Sunday Post: Road trip

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

A busy week with appointments and getting ready for our trip across Iowa, Illinois and into Indiana. We left snowy Iowa. Illinois and Indiana have no snow!

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We’ve visited our daughter in Illinois and had a great time with her. On to Indiana on Sunday to visit our younger daughter. We planned to stay a week and then come back at the end of March to take care of our Indiana daughter’s dogs while she’s gone for a week. I decided to stay the entire time and my husband will go back home to Iowa later in the week. Then we’ll meet in Indiana the first part of April and head back home to Iowa. I hope the snow is gone in Iowa by then!

Elf and Scorch (my two cats) came with us on this trip since I’ve had trouble with pet sitters. They’re staying with my Illinois daughter.

Blog life

I visited some of the blogs I’ve wanted to visit for several weeks. Always good to get reading recommendations and see what everyone has been up to. Still working to get reviews done. A never-ending process for me. It was hard to concentrate on reading this week so nothing finished. My husband and I are listening to a Dick Francis mystery in the car.

Recent posts
Next week
  • Review
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
  • Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron
  • 10 lb. Penalty by Dick Francis
What I read recently
  • Nothing read. Too busy with other things.
Books I got recently

Dark Clouds Over Nuala by Harriet Steel

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry (March free Audible Original–included in membership)

A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain (March free Audible Original–included in membership)

A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux (audiobook)

What have you been doing? What are your plans next week?

Sunday Post: June already?

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

We had a great visit with my sister-in-law last week. Lots of good time visiting. And we went to see Beauty and the Beast and loved it.

The weekend

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My younger daughter–Jo–and I went on a road trip for a long weekend visit to my father-in-law and several other family members on Thursday and Friday and then to visit my older daughter–Ky–on Saturday and Sunday. Fun to visit everyone.

We found a bunch of old family photos which was exciting since I’m working on family trees for both my husband and me. I took a few pictures with my cell phones, but we plan to scan the photos and add names to the ones we know. It’s great to find the names on some of the photos and match them to people I have found on Ancestry or in family notes.

We brought Jo’s dog Bailey with us. She loves car rides as long as we keep the air conditioning running! When we got to Ky’s house she had bought a huge beanbag chair which Bailey chose as wonderful nap chair.

 Blogging

I actually completed five posts this last week! Considering that I’ve managed only two posts for several weeks I’m very happy about that.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Review: A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

A Second Chance by Jody Taylor

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

What I’ve read

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Some books I got recently

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Crime on the Fens by Joy Ellis

Sync Audiobooks

Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

Audiobooks available June 1 – 7

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli | Read by Robert Ramirez

Published by Recorded Books

Young Persian Prince Orasmyn lives a peaceful life of quiet duty and thoughtful obedience. Tending his fragrance garden gives him much more pleasure than the bloody royal hunts staged by his father. But a single wrong decision sets in motion an ancient curse that changes Orasmyn’s fate forever. Told he will be killed by his own father, he is transformed into a lion on the day of a great hunt. The prince has no choice but to flee beloved Persia and his precious family. Balancing his fading human memories with his new beastly impulses, he makes his way to Europe-where his destiny awaits in the person of a French beauty named Belle. Donna Jo Napoli once again weaves the magic she has shown in books like Crazy Jack and Zel, transforming a well-known fairy tale into an unforgettable epic of duty, love, and redemption. Robert Ramirez’s narration captures all the anguish and struggle of Orasmyn’s quest to regain his humanity.

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay | Read by Julia Whelan

Published by Tantor Media

It’s pointless. Hopeless. Even if she weren’t afraid of me, we’ll always be enemies at the core . . .

In the city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra is raised to be a human sacrifice. Her death will ensure her city’s vitality.

In the desert, a mutant beast named Gem fights to save his people, known as the Monstrous, from starvation.

Neither dreams that, together, they can return balance to their worlds. When Gem is captured for trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, he becomes a prisoner of the city. Isra enlists his help, and soon begins to care for him—and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

She’s a queen; I’m her prisoner. I am her monster and she is mine.

