nightmare.


“Yessir, this is just about the biggest thing that’s ever happened in this town.” Cal wiped his hands on his apron and stretched a long gaze out the front window of his general store.

Casting a dubious glance at Cal from under the brim of his Stetson, Adam Greene drew in a long breath. It was great that the movie people were boosting the town’s flagging economy, but apart from that he really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. “Say Cal, you got any of those red lentils left? Janessa made a killer stew last week and I’d like her to surprise us with a repeat performance.”

Cal wrested his attention away from the window. “That sister ‘a yours is gettin’ to be more like your mama every day. A regular Mary Stewart.”
Adam grinned. “I think you mean Martha. Martha Stewart. Don’t tell Janessa that, though. She’s dead set against the idea of making some lucky man a great wife someday.”

Cal’s head bobbed as he grabbed a jar of beans off a shelf. “Still determined to get outta Dodge now that she’s graduated high school, eh?”

“She’s got plans.” Adam studied a barrel of apples. “Nothing wrong with that.”

“Not a thing. I just know you and your mama will miss her is all.”

“True.” Grabbing the brown bag of lentils Cal had filled for him, Adam raised an earnest smile. He had a full seven years on his baby sister and had been the man of the house since their father’s death when Adam was fifteen. It was strange to think of her leaving the nest. “Far be it from me to stand in the way of an ambitious female—”

Abruptly, the front door burst open and in flew a young woman gripping a clipboard and a paper cup. She pushed a strand of sandy blonde hair from her forehead with the rim of the cup as she scanned the store, urgency fairly sparking from her hazel eyes. Adam’s gaze dawdled a little longer than he liked to consider gentlemanly.

As she surged purposefully toward the counter, his eyes followed. She looked young and pretty in a fresh-faced, no make-up sort of way. Judging from the walkie-talkie clipped to her belt, she must be some sort of behind-the-scenes worker, not an actress. A corner of his mouth lifted. Maybe having the movie people in town wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

Cal lit up. “What can I do for you, young lady?”

She spoke with a resolute clip. “Please tell me you carry D’eau Douce.”

The smile slid from Cal’s face. “Doe Do…what?”

“It’s French.” She tapped the clipboard with the cup and scouted around some more.

Sensing that Cal could use a hand on this one, Adam stepped up to the counter. “Excuse me, ma’am. Maybe I can help…uh…translate?”

“Sure.” Avoiding his gaze, she continued to search the shelves. “Do you speak ‘actress’?”

“I’m sorry, no.” While he felt for her obvious United Nations dilemma, he couldn’t help but dwell on how pretty she was. “What exactly is this thing you’re looking for?”

“Water.” She moved a few feet to peruse the refrigerator case where Cal kept the milk and juice. “What kind of mineral water do you carry?”

Adam cast an amused glance at Cal, whose expression had grown even more befuddled.

“I don’t…I mean….” Cal stammered.

Seeing where this was going, Adam chimed in. “You’ll be hard pressed to find any of those fancy bottled waters here, ma’am.”

As her head snapped toward him, their eyes met for the first time. “No water? But what do people here drink?”

Adam tipped a shrug. “We drink well water, mostly. We’ve got the best mountain spring water you’ve ever tasted. I’d be happy to—”

“No. I mean…thank you.” Shifting the cup to the hand that held the clipboard, she pulled a cell phone out of a pouch on her waistband, and started punching in numbers as she moved toward the door. Looking back, her eyes rested briefly on Adam. “Thanks anyway.” With a slight smile, she yanked open the door and bolted out.

Leaning against the counter, Adam pushed his hat back a touch and folded his arms.

Cal gave him a good-natured cuff to the bicep. “Shouldn’t you be finishing that shopping?”

“Shopping?” Adam nodded slowly. “Oh. Right.”


Courtney surveyed the street as she darted toward the set, her hope of finding a specialty food store growing dimmer by the second. Her mind whirred. The only thing she could think of was to call the safe, actress-free office of her BFF back in L.A.

“Sheila Macintosh here.”

Courtney breathed out relief at the familiar greeting. “Thank goodness you’re there.”

“Hey, Court.” Sheila let out a little titter. “Don’t tell me you’re homesick already.”

