Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

Three Day Weekends

Three day weekends are a gift from the gods.  Weekends for many working families mean at home chores such as laundry, recycling, vacuuming, groceries and other chores.  The two days of stuff to do with a three day weekend allows one day to catch up on other things.  AND as we all know - reading is what I am going to chose to do!  Although realistically, I need to spend part of my day working on organizing and more cleaning out of “stuff”.

Yesterday, I finished the newest Jayne Ann Krentz book and really enjoyed the quirky characters!  Today I read A Duke in Shining Armor, a fun historical romance. What is next?  I don’t know…  I mean I have a number to choose from.  There are over 2000 books on my kindle, twenty-five for NetGalley, and a couple of library books that need to be read.  Never mind the books that are stacked in different places that are unread.  I am just not sure the genre I am going to read tomorrow, maybe one of the five I have left to read for the month (Jefferson’s Daughters) or one of the library books (Murder for the Books) or just one I have wanted to read (Whiskey Secrets).

Today I finished the recycling and the laundry is done, but not put it away.  Dishes are closer to done than not and I spy my kitchen floor, which could use a washing. Perhaps that will be finished, but in reality I really want to read!  Might be time to pull out the bribery read… (chapter - chore - chapter - chore)

I think I want to read either Whiskey Secrets and Murder for the Books…  maybe both???  

Books read this week:

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

A Duke With Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

The Secret of Flirting by Sabrina Jeffries

Reluctantly Royal by Gillian Archer

Executive Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan


Reading new releases

Happy New Year Everyone!!!  Thanks for starting the new year with my blog!

I love that we are now in January, mostly because it is slowly becoming lighter longer.  I am happiest when I am not going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  The fact that this next week is going to warmer also is making me really happy!!   

I have really enjoyed having Elise Cooper join me with her interviews of various authors!  This week she interviewed Jayne Ann Krentz, one of my favorite authors.  I have read all of her books whether she writes as Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick or Jayne Castle!  I always feel her characters  are dynamic and sometimes quirky (which I love).  I was so excited to read the interview, especially since I am on the waiting list from the library for her newest book Promise Not to Tell.

Every month or so I spend time looking ahead to the new releases that may or maynot catch my attention.  There are such huge lists of books coming out.  Between Book Page, Net Galley, Good Reads and following my favorite authors; the list is often long and complicated between those I have to read by a certain date and those I can not read until a certain date.  (The color helps me with that.)

I am concerned about whether I can read that many books in a month… and sometimes I can’t but reading is supposed to be fun and not onerous.  So what is - is what is...

Meanwhile, what is on your list…  I would love to hear from you!


Just Finished

The English Wife by Lauren Willig

The Killing Season by Faye Kellerman


Still Reading

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


My To Read List

Already out

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp 1/2

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz (note the interview this week by Elise) 1/2

Whiskey Secrets by Carrie Ann Ryan 1/2


Out in January

Reluctantly Royal by Gillian Archer 1/16

Tempt Me by Carly Phillips 1/16

View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble 1/23

Watch Me by Jody Gehrman 1/23

About that Kiss by Jill Shalvis 1/23

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery 1/23

Jefferson's Daughters 1/30

A Devil In Scotland by Suzanne Enoch 1/30

Curses Boiled Again by Shari Tandal l1/30

Executive Ink by Carrie Ryan Hyde  

Dark in Death by JD Robb 1/30


See you in the new year

As I count my blessings this Christmas season (Can you tell I watched White Christmas recently?), I realize all of you - who read my blogs and reviews are a blessing for me.  I am able to share my love and thoughts of books and life with you weekly and I am grateful for your continued support.   

This week there is no blog…  Just my gratitude.

  • There is a new interview by Elise Cooper with Laura Griffin with two of her new books. I have to admit I love Laura Griffin’s Tracers Series and I am going to have to seriously read her Alpha Crew Series!

  • There are some new reviews up as well - some short Christmas novellas and the newest book by Kristen Ashley - the Hookup.

