Once Removed (Blackhawk Security: Book 1) by Margaret Watson

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Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: January 15th, 2021

Genre: Romance

Series: Blackhawk Security

Once Removed—Book 1

Once Burned—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Indigo | Kobo

Format Read: eBook

Got book from: Author via BookFunnel

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse (not graphic but talked about), Domestic Violence (not graphic, talked about), mild violence

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Lainey becomes trapped in a burning building with her almost-divorced husband’s body, Brody rescues her just in time. And when she realizes the killer is now after her, she takes refuge at Brody’s Montana ranch.

Lainey and Brody have been fighting their attraction for years. But as the barriers between them fall, Lainey rescues Phoebe, a runaway teen, from the compound where her husband died. Now they’re forced to focus on Phoebe and an invisible threat.

Whoever murdered her husband has eyes on Lainey. Will their fragile new family survive a desperate predator? Can they protect Phoebe, identify the killer and find their happily ever after?


Synopsis Overview:

Lainey is looking for her ex-husband to serve him divorce papers. Knowing that he was working as a security guard at a compound, she heads there. Instead of finding him, giving him the forms, and leavingLainey finds his body. She is then assaulted and left to die in a burning building. Lainey is saved by Brody, a rancher who happened to be in the area.

Under suspicion of her ex-husband’s death, Lainey is forced to move in with Brody when someone tries to break into her house, and the police don’t do anything about it. Deciding to stop at the compound to see if any clues could clear her name, Brody and Lainey find a tween scavenging for food. Deciding to take Phoebe in, Lainey and Brody realize that even a well-fortified ranch can’t protect Lainey from whoever is after her.

Brody and Lainey also have to deal with their growing feelings for each other. Both of them have good reasons for wanting to take it slow. Lainey, it is because her husband physically abused her. Brody, it’s because his ex-wife played games with him. Also, Brody has a secret, and he is afraid that if Lainey finds out what it is, she will reject him.

Will Lainey find out who is after her and why? Will Brody trust Lainey with his secret? And will Phoebe be safe?


Once Removed is the love story of Lainey and Brody. What I liked about Once Removed is that it wasn’t an InstaLove story. Lainey and Brody had known each other for a couple of years before anything happened. Lainey was Brody’s accountant, and their attraction grew over the years instead of over a couple of weeks. Now, saying that, the book did move fast when it came to the relationship. Lainey and Brody were living together for a couple of days. But the author allowed their romantic relationship to grow.

The mystery/thriller angle of Once Removed was well written. The author kept me guessing who was going after Lainey and why that person was doing it. I did have a small suspicion, but that was proven wrong when the bad guy was revealed.

Phoebe’s storyline was well written, and I loved how the author merged them towards the end of the book. It also pulled on my heartstrings. The pain that Phoebe was feeling was transparent. Her gradual acceptance of Brody (and more immediate acceptance of Lainey) was heartwarming. I liked that the author didn’t get into graphic detail about the abuse and neglect that Phoebe endured. The little snippets that were shared were enough to make me go teary-eyed.

I also liked that the author chose not to go into details about the abuse Lainey endured. Yes, she talked about it, but it wasn’t graphic. I also liked that the author chose to tackle a problem regarding law enforcement and domestic violence. Instead of her ex being reprimanded, the sheriff’s office closed rank around him. They ignored what he was doing until they couldn’t. Sadly, this is more common than what we think, and I am glad that the author chose to showcase it.

While Brody’s secret wasn’t necessarily a bad one, it was still significant. I won’t go into what it was, but I could understand why he was hesitant to call DCF about Phoebe.

There is sex in Once Removed. It was tastefully written, and nothing was graphic. I did have to laugh in the events leading up to Brody and Lainey having sex. There were a couple of near misses with Phoebe that made me go, “Yeah, I can relate. “

The end of Once Removed was your typical mystery/romance. The reveal of the bad guy did surprise me. Only because it wasn’t who I thought it was going to be. The author also set up the next book in the series perfectly. And the epilogue was PERFECT!! I loved it!!


Once Removed was a fantastic romance/mystery. It was fast-paced with a mystery that the author kept me guessing until the end of the book. I cannot wait to read book 2!!

I am going to recommend that no one under the age of 21 read Once Removed. There is talk of spousal and child abuse (not graphic). There is an attempted murder at the beginning of the book and an attempted kidnapping at the end. There is sex, but nothing explicit.

