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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book Review: The Sleepwalker: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian

This psychological mystery pulls you to the twist at the revealing conclusion.
The Sleepwalker: A Novel
by Chris Bohjalian
File Size: 1066 KB
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (January 10, 2017)
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night.

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

Lianna is a young college student home during summer break when her mother disappears one night. Her beautiful mother, Annalee, is a sleepwalker who has had dangerous walks in her sleep before. Neither the search party nor the police have found a body and Lianna and her younger sister, Paige, don’t want to believe their mother is dead. But time keeps passing.

A day or two into the investigation Lianna meets Gavin, a 30ish detective who happened to know Annalee through a sleepwalker treatment program. He admits that he met Annalee outside the program for coffee and to compare notes. Lianna is drawn to Gavin but not sure if she can trust his attention and their attraction. Could his connection with her mother have been more than casual?

Lianna stays home from college while she runs the household trying to make things as normal as possible for her father and sister. She begins to secretly date Gavin. She doesn’t want her father to know and Gavin agrees to secrecy because of his connections to the case. Lianna continues to probe into her mother’s past and presses Gavin for details. Along the way she looks with suspicion upon her father, her neighbors, husbands and wives, as well as Gavin.

The story is written from Lianna’s first person voice which is done well. The reader is drawn into her turmoil, loss, puzzlement and confusion. The author weaves in details about parasomnia and the phenomenon of sleepwalking by means of discussions and journal entries from a sleepwalker.

I liked the writing style although, since I tend to like stories with action, this one was a bit different as it moves more slowly in a social, emotional drama mode. Still, the author does a good job at hooking the reader as I was invested in wanted to know what happened. There are some tense moments and a (possibly foreseeable as there are clues) twist at the point of reveal.

Readers who find family dynamics interesting should like this. I also recommend it to readers who enjoy a more psychological mystery.

I received this from the Publisher through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway: Infinity (Horizon) by Tabitha Lord

This is another exciting installment -strong writing and plot make it engaging.
Infinity (Horizon)
by Tabitha Lord

File Size: 1041 KB
Print Length: 269 pages
Publisher: Pronoun (June 6, 2017)
Genre: Space Opera, Genetic Engineering
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

In the second installment of the award-winning Horizon series, Dr. Caeli Crys returns to her war-torn world to fight for those she left behind.
Almagest, Caeli’s home, stands on the brink of revolution. Long hidden from the rest of the galaxy, the once-peaceful planet suffers under a regime that grows more violent and oppressive by the day. Marcus, Almagest’s dictator, is building an arsenal of alien weaponry by selling empathic children into slavery. A resistance has risen, but they are outmanned, outgunned, and in hiding.
Joined by Commander Derek Markham and his elite squadron of operatives, Caeli embarks on a dangerous mission to find the Resistance, rescue her captive people, and save her civilization from destruction.

This sequel picks up shortly after the end of Horizon. Derek and his team get intel that one of Caeli’s people, the Novali, has been sold in a space market. The intel reveals that Almagest is now trading with space opportunists and the use of these empathic people could be a fierce weapon…for good or evil depending on who controls them. This could endanger more than just Caeli’s home planet.

Derek’s commander agrees to allow Derek to take a team to Almagest to determine the extent of the problems. When the team arrives they soon discover the resistance struggling to face a cold winter with limited supplies. There are still contacts within the city but Marcus, the brutal dictator, is pushing hard to find rebels while arranging trades of ore and Novali to further his military growth.

The team must find new shelter as Marcus is sending planes out to locate and destroy their current camp. Caeli is already suffering PTSD and is emotionally injured again when not everyone makes it safely to the new location. The team plans a daring raid to take control of a supply train. The plan runs into a few hitches but does result in desperately needed food supplies for the resistance.

The team and resistance leaders realize they have to move soon as Marcus closes in. Derek decides to go undercover to approach Marcus so he can get a better picture of the situation. Although Caeli has been glad to see familiar faces, some events are triggering the PTSD that impacts her effectiveness at crucial times. There are more losses and betrayals before an all-out confrontation brings the rebels face to face with Marcus’ troops.

This story jumped into action and continued along at a good pace. Emotions ran on a roller coaster with sorrow and anger followed by joy and hope; then dropping again to more anger, sorrow and fear. The relationship between Derek and Caeli is strong and touching. I liked the inclusion of characters from the first book and there are some new characters I like and hope to see in the next book(s).

The author uses historic journals to explain how the Novali people came to be which was interesting once it became clear what this was. A simple tie in through the current day characters explaining they were reading the journal would have made this technique clearer. I liked the plot progress and the resolution on the planet. Then the author adds a last page hook of suspense to set up the next book. Hope it isn’t a long wait! I recommend this to readers who enjoy a good space opera with action, suspense and warm romance elements.

Buy the Book:
​Amazon  ~  Kindle
Add to Goodreads

I received this from NetGalley for tour review through iRead Book Tours. This qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.

