Weekly Wrap Up: April 28th through May 4th, 2019

Clicking on the link under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the link under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on the link under Freebies I Scored (which were free at the time I got them.) will take you to Amazon, BookFunnel, or Prolific Works (I will say which one next to the title).

Books I’ve Read


A Safe Place

The Scent of Murder

Welcome the Little Children

Books with pending reviews:

Then Came You—review coming May 7th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

Pray for the Girl—review here

Sullivan’s Promise—review here

Highland Crown—review here

The Invited—review here

Ignite—review here

Getting Hot with the Scot—review here

Ten: Part 1—review here

A Light in the Desert—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Cold Heart, Warm Cowboy

The Year I Left

Home Field Advantage

Email Haul:

Stolen Gypsy

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of posting. Please check the price before purchase!!):

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

A Highlander Walks Into a Bar—Blog Tour invite

Highland Crown—Excerpt

Getting Hot with the Scot—Excerpt

No Feelings Involved—Release Blitz

No Other Duke But You—Excerpt

Giveaways I’ve Entered

I’ll Never Tell—Goodreads Giveaway

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

A Light in the Desert by Anne Montgomery

A Light in the Desert by [Montgomery, Anne]

4 Stars

Publisher: Treehouse Publishing Group

Date of publication: November 6th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction

Where you can find A Light in the Desert: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis:

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a lonely pregnant teenager, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

My Review:

Jason Ramm is a former Special Forces sniper/mercenary who is battling a mental illness called the Messiah complex and PTSD. Wanting to forget the horrors of the Vietnam War, Jason retreats to the Arizona desert. Going off of his medications, Jason slides into his mental illness. His only human contact is an Armageddon cult called the Children of Light, the owner of the general store he shops at and a disfigured, pregnant teenager. What will happen when he loses his hold on sanity?

Kelly Garcia is a pregnant teenager who suffers from Moebius syndrome. Her mother, embarrassed to have a disfigured child, hides her from the world. After Kelly’s stepfather impregnates her, Kelly is sent to live with the Children of Light. It is there that she meets Jason and her life changes in ways that she wouldn’t have even guessed.

Billy James is the son of the owner of the only gas station in town. His father had abused Billy until his mother left. The years of abuse that Billy endured at his father’s hands had warped him. He is now an amoral, sociopath who is willing to do whatever it takes to leave his message. Billy plans an event that he hopes will cause mass hysteria and death.

When I started reading A Light in the Desert, I wasn’t expecting to get as involved in the plotline as I did. From the beginning, this book sucked me in. There was no tiptoeing around Jason, Kelly, and Billy’s issues. The author plunged me right into it. Usually, I would be “No, give me a chance to get used to the book!!” But in this case, I am glad she did it.

The significant plotlines were Jason, Kelly, and Billy. Jason’s plotline was vividly written, and my heart broke reading those scenes. Kelly’s plotline broke my heart too. Put it this way; I wanted to boot her mother and stepfather through the window. Billy’s plotline was as tragic as Kelly and Jason’s. Yes, I thought Billy’s plotline was tragic.

I didn’t add the plotline of the train crash in with the major plotlines. I felt that it was overshadowed a little by everything that was going on with Kelly and Jason.

There was a significant plot twist that came at the end of the book. When it happened, I went “No way.” But, after reading the book, I can see the hints that were dropped. With everything else that was happening, I didn’t pick up on it.

I did feel bad for Jason. His PTSD issues were laid out within the first chapter. His slide into the Messiah complex was subtle. I won’t lie, I was surprised when he told Kelly what was happening to him and what the medicine was for. I was also surprised by the twist in his plotline. I didn’t see it coming, and I was blindsided. I had to take a break from reading the book to process that information.

I also felt awful for Kelly. What she went through in her short life broke my heart. I wanted to hug her and take her away from that thing that called herself her mother. I also wanted to punch her stepfather. Despite the abuse that she was put through, she was still a sweet girl.

As weird as this is going to sound, I also pitied Billy. The abuse by his father shaped Billy into what he became. I pitied him because all he knew was violence and that shaped him. I pitied him because he fell through the cracks in the system. But, because I pitied him, it didn’t mean that I liked him. He was an evil person who deserved what he got.

