Jan 242020
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Be Still My Bleating Heart (A Scottish Highland Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Independently Published (November 27, 2019)
Paperback: 219 Pages
ISBN-10: 171172260X
ISBN-13: 978-1711722603
Kindle ASIN: B07XQBZZB7

National Bestselling author Hannah Reed returns with her fourth Scottish Highland mystery, in which she is swept up in a murder following a Sir Walter Scott celebration…

Spring is here, and Eden Elliott has settled into her new life in the picturesque village of Glenkillen working on her next romance novel and volunteering as a constable in her spare time.
Love should be in the air, but Eden is still unattached. Along with that, she’s experiencing a creative meltdown, most likely caused by lack of inspiration, while a robber runs amok in the village assaulting local pensioners.
When she’s invited to a supper in honor of one of Scotland’s most celebrated literary giants and a guest is murdered, Eden puts aside her personal issues to dig into buried secrets. She’d better book someone soon if she wants to be alive to discover that love she needs to overcome her writer’s block…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Berkley wrapped up this series back in  2016. I am so happy Hannah Read has decided to continue it on her own.

It is now Spring in Glenkillen and Eden Elliott should be working on her next romance novel. With no romance in her own life, she is having a bit of writer’s block. In her voluntary job as a constable, she is concerned about someone robbing local pensioners.

With not much happening in her life, she accepts an invitation to a supper honoring Sir Walter Scott. The dinner gets a little tense when two diners get into an argument. The party breaks up early but Eden is soon called to return. One of the dinner guests has been murdered. Now Eden has to work with Officer Sean Stevens and Detective Inspector Jamieson to catch a robber and a killer. Maybe then her creative juices will start to flow and she can get back to her real job of being an author.

_____

Even after three years, it was easy to jump right back into this series. I was excited to return to Scotland. Eden has really found her place in the picturesque village of Glenkillen. Whether it be working on a manuscript in her favorite corner at the Kilt & Thistle Pub, or traipsing around the town and countryside trying to solve a case.  She has come along way since we met her in Off Kilter. Now it is time for her romantic life to take off. In this story, she took some baby steps in that direction.

The mysteries were well-plotted but I became focused on one individual very early on but wasn’t sure exactly why. Over the course of the story, twists threw me and Eden in different directions. I had a good time following her and her investigation. Sean wasn’t really too much help. Due to circumstances beyond her control, Eden found herself working closely with Inspector Jamieson. One of the robber’s victims was running her own little investigation too. A lot of humor took place in the character interactions. When we reached the two A-HA moments I found out that I was half right, although I was on the right track for the second mystery too.

While shorter than the previous books in this series, the author does a great job reintroducing the characters and setting the scene. There were a couple of places where there could have been more details or things that took place in the background and were just mentioned that could have added for more depth. I am just thrilled that Ms. Reed is writing Eden’s stories again. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for another installment.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Off Kilter here, Hooked on Ewe here, Dressed to Kilt here.

For more information about the story or about her other tales, visit her at hannahreedbooks.com and Like her on Facebook.

Also by Hannah Reed

Writing as Deb Baker

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.
Book Will Be Sent Directly from Amazon.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

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Jan 172020
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series)

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Hungary
Traveling Life Press (November 28, 2019)
Paperback: 172 pages
ISBN-10: 9083001148
ISBN-13: 978-9083001142
Kindle ASIN: B07XLF95SN

Who knew a New Year’s trip to Budapest could be so deadly? The tour must go on – even with a killer in their midst…

Recent divorcee Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve.

Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours, is also in a tight spot after one of her tour guides ends up in the hospital, leaving her a guide short on Christmas Day.

When Dotty offers her a job leading the tour group through Budapest, Hungary, Lana jumps at the chance. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year and pay her rent!

What starts off as the adventure of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube River. Was it murder or accidental death? Suspects abound when Lana discovers almost everyone on the tour had a bone to pick with Carl.

But Dotty insists the tour must go on, so Lana finds herself trapped with nine murder suspects. When another guest turns up dead, Lana has to figure out who the killer is before she too ends up floating in the Danube…

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

It’s Christmas Eve, she’s behind on her rent, has no real worthwhile job in her future, and she is still stinging from her divorce. Then landlord Dotty Thompson makes Lana Hansen an offer she just can’t refuse. Dotty owns Wanderlust Tours and one of her tour guides has ended up in the hospital. She needs Lana to jump on a plane to Budapest, Hungary to ring in the New Year and lead the tour group through the remaining days of the tour.

Lana takes to the job like a fish to water until her fellow tour guide Carl ends swimming with the fishes in the Danube. Accident? Murder? In just her few days with the group, Lana has learned that Carl has a good share of enemies, some right within their group. When a second life is lost and the police eyeing the wrong individual Lana realizes it is up to her to find the real killer.