Check out my review of book 1:

Buy the Book:
Amazon~ Barnes & Noble
Add on Goodreads

Don't Miss the Giveaway
Prizes: ​
Win one of 5 prize packages that contains: Horizon (Book #1) and Infinity (Book #2) by Tabitha Lord and a $10 Amazon gift card (open to USA only - 5 winners)(ends 7/22/17)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Post June 18, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday June 19, 2017.

I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I had a busy week of catch up at the office particularly and we got to have our granddaughters several evenings. I suffered backache and migraine nausea on Friday and Saturday. It carried over to today so I think it might have been a bug of some sort. Extra naps helped.

I enjoyed my reading this week. I finished one ebook and two audio books. I only posted two reviews and a narrator interview with giveaway, along with all of my usual memes.

I visited about 29 blogs last week.
Shout out this week is to Herding Cats & Burning Soup Blog - Love the cat graphics.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • AAuthor Tour- Audible Book Review and Feature: Hounds Bite by E.J. Stevens; Urban Fantasy, Paranormal; my rating 4.25.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG Tour)

Infinity (Horizon)
by Tabitha Lord
This is another sci fi action and emotional read.

I received this through NetGalley for tour review through iRead Book Tours. My review will post 6/20.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/mp3 (TBR)

The Ghost Brigades
Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
I enjoyed the plot and the narration on this sci fi.
Click on book title for full description.

3. Audible/MP3 (TBR)

You Will Not Have My Hate
Written by: Antoine Leiris
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
This is very well written and narrated. 

Poignant in it's message.
This is from my TBR for "Y" in Alphabet Challenge.
Publisher's Summary
Number one international best seller
"On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional person, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hate."
On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris' wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife's killers, which he posted on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son's life be defined by Hélène's murder. He refused to let the killers have their way: "For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom." Instantly that short Facebook post caught fire and was reported on by newspapers and television stations all over the world. In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, he became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism.
Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle. You Will Not Have My Hate is a remarkable, heartbreaking, and indeed beautiful memoir of how he and his baby son, Melvil, endured in the days and weeks after Hélène's murder. With absolute emotional courage and openness, he somehow finds a way to answer that impossible question: How can I go on? He visits Hélène's body at the morgue, has to tell Melvil that Mommy will not be coming home, and buries the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with.
Leiris' grief is terrible, but his love for his family is indomitable. This is the rare and unforgettable testimony of a survivor and a universal message of hope and resilience. Leiris confronts an incomprehensible pain with a humbling generosity and grandeur of spirit. He is a guiding star for us all in these perilous times. His message - hate will be vanquished by love - is eternal.
©2016 Antoine Leiris (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Currently Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (eNG)

Dear Heart: The Courting Letters
by Judith Pinkerton Josephson (Author), Kirsten Josephson (Illustrator)
I am enjoying this sweet read;
received through NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/mp3 (Author tour)

The Zoo at the Edge of the World
Written by: Eric Kahn Gale
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
This story shows the genre as ages 5-7 but so far I am finding it engaging and good beyond those ages. This is from my TBR shelf for "Z".
Publisher's Summary
Marlin is not slow or mute; he is a stutterer, and that makes it impossible for him to convince people otherwise. He is also a Rackham: the youngest son of the world-famous explorer Roland Rackham, who is the owner and proprietor of the Zoo at the Edge of the World, a resort where the well to do from all over the world can come to experience the last bit of the wild left in the world at the end of the nineteenth century.
In order to impress a powerful duke who comes to visit the zoo, Marlin's father ventures into the jungle and brings back a mysterious black jaguar, now the only one in captivity. Everyone is terrified of the jaguar, including Marlin - until one night when the jaguar confers upon him a powerful gift. Soon Marlin finds himself with a difficult choice to make and, finally, something to say. If only he can figure out how to say it.
©2014 Eric Kahn Gale (P)2015 Recorded Books

3. eBook/Kindle (NG)

When the English Fall
by David Williams
I like the premise of this book
and look forward to reading it.
Received from the publisher through NetGalley.
A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and nonviolent community can survive when civilization falls apart.
When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community in Pennsylvania is caught up in the devastating aftermath. Once-bright skies are now dark. Planes have plummeted to the ground. The systems of modern life have crumbled. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become more and more desperate, they begin to invade Amish farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the peaceable community.
Seen through the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob as he tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos: Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they don’t, can they survive?
David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of “civilization” and what remains if the center cannot hold.

4. Audio/MP3 (ABJ)

Mission Impawsible: Paws & Claws Mystery Series, Book 4
Written by: Krista Davis
Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
This sounds cute. 
I received this from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.
Publisher's Summary
Holly Miller and her grandmother, Oma, are working their tails off to prepare the Sugar Maple Inn for an upcoming matchmaking event for pet owners. While Holly has no interest in pairing up, Oma plans on playing Cupid and finding someone to warm her reluctant granddaughter's heart. Unfortunately, one man Holly does meet is cold - dead cold - and he has a personal letter from Oma in his pocket. As suspicion is cast over the inn's guests, Holly - with the help of her furry friends, Trixie the Jack Russell and Twinkletoes the cat - must fetch the real killer, or she may soon have a date in court.
©2017 Cristina Ryplansky (P)2017 Tantor

June 18, 2017 - I am a day ahead in the One Year Bible; reading along with my husband and others from our church. I hope to take more time this year, staying on the day and listening to the companion commentary online.

