Wednesday, September 17, 2014


FALL SEASONAL SCAVENGER CHALLENGE - OKTOBERFEST  from Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads
Duration: September 20 - December 20, 2014


Time to get your party face on!! Raise a glass and join in the fun!

1. The Oktoberfest tradition started in 1810 to celebrate the October 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese—"Therese's fields"—in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Wies'n."
❅ Read a book that was published in October (any year) OR read a book in which a wedding takes place OR read a book whose cover shows a field / meadow / orchard / vineyard.

2. Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event. The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest, which now begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. The horse races were last held in 1960, but the festival still takes place on the "Theresienwiese."
❅ Read a book featuring a horse or horse racing, or with a horse on the cover OR read a book with a royal character or royal family OR read a book where the first letter of each title word may be found in THERESIEWIESE (Discount a, an, the – 2 word minimum).

3. Today, Oktoberfest has become the world's largest beer festival, and is still held annually in Munich, Germany. The 16-day party attracts over 6 million people every year who consume 1.5 million gallons of beer, 200,000 pounds of pork sausage, and 480,000 spit-roasted chickens during the two-week extravaganza.
❅ Read a book that takes place in Germany OR read a book featuring any kind of festival, fair, or circus OR read a book with a “6” in its total page count.

4. While the event reinforces stereotypical images of beer-loving, meat-loving Germans dressed in dirndls and lederhosen, visitors to the annual event come from all over the world. Oktoberfest is in fact one of Munich's largest and most profitable tourist attractions bringing over 450 million euros to the city's coffers each year.
❅ Read a book where someone on the cover is wearing a costume or uniform of any kind OR read a book that takes place in a traditional tourist city/area (tell us where) OR read a book with any form of money shown on the cover or included in the title.

5. The largest Oktoberfest held outside of Germany takes place each year in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo in Canada, where a large ethnic German population resides. The largest such event in the United States is Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which boasts half a million visitors each year.
❅ Read a book that takes place anywhere in Canada OR read a book that takes place in Ohio OR read a book whose title contains the letter “z.” (Z may be anywhere in the title; it does not have to start a word)

6. The Costume and Riflemen's Procession takes place on the first Sunday of the festival, in which some 7000 performers -- groups in traditional costumes and historical uniforms, marching bands, riflemen, thoroughbred horses and other livestock, old-fashioned carriages, and numerous floats -- parade through the streets of Munich's city center showcasing the diversity of local, regional, and national customs.
❅ Read a book in which a parade takes place OR read a book that takes place in a large international city (Those participants living in the USA, cannot use a US city) OR read a book where a character belongs to an organized group of some kind (i.e. professional group, religious group, recreational group).

7. When the city began allowing beer on the fairgrounds, makeshift beer stands began cropping up, and their number increased steadily until they were eventually replaced by beer halls in 1896. The beer halls, like the beer tents of today, were sponsored by the local breweries. The mayor of Munich opens Oktoberfest at noon on the first day of the fair when he drives the wooden tap into a barrel of beer and proclaims: O'zapft is! ("It's tapped!").
❅ Read a book with any kind of beverage on the cover OR read a book whose publication year includes one of the numbers 1,8,9, or 6 OR read a book whose title ends with an exclamation mark.

8. Oktoberfest beer is a variety called Märzen (March), which is darker and stronger than traditional beer, and contains up to 6% alcohol. Before the advent of modern refrigeration techniques, this type of beer was brewed in March (as its name suggests) and allowed to age through the summer, so that it was ready to drink by late summer or early fall.
❅ Read a book that takes place over the summer OR read a "dark" book - either a dark cover or dark content OR read a book with a character whose first name starts with any of the letters in MARCH.

9. Like all German beer, the Oktoberfest beer is brewed according to strict German standards (called the Reinheitsgebot which have been in effect since 1516) that precisely define the four ingredients allowed in the brewing of beer: barley, hops, malt, and yeast.
❅ Read a book with a strict character OR read a book with a four word title OR read a book with any type of ingredient / spice / herb is listed in the title or shown on the cover (this could be anything from a picture of an apple to make apple pie to nutmeg to basil).

