Monday, June 30, 2014

Musing Mondays: 2014 6-month update


Musing Mondays asks you to muse about something related to reading/books each week…...

I will muse about my reading in these 6 months. I had set a goal of reading 150 books this year in goodreads. I have read 107 till date. 

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
gautami has
read 107 books toward her goal of 150 books.

June (14)

107. I married the Duke by Katharine Ashe (Historical Romance)
106. I Adored a Lord by Katherine Ashe (Historical Romance)
105, The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton (Crime Fiction)
104. The Dead Don't Dance by John Enright (crime Fiction)
103. Undeniable by Jess Michaels (Historical Romance)
102. Nothing Denied by Jess Michaels (Historical Romance)
101. Secret Nights by Anita Mills (Historical Romance)
100. Mine, All Mine by Ella J. Quince (Historical Romance)
99. Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal (Historical Romance)
98. Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell (Crime Fiction)
97. How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan (Historical Romance)
96. Into the Abyss by James Snyder (Literary Fiction)
95. Shoveling Snow by Brett Sills (Literary Fiction)
94. Ill-Gotten Gains by Ilsa Evans (Suspense)

May (20)

93. The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White (Suspense)
92. Out Of Exile by Luke Preston (Thriller)
91. Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black (Erotica)
90. Taken By the Duke by Jess Michaels (Historical Romance)
89. Song for Sophia by Moriah Densley (Historical Romance)**
88. Unforgivable by Joanna Chambers (Historical Romance)
87. Tennessee Bride by Rosanne Bittner (Historical Romance)

86. To Sleep...Perchance to Die by Donald R. Grippo (Thriller)
85. The Passionate Greek by Catherine Dane (Contemporary Romance)
84. Extra Care by Alina Cosma (Poetry)
83. Night Fish by Kristine Ong Muslim (Poetry)

82. Sufficient Ransom by Sylvia Sarno (Thriller)
81. Unseen by John Michael Hileman (Thriller)

80. Silver Threads by Jade Kennedy (Poetry)
79. Jubilee's Journey by Bette Lee Crosby (Literary Fiction)**
78. The Truth Will Out by Jane Isaac (Crime Fiction)**
77. Once a Duchess by Elizabeth Boyce (Historical Romance)
76. Her Husband's Harlot by Grace Callaway (Historical Romance)
75. His Majesty, The Prince of Toads by Delle Jacobs (Historical Romance)

74. The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim (Literary Fiction)

April (18)

73. The Virgin Hostage by Shayla Black (Erotica)
72. The Invisible Man by H G Wells (Science Fiction)
71. The Sheik's Arranged Marriage by Susan Mallory (Contemporary Romance)

69. Dead Set by Will Carver (Crime Fiction)
68. The Virgin Concubine by Shayla Black (Erotica)
67. Silken Promises by Lisa Bingham (Historical Romance)
66. A Dangerous Affair by Caro Peacock (Victorian Mystery)
65. The Hellion and The Heartbreaker by Jennifer McNare (Historical Romance)
64. Never Too Late by Amara Royce (Historical Romance)

63. You, and Only You by Jennifer McNare (Historical Romance)
62. Dreaming of You by Jennifer McNare (Historical Romance)

61. The Scent of Dying Breaths by M. J. Rose (Suspense)
60. Controlled Hallucinations by John Sibley Williams (Poetry)
59. The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti (Literary Fiction)
58. Scent of Butterflies by Dora Levy Mossanen (Literary Fiction)
57. Chilled to the Bone by Quentin Bates (Crime Fiction)** 
56. Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Cozy Mystery)

March 2014 (20)

55. Renascence and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (Poetry)
54. The Officer and the Bostoner by Rose Gordon  (Historical Romance)
53. Winter Heart by Jane Bonander  (Historical Romance)
52. The Cowboy's E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton  (Contemporary Romance)
51. Heiress Without a Cause by Sara Ramsey (Historical Romance)

50. Voltaire's Calligrapher by Pablo De Santis (Historical Thriller)
49. The Sekhmet Bed by L. M. Ironside (Historical)
48. The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (Literary Fiction)
47.  The Wedding by Lorhainne Eckhart (Contemporary Romance)
46. Scandal's Child by Sherrill Bodine (Historical Romance)
45. A Foreign Affair by Caro Peacock (Suspense/Mystery)

