Monday, August 3, 2015

Sharing A Little Sunrise With You


Do you have the opportunity to watchlake at sunrise 4 - Thoughts in Progress a sunrise or a sunset at least once a week?

To me the sunrise can be an amazing scene. The colors that come through depend on so many elements. Sometimes the skies can have a blue tint or a brown tint or orange tint, etc. You get the idea. 

lake at sunrise 2 - Thoughts in Progress

I found the most amazing sunrise I’ve watched recently came the morning after a rain storm. There was so much orange in the sky it took my breath away.

lake at sunrise 3 - Thoughts in Progress

I normally try to get outside around 5:15 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. just as the sun is beginning to peak through the clouds and over the horizon. As the sun comes up it reflects on the lake make a reverse sunrise that is also amazing.

lake at sunrise 1 - Thoughts in Progress

These are several of the sunrises I have taken in the past few weeks. Do you see the differences in color tints? Thanks for stopping by today.

lake at sunrise 5 - Thoughts in Progress
lake at sunrise 7 - Thoughts in Progress
lake at sunrise 6 - Thoughts in Progress

Friday, July 31, 2015

A TWIST OF HATE by V.R. Barkowski


A Twist of HateThe past comes flying back to the present bringing secrets, sadness, memories and betrayal in V.R. Barkowski’s captivating debut novel, A TWIST OF HATE.

Former homicide inspector turned security consultant Del Miller is surprised that his parents loaned the local museum their painting of the Cézanne. When it turns up missing his mother, who works at the museum, asks for his help in finding the painting. Del refuses insisting the FBI be called in as the painting, smuggled out of Nazi occupied France with Del’s then-infant father, holds great sentimental value, but is also priceless.

Before the investigation into the missing painting begins, the museum director is found dead under unusual circumstances. While the director confesses to the theft in a note, the painting remains missing and Del’s father becomes a suspect in the suspicious death.

Things continue to get complicated when an allegation is made that Del’s grandfather stole the painting from a Paris gallery during the war. The tension builds when the grandson of the long-deceased gallery owner comes forward to claim the missing painting and is later found dead.

Faced with a missing family heirloom, a father suspected of murder and new revelations about his family, Del is determined to find the painting and set things right. Meanwhile, Del is also dealing with personal issues as he tries to take his relationship with his best friend’s ex-wife to the next level.

The author blends the past with the present fluently giving readers glimpses of what the people in France endured during the war. Her eye for detail and rich descriptions places the reader alongside those fleeing for their lives during the war, as well as those living in present day San Francisco.

The story is gripping and moves at a steady pace. The suspense holds you spellbound as the events and secrets unfold. The emotions of hardship, betrayal, love and friendship come through in waves.

The secondary story of Del, his best friend and his best friend’s ex-wife ties in nicely. Though bits of a tragedy involving the three is a tad vague, it doesn’t take away from the story. In fact, the trio’s bond adds depth to the story.

A TWIST OF HATE will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The author grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. The story doesn’t leave you when you close the book the final time as the characters become ones you want to know more about.

Author V.R. Barkowski’s website is HERE.

A Twist of Hate by V.R. Barkowski, Cengage/Five Star, @2015, ISBN: 978-1432830182, Hardcover, 339 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

I appreciate you stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out A TWIST OF HATE by fellow blogger and author V.R. Barkowski. This is a fascinating book about the past and the present. Do you enjoy stories that are based in the past? How do you feel about books that have some history tied in with the modern-day plot?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones


Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones - Narrated by Lorelei King - Thoughts in ProgressTales involving the Grim Reaper can be scary, hilarious and unpredictable if New York Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones is telling them.

Narrator Lorelei King does a masterful job bringing the Grim Reaper (aka Charlie Davidson) to life in EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK, the eighth installment in the Charlie Davidson series by Jones. King gives very distinct voices to the assortment of characters. Her varied inflection and volume matches the tension and high jinx throughout the story. King’s pacing is perfect. She’ll have you believing there’s more than one narrator.

Fleeing from 12 hellhounds, Charlie and her close group of friends and family have relocated to an abandoned convent. There she’s awaiting the birth of her daughter who is prophesized to do battle with Satan (who is also her grandfather on her father’s side).

