Friday, September 29, 2017

Outlander Series Reading Challenge Check-In Post #6

Hello Lovelies! So, we’ve made it to out 6th check-in and our 9th month of the Outlander Reading Challenge Check-In! Give yourselves a pat on the back and a dram of whatever strikes your fancy.
I want to say ‘thank you’ to those who have joined in! As of today, we’re up to 169 members in the Facebook group. If you haven’t joined the Facebook group, please do so. It’s great place to interact with others joining in.
I also want to say congrats to those of you who have finished reading the series. It’s also a bittersweet moment.
A few people have had questions about what counts in this challenge, so here’s a quick list.
Ø Books must be read in 2017
Ø Re-reads count
Ø All formats (print, digital, or audio) count
Ø Any Outlander-related book counts (the big ones, the shorts, the additional material such as the companion books, graphic novel, behind-the-scenes book, and the cookbook)
Ø Yes, the Lord John books count.

This has been a busy Outlander month and I’ve been over the moon about it. The show’s started back up—yay!—and, while I’ve been drooling over the telly, I mean, enjoying the show, I feel this season is too rushed. There’s so much that I was expecting to see and I feel as though it’s only scratched the surface but, sadly, that’s the way book-to-telly goes.


On the reading front…I’m nearly finished with the brick of a book known as Volume One of the Outlander Companion. I just love getting a behind the scenes of a book.


I finally finished my second reading of Outlander. I’m always baffled at what catches my eye each time I read a book. And it’s usually something odd like I really want to know what happened to the bloody trout Jamie caught when he was teaching Claire how to tickle trout.


A few things of Note: 
And since there’s been some confusion about what Seven Stones to Stand or Fall is, I’ve added a post about it.


Okay, lovelies, it’s your turn. What are you reading? Have you watched Season three? If so, what are your thoughts?


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris

Robin and Aurora have finally begun their adventure in parenting. With newborn Sophie proving to be quite a handful, Roe’s mother pays for a partially trained nurse, Virginia Mitchell, to come help the new parents for a few weeks. Virginia proves to be especially helpful when Robin has to leave town for work and Roe is struck with a bad case of the flu.

One particularly stormy night, Roe wakes to hear her daughter crying and Virginia nowhere to be found. Roe's brother Philip helps her search the house and they happen upon a body outside… but it isn’t Virginia’s. Now, not only does she have a newborn to care for and a vulnerable new marriage to nurture, Roe also has to contend with a new puzzle -- who is this mystery woman dead in their backyard, and what happened to Virginia? This heart-pounding and exciting next installment of the Aurora Teagarden series will leave fans happy and hungry for more.

Series: Aurora Teagarden # | Publisher: Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press | Release Date: September 26, 2017 | Genre: Cozy Mystery| Source: | Rating: 4 Cups

Another Aurora Teagarden mystery? Yes, please! I cannot get enough of this series. Every time I pick up another addition to this series, it’s like visiting old friends and I am so pleased that she’s decided to write more.
In this one, Roe and Robin are not only adjusting to life as newlyweds but also to life with a newborn. And to make matters more complicated, Robin has to leave town for work and poor Roe has the flu. Thankfully Roe has help from Virginia, but that soon ends when dead body is discovered in Roe’s backyard and Virginia is nowhere to be found.
There was a lot going on with Roe in this one—a new marriage and a new baby—so she and Robin are definitely feeling the strain, which only gets worse when a dead body is found in the backyard.
So I figured out most of the mystery early on but I still found the process enjoyable. And Roe wasn’t as hands-on in the investigation aspect as she has been but it worked because we got to see more of Roe as the wife and mother and, honestly, while I enjoy the cozy mystery aspect of this series I truly read it to see what’s going on with the characters, and not just the main characters.
Overall,  I could not put this book down and I had half the book read before I had even realized it. I love being back in Roe’s world and seeing what’s happening with friends and family.
Series alert. This one is the tenth novel in the series and it does work as a standalone. Although I highly recommend reading Last Scene Alive and All the Little Liars just to get a sense of who’s who.

Aurora Teagarden Series
 1-Real Murders
2-A Bone to Pick
3-Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
5-Dead Over Heels
6-A Fool and His Honey
7-Last Scene Alive
8-Poppy Done to Dead
10-Sleep Like a Baby


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #64: Death & the Viking's Daughter by Loretta Ross

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death Bogart are ready to meet the parents and settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.
As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking's daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.
Release Date: February 8th, 2018
Series: Auction Block Mysteries #4
Why it’s my WoW: I know that February is a long way off at the moment but I’m seriously addicted to this series and I can’t wait to see what Death and Wren get into next.

