Saturday, July 29, 2023

Sunday Post #216


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 also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

I got contacts this last week and gotta say, I'm not loving them. They're only for normal tasks like gardening, cooking, and distance which is what I wanted. If I read I just wear readers. My right eye is fine, but my left eye, which apparently has a stigmatism always feels like there's something scratchy at the bottome of my eye. My sister thinks I may have put the left one in reversed the times I've been wearing them. That could be possible. I guess we'll see.

My husband took Thursday and Friday off so he wouldn't lose PTO and we went wine tasting on Friday in Amador County, about and hour and a half away from us. We stopped at Trader Joes for picnic items and enjoyed our excursion. 

The weather hasn't been as hot, but still hot enough to have to water a lot. My panicle hydrangeas are really coming along. The blossoms are starting to open more and more. They turn cream with a bit of a pink tinge eventually. I planted wisteria last fall and it didn't bloom in the spring like the plant usually does, but it started blooming a few weeks ago. I was so surprised because usually it's only the older plants that bloom after that initial spring explosion. I was so excited!

Panicle Hydrangeas


Cuttings from the garden

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

A pretty good reading week with Resonance Surge as my favorite. Gone Tonight was a twisty mystery, and In the Weeds was a dreamy romance. I wanted to love Resisting the Grump, unrequited love and grumpy vs. sunshine romances pull me straight in, unfortunately this missed the mark for me.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

Looking forward to all. The Raging Storm was from a Netgalley "read now for 48 hrs" email. It sounded good so grabbed it and then downloaded the first book in the series from my library. 

Loved this so much! Lots of laughs and an ending that'll make you smile! Based on Katherine Center's book. Now they need to make Duncan's (Helen's brother) story, What You Wish For, into a movie! 


How was your week?

Friday, July 28, 2023

Review: In the Weeds by B.K. Borison


In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by B.K. Borison
Publication Date: July 4th 2023 by Berkley & Dreamscape Media
Pages: 336
Audio Book Length: 10 hrs 46 mins
Narrators: Pippa Jayne & Dean Anderson
Source: Publisher & Library lend (audio)
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Evelyn St. James has come to a crossroads in her life. Her job as a social media influencer started out as sharing beautiful things in life, but it’s grown out of control into something that doesn’t bring her joy anymore. She’s never home and feels unmoored. At her best friend’s suggestion, she reflects back to the last time she found “her happy” and that was in the quaint town of Inglewild. Coincidentally, the same place where her two-night stand, Beckett Porter, resides. Evie decides to go back to Idlewild to unplug and reevaluate her life there.

Beckett and Evie spent two lusty nights in Maine, but she left without a goodbye or any contact info. He couldn’t stop thinking about her. He had no idea she was a famous influencer until she showed up at the farm as part of a social medial campaign/contest Stella had enrolled in (back in book one, Lovelight Farms). Evie left then, too, without a goodbye so he’s resolved to forget about her and move on until she shows up again.

In the Weeds was a slow burn romance full of longing, and a little angsty at times. I wished they communicated more. It would’ve avoided needless hurt, but it all worked out.  I did love the chemistry between Beckett and Evie, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know each other, falling a little more with every day that Evie stayed. So much to love besides their romance too! Otis the duck, the adorable kittens and just everything about the farm!                                                                                                                                          
B.K. Borison’s writing is magical and gave the story a dreamy quality at times. Every touch, glance, and sense came through so I could feel the characters the attraction sparking between them, the longing, heady and intense. When traveling to a beautiful place I try to absorb every sight, sound and scent. Taking it all in, appreciating it and I felt Inglewild come to life in that way through her gorgeous writing!

I alternately read an e-copy and listened to an audio version. Pippa Jayne’s voice is so lovely, and I enjoyed Dane Anderson’s performance as well. I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed.

4 Stars

Book Description:

A grumpy farmer and a no-nonsense social media influencer have another chance at love in this charming romantic comedy.

Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget. Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings, but Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck. 

So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is…confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon. When Evie disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally move on.

