Monday, November 14, 2016

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

I'm not blogging much this month with NaNoWriMo going on. I just can't do two things at once. lol. But I wanted to join this giveaway hop to show my gratitude for all that take the time to stop by the blog. I appreciate all your support and comments. It's great to see such a great community from all over the world come together with a love for books.

Thank you.

I've also received codes for two audio books to giveaway. Sweet! What are they? Well, here they are:

With food on the mind, we can listen to a mystery where food is in the story.
A Fine Fix by Gale Deitch
A Trudie Fine Mystery, book 1
Things couldn’t be better for Trudie Fine and her partner, Zachary Cohen. It’s the first big job for their catering company, A Fine Fix, and everyone who’s anyone in the Washington, D.C. area will be at the Schwartzes’ backyard Mexican fiesta.
With the tables set, the food prepared to perfection, and the Mariachi band sizzling, Trudie is mellow as a Margarita smoothie…until a dead body is discovered floating in the pool.
When Zach is arrested as the prime murder suspect, Trudie sets out to clear him and find the real murderer. Life gets spicier than a jalapeƱo pepper when she realizes she’s the focus of three men’s affections, including the unnerving detective handling the case. 
Soon, however, Trudie is reaching for her favorite knife, but not to chop vegetables.
Recipes Included!

Or how about escaping into a new fantasy world with honor, love, and torment?
Black Rose by K.L. Bone
Black Rose, book 1
“May the Black Rose protect you in life and avenge you in death.” – Vow of the Black Rose

Six hundred years ago, the Muir Court was wiped from existence, destroyed by an elite group known as the Black Rose Guard. Their Captain, Mara, has a reputation of being a harsh woman who leads the guard with a fierce formality. During her long years, she has known pain, loss, heartache…and one great love.

Edward was the Captain of the Royal Guard of the Ciar Court. He loved her once. However, it was a love that faded the day he met young Liza, the Princess who stole the heart he had once sworn belonged to Mara alone. Liza was also the woman Mara was fated to protect. When the Queen learns of her daughter’s forbidden love for Edward, she devises a series of punishments, torturing Edward while her daughter is forced to watch. In a an act of desperation, Mara takes Liza’s place and looks on helplessly as Edward endures torments which break his body and Mara’s soul.

All of their pain is put aside when Liza is murdered by the rulers of a rival court. Haunted by her failure to protect the Princess and adhering to tradition, Mara takes the vow of the ‘Black Rose.’ It is an ancient oath which compels those under its power to abandon the lives they knew for the sake of a single goal: vengeance. Her quest leads her on a dark path of violence, rage, and bloodshed.

Tormented by a fate they can neither accept nor escape, Black Rose is a tale of retribution, love, and above all, honor—at any cost.

For these two books to be gifted to you through USA Audible site.
Make sure you are able to receive these before entering.

If you'd like, continue through the giveaway hop to many other great prizes!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Audio Book Review: Veil of Shadows

Veil of Shadows

By:  Terry Mixon

Publish Date:  October 4, 2016, Audiobook Release June 16, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 51 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st in Empire of Bones series; Book 1 ~ Empire of Bones

Impression:  Trouble found in the kingdom they found.

It's always darkest before the dawn!

In Empire of Bones, Commander Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey scored a stunning victory over the savage Pale Ones. Yet they paid a terrible price for it, one that left their ship crippled and changed the Princess forever.

As Kelsey struggles to master the combat enhancements the Pale Ones forcibly implanted inside her and Jared works feverishly to resurrect an ancient battlecruiser, they discover the Pale Ones aren’t as defeated as they seemed.

Jared and Kelsey race to unravel the secrets behind the ancient rebellion that destroyed galactic civilization and thwart unseen foes determined to take their new ship and their lives. If they fail, an entire planet dies.

First Sentence:
Kelsey Bandar, second in line to the Imperial Throne of the Terran Empire, fell with a crash loud enough to turn every head in the physical therapy center.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, at my request.

Jared's crew is stuck in the Pentagar Empire. Kelsey is recovering and going through therapy for her implants while on Pentagar. Jared is working on Courageous and Athena to fix them up and find a way to continue on the mission when a ship is ready. But Pentagar has their own troubles that royalty is not aware of. There is someone who wants usurp the throne. Jared and Kelsey along with the crew get stuck in the middle of it all.

Veronica is the voice of our crews once again. In this case of a vast crew, Veronica shines. I love listening to her as she gives me different tones, personalities, and emotions with each character relating to the moment they are in. She easily slips into the persona of each character, and the event they are living through so we can feel the emotions as well as hear them in her voice. Veronica gives the space opera a fourth dimension to absorb with the story.

We start in a little over a week from where we ended with Empire of Bones. I'm glad for that as I wanted to see Kelsey in her recovery! And there is plenty happening to keep our attention, with the new Empire and troubles they have, creating a fully functioning ship for Jared and crew to continue on, and finding a way to stop the Pale Ones from attacking again. Wow! It all fits together in a wonderful harmony as we explore with Kelsey and Jared, learning about the new worlds.

I got to thinking about this book because I can't find the words to express how much I really, truly enjoyed this book/series thus far. The question arose: How do you share when you simply love a book? What was it that drew me in? I don't know. Everything.

The characters are ones I really felt I became close to; Kelsey, Jared, Talbot, and many more. There are characters I don't like, but that's because of who they are and what they are doing. These characters are well written and I just want to scream they are bad to all to stop the troubles that will come. These characters spike my worry and suspense for when they will be found. But I love how our crew fights on and get better with each chapter and event. They never stop, having the determination to keep going.

