Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday Post #182

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.

So happy to be at home this weekend! I've been doing well with my exercise and pretty good with my eating this week. The weather has been gorgeous! The trees are really changing colors out here and it's so pretty! We've had a few cold days and we've had our wood burning stove running quite a bit. Very cozy. Today it warmed up a little from the previous days getting to 68 degrees we sat outside to eat our lunch.
We've had a lot of construction on the house this week, taking out a wall between the kitchen/dining/living room and adding a big support beam. Today I stained that support beam and I'm bushed. I like the way it turned out.

Fall colors in the yard

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Still not able to manage more than three books but I felt like I got through a lot. Archangel's Resurrection was kind of a long book. I'm a good ways through a couple of other books. 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:


My current giveaway. Link on the sidebar.

How was your week?

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Romantic Suspense/Mystery Book Giveaway!

 Hello readers! I'm listing another giveaway because my bookshelves only have so much room!

I loved all three of these stories! I've linked them to my reviews.  

All are hardcover:

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner (I accidently bought 2 copies!!)

The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Review & Excerpt: Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin


Vanishing Hour by Laura Griffin
Publication Date: October 25th 2022 by Berkley & Dreamscape Media
Pages: 368
Audio Book Length: 9hrs 17min
Narrator: Julia Atwood
Source: Publishers
Rating: ½

My Thoughts:
Attorney Ava Burch finds herself embroiled in a cold missing person case when she stumbles upon an abandoned campsite during one of her Search and Rescue volunteer jobs with her dog, Huck. Something that immediately catches Detective Grant Wycoff’s attention. While the condescending Sheriff gives Ava the brushoff, Grant connects the dots to a woman gone missing two years earlier. While Grant doesn’t want Ava inserting herself into the case, he can’t help admitting that her find and research have helped make long strides in solving the case.

While trying to piece together the clues, Ava’s targeted by someone unknown and it’s unsettling, but she can’t let the case go as she finds there are bigger things at play.

Even though there’s a mutual attraction and pull, Ava’s hesitant. Seeing her mother always coming in second to the job makes her wary to start up anything with anyone in law enforcement, but she’s having trouble resisting him and they keep getting thrown together through this case. Grant is determined to change her mind and they have amazing chemistry!

I’ve done a lot of hiking and backpacking so I found the Search and Rescue feature really interesting and of course, if there’s a lovable dog I’m totally in!  Huck was adorable and smart, and I loved the relationship he had with Ava and Grant!

I was immediately sucked into Vanishing Hour and listened to the whole book in one day! All the twists had me eager to find out what happened to the missing girls, and I was on the edge of my seat with every bit of danger Ava faced. The ending was a real nail biter! Another win for Laura Griffin! Definite recommend!

I alternated between reading and listening to an audio copy. Julia Atwood’s performance was really good! She performed with a subtle Texas accent that felt authentic to all the characters and she performed both female and male character parts wonderfully! I listened at 1.5x speed normal speed.

4.5 Stars

Book Description:

When a cold case in Texas leads to a sinister string of disappearances, a newcomer to the small town helps the deputy sheriff to piece together the clues in this new romantic thriller from New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin.

Corporate lawyer Ava Burch has had enough of the big city and daily grind. She grew up with her father, who raised search-and-rescue dogs, in rural Texas, and has moved to the small town of Cuervo to spend time in the dry, rugged wilderness near Big Bend National Park. When she and her dog Huck discover an abandoned campsite on a volunteer search-and-rescue mission, she’s perplexed but she carefully photographs it all the same.

All Deputy Sheriff Grant Wycoff can see when he looks at Ava is a city slicker—with her designer jeans and expensive car— who has no business on a serious team made of seasoned outdoorsmen and retired cops. But when she tells him of her discovery on the trail, he sees there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Ava’s discovery reminds Grant of the unsolved case of a young woman who went missing two years ago. As they look into the campsite further, another woman disappears under odd circumstances. With time running out, Ava and Grant must work against the brutal heat from both the Texas sun and their own electric chemistry to solve the case.



Missing children are an emergency. Always. Their little bodies are less able to regulate temperature, so they're especially vulnerable to exposure. And in a place as vast and rugged as Silver Canyon State Park, additional hazards abounded: rattlesnakes, coyotes, hundred-foot cliffs. Even the anemic little creek that Ava had been following was terrifying. A child Noah's size could drown in a bathtub.