I enjoyed reading A Light in the Desert. It was a compelling read. The author did a fantastic job of tackling some serious issues (PTSD, mental illness, child abuse). I had never heard of the Messiah complex or Moebius syndrome before this book. While the book explained what they were, I ended up googling them for myself.

There is also a slight religious undertone when reading the book. The Children of Light are a fanatical Pentecostal sect. They were waiting for Armageddon. The characters in the Children of Light play a significant role in Kelly and Jason’s story towards the end of the book. The author was able to get their point across without being preachy, which is something that I loved.

I did have a bit of an issue deciding what genre this book fit well with. There is action, there is religion, and there is suspense. I would have to say that it fits well in all those categories.

As much as I liked the book, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. First off, there is the twist in the plot. Like I mentioned above, I didn’t see it coming, and it took me by surprise. I felt that Jason’s plotline didn’t get resolved. I did like how the author chose to end Kelly’s storyline. I thought that it was perfect for her. And Billy’s, well, as I said, he got what he deserved.

The epilogue was poignant. I did ask myself the same question that Kate asked Cooper. Why?

I would give A Light in the Desert an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread A Light in the Desert. I would reccomend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review A Light in the Desert.

Have you read A Light in the Desert?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

WWW Wednesday: April 17th, 2019


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

The Three Ws are:

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


Miss R: She went to a friend’s birthday party last Friday. She had a blast. Her friend lives in the country and next to a farm. Which meant that there were cows next to her yard. Miss R was in heaven.

Miss B: She went on a band field trip the beginning of the week. The field trip was to LRU (Lenoir Rhyne University…..which is in our city) and to a place called Bo’s in Lenoir. She also had an orthodontist appointment today (which is why this blog post is late). Guess who is getting top and bottom braces next Thursday? Yup, Miss B.

Mr. Z: He also had an orthodontist appointment today. At his appointment he ended up getting spacers and they put an order in for some sort of retainer like thing to be installed in 2 weeks. Then he has to have 4-5 teeth pulled. Yes, you read that right. 4-5 teeth. I am wincing for him.

Me: Nothing special going on here. Besides shuttling kids to appointments and activities.


I have been reading my fool head off this week. Knock on wood, but I am way ahead of where I thought I was going to be at this point in the week. So, yay me…lol.

While I am ahead on reading, I am behind on writing reviews. Which is fine by me. I just keep plugging along. I am suffering some sort of writers block when it comes to starting my review. Hate it and hope I get over it soon.

I got a few new followers this week (waves and says “Hey all”). I am fighting the urge to change my blog’s theme again. I must not give in. Saying that, sorry in advance if there is a change….lol.

What I am currently reading:

Darwin's Cipher by [Rothman, M.A.]

click on the picture for the Amazon link

Juan Gutierrez, a cancer researcher, has spent years studying the genome of animals that exhibit immunity to some types of cancer. Over the course of his study, Juan discovers a pattern that allows him to predict the course of a species’ evolution across thousands of generations.

Using the algorithm he’s developed from the pattern, Juan uncovers what he believes to be the key to conquering humanity’s susceptibility to cancer.

Others are interested in using what Juan has dubbed “Darwin’s Cipher,” however, instead of cancer research, they see very different applications for the new genetic algorithm.

Nate Carrington, an FBI forensic analyst has been struggling with several cold cases when he’s alerted to an incident at a nearby ranch. It’s a case of a newborn calf who is found in the middle of a herd of dead cattle. It provides a single link to Nate’s other cold cases: the DNA analysis of the calf doesn’t match anything in the FBI’s database.

Somewhere in a rural hospital in West Virginia, four hospital workers are dead and a newborn child has been transported to the NIH’s level-4 bio-containment unit.

It’s only when the NIH sends out an alert to all hospitals and law enforcement agencies that the world realizes the danger that faces them.

I technically haven’t started reading Darwin’s Cipher. I did download it last night and I meant to start reading it. Then I fell asleep. So, I will start reading it at some point today. Darwin’s Cipher is currently available for purchase.

I recently finished reading:

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer Book 1) by [Martineau, Maxym M.]

click on the picture for the Amazon link

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

I loved this book. I couldn’t put Kingdom of Exiles down. It was that good. Kingdom of Exiles is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is June 25th, 2019.

What books I think I’ll read next? (click on the pictures for Amazon links)

No Feelings Involved

Can this skeptical player let down his guard long enough to let love into his life, or is this forbidden romance a train wreck in the making?