Audiobooks available June 8 – 14

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama | Read by Julia Whelan

Published by Elizabeth Fama

A dying wish. A family divided. A love that defies the law. Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays, who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol concocts a plan to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to take the baby to visit her dying grandfather. Sol’s violation of the day/night curfew is already a serious crime, but when her kidnap attempt goes awry, she stumbles on a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population. Sol escapes the authorities with an unexpected ally: a Ray who gets in her way, a boy she might have hated if fate hadn’t forced them on the run together—a boy the world now tells her she can’t love. Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day/night divide, Elizabeth Fama’s Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

If I Run by Terri Blackstock | Read by Nan Gurley

Published by Zondervan

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore. But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run? Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

Sunday Post: March 26

. . . . spring is here!

Sunday-PostKimba hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

We are having typical spring weather–one day it’s nearly 70 degrees and the next day we have a little snow! (That happened this week!)

Busy months

My husband and I have gone on several weekend trips lately and it takes me several days to recuperate after we get back home…lol. I’ve also been trying to clean and organize our house. We have family coming to visit in April and I decided I better get started early! We have a lot to do!

At the beginning of the year I started working on my family history and genealogy. I love history and I did a lot of research 10 years ago when I spent a lot of time at the Library of Congress and the National Archives. I found quite a bit of information. For example, in the National Archives–my great great grandfather’s military records from the War of 1812. However, I got busy with other things and put my research aside until this year. So I’ve sorted files and records to see what I have. And I’ve done some new research and found new information which is exciting. My kids also got me a DNA kit from Ancestry.com which I have sent in to see what I can learn from that.

Blogging

I’ve read some really good books, but with all my other activities I haven’t spent a lot of time blogging or visiting other blogs. I’m trying to organize my time a little better though to get more posts done and visit more blogs.

Blog posts recently
Blog posts planned next week
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Book review
  • April books on my list
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

What I read recently

A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

Linesman by S.K. Dunstall

The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths

Alliance by S.K. Dunstall

The Armada Boy by Kate Ellis

What I bought or borrowed

Bitter Harvest by Wendy Tyson

Linesman by S.K. Dunstall & Alliance by S.K. Dunstall

Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Gambrelli and the Prosecutor by Laurence Gilotti

Dead in the Water by Matthew Costello

Interesting on the Interest

Molly at Molly’s Book Nook wrote about 8 Libraries and Bookstores I Want to Visit  –They all look like wonderful places to visit. I think if I could only choose one of these to visit I would choose the Livraria Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal.

Danya from Fine Print blog asksWhen Do You Get Rid of Books? — She just got her dream job, but it means moving so she needs to purge and get rid of some of her books. Would you purge books if you were moving?

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Sunday Post: October 2

Sunday-PostThis is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last week–home and blog

Road trip

Because of our car accident (hitting a deer–we were unhurt, but the car and the deer were not so fortunate) so we cut our road trip short. We planned to be gone another week, but we don’t have a date when the car will be repaired and the rental car was expensive so after our visit with family in Oregon we left the West Coast and headed home to Iowa. (You can see a photo of the damaged car in last week’s Sunday Post.)

We’d planned for a leisurely trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, then to a dinosaur site in Wyoming and finally to visit a friend in the Denver area. That will be a trip for another time.

We spent part of our week at the Oregon coast. I have a special love for it since that was the first time I saw the ocean–when I was about six years old. I remember how excited I was!

We had beautiful weather at the coast this visit–mostly sunny and in the upper 60’s. The Oregon coast often is foggy, windy, cloudy or rainy so this was lovely. (However, I like it even when it’s foggy or raining!)

The blog

The first week we were gone I had posts scheduled and thought I would get more done while we traveled, but that has been harder than it seems. Using my cell phone to prepare posts isn’t as easy as I thought and lots of places in the mountains and rural areas have no cell service. The next couple weeks I will see how much I can get done. I do hope to visit more blogs and catch up with what everyone else is doing.

I did get lots of reading done. My husband and I also listened to two audiobooks together as we drove.

Blog posts

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
What I read last two weeks
  • Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
  • Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

None!

Next Week–home & blog

We’re back in Iowa so have all the catching up to do with everything. It feels like we’ve been gone for months–instead of just three weeks!

Blog posts

  • October books on my list
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Road Trip–Glacier National Park

My husband and I have been on a road trip for about 10 days now. We’ve had many adventures and seen beautiful places. I posted photos and some commentary earlier in the week (Mammoths and Black Hills) from our first major stop.

Our second major stop we visited Glacier National Park in northern Montana and had a beautiful day to see the mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, waterfalls….

