teaser tuesdayOne of the fun parts of taking part in blog hops (aside from getting to visit new to me blogs) is finding great ways to interact with other book lovers.  This is one:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I seem to be on an Historical Romance slant recently for my non-review planned reading.  This is from the book currently on my reading table.

The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor“Abby came awake abruptly with a yank on her hair, and a hand over her mouth.  She had no time to cry out before another hand fell over her throat and dragged her into the shadows. ~ The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor.”

A LADY’S MISSION…
Known for her beauty and boldness, Abigail MacGregor must preserve her clan’s dangerous secret: that her mother is the true heir to the English Crown. If the wrong people find out, it will mean war for her beloved Scotland. To keep peace, she embarks for London, unprepared for the treachery that awaits—especially from her wickedly handsome escort. He is the enemy, but his slow, sensuous kisses entice her beyond reason…

A WARRIOR’S TEMPTATION
General Daniel Marlow, loyal knight and the kingdom’s most desirable hero, would rather be on the battlefield than transporting a spoiled Highland lass. But Abby MacGregor is unlike any woman he’s ever met, in a ballroom or in his bedroom. Captivated by her daring spirit and seduced by her lovely innocence, Daniel must choose between betraying his queen or giving up the woman who would steal his country—and his traitorous heart.

 

His Blushing BrideTitle:  His Blushing Bride
Series:  Montana Born Brides #2
Author:  Dani Collins
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  May 11, 2015
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…

Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.

Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.

They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?

Read on for my thoughts on His Blushing Bride.  No true spoilers, promise.

open book and  pink flowerMusing Monday is hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION:

Be My Love“A Monday’s Pick Review of Be My Love by Lucy Kevin”

Be My Love was a free novella that I picked up at Amazon.  Just because a story is short, don’t think that those styles of tales don’t give a full, satisfying story.  This one certainly did, as well as being the opening story in the series, Walker Island.

Here’s the cover blurb for Be My Love:

Come for a visit to Walker Island where you’ll find stunning Pacific Northwest ocean views, men too intriguing to resist…and five beautiful, close-knit sisters who are each about to find their one true love.

After four years on the Seattle mainland, when Hanna Walker returns to Walker Island to make a documentary about the infamous Peterson-Walker feud from the early 1950s, she’s shocked to realize that passions still run high. Especially when it comes to Joel Peterson, the one man who is totally off-limits…but that she’s never been able to stop dreaming about.

The last thing Joel wants is for Hanna to dredge up the past, but when he realizes she’s determined to follow through with her documentary no matter what, he knows he has no choice but to join her. But despite vowing to hold back his growing feelings for her, as Joel works with Hanna to unravel the mystery of what really happened between their two families, he soon begins to see that love is an unstoppable force…and that sometimes two people are meant to be.

This one was enjoyable, so read on for my thoughts on Be My Love.

Wyoming Wildflowers the beginningMonday’s Pick” is a feature here at Keeper Bookshelf that showcases a novel I picked up for free.  This week’s pick was found at Amazon’s Free Kindle Books offerings.

Look for a “Free” novel to be picked each Monday and the review to appear on the following Monday.   There are some really good “free” novels available (and some not so great too).  Let’s weed them out.  If this sounds like something you might like to take part in — awesome, just leave a link with your Free Monday Pick in the comment section and let us go check it out.

Blurb:

One look, a passionate love . . . and then they part . . . Forever?

Before the bestselling and award-winning Wyoming Wildflowers series, there was another love story, one that laid the foundation for all those that came after.

Ed Currick’s and Donna Roberts’ worlds couldn’t have been any more different – a rancher from Wyoming and an up-and-coming Broadway musical actress on a national tour. What could have been a momentary encounter sparks desire . . . and more. But can there be anything but heartbreak ahead when they have only days before their dreams pull them apart?