I had read several reviews praising this book that I knew it had to be one of the first books I read in the new year.

Ms. Alderson not only takes us on an outstanding virtual escape to Hungary but she gives us a fun mystery to solve as well.

Lana Hansen is an excellent protagonist. She is smart, has a great sense of everything around her and I found her to have a very positive outlook even after all the bumps she has had in her life.  As a former investigative reporter, she knows how to dig deep and use her research skills to point her in the right direction. She knows how to link the clues together, take good notes and allow time to think over all the details she has found so that after several twists and a few extra clues she can actually prove whodunit and why.

The suspects included all the members of the tour but Carl had rubbed some people in Budapest the wrong way too. I really liked the “Fabulous Five” a group of mature women who were a whole lotta fun. I quickly eliminated them from my suspect list as did Lana. This is a group of ladies I would love to travel with, they have become great friends who really look after each other. The other members of the group all remain viable suspects. I hope they show up on a future tour.

The author has fully fleshed out all the characters. They truly came to life on the pages. Because this book is only 172 pages I am very impressed at how well she did this. The dialogue between the characters was crisp and realistic as well.

The other thing she did so well was to bring Budapest to life. Everywhere the group traveled was fully described and created wonderful pictures in my mind. She made us feel the cold and the wind too. It was a great trip.

I loved the quick pace and the short chapters. Death on the Danube was a totally entertaining read and I am really looking forward to reading Death By Baguette which will be released February 14, 2020. 

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories.

Author Links

Website – Goodreads  –Facebook – Twitter  –LinkedIn – BookBub

Coming February 14, 2020

I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Death on the Danube!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 31, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Dec 212019
 

I have already posted about the Reading Challenges I am hosting.

2020 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

2020 Alphabet Soup – Author Edition Reading Challenge

2020 LITERARY ESCAPES CHALLENGE

2020 Craving For Cozies Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge Time – Part One Post

2020 Reading Challenge Time – Part Two Post

So now it is time to start traveling around the blogosphere and find the challenges hosted by others that I want to participate in. Note that all information is copied from the hosting blogs and you must go to their blogs to sign up.

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The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020
Hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

This is a little different than the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2020 Hosted by My Reader’s Block I have already signed up for. This one you get to set your own goals.

Since I have already signed up for the Mount TBR with 36 Books, the same books will cross over to this challenge too. 

You can Sign Up Here.

The Backlist Reader Challenge (#BacklistReader) encourages you to read all those older books that have been piling up on your TBR pile or list — not just the books you already own, but also the books you’ve wanted to read for a long time but haven’t gotten around to yet.

The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. It ends at midnight in whatever timezone you’re in. You can still post reviews, and link them, up until January 5, 2020. (That’s 2 days more than last year. I realize people need a little more time to review and post the books they finished reading on Dec. 31.)


The Rules

The rules are simple. Only (1) and (2) are mandatory. 

Rule #1: To count for the challenge, books have to be published before 2018 AND already be on your TBR list or pile. In other words, you don’t have to own the book. If it was on your want-to-read list when you signed up for the challenge, and it came out in 2018 or earlier, it counts… regardless of format (ebook, print book, audiobook) and how you acquired it.

What about rereads? I love rereading old favorites! But my goal when I first created this challenge was to encourage myself to read older books I had been wanting or intending to read, not to reread a lot of old favorites. On the other hand, there are some books I read a long time ago on my TBR list. So here’s the compromise I came up with: you can count a book you have read before IF (a) you haven’t read the book in the last 10 years, and (b) you can’t remember a lot of the details.

Rule #2: Create a goals or sign-up post on your blogor wherever you usually post your reviews (e.g., Goodreads, LibraryThing, Instagram.) Please link back to this post! Then link your sign-up post below, where you see the “Add your link” button. (Please link your actual goals/sign-up post, not your home page.)  You can set your own goal, and you can list the books you want to read this year, or leave it up to your mood at the time—as long as they are already on your TBR list when you sign up! You can sign up through December 1, 2020; after that, the sign-up link will be closed.

Rule #3 (optional.) Review the books you read, and post the links on the review linky (reachable through the top menu bar.) You can certainly do the challenge without writing reviews, but the review links are your entries for the year-end giveaway. Reviews don’t have to be long; a few sentences is fine. You can post them on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you don’t have a blog. Please link to your review itself (not to your blog;s main page, your profile, or the book’s Goodreads or LibraryThing page.)

Rule #4: On or just after the end of the year, post a wrap-up post to let us know how you did! I’ll create a link-up post for the wrap-up posts, too. Again, this part isn’t absolutely necessary, but I hope you’ll do it anyway, just for the fun of looking back and seeing your accomplishment!


There will be at least one giveaway: a $15 Amazon gift certificate, or up to that amount in books from Book Depository (as long as they deliver to your country.)  The winner will be chosen from the review links at the end of the year, using a random number generator.