We decided to travel on the Going to the Sun Road which I heard about through the years, but I figured it had gotten wider and easier to drive on through the years. Maybe it has, but it’s still a narrow, twisty road that’s kind of scary some of the time as well as a road that shows beautiful scenery. Next time maybe we would let someone else do the driving since we saw cool, red buses on the road!

We reached the top of mountain pass and found a bit of roadside snow from earlier in the week. There is a visitor’s center and lots of trails to walk further into the mountains. A little earlier in the day there were mountain goats visible, but they had gone around to the other side of the mountain. Then we started down the mountain.

And down the mountain we went! This side was shorter which we were glad of! But the views were no less spectacular. Near the bottom was a beautiful lake and then we were outside the park.

We drove around the bottom side of the park from east to west back to our hotel. However, I saw a shortcut which we took. Of course, that turned out to be an unmaintained road with open range cattle and horses. Which we did see! Again it was a narrow, twisty road with drop offs, but pretty scenery!

We drove about seven hours on these roads. We were happy we’d seen Glacier National Park. The scenery is spectacular, but we were exhausted when we got back to the hotel.

On to Canada and Banff National Park.

Sunday Post: September 11

Taking a moment to remember

It’s hard to believe it’s 15 years since 9-11. So much has happened around the world since then. Take a moment to remember these past 15 years and all the people who’ve lost their lives or had their lives changed because of terrorism or war.

And lets hope for a better future.

………………………………………

Sunday-PostThis is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

 

Last week–home and blog

Road trip road-atlas

We’re leaving on a road trip next week and we plan to be gone for almost a month.

Frustrations

I didn’t get a Sunday Post done last week since we had no wireless internet for most of the week. It stopped working suddenly and then started again suddenly. No idea why it stopped or started again. Tech support didn’t help, but our internet is finally working again. It was very frustrating to pick up my computer and then realize I couldn’t get the info I needed, because there was no internet.

This week my frustration was that my allergies were acting up. It was hard to do too much when my sinuses, eyes and nose hurt. I went through boxes of Kleenex. And since we’re trying to get ready for our trip. . . .

Television

We’re going to be away from most TV for the next month so we will miss premieres of most of the new TV shows. We’ll have to catch up when we get back home.

The blog

I managed a few posts. Some were prescheduled which helped when the internet wasn’t working. I also got quite a bit of reading done.

Blog posts — last two weeks

My books

What I’m reading
  • Grave on Grand Avenue by Naomi Hirahara
What I read last two week
  • Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushimi
  • Bitter Recoil by Steven F. Hamill
  • Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
  • Stripped Bare by Shannon Baker
  • Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland
  • The Secrets of Wishtide by Cathy Saunders
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Play Dead by Anne Frasier

Twice Buried by Steven F. Hamill

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katrina Bivald

Spirit Animals by E.E. Richardson

Murder in Retribution by Anne Cleeland

Next Week–home & blog

We leave Monday for our trip. Lots still to do to get ready. I’m hoping to try to do some mobile blogging while we’re gone. We’ll see how that goes. It will be fun to see what I can do as we drive!

Blog posts

  • Trip planning
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Sunday Post: July 3

Sunday-Post

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the U.S.A.

Several Weeks–home and blog

Missing in Action from blog

I haven’t gotten a Sunday Post posted in about three weeks. The action around here has been wild. In June I had family visits, lots of 90+ degree days and work to get the house ready (in other words, finish unpacking boxes and put things away) before my husband arrived at the end of June.

I fly east for a few hours so I can drive back west to Iowa
sunset on the way west
sunset on the way west

[For those who don’t follow every small action in my life(!) we bought a house in Iowa in preparation for my husband’s early retirement. I moved to Iowa in April, but my husband had to work until the end of June when he could take early retirement. We moved most of our stuff in April, but still had some things to move at the end of June. I decided to fly to Maryland to help with the drive to Iowa. One of our daughters and one of my sisters-in-law also came to help drive our second car and the U-Haul.]

We all had lots of fun and lots of laughs during our drive from Maryland to Iowa, but it was also very tiring. We’ve been in Iowa for a few days now, but I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep.

Des Moines sights and eating

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We have explored Des Moines since my husband has arrived. The Iowa state capitol is a beautiful building and we took a drive around it. There are summer concerts on the lawn so we hope to attend some of those.

Since we had some appointments downtown with government agencies we took the opportunity to check out some restaurants and cafes. One of the thing I love about Des Moines is all the unique restaurants throughout the city and suburbs.