10. Just 6 Munich breweries - Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten - are permitted to serve beer at the festival. 14 larger and several smaller beer tents and beer gardens provide enough seating for 98,000 visitors at a time. Beer is served by the Maß, a one-liter mug, and costs between 9 and 10 euros. Beer maids and waiters must be able to carry 10 of these beer-filled mugs at a time.
❅ Read the 6th book in a series OR choose one of the breweries and read a book where the first letter in each title word may be found in the brewery name (a,an, the DO count – 3 word minimum) OR read a book in which one of the major characters is a waiter /waitress / bartender.

11. Oktoberfest is known as much for its traditional folk music as it is for its beer drinking. Folk music, marches, and polkas make up the typical oompah music for which Germany is famous. As the evening wears on, the music becomes louder and more and more people begin to sing, linking arms and swinging beer mugs from side to side, some standing and swaying and dancing on benches or tables. Before each break, the band will offer up "ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit", a toast to contentment, congeniality, and relaxation.
❅ Read a book where music is a major theme OR read a book whose title or author name contains a double “oo” OR read a book that makes you feel content, congenial, and relaxed.

12. German folk music is not the only sound you will hear emanating from the massive beer tents. International hits like "New York, New York", "Country Road", "YMCA" and even disco- and rock-inspired tunes come from the beer tents.
❅ Read a book whose title is also the title or famous line from a song OR read a book outside your “traditional” genre OR read a book whose author’s last name starts with Y,M,C, or A.

13. Oktoberfest visitors won’t lack for a good meal. Readily available all over the fairgrounds are Hendl, whole chickens grilled on a spit, roasted meats, especially pork, and potato dumplings are served up with the traditional red cabbage and apple dish (Blaukohl). Sauerkraut and soft pretzels are found on just about every menu.
❅ Read a book whose cover shows a meal, picnic or buffet OR read a book with a red cover OR read a book that almost everyone seems to be reading (a best seller).

14. For those with a sweet tooth, typical dessert dishes include Dampfnudel, a steamed honey-dumpling served with vanilla sauce, apple strudel, and Kaiserschmarrn, a sugared pancake with raisins. Also available is a variety of sweet snacks scattered across the Wies’n. From pan-roasted, sugar-glazed almonds (gebrannte Mandeln) to cotton candy (Zuckerwatte), from glazed fruits to ice cream.
❅ Read a book with a character known for their sweet tooth OR read a book whose cover features a dessert or candy OR read a book featuring a baker or candy maker (not a cook).

15. Between events and beer tents, guests can traverse the 103 acre Oktoberfest grounds to ride a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, or water slide, navigate their way through a labyrinth, visit a haunted house, be entertained by numerous types of performers, take a look at the flea circus, stop off at one of dozens of game booths, or take a festival tour, among other things.
❅ Read a book takes place in an amusement park OR read a book featuring a performer of some kind (does not have to be professional) OR read a book in which some kind of game is played (real games, not mind games).

16. The last day of Oktoberfest is the first Sunday in October. Over the past 200 years, Oktoberfest has been canceled 24 times due to cholera epidemics and war.
❅ Read a book that is first or last in a series OR read a book whose publication date contains a “2” and a “4” OR read a book with a war or disease epidemic as part of the plot.


♣ When you sign up for the challenge, please post a challenge template so we have a post to which to link your name; post #2 will list participant links which can then be used for making challenge updates.

♣ For each book you read, please indicate the title, the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, please make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item on the cover, include a link to the book cover.* If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task. 

♣ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long.

♣ Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged!

♣ If you want the challenge moderator to check your progress as you make updates, please copy/paste your update into a new message . We don't have time to scroll back through the entire thread looking for "message #15," or to follow links back to an original post. 

♣ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you've read. If you don't repost your list, you won't be included in the list of those who have completed the challenge.