Ryan James doesn’t believe in love. 

It’s a truth he learned early in life. A truth he carried with him into adulthood. He broke his golden rule one time, but Myndi trampled all over his heart, cementing his belief that love is a lie and not worth the effort.

Now he’s returned to his cynical views and promiscuous lifestyle, racking up more notches on his bedpost than he can count.

Until Summer Petersen comes crashing into his world, threatening to knock down his walls with her tempting body and sunny, sweet personality.

Summer is determined to lose her V-card before she starts freshman year of college, and the hot, older guy with the cute dimples, dazzling smile, and rippling biceps is just the man for the job. Ryan doesn’t take much persuading, and he rocks her world, giving her a night to remember.

When they walk away, there’s an unspoken agreement it was a one-time thing. Ryan doesn’t do feelings, and Summer doesn’t want to be tied down at eighteen.

But when she moves into her brother Austin’s apartment, she’s shocked to discover her new roomie is the guy who recently popped her cherry.

Ryan can’t believe he slept with Austin’s baby sister, and if he finds out, he’ll literally kill him. Keeping their hook up a secret is nonnegotiable. Keeping his thoughts, and his hands, off Summer, less so. Because the longer he’s around her, the more he finds himself catching feelings for the gorgeous brunette. 

Summer doesn’t want to care for her older brother’s best friend, but Ryan makes her feel things she’s never felt before, and she’s slowly falling under his spell.

Embarking on an illicit affair behind Austin’s back has train wreck written all over it, but provided they keep their feelings in check, they can end this before he ever finds out. 

It’s not like either of them is in love.


A Light in the Desert by [Montgomery, Anne]

A Light in the Desert traces the story of a lonely pregnant teenager, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.

TEN: Part 1 by [Ribbon, Sin]

Is fate a shield against the agony of choice or a force that suffocates free will?

From diverse walks of life and different corners of the globe, ten strangers are being brought together. Prejudice, fallen dreams, loss, and trauma have plagued each of their lives . . . until they find each other, and for once it seems serendipity may heal their collective pain.

But what lurks behind these fated meetings is something far more sinister.

Terrible and elusive forces have endowed the ten with supernatural abilities. Far from a gift however, some are drowning in these overwhelming new powers to the point of possession.

What does fate permit us to do? Are we a product of choice or design? In this urban fantasy adventure, the ten must resist the will of destiny if they wish to carve their own paths. Armed only with camaraderie, they will discover if the strength of their choice is enough to prevent the looming, catastrophic future thrust upon them.

The battle for free will begins here.

Sullivan's Promise: A Bitter Creek Novel by [Johnston, Joan]

Two unforgiving lovers reunite for the sake of their child in this fiery contemporary romance from Joan Johnston, the New York Times bestselling author of Surrender.

Facing the unexpected consequences of a life-altering night of passion with a cowboy she met in a Jackson Hole bar, and with her life committed to protecting endangered species, Victoria Grayhawk does what she believes is the right thing. She hunts down the cowboy, seeking his agreement that their baby should be adopted by a loving family.

Montana rancher Ryan Sullivan has no intention of giving away his own flesh and blood, and takes their son to raise himself. When Vick realizes what a horrible mistake she’s made, and wants back into their child’s life, Rye remains inflexible—because once trust is lost there are no second chances—until an attack by one of the grizzlies Vick has spent her life protecting changes everything and Rye learns that sometimes love can heal all wounds.

The passionate Westerns in Joan Johnston’s Bitter Creek series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

Then Came You: A Laws of Attraction Novel by [Meader, Kate]

In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammie, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

Pray for the Girl by [Souza, Joseph]

Joseph Souza, acclaimed author of The Neighbor, brings readers into the dark heart of a small town in this riveting, relentlessly twisting new novel . . .

Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.

Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity–much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.

There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy–who knows something about hiding secrets–must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .

The Roads to Damascus: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 2) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

Abit is back! Four years after that fateful summer in “A Life for a Life,” Abit Bradshaw faces the biggest challenge of his life in “The Roads to Damascus,” the much-anticipated second book in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries trilogy. When a family of con artists fleeces his school and casts suspicion on him, Abit, with the support of his friends Della Kincaid and Alex Covington, sets out to find them and get payback. He takes a life-changing journey from Washington, D.C., through the mountains of Virginia, and finally home again to Laurel Falls, N.C. Along the way, he draws on every bit of courage and faith he can muster as he encounters a slew of characters—from sinners to saints—who help him come to terms with his rightful place in the world.