Ghost Detective (Myron Vale Investigations Series: Book 1) by Scott William Carter

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Publisher: Flying Raven Press

Date of publication: June 19th, 2013

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Fantasy, Ghosts, Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Horror, Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural

Series: Myron Vale Investigations

The Haunted Breadbox—Book 0.5

Ghost Detective—Book 1

The Ghost Who Said Goodbye—Book 2

The Ghost, the Girl, and the Gold—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Alibris | IndieBound | Audible | Kobo | Better World Books

Trigger Warning: Death, Drug and Alcohol Use

Goodreads Synopsis:

Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.


First Line:

The first time I met Karen Thorne, I’d just clicked yes on two tickets to Honolulu for the holidays.

ghost detective by scott william carter

Synopsis Overview:

Ghost Detective had an exciting and somewhat sad plotline. Myron Vale, a Portland Oregon detective, was shot in the head during a robbery. That left him with an interesting side effect after he woke up from his coma. He can see and talk to ghosts. After a bit of an adjustment period, Myron has made peace with his unusual ability. He has also become a PI for the ghosts (use your imagination).

Myron agrees to take on Karen Thorne’s case when she asks him to look into her death and check on her husband. Hoping that her case would be open and shut, Myron is in for a surprise when he sees who her husband is. But obstacles are being thrown in his way by both the living and the dead. But with the help of his deceased wife and with the help of his former partner, Myron is determined to find out if Karen’s death was accidental and find where her husband is.


I enjoyed reading Ghost Detective. I liked that the author took a paranormal mystery and added a different spin to it. There were some parts (and characters) that I didn’t like, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of reading the book.

The book itself was well written with a fast-moving plotline. There were some predictable elements to the book, but those happened mainly at the end of the book. There was a bit of lag in the middle, but the book recovered quickly.

The mystery angel of Ghost Detective was well written. The author was able to keep me guessing at who killed Karen and the motive (which was silly when revealed). Also, Myron’s shooting was tied into that mystery. I won’t tell how but it made that angel very interesting.

There were some things I didn’t like about Ghost Detective. I was not too fond of Billie (Myron’s dead wife), and she drove me batshit crazy for most of the book. I figured out her secret, well, most of it, early on. I felt that she was keeping Myron from moving on with his life. Plus, she knew more about his investigation than what she was letting on, and that drove me CRAZY!!!

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16. It is a clean book (no sex or kissing). There are some scenes with ghosts who died in gruesome ways (scalping, shot, drowned are a few examples).


Do you like paranormal mysteries? If you do, what are your favorites? Let me know!!!

WWW Wednesday: January 20th, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

Some of you might have noticed that I skipped last week for WWW. It wasn’t because I wanted to. No, I overbooked myself with appointments. I had 2 on Wednesday….sigh. By the time I got home, I was too tired and too grumpy to blog. Instead, I logged onto Sims 4 (after supper) and took my frustrations out there.

I have been watching His Dark Materials (based on the Golden Compass books) on HBO Max and Bridgerton (based on the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn)on Netflix. I am loving both of them!!!

Blog:

I started to go through my past posts and fix broken links. I think I got to about 20 of them before getting sidetracked. I plan on starting that back up shortly. I can’t stand it when I stop something and don’t complete it. It drives me absolutely NUTS!!

Over the weekend, I have made the decision to start accepting reviews again. That means I need to put up my contact info page again and redo my review policy and rating system pages. That is something that I have been putting off doing for a while and it is the push I need to start posting reviews again. I am going to cap my reviews at 6 a month (Thursdays and Fridays are going to be book review days). That way, I don’t feel rushed or pressured into accepting/writing reviews. It also means that I will have time to read books that I like.

Reading:

I am reading steadily. I did take a small break last week, on Wednesday (see above), but started reading again on Thursday. I had only one book come off hold. I added Alex, Approximately and that book looks like it should come off hold shortly (I am number 2 out of 6 people waiting for it).


I recently finished reading:

Condemned to hang for their crimes, they’ll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.

A broken nation in need of a savior – ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?

Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.

When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice — seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?