“Not unless by ‘homesick’ you mean ‘desperately missing the Von’s delivery boy’.” Courtney firmed her resolve. “Sheil, I need you to do me a huge favor.”

“Is it a favor for you or for Angela Bijou, ’cause you know I don’t cater to queen bees.”

“Consider it a favor to your best friend who wants to stay employed. I need you to source some bottled water for me. I’ll give you all my info so you can order it and have it billed to the movie.”

“They don’t have water in Montana?” Sheila quipped. “How do they get the mountains so green?”

“Funny. Of course they have water, just not the right kind.” Courtney stopped walking, not wanting anyone of importance to overhear her plight. “Will you do it?”

“I’m ready to write.” Sheila’s tone warmed. “Just remember, you owe me a dinner at Mr. Chow when you get back.”

“On my salary? Better make it Del Taco.” Courtney rattled off the details of Angela’s demand, hoping this wouldn’t be the first of many. “Tell them I need it ASAP. Hire a private jet if you need to.”

Sheila grunted. “Movie people are weird.”

“You said it.” She started walking again.

“Before you go,” Sheila’s voice grew coy. “You have to tell me. Is Jeffrey Mark Caulfield as hot in a cowboy hat as he is in a pith helmet?”

“I haven’t seen him in costume yet.” Courtney’s mind wandered back to the store she’d left a few minutes before—to that tall, handsome hottie in the dusty blue jeans and well-worn boots. “He’s got nothing on the real cowboys out here, though.”

“Oh really?” Sheila crooned. “Any one in particular?”

“Well…” Courtney’s face flushed. What was she doing? She had far too much to deal with to let herself get distracted by an admittedly attractive guy. Especially one she most likely wouldn’t even run into again. Still, she couldn’t lie, especially to Sheila. “Okay, yes. One that I just met was…movie star handsome. And nice too. Really nice.”

“Uh huh. So they grow ’em handsome out there. Must be in the water.”

Courtney smiled. “Yeah, the mountain spring water.”

“So, you will be coming home when this movie is finished shooting, right? Or will you be changing your name to Mrs. Handsome Cowboy and learning to rope cattle?”

Courtney sneered at the phone. “Oh, you are so very funny. Just get my water ordered and pray I still have my job by the time it gets here.”

“Sure thing. Oh, and that’s not the only thing I’ll be praying for, Mrs. Handsome Cowboy.”

Clicking her cell phone shut, Courtney took a deep breath. Sure that guy seemed really great but this was the last thing she needed. She was here to do a job, not fall for some guy who lived a world away from everything important to her. Letting herself get caught up in thinking about him would just be irresponsible.

Her pace slowed as she neared the set. Why did Angela’s personal drought suddenly not feel quite so urgent? Thinking about the cowboy seemed to have a mysterious calming effect on her. She shook it off. With a major problem to solve, she had too much on her mind to leave her head in the clouds.

Audio Book Review of Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Read by Full cast of BBC Radio Collection

Image coming soon
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Read by full cast of BBC Radio

 BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
Antony & Cleopatra is an intense love story, exploring the constant conflict between duty and emotion with characters so charismatic they continue to fascinate after 2,000 years. Shakespeare achieved some of his most beautiful poetry in this play, and the richness of the language makes it perfect for audio.
Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.

My Take:  I have never be one for Shakespeare.  I did enjoy a production of a Midsummer's Night dream a few summers ago during our local parks summer arts program.   This production was okay but I did find myself having to give more attention to it than I normally do while I am listening.  This was definitely not an audio that I could multitask. 

Audio:  I always enjoy listening to full cast productions and this was no exception.  You need a full cast to bring the play to life and this cast did an excellent job.

I received this audio through the summer program last year of Sync.  If you like audio books I would highly recommend getting involved with this program. 

Audio Book Week Tuesday Discussion :How do You Choose Your Audiobooks?

Tuesday: How do You Choose Your Audiobooks?
How do you decide what you’ll listen to? Do you mostly listen, or split time between listening and reading? Particularly if you split time, how do you decide what you’ll consume in audio and what in print? 

