Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas!

To all my wonderful blogging friends:
I wish you a very Merry Christmas
And I hope you enjoy this holiday season.
I'm taking this week off to spend time with family and friends,
read, relax and catch my breath, and try to recharge my batteries.
But I'll be back blogging in January. 
See you in the New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2023

2 Quick Book Recommendations...

Silver Trail Christmas by Nik James

I've always liked a good western. This one is a sequel to High Country Justice which I read and loved this past summer. In this one, Caleb Marlowe has to deal with squatters on his land illegally mining for silver, cattle rustlers, outlaws, a corrupt judge, and the man who murdered his mother when he was sixteen....his own father. He also has to deal with his growing feelings for the lovely Sheila Burnett.

While this one wasn't quite as good as the first, I still had fun reading it. Mostly because Caleb is such a great character. 
"(Sheila) had forced his eyes open to see and recognize who he was. Caleb Marlowe was a gunslinger, a fighter, and a killer when the need arose. And that was fine. This was the frontier. This was the life that he'd chosen and that Sheila was trying to find a place in. They were not as different as he'd thought. They were survivors."

 A Cross-Country Wedding by Courtney Walsh

This friends-to-lovers romance is a sequel to A Cross-Country Christmas, though it's about different characters, Maddie and Simon, and can be read as a standalone. It also has a fun road trip in it. Maddie bugged me at first, but she grew on me as the story went along. Simon, on the other hand, I liked right from the start. And the two of them end up being really good for each other. Theirs is a cute relationship, and while this book isn't quite as good as A Cross-Country Christmas, it's a lighthearted and sweet romance. And I enjoyed it. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Reading Challenge Wrap Up


When I decided to participate in Susan's Bookish Books Reading Challenge last January, I had a list of 20 books that I wanted to read for it. And I came really close. Out of those 20 books, I DNFed two of them, wasn't in the mood for two others, and one that I really wanted to read ended up having so many holds on it by the time I went to check it out of the library there's no way I'll get a copy of it until sometime next year. But I read the rest of them. (Drumroll, please!) Here are the 15 bookish books I read this year:

So, if you're in the mood to read a book about books, bookshops, bookstore owners, authors or libraries, I recommend any of these...but especially the ones with hearts by them, because those were my favorites. And I want to thank Susan for coming up with and hosting this very fun reading challenge. She's going to do it again next year, if you're interested in joining in. 

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Dedicated to the One I Love by Beth K. Vogt


Kylie is the best-selling romance writer, Veronica Hollins, but she hasn't been able to write a word on her next novel since her husband died three years ago. And Joe writes military suspense novels as Tate Merrick, but his books aren't selling well enough to get him on the bestseller list, and his publisher thinks he needs to add some romance to them. But Joe doesn't write romance! So his publisher suggests they bring in Kylie to help him rewrite his latest manuscript; and Kylie's agent pushes her to accept the arrangement hoping it will help get her writing again. 

Only no one knows that Kylie and Joe are already online friends; and they don't know that Kylie is Veronica, or that Joe is Tate, until they start collaborating on Joe's book.

My thoughts:  I liked Joe's and Kylie's online friendship. But their first meeting in real life didn't go well. They have some funny push and pull moments, but I thought Kylie was a little too pushy when she started telling Joe how she was going to rewrite his novel to include the romantic story line she'd come up with without even talking to him about it first, or getting his ideas. And I didn't blame Joe for getting upset about it (though all his friends did). I thought Kylie should have been a little more respectful of the fact that it was his novel they were reworking. But Joe was the one who always ended up apologizing for being too stubborn and arguing with her. 

Over time, their interactions did get better, and I liked how they each started to respect the other one, and the other's writing, too. Joe was definitely the more likable character in my opinion. I thought it was cute how he came around to appreciating romance stories and their happy endings. So overall, I enjoyed their friendship and romance. I'd give this one 3.5/5 stars. 

This also counts as my last bookish book of the year for Susan's Bookish Books Reading Challenge

Happy Reading!

Friday, December 15, 2023

North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan


The plot:  Sixteen-year-old Kristin McIntyre and her ten-year-old brother, Ryan, have been in hiding from their criminal father, Boyd McIntyre, for five years. But he's finally managed to track them down in Montana. And when their guardian and protector tries to fly them to safety, their plane ends up crashing in Lost Lake. Now Kristin and Ryan are on their own in the middle of the Montana wilderness, with a blizzard closing in on them, and several bad guys hot on their trail. Luckily, their Aunt Ruby is also looking for them, along with local rancher Nick Lorenzo and his teenage son, Jason.

My thoughts:  Allison Brennan writes a taut, action-packed and riveting thriller. I loved how she combines the suspense of the chase and wilderness survival in this one. She writes great characters, too; I especially liked Nick and his son and their relationship. And Kristin was so feisty and tough. I loved how she took care of and protected her younger brother. Ryan's deafness also added to the story line. Talk about an entertaining and fast-paced read!  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

December's Bookish Art...

