Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday Post #107


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

We got a lot of rain here in California, which we really need, but it didn't come without some disaster. Big Sur had a big portion of Highway 1 wash out again.  This also happened in 2017 and it took over a year and big money to fix it back then. We vacation often in a coastal town just south of Big Sur and drive on up for lunch while taking in the beautiful ocean views. Guess we'll have to skip that on our next trip in April.

Photo from Caltrans

Of course just when we got walloped with this storm they re-opened restaurants for outdoor dining! It's sunny today, though, so we might go out and support a local establishment. I'm bringing a big coat, beanie and scarf, lol. They do have heaters and tenting, though. 

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
Click on cover for Goodreads link

I've loved Claudia Connor's McKinney/Walker series so I was thrilled to see she released a new book. They're all available on Kindle Unlimited now. 


We watched a couple more episodes of Bridgerton and now have three left to go. 

How was your week?

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Review: The Bachelor Cowboy by Jessica Clare

The Bachelor Cowboy (The Wyoming Cowboy #6) by Jessica Clare
Publication Date: January 26th 2021 by Berkley Books
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Layla and Jack were a cute couple thrown together by the auction, which was perfect as they had caught each other’s eye in the past and may never have acted on the attraction otherwise. Jack coaxing Layla into dates and more was sweet and downright hot!

Jack Watson was different from his older brothers. Where Hank and Caleb were a bit baffled by the opposite sex, Jack had no problem with women. He loved women and wasn’t shy at all around them. Jack knew his appeal and was confident without being a conceited ass, and I loved him for it!

Layla on the other hand wasn’t as confident, and as most women do, she had some insecurities not realizing just how sexy was. I did like that she was okay with being the smart, nerdy girl. I think she was more unique than nerdy, but this is coming from a nerdy bookworm, so what do I know? Lol! I blamed most of Layla’s insecurities on her mother.  Hated the mom! She was a narcissist through and through! Didn’t care about embarrassing Layla or taking advantage of her as long as she came out ahead.  I was glad Layla stood up to her and didn’t let her manipulate her.

Loved Oscar the little skittish Weiner dog and Sterling the cat. An adorable animal with personality always hits me right in the heart!

I’ve been loving Jessica Clare’s Wyoming Cowboy series! Hot and sweet, and I’m such a sucker for a sexy cowboy! This is book six in the series, but as all the books in the series it would work as a standalone fine.

4 Stars

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Review: Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner
Publication Date: January 19th 2021 by Dutton
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher & Purchased Audiobook
Narrator: Hillary Huber
Audiobook length: 12 hrs 7min

My Thoughts:
Frankie Elkin, a recovering alcoholic, with a tragic past has one thing she’s good at: finding missing persons.

Her newest case brings her to Mattapan, Boston where the case of a missing teenager, Angelique Badeau, has grown cold after eleven months.  Her raking up the past quickly gets the attention of the original investigating officer, Detective Lotham. At first, he’s very suspicious of Frankie’s motives in the case, does she want money or fame? But when her questions bring fresh leads out Lotham and Frankie form a reluctant team with an undercurrent of attraction between them.

Before She Disappeared was sort of old-school investigation of asking a question and then the next one instead of relying on forensics and police technology since Frankie didn’t have access to all of that.  She had a talent for shaking out information.

I liked Frankie, the way she effortlessly formed bonds with the people she met, even though she’s a self-proclaimed rolling-stone. Once settled on a new case she arrives in town and won’t leave until she finds the missing person. Frankie’s determination was admirable, but I do wish she’d allow herself to settle down, form roots and be happy. I think pulling up stakes when she finishes is her way of penance for a tragedy that was ultimately not her fault, and it made me sad thinking about it. That’s the thing about Lisa Gardner’s stories, she makes her characters come to life, flaws and all, so that you care about their happiness beyond just solving the current mystery.

I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Gardner’s smart, well-researched mysteries for years. Even before Goodreads. Not completely sure if there will be more books featuring Frankie as Ms. Gardner has said this is her first “standalone” in twenty years. If there are more, I’d like Frankie to forgive herself. Plus, I want more of Piper the “attack cat”!  I guess we’ll see.  Whatever she comes up with next I’ll be reading!

I’ve enjoyed Hillary Huber’s narration before so when I noticed she was narrating Before She Disappeared I grabbed up an audio copy so I could continue with the story while doing other things in real-life. Sometimes, you just don’t want to put the book down, lol! Ms. Huber has a rich, sultry voice which enhanced an already captivating story. I listened at 1.5x normal speed.  

