Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

By now it should come as no surprise that the latest Colleen Coble book is a hit with me. Mermaid Moon is an intricate mix of romance and suspense with neither element overshadowing the other. In my opinion, it takes a truly talented writer to weave together romance and suspense without one being a weaker part of the story than the other. While this is the second book in the Sunset Cove series it is a stand alone novel but if I were you I'd read the first one (Inn at Ocean's Edge) just because it contains its own jaw-dropping element of surprise that you don't want to miss.

In Mermaid Moon, Mallory and Kevin are the two main characters with a history that dates back to their youth. Although Mallory has stayed away from her hometown for over fifteen years she can't help but rush back after her father's mysterious death. As with Colleen Coble's other books, this is when things get exciting. The more that Mallory and Kevin learn, the more dangerous it becomes for both Mallory and her daughter Haylie. If you're like me, you'll think you've figured this one out but then Colleen Coble will surprise you. I hope you enjoy this book and are looking forward to the third book in the series (Twilight at Blueberry Barrens) that should be out later this year!



Book info

About the book:

Mermaid Moon (Thomas Nelson, January 2016)

Mallory's mother died fifteen years ago. But her father's last words on the phone were unmistakable: "Find . . . mother."

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn't have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O'Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart---and left---without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life---and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie---their search intensifies. There's a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father's killer---it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Purchase a copy:
http://bit.ly/1J0PXVl
 
About the author:

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

Connect with Coble: website, Twitter, Facebook
 Blog Tour Schedule



To move forward past a life of shame and confusion, Mallory Davis must go back to Mermaid Point to find out who murdered her father in Colleen Coble's new book, Mermaid Moon. As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Celebrate the release of Mermaid Moon with Colleen and a mystery e-reader prize pack giveaway!

mermaid moon-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 1st. The winner will be announced February 2nd on the Litfuse blog.

mermaid moon-enterbanner


I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings


In Regina Jennings' most recent historical fiction novel she does an excellent job of writing the characters in a way that at times you love them, get mad at them, or your heart aches for them. I'm not sure why but I imagined so much of what takes place in Missouri to mimic Walnut Grove in Little House on the Prairie. That was one of my favorite shows as a girl so at several points in the book I felt like I already knew an area they were traveling to. As far as the story itself goes the romance plays a secondary role to the suspense in my mind. I was curious about so many things from the very first chapter and rather than reveal too much at once the story doles out bits and pieces here and there that bring answers over time.

When a painting is mistakenly auctioned off at the Wimplegate's Auction House in Boston Miranda's grandfather purchases the auction house in Missouri where the painting was supposedly sent after purchase. Unwilling to let him travel alone and wishing to escape her cousin Cornelius and his marriage proposals, Miranda accompanies her grandfather to Missouri to retrieve the painting. When they discover they've purchased a livestock auction barn I literally laughed. Having introduced more than one "city person" to cows myself I was expecting the reaction to the smells. Nonetheless I still had to laugh at how appalled they were initially. Wyatt, the auction barn manager, finds humor in the Wimplegate's lack of cattle experience but is remarkably patient helping them acclimate to how these auctions differ from what they are used to back in Boston. It's impossible not to root for Wyatt and Miranda but will their differences be too great to overcome? Can Miranda help her grandfather recover the painting and save their family business?


I I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.


Book info
About the book: 

At Love's Bidding (Bethany House, December 2015)

She sells priceless antiques. He sells livestock by the pound. Is he really the man to make a bid for her heart?

After helping her grandfather at their Boston auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she's accidentally sold a powerful family's prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings before the painting can move again.

Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn't deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don't know a thing about the business he's single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count---but no mysterious painting---Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1QJGxOK
About the author: 

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of A Most Inconvenient MarriageSixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

Connect with Regina: websiteTwitterFacebook

 Blog Tour Schedule



After a cross-country trip to track down a sold painting that could ruin her family's business forever, Miranda Wimplegate forms an unlikely but charged partnership with livestock auctioneer Wyatt Ballentine in Regina Jennings' At Love's Bidding. Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt must try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

Join Regina in celebrating the release of At Love's Bidding by entering to win her Cozy Winter Night giveaway and RSVPing to her January 5th author chat party!

at love's bidding - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive everything you need for a cozy winter night:
at love's bidding - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 1/5. The winner will be announced at the At Love's Bidding Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Regina and other readers, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

at love's bidding-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Legend by Eric Blehm

Every so often there's a book I read that I think about for months and even years afterward. One of those is Fearless by Eric Blehm and now I can add Legend to that list. Before I began reading this book I knew I had a very limited knowledge of the Vietnam War so I was anxious to read this and learn more. What I took away from the story of Roy Benavidez and the events that transpired on May 2, 1968, are so much more than dates and facts but rather experiences and stories that truly made this man a legend. While the author does cover Roy's entire life the main part of the book surrounds one day's events and what he did to save the lives of those surrounded by the enemy in the jungles of Cambodia, a country where we supposedly did not have American troops. Roy's actions were nothing less than heroic and practically unbelievable considering the wounds he himself had sustained. Unfortunately it took years for him to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor which he undoubtedly deserved much sooner. What I love about Legend is that the author takes the time to make you feel like you know all the other people involved that day. This makes the book painful at times but it's a truly gifted writer that can evoke such emotions from the reader. I found myself nervous for the crews flying overhead trying to protect their men on the ground, heartbroken over those who didn't make it out that day, and guilt for how these men were treated when they arrived home. Once I finished the book I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't help but cry again later as I recounted to my husband and then my mother why I loved this book so much.


http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9780804139519?height=450&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

There were several quotes from the book that I wanted to share but I'll only share a couple that I found particularly moving:

"The one good thing about this place, you sure learn not to take anything for granted. Not anything." -Larry McKibben

"Today I go to the airport and see strangers shaking the hands of men and women in uniform, and it makes me smile. I don't think those people necessarily believe in the politics of our current wars, they just know this young man or woman is serving his country. That was all we did in Vietnam. I'll say it again: I'm proud of my service."
-Pete Gailis

I can promise you that after reading this book you won't look at this period of our nation's history the same way and I'd be willing to bet it may alter your view of the struggles our Vietnam veterans still have today. Get your tissues out and prepare to be moved by the story of Roy Benavidez, a true American legend.

