Welcome to my little part of the Christmas Books giveaway hop! This giveaway will be US only this time. (sorry international friends)
The book up for grabs is...
The Christmas Pearlby Dorthea Benton Frank
Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood.
What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante?
Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea for help arrives, with pockets full of enough Gullah magic and common sense to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be.
(There are some nice recipes in the back of the book too!)
There will be one winner chosen by Random.org. To enter this giveaway you must be a
Based on historical characters and events, Love to Water My Soul recounts the dramatic story of an abandoned white child rescued by Indians. Among Oregon's Paiute people, Shell Flower seeks love and a place of belonging...only to be cast away from her home.
A remarkable story of God's constancy and provision for all lovers of history, romance and faith...
Based on historical characters and events, Love to Water My Soul recounts the dramatic story of an abandoned white child rescued by Indians. Among Oregon's Paiute people, Shell Flower seeks love and a pace of belonging...only to be cast away from her home.
In the years that follow, she faces a new life in the world of the white man--a life filled with both attachment and loss--yet finds that God faithfully unites her with a love that fills all longing in this heartwarming sequel to Jane Kirkpatrick's award-winner, A Sweetness to the Soul.
This is book #2 in the Dreamcatcher Series. I did not read the first book because I didn't know there was a first book (A Sweetness to the Soul) but if it is as good as Love to Water My Soul then I really missed out! Yes, I definitely plan to read the first one.
Love to Water My Soul has such well developed characters that I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was right there with Asiam on her journey through good times and hard times.
It is so beautifully written. Although the writing gets a little flowery at times, I feel it made the story come alive. A glossary of Native-American words is included before the first chapter. Knowing what the words meant made it feel very authentic.
This is a powerful read about survival and perseverance with much love, hope and faith. I recommend this book.
Ravished by a Highlander (Children of the Mist #1)
by Paula Quinn
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
Davina Montgomery is no ordinary English lady. For her own protection, she's been locked away from society, her true identity the Crown's most closely guarded secret. Until a shocking betrayal--and a bold rescue--land her in the arms of a fierce Highlander, a powerful warrior whose searing gaze and tantalizing touch awaken her body and soul.
As the firstborn son of a powerful Scottish laird, Robert MacGregor has no loyalty to the English throne, but he's not the kind of man to leave a woman in distress, even if she is English. He vows to deliver Davina to safety, unharmed and untouched. Yet one stolen kiss leaves them both smoldering with desire...and desperate for more. With Davina's secret threatening to destroy his clan, Rob must choose between everything he holds dear and the one woman he can't live without.
RAVISHED BY A HIGHLANDER
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Hickory Smoked Homicide (A Memphis BBQ Mystery #3)
by Riley Adams
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (November 1, 2011)
BBQ-joint owner Lulu Taylor knows pretty much everyone in Memphis who lives ribs. But one person she'd rather not know is Tristan Pembroke, a snooty pageant couch with a mean streak. When she finds Tristan's dead body stuffed in a closet at a party, the police are suspicious- especially since Lulu's developed a taste for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Caught in a situation stickier than molasses, Lulu must clear her name, or risk getting fried...
I love cozies! Hickory Smoked Homicide is the third book in A Memphis BBQ Mystery but it read just fine as a stand alone. I do plan on reading #1 and #2 though.
I liked the characters in the book. They felt well developed and gave me the feel of who they are. Widow Lulu Taylor is a hoot!
A story with plenty of red herrings is what I like in a mystery. I hate to figure out who the guilty party is too soon. This mystery really did keep me guessing with a victim who wasn't liked very much by so many.
Hickory Smoked Homicide was a fun, easy read that I would recommend.
The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller is back with a new series about Parable, Montana-where love awaits. The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father-until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn't sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen-whom Slade has never forgotten But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect-plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter-Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she's responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman's guarded heart.
This was my first Linda Lael Miller read and I enjoyed it. Big Sky Country is the first book in her newest series. The story is a sweet, captivating romance set in Parable, Montana. It's about two half-brothers, one legitimate, one not and their love interests. Sheriff Slade Barlow always knew his father was a weathy rancher that never acknowledged him until the reading of the will. His half-brother Hutch Carmody grew up with all the luxuries of being a welthy mans son but has always resented Slade.
The relationship between Slade and Joslyn came about a bit to fast for me. I wish that part of the story would have been developed a little more.
I think the secondary characters have good potential and I look forward to reading about them in the second installment, Big Sky Moutain.
The world is dead. The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
Alinahas been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.
Quinnshould be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
Beawants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
Watch the video below to find out what inspired the author to write Breathe.
The time: the golden age of piracy - 1716 The Place: the Pirate Round - from South Africa to the Islands of the Caribbean.
