BOOKS AND BLOGGING PHILOSOPHY

Philosophy is defined as a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought. Well, my theory is if I can add at least 10 new books to my Wishlist and move at least 5 older Wishlist selections to my TBR list every month, then life is a ice cream sundae. And if I can find those 10 books from at least 5 new blogs each month then that's the cherry on top.

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!

NEW VISITORS AND OLD- WELCOME!
Well, I've made it almost 5 years now, so for better or worse, I continue on. I tend to blog in spurts as the urge to be creative erupts. As I don't have an artistic bone in my body, you will see very few changes in the layouts. Hey, I'm a reader not an artist like so many of the awesome bloggers I follow. I know you don't always have the time but if you stopped and looked, take a half a minute and say your piece. Recommend a book that you have enjoyed or hated for that matter. Thank you to all who visit.
Oh, and I moved my Google Friend Connect info and share this buttons to the top, as without our friends, who are we?


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review For GUNSLINGER GIRL By Lyndsay Ely- 3 1/2*

Title: Gunslinger Girl

Series: (at this point a standalone)

Author: Lyndsay Ely
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: * * * 1/2
Publishers: James Patterson Presents
(Jan 2, 2018)
Hardback: 432 pages
FTC Disclosure: My copy

James Patterson presents a bold new heroine--a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow's West. 
Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great....


In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

This was an okay read. It didn't blow me away but I did manage to read it pretty quickly. Serendipity is not even close to being in the same category as Katniss Everdeen, however. I think marketers really make a huge mistake when they compare a new book to the incomparable-IE Hunger Games or Harry Potter. They hold up an example that can rarely be met and readers go away disappointed with what was a good read just not the next great read. 
That said I did enjoy the trip just wish there had been a bit more Western feel to it given the cover, the very awesome cover! I also wish there had been a bit more backstory of the Second Civil War. I feel like this was an area that was so lacking and could have added a lot more oomph to the story. I liked that this didn't have the typical love triangle (thank you so much, Lyndsay) in so many YA books and loved the theater aspect of it. Several reviewers compared it to a carnivale type but it actually gave me a Moulin Rouge feel. This book had a good strong start to it but it dragged a bit in the middle before it's grand finale. There is definitely a possibility of another book in this series with the way it ends and the author says "We'll see" when questioned on this. 

Lyndsay Ely (pronounced “eel-y”, as in those eels are looking very eel-y today) is a writer who currently calls Boston home. She is a geek, a foodie, a feminist, and has never met an antique shop she didn’t like. Her favorite color is crimson, and her favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.
Gunslinger Girl is her debut novel.

Review For HARD RAIN By B J Daniels-5*

Title: Hard Rain

Series: Montana Hamiltons
Author: B J Daniels
Genre: Western Romance
Rating: * * * * *
Publishers: 
(Mar 22, 2016)
Paperback: 384 pages
FTC Disclosure: My copy

Sooner or later, every family secret comes to light... 
When Brody McTavish sees Harper Hamilton's runaway horse galloping across the pastures, he does what any good cowboy would do - gives chase and rescues her. Unfortunately for him, the woman he's secretly loved for years didn't need saving, and she's just reached her limit with people treating her as hopeless. But they soon have bigger problems when they make a gruesome discovery - human remains revealed by a recent rainstorm. Remains that will dredge up old Hamilton family mysteries... and bring about a scandal that could threaten all Harper's loved ones.
With her father running for president, every move Harper makes is under scrutiny. But despite the risks, she's determined to uncover the truth about her family's role in a long-ago murder. If she can trust him enough, Brody will be more than an ally. He could be the only thing standing between Harper and an enemy intent on keeping the past buried forever.


Montana Hamiltons
1. Wild Horses (2015)
2. Lone Rider (2015)
3. Lucky Shot (2015)
4. Hard Rain (2016)
5. Into Dust (2016)
6. Honor Bound (2016)