*If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title or cover, see the instructions here: Link Instructions 


SEASONAL SPELL CHALLENGE: OKTOBERFEST on Crazy Challenge Connection on goodreads
Timeframe: 9/21/14 to 12/20/14

While you're enjoying the Oktoberfest scavenger challenge, why not experience some of the German terms and other words associated with the festival? Choose 1-2 of the words below and spell them out using the first letter of a book's title (exclude a, an, the) OR the first or last initial of the author's name. 
Since this is a 3-month challenge, we encourage you to use word(s) adding up to at least 15 letters.
Note: you do NOT have to spell the English translations in parenthesis!

Challenge Rules: 
♦ If you want to participate in a challenge, please sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. 

♦ Unless otherwise noted, books must be at least 150 pages long. Books may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged. Re-reads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not simply skim through it.

♦ For each book you read, please post a link to the title, and indicate the author and the date you finished reading it. 
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions here: 
Add a link to the book title, book cover and/or author 

♦ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read.

Apple Strudel
Augustiner (Oktoberfest Beer)
Blaukohl (Red cabbage & apples)
Dampfnudel (Steamed honey dumpling w/vanilla sauce)

gebrannte Mandeln (sugar-glazed almonds)
Gemütlichkeit (Contentment)
Hacker-Pschorr (Oktoberfest Beer)
Hendl (Spit-roasted chicken)
Hofbräu (Oktoberfest Beer)

Kaiserschmarrn (Sugared raisin pancake)
Löwenbräu (Oktoberfest Beer)
Märzen (March)

O'zapft is! (It’s tapped!)
Paulaner (Oktoberfest Beer)
Reinheitsgebot (Protocol for Beer Brewing)
Spaten (Oktoberfest Beer)

Theresienwiese (Therese’s Fields)
Zuckerwatte (Cotton Candy) 

I chose:


A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr

I liked this story. I was glad that there was a tie-in character from the Virgin River series, Walt Arneson. Cassie, Julie, Beth and Marty have been friends forever. But they each have their own different problems and are reluctant to share with each other. But they find out that through sharing their problems, they are able to make it through the bad times and enjoy the good times.

They’ve been best friends since seventh grade. But this summer, teetering on the threshold of thirty, four women are going to need each other more than ever.

CASSIE has sworn off romance after yet another bad date. Yet deep down, she’s still looking for Mr. Forever. A long-haired biker doesn’t figure into her plans, so where’s the harm in touring the back roads of Sonoma on a Harley with Walt Arneson?

JULIE married her high school sweetheart—who can get her pregnant with a mere glance—too young and now wonders how her life became all about leaky faucets and checkbook balances. Maybe love isn’t enough to sustain the hottest couple in town.

MARTY’S firefighter husband has forgotten all about romance, and an old flame begins to look mighty tempting.

BETH, a busy doctor trapped in a body that’s betrayed her yet again, is becoming a difficult patient and a secretive friend.

Life can change in an instant...or a summer. And having old friends to lean on can only up the chances of happily ever after.


Cassie and Ken walked out of the bar together at seven-thirty. In the rapidly descending darkness of a perfect June night, he pulled her into his arms and covered her mouth in a powerful kiss. Wow, she thought. It was a good kiss—consuming and deep. His hands were running up and down her back. Then one slipped around her side, reaching for a breast, and she withdrew. She pushed him away, laughed nervously and said, "Hold on, pardner. Getting a little ahead of yourself, aren't you?"

"Sorry," he said. "I've been looking at you, wondering, you know…"

"Well, wonder no more, big fella—rest assured I am definitely a girl. Now, don't we have plans? Live music in the park?"

"That's right," he said, laughing. Then, again, "Sorry."

As he walked her to his car, she said, "Girls don't get mad at guys for having romantic ideas. But you do have brakes, I assume?"

"Absolutely, Cassie."

"Good. You were moving a little fast for me."

The car was parked at the far end of the lot and she thought, Ahh, he's car proud. He'd rather walk across the lot than risk a dent or scratch from neighboring cars. He opened the door to the passenger side and she slipped in. She immediately pulled on her seat belt while he got in the driver's side.