But Evie, who has been feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly dissatisfied with life online, is trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Review: Resonance Surge by Nalini Singh


Resonance Surge (Psy-Changeling Trinity #7) by Nalini Singh
Publication Date: July18th 2023 by Berkley
Pages: 432
Source: Publisher 
Rating: ½

My Thoughts:
Theodora “Theo” Marshall has been raised to believe she’s worthless as a 2.7 Telekinetic Psy. The only reason her evil grandfather, Councilor Marshall Hyde didn’t have her murdered is because her death would’ve affected her twin, Pax, a gradient 9. Theo and Pax have stuck together over the years despite their grandfather’s efforts to split them up. Thankfully, her grandfather is dead and now Pax is the head of the Marshall house.

When Pax notices that a supposedly decommissioned “rehabilitation” center is still drawing money he sends Theo, the only family he trusts, to investigate. Being that it’s in the StoneWater Pack territory, she’s assigned a bear escort, Yakov Stepyrev.

Yakov has had dreams of his mate since the age of sixteen, but only lately has those dreams turned into nightmares with the woman drenched in blood, dying. Little does he know that he’s about to come face to face with her when he’s assigned to escort Theo.

My heart ached at the abuse that Theodora suffered at the hands of her grandfather, a truly evil man! It seems to me in Silence the Psy race committed the worst atrocities. The rehabilitation centers were free to lock up “defective” Psy, those who couldn’t go Silent by suppressing emotion, and do a mental wipe, or worse. Investigating the center loosens traumatic memories for Theo, and Yakov can’t hold his protective instincts back. Just in time too, because there’s danger stalking Theo.

Resonance Surge was mostly Yakov and Theodora’s romance, but we also get the culmination of Pavel, Yakov’s twin brother, and Arwen Merchant’s romance. They’ve been dancing around each other in several of the past books, so it’s been a long time coming! The bears are my favorite changelings: big, boisterous and loving and I just had to laugh at their antics! The way they care for their young cubs just melted my heart!  Yakov and Pavel are labeled “Mischief Bear Number One and Mischief Bear Number Two” by their grandmother, and it was fitting! The joy, playfulness and love from the Bears was exactly what Theo’s soul needed to heal after her nightmare childhood!

While things wrap up with Theo, Yakov, Pavel and Arwen, the ongoing story arc of the Psy Net crumbling, Scarab Syndrome and the evil trying to destabilize the cooperation between Humans, Psy, and Changelings continues. I’m not sure how it’ll all be solved. Pax, Theo’s twin, also has a threat brewing and I wonder if he’ll be the focus of the next installment. This is a series that’s best read in order.. At the very least I’d start from the beginning of the Trinity novels.

4.5 Stars

Book Description:

Where are the broken? A propulsive question that unleashes a world of secrets in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s Resonance Surge . . .

StoneWater bears Pavel and Yakov Stepyrev have been a unit since birth, but now Pavel’s life is veering in a new direction, his heart held in the hands of Arwen Mercant, a Psy empath—and the only man who has ever brought Pavel to his knees.

This is it. A point of irrevocable change. For Pavel . . . for Arwen . . . for Yakov . . . and for another pair of twins whose bond has a far darker history.

A low-gradient Psy, Theodora Marshall is considered worthless by everyone but her violently powerful twin, Pax. She is the sole person he trusts in their venomous family to investigate a hidden and terrible part of their family history—an unregistered rehabilitation center established by their grandfather.

Places of unimaginable pain designed to psychically wipe minds, leaving the victims shells of their former selves, the Centers are an ugly vestige of the Psy race’s Silent past. But this Center was worse. Far, far worse. And now Theo must uncover the awful truth—in the company of a scowling bear named Yakov who isn’t about to take a Marshall at face value . . . especially a Marshall who has turned his dreams into chilling nightmares.

Because Yakov is the great-grandson of a foreseer . . . and he has seen Theo die in an unstoppable surge of blood. Night after night after night . . .