Most of the time I decide what books to listen to depending on what I am in the mood for.  I have been doing quite a bit more audio books for review lately so I will admit I feel a need to listen to those books sooner than later but I have decided that I will listen to one of my personal books before I go to sleep at night.  I split time between print and audio but audio seems to have gotten alot more time this year.  I think this is because I can consume audio so much easier as I can multitask.  There are certain books that I prefer in audio like James Patterson books and The Outlander Series but I am also an equal opportunity reader/listener of other genres like Amish fiction (my husband enjoys these books too so I will get alot of them) .  Lately whenever I see a book that caught my eye on the blogosphere I will quite often check to see if it is on audio and see if I can get it for review or I will put it on my wishlist on Audible and use one of my credits for it the next time my credits are renewed. 

Book Spotlight - Love In Bloom by Arlene James

From the Publisher:

 A Fresh Start
Lily Farnsworth can thank a mysterious benefactor for the chance to open her own flower shop in Bygones, Kansas. But Tate Bronson is the biggest challenge the relocated Boston attorney has ever faced. Forget about tossing out the welcome mat-the handsome widowed rancher seems determined to keep Lily at arm's length. As everyone buzzes over the identity of the anonymous donor, Lily's doing her part to revitalize the struggling town. With the help of Tate's little girl-turned-matchmaker, can she create a garden of community and love deep in the heart of Kansas...and one special man?
The Heart of Main Street: They're rebuilding the town one step-and heart-at a time

Monday, June 17, 2013

Audio Book Review of 12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro read by January LaVoy

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12)
12th of Never by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Read by January La Voy


It's the 12th book of the Women's Murder Club series, and it's finally time! Detective Lindsay Boxer is in labor - while two killers are on the loose.
Lindsay Boxer's beautiful baby is born! But after only a week at home with her new daughter, Lindsay is forced to return to work to face two of the biggest cases of her career.
A rising star football player for the San Francisco 49ers is the prime suspect in a grisly murder. At the same time, Lindsay is confronted with the strangest story she's ever heard: An eccentric English professor has been having vivid nightmares about a violent murder and he's convinced is real. Lindsay doesn't believe him, but then a shooting is called in - and it fits the professor's description to the last detail.
Lindsay doesn't have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when Lindsay is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.
My Take:  I really like the Women's Murder Club, I really do but to quite honest with you they are starting to blend into each other.  I liked the first books where there were one or two at the most cases that needed to be solved and all of the women would join together to solve the case.  This story has everyone running off in their own direction and there is hardly any interaction between the women or the cases.  The one highlight of this book was the birth of Julie, Lindsey and Joe's daughter and of course her arrival has to be dramatic, she is born during a power outage.  The rest of the book was just so so for me.  Will I be listening to the next book?  Probably.  I just keep coming back hoping that the books will get better.  
Audio:  I thought that January LaVoy did a good job with the material she was given.  She is not a narrator I will actively seek out but I won't not listen to a book read by her either.  
This book was taken from my personal audio library. 

Audio Book Week Monday Discussion topic

Monday: 2012-2013, Your Audiobook Year
Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience. 

I have been listening to audio books steadily since 2006 when my Husband bought me a MP3 player that came with a trial membership to Audible (because I had mentioned that I wanted to fill my 1/2 hour one way commute time more constructively) and I haven't turned back since (I actually wore that MP3 player out.  I use my phone most of the time for listening now).  I generally listen in the car but I do occasionally listen while I am doing stuff on the computer .  I also use my audible app to listen before bed as I can set the app to go off by itself.  I also listen while I am walking  for exercise.  I actually like to listen to longer books most of the time. I think I like to listen to longer books because that way I can read shorter books and get more read that way.  I have listened to most of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  I listened to Under the Dome by Stephen King last year.  I have Game of Thrones ready to go.  I almost exclusively listen to James Patterson books on audio, They make a good filler book as I will quite often take a break in the middle of the longer books and listen to a shorter book. I also like to listen to Ted Dekker  books on audio. I have noticed that I also like to listen to biographies and autobiographies on audio and it is usually a plus when the book is read by the person it is about (I listened to two books read by Carol Burnett and one read by Kristin Chenowith)  One series of books that did not work for me on audio was The Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke.  I didn't like the recipes read to me.  They are a more visual experience for me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Audio Book Review of Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley Narrated by Sandra Burr

