Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd

A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1) An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford, #2) A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford, #3) An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford, #4)
A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5) An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, #6) A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7) The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8)


Dear Fellow Bookworms,

(First of all, I apologize for accidentally posting this last Tuesday before I had completely finished writing it… not sure how that happened. :/ )

I have discovered a new author.  Well, it’s two authors, actually.  It’s the mother and son writing team of Caroline & Charles Todd, though they write together under just the son’s same: Charles Todd.

I discovered their Bess Crawford series through my library via Overdrive (which is amazing, I must say!  Y’all should definitely check it out!).  I’d seen the books several times and kept intending to read them… someday.  But my library has the audiobooks and I wasn’t listening to audiobooks all that much when I first found these.  Where I’m working now, though, I can listen to audiobooks most of the day if I want to!  So I started searching my library for good audiobooks to listen to at work– they really help to pass the time and give me back a lot of the reading time that I lost when I started working.  I’ve listened to a lot of good books (and some not-so-good ones… :/ ).

At the beginning of this year, when I signed up for the audiobook reading challenge in one of my Goodreads groups, I decided to browse through all the e-audiobooks that my library had to offer.  I hadn’t made it very far when I came across the Bess Crawford series and remembered that I had planned to check out those books someday.  The first book wasn’t available at the time so I put it on hold and ended up having to wait until mid-February to get it. :/

Fast forward to June 7th and I have finished all 8 books currently available in this series.

They’re good books!  I’ve really enjoyed them.  And they’re narrated by Rosalyn Landor who did an excellent job!  I thoroughly enjoy listening to her read.  I think it’s safe to say that she is my favorite narrator to listen to.  I’m serious!  Listening to these books has been almost like listening to a BBC mystery or something.

I have also really enjoyed these characters.  Bess… she’s so much fun.  Really.  Her parents are pretty great too.  And Simon?  Yeah.  And let’s not forget Sergeant Larimore/Lassiter! 😉  I’m pretty sure they changed his name somewhere later in the series (maybe in book 6 or 7?).  Unless my mind is totally playing tricks on me… 😐  But after looking at some reviews it seems I’m not the only one who noticed this.  While that bugs me, I have still really enjoyed this character!

I’ve seen complaints about the lack of romance in this series, but… I’m okay with that.  Actually, I’ve kinda been enjoying it.  My only worry is that, if they ever do have Bess fall in love, I won’t like the way everything  turns out.

Then there’s the typical assertion that “it’s totally unrealistic and unbelievable that Bess would encounter all these murders and mysteries and be able to solve them”.

That ain’t why I read books like this. 😛  And if that’s why you read– for realistic, believable stories every single time you open a book– I’m sorry, but… just go away.  No, it’s not believable that she would stumble across, get dragged into, make her way through, and solve crime after crime after crime.  But the adventures are still fun and that’s what matters! 🙂

So if you enjoy historical crime mystery fiction, especially set during World War I (trying to cover all the topics here), I really think you’ll enjoy these books!  And if you like to listen to audiobooks, I most definitely recommend listening to these! 😀

One last thing before I go…

Since most of what I read and review is Christian Fiction, I feel like I should mention that these books are not Christian fiction so, while there aren’t any sex scenes or anything like that, there is (mild) bad language throughout the books.

And now I’m just trying to find some other audiobooks with which to distract myself while I wait who knows how long for the next book to come out in audio!

~ The Sleepy Bookworm ❤

Casualty of War (Bess Crawford #9)

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Looking Back on May 2017

A Beautiful Blue Death Firewall (FBI: Houston, #1) Falcon (Quiet Professionals #3) An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, #6) Titanis (The Quiet Professionals #4) A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7) The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2) The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3) Step by Step (Crisis Team #2)


New-To-Me Authors: 1

And the places I “visited” in my reading…

States: Texas – California

Countries: England – Afghanistan – China – Australia

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The Ten Random Questions Tag

This isn’t a bookish post… but since I don’t exactly have a book review or anything to share with y’all right now, I thought I’d share this! 🙂


Raechel at Gods Peculiar Treasure Rae tagged her readers in the Ten Random Questions Tag.
So here I am… doing this tag because I haven’t been doing much on my blog here lately :/ –and because this looks like fun! 🙂


 

Guidelines:

  • Use the header if you want to. 🙂
  • Answer the questions
  • Take five of the questions you answered and make up five more for the people that you tagged to answer
  • Tag as many people as you wish!

