Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sunday Post #247


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 didn't blog much this last week, just a giveaway and one review because I've been busy with work and so much yard cleanup and gardening! Thank goodness for audiobooks otherwise I wouldn't have got through any books! It really makes chores more pleasurable! It's been a lot of work and I'm tired! The weather has been beautiful with highs in the mid 70s.

Hope to get my roses in the ground tomorrow after we figure out the best location for sun exposure. I thought I had it nailed down, but since the oak trees have been getting the leaves back there's more shade in the area I had originally picked out.

Tiny frog on a lilac leaf in our garden. So cute!

Pretty pond & vineyard (background) in the neighborhood

Thought this multi-colored specimen was pretty. I mostly see just yellow in the neighborhood.
Common Broom

I've done a few puzzles. Of course with help:

Peanut directing placement of pieces

Finished puzzle

My sister and her husband are coming over for an early dinner tomorrow. We're making marinated chicken and shrimp skewers with Tzatziki sauce, pita bread, and rice.

Click on cover for Goodreads link

Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley: 4 Stars


Thank you to Gallery Books, Canary Street Press, Mira, and Berkley!


We're on book four in our read-along for the White Trash Zombie series hosted by Anne @Books of My Heart. I'm loving the series and I'm looking forward to joining the chat tomorrow (Sunday)! 

How was your week?

Review: The Sweet Blue Distance by Sara Donati


The Sweet Blue Distance by Sara Donati
Publication Date: April 2nd 2024 by Berkley & Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 800
Audio Book Length: 28hrs 40 mins
Narrator: Kate Reading
Source: Publishers
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Bookbub | Audible | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Carrie Ballentyne is bound for a long journey out West from Manhattan, New York to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to fill a position of mid-wife/nurse for Dr. Markham. In 1857 it’s a long, potentially dangerous journey by train, steamboat, stagecoach, and horseback, so her younger brother, Nathan is accompanying her. This time period there’s unrest, just years before the Civil War, and the viewpoints and challenges were highlighted. The situation at the Markham’s when Carrie arrives isn’t what she was expecting.

Carrie’s profession as a nurse was useful and she was good at handling whatever came her way. I admired her spirit; strong, steady, and determined to do the right thing in any situation! Her brother Nathan was a fun, positive presence adding a bit of humor in. So many wonderful and interesting characters, as well as a few I’d like to have chucked off a cliff! Loved Eli Ibarra! The romance was a slow burn and oh-so-lovely!

The Sweet Blue Distance was on the long side at 800 pages, but it didn’t feel long. It was a thoroughly exciting and engrossing story, and I loved every minute of it! I think I checked the percentage counter maybe twice, I was so into the story, just riding along with whatever was happening next! I need to check out Ms. Donati’s backlist!

I alternately read and listened to The Sweet Blue Distance, and I can recommend either version. Kate Reading was an excellent narrator, performing both female and male voices distinctly, as well as the many accents required. I would happily listen to any story narrated by her. I listened at my usual 1.5x normal speed.

Five stars all the way! A definite recommend!

5 Stars

Book Description:

In 1857 a young midwife braves the perilous journey west from New York City to Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory in this captivating epic from Sara Donati, the international bestselling author of Where the Light Enters .

Carrie Ballentyne’s life was upended in 1845 when she had to leave the only home she’d ever known in the mountains of upstate New York. With her are her widowed mother and younger brother Nathan, but the separation from Bonner, Ballentyne, and Savard relatives weighs heavily.  In time Carrie finds footing as a midwife and nurse, but she never feels at ease in the city. So when, a decade later, she receives an invitation from a doctor in Santa Fe to join him at his practice, she readily accepts.
The trip across the country is long and often dangerous, but she travels the last leg on horseback with men who have been hired to see her safely through the Native nations fighting the westward flood of colonizers. On that journey she makes friends who will be with her for all her Eva, a young widow; and Eli, an experienced surveyor. Once Carrie is established in Santa Fe, it becomes clear that her employer is not everything she was led to believe, and she is forced to face far more challenges and responsibilities than she anticipated. But she dedicates herself to the work and the women, providing health care, delivering babies, and earning the trust of her patients.
In the course of that first summer in New Mexico, determined to make a life for herself in a new kind of wilderness far beyond her imagination, Carrie finds friendship, support, and even love where she least expected.

Monday, April 15, 2024

5 Book Giveaway! Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal Romance

Happy Monday/Tuesday! I have a new batch of books to giveaway. I enjoyed all of them!  

There Should Have Been Eight by Nalini Singh-Hardcover
Leopard's Hunt by Christine Feehan-Paperback
The Night Island by Jayne Ann Krentz-Hardcover
How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin-Paperback ARC Copy
Dane's Mark by Lora Leigh-Hardcover

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sunday Post #246


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.