Charlie is unable to leave the consecrated grounds of the convent. If she does, she’ll endure the wrath of the hellhounds. Her confinement, however, doesn’t stop her from working cases or getting into trouble.

When her daughter is born, Charlie quickly realizes everything (and everyone) is not exactly as it seems. She’s faced with some of the toughest decisions she’s ever had to make. The Grim Reaper may be a mother now, but she’s still got to play hard ball with demons and other worldly creatures.

The author has a mesmerizing way of making Charlie’s paranormal world seem real. She has created characters that are likable and realistic with a few hidden talents.

The story moves at a quick pace and flows smoothly from beginning to end. The action is hard hitting and breathless, even as laughter is mingled throughout.

This is the eighth installment in the series and readers can listen/read it as a standalone. While new readers/listeners won’t be lost not having knowledge of prior installments, it is a much better story if the series is read/listened to in order. Fans of the series will enjoy that this installment ends preparing for Charlie’s next adventure.

Twelve hellhounds and Satan himself is no match for the Grim Reaper when she becomes a mom.

Author Darynda Jones’s website is HERE.

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones, Charlie Davidson Series Book #8, Narrated by Lorelei King, Macmillan Audio, @2015, ISBN: 978-1427261069, Unabridged, 8 Discs, Run Time: 9 Hours 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you find EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK as enjoyable as I did. This is a fun series I’ve enjoyed from the beginning. Do you have a series you enjoy that you just can’t wait for the next installment? Are you a fan of Charlie Davidson?

*This post contains affiliate links

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

And Then He Kissed Me {+ Giveaway}


And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos - Thoughts in ProgressI’m delighted to be participating in the Release Day Tour Blitz for author Kim Amos and the release of her latest romance, AND THEN HE KISSED ME, the second installment in her White Pine Novel series.

In celebration of the release, five print copies of AND THEN HE KISSED ME are being given away. Please see the end of the post for more details.

Here’s a brief synopsis of this charming story:

          Five years ago, Audrey Tanner flung caution to the wind and herself into the arms of an emerald-eyed bad boy biker she met at the White Pine Asparagus Festival. Two blissful weeks together convinced her that Kieran Callaghan was The One-until The One blew town without a word, leaving her brokenhearted. Now, starting a new job at the new Harley Davidson showroom, Audrey is floored to meet her new boss: Kieran. He's still hot as hell, but she won't fall for his sexy smile again. This time, she's calling the shots.
          Kieran never thought he'd return to White Pine, Minnesota, much less see Audrey again. Gorgeous and smart as ever, she's just as irresistible as he remembered. She still doesn't know why he had to leave-or that he's missed her every day since. But he can't deny he wants more than the no-strings fling Audrey proposes. As things between them heat up, Kieran must choose between the secret he's sworn to keep and the woman he never stopped loving.

AND THEN HE KISSED ME is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, BAM! and Goodreads.
And-Then-He-Kissed-Me-Release-Week-Blitz[1]
Here are my thoughts on the book ………

Emotions jump off the beginning pages of the latest novel by author Kim Amos and don’t stop until the very end.

Amos has created a heroine readers will adore. She has spunk, drive and attitude with raw emotions mixed in. She learns to stand up for herself and what she wants.

The characters are well-developed, realistic and easy to like. The tension between the heroine and the hero is intriguing. The story moves quickly, but holds your attention.
The small town atmosphere comes to life through the author’s rich descriptions and vivid details. The easy flow of the story draws you in, while the enchanting tale of second chance love captives you.

While this is the second installment in the White Pine Novel series, AND THEN HE KISSED ME can be read as a standalone. New readers won’t be left in dark if this is their first visit to White Pine. This is a perfect summer read for the romance lover in you.

And Then He Kissed Me by Kim Amos, A White Pine Novel Book #2, Forever, @2015, ISBN: 978-1455557493, Mas Market Paperback, 368 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s Release Day Tour Blitz in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A Midwesterner whose roots run deep, Kim Amos is a writer living in Michigan with her husband and three furry animals.

For more on Kim and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

This giveaway is for five (5) print copies of AND THEN HE KISSED ME. To enter just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a bit to load, so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’ll check out this fun new romance and the complete series. When you associate motorcycles with ‘bad boy’ images? Are you a fan of second chance romances?
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Love Muffin and Chai Latte {+ Giveaway}


Love Muffin And Chai Latte by Anya Wylde - Thoughts in ProgressClear your calendar, turn on your voicemail and get cozy on the sofa as Author Anya Wylde has decided to dip her toes into the world of contemporary romance.