44. The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff (Literary Fiction)
43. The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff (Literary Fiction)
42. Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton (Crime Fiction)**
41. Velocity by Alan Jacobson (Crime Fiction)**
40. Hurrah's Nest by Arisa White (Poetry)**
39. Irresistible by Karen Robards (Historical Romance)
38. Scandalous by Karen Robards (Historical Romance)

37. The Noah's Ark Quest by Boyd Morrison (Thriller)
36. Dark Torment by Karen Robards (Historical Romance)

Feb 2014 (16)

35. The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry (Thriller)
34. Winter's Heart by  (Contemporary Romance) (e-book)
33. Forbidden Love by Karen Robards (Historical Romance) (e-book)
32. Rustled by Natasha Stories (Contemporary Romance) (e-book)
31. Amanda Rose by Karen Robards (Historical Romances) (e-book)
30. Cry Ohana: Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii by Larry and Rosemary Mild (Thriller)
29. The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen (Literary Fiction) (Mysticism)
26. The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison (Thriller)**
25. A Deadly Waltz by Sophia Queen 
(Historical Romances) (e-book)
24. The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam (Literary Fiction)
23. The Rejected Suitor by Teresa McCarthy (Historical Romance) (e-book)
22. Never Forget by Lisa Cutts (Crime Fiction)
21. A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez (Crime Fiction)**
20. She Belongs To Me by Carmen DeSousa (Romantic Suspense) (e-book)

Jan (19)

19. The Personal History of Rachel DuPREE by Ann Weisgarber (Historical literary fiction)
18. Mangled Hearts by Felicia Tatum (Contemporary Romance) (e-book)
17. It Takes a Murder by Anu Kumar (Dark romance)
16. The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller (Literary Fiction)
15. Tahoe Trap by Todd Borg (Crime Fiction)
14. Cera's Place by Elizabeth McKenna (Historical Romance)
13. Baby, It's Cold Outside by Genevieve Jourdin 
 (Contemporary Romance) (e-book)
12. Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz (Literary....Holocaust)
11. Dead Water by Ann Cleeves (Crime Fiction)
10. The Doctor's Secret Bride by Anna E. Ross (Contemporary Romance) (e-book)
9. The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (Gothic Suspense)**
8. Where's My Son? by John C. Dalglish  (Crime Fiction) (Novella) (e-book)
7. Clamor by Elyse Fenton (Poetry)**
6. Something About Her by Jeannie Ruesch (Historical Romance) (e-book)
5. Far To Go by Alison Pick (literary....Holocaust...Canada)
1. One Dead Cookie by Virginia Lowell  (cozy)

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila @ One Person's Journey Through a World of BooksWe discuss the books that we've read and what we're planning to read for the week.

 I finished reading the following in the past TWO weeks:

107. I married the Duke by Katharine Ashe (Historical Romance)
106. I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe (Historical Romance)
105, The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton (Crime Fiction)
104. The Dead Don't Dance by John Enright (Crime Fiction)
103. Undeniable by Jess Michaels (Historical Romance)
102. Nothing Denied by Jess Michaels (Historical Romance)
101. Secret Nights by Anita Mills (Historical Romance)
100. Mine, All Mine by Ella J. Quince (Historical Romance)
99. Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal (Historical Romance)
98. Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell (Crime Fiction)

I posted reviews of the following:

Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal
Jaspar's War by Cym Lowell
How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan

Monday Mailbox

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. It has finally found a permanent  home at Mailbox Monday with the following new administrators:

Leslie of Under My Apple Tree
Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit
Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach

I received 10 novels (7 print copies+3 e-books) after a drought of three weeks, thanks to the authors/publicists. I also received two poetry books from Harvee Lau from Book Dilettante

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

The Lightkeeper's Wife by Sarah Anne Johnson 

Alone on the tip of the cape, Hannah Snow is on the verge of her most heroic rescue yet.

On 19th century Cape Cod, Hannah Snow shouldn't even be in the water. Her husband, John, would be furious-it's his job to tend to Dangerfield Light. It's certainly not women's work, and his quick trips out of town don't give her permission to rush toward the tattered ships. But she does, and though she can't save everyone, William "Billy" Pike, is someone she can. He's recuperating in her care when John's horse is found abandoned. Hannah invites Billy to stay as a hired hand-but soon discovers that he is not at all whom she thought he was. When everything holding her together falls apart, can Hannah learn how to save herself?