You can find the review linky on the top menu bar, with a link from the sidebar as well. The review linky will stay open through 11 p.m. EST on January 5, 2021, to give you a couple of days to review any books you finished on December 31.

Social media: Please use #BacklistReader on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else hashtags are useful!

Go find those older titles you still haven’t gotten around to, and make 2020 the year you finally read them!

*********************************************************

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Hosted by Reading Between the Pages

I am signing up at the Bronze Level – 10 Books. 

You can Sign Up Here.

Welcome to the seventh annual
NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge!
What the challenge is all about…

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of NetGalley/Edelweiss books sitting on your shelf to be read?
Have you lost your 80% rating and would love to get it back?
Do you want to challenge yourself to read more NetGalley/Edelweiss books?
Do you need extra inspiration to achieve that next badge?

If the answer is “YES” to any of these questions then this is the challenge for you!

Challenge guidelines… 

  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. There is no deadline to sign up.
  • Everyone is welcome to participate – you do not need to have a blog.
  • Any genre, release date, length, etc. counts – it just needs to be a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss.
  • Books can count for more than one challenge that you are participating in.
  • The first day of each month I will post a monthly “link-up” for you to link your reviews. If you forget one month, no worries, just catch up the next month.
  • Questions: Feel free to leave a comment below or use the contact page at the top of this post.
  • Help spread the book love and use the hashtag: #NGEW2020

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

To sign-up…

  • Make a blog post stating the level you intend to read in 2020 and link that blog post to Inlinkz (blue box below) when you sign up.
  • If you do not have a blog then state your reading level in the comments below and how you will be sharing your book reviews.
  • Last but not least, be sure to come back every month and link in those reviews. This is really the hardest part – remember to do the monthly “link-ups”! Be sure to follow me via WordPress or email for my monthly link-up reminders.

****************************************************************************

The 2020 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge
Hosted by Take a walk down Gregory Road

This is a new challenge for me but looks like fun. I am signing up at the Baker’s Dozen Level with hopes of more. 

You can SIGN UP HERE

Since the image above may be hard to read here are the

LEVELS

Baker’s Dozen | 13 books Choose one category from any 13 of the topics provided except for the wildcard books

Fortnightly | 26 books One category from each topic–you can choose one wildcard

52 Pickup | 52 books Two categories from each topic–you can choose one wildcard

Goin’ for the Burn | 78 books Three categories from each topic–you can choose two wildcards

Freaky Reader | 104 books Two books a week–must complete all the topics–you can choose two wildcards 

CATEGORIES

Making Stuff Up

A book with the word “maker” in the title

A book featuring a fictional language

A book about crafts or handiwork

A book about lies 

Dark Genres

A cult classic book

A dark fantasy book

A gothic horror book

A speculative fiction book 

Seconds

A book you find in a second hand store

The second book by an author

A book with a clock or stopwatch on the cover

A book about eating 

Quick Decisions

A book based solely on the title or cover

A book you buy on impulse

A book by an author you always read

A book about living with consequences 

Where We Live

A book about an apartment building

A book with a mansion on the cover

A book about nomads

A book about moving to the country 

Careers

A book written by a current/former journalist

A book about doctors/nurses/health care professionals

A book about a teacher

A book about blue collar workers 

Body Parts

A book with feet on the cover

A book with “hand” in the title

A book about heads

A book with a nose on the cover 

Reading Cliches

A book someone called a “page turner”

A “beach read”

A book by an author “everyone has read”

A “best seller” you’ve never heard of 

Music Genres

A book whose title could be a Country song

A book with “opera” in the title

A book whose cover makes you think about Heavy Metal

A book you think should have a Jazz soundtrack 

Recovery

A book about recovering from an accident or illness

A book about dealing with death

A book about a missing person

A book that has been re-issued with a new cover 

Next Door

A book with the word “neighbor” in the title

A book with binoculars on the cover

A book by a local author

A book about the creepy old house in the neighborhood 

Birds Of A Feather

A book with a feather or wings on the cover

A book about differences

A book about community

A book about twins 

Brought To You By The Letter N

A book with the word “novice” in the title

A book that takes place in a country that begins with N

A book with the word “name” in the title

A book by an author whose name starts with N 

Inspirations

A book that inspires you to go for a walk

A book about improving self image

A book about a place you hope to visit this year

A book by or about a person you admire 

Diversity

A book by an author from a different culture

A book about gender identity

A folk/fairy tale retelling in a non-western setting

A book about a character with a disability 

Check Out Those Lists

A book from NPRs Top 100 Books list

A book from the NY Times Best Sellers list

A book inspired by your shopping list this week

A book from a recommended list you find on the internet 

Singles

A story about a widow or widower

A book with a single word title

A standalone book

A book with a single figure on the cover 

Animal Kingdom

An author whose name includes an animal (ie: CATherine)