He started the car, but didn't put it in gear. Instead, he reached over to her side and began to gently caress her upper arm. He leaned toward her across the console, his eyelids becoming heavy, his mouth slightly open. It was like kiss-on-demand, but at least he was moving more slowly, giving her time, waiting for her to respond. She met his lips for a sweet, short kiss. He moved over her mouth with precision, but when she pulled away from his mouth, laughing nervously again, he grabbed her upper arms in his strong grip. "Cassie," he said in a breath. "What do you say we rethink the music? Maybe skip it?"

"I don't think so. I was looking forward to it," she said, her heart rate speeding up a little. She started to smell an ill wind.

"Come on," he begged. "Think about it. You won't be sorry…."

She did a quick memory check. She'd been out for happy hour with friends from work when she met him. They'd talked for a long time. She was an emergency room nurse, he was a paramedic—they'd never met before but she did a lot of business with the fire department and had come to think of them as the good guys. He had been polite, attentive, interested. He was a nice-looking guy with a sense of humor. She'd taken his cell phone number and agreed to meet him again, this time for a cup of coffee. That's how you play safe dating. He'd been a gentleman, walking her to her car after coffee and saying goodbye with a brief, platonic hug. Then she'd given him her cell phone number. So, after a few getting-to-know-you conversations, she'd accepted a date for live music in the park. She still hadn't let him pick her up; they'd agreed to meet at a bar because finding each other in a park full of people could be difficult.

His behavior now took her by surprise. She'd have to back him down quick. She'd been attracted to him, but no way was she ready to take this to the next level.

"I don't have to think about it," she said, her palms pressed firmly against his chest. "I was looking forward to some music. It's a beautiful night. And what you apparently have in mind is not on the agenda in the parking lot of the—"

Her words were cut off as he slipped a big hand around the back of her head and pulled her, roughly, onto his mouth. She pushed at him, making unintelligible sounds beneath his lips, but he was actually climbing across the console while silencing her with his mouth. For a guy about six feet tall, this was unimaginable, but he seemed to do it with ease. In seconds, he was straddling her hips, towering over her so fast she hardly knew what was happening.

"Hey!" she said when he released her lips. "Hey, what are you doing?"

She was thinking quickly. There were a few cars around his, but he had parked away from the crowd and his windows were darkly tinted. Her next thought was, How is this possible? This is a nice guy! This is a paramedic! My best friend's husband is a paramedic; I know a lot of their friends! They're salt of the earth— angels!

But he was pressing her back against the seat, devouring her mouth, breathing real hard and fast through his nose. He popped her seat belt off and although she pushed and her protests were lost as whimpers beneath his mouth, she was focused on the logistics of his attack. He couldn't possibly plan to rape her in the front bucket seat of an SUV? She was wearing shorts; freeing her from her clothes would not be simple!

Then her seat began to recline—he had his hand on the button. He was slowly laying her down. She was beginning to understand his plan. If he got her flat, he could pull down her shorts. If he raped her and let her loose, if he didn't leave bruises or marks, he'd claim she wasn't forced. She'd run her share of rape kits in the E.R., heard her share of he-said-she-said stories while a skeptical detective took notes. Well, by God, she was at least going to force him to leave bruises! She began to kick and push and wiggle, throwing her head and body wildly back and forth, side to side.

"Stop it," he said. "Stop it now. Come on. We know what we want!"

"Get off me, you son of a bitch!"

"Aw, Cassie," he laughed, as if she'd uttered some kind of endearment. "Baby, come on—I'm totally into you!"

"You're crazy! Let me go! Get off me! Now!"

"Come on, come on, settle down…."

"No!" she screamed. Just scream, she told herself. Bite, kick, scream, yell, hit, gouge, anything. She pushed at him with one hand, searching for the door handle with the other. Then, failing to find it, she pounded on the window, hoping to break it, screeching and turning her head away from his mouth so she could get volume. She tried head butting him, but he held her shoulders down and lifted his head back, and he laughed. She was moving around so violently, the car was actually bouncing. He tried to grab her wrist but she socked him in the eye. He grunted in pain and growled, but he didn't hit back. She continued banging on the window and yelling. She knew one thing—he couldn't get her out of this parking lot without moving to his side of the car, over that console, and by God she was going to fling herself out of the car before he could take her anywhere.