I enjoyed reading Fire and Sword. It wasn’t your typical fantasy. All 3 main characters were very flawed. One was a teenaged monk who finds out he is a sorcerer. The next one is a soldier who gained an infamous reputation during a genocide but lives with mind numbing guilt every day. And the last main character is a man who is an aristocrat who slaughters monsters but who has a dark secret. The plotline was fast moving and the characters were engaging.


What I am currently reading:

Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.

I am about halfway through reading Ghost Detective and I am loving it. I have read a few mysteries that involve a person that can see ghosts but this one is the most original. My only issue is that the flashback scenes are not clearly marked. So, I have been getting confused when it goes back and forth. Other than that, loving it!!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.
When Lainey becomes trapped in a burning building with her almost-divorced husband’s body, Brody rescues her just in time. And when she realizes the killer is now after her, she takes refuge at Brody’s Montana ranch.

Lainey and Brody have been fighting their attraction for years. But as the barriers between them fall, Lainey rescues Phoebe, a runaway teen, from the compound where her husband died. Now they’re forced to focus on Phoebe and an invisible threat.

Whoever murdered her husband has eyes on Lainey. Will their fragile new family survive a desperate predator? Can they protect Phoebe, identify the killer and find their happily ever after?
After a number of threatening incidents, Chef Julia Stewart seeks help from Blackhawk Security. They recommend bodyguard Nico Elliott. The Seattle chef is reluctant, but finally agrees. To stay close, Nico poses as a busser in her restaurant.

As the dangerous incidents escalate, Nico and Julia grow closer. Nico keeps Julia safe, but they need to figure out who’s trying to kill her. And why.

Amid rising threats, their attraction flares out of control. With everything at stake, Julia faces her tormenter. Will he kill her? Or will the truth destroy her first?
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
WARNING: This book contains some dark, dirty and dangerous situations before ending in a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. The debauchery will continue in the second book in the series, Redeemed.

I’m going to hell, and my angel’s about to lose her wings.

For years I’ve left a path of death and destruction wherever I go. I promise myself that after one last job I’ll have the money I desperately need to quit taking lives. That’s how I find myself back in my hometown of Lexington.

So beautiful and innocent, I unknowingly end up saving the life of the one girl I was supposed to keep silent…the one girl I was supposed to end.

She’s my fallen angel sent from above.

I can’t resist staining her pure white wings with my darkness when I use her. Defile her. Deceive her.

The two of us were both ruined by our pasts when they intersected. Pasts that we’re still trying to escape with the hounds of hell on our heels.

Fate brought us together. Now, I’ll do anything to protect my angel from the demons that haunt her. I won’t stop until I slay the devil himself to keep her safe, the man who ruined both of our lives.

The only problem is, my silent angel is keeping secrets from me – the biggest of which is that I’m not the only one who wants to exploit her.
A virus stole fertility from many people long ago, ending society over several generations. The United States became the Seven Cities of America.

Chicago, cut off from the other cities, ruled in darkness, is home to the scientist who created the virus. Hateful of humanity, hateful of himself, the dying scientist passes his knowledge on to his apprentice, who he believes will use it to damn all life to everlasting misery.

The apprentice, Harold, his own past stained with unforgivable acts, does not share his master’s hatred. But he wants this knowledge, and would shamelessly kill innocents to get it. But to what end, he struggles to realize— all the while wondering if humanity, worthless as it seems, deserves compassion more than he deserves omniscience.

As Harold struggles with his future and his identity, Chicago’s ruler, the host, learns of the knowledge he has. Harold is has to flee his home.

The host, Grakus, is on a journey of his own— to prove that humanity should never have existed, to guide it to its destiny of self-destruction. He will not allow the apprentice to thwart his delicate plan to do so.

But the apprentice will not allow the host to steal his decision before he’s had the chance to make it.

The Last City of America is a character-driven epic touching every corner of America, exposing every level of its beauty. The individual emulates humanity, and humanity’s faults are written in the individual. The two walk with one another into the final decision. Cities fall one-by-one to man’s ignorance. The world is ending. This time forever. Two hands reach out to save it: good and evil.

This is the story of how we will be remembered

Going to be truthful here, I am thinking that I am going to read only 2-3 of these books. Maybe 4, if I really push it. I give myself 6 as a challenge to see if I can actually do it, read 6 books in a week. So far, I haven’t been able too. Maybe this will the week.