Rejoice (Redemption, #4)
Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley
Narrated by Sandra Burr

 A Terrible Tragedy. . . Brooke and Peter are struggling in their marriage when they are faced with the single worst moment ever. What was supposed to be a pool party for their two daughters and a handful of children ends in disaster. As three-year-old Hayley fights for her life, the Baxter family draws together, not even sure how to pray.
A Shattered Life. . . Peter is devastated by Hayley's accident. Unable to see past his own guilt, he distances himself from Brooke and their girls and finds other ways to ease his pain. Illegal ways. Peter's choices send him spiraling into a cavernous abyss that threatens to destroy not only his relationship with Brooke but his life.
A Reason to Rejoice. . . Against the backdrop of great pain and loss, a Baxter wedding takes place in New York City, a wedding that gives all of them a reason to smile again. Now, what will it take for Brooke and the Baxters to move forward, and how will the sudden loss of one special woman change them all?

My Take:  This is the fourth book in the Redemption series.  Like all the others this book holds back no punches and shows that even though you may be a Christian that your life will not be charmed and drama free.  In this book there is a tragic accident and there are alot of ramifications from that accident.  But as is always the case the Baxters rely on God and allow Him to guide them through this tragedy.   There are some happy endings and some wait and see what happens endings.  There is one more book in this series. 

Audio:  Once again I am disappointed that this is an abridged version of the book but not having read the book I don't know what was left out.  It just makes the book so short.  Sandra Burr does a good job of narration. 

This book is from my personal audio library.

Monday, June 10, 2013

First Chapter Peak of Mail Order Man by Heather Gray

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 13, 2013)

***Special thanks to Heather Gray for sending me a review copy.***


Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing. Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell. Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

Visit the author's website.


Some people get a mail order bride. She got a mail order man.
A well-meaning friend places an ad to find a mail order husband for Sarah, the proprietress of Larkspur’s stage and mail office. Sarah, who is generally quiet and reserved, doesn't know about the ad and has no idea what to do with all the people that are showing up in her community. Before long, the town is overrun with men and mail alike. Sarah is trying to avoid some men who have accosted her on the street when she stumbles into Samuel. Through long days spent together at the stage office, some very adventurous pots of coffee and a shared faith, the two become friends. Sarah knows that Samuel is hiding something from her, something important, but that doesn't stop her heart from leaping wildly into love. Lacking the confidence to trust her heart, Sarah wars with herself over the feelings she can no longer deny. When some of the men who have come to town show their true intentions, a shootout follows. Sarah finally gets answers to many of the questions circling through her mind. One question remains, though. Where will her mail order man go when the dust settles?

Product Details:
List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1484965973
ISBN-13: 978-1484965979


Larkspur, Idaho Territory

April 1878

Sarah had noticed a number of new faces in town over the past few days, and it was beginning to make her more than a bit uncomfortable. The new faces were all men. Sure, men outnumber women in every frontier town, but Sarah had seen more than a dozen new men and had heard rumors that Mrs. Ginty’s boarding house was full-up, which had never happened before. Larkspur was a small frontier town in a territory sparsely populated, and Sarah had never before heard of Mrs. Ginty having to turn away customers.

New people in town can sometimes mean good news. Businesses certainly like having more customers. It can mean trouble, too, though, when the newcomers start to outnumber the homegrown townsfolk. Sarah had heard tell of towns where ruffians had swarmed in, taking over the town and practically holding the locals prisoner by sheer force of number. A small shudder overtook her at the thought of such brutality.

Sarah’s papa had well trained her how to take care of and provide for herself, but ever since he passed away, she had no one to protect her should the need ever arise. Sighing, she forced her loneliness back down, beating it into submission by sheer force of will.

Keeping her eyes directed down, Sarah walked from the small house she had once shared with Papa. She was heading to the stage office for a long day of work and, with all these new people in town, did not want to make eye contact with the wrong individual. The workday hadn’t even yet begun, but Sarah couldn’t wait for the day to be finished. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it, Sarah quoted in her mind as she reminded herself to be grateful. She was looking forward to sharing a meal with her dearest friend tonight. Dinner with the Smiths held much more appeal than another long day at the stage office. Visiting with Minnie and her folks was always delightful. Sarah also hoped Minnie’s father, who was mayor of Larkspur, might be able to shed some light on the flood of strange men showing up in town.