Suddenly there was a sharp rapping on her window. "Hey!" someone with a deep male voice yelled. "Hey!"

"Oh, God," she cried, suddenly overcome with relief and hope. "Help!" she screamed. "Hel—!" And then Ken put his hand over her mouth.

Ken lowered the window an inch. "Hey, go away, pal. We're busy!" And he powered the window back up.

Cassie bit his hand as hard as she could and he jumped so abruptly, he hit his head on the ceiling of the car.

Cassie heard the man with the deep voice try to open the locked door. Then the window's glass suddenly cracked and, like a spiderweb, spread into a million cracks. But it was tempered glass and didn't break, merely crystallized, leaving a dent in the glass where it had been hit. A sharp object she vaguely recognized as a key popped through the compromised glass and started boring a hole into it, releasing diamondlike pebbles of glass that fell into the car. Ken decided to return to the driver's seat. "What the hell are you doing, man?" he screamed at the intruder.

A huge hand attached to a huge arm entered through the hole in the window and reached down to flip the lock. The door opened instantly and Cassie stumbled out. She was gasping as she looked into a face far more frightening than Ken's. This was a giant wearing a tight white T-shirt covered by a black leather vest adorned with chains. On the arm that had freed her was a tattoo of a naked lady. He had a lot of facial hair—long, thick sideburns and a handlebar moustache that framed his mouth. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail. With his hands on her elbows to help her stand upright, he asked, "You hurt?" His voice was very menacing; he frowned blackly. Cassie was five-three and this guy had a foot on her, at least.

"No," she said, gasping. "Yes. I mean, no. He…" She couldn't finish.

He pulled her away from the SUV and turned her around so that he stood between her and the car. "You need the police? Or the hospital?" he asked as he pulled a cell phone out of his pants pocket.

"No," she said, shaking her head. "You were in time." Then she hiccupped and choked; a fat tear ran down her cheek. "Oh, God!"

"Can I call someone for you?" he asked, his voice miraculously softer.

Pages: 408
Published: 2010

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

This is a Christmas story about a family. Nicole met a man and fell in love. Sebastian has an ex-wife and a grown daughter. His daughter is not nice to Nicole. Kennedy thinks her parents will get back together. Her mother, Katya, who left her father and got a divorce to be with Alonzo, is going away for Christmas. So Kennedy and her husband and son are coming to Nantucket for the holiday. Kennedy is 81/2 month pregnant. She treats Nicole like she is the housekeeper and not her father's wife. Then on Christmas Eve, Katya shows up. What will happen next? Will it be the happy Christmas that Nicole is hoping for?

I liked this story. I am glad that Nicole acted like the adult when it was needed and that Seb stood up for her!

From the author:
Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, and the season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.
But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arm’s length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.
Nancy Thayer’s wonderful tale reminds us that this is the season of miracles. Before the gifts are unwrapped, surprise visitors appear, and holiday joy comes to all, both naughty and nice.
 Chapter 1

On Nantucket, the Christmas season is different.


The island, fifty-two square miles of flat sandy land, lies in windswept isolation almost thirty miles away from the continent and all its institutions and entertainments. In the summer, the sun shines down on golden beaches and a serene blue sea. In the winter, gale force winds lash and howl over the ocean, cutting its residents off from family, friends, and often fresh bread and milk as Nantucket Sound freezes over and no planes fly, no boats sail, to or from the island. When the sun sets early and rises late, deep black water surrounds the land in infinite darkness.