4 Stars

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sunday Post #106


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

Last weekend was a busy one as I was out of town at our place in Central California. We met my daughter, son-in-law, and grand kids up there. Not much time for myself, but I had taken Monday off and I was able to relax at home and catch up with things. 

Yesterday I didn't feel like doing much, but I forced myself to get out and walk and then do an intense workout. Have you heard of Heather Robinson? Well, a c0-worker at the hospital recommended her workouts on YouTube and they're really good! Intense, but good! I'm feeling it today! 

Today we finally had a good amount of rain and I had our fireplace going. I love a cozy afternoon! 

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Before She Disappeared, Aftershock, and Hercule Poirot's Christmas were all wonderful mysteries. Always the Last to Know was emotional and full of real-life messiness. Really good. All the Colors of Night was a real page-turner! I'm giving away a copy HERE

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I can't tell you how beyond excited I am to get a copy of Wild Sign!! I'm seriously over-the-moon because I didn't think I'd get approved. I'm also really excited about An Unexpected Peril! I'm excited for all of these, but those two are ones I applied for. 


I was a young teenager in San Fernando Valley at the time of the Night Stalker, and let me tell you I was scared! That Summer my sister and I stayed up late many a night freaking out. This detailed the investigation at the time and I think a lot wasn't publicized or I was too young for all this to register. I'm glad it didn't because I would've been even more scared. This guy was evil and a total sicko! I can't believe he had female groupies!

How was your week?

Friday, January 22, 2021

Giveaway: All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz

 I meant to give a copy of All the Colors of Night with my review, but was pressed for time and forgot! So here it is, better late than never:

A Hardcover Copy of All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz provided by the lovely people of Berkley.  This was a fun, action packed mystery with just the right amount of romance! 
The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2020 Audiobook Challenge Final Check-In & 2021 Audiobook Challenge Sign Up


Thanks to Kimberly at Caffeinated Review & Hot Listens for hosting this challenge! I signed up last year for The 100 Club Audio Book Elite, and didn't quite make it. I got close with 93. 

Here are a few standout audios from last year:

Click on cover for Goodreads cover:

The challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer  again & That's What I'm Taking About. Thank you ladies! Click HERE if you'd like sign up as well. 

This year I'll be signing up for The 100 Club Audiobook Addict again! I've already logged five books so far and I plan on paying closer attention this year to my numbers so I'll hit 100 for sure. 
I've only signed up for two challenges this year, my Goodreads (150 books) and this one so I hope to make both. 

What challenges have you signed up for? 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Blog Tour Review: Aftershock by Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell

Aftershock (Dr. Jessie Teska #2) by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell
Publication Date: January 19th 2020 by Hanover Square Press
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

My Thoughts:
Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Jessie Teska has another puzzling mystery to solve when renowned architect, Leopold Haring, is found in what is at first thought to be a job-site accident. The scene doesn’t add up to Jessie and she quickly determines the man’s death to be a homicide. There’s no shortage of suspects as Mr. Haring wasn’t a very likeable character, especially on his job sites. To complicate matters there’s an earthquake which throws the city into chaos and inundates the Medical Examiner’s Office with cases.

Jessie is truly dedicated to her job, sometimes at the expense of her personal life. I did think she was a little reckless after the quake and I could understand Anup’s (her boyfriend) frustration with her to a certain extent, especially when it came to putting physical health at risk. But I also admired Jessie’s commitment to finding the truth for her victims. At one point, I was totally disappointed with Anup and could understand Jessie’s reactions. A surprise at the end has me wondering how it will all work out.

Jessie’s search for the truth is sprinkled in with investigative details that give the story a real-life feel, and I’m sure that’s because of the Ms. Melinek’s actual experience as a Medical Examiner, making the story captivating as well as believable.   Aftershock was cleverly plotted and kept me guessing until Jessie started connecting all the dots and the culprit was revealed.

While Aftershock is the second book in the series, I don’t think you necessarily have to read the First Cut to enjoy it.  You’d miss out on getting to know Jessie a little, though. Dr. Jessie Teska mysteries are perfect for crime-procedural fans, but Jessie’s personal life keeps me turning the pages, as well. She’s flawed, but I really like her, and I’m eager for the next book!

4 Stars

Book Description:
When an earthquake strikes San Francisco, forensics expert Jessie Teska faces her biggest threat yet in this explosive new mystery from the New York Times bestselling authors of Working Stiff and First Cut.