A non-fiction book about animals

A book with a talking animal

A book with an animal on the cover 

Hidden

A book with a mask on the cover

A book written by an author who uses a pseudonym

A book with the word “hidden” in the title

A book about a treasure hunt 

TBR Crushers

A book from your bookshelves you have to dust off

A book you’ve been meaning to read forever

Anything you want

The first book you see on your bookshelf 

Shorts

A book less than 100 pages

A book by an author with fewer than 10 letters in their name

A book with character being “towered over” on the cover

A book of short stories 

Movie Quotes

I see dead people. – a ghost story I coulda been a contender. –

a book about sports There’s no place like home. –

a book about going home I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way. –

a graphic novel 

Places

A book with a place name in the title

A book with a map on the cover

A book set in the mountains

A book about traveling 

Selfies

A memoir A book written in the first person

A book with a narcissistic character

A self-improvement book 

How Old?

A book with obsolete technology on the cover

A contemporary book written by an author older than you

A book about your parents’ generation

A book written before you were born 

Reading Women A non-fiction book about a famous woman

A book by a woman of color

A book with a kick-ass woman on the cover

A children’s book with a strong female lead 

*** Wildcards ***

A manga book A book that includes an ocean journey

A book about geeks A book about Zodiac signs or astrology

A book that centers around a group of friends 

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The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2020
Hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews…

I am signing up at the Kneading – Read 11-20 cat mysteries 

You can SIGN UP HERE. 

I’m back again with the Purrfect Reading Challenge. Two of my favorite things are cats and mysteries. So, I combined them for the *purrfect* reading challenge. It’s very simple, this challenge is all about reading mysteries that have cats as the main characters. Here are a few examples…

Joe Grey Mysteries by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Midnight Louie Mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas
A Cats In Trouble Mysteries by Leann Sweeney
A Klepto Cat Mysteries by Patricia Fry
Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon
Cat Who Mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun
Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James
Bookmobile Cat Mysteries by Laurie Cass
Theda Krakow Mysteries by Clea Simon
Black Cat Mysteries by Elaine Faber

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more. You can find a list here, but you aren’t limited to just these choices. If you find others, that’s great.

Here are the levels you can choose from:

Purring – Read 1-10 cat mysteries
Kneading – Read 11-20 cat mysteries
Meowing – Read 21-30 cat mysteries
Catnip – Go crazy and read at least 31 and go as high as you’d like – the sky is the limit!

The challenge will begin on January 1, 2020 and end on December 31, 2020.

The rules are really simple.

  1. Any book read for this challenge has to be a mystery and have a cat that plays a major role in the book.
  2. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

  3. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime for those who make a list in advance.

  4. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

  5. You don’t have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.  If you don’t have a blog, just post in the comment section that you’d like to join. You can post your books in there. I also have a Cat Mystery group on Goodreads and you can join over there. The link is https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/188179-cat-mystery-readers

  6. Books can be in any format of your choice (print, audio, ebooks)

  7. To sign up, choose one of the levels from the above list and use the Mister Linky below. There will be links for reviews and wrap posts later.

Enjoy and have fun!

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Reading Challenge Addict

I am still looking for a Pages Read Challenge.
I also challenge myself to read 10 books set in my home state of Wisconsin
or written by Wisconsin Author. 

So as you can see I am definitely a READING CHALLENGE ADDICT. 

I will add the final count at the end of the year. 

Are you a Reading Challenge Addict? 

You can SIGN UP HERE. 

About

Some of us have a bit of a problem.

Some of us have a huge problem.

Cheryl from CMash Loves to Read and Gina from Hott Books are two such people. And they are the founding mothers of the Reading Challenge Addict Blog.  Bev from My Reader’s Block is one with a HUGE problem and the current author and caretaker of the Blog.  We each can stand proudly and say,

I am a Reading Challenge Addict.

So we are challenging each of you who can also say that you also are a Reading Challenge Addict.

How addicted are you?

  • Easy as Pie: 1-5 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • On the Roof: 6-10 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
  • Out of This World: 16+ Challenges (Entered & Completed)
Rules:
We’re not making this a difficult challenge, actually, it’s going to be very simple!
  1. Each edition of the challenge will begin on January 1 and end on December 31.
  2. Write a starting post joining the challenge and outlining your challenges.
  3. Track all of your challenge accomplishments – good & bad.
  4. Comment like crazy and offer support for your fellow addicts.
  5. Have FUN!
Easy, right? Who wants to be in on the fun? Are you ready? As soon as it shows up in the tabs across the top, sign up on the latest “Reading Challenge Addicts” page.

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You can go to the Sleep Less – Read More Facebook page to find many more challenges. 

A Novel Challenge is also a great resource.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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