What are you waiting on?


Monday, September 25, 2017

It’s Monday, Monday! And Free Books!

Hello, my Lovelies!
I hope Monday is treating you well!
I finally decided to get my behind in gear and start on my Renaissance dress, so I’ve been up to my eyes in fabric, ribbons, buttons, thread, eyehooks, and patterns (that make no sense and have me Googling sewing terms in the wee hours of the morning).  I have the underskirt nearly finished—I just have to add eyehooks and stitch the ribbon in place once I figure out how full I want it. I’ve also finished my hat. If things go according to plan, I should have the overskirt finished today. Now it’s just deciding on what type of sleeves I want and waiting for the boning to arrive so I can finish the bodice.
I finally caught up on the last two episodes of Outlander. I was a bit disappointed in ‘Surrender’ (episode two, season three). I’m not going to give anything away but I was really expecting more from the Dunbonnet episode. It felt way too rushed and, given that this was the Dunbonnet episode and Jamie’s story had so much to offer, I could have done without most of the Claire and Frank scenes—which felt pointless—and could have had more of Jamie.
All Debts Paid’ was amazing but way too rushed. So much should have happened between the start of the episode and the ending and it didn’t even begin to touch what it should have. I know that there’s a limited amount of time for each episode and a limited amount of episodes in each season but I have a feeling that everything is going to feel rushed until Claire comes back. With that being said, I enjoyed the first introduction of the adult Lord John and there was surprise that made me do a happy little dance.


Here’s a few free e-books to brighten your Monday. (All books listed below were free at the time of posting. Please check the price before buying. )
The Solemn Bell by Allyson Jeleyne
Reeling from a motorcar accident, Captain Brody Neill seeks shelter in a derelict manor. But the injured Captain is not alone. Haunted by horrors of the Great War, he has become addicted to the only drug strong enough to dull his tortured soul. Without his precious morphine, he cannot keep the disturbing visions of his past at bay.
Wild Boys After Dark: Logan by Melissa Foster
Navy SEAL turned private Investigator Logan Wild is relentless in his pursuit to discover the truth for his clients. He works hard, plays even harder, and always walks away unscathed and untethered. Until he meets mysterious and sexy-as-hell Stormy Knight, who leaves him craving more than a one-night stand.
Stella "Stormy" Knight is an expert at hiding--her feelings, her past, and her identity. Sometimes all that hiding takes its toll, and she needs to come out from under that heavy suit of armor and cut loose--but it never takes her long to put it right back on and disappear without a trace. 
Passion ignites, secrets are shared, and their deep connection is impossible to ignore. But in order to have a future, Logan must uncover Stormy's dark past--and when he does, he'll hold her fate in his hands.
Undiscovered by Anna Hackett
Finding undiscovered treasures is always daring, dangerous, and deadly. Perfect for the men of Treasure Hunter Security. Former Navy SEAL Declan Ward is haunted by the demons of his past and throws everything he has into his security business--Treasure Hunter Security. Dangerous archeological digs - no problem. Daring expeditions - sure thing. Museum security for invaluable exhibits - easy. But on a simple dig in the Egyptian desert, he collides with a stubborn, smart archeologist, Dr. Layne Rush, and together they get swept into a deadly treasure hunt for a mythical lost oasis. When an evil from his past reappears, Declan vows to do anything to protect Layne.
Dr. Layne Rush is dedicated to building a successful career--a promise to the parents she lost far too young. But when her dig is plagued by strange accidents, targeted by a lethal black market antiquities ring, and artifacts are stolen, she is forced to turn to Treasure Hunter Security, and to the tough, sexy, and too-used-to-giving-orders Declan. Soon her organized dig morphs into a wild treasure hunt across the desert dunes. Danger is hunting them every step of the way, and Layne and Declan must find a way to work not only find the treasure but to survive.
Light Up the Night: A Cottonbloom Novel by Laura Trentham
When a police chief who craves stability meets a free-thinking, colorful college professor, neither anticipate the fireworks that light up the night...
After a mugging in grad school left her with an irrational fear of the night not even her PhD in psychology has helped overcome, Sadie Wren is sure she’s found an idyllic, safe place in Cottonbloom. When a break-in at her house shatters her sense of safety, gruff, protective Thaddeus Preston storms into her life. On the surface, they have little in common, but a loneliness she’s only too familiar with hides behind his infrequent smiles. But based on her knowledge of the human psyche, Sadie is convinced her infatuation with Thad will burn out as quickly as it flared.
As the Chief of Police of Cottonbloom, Mississippi, Thaddeus Preston maintains a strict control on everything in the small town—himself included. With an older brother serving time for a crime Thad committed when he was just a kid, he lives a life of penance, not allowing anyone to get close. When a reported lurker turns into a real threat, Thad is determined to restore order as quickly as possible and get back to his virtual jail.
But Thad’s brother gets out on probation just as Sadie and the town turns to him for protection. His tidy, barren life spins into chaos, and the only thing that makes sense is the one woman who shouldn’t.
What have you lovelies been up to?