Ava glanced up at the relentless sun that sucked moisture out of everything beneath it. She looked ahead at Huck, who trotted back and forth in front of her in his zigzag pattern. He was working the wind, as he'd been trained, tirelessly sniffing the air with his powerful nose, which could pick up anything with human scent on it, from a candy wrapper to a dropped article of clothing.

So far, nothing.

Ava checked her watch. Two long hours since she'd left the trailhead. Sweat stung her eyes, and she wiped her forehead with the back of her arm. She paused beside a boulder and dropped her pack on the dusty ground to retrieve one of her water bottles. Huck needed some, too, but right now he was intent on his work.

She took a lukewarm sip and scanned the scrub brush lining the canyon wall. Young children had a tendency to wander aimlessly until they found a place to curl up for a nap. Some would even hide from search teams, afraid of getting in trouble for being lost. So Ava had been incessantly scanning pockets of brush.

Huck halted in front of her, his nose lifted in the air. Ava froze and watched. But then his head dropped down and he resumed his zigzags. Ava tucked the water bottle away and pushed off the boulder to continue her trek.

She watched Huck, amazed by his energy. Even in this heat, he loved working, and when he had his vest on, he didn't have an off switch. As he bounded around in front of her, she thought of the other teams, especially the canine one. She was surprised they hadn't found something close to camp.

Of course, the parents had been there, which might have been a problem. Frantic parents threw off a lot of scent, which could have overpowered Noah's smell and possibly confused the dog. Also, the temperature rising in the canyon could have wafted the scent up, well above the dog's nose. Yet another challenge here was that young children didn't throw off as much scent as adults. And still bodies-ones that were either asleep or unconscious-threw off less scent, too.

So there were all kinds of factors in play, especially in a park this size.

Ava checked her watch again and sped up her pace, unable to shake the feeling of dread that had been settling in her stomach as the hours ticked by. Scanning the canyon wall, her gaze caught on something beige and triangular.

A tent? No.

A tarp. She climbed onto a boulder for a closer look. About halfway up the slope of the canyon was a sand-colored canvas tarp that had been stretched taut to create a patch of shade. It looked like a primitive fort-just the sort of thing that would attract a kid's attention, and her pulse quickened as she climbed closer. Nearing the tarp, she spied a small yellow tent tucked in the shade beneath it.

She glanced around for Huck, but he was sniffing along at the base of a rockslide.

Grabbing hold of a juniper tree, Ava levered herself onto the ledge. She ducked under the tarp and paused a moment for her eyes to adjust. The little tent was unzipped. Hope ballooned in her chest as she pulled back the flap and poked her head inside.

Her hope disappeared as she scanned the interior. No sleeping child curled up in the dimness. The air was utterly still, and everything was coated with a thin layer of dust, as though no one had been there in weeks, maybe months. A pile of gear in the corner included a cookstove, a hiking boot, and a blue bedroll with a carabiner clipped to it. Attached to the carabiner was a black key fob.

A chill snaked down her spine. Who would leave their car key out here? The fob seemed odd. Ditto for the hiking boot. Where was the other one? And where was its owner?

On impulse, Ava took out her phone and snapped a couple of pictures. As part of her SAR training, she'd learned to document crime scenes. She couldn't pinpoint why, exactly, but that was what this felt like. She ducked out and snapped a shot of the exterior. A faint bark pulled her attention back to the mission. She couldn't afford to get sidetracked, even though this place felt creepy. She put her phone away as she skimmed the surrounding area for the missing boot, or any sign of the boot's owner. She glanced up the canyon, looking for evidence of a fire pit or any other camping equipment.

A soft whimper had her turning around.

Huck sat beside a rock pile, his ears pricked forward and his gaze fixed on hers. Ava's heart skittered. This was his sit alert letting her know he'd found something.

"Show me," she commanded, and he sprang into action, bounding across the creek bed. She climbed down the rocks and jogged after him, frantically searching the clumps of trees. Huck darted around a giant prickly pear cactus and behind a line of mesquite trees. Amid the fluttering green leaves, she caught a flash of red.

"Please, please, please," she murmured.

Huck disappeared beneath the brush and barked. Ava spied a small white sneaker and a pudgy leg.