Thank You.  See you in the new year!  


martha lawton

Love, Hope and Peace

This will be my last blog until after Christmas. I am working, helping out a friend, heading to see my sister and other various adventures until after Christmas.  I wish for you and your family love, hope and peace for this season!

This last weekend, my family celebrated together - no presents, no fancy food, but time together with pizza, cards and lots of laughter.  More and more it is times like these that I cherish.  There are no expectations, no worries beyond trying not to take any tricks in cards.   There is sharing and laughter and love - lots of love.

I have found myself becoming more dismayed by the constant negative comments, name calling, hateful speech that people are throwing out and politics.  This weekend, however reminded me I am not alone and that there are others feeling the same. I loved the warmth of love of everyone and it filled me with hope.  Not just for me, but for the family and the future.  I am not sure why it filled me with hope, but it did.  

As I get older, I understand the importance of time shared over other expressions of love.  I am looking forward to some reading time, seeing the new Star Wars’ Movie and spending time shared with my family.  

This week I read..

A MC series of books:  Rush, Crash, Ride and Stand by Daphne Loveling (as well as a prequel Stone)

Countdown to Midnight by Katy Regnery (not written up yet)

Single Dad on Top and Single Dad plus One by JJ Knight (not written up yet)


The Spirit of Giving

To me, this time of year needs to be filled with gratitude, kindness, and the spirit of giving.    Tom Egelhoff wrote in 12/2/15 that... 

"The true spirit of giving is doing for others with no expectation of gain. It might be a gift you bought, one you made, or the gift of time or volunteer to benefit others. Giving means different things to different people and that's how it should be. Giving is an emotion.Giving is an emotion. It’s not logical."

I would suggest that in these times we must show the spirit of giving.  In this last year, we have had hurricanes, huge forest fires, snowstorms, heavy rains and winds. People have lost everything, yet we continue to build, grow and hope.  People are struggling to do with less in a world where we are shown more and more.  

The Gift of the Magi by O Henry is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  A story that highlights how two people wanted to give the best gift ever to the other, but in order to do this they had to sell their prize possessions.  It is only then that they realize the greatest gifts are not things but the willingness to give up all for the other.  

While I do not expect anyone to give up everything for another.  I think we can show more of the true spirit of giving with each other, with our family and our community.  

This week, there are reviews, interviews and a blog.  Please enjoy reading.  I wish for you the spirit of giving.


Generosity of Spirit

Welcome to the most wondrous time of the year.  A time when we all think we hear sleigh bells, carolers, and the ho ho ho of Santa.  What we really all need to keep in mind is that the anxieties this time of year are also ringing in people’s ears.  The worry of money, extra bills, darker nights, too much food and alcohol, longer working hours for many people, and the buildup of excitement all lead to difficulties this time of year for many people.  This week I ran smack dab into that and needed reminding of the importance being kind to people.   There are many generous spirits during the holidays, but we hold the keys to our own happiness with love, kindness and generosity of spirit.  Perhaps that is what has allowed me to read more this week.  The allowance to myself of the generosity of time.

This week I fell into a couple of romances, and a book about woman and friendships.  The romances were fun, one historical and the other modern day, but the slower moving novel of friendship was what reminded me of generosity of spirit.  The novel followed four women through college (at Smith, no less) and the first four years of their life after college.  In any place where there is a difference of lifestyles and belief systems, there is going to be conflict, harsh words spoken, and the need for generosity to move beyond the moment.  Perhaps that is what is meant with something I read a long time ago - reminding us to be gentle with each other.  

This week, I am going to be gentle with others, but also myself.  We are often much harder on ourselves that others are on us.  It is easier to believe badly about ourselves than not.  OH and be being gentle with myself,  I hope that means more reading.


Binging on Netflix

Binging on Netflix

I have had a week of family and cleaning.  Cleaning for the family and then enjoying the family. Having a major cleanout before a holiday is always cleansing.  You wouldn’t believe the number of books I found stacked in the extra room!  I thought I had done so well to get rid of a lot of them, only to find just as many stashed in corners, on end tables and in piles.