So, that’s it. My WWW for this week. Hope you enjoy and please leave yours in the comments below!!

Top Ten Tuesday-Books I meant to Read in 2020 but Didn’t Get To

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


Today’s TTT is books you meant to read last year but didn’t. Due to my months long reading slump/my TBR list being rearranged (quite a few times) and other circumstances, I didn’t get to read these books. But I will be reading them this year. They are the next 10 books on my TBR (barring library books coming off hold).

What books did you mean to read last year but didn’t? Let me know in the comments below!!

Enjoy!!


  1. Exploited by Lane Hart
  2. The Last City of America by Matthew Tysz
  3. Flesh and Blood by Willow Rose
  4. Blue by H.J. Bellus
  5. House of Enchanted: The Revelation of Oriceran by Sarah Noffke
  6. Knotted by Pam Godwin
  7. Shadow by Maureen A. Miller
  8. Intrepid by Nate Johnson
  9. Necessary Decisions by Giacomo Giammatteo
  10. The Vanishing Wife by Barry Finlay

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


What I am Reading Now:

Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.

MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

#SixforSunday—Books I wished I read in 2020

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SixforSundays is a meme hosted by A Little But A LotEvery month there is a theme and that is broken down on Sundays into categories.

This week’s theme is:

Books I Wished I Read in 2020


I have a huge list of books that I wanted to read in 2020 but didn’t. All of these are on my Goodreads shelf called library (if you want to check it out) and I can get all of these from the library (or at least put them on hold). So here’s my list. Enjoy!!

What books did you want to read in 2020 but didn’t get to? Let me know!!


  1. Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
  2. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  4. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley
  5. The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
  6. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Top Ten Tuesday-Resolutions/Hopes for 2021 (Or Last Ten Books I Added to My Want To Read List)

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


When I saw the topic for today’s TTT, I decided I wasn’t going to do it. I have written a couple posts about my bookish New Year’s Resolutions and figured that was enough. So, I decided, that I was going to write a post about the last 10 books that I added to my want-to read shelf on Goodreads. Enjoy!!


  1. An Ordinary Life by Amanda Prowse
  2. The Unbroken by C.L. Clark
  3. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  4. The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
  5. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
  6. The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
  7. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  8. The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  9. The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso
  10. The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng by K.S. Villoso

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.


What I am Reading Now:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
A woman torn between honor and survival…

Rie is only human. The high elves have made that very clear. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Her only allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side, yet still she clings to the hope of one day earning her place in the Upper Realm.

When she’s attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of a merciless king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. What she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms.

I am about 20-25% into Sanyare: The Last Descendant. I would have been finished with it by now (and moved onto the next book on my list) but I had two books come off hold from the library: Girls of Paper and Fire (which I LOVED and read in 1 day) and The Sun is Also a Star. As soon as I am done with The Sun is Also a Star, I will resume reading Sanyare: The Last Descendant.


What I Plan on Reading This Week:

I think I bit off more than I can chew when selecting all of these books….lol. I am going to try and knock at least 2, maybe 3, books off this list. Wish me luck. And please, let me know what you’re reading this week!!

Tara Shiloh knows she’s not a drug addict. She’s positive she’s a good mother and hard worker. So why is she in an alley with a needle in her arm? Waking up in the hospital without her son is terrifying. Being told she can’t have him back nearly crushes her. With her memory spotty and the circumstances incriminating, Tara must fight to learn the truth and wrestle with the idea that maybe her son is better off without her.

Reid Holliston defends guilty people for a living and it’s slowly killing him. He’s certain there is no such thing as a truly blameless client anymore. When his phone rings with a voice from his childhood his jaded views make him certain Tara is just one more criminal claiming innocence. But even his skepticism isn’t enough to keep him away.

Best friends from a lifetime ago, the two must find a way to trust each other again in spite of how the years apart have changed them. Can a promise made in childhood be enough to save them both?
Bruno:

I sacrificed everything for her. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. She never even knew what I traded for her.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.


Serena:

It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.
Brady Shaw is the sole heir to a billion-dollar oil empire in Texas. However, he has no desire to take over the family business. He’s too busy pandering in women, booze, and all of life’s other temptations.

When his father shuts down the flow of money, Brady is presented with an ultimatum: marry and produce a grandchild within a year, or spend the remainder of his life like the rest of the world—poor as fuck.

