Monday, February 29, 2016

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: READ-ALONG

I am such a fan of the read-along! I'm just finishing up a read-along of Little Women and now going to hop right into a read-along of Northanger Abbey. Check out all of the details on Amber's blog Seasons of Humility. I hope you can join in the fun!

Little Women Read-Along: Discussion #3

Today is the last day for discussing the read-along of Little Women. I've enjoyed reading this classic and I have enjoyed discussing it with fellow book bloggers. Head over to Jenni's blog to link up with your answer to these questions:

  1. What do you think about the girls now? Has your opinion of them changed since the beginning or even the middle of the story? I love how they have all grown up into mature women. Loved that they still went to Marmee for advice. Especially Meg when she was having husband troubles. Love how Amy matured and realized that she wouldn't have married a man just for his money. Poor Jo seemed to take a while to mature, but at least she knew her mind about not marrying Laurie.
  2. At the end of the book, which character do you relate to most? Is it a different character than at the beginning? Probably Meg. Maybe because we saw more of her married life in her struggle to balance babies and husband and home. I remember having those struggles as well. Yes, different than who I thought at the beginning. I thought I was more like Jo, or maybe that was wistful thinking since I love her personality? 
  3. Do you think Beth should’ve died when and in the way she did? I think Beth died the way she lived her life. Quietly and with dignity. It was sad, but really since I'm not the author I have no idea of any other way. This is part of the story and I wouldn't change it.
  4. How do you feel about Laurie’s romantic decisions? Did his relationship with Amy seem developed enough to be sincere? I think he was sincere, I think a lot of their relationship was inferred so we didn't see a lot of interaction but apparently they hung out a lot while abroad and therefore had plenty of time to get to know each other and develop a romance. I think Amy showed him that she could be a strong person when she chewed him out for being lazy. Maybe that reminded him a bit of Jo's spunk?
  5. How do you feel about Jo’s romantic decisions? Do you think they were consistent with her character? I think Jo admired a person for their brains and that Mr. Bhaer fit that description perfectly. He could match wits with her, challenge her to be better than what she was and keep up with her energy. All of his romping around with the children showed he was young at heart. I think he was perfect for her.
  6. What do you think about the names the girls and their husbands gave to their children? Honestly I can only think of Demijohn at the moment and I think that is a weird name but whatever...
  7. If this was your first time reading Little Women, what do you think? Did it meet your expectations? Would you read it again? If this was a reread, do you feel the same as you did when you read it the first time? Or, has your opinion changed? It was so long ago that I read this book that I didn't have any opinions going in, it was like reading it for the first time. I enjoyed it, but did find it a bit long and rambling at times...and dare I say maybe a bit boring in parts? But the overall story was perfect.
  8. Do you have a favorite quote or passage from Little Women? Not really. I thought there were many things that Marmee said that were very wise. I really liked when Jo went to her father after Beth's death and they consoled each other. But nothing really stands out as a favorite quote.
  9. Would you change anything about the story if you could? If so, what? Maybe some of the extra that had nothing to do with the girls, but just the author philosophizing. 
  10. Even though the setting for Little Women is quite different from today’s world, do you think we can learn anything from this story? If so, what? I think that I liked the morality of the story. I would love for life to be as innocent as it once was. Where we call each other to higher standards, where respect for one another was held high. Life was valued and integrity held high. I'll finish with that so this answer doesn't become preachy. :)
There will be a Twitter chat tonight and a movie watch on Friday night. Head over to Jenni's blog and check out all of the details. If you read along leave a comment on what you thought about the book. Are you a fan of read-alongs? I start a new one tomorrow and am very excited about it. It is so fun to discuss a book as you read it with others! Until next time...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Web of Shadows by Susan Sleeman

When Quinn Stone's teenage brother loses his computer after hacking into the No-Fly-List Quinn must go to his ex-girlfriend to enlist her help. Nina Brandt works for the FBI in the cyber crimes division. Nina couldn't handle Quinn's job as a SEAL and when Quinn chose his SEAL family over her their relationship was over. Nina is unable to turn Quinn's request for help away when it involves Quinn's brother. Nina loves Ty and is determined to help him fix the scrape that he has gotten himself into. None of them have counted on who has gotten hold of Ty's computer. Bent on destroying Nina's life, this person will stop at nothing to see her brought down.