Monday, July 24, 2023

Audiobook Review: Magic Tides & Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews


Magic Tides & Magic Claims (Kate Daniels: Wilmington Years 1 & 2) by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: July 10th 2023 by NYLA
Pages: 158 (Magic Tides) 240 (Magic Claims)
Audio Book Length: 12 hrs 21 mins
Narrators: Hillary Huber & Michael Glenn
Source: Publisher 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Audible Goodreads

My Thoughts:
I was thrilled to find out we were getting more stories in the Kate Daniels world! Magic Tides and Magic Claims are the newest installments. Kate Daniels is one of my all-time favorite UF series! Ilona Andrews is such a talented writing team, so I was all smiles diving back in!

With Magic Tides Kate and Curran have moved to Wilmington to get away from the Pack and have a more normal kind of life for their family.  They wanted a place where no one knew them, their powers, their history. Of course, when someone is in trouble Kate can’t deny help. Especially when it’s their son Conlan requesting the aid for one of his friends. The friend’s cousin has been kidnapped by The Red Horn, a nasty criminal gang. When Kate finds out the details she decides to go and get him back. The father, Tom, is more than a little skeptical of Kate’s abilities, but has run out of options. However, his opinion changes as he sees Kate in action. And, oh boy, was it fun to see Kate in action again! Even when she’s embarking on a mission on the fly, she’s still several steps ahead of any opponent.

Magic Claims makes it evident that Kate, Curran, and Conlan won’t be able to stay under the radar, or avoid the responsibilities that come with the power they have. They all feel such a duty to those in need and both were born to lead. With Magic Claims, there’s an evil power demanding tribute from the town of Penderton in the form of human sacrifices. The deadline is coming for another payment, so the leaders reach out to Kate and Curran to help. Another exciting story and the end hints at more stories to come. I’m so excited!

f you haven’t read the Kate Daniels series, you need to drop everything and start it! You’ll love Kate, a smart badass heroine and her Beast Lord hero! The plots are riveting, with action, mystery, danger and romance! I’m so happy to get anything more in this world!

There’s been one narrator for the series up until these two novellas. She was the voice of Kate to me, so of course I was worried to find out there would be a new narrator. When Hillary Huber was picked (I was part of the group voting) I was ecstatic because I knew Ms. Huber would make a fantastic Kate! Love her rich voice, gravelly voice, and her comedic timing is perfection! She’s taken on the role splendidly! Michael Glenn, a new-to-me-narrator, slipped right into the role of Curran and made him come alive in all his alpha glory! I highly recommend the audio! I listened at my usual 1.5xs normal speed. 

5 Stars

Book Description:
In Book #1, MAGIC TIDES, Kate, Curran and their son, Conlan have left Atlanta, vowing to keep a low profile, and are settling into a new city and new house…but some things never change! Magical mayhem is about to erupt when Kate undertakes the rescue of a kidnapped youth, while Curran guards the home front.

It should be a simple retrieval, but with monsters on land and sea, Kate’s got her work cut out for her. Still, she's never let her blade dull or her purpose falter. And that low profile? It’s about to wash away with the raging tides!

In Book #2, MAGIC CLAIMS, Kate and Curran have just settled into their new home and their “low profile,” when a local businessman approaches them with an offer they can’t refuse. A mysterious evil has spawned in the nearby forest and is holding a defenseless town hostage. The “ransom date” is rapidly approaching.

It’s exactly the kind of fight the Lennarts can’t resist, not for the prize the town offers, but for the people who will surely die if they ignore it. If they succeed, they’ll be rescuing an entire community and can build a strong new base for their family and the Wilmington Pack. If they fail...well, fail is a four-letter word.

Nothing comes without a price. Now Kate must decide if she has what it takes to pay it.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Sunday Post #215


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 also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

I put my lower back out last week. I've been doing stretches and trying to move, but I haven't been real motivated to go on any walks with the heat wave. It's finally supposed to cool down to upper 80s this next week but we had several days of just over 100 degrees. It does cool down considerably at night, into the 50s and we have pretty low humidity, so I guess there's that.  I did do 3 miles early on Thursday because my back is finally feeling better. Still stiff in the morning. 