Then Nantucket comes truly alive. Islanders have the leisure to savor the Charles Dickens charm gleaming from the glistening cobblestone streets and historic brick buildings. They relish the coziness of the small town where they know everyone, and everyone’s dog. After a hectic summer, they enjoy the tranquil pace. They take time to stop, look, listen, pat the dog, tickle a baby’s chin, chat, and laugh. They attend Christmas pageants, holiday fairs, and all manner of cabarets. The town lines the central streets of the village with dozens of small evergreens twinkling with multicolored lights and weatherproof decorations. The islanders pause to gaze up at the forty-foot spruce blazing at the top of Main Street, and they nod in appreciation and gratitude.

They celebrate light, life, and laughter as the winter dark wildness descends.

The Christmas Stroll began as an occasion for merchants to welcome islanders into their shops for hot buttered rum, spiced apple cider, warm gossip, and good cheer. Store windows were artistically decorated with mermaids and Santas, seahorses and fairy-tale scenes. Mr. and Mrs. Santa arrived on a Coast Guard boat and were delivered to the Jared Coffin House by horse and buggy. The aroma of fresh fish chowder and island-brewed beer wafted enticingly from the restaurants. The town crier strode through the streets in tall hat and cape, and Victorian carolers enchanted the salt air with song.

Not surprisingly, and oddly around the same time the one-hour fast ferries started their rounds, news of Nantucket’s Christmas Stroll spread to off-island friends and relatives of the townspeople. One sparkling winter day, a Boston television station sent a reporter and cameraman. After that, the annual event was famous.

For children, it was magic. For adults, it was a chance to be childlike.

For Nicole Somerset, the Nantucket Christmas Stroll was close to miraculous.

Four years ago, Nicole was a widow. Her friend Jilly insisted that Nicole travel down from Boston for the weekend to enjoy the Stroll. Nicole came, and fell in love with the charming small town, its festively bedecked windows, its fresh salt air and chiming church bells. She fell in love with a man, as well.

She met Sebastian Somerset at a party. They liked each other a lot, rather quickly, if not immediately, but being older, and possibly wiser, they took time getting to know each other. Nicole was widowed and childless. Sebastian was divorced, with a grown daughter.

Nicole was a nurse. She had just retired at fifty-five, but she missed her patients and colleagues. She missed her work, too. She liked to keep busy. Sebastian, sixty-two, had worked for a Boston law firm. He had also just retired, realizing he’d spent too much of his life working. He wanted to enjoy life.

Slowly, cautiously, they began to date, discovering that together they enjoyed life a great deal. Sebastian owned a house on the island, and as the days, weeks, and then months went by, he introduced Nicole to the pleasures the island offered—swimming, sailing, and tennis. In turn, Nicole introduced Sebastian to the delights his first wife had disdained: homemade pie, eaten while watching large-screen television; walking rather than biking through the island moors; stopping to notice the birds and wildflowers rather than jogging to keep his heart rate up; or watching the sun set on the beach rather than attending a cocktail party.

Sebastian’s first wife, Katya, was a perfectionist who had kept him on a tight leash and a rigid routine. After a few months of relaxed satisfaction with Nicole, Sebastian worried he would gain weight and develop heart trouble. To his surprise, he gained no weight, and his blood pressure actually dropped. When he asked his doctor about this at his annual check-up, Maury Molson leaned back in his chair and shrewdly raised his hairy eyebrows.

Pages: 209

Fatalism: Alexa and Vincent's Story by L.K. Collins

(Life. Destiny. Fate #1) I got this one for free on amazon but the price is back to $2.99.  Alexa is out at a club celebrating her sister, Bridgette's birthday. She stumbles into a man as she is walking to the bathroom. She likes the way he smells and attacks his mouth. She never does anything like this - ever! His name is Vincent. Cara finds her to say they are leaving. Monday rolls around and she is excited to go to work and meet the new lawyer - Kane -  that she will be working for. His name is Kane. CJ and Liam the other partners introduce Kane and Alexa looks up - it's Vincent. Oh no. Alexa does not date people she works with and she wants him!

SPOILER - I loved this story except the part where they break up. Why didn't she just ask him for the truth instead of running away?