Escaping the bullying of his elder brother, from the age of fifteen Jesamiah Acorne has been a pirate, with only two loves - his ship and his freedom. But his life is to change when he and his crew unsuccessfully attack a merchant ship off the coast of South Africa. He is to meet Tiola Oldstagh, an insignificant girl or so he thinks - until she rescues him from a vicious attack, and almost certain death, by pirate hunters. And then he discovers what she really is; a healer and a midwife - and a white witch. Her name, an anagram of "all that is good." Jesamiah and Tiola become lovers, despite her guardian, Jenna Pendeen's disapproval, but Stefan van Overstratten a Cape Town Dutchman, also wants Tiola as his wife, and Jesamiah's half brother Phillipe MerenoJesamiah's path, he must make a choice between his life as a pirate or his love for Tiola; he wants both - but Mereno and Von Overstratten want him dead. In trouble, imprisoned in the darkness and stench that is the lowest part of his brother's ship, can Tiola with her Craft, and the aid of Roux, Jesamiah's quartermaster and the rest of his loyal crew, save her pirate? And can she keep Jesamiah safe from another who wants him for herself? From the elemental being that is Tethys, Goddess of the Sea? A charismatic pirate rogue and a white witch - what better combination for a story of romance and high-sea fantasy adventure?
I just fell in love with the character Captain Jesamiah Acorne, with his acorn earring and the blue ribbons in his hair. He's charming, he's handsome, he's courageous, he's a pirate! Jesamiah loves his freedom, his ship, the advenures of the chase and eventually he meets Tiola and falls in love with her.
Tiola is a young beautiful midwife. She is also a white witch! Tiola will do anything to help her pirate lover Jesamiah (although she does not approve of piracy) and has saved him a few times.
Helen Hollick did a great job on the all of the characters in Sea Witch. I got the feel of each one of them which made the story seem more authentic for me. Sea Witch has adventure, romance, a little mystery and a bit of fantasy but not enough to chase me off (I'm not a huge fan of the fantasy genre).
I think the cover of the book is perfect. I can almost smell the salt in air and feel the spray of the ocean on my face!
I highly recommend this historical novel and I hope you decide to take an adventure on the high seas with Jesamiah and Tiola.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
I've been fortunate enough to win many giveaways so I have decided to pay it forward and host my own! Since Halloween is just around the corner I thought that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be a great book to give away. The copy up for grabs is gently used with a small crease on the back corner but is otherwise in great condition.
(due to postage costs...sorry!)
I will be mailing this book myself so I am not responsible for any loss or damage of the book.
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Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (January 3, 2012)
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER. Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.
This story is told in third person with each chapter alternating between Aria and Perry . The reason I like chapters set up this way is because it helps me to get to know each of them better without lingering in one place long enough for me to forget the feel of the other character.That allows the story to flow more smoothly for me.
I liked both of the main characters straight away. Aria is smart, talented, and very determined to find her mother. She becomes a strong survivor after being dumped in a place with extreme adverse conditions compared to life inside the pod. Perry has not had the pampered and carefree life that those who live behind the domes have. He has to fight for everything he needs and is a real alpha male who comes to Aria's rescue.
These two suddenly find themselves on a journey together, each searching for a missing loved one. Along the way they have to face deadly weather, cannibals, wolves and the people that threw Aria "Outside". I'm sure you have guessed by now that during their travels Aria and Perry start developing some sort of feeling for one another (after a very rocky start) but the pacing was just right I think.
The one criticism I have would be that in the beginning of the book I wish more was written about Aria's life in the pod to give me that day to day feel for it.
Overall I enjoyed this well-written, original dystopian. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Through the Ever Night.
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
I'll start off by saying I loved this book! I don't know why I'm always a little surprised when I read a dystopian and love it. Maybe it's the typical love triangle or love/hate relationship between two strong characters I'm expecting.
Although this book has some of the same characteristics as other dystopians, it was done in a way that didn't make me want to just skim through parts of it. The story flowed nicely and advanced along quickly enough that I didn't get bored, but not so quick that I felt like it was rushed.
The characters, Day and June, were well developed, although I would have liked to get to know Tess a little more (maybe in the next book?).
Two fifteen year old kids accomplishing so much may be unbelievable to some people but who wants to read about unremarkable characters in a dystopian? I like having young "superheroes" in the story.
Kudos to Marie Lu for a well written book. It has left me wanting to follow Day's and June's ventures into the sequel. I found Legend to be very enjoyable and I would recommend it.
If you could return to the road not taken, would you? Happily married and pregnant, Quinn Braverman has an ominous secret. Every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternate reality exists in which she made the opposite choice-not only that, she knows how to cross over. But even in her darkest moments-like her mother's suicide-Quinn hasn't been tempted to slip through...until she receives devastating news about the baby she's carrying.
The grief lures her to peek across the portal, and before she knows it she's in the midst of the other life: the life in which she married another man, and is childless. The life in which her mother is still very much alive.
Quinn is forced to make a heartbreaking choice. Will she stay with the family she loves and her severely disabled child? Or will an easier life-and the primal need to be with her mother-win out?
How creepy would that be, knowing that you exist in an alternate reality? Just imagine if you make one decision but in an other life you make a different one and it's all happening at the same time.
I thought this book was gonna be a page turner but it turn out to be a let down for me. I'm not saying that it was bad, it just wasn't what I expected. I thought the whole alternate life thing was a good idea and I do like Meister's writing style but I personally didn't find the story that interesting.
I couldn't seem to care about the main character for some reason. In one life Quinn has a child and is pregnant with her second. She found this portal that she could go back and forth through to the alternate life.
A mother leaving her child that she loves so dearly for another life because she thinks she may be happier there, even for a little while, didn't feel believable. She just came across as selfish to me. But hey, that's just my two cents worth. I have seen a lot of four and five star reviews for this book...this just won't get that many stars from me.