If you'd like to read more about the book you can do so here and if you want to learn more about Eric Blehm you can do that here. After reading Fearless and Legend I can't wait to get my hands on his other books!

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Books 'n' Bloggers Swap Reveal



Thank you to the lovely ladies at Chaotic Goddess Swaps for organizing this! Just to recap: you send 3 books and receive 3 books. They should be:

  • a book off their wishlist
  • a book you've read and loved
  • a book you haven't read but think they will enjoy
I was paired with  Ashli at Faithfully Moonstruck. Since everything arrived via Amazon I wasn't sure which tag went with which book but here's what I received:
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein
  • cute magnetic bookmarks!








I love that all the books are centered around WWII because I enjoy historical fiction from that time period! I have learned that I need to do a better job of updating my wishlist (I snagged All the Light We Cannot See at the thrift store for $1 last week!) and I probably need to make a shelf of books I own since I do already have The Book Thief. However, I haven't read any of these three so I am excited to take a month and focus on WWII historical fiction. I have so many great books set during this time that I've been wanting to read for ages.

Thank you again to Chaotic Goddess Swaps and Ashli at Faithfully Moonstruck! This was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Whenever You Come Around by Robin Lee Hatcher


It's been years since Charity and Buck have seen each other but with her parents out of the country and her own home being repaired she's forced to go back to Kings Meadow to her parent's home if she wants to make her book deadline. Wouldn't you know that her parent's next door neighbor happens to be Buck?! After an accident with her dog renders Buck nearly helpless Charity feels obligated to help where she can and before long she finds herself enjoying Buck's company more than she thought possible.

Whenever You Come Around was an enjoyable story filled with mostly likable characters (and one who you can't help but loathe) whose past and present intertwine. Charity has been carrying a secret for years and the time has come where that secret can no longer stay hidden. She's spent so much time envisioning what would happen when the people closest to her find out the truth and as I've found to be the case with these things; the outcome we imagine is usually far from reality. I felt as though the story was missing something but I can't quite put my finger on it. I did feel that the ending of the story arrived a bit quickly and could have been fleshed out a bit more. Other than that though it was well-written and a quick read!


Book Description

Just when Charity's wild imagination failed her, a flesh-and-blood hero walked into her life.
Best-selling author Charity Anderson returns to her hometown of Kings Meadow to defeat a bad case of writer's block. She imagines she'll spend a lonely summer writing and then return to her home in Boise. She soon finds herself caring for Buck Malone, a wilderness guide-and the object of her unrequited teenage crush. But what else can she do? Her dog Cocoa caused the accident that left Buck with a broken ankle and wrist, taking him off the trail for weeks of prime tourist-season work.
Buck and Charity have gone different ways since high school, and at first it seems they have little in common. Buck loves the simple, low-key life he's made for himself in the mountains of Idaho, and she's a woman accustomed to the faster, bustling pace of the city. But spending so much time together has Buck hoping to change her mind about staying in the small town she thought she'd left behind for good.
It's a summer for discovering that young love is a spark not soon extinguished.

About the Author
Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of 70 books. Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin and her husband currently reside in Idaho. For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com.

I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

Counting on a Cowboy is the second book in Debra Clopton's A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. After reading the first book in the series (Betting on Hope) earlier this year I was anxiously awaiting Bo's story and now I find myself looking forward to the next book and Jarrod's story!  Having already fallen in love with the small town of Wishing Springs, TX, and the unique personalities of each of its residents this book felt familiar and sometimes that's good to read something that takes you back to a place you know even if it's only a place you know within your imagination.  I honestly thought the aspect with Bo unexpectedly becoming a single dad would be my least favorite part of the story but it turns out I was wrong. Little Levi tugged at my heart strings right along with Bo and Abby. From the start I wanted Abby to find the "Mayberry" she was looking for and simply to live happily ever after. Now you'll just have to read the book to find out what actually happens with Bo, Abby, and little Levi!


Book info

About the book:
Counting on a Cowboy
(Thomas Nelson, August 2015)

After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become---or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can't help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Purchase a copy:
http://bit.ly/1fniSV6
About the author:
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online:
website, Facebook, Twitter

 Blog Tour Schedule



A new tale of romance, family, and taking risks—don't miss Debra Clopton's Counting on a Cowboy! After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Saddle up with Debra and her new book and enter to win her Love at the Reins prize pack!

counting on a cowboy-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
clopton collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 8th. The winner will be announced September 9th on Debra's blog.

counting on a cowboy-enter banner

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Books 'n" Bloggers Swap


If you are a book lover like me and would like to participate in a book swap and perhaps make a new friend in the process then this is right up your alley!

Here are the details:
Sign-ups close on August 24 so don't wait!
You send 3 books and receive 3 books. They should be:
  • a book off their wishlist
  • a book you've read and loved
  • a book you haven't read but think they will enjoy
Once you've filled out the form and been accepted (you'll receive an email from the lovely ladies of Chaotic Goddess Swaps) you'll blog about the swap and link up. Easy as that! Once you've received your goodies you'll blog about it and link up again.

I can't wait for this and I hope you'll participate too!