My husband bought me a new laptop for our anniversary, because mine is getting old which was very sweet, but it took some work and time setting up and getting used to it.  He transferred most info and got it up and running, but I had to spend a lot of time loading things and signing into all kinds of programs. I wasn't real pleased with the color display and had a hell of a time trying to figure out how to adjust it. Saturation and color temperature. My previous computer had Intel and this one has AMD.

I had to work a bunch this week so I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted to. 

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

LOVED Magic Tides & Magic Claims! The audio was fantastic! Pray For Silence was another Detective Kate Burkholder mystery and another graphically disturbing crime to solve. I did like it, but I had to up the audio speed to 2xs normal speed in some spots to get through it fast. I'll be reading the next one as I hear they're not as bad and I like Kate and Tomasetti and their developing relationship. Dead of Winter was a fun, movie horror kind of mystery. I need to read more Darcy Coates!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I'm excited for all of these! Dark Corners is the second Rachel Krall. Night Swim, the first was sooo good so I'm thrilled Megan Goldin has written another.  My Roommate is a Vampire sounded so cute. The September House is a debut and it reminds me of a Riley Sager horror/mystery. I've enjoyed the first Woodland Park Firefighters so I'm looking forward to reading Moving Forward. 


How was your week?

Giveaway: 3 Romance Books!

 Happy Saturday! I am constantly acquiring books. Just the other day I bought two David Baldacci's at a thrift store!  I couldn't help myself! My shelf space is getting tight so I need to start giving away books, books and more books! 

I'm giving away these 3 beauties. Stay tuned, I plan on listing more giveaways soon.  

Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea-Paperback
The Love Wager by Lynn Painter-Paperback
Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Review: Dead of Winter by Darcy Coates


Dead of Winter by Darcy Coates
Publication Date: July 11th 2023 by Poisoned Pen Press
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Christa and her boyfriend Kiernan are on a winter getaway to a remote lodge in the Rocky Mountains when a snowstorm strands the tour bus. Now they must take shelter, along with eight other travelers, in a small hunting cabin. Only instead of this just trying to survive the elements and worry about food, they must worry about a bloodthirsty killer. Their guide is murdered and displayed horrifically. Is the murderer among their small group? If so, why and who’s next?

Dead of Winter had a definite horror movie vibe. A small group cut off from civilization being picked off one by one, suspicious of everyone and trying to stay alive. I wanted to know why? There were some hints, and I had my suspicions but there were red herrings too. This felt sort of like a graphically gory Agatha Christie, a bit unbelievable in parts, but still horror movie fun! The stark winter setting was atmospheric, intensifying the feeling of danger.

Things got crazy and I didn’t want to put it down once everything started coming together! Tension built up page by page for a thrilling conclusion! Of course, I was rooting for Christa to figure things out, and survive! The killer and motivation are revealed in the end, but there were a couple of loose ends I wished had resolution. All in all, a sit-down-and-buckle-up kind of thrill ride!

4 Stars

Book Description:

From bestselling author Darcy Coates comes Dead of Winter, a remote cabin in the snowy wilderness thriller that will teach you to trust no one. There are eight strangers. One killer. Nowhere left to run.

When Christa joins a tour group heading deep into the snowy expanse of the Rocky Mountains, she's hopeful this will be her chance to put the ghosts of her past to rest. But when a bitterly cold snowstorm sweeps the region, the small group is forced to take shelter in an abandoned hunting cabin. Despite the uncomfortably claustrophobic quarters and rapidly dropping temperature, Christa believes they'll be safe as they wait out the storm.

She couldn't be more wrong.