After the snow last Friday it was nice to have beautiful, sunny weather. I've been getting out on runs and loving how very green everything is! It looks like most of the fruit trees at our house and around the neighborhood have blossoms on them now, but I think a lot of my wisteria blossoms froze in the storm. We'll see how many bloom.  It was even warm enough to sit out on the front porch in the evening and enjoy a glass of wine. Soon I'll be transferring my seedlings to the outside garden. 

Some flowers out in the neighborhood:

Common Pearlbrush


Sweet Pea

Of course, the clouds and rain came back. Still pretty:

Rainy neighborhood run

Click on cover for Goodreads link

Scandal Above Stairs (Below Stairs Mystery #2) by Jennifer Ashley: 4.5 Stars

I am loving the Below Stairs series! The audios are fantastic!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

Thank you to Blackstone Audio and Macmillan Audio!


So green at our house!

How was your week?

Friday, April 12, 2024

Review: Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright
Publication Date: April 9th 2024 by Bethany House Publishers
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher 

My Thoughts:
Norah struggles to run the bed and breakfast on 322 Predicament Avenue, a dream of her sister Naomi’s, whose murder still haunts her, thirteen years later.  But that’s not the only murder to occur at the old farmhouse. True-crime podcaster, Sebastian Blaine shows up at the B & B to feature the murder of Isabelle Addington, a woman who was murdered over a hundred years earlier at 322 Predicament Avenue. Norah fears his podcast will drudge up her sister’s unsolved case and all the crippling memories with it. However, as details come to light, Norah realizes there are things she didn’t know, casting what she thought was true in doubt. With Sebastian’s help Norah digs deeper to find the truth.

Over a hundred years earlier in 1901, Effie and her sister Polly stumble upon a grisly scene taking place at 322 Predicament Avenue, and at first no one believes them. Soon after a Mr. Anderson seeks Effie out after hearing about the event and proclaims the murdered woman must be his wife, Isabelle Addington. They search for clues together, and it seems they are getting close to the truth as Effie and Polly narrowly escape harm.

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue was an engrossing mystery, but the pace was slow at first and took a bit to get into. From the start there was an atmospheric, spooky vibe and I wondered if the danger was from supernatural or real-life threats. You’ll have to read it to find out! There’s also a bit of romance for both Effie and Norah, but it wasn’t front and center. The story ramps up in suspense chapter by chapter and ends in an exciting and satisfying conclusion!

4 Stars

Book Description:

As the walls of the house at Predicament Avenue reveal their hidden truths, two women--generations apart--discover that fear and foreboding are no respecters of time.

In 1901, Effie James is committed to doing anything to save her younger sister, who witnessed a shocking murder, leaving her mute and in danger of the killer's retribution. Effie must prove what her sister saw, but when a British gentleman arrives, he disrupts Effie's quest with his attempts to locate his wife, Isabelle Addington, who was last seen at the supposed crime scene in the abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue. Just as Effie discovers what she seeks, she finds that the blood staining the walls will forever link her to a scandal she couldn't imagine, and to a woman whose secrets promise to curse any who would expose them.

A century later, Norah Richman grapples with social anxiety and grief as she runs her late great-aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue. But Norah has little affection for the house and is committed only to carrying out her murdered sister's dreams until crime historian and podcaster Sebastian Blaine arrives to investigate the ghostly legacy of the house's claim to fame--the murder of Isabelle Addington. When a guest is found dead, the incident is linked to Isabelle's murder, and Norah and Sebastian must work together to uncover the century-old curse that has wrapped 322 Predicament Avenue in its clutches and threatens far more than death.

Author Bio:

Jaime Jo Wright ( is the author of ten novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also a two-time Christy Award finalist, as well as the ECPA bestselling author of The Vanishing at Castle Moreau and two Publishers Weekly bestselling novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her family and felines.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Spring 2024 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic. 

This week is a freebie, so I'm posting the March 19th topic since I didn't get to it:

Books on my Spring 2024 TBR:

Click on cover for Goodreads link:
Winter Lost (Mercy Thompson #14) by Patricia Briggs
15 Summers Later by RaeAnne Thayne
Mind Games by Nora Roberts
Ever Time I Go on Vacation Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

Winter Lost (Mercy Thompson #14) by Patricia Briggs
15 Summers Later by RaeAnne Thayne
Mind Games by Nora Roberts
Every Time I Go on Vacation Someone Dies by Catherine Mack

The Sweet Blue Distance by Sara Donati
Archangel's Lineage (Guild Hunter #16) by Nalini Singh
The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

The Sweet Blue Distance by Sara Donati
Archangel's Lineage (Guild Hunter #16) by Nalini Singh
The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan
Long Time Gone by Charlie Donlea
Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan
Long Time Gone by Charlie Donlea
Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins

I'm excited about every book here! 

How about you? Have you read any on my list or are any on your list as well?