When The Chips Are DownTitle:  When The Chips Are Down
Series:  Three of a Kind #1
Author:  Beth Rinyu
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 30, 2015
Publisher:  Book Enthusiast Promotions
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Melanie Hanson’s life didn’t go quite the way she had planned. Her cheating ex-husband traded her in for a newer model and she’s in over her head dealing with the drama that comes along with raising her twin teenage daughters.

The last thing she is looking for or needs in her life is a man – or is it?

Ben Wilder is the boy that Melanie loved to hate throughout high school, the boy that all the girls loved and the boy that didn’t give Melanie the time of day, unless it was to tease her. When she runs into him once again she realizes…he’s not a boy anymore. Older and wiser, she’s determined not to fall for her secret crush from all those years ago. But sometimes our heart has different plans than our head. Will she finally get her happily ever after with the man she least expected to have it with?

Take a humorous journey with Melanie and her daughters as their lives begin to parallel and they discover that although they may be separated by a generation their struggles are still the same.

Read on for my thoughts on When The Chips Are Down.  No true spoilers, promise.

mothers-day-ecard-free-4Happy Mom’s Day to all of the amazing mothers out there – especially those in the writing, reviewing, reading, blogging world.

An extra “hug” to all of the moms of kids with what the world calls “special needs” – we who love those kids know that they are simply ours and we love them in any shape or form that God gave them to us in.

Today, my adult “kid” will take me and my best friend and her son out for our traditional Mother’s Day event.  We head into the beautiful mountains of Western Pennsylvania to a ski resort called Seven Springs where there is no longer snow, but there is the most amazing Mother’s Day brunch.  We will shop in a fantastic bakery and pick up  some Buckeyes (sinfully delicious peanut butter globs dipped in chocolate) and some pepperoni bread.  Then head to the local butcher where we’ll pick up some of the best cuts of meat around and store them in the freezer to enjoy the rest of the year.  There are tons of local artists’ shops where I’m certain we will find another hand made wooden piece of furniture (a tradition) and whatever other treasures catch our eyes.  It will be a day spent with my family and those two other people who have become the family of my heart if not blood.  It will be a fantastic day, we’ll return home stuffed and broke – but happy and blessed to have spent one more special Mom’s Day together.  It’s the memories that matter the most.

But before we head out for that precious day, I’d like to share some “mom” thoughts with you, my online family.

I’ve been a daughter and I’ve been a mom, so I guess I’ve seen the world from both sides now.

The most difficult job I’ve ever had was being a mom.  The absolutely most rewarding job I ever accepted has been being a mom.  Again, both sides of the coin.

Not every mom is a perfect mom – but I believe we (for the most part) try our best to be the kind of mom our kids need most.  I have said “I hate you” to my mom.  I have heard “I hate you Mom” from my son – and now I understand the heartbreak I handed to my own mom when, in teenage anger I delivered that strike to her heart.  And even though as an adult I know she knew that I didn’t really mean it – words cannot be unsaid.  So be careful with words, they really can wound sometimes.

I think the most precious words I ever heard were from my son when one day out of the blue he said “I love you, Mom.  Thanks for not giving up on me.”  As if I ever could or had.  But hearing the emotion was priceless.

It’s not a smooth sailing kind of life, there are plenty of stumbling blocks along the way.  But it is so worth every single moment.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.  The world might think it’s just one day out of the year – we know better.

And to my own mom who has been gone from my daily life for years now, but never, ever far from my heart or thoughts – I love you, Mom.

If Roses Grow In Heaven

Chasing VictoryTitle:  Chasing Victory
Series:  The Winters Sisters #1
Author:  Joanne Jaytanie
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Published:  March 15, 2013
Publisher:  Romance Beckons
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Doctor Doolittle in female form creates X-Men on steroids. Murder, kidnapping, and blackmail follow as world-renowned geneticist Victory Winters is forced to pursue her research on canine DNA.