 I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe (e-book)

All that clever, passionate Ravenna Caulfield wants is to stay far away from high society's mean girls.

All that handsome, heroic Lord Vitor Courtenay wants is to dash from dangerous adventure to adventure.

Now, snowbound in a castle with a bevy of the ton's scheming maidens all competing for a prince's hand in marriage, Ravenna's worst nightmare has come true.

Now, playing babysitter to his spoiled prince of a half-brother and potential brides, Vitor is champing at the bit to be gone.

When a stolen kiss in a stable leads to a corpse in a suit of armor, a canine kidnapping, and any number of scandalous liaisons, Ravenna and Vitor find themselves wrapped in a mystery they're perfectly paired to solve. But as for the mysteries of love and sex, Vitor's not about to let Ravenna escape until he's gotten what he desires . . .

Cider Brook by Carla Neggers

Being rescued by a good-looking, bad-boy firefighter isn't how Samantha Bennett expected to start her stay in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. Now she has everyone's attention—especially that of Justin Sloan, her rescuer, who wants to know why she was camped out in an abandoned old New England cider mill. 

Samantha is a treasure hunter who has returned to Knights Bridge to solve a 300-year-old mystery and salvage her good name. Justin remembers her well. He's the one who alerted her late mentor to her iffy past and got her fired. But just because he doesn't trust her doesn't mean he can resist her. Samantha is daring, determined, seized by wanderlust—everything that strong, stoic Justin never knew he wanted. Until now…

Boarding Pass by Paul Cumbo (e-book)

Twenty-one-year-old Matt Derby is a typical college senior: bright, open-minded, and full of potential. But he's also stuck in neutral, struggling with girl problems, a lack of direction, and decisions made difficult by too many choices.

When a television news report tells the story of a heroic firefighter in a small Wyoming town, Matt recognizes someone he hasn't seen in nearly six years: his boarding school roommate, Trey Daniels, who disappeared after being expelled in tenth grade.

Matt boards a flight headed west, aiming not only to visit his injured friend, but also to put off his own return to school and the big decisions that await him there. Once at cruising altitude, his flashbacks recall the formative days at the Ashford River School, and the memorable events that cemented their boyhood friendship before Trey's departure.
Upon landing, Matt soon discovers the seemingly impulsive journey is nothing less than a pilgrimage that revisits his past, illuminates the present, and defines his future.

  The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn't really believe in. Ultimately he can't resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces—behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe—detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith  (Pseudonym: J K Rowling)

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days--as he has done before--and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. 

The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives--meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced. When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before... 

The Second Child: Poems by Deborah Garrison (thanks to Harvee Lau)

Nine years after the stunning debut of her critically acclaimed poetry collection A Working Girl Can’t Win, which chronicled the progress and predicaments of a young woman, Deborah Garrison now moves into another stage of adulthood–starting a family and saying good-bye to a more carefree self.

In The Second Child, Garrison explores every facet of motherhood–the ambivalence, the trepidation, and the joy (“Sharp bliss in proximity to the roundness, / The globe already set aspin, particular / Of a whole new life”)– and comes to terms with the seismic shift in her outlook and in the world around her. She lays out her post-9/11 fears as she commutes daily to the city, continues to seek passion in her marriage, and wrestles with her feelings about faith and the mysterious gift of happiness. 

Good Poems: American Places by Garrison Keillor  (thanks to Harvee Lau)

Garrison Keillor, the editor of Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times, host of The Writer's Almanac, and all-around arbiter of fine American poetry, introduces another inspiring collection by a range of poets, some beloved favorites and others brash unknowns, organized by regions of America.

From Nantucket to Knoxville, Manhattan to Minnesota, the heart can be exalted anywhere. Think of these poems as postcards-from Billy Collins, Nikki Giovanni, William Carlos Williams, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and many more.

The Old Blue Line by J. A. Jance

Butch Dixon has been taken for a ride …

Not a jump in the car, see the sights kind of ride. He's been taken for everything he has. He's lost his house, his restaurant business, his savings, his car, his best friend, his faith-all to his conniving ex-wife. But that was seven years ago. He picked himself up, left Chicago, and started over in Peoria, Arizona, running the Roundhouse Bar and Grill. He doesn't look back on those bad years; there's no point. Not until two curious cops show up at the Roundhouse.