Friday, September 15, 2017

Breaching the Contract by Chantel Fernando

Katerina Dawson knows exactly what she wants from life. And as the new associate at the top law firm in the city, she’s ready to live out her dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer. But going on coffee runs and babysitting kids during the day was definitely not what she had in mind. She knows that anyone else would kill to be in her shoes, but she has to draw the line somewhere. That’s easier said than done, though, when Kat has to confront her handsome boss…

Tristan Channing and Jaxon Bentley run a successful law firm together and the two partners couldn’t be busier right now. When Jaxon suddenly takes a leave of absence, Tristan begrudgingly assumes responsibility of the new associate, the hot new associate, who has curves for days. Needing to keep his distance from her, Tristan sends Kat on needless errands and has her doing work even an intern wouldn’t touch, like picking up his kids. But his plan backfires when he sees his children grow attached to Kat and sees her getting comfortable in his home. It triggers something deep within him, and it feels right to have her there. Will Tristan be able to keep his work and personal lives separate, or will he find that his heart holds the final verdict?

Series: Conflict of Interest #1 | Publisher: Pocket Books | Release Date: September 18, 2017 | Genre:  Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 3.5 Cups

I’m such a massive fan of Chantel Fernando’s Wind Dragons series that I was both excited and hesitant to try this new lawyer-based Conflict of Interest series. Breaching the Contract wasn’t really what I was expecting—it’s cute and sweet where Wind Dragons is a bit gritty and in your face—but I was hooked and could not put it down.
Here’s what’s going on. When Kat’s hired at one of the top law firms, she’s excited to be working with Jaxon Bentley—one of the top criminal lawyers—but when Jaxon takes a leave of absence Kat now finds herself working with his someone surly associate Tristan Channing. Instead of working on cases and getting to know their clients, Kat’s babysitting Tristan’s kids and grabbing him coffee. Tristan knows he needs to keep his distant from Kat, he’s not ready to get into a new relationship but when he sees the way she is with his kids and how they are with her, he can’t help want to let her in.
So, this one was a quick read—I read it in under an hour—and it was such a cute little romance. The first few pages were a bit slow as Kat and the law firm was introduced, once the setting and characters were established the book picked up.
I really liked Kat and Jaxon—she’s determined and not afraid to speak her mind, he’s a bit surly but loveable and he’s also a single father determined to see that his kids are taken care of.
The relationship between Kat and Jaxon was sweet—if not a bit fast, but this was short one so it was to be expected. They had some issues to work out, his was personal where she was worried about how it would look professionally, but they were dealt with swiftly and drama free.
So, there was little to no conflict in this one and it worked. The novel wasn’t heavy or intense, it was just one those I had a bad day and want something light type of book.
One thing I was a bit disappointed in was the how abrupt the ending was. There was an issue that was brought up and I was really expecting it to come into play more in the plot but rather than going through the motions, the book fast forwarded three months and just gave a recap of what happened.  
If you’re a fan of Fernando, you’ll be glad to hear that while the characters are clean cut compared to her Wind Dragons series, her heroes are still sweet, sexy, and alpha and her heroines are still independent, fun, and feisty.  
Overall, this one was light, fluffy, and perfect to unwind with. It was a great start to the new series that introduced the new characters and made me want to know more about them. I’m slightly disappointed that this was a novella because the characters were so intriguing that they could have easily filled a full-length book.