The Scent of Murder: A Mystery (A Jazz Ramsey Mystery Book 1) by [Logan, Kylie]

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

Weekly Wrap-Up: February 17th through February 23rd, 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

A Life for A Life

A Life for a Life: A Mystery Novel (Appalachian Mountain Mysteries Book 1) by [McDaniel, Lynda]

Only Ever You

Only Ever You by [Davis, Siobhan]

The Woman in the Lake

The Woman in the Lake by [Cornick, Nicola]


Love-Lines by [Langer, Sheri]

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Only Ever You—review coming February 28th, 2019

Only Ever You by [Davis, Siobhan]

The Woman in the Lake—review coming February 26th, 2018

The Woman in the Lake by [Cornick, Nicola]

It’s Getting Scot in Here—review coming February 27th, 2019

It's Getting Scot in Here (The Wild Wicked Highlanders Book 1) by [Enoch, Suzanne]

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Let’s Talk About Sext—review here

Let's Talk About Sext by [Claire, Evie]

NetGalley Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Then Came You: A Laws of Attraction Novel by [Meader, Kate]
Springtime at Hope Cottage: Includes a bonus short story (Sweetwater Springs Book 2) by [Rains, Annie]

Kingdom of Exiles

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer Book 1) by [Martineau, Maxym M.]

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach: A Novel by [Andrews, Mary Kay]

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

TEN: Part 1 by [Ribbon, Sin]
Darwin's Cipher by [Rothman, M.A.]
A Light in the Desert by [Montgomery, Anne]
The Hemlock Girl by [Heckman, C. L.]

Only Ever You

Only Ever You

Freebies I Scored (Free at the time of purchase) :

Search For Maylee by [Oviatt, Didi]
Good Girl (Wicked Book 1) by [Lawson, Piper]
Book Cover
Only through Bookfunnel
The Helicopter Pilot's Bride: Clean Beach Romance in Getaway Bay (Brides & Beaches Romance Book 1) by [Johnson, Elana, Paulson, Bonnie R., Bay, Getaway]
Last Call: A Camden Ranch Novel by [Neal, Jillian]
Captured by the Pirate Laird (Highland Force Book 1) by [Jarecki, Amy]
Bleddyn Hall by [Shalaby, Amanda L.V.]
Getting Out of Hand (Sapphire Falls) by [Nicholas, Erin]
Provocative (White Lies Duet Book 1) by [Jones, Lisa Renee]

The Lawyer and the Tramp

The Lawyer and the Tramp: A Standalone Mafia Romance (Chicago Syndicate Book 7) by [Naomi, Soraya]

The Secret Child

The Secret Child: The Sylvalla Chronicles prequel by [Ponder, A.J.]
Hot Stuff (Hot Zone Book 1) by [Phillips, Carly]

Destination Wedding

Book Cover
Book Cover
His Virgin: A First Time Romance (His and Hers Book 1) by [Wood, Vivian, Aran, Samus]


Capture: A Dark Mafia Captive Romance (Cherish Series Book 1) by [Ryann, Olivia, Wood, Vivian]


Covet: A Dark Mafia Captive Romance (Cherish Series Book 3) by [Ryann, Olivia, Wood, Vivian]

Brie’s Submission

Brie's Submission (1-3) (The Brie Collection: Box Set Book 1) by [Phoenix, Red]

Bleeding Hearts: The Complete Duet by [Zavarelli, A.]

Mark of Truth (Wicked Kingdoms Book 1) by [Knox, Graceley]

Giveaways I entered:

Susan’s Favorite Things

Crimson Lake Signed Copy Sweepstakes

Win a Kindle Fire

Valentine’s Day Signed Paperback Giveaway!

Love is in the Air Audiobook Giveaway

The Last Collection Cross-Imprint Sweeps (from Penguin/Random House)—will need to google. Couldn’t c/p the link

Cover Reveals/Excerpt/Blog Tours:

No Feelings Involved—Cover Reveal (Post here)

It’s Getting Scot in Here—Excerpt (Post here)

Bright Burning Stars—Blog Tour (from May 14th through May 28th)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday