Category: Discussion

Catching Up on Series!

Posted February 1, 2023 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

I discovered that as I was just about to start a review for my current finished book that although I’d read the two earlier stories… *sigh* …I hadn’t reviewed them (or at least I cannot find those reviews anywhere, and believe me, I’ve searched).

I get so annoyed with myself when this happens.  But, life also happens.  *shrugs*  So, all I can do is go back, remind myself of the story (and they usually come back pretty quickly to mind after rereading the Cover Descriptions), and simply do the review now – the authors deserve that at least, even if it is a bit late to the game.  I could beat myself up about it but what good does that do?  Just a reminder to do better. 🙂

Yet… I’m betting that I’m not the only person who has had this happen to them.  We’re human after all.  I love the escape of books, but sometimes we show those human qualities of the characters we love so much… like, forgetfulness. 🙂

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A Personal Journey

Posted December 31, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

This is a post that I will place on all three of my websites for it’s the same message to my readers and visitors to Keeper Bookshelf or Shifter Haven or Happily Ever After Romance.  All are owned and created by the same person — Me.

As another year comes to a close we often reflect back… but I’m going to go only about 10 days that have changed so much about my life in ways that I’ll be discovering in the coming weeks.  I’m careful of what I share personally online but this is a message that I feel is important and might help someone else.

Last week I had a fall, I wasn’t badly injured but looking back that was a defining event.  Recently I was admitted to the hospital with bilateral pneumonia and it was discovered at that time that I was dealing with some heart issues as well.  At my age, beyond retirement, that’s not something you really want to hear – but it was pretty loud and clear that I needed to pay attention to my own health.  Which I will be doing intensely over the next few weeks.  I’m not done with this life yet so I’m going to take the steps needed to ensure that I wake up every morning for as long as possible.

In light of this, I’m going to be cutting back a bit on the number of books I’m reading and reviewing for these websites.  To authors that I’ve promised reviews, they will still be delivered the timing will be off, but I’m not going back on my word.  My life, my health is worth the investment of time to take care of it – and if that isn’t understood, well then, I don’t know what else to say.

I will always love Romance Novels across so many genres… but right now I have to be realistic about what my personal future may hold.  I’m far from done reading and reviewing what I love, I just may do it less often for a hopefully small period of time. 🙂

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Binge Reading

Posted November 21, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

There are times when I just want to read.  I don’t want to leave a fictional world, I don’t want to stop to write up my thoughts… I Just Want To Read.

*sigh*

This means, eventually, there are a lot of reviews to get written up.  Over the last 5 or 6 days, I got caught up on a couple of series, but didn’t leave those worlds so you’ll see a lot of back-to-back same-series reviews… it just means I was being lazy and staying content within a world that I was enjoying. 🙂

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It’s Time to Start Some New Series!

Posted October 2, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion, Harlequin / 0 Comments

I am a devoted series reader.  I cannot seem to change that fact, and although I’m still catching up on so many series in spite of reading and reviewing other books, book review deadlines, getting ready for the Dragonflight World of Warcraft expansion, drooling over books, and some random housework — I just bought more series to begin.  I know, right?  *grins*

I never claimed to be sane, only addicted to a good book!

Anyway.  I found several new series are starting within the various Harlequin category lines so, of course, I picked them up.  I’m starting them right away this time so I can at least be up-to-date on some series.  In order to save some room on what might be a long post, I’m only going to list the title with a link to Amazon (because I know these books are there).  In full disclosure, they will have affiliate links in them.  That doesn’t mean you have to click to buy right then but if you do I’d get a small commission.  Okay, official stuff is done, let’s check out some books!

The Lost Hart Triplet by Nicole Helm – Covert Cowboy Soldiers #1 (I’ve finished this one, review to follow soon – hint: it’s amazing!)