Dana Sommer is a hard-working college student down on her luck. After losing her scholarship due to budget cuts, she now must find a way to, not only pay her tuitions, but also get her hands on $50,000 to settle her brother’s gambling debt, or she could lose the only family she has left.

To resolve her impasse, she answers a Craigslist ad with a very unusual offer that could solve all her problems—marry a rich, spoiled playboy for one year and bear his child. The reward? Half a million dollars.
What would you do if you found your late grandmother’s book of shadows – a witch’s spell book and journal – and learned that you’re a natural born witch? You’d try one of the spells, of course! And that’s exactly what 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey does. To her amazement, the candle lighting spell she picks actually works.

Naturally, Emma has to recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven.

Soon the girls cast a spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school they’re being forced to attend for the first time. Unfortunately, it fails to make an impression on a group of zealots who set about bullying Lia and Shar for being an openly lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma gets the boy of her dreams to ask her out, but the school guidance counselor comes onto her, too. The girls attempt to deal with these problems using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before something catastrophic ensues?
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)

A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

#SixforSunday—Bookish WIns

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SixforSundays is a meme hosted by A Little But A LotEvery month there is a theme and that is broken down on Sundays into categories.

This week’s theme is:

Bookish Wins


I had to think a little about what a bookish win means to me. After a little while of thinking, I came up with these six examples. Here is my list and enjoy. Also, I would love to know what you consider a bookish win. Let me know!!


  1. Getting a much wanted book off hold from the library
  2. Talking with other bloggers about books
  3. Blogging about books
  4. Giving a recommendation for a book and seeing that person reading it
  5. Talking to my kids about books that we both have read
  6. Having no shame about being a book nerd and loving it.

WWW Wednesday: January 6th 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Personal:

Christmas break is over and my kids are back in school, well virtually back in school. COVID is really bad here and I opted to keep Mr Z and Miss R home for the rest of the school year. Miss B is still on the 1 week on/1 week off schedule (this is her off week).

Miss R is trotting by herself and semi-jumping in horseback riding lessons. What I mean by semi-jumping is that the instructor lays a pole on the ground and has the horse walk over it while Miss R goes into point (how they sit while jumping).

Miss B got her braces off and her teeth look fantastic!! She does have to wear retainers (top and bottom) but only at night. She has also been eating gum like it is going out of style. Seeing that she had some sort of hardware in her mouth from the age of 10, we’re indulging her.

Mr Z got the Oculus for Christmas. He loves it and is getting a ton of exercise. My issue is that he doesn’t set his guardian boundaries and is walking into walls/doors.

Blog:

I started work on my blog (as per my New Year’s Resolution). I went through and deleted over 805 posts (Yikes!!). My next step is to go through my posts and fix links/pictures…etc. I started doing that a couple of years ago and stopped. Now that I deleted my “excess” posts, checking the links should be more manageable.

I am also going to update my pages, at some point. I have been toying with the idea of putting my contact info up again but I am still undecided about it.

Reading:

I have been reading steadily since Christmas. I realized that I have been mostly reading YA/NA, dystopia, and horror. The one exception was a book I read called Please Look After Mom (which I read for the Reading Writers of Color Challenge). That was contemporary fiction.

I have a bunch of books on hold at the library. Right now, I am waiting for The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski to become available. Other books on hold: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christos, The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, and The Shadows by Alex North (there is a wait of at least 6 months for this book. I’ve had the request in since September 16!!).


I recently finished reading:

Where were you when the lights went out and the monsters came?

In the near future, a government experiment out of control opens gateways to other worlds and dimensions all over planet Earth, plunging everyday people into a nightmare of grim survival against the horrific and bizarre…

Portal Zero. The beginning of the end.

– In Colorado Springs, CO, young family-man Arthur can’t find his wife and young sons when all electronics and vehicles in the city are disabled. But the EMP is the least of his worries. When the city quickly turns to looting and anarchy, he sees much darker dangers in the shadows with glowing blue eyes…

– In Geneva, Switzerland, Chad is a naive cameraman working for a news network filming the opening of Portal Zero, mankind’s first experiment with ‘Dimension Drive’–an attempt at inter-space travel. Barely out of his internship, Chad is forced to survive the terrifying creatures that emerge from the gateway when everything goes wrong. When the slaughter in the deep-underground lab begins, how will he survive, trapped and isolated from the surface?