Sarah heard a commotion to her left. Before she could even raise her eyes to see what was going on, someone came barreling out from the mercantile and plowed right into her. Sarah’s feet flew out from under her, and she landed out in the street, far from the boardwalk on which she had a moment ago been walking. Before she could take stock of the situation to determine if she’d landed in mud or manure, at least a dozen hands were reaching out to help her up. Frightened by all of the men crowding in around her and not sure of their intentions, Sarah scrambled to her feet and backed up from the growing crowd. She did not recognize a single face from the group that continued to step closer to her.

As she scurried backward, Sarah ran right smack into a wall. She didn’t remember a wall being there in the middle of the street, but sure enough, she was trapped between the wall behind her and the wall of men walking toward her.

“Pardon me, gentlemen, but I think you have frightened the lady here.” Sarah stiffened as she heard the wall behind her speak. Her head whipped back and up. With the sun shining right into her eyes, she couldn’t see the face of her rescuer, but his voice was confidently calm, loud enough to carry to all of the men who had been reaching toward her without actually sounding as though he’d raised his voice. “Miss, are you okay?” It took Sarah a moment to realize the talking wall was speaking to her.

“Y-y-yes, thank you.” Sarah struggled to get the words out past a suddenly dry and scratchy throat.

“That was quite a fall you took. Are you sure you are alright?”

Glancing down at her dress, Sarah saw that, thankfully, she had landed on a dry patch of dirt and, though dusty, was not covered with mud or worse. She knew she would be sore later, but she was still in too much shock right now to feel the effects of her fall into the street. Thank goodness a horse or carriage had not been riding by at the time – she could have been badly hurt!

“Yes, sir, thank you. I am fine and must be on my way now.”

Sarah considered the path up Main Street toward her destination and saw what now appeared to be more than twenty men standing around ogling her. Completely beside herself with discomfort at the situation, she tried to take a step back only to be reminded of the talking wall behind her.

Without removing her eyes from the crowd of men, she spoke to the one behind her. “Pardon me, sir, but could I be so bold as to request your assistance in a small matter?”

There was a smile behind the man’s voice, Sarah was certain of it, as he softly answered, “I will accommodate you if I can, Miss. With what do you need assistance?”

Sarah felt the hint of a shiver she knew could not be attributed to the weather. It was either fear because of the men in front of her… or something else because of the man behind her. Not wanting to dissect her feelings quite yet, she uttered, “I need to pass these men to get to the stage office. I find that…” Sarah tried to think of a delicate way to say she wasn’t sure if she’d make it there safely if she went alone.

Before Sarah could even take a full breath, though, or find the correct words, she felt herself lifted by the waist and placed back up onto the boardwalk. The talking wall immediately joined her and offered his arm to her. Sarah tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow, still not knowing the man’s name.

In the shade now, after having been blinded by the sun, Sarah took another glance up at her talking wall but still could not make out any features on the man’s face. She knew he was quite tall, and he appeared to have facial hair, but Sarah could not even identify the color of his hair, let alone any distinguishing features.

“I wonder what all of these men are doing in town. It’s a trifle disconcerting,” she said to the man walking beside her.

“Ah,” he replied. “I believe they are after the same thing most people are after.”

Not sure how to take that answer, Sarah asked, “What, then, is it most people are after?”


Sarah was surprised at the laugh that bubbled up inside of her, for she was the serious one, not prone to outbursts of laughter, or so she had always believed. Not sure what to think of her own laughter, she instead puzzled over the companion’s answer. She would not have associated a fanciful notion such as love with the talking wall that had rescued her.

She heard the smile in his voice again as he went on, “Either that, or someone to raise their children and do their laundry.”

“A wife then?” Sarah questioned. “Why would anyone come to Larkspur looking for a wife? We have no more women than any other town in the territory.” Certain the man beside her was having a joke at her expense, she waited for the punch line, but none was forthcoming. They arrived at the stage office where, without delay, Sarah unlocked the office door, stepped inside, and began opening the curtains.