Another excellent suspense novel from one of my favorite authors! Susan Sleeman knows how to keep the reader turning the pages quickly while also keeping the reader's pulse hammering while turning those pages! One of the things I enjoy about the Agents Under Fire series is you know who the bad guy is and get to see into his thoughts. You get to see what makes him tick and what motivates the vengeance that he seeks. I also love the strong female characters in the series. In the course of her investigation Nina has to confront a fear she has and she does it remarkably well. I did think she put herself in some unnecessary predicaments in order to prove she was strong, but that added to the suspense of the story. I enjoyed the romance between Quinn and Nina and now am looking forward to reading Nina's co-worker Becca's story. Web of Shadows kept me on the edge of my seat and was the perfect reward for myself after I spent the day cleaning my house!

Check out my review of WEB OF DECEIT 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Remnants: Season Of Glory by Lisa T. Bergren

Remnants Season of Glory starts right where Remnants Season of Fire left off. The Ailith have just rescued Dri, Ronan and Dri's parents from Pacifica and are now making their escape back to Ronan and Dri's beloved Valley. There they will regroup and rest in preparation for the battle that the Ailith have been called for, the ultimate fight against good and evil.

Keallach still desires to have Dri as his own and devises a plan to infiltrate the Ailith and ultimately win her over to rule with him. Keallach is feeling the calling upon him though and is confused. Having been under Sethos's power for years Keallach doesn't know his own mind. Drawn to the Ailith as his kin, he still feels the pull of the dark forces and Sethos's influence.

As more and more people come to the Valley in support of the Way Sethos knows he must stop this movement if he ever wants to have ultimate power over the people of the land. In order to gain that power there must be a marriage between Keallach and Dri and Sethos is determined to do all in his power to make that happen.

Wow! Just Wow! I loved every bit of Season of Glory! It was so hard to put this book down. I found myself so wrapped up in the things that were happening that when it came time for me to do my adulting it was very difficult to leave their world behind! Dri, Ronan and the rest were always on my mind as I went about being a responsible adult and I couldn't wait to immerse myself in their world once again. The battles were epic and exciting and had my heart pounding! Season of Glory was a bit of a reunion of all of the characters the Ailith have met along their journey, it was good to catch up with all of those who had been touched by the Maker.

Season of Glory is filled with so many spiritual aspects. Redemption and restoration are two things that came to mind while reading this last book in the series. The battle of good vs. evil is a relevant lesson taught and I loved how the author used the spiritual realm to depict angels and demons fighting for souls, and how the Maker calls us for a purpose higher than our own desires.

The Remnant series is a must read in my opinion, and I have to say you will not be disappointed!

Check out my reviews of the first two books:

Remnants: Season of Wonder
Remnants: Season of Fire

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

COLD SHOT by Dani Pettrey Sweepstakes Information

Enter the COLD SHOT Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey


In COLD SHOT, the first book of author Dani Pettrey’s brand new Chesapeake Valor series, park ranger Griffin McCray and forensic anthropologist Finley Scott uncover buried remains near the Civil War battleground of Little Round Top. There’s only one problem: the bones aren’t Civil War-era.

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but when Finley discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper, the case connects them with FBI agent Declan Grey, and crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell, friends from a past Griffin’s tried to leave behind.

Soon the reunited friends realize they’ll need to confront the darkest days in their shared history if they–and those they care about–are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting new series, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the COLD SHOT SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:

This giveaway starts February 16, 2016 and ends March 7, 2016 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Tuesday, March 8, 2016, and announced at

About the Prizes



In COLD SHOT, Griffin reunites with friends after they’ve drifted apart over the years. Do you have a friend you want to reconnect with? Here’s your chance to hit the road with them for a friend getaway!

Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to, good for reservations at lodges across the Continental US, plus a $50 Darden restaurants gift card, and a Chesapeake Bay tote bag, to pack your road trip essentials.



Cold Shot Sweepstakes Second Prize
Finley has a lifelong love of travel and exploration, something captured in her cozy home decor, right down to her steamer trunk coffee table. This prize gives you a chance to have a steamer trunk just like Finley’s, and a coffee table book from the Chesapeake Bay to go with it.

Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 value cedar wood steamer trunk and vivid Maryland coffee table photo book.



Cold Shot Sweepstakes Third Prize
COLD SHOT is sure to leave you with a craving for the mouth-watering snacks Griffin, Finley, and the rest of the crew enjoy in the story. If you wish you could sample Chesapeake’s one-of-a-kind local fare too, this prize is for you.

Our Third Prize winner will receive: The beautifully lithographed, $50 value Taste of Maryland Tin, including the Chesapeake Bay Cookbook and famed local treats such as Old Bay Seasoning, Maple Syrup, Maryland crab soup mix, specialty dip, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams.

How to Enter:

Go to: and complete the entry box, anytime between February 16 – March 7, 2016.

Check Out My Review of Cold Shot HERE.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Little Women Read Along Part Two

Kami at Kami's Library Thoughts is hosting the discussion questions for today's read along. Head over and grab the questions and see what she has to say about our reading so far.

Here are my answers:

Chapters 18 - 33 Discussion Questions:

1.    What would be your dream cast for the March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy), Marmee, Laurie, and whoever else you'd like to cast. Honestly I am just not good at picturing people in particular rolls. My brain just doesn't think that way. Plus I don't keep up with all of the "latest and greatest" or who the "it" people are of the moment. I don't watch a lot of TV or movies so I really have no idea who I would cast. I am perfectly content to let others have this pleasure. :)

2.    How do you feel about Meg and Mr. Brooke's relationship? Seems fitting for the times. I didn't think Meg was into Mr. Brooke at first, but she sure changed her tune quickly. Their tiff when he brought a guest home for dinner and Meg had the jelly fiasco made me laugh. Both expecting the other to apologize. I think all married couples have had those moments where one has to give in in order to smooth things over and thaw the atmosphere of the home.

3.    How do you feel about Jo's reaction to Meg getting married? Poor Jo, wants everything to remain the same, yet she wants her sisters to be happy. I think there is always a sadness for the sisters left behind at home when a sibling marries. Jo adjusted just fine.

4.    The girls are growing up and changing, do you feel differently towards them now than you did at the beginning? Naw, I think they have all carried the teachings of their mother with them into their adulthood.

5.    Two important men were introduced in these chapters. What are your impressions of Mr. March and Professor Bhaer? Mr. March doesn't seem to be in the story much. Kind of a background character. I'm liking Professor Bhaer but I guess didn't realize how much older he was than Jo. Plus that she thought him not that good looking. ha! 

6.    Do you think it was fair that Amy got to go to Europe instead of Jo? I actually do think it was fair. Wasn't Amy the one that had taken over taking care of the Aunt instead of Jo? Plus really Jo's mouth did get her into trouble that time so it came back to bite her in the butt.

7.    What are your thoughts on the time period and setting of the book? Do you like it? Why do you think a very important historical event like the Civil War is hardly mentioned in the story? I've been thinking of this actually. I guess I never realized that it was set during that time in history and from seeing movies and reading books such as Gone With The Wind I would be expecting more of the reconstruction and history of the times, but I guess Louisa May Alcott was more interested in the characters than the era. I like that too :)

8.    Louisa May Alcott supposedly patterned the March sisters after herself and her own sisters. How accurate do you think she portrayed her family? Do you think a lot of the book is an idealized version of her and her sisters? I guess I would have to read a biography of LMA in order to make a judgment on this question. I have no idea what her life was like so cannot compare. 

9.    Why do you think Louisa May Alcott later added Part 2 to the book? Maybe someone read it and wanted to know how the March family story turned out so she added on? Or was it two stories and she combined the two eventually? In that case maybe it was a publishing decision? 

10.    What is your favorite adaptation of Little Women and why? Are we talking movie or books? I haven't read it but twice and cannot even remember what the book looked like years ago when I read it for the first time. As for movies I think the only one I've actually seen is the 1949 version with June Allyson, Peter Lawford and Elizabeth Taylor. I'm looking forward to the watch along of the 1994 version :)

I'm enjoying this read along, but once again whew the chapters are long! I just finished up the reading for this section this morning. Have you read Little Women? Feel free to answer the questions or leave a comment of your thoughts on the story.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Casey Cox finds her best friend murdered. She knows that she will be blamed for his murder so Casey leaves town. Casey also knows that somehow Brent's death has to do with the supposed suicide of her father 12 years before. Casey never believed that her father committed suicide, but who pays attention to a 12 year old? Casey would like to prove her innocence, but knows that the evidence overwhelmingly proves that she murdered her friend.