Conflict of Interest Series
Breaching the Contract
Seducing the Defendant


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles

Trapped in the wrong time, she needs a knight in shining armor, but this damsel in distress might be the real savior.
With a day planner attached to her hip, the last thing Katy Tolson wants is a romance that threatens her well-ordered life. She's set to marry the safe - but bland - guy, but something's not quite...right. A careless wish thrusts her through time into medieval Wales and into the arms of a knight in somewhat shining armor.
Sir Robert Beucol, half-Norman and half-Welsh, lives with the shame of his father's treason and vows to reclaim his family's holdings and thereby his honor. To prove himself to his king, he must be more Norman than a full-blooded Norman. What better way to show loyalty than to fight his mother's people? He has no desire to be sidetracked by the mysterious wench with pink toenails, peculiar habits, and passion smoldering behind her cool, collected exterior.
The Welsh uprising fits perfectly into Robert's plans. Katy's on the other hand? That's a no. As they embark on a perilous journey through the heart of Wales, each passionate encounter pulls them closer together, but farther from their goals. When everything they value is at stake, can they save each other and their love?
Series: Must Love #2 | Publisher: Angela Quarles | Narrator: Mary Jane Wells  | Length: 10 hrs and 1 min | Genre: | Source: Author | Ratings: 4 Cups

A time travel romance with a tarnished medieval knight and a modern day woman who just so happens to be a control freak? Yes, please! I’m just loving this series. It’s been a blast to listen to.
Here’s what’s going on. Katy Tolson has spent her life playing it safe and living by her day planner. She’s even picked the perfect ‘safe’ guy to marry. Although all of her planning goes out the window when an accidental wish transports her back to medieval Wales and into the arms of a handsome but tarnished knight. Sir Robert is determined to break free of the stigma of his father’s treason and to do that he must turn his back on the Welsh, who happen to be his mother’s people. Yet things don’t go as planned when he finds Katy. Now they must rely on each other as they venture across Wales in the middle of an uprising.
First, let me say, I did a little happy dance when I discovered this was set in Medieval Wales. It’s a setting and era rarely picked for time travel romances and I have to give kudos to Angela Quarles for making this one unique. It definitely stands out.
I really liked both Katy and Robert. They’re both a little damaged and have issues they need to work out. There’s some soul searching they need to do and they both have unanswered questions. I really liked watching them grow both as a couple and as individuals. And I enjoyed watching them reevaluate their ways of thinking.
While there was definitely a spark to the relationship and chemistry between them, it took a bit of time before they figured things out. Robert has reasons why he feels he can’t wed and Katy was focused on getting back to her time.
One of the things that I’ve come to love about this series is that the author brings the setting to life and I love how she made Wales seem as though it was another character. It just brought so much to the story.
So, there was one little problem I had—and it wasn’t really an actual problem—I just wanted to see more of the ending. I’m kinda hoping she’ll release a novella so I can see what’s going on with Robert and Katy.
This is the second in the Must Love series and while the books are connected, it’s a loose connection and this one works brilliantly as a standalone.
Overall, this one had me on the edge of my seat. I was so wrapped up in the story, it just flew by. Not only did it offer time travel and romance, it offered history and a bit of danger. This series should be on everyone’s tbr list.

Must Love Series
2-Mucst Love Chainmail
3-Must Love Kilts


Monday, September 11, 2017

It’s Monday, Monday…Outlander and Free Reads

Hello, Lovelies!

It’s Monday, Monday! And I hope the start of the week is treating you well!

For me, this week started with a bang because droughtlander is finally over! Huzzah! Starz released the first episode of season 3, The Battle Joined, early On Demand so, needless to say, I was pleased.

The episode was brilliant. It dealt with Claire and Frank (I cringe a little when I say/type/read/think about his name/him) settling into their new life in Boston and with each other as well as Jamie and the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden.

While I was ecstatic about Outlander coming back on, I was a bit hesitant about watching the Culloden scenes—not because the scenes were bloody but because the Battle of Culloden was an event that changed the fabric of Scotland. In less than an hour, the Battle of Culloden left nearly 3,000 Jacobites dead on the battlefield and ended the Highlander way of life so I was pleased to see that Outlander brought forth the weight and the grittiness of the battle rather than romanticize it. And Sam Heughan did such an amazing job of bringing forth the emotion of the battle.

In other news, I finally found a home for the hermit crabs. They were cute but creeped me out so I can’t say I was sad to bid them adieu. The fish is now residing on my desk and seems to happy now that he’s recovered from his journey in the post.

On the bookfront, I managed to get through a few audiobooks last week while I finished up some home projects. I’ve also stacked my TBR next pile with a few Christmas/Winter books. I purchased an e-book, 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter, after reading the fantastic review by Kim @ The Caffeinate Book Reviewer.