“Thank you for escorting me. Could I offer you some coffee, Mr….” Hoping the talking wall would provide her with the information she sought, Sarah let her sentence hang. What she got for her effort was a deep-throated chuckle that seemed both sincere and humor-filled, and again she felt the joke was somehow at her expense.

Disgruntled, she put her satchel away and then stood there next to the percolator specifically not making any coffee. She gave him the best Do-As-I-Say look she could muster under the circumstances and made not a single move toward the coffee tin as she awaited his response. Sarah was shocking herself with her own audacity. Something about this man was making her act different, bolder. Sarah quickly decided she liked this new side of herself and that she also liked the man who drew it out of her.

“My apologies, Miss. You reminded me so much there of one of my cousins I couldn’t help but laugh. I sincerely meant no harm.”

Sarah relaxed her shoulders, somewhat mollified by his words.

“The pleasure of escorting you was all mine, I assure you. No thanks are necessary.”

As she continued to look at him pointedly, he held out one hand and began ticking off fingers as he spoke to himself in a voice intended to carry. “Let’s see. She thanked me for the escort, and I responded. When she didn’t like my laughing, I apologized. She offered me coffee… aha!” Looking up at her with a distinctive twinkle in his golden brown eyes, he said, “Why yes, Miss, I would enjoy a cup of coffee if it’s not too much trouble.” Winking at her, he added, “Samuel Livingston at your service.”

Sarah tried to be unaffected, but the way he swept his hat off and bowed as he introduced himself had her heart fluttering faster than a bumblebee in a field of clover. As for his wink, Sarah wasn’t sure which was more scandalous – the fact he winked or the way her heart raced at the sight of it.


The moment Sarah got the small stove lit, Cesar Martinez came into the office. “Good morning, Miss Jenkins.” He tipped his hat to her and asked, “What do you need me to do first this morning?”

Sarah instructed Cesar to sweep out the office and the front walk. She was going to send him on an errand, but she didn’t want him to go quite yet. Being alone with the talking wall no longer seemed the wisest choice. As Cesar collected the broom to start sweeping, Mr. Livingston hung his hat on the hook near the front door and leaned against the counter behind which Sarah normally worked. His relaxed posture made him seem less formidable. Without his hat on, Sarah could get a good look at his face for the first time. Casually stepping behind the counter, she hoped to get a better view of her talking wall without being obvious.

“Are you alright, Miss?” asked Mr. Livingston. Sarah nodded and glanced over to where the coffee was not quite ready. He was, by her own design, directly in her line of sight. All hope for an unobtrusive glance at her rescuer quickly fled as she absorbed the sight of him with all her senses. She was stunned to realize how beautiful he was. Never before had she seen a man whose mere presence took her breath away. Her heart no longer fluttered like a bumblebee. It thumped like a herd of wild mustangs.

Closing her eyes, Sarah allowed his image play across her mind’s eye. He was tall, but she’d already known that. He had intense eyes, chocolate brown at the outer edge and pure glittering gold around the pupil. His hair was cut short but remained just unruly enough to hint at being curly, and it, too, was filled with various hues of gold. He was tan but not the weather-worn dark tan of a rancher or farmer. He had a strong jaw, a straight nose, and lips that curled up in laughter even when he wasn’t laughing. He was dressed like a businessman, only flashier. The suit he wore was a fairly traditional grey, but his vest was bright red. He had a flair about him that Sarah could not quantify. One thing was certain, though. Sarah was sure she would drown in those eyes, forever losing herself, if she stared too long.

“Are you alright, Miss?” Mortified at her own imaginings and wandering mind – something she was definitely not prone to – Sarah tried to control her staring eyes and nodded, then quickly blushed. Feeling the heat of embarrassment climb up her neck and into her cheeks, she quickly turned her back on the man and went back over to where the coffee was percolating. Grabbing two mugs, she filled them both, handing one to Mr. Livingston and taking the other back over to her work counter. As she set her mug down she realized the brew appeared no stronger than what you might give a baby to drink. Groaning inwardly, Sarah hoped the man liked weak coffee. Who was she kidding? It wasn’t weak coffee. It was colored water!

As Sarah was about to apologize for the coffee, Cesar came through the door to tell her the morning stage was approaching. She peeked at the clock and said to no one in particular, “It’s an hour early. I hope nothing’s wrong.”