The setting. I like the unknown of space. The troubles that could linger out there, waiting to find our characters. I like that there is action and fighting to go with it. This book is set in Pentagar and the systems around, which we have visited when attacking the Pale Ones. But we also see a bit more as we have a small crew land on a planet.

The plot. Wow. There is trouble in the paradise of Pentagar. There is always a threat to the throne and it crosses with what Jared, Kelsey, and their crew is trying to accomplish. Oh how things get complicated. We also are looking for the main AI system that sends commands to the Pale Ones. This needs to be found and stopped to stop the Pale Ones making more ships and soldiers like them. But what is found with doing this could open doors to more information! Yes!

The characters interact and are smart. They relate to their surroundings and adjust for them too. There's action and information. All the things I enjoy and draw me in.

So, to answer my previous question, this story/series (so far) has everything I love in one nice, neat package. Sweet find!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Audio Book Review: Destroyer of Worlds

Destroyer of Worlds

By:  J.F. Penn

Publish Date:  April 21, 2016, Audiobook Release September 14, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs 44 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Suspense, Thriller, Adventure

Series:  8th in ARKANE series; Book 1 ~ Stone of Fire, Book 2 ~ Crypt of Bone, Book 6 ~ The Gates of Hell, Book 7 ~ One Day in New York

Impression:  Hindu god statue that can destroy the world.

An ancient weapon threatens the heart of India.

From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, J.F.Penn.

A bomb explodes in the center of London and a fragment of an ancient Hindu sculpture is stolen from the ARKANE Headquarters by a secret organization bent on mass murder. If the sculpture is put together again, it will reveal the key to the Brahmastra, a weapon with the power of a nuclear explosion.

As those they love are threatened, ARKANE agents Morgan Sierra and Jake Timber must search for the pieces of the relic before it can be activated at the Kumbh Mela, the greatest pilgrimage on earth.

In a fast-paced adventure from the slums of Mumbai to the temples of Kolkata, the Taj Mahal in Agra to the killing fields of Rwanda, Morgan and Jake must find the pieces of the sculpture before it’s too late.

>>> Destroyer of Worlds is Book 8 in the ARKANE action adventure thriller series, but can be read as a stand-alone story.

First Sentence:
Tendrils of crimson dawn touched the Thames and turned the river to blood as it heralded a new day.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

A bomb in Westminster exposes the belly of the underground ARKANE headquarters, right where the vault holding artifacts that could destroy civilization. There is one thing that's stolen. A box that could lead to the destruction of the world. Morgan and Jake are on the case to find the remaining pieces before the person searching for them finds and puts them together.

I find Veronica to be one of the best narrators with pauses and speed of speech to go with the events of the story. She adds the right amount of suspense in the moment of pause and she picks up the cadence of speech with the race of the moment. All taking us along for the ride, drawing our hearts to slow and race with the story. She also adds different voice tones and accents for characters making listening a great pleasure.

J.F. Penn always starts us off quick with a huge event. I love these beginnings. They make me curious and hold my attention. I thrive off of every word when we start because I know it's going to set the events of the book to come. So much hinted at, so many questions. And we get all the connections and answers through out the story.

The story never seems to slow down for me either. There is always a closeness to the timing to keep me held to the words I'm hearing. I don't want to stop listening as there is so much to learn or action to live through. But I do stop, so I can piece together what I've learned, and it does all piece together.

Another thing, other than the story/plot writing that holds my attention is the characters. I enjoy Morgan and Jake as a team. The personal tension between Morgan and Jake starts to surface here. Maybe they'll grow closer? Hints have lead up to them possibly doing so. Then their's Director Mariette. Mariette plays a more important part in this book, even if he's not with our two agents throughout the book. We learn more about him and his past. And we get the story from the 'bad guys' POV as well. To see their thinking and actions is always a great addition to moving the story along and keeping me enthralled.

This book could be read/listened to on it's own. Sure, the previous books are mentioned, and may have you curious and wanting to go back to them. But the mentions are not detailed to the point that you feel you've missed something. The characters are human and their previous cases and what they've learned will linger with them in their minds, maybe even help them in the current situation, but you will get the information you need if that's the case.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Off for November For NaNoWriMo

I know. I've struggled with blog visiting the last few months, and I don't deserve to take November off for that reason. But... I'm going to take it. I've taken November off from blogging for the last several years to participate in NaNoWriMo. And I plan on doing the same again.

I have a story mapped out (since about 10 months ago) and ready to go. We'll see how mapping works for me with this story. I'm curious if it'll keep me on track or if I'll feel restricted. I'm looking forward to getting back in the writing sprint stage again. This is always fun (until I read back through the horror of word blending I was enjoying). I've been working on re-writes for so long I think I forget what this feeling is. So I'm going to get back at it!

The goal is to hit 50k words on Christmas Warmth (working title), my second Christmas Business story. I'm also going to be reading through Christmas Spirit (1st book, working title) to get back into the business world and different characters there.

I'll be starting about a week late though. I'm working on a content editing job, and pay work always comes first (I can't pass up the pay!). But I find there will be no problem catching up with the word count for the month. I usually finish early as it is, so I should easily hit 50k, and then some.

As for reviews and posts... I will have some audiobook reviews going live through the month. Audiobooks help me get through the day at work, so I'll still be listening there. I hope you stop by to check them out even though I won't be around much.

I'm hoping that after November life will calm a bit with kiddo and all that I'll get back on a schedule for blog visiting and writing and editing work. :)

Now, to make words!