At first glance, the death appears to be an accident. The body is located on a construction site under what looks like a collapse beam. But when Dr. Jessie Teska arrives on the scene, she notices the tell-tale signs of a staged death. The victim has been murdered. A rising star in the San Francisco forensics world, Jessie is ready to unravel the case, help bring the murderer to justice, and prevent him from potentially striking again.

But when a major earthquake strikes San Francisco right at Halloween, Jessie and the rest of the city are left reeling. And even if she emerges from the rubble, there's no guaranteeing she'll make it out alive.

With their trademark blend of propulsive prose, deft plotting and mordant humor, this electrifying new installment in the Jessie Teska Mystery series offers the highest stakes yet.


About the authors:
Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell are the New York Times bestselling co-authors of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, and the novel First Cut. Dr. Melinek studied at Harvard and UCLA, was a medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. T.J. Mitchell, her husband, is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad to their children.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Review: All the Colors of Night by Jayne Ann Krentz


All the Colors of Night (Fogg Lake #2) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Publication Date: January 5th 2021 by Berkley
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Sierra Raines is a descendant of the Fogg Lake residents who were imbued with paranormal powers and sensibilities after a government experiment/research project gone wrong.

All the Colors of the Night is book two in the Fogg Lake series where the residents and descendants of Fogg Lake possess paranormal sensitivities and/or powers after a government research project gone wrong. Sierra Raines, the daughter of Fogg Lake parents has her own special gifts, but has had trouble settling on just what career path she wants to take. Currently she’s a “go-between” for the Vault, a paranormal artifact dealer and buyers who are in search of objects with paranormal properties. It’s not a danger free job as a lot of the collectors are seriously obsessive and some are downright unhinged. But Sierra isn’t a defenseless woman, so she keeps at it until a clearer path or calling presents itself.

North Chastain has lived with the tarnished reputation his Grandfather left. Rumored to have sold information on paranormal weapons to nefarious parties and disappearing without a trace North strives to make up for his Grandfather’s past sins. North works for the Foundation, a sort of policing body for the paranormal world, as investigator or cleanup crew when things go wrong. Lately, North’s holding onto his powers by a thread, having to wear paranormally charged sunglasses to stop the hallucinations and loss of power.

When North’s father, Chandler, is attacked and the paranormal artifact he had is stolen, North must find out how to reverse the paranormal damage that continues to disrupt and weaken his father’s aura or lose his him for good. For this he needs Sierra’s help, as her paranormal gift is perfect for tracking the artifact and the two are paired together. Of course, there’s an instant attraction between them which only increases as they work side by side.

I enjoyed this installment even more than the first. All the Colors of the Night was an exciting read! I was glued to the pages from the first scene until the end. As the clock winds down, North and Sierra face danger at every step, narrowing missing death a few times. North and Sierra get to know each other while searching for the solution to Chandler’s deteriorating condition, so it didn’t feel like an insta-love romance, but a natural and inevitable conclusion.  I was all in for their HEA.

All Colors of the Night is book two in the series, but I don’t think you need to read the previous book to enjoy the story. The history of Fogg Lake is explained enough were you don’t feel lost.

4 Stars

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Sunday Post #105

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week.

Well, this has been some week. We've been so busy at the hospital with Covid patients!  This is no joke people!  We even lost one of our beloved physicians on Thursday. He was older and had a lot of health issues, but was still plugging away. Covid was the last straw.  

On Wednesday, while at work, I didn't realize the extent of the all the chaos that happened in Washington DC until I got home and my husband filled me in.  What a disaster, but not all that surprising to be honest. 

In other news, I got the second dose of the Covid vaccine on Thursday and didn't feel so good Thursday and Friday. Among feeling sore all over, I had weird hot flashes. I seem to be in the minority with my reaction though, as my co-workers only felt sore at the injection site and not many other symptoms. So good news for most. My sister (she also works in a hospital) got her first dose last week and didn't have any symptoms other than a little soreness at the injection site.  I hope vaccinations role out fast for everyone else!

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Peril at End House is a re-read by audio for me. I think the last time I read the book was at least ten years ago, if not more. The audio was fantastic! Hercule always makes me laugh. Wrong Alibi wasn't my cup of tea and ended up being a DNF. The Wife Upstairs was a surprising, twisty take on Jane Eyre. Daylight was a page turner!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:


Back to old standbys. I need some comfort watching!

How was your week?