Cesar put the broom up and went out to greet the stage.

Sarah resumed her post behind the counter. Most all of the stage drivers knew her from when her father ran the stage office, but sometimes there were new drivers or unruly passengers, and so when her father passed away, Sarah had stopped going out to greet the incoming stage. Each driver was directed into the office to meet her there. She provided them with coffee, a kind word, and often a bite to eat, but she did not go out onto the platform if she could help it.

“How old is the lad who helps you?” asked Mr. Livingston.

“Cesar? He is 14, I think.”

“Awfully young to be working here. Shouldn’t he be in school?”

Sarah nodded. “Cesar and his brothers do not attend the local school. We used to have a teacher in town that had a problem with the family, so their mother started teaching them at home. A new teacher came along a few years back, but the family had settled into their routine and decided to keep it. All three of them are well ahead of their school-bound peers in their learning. Their mother does an excellent job with them.”

“Doesn’t working here keep him away from his studies, though?”

“May I ask why you have such an interest in my hired help?” Sarah did not want to sound surly, but she was not used to people questioning business decisions, such as her choice in employees.

“I am visiting town on a business matter and staying with my cousin and her husband. He is the school teacher in town. A person who spends any time at all with John will naturally learn to be attentive to educational matters and sensitive to the needs of rural families. For example, parents sometimes pull their kids out of school because they need the money their labor can bring.” Following an almost imperceptible pause, Mr. Livingston continued, “Larkspur is lucky to have such a caring teacher.”

Sarah gave Mr. Livingston a genuine smile, for she knew the school teacher and his wife well. They attended the same church as she and would, on occasion, invite Sarah over for dinner. They were wonderful people. Sarah remembered they had been praying for safe travel for a relative but could not at the moment recall anything more on the subject.

Nodding at Mr. Livingston, she said, “You can ask Ida and John about Cesar. I am certain you will be pleased with what you hear. John has helped Cesar’s mother obtain books and other materials whenever needed for her boys’ education. He checks in on them periodically, too, at the parents’ request to make certain the boys are not falling behind in any of their studies. Cesar and his two brothers all work here at the Stage Office. As the youngest, Cesar only started a month or so ago and works one day here by himself and sometimes comes in on Saturday to help as well.”

She couldn’t be certain, but Sarah thought she saw appreciation in Mr. Livingston’s eyes. His smile seemed genuine and quite dangerous in its charm. “Who helps you the rest of the week?”

There didn’t seem to be anything amiss with Mr. Livingston’s questions. After all, he knew Ida and John. However, habits of self-protection are hard to break, and her father had taught her from the time she was little that sometimes, when people ask questions that seem innocent, they are actually trying to get information that could cause harm. Sarah’s gut told her it was okay to trust Mr. Livingston, but she could hear her father’s voice telling her to do her due diligence. She would check with Ida and John about her talking wall before she revealed any additional information to him about the stage office, herself, or the wonderful family she employed at the office.

As she made her decision, the front door banged open and Cesar came in carrying a sack of mail and dragging another behind him. “My goodness!” said Sarah as she rushed to help him.

“There’s more,” Cesar said. “Lots more.”

“What on earth! We don’t get this much mail in a month of Sundays, let alone on one single stage.” Trying not to appear as discombobulated as she felt by this influx of mail, Sarah asked Cesar, “Where are the passengers? Does anyone have anything to store or need assistance finding accommodations?”

Cesar’s eyes searched wildly around the room as though seeking an answer in the wood and plaster. He almost seemed afraid to say anything more. Then, looking over his shoulders as if searching for someone lurking behind him, he whispered to her, “There are no passengers. This isn’t even the real stage. The stage will be here on time with passengers and mail. This is all the extra mail they couldn’t fit onto the coach. There’s about six more bags out there, and the driver is fit to be tied. No one planned on an extra trip out here this week, but the mail has been getting backed up at the last stop. Their office is small, and they couldn’t keep our mail there any longer waiting for room on the stages – so they sent it over straightaway to get it out of their office.”

Sarah glanced out the window at the office platform, saw the bags of mail being pulled from the stage and piled up there. “Oh my,” she whispered. “I’ve never seen the likes.”