 

– Raechel’s Questions –

1. If you had to dye your hair an unnatural color for one week, what color would it be?
— Dark blue or dark purple.  Something like this–

Not that I’ve thought about this at all or anything…..  XD

2. What book are you reading at the moment?
— At the time I fixed up this post, I was reading 3 books– Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano – The September Society by Charles Finch – Step by Step by Candace Calvert
Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1) The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3) Step by Step (Crisis Team #2)

3. How many siblings do you have?
— I have 6 siblings– 5 brothers & 1 sister.

4. What is something you loved to do when you were little?
— I always loved to play outside with my brothers when I was little… or go fishing with Dad & the boys…..  I was a tomboy. 😉

5. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
— Well, technically, Aerykah isn’t my real name so… does that mean I’ve kinda already changed it..? 😉
If I had to legally change my name, though, and I could choose any name I wanted………  I don’t know!  Maybe I should choose Sarah— since so many people so often call me that anyway (Sarah is my sister, for those who don’t know).  But I don’t know if that would simplify things or make it more confusing for everyone. 😛
So I guess I would choose: Emma or Michal

6. What was the last movie you saw in Theaters?
— Mm… since I don’t ever go to the theater, I’ll tell the last movie I watched: The Light Between Oceans — a beautiful example of forgiveness, yes… but it’s a very sad & rather depressing movie. :/  I don’t really recommend it.

7. Do you have a favorite kind of tea/coffee?
— I do have a favorite kind of tea!  Iced, decaf, black, sweet tea– preferably Lipton. 😉

8. If you could travel to any state in the USA, which would you choose?
— I would love to just travel the US!  Since I’ve already been to… 15 states, I think, I’ll choose one I haven’t visited yet:  Florida.  Not that I’m particularly anxious to see Florida, you understand, but I have a very good friend who lives there & I would really like to go visit her.  (Of course, I would have to visit another very good friend of mine in Georgia on the way to FL and back. 😀 )

9. What do you like best about blogging?
— What do I like best about blogging..?  Getting to share the things that I enjoy with others who enjoy those things too. 🙂

10. Favourite form of chocolate?
— The edible kind. 😛  Oh, you wanted a more specific answer than that??  Probably….. milk chocolate with almonds.  Best eaten in candy bar form or in the form of Rocky Road ice cream from Braum’s. XD


And since I’m running out of time tonight… I’ll just pass along Rachel’s questions.

1. If you had to dye your hair an unnatural color for one week, what color would it be?
2. What book are you reading at the moment?
3. How many siblings do you have?
4. What is something you loved to do when you were little?
5. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
6. What was the last movie you saw?
7. Do you have a favorite kind of tea/coffee?
8. If you could travel to any state in the USA, which would you choose?
9. What do you like best about blogging?
10. Favourite form of chocolate?


As for tagging people…..

I tag all my followers who want to participate!  

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Goodreads Book Tag


Kathy over at katiescottagebooks tagged all of her followers to do “The Goodreads Book Tag” and I thought it looked like fun (I was right, btw) so I decided to do it myself. 🙂
You can see her post here.


 

1. What was the last book you marked as “READ?”
A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7)

2. What are you currently reading?
Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1) The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2)

3. What was the last book you marked as TBR?
— Do I need to explain that the main reason I put this on my TBR is because of the name “TAGG” on the cover..? XD
Right Where We Belong

4. What book do you plan to read next?
— One of these… depending on which one I can get from the library first.  All are audiobooks, which I love listening to at work. 🙂
The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3) The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8) Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman (A.J. Raffles, The Gentleman Thief #1)

5. Do you use the star rating system?
— Yes, I do.  There have been some occasions where I didn’t give a star rating– i.e. some books that I never finished & some books that I read too long ago to know how I would rate them now.

6. Are you doing a 2017 reading challenge?
— Yes, I have challenged myself to 90 books this year and I’m just staying ahead of schedule. 🙂

7. Do you have a wish list?
— Yes… *sigh* 🙂

8. What book do you plan to buy next?
— I honestly have no idea.  I don’t plan my book buying ahead of time. 😉

9. Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.
— Oh, yes!!  Way too many to choose a couple to share here… 😛

10. Who are your favorite authors?
— As difficult as it is to choose….. I will share my *current* top 5 favorite authors (I say “current” because my top 5 definitely changes from time to time).  And actually, it took me several tries to narrow it down to just 5. 😛
Dani Pettrey – Melissa Tagg – Jen Turano – Lynette Eason – Dawn Crandall

— For the fun of it, I’m also going to include my 2 favorite new-to-me authors so far this year…
Charles Todd (mother/son writing team) – Charles Finch

 


 

I tag all of my bookish friends!  If you do this tag, let me know– I’d love to see your answers! 😀

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Kindle Freebies & Bargains!

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I did a Kindle Freebies post! 😯

If you’re like me, you love getting good books.  Even better?  Getting good books… for FREE!!  Awesome, right?! XD

I’ll be starting with my personal recommendations: books that I have read and enjoyed.  Then, separately, I will list some other freebies that I have either not read or… I have read, but just didn’t enjoy quite as much.
Also, I will be listing the books alphabetically (simply so that I won’t have to catch myself trying to prioritize according to which I like best 😛 ).

And this time I’m including a bonus section at the bottom of the post featuring some good $1.99 Christian Fiction bargains so be sure to check that out! 😀


**Keep in mind that some of these are only free or discounted for a limited time, so be sure to check the price before you buy the book!**

Click a book cover to be taken straight to it’s page on Amazon.


 

❤ RECOMMENDED ❤

 

After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own, #1) Against the Tide At Your Request (Apart from the Crowd, #0.5) The Crown and the Crucible (The Russians, #1) Fairchild's Lady (The Culper Ring, #1.5) From Russia with Love (Heirs of Anton, #1) Gentleman of Her Dreams (Ladies of Distinction, #0.5) A Hero's Promise (The Culper Ring, #2.5) A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, #0.5) Love by the Letter (Unexpected Brides, #0.5) No Place for a Lady (Heart of the West, #1) A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, #1) Operation Zulu Redemption: Overkill - The Beginning Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) Three Little Words (Walker Family, #0.5) Warrior's Seal (Tox Files, #0.5) When the Smoke Clears (Deadly Reunions, #1) Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue, #1)

 

Note: I haven’t read The Warrior’s Seal yet, but since it’s one of Ronie Kendig’s books… I’m gonna go ahead & stick it up there with my personal recommendations. 😉


– Other Freebies –

Above All Things Appalachian Serenade (Appalachian Blessings, #.5) Back on Murder (A Roland March Mystery, #1) The Boden Birthright (The Cimarron Legacy, #0.5) By Divine Right (The Darkwater Saga, #0.5) Dreamlander The Edge of Light (At Home in Beldon Grove, #1) Home Is Where the Heart Is (Home to Collingsworth #1) If Ever I Would Leave You (Montana Rescue #0.5) Love's Rescue (Keys of Promise, #1) A Place in His Heart (The Southold Chronicles, #1) Raspberries and Vinegar (A Farm Fresh Romance #1) Shadows of the Past (Logan Point #1) Starboard Secrets (Cruise Ship Christian Cozy Mysteries #1) Summer of Dreams (From This Moment #0.5) Tea with Emma (The Teacup Novellas, #1) Then Came You (Bradford Sisters Romance #0.5) To Love Anew (Sydney Cove, #1) Toward the Sunrise (Until The Dawn .5) Waiting for Rachel (Those Karlsson Boys #1) The Wedding List (Love In Store #1)


– $1.99 Bargains –

Always Watching (Elite Guardians, #1) Because You're Mine Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor, #1) Conspiracy of Silence (Tox Files #1) In the Shadow of Denali (Heart of Alaska #1) Like Never Before (Walker Family, #2) Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3) A Note Yet Unsung (Belmont Mansion, #3) Playing With Fire (Montana Fire, #2) Rescue Me (Montana Rescue, #2) A Spy's Devotion (The Regency Spies of London, #1) Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2) An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3) A Viscount's Proposal (The Regency Spies of London, #2)


– BONUS –

This one is $2.99 but I still wanted to mention it… 🙂

Right Where We Belong

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Looking Back on April 2017

Season of Wonder (The Remnants #1) An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3) Hood (King Raven, #1) Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue, #1) Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2) An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford, #4) A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)


New-To-Me Authors: 1

And the places I “visited” in my reading…

States: Montana – Maryland

Countries: England – France – India

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Season Of Wonder by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Season of Wonder (The Remnants #1)

Season of Wonder
(The Remnants #1)
by Lisa Tawn Bergren

 


 

~ MY REVIEW ~

 

This isn’t my usual kind of reading. I mean, I almost never read YA… or futuristic… or fantasy… or dystopian… And this book is all of the above! But I needed something to listen to at work & this was about the only one available that I hadn’t already read so this is the one I got! And… the story itself isn’t bad. Not *fantastic*… but it is kinda interesting.

This book get’s pretty dark and violent at times, but I totally expected that and it really didn’t bother me at all. The descriptions of violence may bother some people, but it’s to be expected so don’t read a book like this if you greatly dislike violence.

One downside to this book was the narrator. She usually talks pretty slowly. And sounds like she has a cold & is talking through her nose. It didn’t bother me all the time, though, only when it was more pronounced. And she mispronounced some words that just really stood out to me because I didn’t think they were difficult words to pronounce & I would have thought someone would have caught that & remedied it. Some people may not even notice these things, but I did & it bothered me.

Another downside is how much time was spent dwelling on things like desiring, wanting, and lusting. Also, phrases such as “I like a dolly tied up.” and the story of the twins of Gemini, which aren’t really appropriate. I do not appreciate seeing stuff like this in Christian Fiction and I especially don’t think it’s appropriate for younger readers! I won’t go into all of that here because I didn’t have time to mark all the places that would help me remember accurately. I will, however direct anyone concerned about sexual content to this review– https://www.goodreads.com/review/show… –by Lindsey. She has a section specifically labeled “Sexual Content” that covers all of my concerns, if you’re interested.

And I think that about covers what I wanted to say. I only give this book 2 stars because the basis of the story was kinda interesting, but….. there was too much I didn’t like about it to give it any more stars than that. :/

I may go ahead and read the rest of this series if my library gets the audiobooks…  Just to see how they are compared to this one.  But I don’t know.

 

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An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3)

An Uncommon Courtship
(Hawthorne House #3)
by Kristi Ann Hunter


 

~ MY REVIEW ~

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been really, really looking forward to reading Trent’s story.  He’s been one of my favorite characters almost since the moment I “met” him and I couldn’t wait to see how things would turn out for him!

And I’m happy with the way things turned out– in the end.  I’m just not quite so happy about the entire process of getting to that “end”.  I’ll do my best to not include any real spoilers, but I also want to give my honest opinion so… bear with me, will you?

This story starts off a bit slow and really confusing.  But I don’t mind a slower book, as long as it’s still a good book and I’m enjoying it; and I actually often enjoy confusing beginnings because it makes things more interesting as I put the pieces together to understand the beginning of the story.  So yeah.  That didn’t really bother me.  I was reading along at a kinda slow, but steady pace and enjoying the story.

I still love Trent.  And I grew to love Adelaide too.  Their relationship starts off very rocky and seems to be headed for disaster.  Their struggles as they attempt to muddle and fake their way through this new life are some times funny and other times painful.  They really didn’t know each other at all so seeing them discover new things about each other– Trent discovering all of Adelaide’s little quirks and Adelaide even going so far as to make a list of everything she knew about Trent (it was short).  The author really makes you want things to work out for these two!  She pulled me into the story and had me thinking about these characters at random times throughout the day, wondering how everything would work out for them.

Trent’s family members don’t play a huge roll in most of the story, but you do get to see them.  I always enjoy seeing characters from previous books make an appearance, though I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of the Hawthorne family. 😉

The disappointing part of this book came about two-thirds of the way through.  While it wasn’t as bad as I had feared after reading a couple of reviews… I still don’t really appreciate the way the– shall we say “marital relationship”? –was handled.  I don’t want to specifically include this as part of the review, but I still feel it should be mentioned for those who want to know so– highlight to read the spoilers–> There is kiss scene that goes beyond what I know a lot of Christian Fiction readers prefer.  It’s not super descriptive, but teeth & tongue are mentioned.  When the couple finally has their “wedding night”, there is fumbling with each other’s clothes, getting into bed, more fumbling, kissing, touching, sighing, etc.  Nothing more descriptive than that, but I know even that bothers some readers so I feel I  should mention it.  The next day, Trent goes to his friend’s house to ask for advice because the previous night didn’t go as well as expected.  Part of their conversation went something like this:  “It didn’t work.” – “What didn’t work?  Er, was it you?” – “No.  I worked just fine. It was the… Well, the process didn’t work.  I bungled it…”  The situation is discussed & the topic is brought up throughout the next few chapters.<–end of spoiler.

Really, there was nothing explicit or super detailed… but I did feel that there was more included than what was appropriate or needed.  It has been mentioned that there was nothing more in this book than what other Christian authors have included in theirs, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

I still think this story is enjoyable, but I would say it’s definitely for more mature readers who don’t mind books that teeter on the edge of being inappropriate for Christian fiction.

 

I received a free copy of this book through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 


 

Check out the entire Hawthorne House series!
And join me in waiting for book #4!
A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, #0.5) A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House, #1) An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House, #2) An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House, #3) An Inconvenient Beauty (Hawthorne House, #4)


Click HERE to see more review posts on my blog!  🙂

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Happy Resurrection Sunday!

 

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National Library Week

So I just found out that this is National Library Week…..  Wish I’d known about that sooner. 😐

Anyway, I thought that, in honor of National Library Week, I’d re-share something I posted a couple of years ago.  And also share some pics from my library– some taken inside the library & some of book/movie hauls I’ve gotten from the library sale room. 🙂
See photo #1 😉 –>


I love my library!!!

Shocking, right?

I mean, I know that took y’all completely by surprise.

Really, though, there are certain things that I especially love about my library.  So, in my normal form of lists of sevens, here are…

❤ 7 Things I Love About My Library ❤

1. This is the library that I’ve gone to my entire life— the library that my
parents went to when they were kids.  Sure, the librarians have changed over the years… and they have changed buildings a couple of times to make room for more books and such, but it’s still the same library.  And there is one librarian who still works there who has known me almost my entire life!

Bertram — from the TV show, Jessie

2.  The librarians (other than the one or two odd balls they’ve had — come on, every place has them! 😛 ) are really great!  They’re friendly and helpful and most know me by name.  One of them, my siblings and I have nicknamed Bertram.  What can I say?  That’s who he’s made all of us think of since the first time we met him!  So many times, I’ve wanted to ask him if he’s ever seen Jessie… but I haven’t yet.

3.  My library is FREE!  I’ve had people ask me how much it costs to use my library and then be pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t cost a thing!  Unless you bring items back late… :/


4.  
My library has a great selection of Christian fiction!  Yes, that’s the section I visit most often — my little home-away-from-home. 😉  I am so familiar with that area that I’ve gotten to where I can do a quick browse of the shelves and see if they’ve added any books since my last visit.  If you visit my library shelf on Goodreads, you might notice that there are over 600 books on that shelf!  That’s over 1/3 of the books I’ve read!  (Update: there are over 700 books on that shelf now!)  Awesome, right?! 😀  Though several of those are e-books, which brings me to #5…

5.  My library also offers a great selection of Christian fiction e-books!  (And quite a few CF audio books too!)  What more could a kindle-owning-bookworm ask for?!  I can browse their e-books and check them out even when I’m on vacation! 😀

6.  My library has a great selection of DVD’s, too!  We borrow movies from the library all the time!  Unfortunately, while you can keep books for 2 weeks & sometimes re-check them, movies are only 1-week loans with no re-checks.  Bummer, right?  But I can totally live with that. 😉  They have movies for little kids, teens, adults… even some documentaries and such.  And they’re good about getting new movies soon after they’re released on DVD.  Awesome!

7.  My library has a great book sale area!  I’ve heard people talk about their library having a Friends Of The Library book sale shelf or shelves…  Yes, my library definitely has those— in a couple different places around the building.  But they also have an entire book sale room!  There are about 6 shelves in this room as well as a couple of spin-racks… and a rolling shelf.  I have taken home so many treasures from this room.  Treasures like a lovely hardback copy of Rose O’ the Sea by Countess Barcynska, published back in 1920!  And like this Lord of the Rings box-set.  These are hardback books in great condition… with book jackets… and totally awesome fold-out maps of Middle Earth!  And guess how much I paid for it— Two Whole Dollars!  Can you say fabulous find?!

IMG_4487 IMG_4489 IMG_4491


I’d love to hear about your library!
What do you love (or hate) about it?
Share in a comment!

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