December 21, 2014

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

The Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop is hosted by Bookhounds and I am  a Reader.

Welcome to this hop.  I think this is my first giveaway hop for 2014, and so will be my last as well!  It is one that appeals to me because of the time of the year. 


This year I am giving a $15 voucher to the U.S. Amazon store or a book to that amount from the Book Depository so long as it ships free to your country.

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December 20, 2014

Color Coded Reading Challenge 2015

           
This challenge is being hosted by My Reader's Block  and after a little scavenging around I think I will be able to start this challenge and then be on the look out for ones I don't have.  I want to read books I like so I will be on the look out for ones that suit.  Head on over to obtain the full details.

"The Color Coded Challenge seems to be as popular as ever, so we're going to give it another go. This year I'm going to open things up a bit more--the color may either be named in the title or it may appear as the dominant color for the cover of the book. For "implies color" the image implying color should dominate the cover--for instance a large rainbow, a field of flowers, or the image of a painter."

*Read nine books in the following categories. I have added in those I might read.

1. A book with "Blue"or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc)in the title/on the cover.
Carolina Blues  - Virginia Kantra.   audiobook
2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
Blood Brothers - Nora Roberts.
3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.)
Up At Butternut Creek.   Mary McNeer
4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover.
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
5. A book with "Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc)
The Chocolate Thief  by Laura Florand
6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover.
Black Hills.  Nora Roberts
7. A book with "White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc)
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen   I  Is that stretching it? Frost is white - right?
8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.).
Silver Thaw  by Catherine Anderson
9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.).
Outback Blaze by Rachael Johns    (Blaze implies a very bright display of light or color).

Listed are the possible books - I may find others, but these are all ones I intended to read, either on my TBR or wishlist, so this challenge pushes me into reading them.

Fatal Affair. Marie Force

Fatal Affair
Marie Force
Published: Carina Press 2010
Format: Kindle ebook
Pages: 294
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Own book.
Add to Goodreads
Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career--and her confidence--after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can't afford--especially when the bodies keep piling up.
My thoughts banner
Fatal Affair by Marie Force is the first in her Fatal series.  It is a reread for me as a couple of years ago I read through this series obsessively until I had caught up to date.  Now I wait each time with anticipation for the next one  ..... coming out early in 2015 by the way.

I think Nick and Sam might just be my favourite couple in romantic suspense books, although Eve and Roarke from the J.D. series are in the mix too!

I loved this book every bit as much as I did the first time reading it.  In fact I will be giving it an increase of one star from the first time I read it!

I remembered who was responsible for the main murder, but had forgotten quite a few details and that there was more than one murder.  ( Sorry that is a bit of a spoiler).  

I loved refreshing my mind about both Sam and Nick - their background histories and the beginning of their relationship.  Many of the other characters that we meet and get to know as the series progresses had minor parts to play and it brought back the pleasure of later reading their developments.  

I may not get to reread the rest of the series just now, but I believe it would stand the test.  My sense of delight with the book and series was still there as I finished.  Heart hit.

If you enjoy romantic suspense and have not read this series - try it.  
5 stars

December 19, 2014

2015 Audiobook Challenge

Hot Listens/2015 Audiobook Challenge
I enjoyed this challenge last year and   Hot Listens  and The Book Nympho are hosting it again.  Go on over there to check the full details out. It is very well run - gotta love that about a challenge.

The challenge is to outdo yourself from the previous year, and as I made it up to 20 last year I am going up to the next level.

Binge Listener 20 - 30 audiobooks
At this point in time that seems a little ambitious, however hoping I will surprise myself!



December 17, 2014

In Safe Keeping. Lee Christine

Book Cover
In Safe Keeping
Lee Christine
Published: Escape Publishing
Date: 8th December 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 222
Genre: Contemporary romantic suspense
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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It was only supposed to be a casual affair, a stress-relieving night time romp, a secret just between the two of them. But when divorce lawyer Laila Richards ends up on the opposite side of the bench to high powered lawyer, Evan Barclay, in a very public, very high profile divorce, she knows their fling will jeopardize the case of her career, and breaks off their relationship.