Faith, Butch's ex-wife, has been murdered, and the evidence points to him. Stunned, Butch quickly realizes that the black-hearted woman is going to ruin him again, from her grave. Lucky for Butch, the Old Blue Line, a group of retired-but still sharp and tenacious-former legal and law enforcement coots, have taken it upon themselves, as a favor, to make sure he doesn't cross that thin line. After the dust settles, Butch's life is again upended-when a little red-haired ball of fire, Sheriff Joanna Brady, takes a seat at his bar.

Claudia is heavily pregnant with a much-wanted baby, she has a loving husband and a beautiful home.

And then Zoe steps into her life.

Zoe has come to help Claudia when her baby arrives. But there's something about Zoe that Claudia doesn't like.

And when she finds Zoe in her bedroom, Claudia's anxiety turns to real fear.

A Song for the Dying by Stuart MacBride

Eight years ago, the Inside Man abducted and killed four women. He left another three in critical condition, their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. Then he disappeared. Until now…

Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation. Things haven’t exactly gone well since: his family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.

But Dr. Alice McDonald has other ideas. When a nurse turns up dead on waste ground behind Blackwall Hill – a doll stitched into her innards – Alice convinces one of the investigating teams to get Ash released and working the case. He’s out for as long as he’s useful.

And if he’s out, he can get revenge.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Salon/The Sunday Post: The fortnight was was

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Someone cut the cables on 20 June, 2014 and hundreds of phone lines were down for a week. We got it restored on 27 June, 2014. I had no net access at home. I could use my data on phone but that is not convenient to blog or facebook and the likes!! A good neighbour gave me the password of their wifi but it had no range at my place. I could use it on the corridor though!! So my net access was restricted to checking/answering important mails. We are SO dependent on the net and we take the wifi for granted!!

I did not use the time to read either!! We had seminars for 4 days, add to that, going to school for admission process. And I ended up tired!! I watched a lot of mindless programmes on TV. That only reinforced my views that who needs a new LED TV?!! Not me, never me!!

The following are the post links in the past fortnight:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Snapshot: June 28, 2014

Last week we attended a 4 day seminar. This is one of the photos my friend clicked. And boy, I am glad to be blogging after one week of NO NET ACCESS!!

Posting for Saturday Snapshot, hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Beginnings/Friday 56: Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal

Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.

Cainewood Castle, the South of England
Summer 1808
It was almost like touching him.
Lady Alexandra Chase usually sketched a profile in just a few minutes, but she took her time today, lingering over the experience in the darkened room. Standing on one side of a large, framed pane of glass while Tristan sat sideways on the other, she traced his shadow cast by the glow of a candle. Her pencil followed his strong chin, his long, straight nose, the wide slope of his forehead, capturing his image on the sheet of paper she'd tacked to her side of the glass. Noticing a stray lock that tumbled down his brow, she hesitated, wanting to make certain she caught it just right.

Rex barked. His tail thumped the wooden floor, sounding much like a slap.
"I don't think he likes me kissing you," Tris observed.

Posted foThe Friday 56, which is hosted by Freda's Voice

Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal

Griffin Chase, the new Marquess of Cainewood, is desperately trying to find husbands for his three headstrong sisters. He does not relish the role but he has no choice other than becoming a matchmaking mama. His sisters surely do not appreciate his interference. Alexandra, the eldest sister has always loved Tristan Nesbitt who is now Lord Hawkridge. However he has no intentions of marrying anyone because of a horrid scandal. Alexandra too decides to marry anyone her brother chooses for her for the sake of her sisters future.

Tristan Nesbitt is a inventor of some sort and Griffin needs his expertise. So he ends up staying at Griffin's place. Alexandra's two sisters are always plotting for those two to get together. Add to it all, a family heirloom recipe book, and that is seduction at its best...

I liked Tristan and Alexandra both. They do try to keep away from each other. There aren't those steamy scenes but the dialogue is so good that no one is gonna miss those scenes. Griffin loves his friend but he knows that he can't the scandal that follows Tristan. He is protective about his sisters.