First of all, if you are expecting a Carolyn Brown laugh until you cry. Western Romance, park your expectations at the door. This is pure and simple Intrigue with a little romance sprinkled in that takes place in Montana. This is NOT a bad thing! Just know going in that other than riding a horse two or three times, the word ranch throw in occasionally, and maybe 50 pages devoted to romance, you will be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what's going on and who the murderer is (plus a few finer details that I won't mention as I don't want to spoil anything).
I picked up this book while looking for something to cleanse my palette of YA books I'd been reading recently and unfortunately did not notice that this was book 4 in a 6 book series. This was absolutely no problem as it could stand on its own. However, it hooked me so well that now I must have the rest of the books in the series. I do have book 6 but will just have to contain myself until the earlier books arrive. One of the many advantages to reading a series that is complete is being able to order all the rest of the books used from PaperBackSwap or Amazon and binge read them all.
I loved both of the main characters in the story. Brody has been waiting for years for Harper to grow up enough to pursue and Harper has weighted every guy she has ever met against Brody. So the time is finally here and what happens but they stumble over a body on the ranch while looking for her runaway horse. (see ranch and horse-western). Anyway, this body is part of the ongoing mystery of Harper's missing Mom who has recently returned after 24 years with no memory of what has gone on for the last 2 decades. Combine this with the body they have stumbled over and their decision to investigate since both of their families are involved makes for some tense action in this small Montana town. While the murder is resolved by the end of the book, there are many unanswered questions that make this a series well worth diving into.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review & Excerpt Tour For NIKAN REBUILT By Scarlett Cole

Does the past ever really stay in the past? Find out in Scarlett Cole’s NIKAN REBUILT, the steamy, third standalone in her rockstar romance series, Preload. After years of no contact, Nik and first love Jenny’s connection still blazes between them. Will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?

Don’t know about you, but we love a great Rockstar romance. And Scarlett Cole knows how to write a great Rockstar romance. We are excited to share with you NIKAN REBUILT, book three in Cole’s Preload series. Follow the tour for reviews, excerpts, and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card + ebook copies of JORDAN RECLAIMED and ELLIOTT REDEEMED!

Title: Nikan Rebuilt
Author: Scarlett Cole
Series: Preload #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press SWERVE
Format: Digital and Paperback

From the queen of heart-pounding, sexy, emotional romance Scarlett Cole comes Nikan Rebuilt, the next novel in the Preload series.
Does the past ever really stay in the past?                                        

Nikan can never be complete. He's got a rock group made up of the family he built for himself, more money than he knows what to do with, and a stream of groupies falling over themselves to date him. But none of them are her. The one regret that still plagues him, still taunts him with what he could have had.
Jenny is a survivor. Now running a group home after overcoming life in a cult lead by her manipulative father and watching her mother drink the poison he fed his followers, she fights to keep the light in the eyes of every boy who walks through her doors. Far from simple young love, Nik taught her to trust, showed her how good life could be. Before he formed the band. Before he became a famous rockstar. Before he destroyed it all. A chance meeting after years of no contact shows the connection still blazes between them. But will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2y3oLp1
Chapters Indigo http://bit.ly/2zl2C5Q



NIKAN REBUILT Excerpt
Copyright © 2017 Scarlett Cole

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Growing up in a small town, Granite Falls, North Carolina,  in the 1960s was both tough and fun. My Dad had left the Navy and moved my Mom, me, aged 6 and my siblings, 4 and 2 from Long Beach, California back to their hometown of Granite Falls after serving his country on a Naval cruiser, the USS Rochester, for ten years. He would be gone for six to nine months on tours and then at home on base for three (hince the eighteen month difference between my siblings and me. He managed to get my Mom pregnant every other time he came home:). He had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and many other places that a farm boy could only dream of. 
He didn't feel it was fair for my Mom to carry the whole load alone for raising three small children without any relatives for backup and took what the Navy taught him as a welder back to this small town where he worked for the next thirty years for what was to become PNG. We lost him pretty early to a massive heart attack at only 56. 
Granite Falls  was the typical Hallmark/Mayberry smalltown. The kids walked to school, to the library, downtown and all over with no worries or fears. The downtown area had a Five & Dime where as kids anytime we had a nickle to spend, we would visit. You could go there and "shop" for hours and see (what seemed to us) thousands of items to buy, mostly penny candy.
Every Christmas our aunts (who were very young teenagers and always glad to walk us downtown as it meant they got to flirt with the boys at the drugstore) would take us on our annual Christmas shopping trip to the Five & Dime to spend our carefully hoarded coins for presents for our Mom & Dad. This year we knew exactly what to get my Dad as he had been watching TV one day and we heard him say to my Mom "Now THAT'S what I want for Christmas this year!" We were so excited to be able to get this "perfect" Christmas gift because we knew it was something he had seen and we knew we could actually afford it.
Now remember back in the 60's the guys wore their hair slicked back like James Dean or for you younger guys Fonzie.
My Dad had the thickest, curliest, black hair (most of the Williams' in my family had that awesome trait) and I was always jealous that my siblings had it while mine was dishwater blonde, thick and curly, though it did morph into a rich dark brown later on. We thought his hair was so beautiful and looking back at pictures of him and his siblings now, they looked like Hollywood models.
Well, to continue with the "perfect Christmas Gift", it was a tube of Brylcreem. Brylcreem is what my son today calls hair product and it is still available for sell, who knew!