Cinderella’s Secret Baby by Dani Collins – Four Weddings and a Baby #1

Crowning His Kidnapped Princess by Michelle Smart & Pregnant Innocent Behind the Veil by Michelle Smart – Scandalous Royal Weddings #1 & #2 (okay, but the second is out now – and that cover is gorgeous -, and catching up before I forget)

The Marriage that Made Her Queen by Kali Anthony – Behind the Palace Doors #1

Their Desert Night of Scandal by Maya Blake – Brothers of the Desert #1

The Amish Matchmaking Dilemna by Patricia Johns – Amish Country Matches #1 (again, yes, not this month but gotta get to it now while it’s still new)

An Amish Proposal for Christmas by Vannetta Chapman – Seven Amish Sisters #1

Journey to Forgiveness by Dancia Favorite – Shephard’s Creek #1

So all of these stories went to the top of my TBR tower of doom pile.  I really need to get started on series earlier than I have been but, man, you’d think being retired I’d have more time but it seems I’ve even less free time than ever before!  Each of these books sounds fascinating in its own way, wish I could show you the amazing covers but I don’t have the space.  Anyways, wish me luck on my October 2022 reading spree plans.  🙂

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Book Love & Other Opinions

Posted September 24, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

Recently I’ve been getting comments in Twitter DMs, or Goodreads emails or just emails to the blog basically saying that I’m not an objective reviewer because I rarely rate below 3 stars.  I know I don’t have to – but I’d like to address that impression briefly.

Most importantly of all – I do not ever purchase or request ARCs of books that I don’t think I’m going to enjoy.  I mean, really, why would I do that?  I only have so much real-life money to spend on books and so much free time to read… why in the world would I pick up something that I know going in isn’t a book that I’m going to love?

Second in importance… I’m not a professional reviewer.  I’m a reader first and foremost of all.  I happen to love Romance novels in all (or most) of the sub-genres available today.  I started the blog because I like to share my thoughts with other readers, maybe find a new to me author, or introduce someone to an author that I enjoy.  Book talk, simple.

Thirdly, someone famous once said that no two readers ever read the same book.  And this is very true.  We all bring something different to each story we read – our history, our beliefs, our emotions, ourselves so how is it possible for everyone to react to one story the exact same way?  It’s not.  My reviews are my opinions – they are not Aunt Sally’s or the cat lady down the street’s but mine and if I happen to be entertained enough to say I loved a story enough to give it 4.5 stars… then that’s my opinion and my right.  No one has to agree with me, and no one should take me to task for not sharing their opinion of the written word either.

Fourthly… well, I think Rhett Butler said it best when he uttered, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  I want to spread my love of reading, it really is that simple.  I love to escape my reality and head off into my imagination fueled by someone else’s imagination through the pages of a book.  And if I think that book that you’d only give 2 stars to is worth 5 stars to me… well, that’s okay, because we each read a book and reacted differently.  Not one thing wrong with that reality.  /end rant

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Just Picked Up “Not Well Behaved Women” Limited Time Anthology

Posted August 17, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion, Recommend / 0 Comments

There are times when we do what we can for causes we believe in… or to simply help out fellow human beings (or adorable animals).  Such is the case with the limited edition anthology of Not Well Behaved Women by a wide variety of authors and in an equally wide range of genres.

I firmly believe in a woman’s choice… no matter what that choice is, it is her choice to make it.

You’ll find those same feelings within this anthology – so get it now while it’s still available.

She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to take it.

NOT WELL BEHAVED WOMEN is a romance anthology with stories ranging from steamy to downright scorching!

Deliciously dark, heart-pounding romantic suspense, swoon-worthy sports romance, unpredictable alpha shifters, mysteriously dark vampire lovers, or ghost encounters. Whatever you’re in the mood to read, you’ll find your next steamy romance in this collection.

★★★ Authors Featured in NOT WELL BEHAVED WOMEN ★★★

A.C. James —  Ann Gimpel — Bianca Sommerland — Blair Babylon — Raine Miller writing as Brit DeMille — Candice Gilmer — Carrie Lomax — Cathryn Fox — Demelza Carlton — Elizabeth SaFleur — Lauren Hawkeye writings as Jessa Kates — Monique DuBois — Kate Richards — Kate Rudolph — Kris Jayne — Reina Torres — Tami Lund — Zoey Indiana —

I got my copy on Amazon and here is that link (or click on the graphic/book cover above)  Not Well Behaved Women link

This collection contains previously published books bundled together for the first time to support reproductive rights. It’s only available for a LIMITED TIME, so grab it before it’s gone! 