Dylan Roberts has been suffering from PTSD since he got out of the military. He's tried to get a job with the police department, but with his PTSD nobody will hire him. When his former friend Brent is murdered the family hire Dylan to find the woman who did this. If Dylan can find Casey it will show the police that he is reliable enough to hire. As Dylan searches for Casey he finds too many things that don't add up. Everyone that Casey is friends with do not believe that Casey could do such a thing as murder. Everyone that Dylan talks to has nothing but good to say of Casey. Her personality is not that of a murderer. But Dylan's job is to find her and let justice run its course.

Casey may change her name and her life, but she can't change her personality. Casey is a caring person by nature and that care is demonstrated to the people she comes in contact with as she seeks to disappear from her old life. That caring nature may become her downfall in the end.

I really enjoyed this book! From the very beginning I was hooked. I liked the fact that Casey knew what needed to be done to disappear. I liked the fact that she wasn't a simpering female ready to fall apart when things got bad. I also liked that she remained true to her nature by stepping in and helping someone even when it meant that she would possibly be caught. While the book wasn't filled with suspense it had its moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. I was disappointed in the ending as I feel like too many things were left hanging. That may have been the intention of the author in preparation for another book, but it made for a very unsatisfying ending. Other than that I enjoyed every moment of my reading experience with this book.

**UPDATE** The author let me know that there are 2 more books planned for the series! So I don't have to remain disappointed about not knowing what happens! Woohoo!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart

When Erica Sparks is offered a job at GNN in New York City it is a dream come true. When a ferry accident happens right before her eyes Erica and her crew catch it all on live TV and that event launches Erica's career. When another tragedy occurs while Erica is on air she launches an investigation into the 2 events.

Nyles Hastings, the owner of GNN, is proud of his new superstar news reporter. But Nyles isn't looking for Erica to investigate the two incidents. Nyles would rather have Erica behind an anchor desk where he can control the stories she reports.

Being an anchor behind the desk is not Erica's style. She wants to be out breaking the news stories and she can't let the two accidents go uninvestigated. Especially when someone helping her is put in the hospital in order to be silenced. As Erica's investigation brings her closer to the truth her life and those she loves are put in danger.

I've really become quite a fan of Lis Wiehl's writing and found this new book to be quite entertaining and exciting. From the beginning she keeps the reader involved in the suspense and investigation. I found that the behind the scenes information of what goes into a news story was interesting and added depth and believe-ability to the story. There was a bit of romance which helped move the story along and gave Erica's character credibility. I liked that Erica had a past and saw that that would be used against her eventually. I also liked that Erica's character was "nice" and not a barracuda like some newscasters come across. Apparently this is the beginning of a new series so I look forward to seeing what comes next.

**I received my copy for review purposes from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers**

**Warning** There are some mild curse words in this book.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Little Women Read Along: Discussion 1

Well I don't know how time got away with me but I was unable to finish all 17 chapters. I read through chapter 12. I'm going to have to catch up somewhere, but aren't these chapters LONG?! You can go to Suey''s blog at It's All About Books  to read her post about the first 17 chapters. There was also a Twitter discussion last night that I was unable to make. Here are the discussion questions and my answers:

  1. What's your opinions so far about each of the girls? Do you identify more with one or the other of them? Do you like them, or do they get on your nerves in a way? Which one do you think would be your friend? Well I really like Jo, but probably would identify more with Beth. She's quiet, and shy and I tend to be that way in a large setting of people. 
  2. What do you think of Mrs. March aka. Marmee? What's one of your favorite pieces of advice or lessons she's taught the girls so far? I like Marmee, she's a very wise and caring woman. I like this lesson, "My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one." and this one, "Work is wholesome, and there is plenty for everyone. It keeps us from ennui and mischief, is good for health and spirits, and gives us a sense of power and independence better than money or fashion." 
  3. Do you think that the characterization of these girls and this family is realistic? Explain. I imagine for the times it was very realistic. I love their innocence and their ability to entertain themselves. 
  4. What's your favorite scene or incident so far? And why? Jo's cooking adventure. It amused me.
  5. If this is your second (or third etc.) time reading this story, what stands out to you this time? I read it years and years ago, I didn't realize how long a book it was. I'm reading on my Kindle and it so happens to give me the pages in the book and there are over 600! Goodness, that's a lot! I'm finding the chapters rather long and some of the dialogue a little boring. 
  6. If this is your first time reading this story, is it meeting your expectations? Or is it different than expected? Explain. Even though this is my 2nd time reading, I feel like it is my first because I don't remember it very well. As far as expectations see my answer to question 5. 
  7. How do you feel about Jo cutting off her hair? Was this incident surprising to you? Do you think it's symbolic of anything? I didn't get this far yet.
  8. What's your feeling about the inclusion of poems, letters, stories, plays and etc. into the story? Some I find amusing, some silly, some unnecessary. 
  9. Any thoughts in particular on the male characters in this story? So far just Laurie and his grandfather, oh and the guests for their picnic. I'll leave judgment for later :)
  10. Are you liking this reading experience? If yes, why? If not, why? I'm hoping to be able to catch up and concentrate more on the story and therefore enjoy the experience more. I do like read-alongs so am looking forward to going and seeing what everyone else is thinking about the book.
There you have it! I'm going to head over to Suey's blog and link up and go read everyone else's answers. If you have read Little Women before what did you think of it? 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Murder in the Winter by Steve Demaree

This is book 2 in the Dekker Cozy Mystery series. I have to say that this is not my favorite series. I can't really put my finger on it, but the authors constant reference to Cy and his partner Lou's girth/weight/largeness/rotundness/whatever got annoying in this book. Constantly strapping on the feed bag at the Blue Moon was over-the-top excessive. Cy's dislike for his neighbor and her dog was annoying as well. I think what the author thought as witty and sarcastic was overdone and awkward. That being said, I did like the mystery, but probably not enough to make me want to buy the next book in the series. If it ever is offered on Amazon as a free read then sure, I'll get it to add to the collection, and maybe even take the time to read it, but for now the antics of Cy and Lou will be put away and I'll move on to something a bit more mature to read.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Thaw by Holly Schindler

This is the 2nd book in the Finley Short Story Cycle series. There will be one story each month throughout 2016. I actually like the idea of the series cycle, especially with this one since each story will be able to stand on it's own. In January Thaw Annie returns to Finley for an art show. Her friend Justin is a newspaper writer and has just given her art show in another town a bad review. Justin thinks Annie has lost her sparkle in her art. Annie and Justin spend a snow-bound evening helping each other rediscover their first loves. I am definitely a fan of the town of Finley and the cast of characters found there. Looking forward to each installment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Park ranger Griffin McCray finds a body buried in a Gettysburg cemetery. Unfortunately that body is not part of the Civil War bodies that are buried there. This body is more recent. Finley Scott is called in to identify the remains. 
The person who hid the body does not want the remains identified and will do anything within their power to keep evidence from pointing to them, including kill again.

Griffin recognizes the bullet wound in the body as the work of an assassin. Griffin has no desire to work with Finley. She is too attractive and Griffin refuses to let anyone inside of his heart. Finley has a way of winning people over though. Griffin appoints himself as her protector while the murder investigation is underway, it is hard to keep up barriers while spending so much time with Finley.

Both Finley and Griffin have pain in their past that makes them vulnerable and has hurt past relationships. The chemistry between them though is hard to deny and soon those barriers begin to break down. Will Griffin be able to protect Finley from their unseen foe before it is too late?

I think this is a solid start to a new series for Dani Pettrey. I did think that the romance between Finley and Griffin moved too quickly. It seemed like one minute Griffin was stand-offish to Finley(yet attracted to her), and then in the next moment they were so in love there was nobody else on the planet! I felt like I missed a chunk of the story somewhere. I was like, "What? When did that happen?" Other than that I think I am going to like all of the characters in this new series. Looking forward to seeing what happens with Parker, Declan, Ashley, Kate and maybe even finding out what has happened to Luke, the missing "pirate" of the group.