An Icon 
Since 1928.

Brylcreem was an instant hit with British soldiers during WWII. It quickly became standard issue for military pilots, who had a reputation for being cutting edge and sophisticated, to keep their longer hair perfectly in place during intense air battles.

Through the decades the look has stuck. From slick 50’s ad execs to today’s red carpet. 89 years later, the look continues to be an icon of men’s style.

Their earlier punch line had been "A Little Dab'll Do Ya" and the 1965 commercial my Dad  had seen was "Are you man enough to try it?" Here is the commercial thanks to Youtube. Actually it was rather creepy. Between the actor, music,  and the tone, it reminded me a bit of the opening sequence for a Twilight Zone episode.



Well, we did our shopping, keeping the "perfect gift" a secret and really excited because though both Mom & Dad kept guessing what we'd bought, they never got it right. 
Christmas day arrived and we opened our gifts full of excitement. Now in those days money was tight so we usually got a new outfit of clothes for school, a stocking that always had an apple, an orange and some nuts in it and generally one toy, a doll if you were a girl and a set of cowboy pistols and a hat or a truck if you were a boy. There weren't these endless piles to open like today. And we appreciated what we got and played with it for years. 
My Dad was the quiet type that always waited for everyone else to open their stuff and admire it before opening his. We were so excited and couldn't wait for him to open his gift. Finally, he gets it open, pulling each piece of tape off and excruciatingly unwrapping it without tearing the paper (back then you saved all the paper and bows to use again the next year). 
He looks at the tube of Brylcreem kind of funny and thanks us. We are so excited as we tell him we heard him telling our Mom that that was what he wanted for Christmas this year. To our amazement, he looks at my Mom and she looks at him and they both burst out laughing. My Dad laughed till he had tears in his eyes  and every time he would catch my Mom's eye all day they both would break out into laughter. He assured us that we had gotten him exactly what he wanted though he couldn't say it without falling down laughing. 
It wasn't until years later that we realized that he had been teasing my Mom when he saw the commercial and was talking about the WOMAN coming out of the tube. He faithfully used the Brylcreem over the next year with my Mom teasing him each time  and both of them laughing  for years over his "perfect gift". The one thing I remember more than anything about my Mom and Dad while growing up was the laughter and love they shared. My Dad though a very quiet man, was one who enjoyed teasing my Mom and making us all laugh. I hadn't realized till sitting here writing about this memory how that teasing quality and his ability to make us laugh is also one of the most endearing qualities of my husband's. Thirty five plus years and he still makes me laugh.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

I ordinarily do not do New Year's Resolutions. But I started on this one three weeks ago and boy does it feel invigorating. I started blogging about 8 years ago so the emails I receive have built up to an alarming number over the years. My fault totally, as I can't say NO.
I get, on an average, around 300 emails a day (peak days as many as 500). A day mind you! No one can possibly go through that many. So I made the decision to clean out all of the ones from authors. My favorite, I buy everything you've ever written, to those that I only vaguely know what you write authors. This way I can actually read the ones from bloggers about new releases. I promote a lot of new books and had found myself agreeing to newsletters from all you authors. Ordinally this would not be a problem as I expected to hear from you maybe 4 or 5 times a year. Well, there are so many out there that I hear from EVERY SINGLE DAY! I kid you not! Sometimes, twice in one day. You let me know about everything that's going on in your lives, every time the price on a book drops, when you move, when the toilet backs up, and hell even when NOTHING is going on! I also get newsletters from most publishers, not realizing that often this meant every one of their authors too. So I made the decision to clean it up.
No, I'm not interested in responding why I've canceled your newsletter


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If I filled this out for everyone I've opted out of that would be up about 800 times, nor will the sad puppy dog eyes encourage/shame me into changing my mind (though I did choose to follow many of you on Facebook or Twitter). I generally already know when you have a new release coming out as I now have time to read your ARCs, other blogger's newsletters and comment on their reviews. I was spending (wasting) so much time deleting unread emails that I didn't have time to read my books. So I have now whittled my daily email intake to a more manageable number so that I can get back to the business of reading new books, reviewing them, blogging about them, and reading the blogs of other reviewers. I now spend less than an hour going through the emails and even responding to many of them. So I'm going to be strong and NOT subscribe to new newsletters and continue to caul out any that did not get caught in the first time draft. I still love reading your books, I just don't need to hear from you every SINGLE day.
Oh- and HAPPY NEW YEARS!