Family celebration

We are having a small family gathering to celebrate my husband’s retirement, his birthday (which was at the end of June) and our country’s birthday. It will be so much fun to have some of our family here–including our three kids–this weekend to celebrate. We plan to barbecue, play games and maybe go to a minor league baseball game. Lots of food and lots of laughs.

The blog

When I decided to take my trip East to Maryland I had mostly run out of extra posts for my blog so very little got posted. I’ve hardly been on the internet for a couple of weeks, but I plan to do more after the first week in July.

Not too much happening on my blog and I haven’t visited many other blogs. I haven’t even picked up my computer for several days in a row (gasp)! And I haven’t had very much time to read either.

Blog posts (since my last Sunday Post)

My books

What I’m reading
  • Borrowing Death by Cathy Pegau
  • The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
What I read the last few weeks
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
  • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

crazy-mountain-kiss

Crazy Mountain Kiss by Keith McCafferty

the-zig-zag-girl

The Zig-Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

battle-cruiser

Battle Cruiser by B.V. Larson

happiness-for-beginners

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

the-rock-hole

The Rock Hole by Reavis Z. Wortham

strictly-analog

Strictly Analog by Richard Levesque

Interesting on the internet

Free Sync Audio books

Sync is back again for the summer (May 5 – Aug 17). Sync is a program which provides two free young adult audiobook downloads each week. Each set of books are only available for one week.

The Sync books available this week (June 30 – July 7):

The Sync books available next week (July 7 – July 14):

To listen to these books you must download Overdrive Media Console. It is available free to download at the Sync site.

Note: Some of the books have international restrictions, but some are available even if you live outside the U.S.

Next Week–home & blog

My husband and I still have a lot to do at our house: unpack boxes, figure out where to put things, hang photos plus figure out what we should get rid of! And we’re still trying to sell our house in Maryland. We have an offer, but I don’t know that we will come to an agreement.

I know I will continue to be busy! However, I’m hoping for more time to read and blog and blog hop!

Blog posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

Sunday Post: Mar 27

Sunday-Post

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last Week–home and blog

Iowa here we come!

Our older daughter arrived Saturday to help finish packing, pack the U-Haul truck, help drive and then unload in Iowa. Two of my husband’s sisters arrive the morning we leave to help with the drive across the country and unpack at the end of the trip. It’s great to have family!

We are in frenzy packing mode now getting it all finished! Lots of little odds and ends to find a place for in boxes. My husband is coming back to Maryland to finish work and then take early retirement. We are leaving a few things for him–but very few since anything he’s taking with him has to fit in his car!

The cats are going in my car though they don’t know that yet. They aren’t too happy with all the chaos, boxes and disruption of their naps. They’re going to be even unhappier when it comes time to get into their carriers!

 Cherry blossoms and monuments

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The cherry blossoms are at their peak this weekend in Washington D.C. We decided to take some time off packing to see DC one last time. It was great. We went early in the morning thinking there wouldn’t be too many people–haha. There were masses of people already and no places to park. I stayed with the car at one point and it was lucky I did, because the police were ticketing cars. Luckily, he let me move the car and luckily I was able to call my husband and daughter so we didn’t lose each other! It is all beautiful and wonderful to see and we will miss DC, but are ready for the next chapter in our lives.

The blog

I’ve got posts written for next week, but haven’t answered comments or visited blogs. I love all your comments and hope to start visiting blogs again the first week in April. Once we actually get moved I hope to have more time as I gradually unpack.

Blog posts

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Gray Ghost Murders by Keith McCafferty
What I read last week
  • Arena by Holly Jennings
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Next Week–home & blog

We leave the middle of next week for Iowa. We start packing everything into the moving van in a couple days. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to do a Sunday Post next week or not.

  • Review: Silenced in the Surf by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday: March 30
  • April books on my list
  • Review: Skeleton Blues by Paul Johnson
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

Sunday Post: Nov 22

Sunday-Post

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

Last Week–home and blog

Almost Thanksgiving here in the U.S. turkey

Thanksgiving here in the U.S. is on Thursday November 26. My husband and I are driving this year. So there was lots to do this week. Figuring out what to bring (winter clothes needed), packing, to the doctor (for my allergies and a cough).

Thanksgiving week is always a busy time for us. Lots of family activities. We have a large group every year though my father-in-law is lamenting it’s a small year this year (only about 40 people–some years we’ve had as many as 80 family members and friends!)