Deep in the night, their tour guide goes missing...only to be discovered the following morning, his severed head impaled on a tree outside the cabin. Terrified, and completely isolated by the storm, Christa finds herself trapped with eight total strangers. One of them kills for sport...and they're far from finished. As the storm grows more dangerous and the number of survivors dwindles one by one, Christa must decide who she can trust before this frozen mountain becomes her tomb.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Review: Barbarian's Mate by Ruby Dixon


Barbarian's Mate (Ice Planet Barbarians #6) Special Edition by Ruby Dixon
Publication Date: July 11th 2023 by Berkley
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
Josie has witnessed all the other women from the shipwreck mate, fall in love, have babies, and she wants what they have. Love and a family. Josie had a sad upbringing being tossed about from foster home to foster home. She’s longed to feel loved and cherished. She wants to resonate and finally gets her wish, but it’s to Haeden, the grumpy alien male that glares at her every chance he gets. She can’t stand him, and they’ve been sparring since the beginning of the series. So, she’s sooo not happy about that!

Haeden wasn’t one of the males clamoring for a human female mate. We knew he had a mate that died and sa-khui only mate once, so I wasn’t sure how he was able to resonate to Josie, but all is explained as Haeden reluctantly reveals his sad story. It also explains why Haeden was so growly and glare-y at Josie and I could completely understand.

I’ve been waiting for Josie’s story with Haeden since their interactions have spanned the series and the story did not disappoint! Josie had such a traumatic upbringing so I could totally understand why she wouldn’t want to mated to someone she thought didn’t like her. She fights the mating and it would’ve been better if they had some frank conversations. Still, it didn’t play out too long and I was happy Haeden got to see Josie as a smart, capable woman instead of the fragile human he thought her to be. Haeden was a complete sweetheart once he started talking.

I wonder about the island Josie spied while on her journey, with its greenery. Josie’s discovery on the crashed ship opens up possibilities in the coming books. Don’t want to spoil so I won’t say more, but that discovery had me eager for more!

I read the first three books a while back, but was happy to get back this spicy, sci-fi series and get the special edition print copies! I love the new covers and novellas included!

4 Stars

Book Description:

The next novel in the international publishing phenomenon the Ice Planet Barbarians series, now in a special print edition with a bonus novella!

Josie has always dreamed of finding The One, but the hunter chosen for her is nothing like what she expected (or wanted)—but he might be exactly what she needs.
“Resonance” is supposed to be a dream—that’s when your soulmate is chosen for you. And every woman on the ice planet has hooked up with a big, hunky soulmate of their own—except me. So do I want a mate? Heck yeah. More than anything, all I’ve ever wanted is to be loved by someone.

But the soulmate chosen for me? My least favorite person on the darn ice planet. Haeden’s the most cranky, disapproving, unpleasant, overbearing male alien . . . so why is it that my body sings when he gets close? Why is he working so hard to prove to me that he’s not as awful as I think he is?

I hate him . . . don’t I?

About the author:

Ruby Dixon is an author of all things science fiction romance. She is a Sagittarius and a Reylo shipper, and loves farming sims (but not actual housework). She lives in the South with her husband and a couple of geriatric cats, and can’t think of anything else to put in her biography. Truly, she is boring.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Sunday Post #214


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 also linking up to The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance @Readerbuzz.

This week my husband and I celebrated our thirty-sixth year anniversary. We didn't do anything on the actual day because we both worked. We went out with my sister and her husband last night and had a nice dinner at a local restaurant. Wine, laughs and catching up.

Summer has truly landed here with temps in the high 80s and 90s for most of last week, but we had a high of 103 today and tomorrow it's supposed to be 104. It's hot! I've shaded my hydrangeas with umbrellas because they're we're withering. I may have to move them to a different spot. 


There's a bunch of wild plum trees on my running path. They're the size of cherries, and must be different varieties because there are different colored ones. I gathered up about 5lbs of plums and made plum butter. It's delicious!

(Click on cover for Goodreads link)

I had a great reading week with one 5 Star: Hello Stranger, one 4.5 Star: Beginning of Forever and two 4 Star reads: Barbarian's Mate and Hatchet Island. 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

I'm looking forward to all three, but I'm so excited I got approved for the audio of Magic Tides/Magic Claims! I've already read and loved Magic Tides but thrilled to do a re-read by audio. So happy for anything Ilona Andrews comes up with!


How was your week?