Ulisse Caputo -- Woman Reading

"Much pleasure was to be had in reading."
--Madeline Martin, The Last Bookshop in London

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Haiku Reviews...


The Ex-Mas Holidays by Zoe Allison

Two broken hearts. Past
hurts. New friendship. Can they ski
their way into love?

Christmas romance .... 373 pages .... 4/5 stars
(Cute second chance romance set in Scotland.)

All Shall Be Well (Kincaid and James #2) by Deborah Crombie

When his neighbor dies,
Kincaid thinks it might be murder.
Now he must prove it.

Mystery .... 268 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(I'm really liking this series.)

Snowed In for Christmas by Jaqueline Snowe

Grumpy football coach
keeps sunny sorority mom warm
through a Christmas storm.

Christmas romance .... 323 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(A blizzard, a power outtage, some humorous mishaps, funny banter, and a few steamy sex scenes make this a fun read.)

Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Sherlock Holmes & The Christmas Demon

From the blurb:
"It is 1890, and in the days before Christmas Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are visited at Baker Street by a new client. Eve Allerthorpe - eldest daughter of a grand but somewhat eccentric Yorkshire-based dynasty - is greatly distressed, as she believes she is being haunted by a demonic Christmas spirit.

"Eve stands to inherit a fortune if she is sound in mind, but it seems that something - or someone - is threatening her sanity. Holmes and Watson travel to the Allerthorpe family seat at Fellscar Keep to investigate, but soon discover that there is more to the case than at first appeared. There is another spirit haunting the family, and when a member of the household is found dead, the companions realise that no one is beyond suspicion."

My thoughts:  James Lovegrove does an excellent job of capturing the tone and spirit of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in this novel. I loved the Gothic atmosphere of Fellscar Keep, the forbidding and isolated castle where the Allerthorpe family lives, as well as the dark and sinister legend of Black Thurrick. And watching Holmes and Watson work their investigatory magic was as fun as always. Lovegrove really brings these beloved characters come to life. Plus, it takes place at Christmas time, which makes it extra festive. All in all, a very enjoyable and entertaining mystery. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is a FREEBIE.

I was feeling lazy, so instead of coming up with something clever or fun, I decided to go with 12 Books I Just Checked out of the Library instead.

1. The Last Cold Place: A Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica by Naira de Gracia (I've already started this one and am finding it very interesting. But then it's set in Antarctica and it's about Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins and Antarctic fur seals...what's not to love?)

2. Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove
('Tis the season!)

3. Snowed In For Christmas by Jaqueline Snowe
(Because I love that snowed in trope!)

 4. Silver Trail Christmas by Nik James
(This is a sequel to High Country Justice which I thoroughly enjoyed.)

5. North of Nowhere by Allison Brennan

6. Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke

7. Proposing Mischief by Regina Jennings
(Just couldn't resist that cover.)

8. A Match in the Making by Jen Turano
(I enjoy her historical romances a lot.)

9. Fairest of Heart by Karen Witemeyer

10. Memory Lane by Becky Wade

11. A Cross-Country Wedding by Courney Walsh
(Because she's one of my favorite authors and I loved Cross-Country Christmas.)

12. Odd Man In by Stephen Whyno
(I threw this one in my bag on a whim...I don't even watch hockey, but the whole premise of these emergency goalies being signed to play for just one game kind of intrigued me.)

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 2, 2023


My sister and I have been writing another story on Kindle Vella:  Christmas, Ghosts, and Mistletoe.

"Christmas week at the Thimbleberry Inn gives Ellie Benson a chance to put her ex-boyfriend in the past and make a fresh start. Maybe now she'll be able to pursue her own hopes and dreams. What she doesn't count on is an unexpected snowstorm, ghosts, an awkward mistletoe kiss, and the handsome Derek Sullivan."

This one's a cute and clean romance (no swearing, no sex), with humor and heart, and a ghost or  two. The first three episodes are free to read, and I hope you'll check them out. It's set in the town of Grayhaven, where our first Kindle Vella story takes place. So if you're more in the mood for some supernatural suspense than romance, I hope you'll check out Ghosts of Grayhaven. 

My sister and I had so much fun writing this one; we hope to start writing the sequel to it next year...because Zeb's and Mariah's and Moose's story is not done. (Moose is the dog; he's awesome!)

FYI:  If you've never read anything on Kindle Vella, it's a collection of episodic fiction in every genre imaginable. The first three episodes of any story are always are your first 200 tokens. If you want to buy more tokens you can get 200 for only $1.99. Then, once you start unlocking episodes with tokens that you've purchased, once a week you're given a fave vote which you can then award to your favorite KV story. And any story that gets enough fave votes is awarded a fave crown...which is what my sister and I are hoping happens with both our stories.

Happy Reading!