Alexa Schaefer has been through more pain and hurt in her life than your average twenty-eight year old. She protects her heart by controlling everything around her and living her life according to a strict set of rules. For years, she has lived behind a wall, not allowing anyone into her heart. That is, until she meets Vincent, a man she can't get out of her head no matter what she tells herself. 

On the outside, Vincent Mileski appears to be a confident, no nonsense attorney. A prodigy in the field of law, he has just won the biggest case of his career. Needing out of the spotlight, Vincent moves back to his home state of Colorado to get some time alone to heal from a previous betrayal.  He hasn’t had a woman turn his head in years, that is, until he meets Alexa. After only knowing her name and the sweet taste of her kiss, she is torn from his arms. 

Will fate bring these two back together, or will they spend an eternity searching?



Essentialism by L.K. Collins

(Life. Destiny. Fate.  #3) I got this book on amazon for $.99 but now it's back to $2.99. Bridgette is moving to Denver since her mother died and she has finished school. She is moving into her sister's condo - rent free. Her boyfriend did not help her move. She does not like his recent behavior. She wants to end it with him especially since she met Troy, a hot fireman who works with her roommate's boyfriend. She is getting close to Troy but she doesn't tell him about her boyfriend. When Bridg finally breaks up with her boyfriend he flips out and threatens her. Troy finds out that she had a boyfriend the whole time and doesn't want to see her. Will things work out for her and Troy?

Some secrets can destroy…

Bridgette Schaefer has been through more in her twenty-two years of life than most people survive in a lifetime. Finally, she can see the light at the end of the tunnel and control is within her grasp. With a fresh start ahead, there’s nothing but blank pages to be filled. Unfortunately, a lie by omission quickly weaves itself into a dangerous web of half-truths. As she battles between right and wrong, she discovers that sometimes there is only defeat when it comes to matters of desire. 

While others can set you free…

Troy Sorano has one rule – no lies. Yet he’s spent years hiding behind a well-placed mask, forced to hide who he yearns to be. On the outside he’s confident, fun, and sexy-as-sin, but there’s so much more hidden within. When fate intervenes, he can’t help but wonder if Bridgette could be the one to accept him for who he is. As he struggles through his fear of rejection, he discovers he’s not the only one hiding the truth.

Can Bridgette and Troy find what is essential for their happiness before it’s too late? 

Kindle Edition336 pages
Published April 18th 2014 by LK Collins (first published April 16th 2014)

Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr

This is Virgin River #19. Nora Crane is the young woman the town found living with nothing in an abandoned house(in previous books). The town fixed it up a bit for her and her two little girls. Now she wants a seasonal job picking apples at the Cavanaugh orchard. Her family needs the money badly but when Tom interviews her, he says no. He feels can't do the job and he is attracted to her. But his grandmother overrules him. She was once in a situation similar to Nora's and feels for her. Nora is not what Tom thinks he should have for a wife but she is what he needs. Does Nora think the same way?

I liked this story. Nora busted her butt to care for her girls. One thing puzzled me though. When Tom told Nora he was driving her to and from work because of the bears, he mentioned the man that got hurt. (Dylan from Redwood Bend) Why didn't he say that to her. Nora knows who he is because of Leslie, her neighbor.
It's in this story that we meet Hank Cooper who heads off the Thunder Point, Oregon - another series.

                                    TOM CAVANAUGH MAY THINK HE WANTS
Former marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?
Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat...but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong...

 Chapter One

There was a small note on the bulletin board at the Virgin River Presbyterian Church.Apple harvest to begin at Cavanaugh Orchard. Apply in person.

Virgin River newcomer, Nora Crane, studied the board regularly and when she saw the notice asked Reverend Kincaid what he knew about the job. “Very little,” he answered. “It’s a fairly long harvesting season and the Cavanaugh’s like to add a few full-time workers to their staff. Not many, though. I hear they pay pretty well, it’s very demanding work and it’s all over in a few months.”

The words that stuck were pays pretty well. She was holding her two-year-old daughter’s hand and carried nine-month-old Fay in her backpack.

“Can you give me directions to the orchard?” she asked.