Free on Amazon
How to Marry a Cowboy: All Lily and Gabby want for their eighth birthday is a mom. Mason Harper had always side stepped the issue, but what was he supposed to say the day he found a woman wearing a tattered bridal gown and just waking up on his front porch swing? He offers Annie Rose the job of watching his wild girls for a month while he finds a new nanny, and she takes it with intentions of laying low for a month to hide from her abusive ex-boyfriend. But in such close quarters, their growing attraction is impossible to deny...
Reckless in Texas: Outside the rodeo ring, Violet Jacobs a single mom and the lone voice pushing for her family’s rodeo production company to modernize and gun for the big time circuits. When she takes a business matter into her own hands by hiring on hotshot rodeo bullfighter Joe Cassidy, she expected to start a ruckus inside the family...but never expected her heart to end up on the line.

Free on Amazon
An exciting prequel novella to New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker's thrilling new Deep Six series
Harper Searcy didn't want to fall for a soldier, but she couldn't forget her hot Navy SEAL friend or their one night stand. When the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan where she works comes under attack by terrorists, there is only one man she knows who would move heaven and earth to rescue her: Michael "Mad Dog" Wainwright.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Rapid Fire Book Tag

I’ve been wanting to add something a bit different to the blog lately and there’s been so many of these fun little book tags floating around, I decided to give them a go.

The Rapid Fire book tag has been popping up on a few blogs recently and it looked intriguing. The original tag can be found here @ The Bibliophile Girl.
E-Book Or Physical Book?
Physical Book because there’s nothing like that new book smell or the feel of turning actual pages.

Paperback Or Hardback?
Nothing beats a lovely new Hardback, plus I don’t have to worry about the spines cracking. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than a cracked spine. And they look so lush sitting on my bookshelf.

Online Or In-Store Book Shopping?
In-Store. That book smell is soothing to the soul and there always a fellow bookworm to chat up. 
Trilogies Or Series?
Series because three books is never enough.
Heroes Or Villains?
A redeemable villain because everyone loves a bad boy.

A Book You Want Everyone To Read?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte #TheoriginalTeamEdward

Recommend An Underrated Author?

Loretta Ross, cozy mystery writer who entwines heavier/more meaningful plots into her cozies.

The Last Book You Finished?

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne (out October 3, 2017)
Weirdest Thing You’ve Used As A Bookmark?
A smooth slab of serpentine (gemstone) that I intended to make a necklace out of until I accidentally broke it.
Used Books: Yes Or No?
If in good condition, yes. Some of my rare King Henry VIII and Tudor nonfiction books have been used.

Top Three Favourite Genres?
Romance, Mysteries, and Nonfiction. Although those can change given my mood.

Borrow Or Buy?
Buy. I can’t even recall the last time I borrowed a book.

Character Or Plot?
Character because they make or break the book. The plot can be amazing but if I don’t mesh with the characters, or they’re out there in left field, or they’re as annoying as sin, or just TSTL the grand plot is for naught.

Long Or Short Books?
Depends on my mood. If a long book grabs my attention, I can have it read no time and if a short book bores the pants off me, it can take me weeks (Summer on Firefly Lake, I’m looking at you. The longest 331 pages I’ve ever read.)

Name The First Three Books You Think Of
Maybe I Do by Nicole McLaughlin (because I just finished writing my review)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (because Jamie Fraser is always on my mind)
Breaching the Contract by Chantal Fernando (because it’s next on my TBR pile)

Books That Make You Laugh Or Cry?
Anything by Emma Chase, Molly Harper, Alison Clayton will have me laughing out loud in public places.
I’m not really a crier but Nearest Thing to Heaven by Lynnette Austin brought up all the feels.

Audiobooks: Yes Or No?
If the narrator is good, then yes. A bad narrator can ruin a good book.

Do You Ever Judge A Book By Its Cover?
I do! The cover’s the first thing that catches my eye.

Book To Movie Or Book To TV?
Neither does the books much justice but if I had to choose, then Book to TV that way I get to watch my favorite characters every week.

A Movie Or TV Show That You Preferred To The Book?
Austenland. It was spunkier and more mature than the book.

Series Or Standalones?
Series because one is never enough.

So, that was that, Lovelies, and it was a blast to do. Rather than tagging anyone, I’m just going to say jump in if you want.