(review to follow in a bit)

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time…

Posted August 1, 2022 by Marsha in Christmas Romance, Discussion / 0 Comments

Do you know what today is?  No?  Well, it’s August 1st, and… the Christmas Romance ARCs are starting to show up!

Yep!  Be still my grateful heart.  I can (and do) read Christmas Romance all year long.  So probably in late August or early September, you should expect to start seeing Christmas-related reviews here.

My problem is that I pick up so many Christmas Romances that I’m still reading and reviewing throughout January (at least)!

*happy Snoopy dance*

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Getting Caught Up on Series

Posted April 29, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I always have several series running through my reading schedule as I wait for the next in line to be released.  Trouble is… I am often overrun with titles that I’ve been waiting for breathlessly but now need to find the time to read.  Not a bad problem I guess… but I sure could use a few more hours tacked onto my day.  You, too?  🙂

Whenever possible I’ll be binge-reading those series back to back in order to get caught up.

How do you deal with series titles that have gotten backlogged, sorta out of control?  I’d love to hear your solutions.  And if they involve stretching time… please tell me your secret!

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Tale of an Unsatisfying Series

Posted February 1, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion / 0 Comments

I recently binge-read a series that I’ve had parts of on my Kindle for over a year… the final two books came (or one more will come) out in 2022.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement for I could find not one single thing about the hero or heroine in any of the three books I read to like or to root for their happy ending.

So, why did I continue reading not only one but two additional books?  Because I was waiting for the spark, for that moment that most readers know when it all falls together and you love who these fictional people are… and I never found that moment through three books.  Which breaks my heart.

I’ve made the choice to not review any of them here or on other locations.  I won’t give a negative review to just increase my reading challenges numbers or to put down an author who I’ll read again — but not until their next series launches.  These stories simply didn’t work for me.  I should have DNF’d them once I realized they just weren’t working for me, but I gave them every chance to win me over… and that didn’t happen.  The absolute truth is that just because this series didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that another reader won’t think them the best work of this author ever.  It’s a quote that “No two persons ever read the same story.”  And that is so true.

2022 is the year that I’ve declared that I will be using the power of DNF far more often.  And trying so hard with this particular series just proves how badly I need to use that DNF power of any reader… to not finish a book that isn’t working for me for whatever reason.

Sadly, I know there will be many DNFs to come, for I know my history of giving every book every chance that I can before walking away.  Years pass too quickly, and there are too many unread books to deny myself finishing the good ones just to give the bad ones a “chance”.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #2

Posted January 10, 2022 by Marsha in Discussion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading? / 4 Comments

I love fun memes, I really need to join in on more of them because… fun.  We should all have more fun in our lives, especially those of us who usually have a book in hand and a ton in line waiting to be read! 🙂

So let’s kick this off with “It’s Monday! What are you reading?”.  From the official page, “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile!” Now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

I gave myself permission to take a bit of a book break over the holidays.  Didn’t read as much, and surprisingly, a lot of what I did read I also gave myself permission to DNF simply because I didn’t care one whit what happened to those characters.  That’s a 2022 goal of mine – to stop reading a book I’m not enjoying simply because I “spent good money” on it.  So. What. ?  I’m really getting behind the realization that we have a limited amount of time on this blue marble in space… why continue to read a book that I’m hating just because I spent “good money on it”?  No, no more.

One book I did devour was The Girl in the Mist by Kristen Ashley.  This was her first novel in the Thriller genre and did she ever nail it!  I’ll admit to having read all of her books and loved (to some degree) every single one… but this one went to another level of suspense, mystery, terror, and romance with an older couple who proved that age is no limit for love or sexiness!  I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good mystery, a seasoned romance, and isn’t put off by uncomfortable subjects (or at least knows how to skim past parts of a story to enjoy the other parts).

Read More

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