Anya’s recently released LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE, a modern romantic comedy, is now available from Amazon for $0.99 cents. However to celebrate the release, Anya is giving away one copy of this fun story to a lucky visitor to Thoughts in Progress. Please see the end of the post for more details.

LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE follows the journey of Tabitha Lee Timmons as she deals with financial stress, loony relatives, some crooks, an unhappy bride to be, a grumpy old man and two heartbreakingly handsome men.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the delightful story:  

        Tabby believes she has found the one in Chris. Chris appears to think the same for he pops the question, and soon Tabby finds herself engaged.
        Tabby thinks her biggest problem is picking out the wedding dress and refining the dinner menu. Chris begs to differ. He thinks her biggest problem is convincing his wealthy grandfather that she is perfect for the family or he risks losing a big fat inheritance.
        Convincing his grandfather turns out to be more complicated than she anticipates. For one, he wants her to seek the blessings of his spiritual adviser. The trouble is . . . his adviser lives in India.
        So, for the sake of love, Tabby journeys into the heart of India and battles monkeys, crooks, Delhi belly and the advisor himself in order to win over Chris’s family.
But while she is trying to make sense of an exotic new world, she begins to wonders why her heart beats madly for a man who is not her fiancé but his very handsome cousin….


For those who aren’t familiar with his inspiring author, here’s a bit of background on her.

Anya Wylde lives in Ireland along with her husband and a fat French poodle (now on a diet). She can cook a mean curry, and her idea of exercise is occasionally stretching her toes. She holds a degree in English literature and adores reading and writing.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

This giveaway is for one eBook copy of LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE. The deadline to enter is 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

To enter, please send me an email at mcbookshelf@gmail.com with the subject title: Love Muffin and Chair Latte Giveaway. Be sure to include an email address through which I can reach you if you should win. A winner will be selected at random and notified by email to send their complete mailing information. The notified winner will have 72 hours to reply before another winner will be selected. Thanks in advance for entering and Good Luck!!

Thanks for dropping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out Anya’s new released LOVE MUFFIN AND CHAI LATTE. Doesn’t the title just get your imagination going? What are your thoughts on the cover? Doesn’t it look relaxing and inviting?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs


Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs - Thoughts in ProgressFinding a book (or series) that not only entertains you, but also encourages you to expand your culinary interest is a plus. Author Laura Childs does just that with her Tea Shop Mystery series and its latest installment, MING TEA MURDER.

This time around Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia ‘Theo’ Browning finds more than she bargained for when attending a black tie affair at the Gibbes Museum. Theo attends the gala opening for a genuine eighteenth century Chinese teahouse exhibit. Discovering more than Chinese tea history, she finds museum patron Edgar Webster murdered in an old fashion photo booth.

When her boyfriend Max, who directs public relations for the museum, becomes a suspect in the murder, Theo is determined to find the killer. She knows the real killer was among the crème de la crème of Charleston society that attended the gala. Theo won’t stop until Max is cleared.

The author has created likable, realistic characters readers enjoy getting to know better in each installment. The interaction among the main core of characters gives the book a feel of family and longstanding friendships.

The Charleston setting quickly draws readers in as does the vivid descriptions of the Indigo Tea Shop and its activities. Mingled among the mystery is bits of history concerning Chinese tea houses. Readers don’t have to enjoy tea and the pleasantries that go with it to enjoy MING TEA MURDER. But for those who do enjoy tea, there’s an added bonus of tea-related recipes, tea time tips, and tea party theme suggestions.

This delightful cozy mystery is perfect reading for those hot summer evenings. The combination of murder mystery, tasty treats, refreshing tea and intriguing characters makes for enjoyable reading. 

Author Laura Childs’s website can be found HERE.


Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs, A Tea Shop Mystery Book #16, Berkley, @2015, ISBN: 978-0425281642, Hardcover, 336 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope I’ve enticed you to check out this fun cozy murder mystery a bit more. This is a fascinating series. Do you have a favorite series you’d like to share with us? Are you a tea drinker? If so, do you like it hot or cold, sweeten or unsweetened, brewed or steeped?

*This post contains affiliate links.