Stunned by Laila’s decision, Evan vows to make the beautiful lawyer deal with him, both in and out of the courtroom. But when suspicious activity begins to emerge, and Laila’s safety is threatened, Evan fears his client — his best friend, the son of the only family Evan has ever known, may be involved.

Bound by client confidentiality and battling a massive conflict of interest, Laila and Evan fight to win, fight for justice, and fight for a chance at a relationship that’s anything but casual.
My thoughts banner
In Safe Keeping is the third book in a series by Lee Christine.  I had not read the previous two, and did not find this a difficulty as the book easily stands alone well.  Although I am sure readers of the first two books would have a slightly deeper appreciation of some of the characters.

I liked this book, I was drawn in by the blurb, I like the idea of two lawyers on opposite sides of the bench yet linked romantically.  I was not disappointed.  The conflict of interests played out satisfactorily and of course the romance was good too.  There was plenty going on, Laila has lost her husband in a Blackhawk accident in the army.  Some were killed and some were badly injured and the army has covered it up to their advantage.  Laila wants to bring civil action against them.  That story plays out along side the divorce proceedings that Laila and Evan are involved in.  As well as that Evan has begun to be suspicious of the family who have long protected him, he wonders are they involved in unlawful and criminal deeds.

Both Evan and Laila have family backgrounds that could have hindered them, however it has only strengthened them,  at times it does enter into their relationship and causes some misunderstandings. They were both very ethical and driven to succeed in their calling.  Evan has been successful before they ever met in the sporting arena, however Laila is totally unaware of that.  I loved this part of him because he was an Australian player in our New Zealand national sport - not Australia's national sport though, so a perfect reason for him to be unknown by Laila.  (This story is set in Australia on the east coast).

The suspense side of the story was very good, it had enough action to keep me on the edge of my seat and a rather surprise denouement.  I didn't see it coming, although I am probably not a good barometer - I am not very good at working out 'who done it'!

This was my first read by this author, Lee Christine, I found it a well written, captivating story.
4 stars

December 16, 2014

2015 Reading Assignment Challenge

                                             2015HWLogo
This is being hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle at Because Reading.  Head over to Berls blog to check out the full details.

Some of the details are as below.


The Levels

Reading Level 1:
6 books
No Extra Credit, No Passes
Reading Level 2:
12 books (1 book/month)
1 Extra Credit, 1 Pass
Reading Level 3:
24 books (2 books/month)
2 Extra Credits, 1 Pass
Reading Level 4:
36 books (3 books/month)
3 Extra Credits, 1 Pass
Reading Level 5:
48 books (4 books/month)
4 Extra Credits, 1 Pass
Extra Credit:
Each level gets a set amount of extra credit that they may claim throughout the challenge. So if you’re having a good month and want to get ahead (and haven’t used up your extra credit) go ahead and read an extra book from your Assignment List. Once you’ve used up your Extra Credit, you have to stick to your scheduled number of books per month.
Passes:
Level 2 and up gets 1 Pass. This means you can skip a month without dropping out of the challenge. You’ll have to use your extra credit to make it up, but you still have a chance.
CLARIFICATION (edited 12/02/14): Extra Credit can ONLY be used for books on your list from January 1st – November 30th. Extra credit is helping you recover from a month you passed. However, if you do your assigned reading according to schedule, you will start December with unused extra credit. You may add a book for each remaining extra credit to your assignment list, to be announced in your November post (which links up 12/1 – 12/7). If you choose to add books to your list, YOU MUST read them to complete the challenge. IF YOU FAIL TO READ THEM, YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE GRAND PRIZE. IF YOU DO READ THEM, YOU’LL GET AN EXTRA ENTRY FOR EACH EXTRA CREDIT YOU CASH IN. So its up to you play it safe or gamble for more chances to win and rise to the top of the class!
I think I will go for Level 5.  48 books in the year - 4 a month. That gives me 4 extra credits and 1 pass.