– Meanwhile, in Zion National Park, UT, Megan is a fit and self-made woman on vacation with her boyfriend when a mysterious thunderclap kills all of the electronics in the park. When a strange, golden obelisk appears in the middle of the park, a mysterious and unseen force begins transforming the tourists around her.

– Harvey is an alcoholic, disgraced police officer in Las Vegas, NV, recently imprisoned after failing at his spree of vigilante justice on the unpunished. But when the city’s power fails and the precinct over his cell is breached by an army of nightmares, it seems that Hell itself is invading the city of sin, and the Strip is burning.

– Kayleen is a young college student and art major at PSU in Portland, OR. She doesn’t really care about much more than Veganism and the boy she secretly has a crush on. But when a weird, alien environment follows an EMP-induced city-wide blackout one night while she’s at an off-campus party, what will Kayleen find out about her values when everyone’s focus turns to survival?

– Tommy and Jody are two young children in Flagstaff, AZ, living with their mom and dad and enjoying a stable childhood, when a town-wide power outage becomes a call for concern when it’s not fixed by the next morning. When the family hears the police fighting against invading monsters in the business district nearby, and they are all forced to evacuate their home because of a spreading wildfire, the children have no idea that their lives are about to change forever…

In a year much sooner than you think, while scientists and politicians argue about global warming and lack of resources, the United Nations has reorganized itself into the UEA, the first serious attempt at a world government. “Dimension Drive” is being developed for wormhole-based space travel in Europe by the UEA to expand human civilization into the stars. But the UEA development team responsible for Dim Drive has no idea that they’re about to lose control of the portal they’re trying to harness because of a massive, unforeseen EMP, ushering in the end of the world as we know it.

In America, one of the last superpowers holding out against joining the United Earth Alliance, several individuals across the country are going about their lives, unaware that UEA scientists are quietly conducting the first real test of their new Dimension Drive technology that will change everything…

Do you love guns, tactical realism, and monsters? Are you a fan of cosmic horror and dark fantasy / sci-fi? Love the Mist and Cabin in the Woods? Lovecraft? Doom? Stranger Things? EMP and Prepper Survival? This story is full of terror, suspense, and bad language. If you can dig it, strap in for a ride to Hell!

I liked Portal Zero but at the same time I didn’t like it (if that makes sense). The book was well written and the horror/suspense was there. The characters were well written and fleshed out. But, there were things that drove me nuts about the book. There were random words italicized. There was no reason behind it either. My other complaint is that each chapter ended on a cliffhanger. I HATE it when a book ends like that. So imagine how I felt when the chapters ended like that. I do want to read the other books in the series so I will suffer through what I don’t like.


What I am currently reading:

A woman torn between honor and survival…

Rie is only human. The high elves have made that very clear. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Her only allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side, yet still she clings to the hope of one day earning her place in the Upper Realm.

When she’s attacked by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of a merciless king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. What she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms.

I am so excited to be reading this book. I have had it in my TBR pile since November of 2018!! Took me 2 years to get to it. I am only a chapter into the book, but so far I am liking it. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the book is!!


What books I think I’ll read next:

Tara Shiloh knows she’s not a drug addict. She’s positive she’s a good mother and hard worker. So why is she in an alley with a needle in her arm? Waking up in the hospital without her son is terrifying. Being told she can’t have him back nearly crushes her. With her memory spotty and the circumstances incriminating, Tara must fight to learn the truth and wrestle with the idea that maybe her son is better off without her.

Reid Holliston defends guilty people for a living and it’s slowly killing him. He’s certain there is no such thing as a truly blameless client anymore. When his phone rings with a voice from his childhood his jaded views make him certain Tara is just one more criminal claiming innocence. But even his skepticism isn’t enough to keep him away.

Best friends from a lifetime ago, the two must find a way to trust each other again in spite of how the years apart have changed them. Can a promise made in childhood be enough to save them both?
Bruno:

I sacrificed everything for her. When I saved her from the mafia, I traded my freedom for hers. I’ve never regretted it. Never looked back. I cut her out of my life to keep her safe. She never even knew what I traded for her.

I did everything I could to protect her from the retribution of the Italian Mafia, but it wasn’t enough. They’re after her again, and all that’s standing between her and the darkest fate imaginable is me.