He wrinkled his brow. “Nora, it’s a few miles away. You don’t have a car.”

“I’ll have to go there, find out what the pay and hours are. If it’s a good job with good pay, I bet I can afford Day Care at the new school. That would be so good for Berry,” she said of her two year old. “She’s almost never with other children and needs socialization. She’s so shy. And I’m not afraid of walking. I’m not afraid to hitch a ride around here, either — people are generous. And a few miles — that’s really nothing. I’ll get some exercise.”

Noah Kincaid’s frown just deepened. “Walking home could be tough after a long day of physical labor. Picking apples is hard work.”

“So is being broke,” she said with a smile. “I bet Adie would love a little babysitting money to add to her budget. She barely squeaks by. And she’s so wonderful with the girls.” Adie Clemens was Nora’s neighbor and friend. Although Adie was elderly, she managed the girls very well because two-year-old Berry was so well behaved and Fay didn’t get around much yet. Fay had just started crawling. Adie loved taking care of them, even though she couldn’t take them on full time.

“What about your job at the clinic?” Noah asked.

“I think Mel gave me that job more out of kindness than necessity, but of course I’ll talk to her. Noah, there isn’t that much work available. I have to try anything that comes along. Are you going to tell me how to get there?”

“I’m going to drive you,” he said. “We’re going to log the miles and get an accurate distance reading. I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

“How long has that notice been up?” Nora asked.

“Tom Cavanaugh put it up this morning.”

“Oh good! That means not too many people have seen it!”

“Nora, think of the little girls,” he said. “You don’t want to be too tired to take care of them.”
“Oh, thanks, Noah. It’s nice of you to be concerned. I’m going to go ask Adie if she can watch them for a little while so I can go to the orchard to apply. She always says yes, she loves them so much. I’ll be back in ten minutes. If you’re sure you don’t mind giving me a lift... I don’t want to take advantage.”

He just shook his head and chuckled. “Bound and determined, aren’t you? You remind me of someone...”


“Someone just as unstoppable as you. I fell in love with her on the spot, I think.”

“Ellie?” she asked. “Mrs. Kincaid?”

“Yes, Mrs. Kincaid,” he said with a laugh. “You have no idea how much you two have in common. But we’ll save that for another time — hurry up and check in with Adie and I’ll take you to the Cavanaugh’s.”

“Thanks!” she said with a wide smile, dashing out of the church and down the street as quickly as she could.

It would never occur to Nora that she had anything in common with the pastor’s wife. Ellie Kincaid was so beautiful, so confident and clearly the kindest person she’d ever known. And by the way Noah looked at his wife, he adored her. It was kind of fun to see the preacher was a regular man; he gazed at his wife with hunger in his eyes, as if he couldn’t wait to get her alone. They weren’t just a handsome couple, but also obviously a man and woman very deeply in love.

Nora went straight to Adie Clemens’s door.

“Just bring me some diapers and formula,” Adie said. “And good luck.”

“If I get the job and have to work full time, do you think can help me out a little bit?”

“I’ll do whatever I can,” Adie said. “Maybe between me, Martha Hutchkins and other neighbors, we can get you covered.”

“I hate to ask everyone around here to take care of me...” But hate it or not, she didn’t have many choices. She’d landed here with the girls and hardly any belongings right before last Christmas — just one old couch, a mattress that sat on the floor and the clothes on their backs. It was Adie who alerted Reverend Kincaid that Nora and her family were in need, and the first gesture of help came in the form of a Christmas food basket. Through the generosity of her neighbors and the town, a few necessary items had been added to their household — an old refrigerator, a rug for the floor, sheets and towels, clothes for the children. The church had regular rummage sales and Mrs. Kincaid skimmed the used clothing to help dress Nora as well. Her neighbor three doors down, Leslie, invited Nora to use her washer and dryer while she was at work and Martha offered her laundry as well. She’d never be able to repay all these kindnesses, but at least she could work to make her own way.

Picking apples? Well, as she’d told Noah, she’d do just about anything.

Ebook383 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Mira (first published January 1st 2012)