My List of Books for this challenge.

January:


  • Marriage Charm              Linda Lael Miller
  • Come What May             Sherry Caulfied
  • First Frost                        Sarah Addison Allen
  • Teardrop Lane                 Emily March

February:

  • The Girls of Mischief Bay     Susan Mallery
  • I Saw Her Standing There      Marie Force
  • Silver Thaw                            Catherine Anderson
  • A Place Called Harmony        Jodi Thomas

March:

  • Welcome to Serenity              Sherryl Woods
  • Outback Blaze                        Rachael Johns
  • Thief With No Shadow          Emily Gee
  • Portrait in Death                     J. D. Robb

April:

  • Home in Carolina                    Sherryl Woods
  • Sense and Sensibility              Joanna Trollope
  • Imitation in Death                   J. D. Robb
  • What I Remember Most          Cathy Lamb

May:

  • Honeysuckle Summer             Sherryl Woods
  • Jericho                                     Ginger Jamison
  • Up At Butternut Creek           Mary McNear
  • Remember When                    J. D. Robb/ Nora Roberts

June

  • Three Weeks With Lady X     Eloisa James
  • Divided in Death                     J.D. Robb
  • Zac and Mia                             A. J. Betts
  • Midnight Promises                   Sherryl Woods

July

  • Visions in Death                     J. D. Robb
  • Bitter Greens                           Kate Forsyth
  • Me Before You                       Jojo Moyes
  • Shards of Hope                       Nalini Singh

August

  • Daughters-in-law                    Joanna Trollope
  • Survivor in Death                    J. D. Robb
  • Blood Brothers                        Nora Roberts
  • Catching Fireflies                    Sherryl Woods

September

  • Origin in Death                      J. D. Robb
  • The Hollow                            Nora Roberts
  • The Ravenscar Dynasty         Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • Time Will Tell                       Fiona McCallum

October

  • Every Crooked Nanny           Mary Kay Andrews
  • Memory in Death                   J. D. Robb
  • The Pagan Stone                    Nora Roberts
  • An Absolute Scandal             Penny Vincenzi

November

  • Flight Lessons                        Patricia Gaffney
  • The Thirteenth Tale                Diane Setterfield
  • Born in Death                         J. D. Robb
  • When Azaleas Bloom             Sherryl Woods

December

  • By Bread Alone                      Sarah Kate Lynch
  • Queen of the Road                   Tricia Stringer
  • Innocent in Death                     J. D. Robb
  • The Gamble                              Kristen Ashley
This challenge will clear some books off my TBR shelves. Oh my, by the end of 2015 I may have significantly more room on this shelf!



Aussie Author Challenge 2015


In 2015 I am going to take part in the Aussie Author Challenge. Go there for full details. I am a kiwi but have been led into reading some Australian authors by Australian bloggers - you do a great job.  I haven't really found any New Zealand bloggers or challenges - so Australia here I am.

Challenge Period: 1 January 2015 – 31 December 2015
WALLABY
– Read and review 3 titles written by Australian authors, of which at least 1 of those authors are female, at least 1 of those authors are male, and at least 1 of those authors are new to you;
– Fiction or non-fiction, any genre.
WALLAROO
– Read and review 6 titles written by Australian authors, of which at least 2 of those authors are female, at least 2 of those authors are male, and at least 2 of those authors are new to you;
– Fiction or non-fiction, at least 2 genres.
KANGAROO
– Read and review 12 titles written by Australian Authors of which at least 4 of those authors are female, at least 4 of those authors are male, and at least 4 of those authors are new to you;
– At least 6 fiction and at least 2 non-fiction, and at least 2 titles first published in 2014 or 2015.

I am aiming for the mid level.  Wallaroo.  It will be a challenge for me (... I don't read many male authors!) and I am looking forward to it.
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