Some of my reading time is going to a Wednesday night study we are doing called Freedom Course.

I completed three books and posted two reviews; this means I have five reviews current and one for later release. I still need to add the children's books at Goodreads and get other reviews linked.
I am still at 11 NetGalley Titles and 10 author titles in my queue.

This week we will upload Parrots of the Caribbean children's story at eTreasure's NetGalley page.

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly).  
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I got one audio review title this week.
I resisted all the Audible Daily Deals again this week but picked up a couple of $.99 Kindle titles.
I also picked up more free kindle titles as usual. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I picked up an Audio Book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.

Mission Impawsible: Paws & Claws Mystery Series, Book 4
Written by: Krista Davis
Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
See full description above under current reading.


I purchased two Kindle titles for $.99:

The Economic Collapse Chronicles Three-Book Box Set: 
A Post-Apocalyptic Novel of America's Coming Financial Downfall
Mark Goodwin

The Summer Hideaway: Lakeshore Chronicles Book 7 
(The Lakeshore Chronicles)
Susan Wiggs

I picked up Week Eight SYNC Audio titles:
THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK by W.E.B. Du Bois, Narrated by Rodney Gardiner (Dreamscape Media)
THE RED UMBRELLA by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Narrated by Kyla Garcia (Ideal Audiobooks)

Here are five of my Free Kindle Picks: (most of these may still be free)

Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 1)
Addison Cole

Under a Black Sky (Part of the Daniel Trokics Series)
Inger Wolf

Terminus (Fringe Worlds #1)
Kevin Hardman 

Cruising for Death: Kate Jones Thriller #5 (Kate Jones Thrillers)
D.V. Berkom

I added another 45 free Kindle titles to my library this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 18, 2017

Happy Father’s Day to all the father’s out there! 
Our Sunday School teacher lost his father last Friday. He shared part of the eulogy he gave for his father which was lovely. Although he and his family were sad, they had the comfort of knowing his father was a committed follower of Jesus and his hope was in eternal life. 2 Corinthians 5: 1-5.

He then asked for everyone to share characteristics of a father that earthly fathers share with our heavenly father. These are the characteristics that were shared: Love, discipline, forgiveness, grace, encourager, teacher, provider, protector, strong, faithful, trustworthy, kind, patient, giving, compassionate, rewarder, understanding, counselor, wise, they sacrificed for us and they want to talk to us and hear from us.

Those traits that our earthly fathers don’t have are: omniscience, omnipotent and omnipresent.

Pastor continued his Sermon on ‘Dependent’ from James 4:11-17. He noted that as soon as men become fathers they discover they need to become expert at various things. Expert at loving spouse, leadership, managing stress; building, fixing and becoming a prayer warrior. To be an expert we must always learn and improve. (Kids see fathers as heroes and don’t learn until they grow that their fathers are just human.)

But there are two major dangers in becoming 'expert'. First, we look down on others and more importantly, we trust ourselves instead of God. James tell us that we can’t judge others. God never tells men to compare themselves. If you criticize others then you are criticizing God and you may discover that God will defend them against you.

The Point: God is THE expert! This is an indisputable law.

God knows more than we do. He knows what to say. He knows how to use our resources.

Proverbs 3:3-10 tells us to Trust in God… We must learn to surrender to God; to obey Him and cast our nets where He directs.

Trust in God with all your heart; Obey God; cast the net when and where He directs and he will pour out blessings on you. Honor God with your first fruits.
God loves you. Trust Him.

This song fits perfectly for me today:
Verses For Today:
Proverbs 3:7-10 (NIV)
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Lord, I thank you for the many blessings you have poured out on me and I pray that you help me to submit to You in all things, every day.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #307 Comment Giveaway June 17, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
I enjoyed learning what movies are coming up. Five of us don't like movies to enough to pay attention. Wonder Woman got one "loved it" and 3 looking forward to it. Valerian and Spiderman each got 2 votes. 1 vote each went to Transformers, Blade Runner and Justice League.


The Winner from SBB #306 comments is: #1 Natalijia who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated (**Finally!) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love and Christmas titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: I did post an Updated ARC and Other books for Giveaways. I have to go back and list the titles -- someday.
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #307
(One Question.)

Fredamans asks: What genre do you tend to stay away from??
I like to read a wider variety. However, the obvious genres I stay away from are erotica and most horror. Less obvious are family drama (I'll read with mystery but tend to avoid straight drama) and stories with obvious and excessive foul language and stories with obvious adultery.
Image result for Genres don't read
Image found at Boats Against the Current.

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.

Your turn to share. Fredamans asks: What genre do you tend to stay away from??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Updated ARC and Other books, including the "Love" and Christmas titles all in one post.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday June 24, 2017 at 5 PM central.


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