Victory possesses an unusual innate sense of communication, boarding on telepathic when relating to animals. This unique ability has elevated her status to world renowned genetic research specialist. She is kidnapped and blackmailed with threats to her family, forcing her to work for a rival corporation, Biotec and run by a madman CEO.

Naval officer Tristan Farraday is sent undercover to track Biotec’s experiments. These experiments involve implanting genus canis DNA into humans thereby manipulating their genetic makeup, in hopes to create the perfect soldier.

First suspecting Victory as being associated with Biotec, Tristan later realizes that she has been pulled into this world against her wishes. Victory refuses to divulge the genetic answers Biotec demands. She believes Biotec is looking to exploit her findings, by using them in a destructive manner. Will Tristan be able to rescue her from this madman’s grip and save her family? Can he keep the research Victory discovers away from enemy hands?

Read on for my thoughts on Chasing Victory.  No true spoilers, promise.

Your Favorite AuthorI have a bit of a dilemma.  So I’m turning to the people who I know will understand exactly what I mean by that title.  People who love the written word, especially those words that are written by an author you’ve come to enjoy, love even and trust that they will always “deliver the goods” for you.

I have many “favorite” authors in reality.  Since I read many genre, this probably isn’t all that surprising.  But this is the tale of one un-named author that has been a favorite of mine for more than a decade.  I think that gives me enough invested interest to have an opinion of their work.   Or even of what is lacking in their work lately.

It needs to be said that I mean absolutely no disrespect by this post.  None whatsoever.  It’s simply something that I have noticed over this authors last 3 to 5 novels.  I’m going to assume that writers go through slumps, those times when the words just don’t, for whatever reason, flow easily.  Now I cannot do what an author does.  No way, no how.  Oh, I can put words together to say how a novel affected me, whether I liked it, loved it or would pass it by, regretfully.  But I cannot weave words into the magic of creating a world full of characters that readers would care overly much about what happens to them next.  No that is a magic I do not have.

So when an author who has given me that magical world for years seems to no longer have the fire, the drive, the essence of the characters like they once did – I become concerned.  When the only thing I truly recognize about the novel is the name of the Un-named Author on the cover – I think I have the right to question a bit.  When I am beginning to think the unthinkable – that this author is not writing their books, someone else is – that is when I begin to truly panic.

Because I do not want to believe that.

I am heartbroken to say that I believe I have bought the last new novel by this author.  Oh, I will still request new titles to be put on hold for me at the library, I’ll still read them in the desperate hopes that I am wrong.  God, I pray I am wrong.  But I do not believe I will hand over my hard earned cash any longer for the work of an artist who is not writing the kind of books I know they are capable of giving us.

And no, I will not be naming this author.  I have no intention of being sued over a feeling, a suspicion that might not be true.

What do you do, as a reader, when an author’s work slips into something you no longer recognize?  Do you stick it out with them, thinking it’s a temporary thing?  Do you drop them from your buying schedule like yesterday’s trash?

How long do you hold onto the hope that your feeling is wrong?  I’d really like to know your thoughts.

Cinderella had it EasyTitle:  Cinderella Had It Easy
Series:  The Cinderella Body Club #1
Author:  Jennifer Conner
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Retelling
Published:  March 23, 2015
Publisher:  Books To Go Now
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Synopsis:

Story one from the a new romance series of the timeless Cinderella story re imagined where four girlfriends make a wish on a locket. They all wish they were beautiful, and look like the girls they’ve always wanted to be. The belle of the ball.

Cami works in the basement of a television station which airs history documentaries. With scars on her face that she acquired in a car accident as a child, Cami finds it easier to be by herself. She gets into a heated debate with the handsome new host of the show she’ll be working on. Is Lance the knight in shining armor who can drag Cami out of her safe zone? With no carriage and no helpful mice, she has to rely on the magic from her grandmother’s locket.

Cami only has 24 hours in her Cinderella body, what will she do with it? Will she keep hiding or can she learn how to live life?

Read on for my thoughts on Cinderella Had It Easy.  No true spoilers, promise.

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