Serena:

It’s scary the things you can close your eyes to. Even after I was rescued from men who wanted to do the worst things to me, I went on with my life. I forgot all about the threats of the mafia, about what they forced me to do, and even the man who saved me from them.

But now, my hero has returned, and just in a nick of time. Because the mafia is coming for me, and this time, I don’t know if we’re going to get out of this alive.
Brady Shaw is the sole heir to a billion-dollar oil empire in Texas. However, he has no desire to take over the family business. He’s too busy pandering in women, booze, and all of life’s other temptations.

When his father shuts down the flow of money, Brady is presented with an ultimatum: marry and produce a grandchild within a year, or spend the remainder of his life like the rest of the world—poor as fuck.

Dana Sommer is a hard-working college student down on her luck. After losing her scholarship due to budget cuts, she now must find a way to, not only pay her tuitions, but also get her hands on $50,000 to settle her brother’s gambling debt, or she could lose the only family she has left.

To resolve her impasse, she answers a Craigslist ad with a very unusual offer that could solve all her problems—marry a rich, spoiled playboy for one year and bear his child. The reward? Half a million dollars.
What would you do if you found your late grandmother’s book of shadows – a witch’s spell book and journal – and learned that you’re a natural born witch? You’d try one of the spells, of course! And that’s exactly what 16-year-old Emma McGlinchey does. To her amazement, the candle lighting spell she picks actually works.

Naturally, Emma has to recruit best friends Lia and Shar into starting a coven.

Soon the girls cast a spell to make everyone like them at the religious high school they’re being forced to attend for the first time. Unfortunately, it fails to make an impression on a group of zealots who set about bullying Lia and Shar for being an openly lesbian couple.

Meanwhile, a love spell they cast for Emma gets the boy of her dreams to ask her out, but the school guidance counselor comes onto her, too. The girls attempt to deal with these problems using other spells, but will they be able to set things right before something catastrophic ensues?
Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a lonely heretic monk turned sorcerer, is imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, is a legend in his own mind.

A broken nation in need of a savior: Ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, Brynth is infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within.

An unlikely bond forged in the furnace of chaos: Three criminals become comrades when faced with the choice to escape the land that cries for their execution or, with fire and sword, march forth against the greater evil.
Everybody dies. Nobody leaves … Award-winning author Scott William Carter returns with his tenth novel, a spellbinding tale of a man who bridges both sides of the great divide.

After narrowly surviving a near-fatal shooting, Portland detective Myron Vale wakes with a bullet still lodged in his brain, a headache to end all headaches, and a terrible side effect that radically transforms his world for the worse: He sees ghosts. Lots of them.

By some estimates, a hundred billion people have lived and died before anyone alive today was even born. For Myron, they’re all still here. That’s not even his biggest problem. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t tell the living from the dead.

Despite this, Myron manages to piece together something of a life as a private investigator specializing in helping people on both sides of the great divide–until a stunning blonde beauty walks into his office needing help finding her husband. Myron wants no part of the case until he sees the man’s picture … and instantly his carefully reconstructed life begins to unravel.
(Formerly published as Captured by Desire by Kira Morgan)

SCOTTISH LASSES

Meet the lasses in the world of Mary Queen of Scots…Like the Scottish thistle, they’re lovely yet tough, beautiful yet prickly, and only the strongest and wisest heroes are able to elude their thorns to discover the tender blossom within.


MacFARLAND’S LASS
by Glynnis Campbell – writing as Kira Morgan (formerly Captured by Desire)


A woman on the run…a man on the hunt. He has forty days to earn her trust. She has forty days to win his heart. They have forty days to outwit their enemies.

When Florie Gilder, the once-respected jeweler to Queen Mary, claims sanctuary in an abandoned church for a crime she didn’t commit, huntsman Rane MacFarland, a local hero of the common folk, vows to protect her. But when his overlord charges him with preventing the fugitive lass’s escape, Rane finds himself torn between duty and desire when he begins to fall for his spirited captive. And when powerful foes conspire to turn Rane and Florie against each other, they need courage, wits, and, most of all, love, to survive.

All of these books have been on my TBR since 2018 and have survived numerous TBR purges. I plan to read at least 2, maybe 3, in the week ahead…unless my books come off hold from the library.

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