Time for a road trip

We had an early dinner with our son who is visiting friends in the Washington DC area before driving a ways Friday night. We stopped in Ohio to visit friends whom we hadn’t seen for over five years. So great to see them. Then we drove on to Illinois where we are staying with our daughter.

There was a big snowstorm in the Midwest Friday night and Saturday and we first ran into rain and then snow in Indiana. Not too much snow, but very windy. In Illinois we passed at least a dozen accidents. We finally got to our daughter’s house. There’s not a lot of snow, but the temperature has dropped and it’s staying below freezing today. On Monday it’s on to Iowa where they got a lot of snow!

The blog

I didn’t have time to do too much this week. The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon finished. I had a great time!  I probably won’t comment very much on other blogs for the rest of November. I do have some posts pre-scheduled and hope to use my computer when there’s time.

Blog posts

What I’m reading

Orphans of the Sky by Robert Heinlein

Christmas Miracles by Mary Balogh

What I read last week

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Christmas is Murder by C.S. Challinor

New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

No books this week!

NetGalley

None

Library books

None

E-books

None

Audiobooks

None

Internetsci-fi-month-badge

Here are some posts written for Sci-Fi Month:

Rinn Reads talks about falling out of love with the doctor

Greg @ Book Haven talks about the “Top Ten Planets”

The Bibliosanctum bloggers–“Getting our SciFi Gaming on with Brianna Shrum and Kristi Charish

Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings reviewed Down Station by Simon Morden

Next Week–home & blog

Thanksgiving will keep us busy all week. Lots to do–grocery shopping (buying two turkeys and a ham plus all the other food we need.) Two of my sisters-in-law are coming early, too, and lots of people will be in the kitchen on Thanksgiving!

Since we’re in the Midwest again for a family wedding in December I decided to stay until after Christmas. My husband has to work so he’s driving back home and will fly back out for the wedding and Christmas which we are spending in Iowa.

Also a busy week  with the blog. I’m really enjoying Sci-Fi Month. We finish up the Read Along–The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I have a few posts scheduled for the rest of November and I may get a few more done during the week.

Blog posts

  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet Read Along–wk 3
  • Sci-Fi authors I’m thankful for
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet Read Along–wk 4
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

the-christmas-joy-ride-by-melody-carlsonThe Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson
Series: None
Genre: Christmas Fiction (Inspirational)
Setting: On the road between Chicago and Arizona
Published by Revell
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Sep 1, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
176 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix–in the dead of winter, no less–the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Besides, a crazy trip with Joy would be more interesting than another Christmas home alone. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off to Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride–and a hidden problem that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be an exciting ride!

Initial impressions

  • Lots of Christmas cheer! A feel-good book.

Cheers

  • I chose the book totally based on the cover. I thought it looked like a fun Christmas book and it was. I love the cover!
  • I didn’t realize it was an inspirational (Christian fiction), but though God and Jesus are talked about I didn’t think it was too much. After all, the book is about Christmas!
  • This is a road trip book which is always fun. And Joy has planned her trip stops to spread her Christmas joy to people who need help.
  • The author is good at creating unique situations and characters. I like that Joy who is 85 years old has a blog! And that Miranda who is Joy’s neighbor helps her with the blog. Joy has a motor home she plans to drive from Chicago to Arizona! Not many 85 year olds would plan a trip like that. Miranda steps in and insists on going with her to help.
  • I like that Joy doesn’t spend time feeling sorry for herself–her husband died, she had to sell the home she shared with her husband, she’s going to Arizona where her sons live to live in an assisted living facility. Instead she thinks about others and spreads Christmas joy wherever she goes.
  • Miranda is in worse trouble than Joy since she’s losing her home after her husband left her. She has little money and no job. But she’s willing to put her problems behind her to help Joy with her trip. (And it helps Miranda think about something besides her problems.)
  • There’s a bit of romance in the book.

Jeers

  • All the people Joy picks to visit based on a contest on her blog are truly in need of help. There are no scams. I don’t think that’s realistic. However, the book is set at Christmas so it’s nice for that to happen.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This was a quick read and a nice book for Christmas. A good reminder to think about others and not so much about ourselves.
  • I’m reviewing the book during the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon for people looking for a Christmas book to read.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

–about Melody Carlson
  • “My husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two “re-homed” pets to make life more interesting–our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.”

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a book set during Christmas)
  • Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon–hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Jennifer @ The Book Shelfery–a Christmas book review for people to enjoy during the Read-a-Thon.