Huck danced in a circle, drunk on success and eager for his reward.

"Good boy, Huck! Good boy! Good boy!" She filled her voice with praise, even though her heart had lodged in her throat. The little body wasn't moving. Oh God.

About the Author
Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA Award winner, as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday Post #181


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.

I'm currently on my way back from Southern California after having a dinner/baby shower for my son and his wife. It was nice to visit with everyone! I'm happy for my son and he's excited but really nervous at what to expect being a first time father. 

I've decided I need to get my diet and exercise back in order. I've been 10 pounds over my normal for the last nine months which doesn't sound like a lot but when you're 5'2" it makes a difference. Not to mention I'm not happy about the way my clothes fit. I feel like after hitting 50 yrs old it's been extra hard to shed even 5 pounds. I'm going to make out a meal plan for the week. If you don't plan it's easy to just eat whatever. I also need to get back to my regular exercise routines. I did pretty well in that area last week. I ran/jogged/walked three times doing over 3 miles each time. There's a nice trail right by my house, (which actually used to be part of the Narrow Gage railway line! See pics below) so that helps. 

The trail by my house

A farm on the trail

Click on cover for Goodreads link

Daisy Darker was a haunting and tragic tale, a mystery I couldn't stop listening to. That twist! Ricochet was a great second installment to the Addicted series. Because I Could Not Stop for Death was a disappointment, unfortunately.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I bought a hardcover of The Bullet That Missed but I requested an audio version from my library and it finally came through. Love this series! His Second-Chance Family is another library audio. I have an e-ARC of Vanishing Hour but I noticed they had an audio version on Netgalley and I tossed the dice and requested that too. I got approved and I've been listening to it on my drive. It's really good! My husband is enjoying it too.


The Belle of Belgrave Square was a 5-star read. I've read a few more by Mimi Matthews and she is such a wonderful writer! The covers are pretty too!

How was your week?

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Review: Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie


Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: October 18th 2022 by Berkley Books
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
Lily and Loren, “Lo” are separated because Loren has checked into rehab for his alcohol addiction and Lily is committed to staying faithful as they navigate life with their secrets out to Rose, Lily’s older sister, Connor, their friend and Ryke, Loren’s half-brother. I was pleased they admitted to their addictions because I knew it would be the only way for each of them to get help and get on the path to recovery. Now Lily just has to be strong until Loren gets out of rehab. 

While Lily and Lo are not together during the book there are flashbacks where they share scenes giving illuminating their history a little more. Theirs is a story of best friends and epic love. If I had one complaint it would be that there’s a lot of sexy times, maybe little too much for my tastes, but these two can’t get enough of each other and I guess that solidly proved that. 

Rose may be abrasive at times, but she was such a pillar of support for Lily!  I admired their sisterly bond. Lily was there for her as well when their mother was especially horrible. Their mother is something else!  

I was happy that with Lily actively trying to deal with her addiction and finally see a therapist, she started taking time to focus on getting close to her younger sister, Daisy, who seems to have her own issues, taking risks for the adrenaline high. There’s something definitely brewing between Daisy and Ryke, even though it’ll have to be in the future with Daisy being sixteen and Ryke twenty-two.

Ricochet was an excellent second chapter in Lily and Lo’s continuing story. Angsty at times, but a real page turner. I’m looking forward to the next installment! Berkley has just released this new beautiful print copy of Ricochet with extra bonus material, and I think the cover is so pretty!  

4 Stars

Book Description:

The second book in the TikTok sensation Addicted series, now in a print edition with special bonus material!

As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible: stay celibate for ninety days. Fall in love with Lily and Lo in this edgy new adult romance set in a world of lust, fame, swoonworthy men, and friendships that run deeper than blood in this special edition with bonus materials--in print only!

Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he'll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.

Progress. That's what Lily's striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family--people who aren't aware of her addiction--she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.

With Lily and Lo's dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to touch proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.

About the authors:

Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and identical twins—one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek—but with their shared

passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped

telling stories. They love superheroes, flawed characters, and soul mate love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Review: The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews


The Belle of Belgrave Square (Belles of London #2)  by Mimi Matthews
Publication Date: October 11th 2022 by Berkley
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Julia has a large dowry, but she has yet to make a match and she marks that up to her social anxiety. Not that she minds. She has her books, friends, and her horse to keep her happy. In fact the social season of London is a torture to be endured only able to get out by begging off sick which is a double edged sword because then her awful, hypochondriac parents call for doctors, brutal in their treatments: bloodletting being their preferred cure.

When Julia captures the attention of the infamous Captain Jasper Blunt she’s a little alarmed at first. He’s a big, imposing man with a dark reputation, but as they keep meeting, she they start to bond over horses, and surprisingly books.  I just loved the whole book connection here that I won’t elaborate on.

Jasper needs to marry for money. He has three children in his charge and a crumbling estate with tenant cottages that are all in desperate need of repair. He can’t let his heart factor into the equation, but Julia makes his heart sing and she’s got the money he needs. It seems like the easy solution to all his problems.  Unfortunately, it’s not all that simple and there are some bumps in the road to get over.

I felt for Julia with her horrid parents and feelings of being boxed in and then the relief and joy of connecting with Jasper. I loved the tender way Jasper dealt with Julia and his steadfastness to her and the children! Their romance was so beautiful, swoony and passionate!

The Belle of Belgrave Square was oh-so-lovely! I relished every word and didn’t want the story to end. Definite recommend!

5 Stars

Book Description:

A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.

For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.

In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday Post #180


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.

So we're out here in a superb of Austin, Texas with my daughter, SIL, and two grandkids. They've rented a home out here because my SIL's work. It's temporary with them returning (hopefully) by the end of the kid's school year. So I guess we'll probably be visiting a few more times. 

It's hot and humid out here, but pretty. I think the most annoying thing for me (and the kids) are the mosquitos! I always bring a small bottle of DEET with me on trips just in case I visit an area with a lot. I'm the lucky one to get bit if there's one around. So I was prepared and only got two bites so far, even with going out hiking, but the kids and my daughter each have several. 

We'll be flying back tomorrow morning (Sunday).

Texas hike

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Absolutely LOVED The Belle of Belgrave Square! Open Season, a romantic suspense, had me laughing my head off. Uncharted Waters was an odd and addictive little listen, and available as a "read and listen for free" with Kindle Unlimited.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I'm listening to Daisy Darker right now and it's an eerie mystery. Alice Feeney's writing is beautiful and magnetic! I've enjoyed Shelley Shepard Gray in the past so I grabbed up Happily Ever Amish. I haven't read many Amish books but I've enjoyed the ones I have. 


I'll be starting this one soon. The cover is so pretty! 

How was your week?

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Review: Luck and Last Resorts by Sarah Grunder Ruiz


Luck & Last Resorts (Love, Lists & Fancy Ships #2) by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Publication Date: August 9th 2022 by Berkley
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher & Library Audio Copy
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
I’m not going to summarize the story because the book description (see below) does an excellent job there. I felt really torn about reading Luck and Last Resorts because I thought it would be super angsty (not my thing) and that Nina would try my patience, but I loved the first book, Love, Lists and Fancy Ships so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Nina did try my patience, and I did understand she wanted to guard herself after what her parents put her through, but still, I wanted to shake her on more than one occasion! She pushed Ollie away so many times and I really had no idea why he took this waffling from her for so long. He was an absolute sweetheart. I was glad he gave Nina an ultimatum because it pushed her to finally start to acknowledge her true feelings for him. Of course, she didn’t change completely overnight, and it was painful in parts.

I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy the story, but I did. The story flashes back to when Nina and Ollie first meet and they started a bit playfully adversarial but grew to be friends and then inseparable. It was fun and passionate. That is until Nina screwed things up. My heart hurt for Ollie, but also for Nina, because she was depriving herself of real joy and happiness by keeping Ollie at arm’s length.

Luck and Last Resorts was an angsty, heart wrenching read, but one that I enjoyed overall.

Karissa Vacker's narration was excellent!

 3.5 Stars

Book Description:

Commitment-phobe Nina Lejeune lives by two rules:
1. Always have fun.
2. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself.
The first rule is easy; the second, she’s only broken once.

Ten years after fleeing home, Nina is the chief stewardess on the super yacht Serendipity, single by choice, and perfectly content with how life has turned out.

But Nina’s ex-coworker and old flame, Irish chef Ollie Dunne, isn’t so happy with the status quo. One year after leaving yachting, he’s returned as the Serendipity’s chef with an ultimatum: if Nina continues to deny she’s in love with him by the end of this charter season, he’ll go back to Ireland for good.

Nina and Ollie’s shared secret from their past threatens to shipwreck not only their relationship, but the entire boat. But as their connection grows amidst chaotic guests and crew drama, could there be smooth sailing in their future?

Audio Review: The Story of Son by J.R. Ward


The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
Publication Date: July 26th 2022 by Macmillan Audio
Pages: 92
Audio Book Length: 2 hrs 40 min
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
Claire is a career driven lawyer so when her longtime client requests she come by at 5pm on the Friday before Labor Day weekend she doesn’t hesitate to go. However, things don’t go as planned and she winds up locked in the basement with the client’s son, a vampire who needs to feed. She’s terrified at first, but this vampire, “Son” as his horrible mother never named him, is sweet and gentlemanly. Despite her reservations and circumstances Claire finds herself attracted to Son and the feelings are mutual.

Finding out Son’s sad story enrages Claire, but she’s got plans to change things if she can manage to break them out of their prison.

The Story of Son was a short, steamy, addictive story that sucked me in immediately! While set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series it’s not a part of it, but fans will definitely enjoy it! It’s a hot romance sprinkled with a bit of danger, and I enjoyed every minute!

Jim Frangione’s performance was in his classic BDB style!

4 Stars

Book Description:

First released in the anthology Dead After Dark, dive into this hot novella from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward. Available for the first time ever as a standalone ebook, get lost in the sinful pleasures of a vampire so obsessed with one woman, he will relinquish her blood, if only he can have her heart...

Held captive by a dark, seductive vampire with an unworldly hunger, the beautiful Claire Stroughton fears her life as a lawyer has irrevocably taken a turn for the worse. But when this deeply sensual-and highly dangerous-vampire convinces Claire that his desire for her is stronger than his lust for blood, she is compelled to give everything up to him, body and soul...

Please note: this is not part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood even though it's set in the same "world".

Monday, October 10, 2022

Romance Book Giveaway!

 Hello readers! Here with another giveaway. Must keep these up or my house will be floor to ceiling books, and although I wouldn't mind that, my husband wouldn't be so thrilled! Lol.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson-Paperback
Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory-Paperback

The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday Post #179


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.

It was a busy week. I got called to come into work one of the days I was off and it's been busier than normal. Wears me out. Especially working on a day I thought I'd have off when there's been so much to do at home.
We're still working on our bathroom remodel. The contractor has done his part and to save money we're (my husband, lol) are painting and installing the wainscoting, and wood trim. He also did the electrical. I think I'll keep him, lol. Spent a lot of time picking out a faucet for the kitchen, and door hardware for new doors. 
I've been planting and the dirt here is so hard! Red clay-like. I've been adding amending soil. I keep buying bags and bags of dirt. The plants are coming along though. I bought a bunch of bulbs that need to go in next, but that'll have to wait until the week after next as we're flying out to Texas this coming Thursday. Long story for next week. 

I want this retaining wall covered with greenery: I've planted Boston Ivy, Creeping Fig, Pink Jasmine. 

My son and his wife are expecting in December! We'll be grandparents for the third time. A boy. Their first child and we're so happy for them! She doesn't want a baby shower, too shy to have all that attention while opening presents and such so I've organized a dinner with family at one of the local restaurants down south in two weeks. 
My sister and her husband are coming over for dinner tonight so after I sign off it's time for meal prep and cleaning the house! 

Click on cover for Goodreads link

Five books in one week is a lot for me. Granted one was a novella (The Story of Son) but still! Four were audios so I was able to listen while doing chores. Second time through Soul Taken and loved it all over again! After the Bite was a lot of fun. I really enjoy those Argeneau books by Lynsay Sands. Holidays in Virgin River were two novellas which reminded me of why I love the series so much! I started watching the 4th season of Virgin River on Netflix after reading. I've been putting off Luck & Last Resorts because I knew it'd be angsty, but the audio came through from the library and it pushed me to "read" it. Good thing as it's been glaring at me on my Net Galley shelf.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:


I bought these Chiltern Classics of Emma, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice. They were on sale at Target. They're even prettier in person! Now I want to collect more!

How was your week?