I already had a stash of books already piled up to give away and was feeling pretty accomplished to be so organized.  Until I found more and more books in every crack and crevice.  Suddenly, my accomplishment wasn’t such a big deal.  

Meanwhile, my book count is almost non-existent.  I finished one book and enjoyed it, but I admit the bigger problem is that I have been binging on Netflix.  Mostly I found a new series called Longmire…  What’s not to love...  Tall, taciturn, western sheriff and deputy - murders and mayhem.  The problem - my reading time is severely compromised.  Even now when once I finish this I could be reading - I am still binging.  

The Book I did successfully read was Knight Treasures by C.C. Wiley (not reviewed yet).

The first part of a two part interview with John Douglas about his bestselling book and Netflix original series.


Throw Kindness around like Confetti

Throw kindness around like confetti…

Cultivate kindness.  What a wonderful idea!  I wish it could be one that more people adopt.  This is the season to give thanks and show gratitude.  To me showing kindness is showing gratitude for others, even those who are less than kind, or act in a mean spirited way.  They need even more kindness.  

One of the reasons I read so many Happily Ever After books is because there is almost always a person who is kind and caring, or wacky and wild, but kind or strong, full of wisdom and kind. Mostly one of the main characters is kind.  She or he find something nice in everyone and are willing to give people a break and be kind.  To me they are the role models most of us should be.

Let’s face it - it is hard to always be kind. Too many people have so many struggles in their lives that it is hard to show kindness when they are just crawling through the day.  Some people struggle with kindness, because they are always suspicious of people taking advantage of others. Still others cannot show kindness because they are so unhappy and discontent.  Our world is not an easy place.  There is so much me vs them or similar attitudes.  I find myself becoming almost becoming jaded by the hate in the world. So I am going to cultivate kindness.

I will throw my kindness around like confetti and hope it sticks to people.  I will show kindness to people who cut me off in traffic or don’t use blinkers.  I will show kindness to telemarketers (mostly by not answering the phone).  I will endevour to be patient and kind standing in line and show kindness even when the child in front of me throws a tantrum.  All situations that increase blood pressure and cause people to lash out or react negatively.  

Buddha, I am not, but I can try….  

Books I read this week (* or read previously and I am catching up)

Complicated by Kristen Ashley

Twelfth Night with the Earl by Anna Bradley

Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand

*Knox by Christie Ridgway (book 4 of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

James by Roxanne St Claire  (book 5 of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

Max by Lynn Raye Harris (book 6 of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

Finn by Jo Ann Ross (book 7 of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)

*Truly Madly Whiskey by Melissa Foster

*Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

*Cursed by Nessa Connor


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Kirke | Reply 28.08.2017 06.12

August snow days! What a fantastic idea! I've been reading Martin Walker's Bruno series set in rural France full or recipes. Yum

Kirke | Reply 17.07.2017 09.13

Like you Marty, neither my heart nor my brain have ever been able to grasp why an adult would humiliate a learner. Slowness and errors are just part of learning

Barbara | Reply 02.07.2017 06.35

Hey, Marti - Found the blog about your dad. Very nice. I have to tell you that Zane Grey is one of my favorites, too. I've read Riders of the Purple Sage 2-3x

Kathy | Reply 18.06.2017 23.27

What a lovely tribute to your dad! And an excellent example of how a father's attention and a shared love of reading can positively impact a child's life.

Kathy | Reply 29.05.2017 23.45

It IS sad that so few people read, and even fewer actually finish the books they start. I read 12+ books per month and couldn't live without my library card!

Jeannie | Reply 20.02.2017 16.35

Moms are uniquely special and mold us in so many ways. We love them always.

Starry Storyteller | Reply 07.02.2017 16.41

What a nice website! I love how it's done. I love how you organized it with letters. You are a great writer. Check out my website at thewplace.simplesite.com!

Jeannie | Reply 21.11.2016 15.30

I read the sequel After You and am reading One Plus One. Can't wait to discuss the book at book club. So glad you were provoked!!!

Jeannie | Reply 10.10.2016 02.18

Gee, Marti, sounds like you need a hug! Escape this negative world and just read! We love you and would never give you a hard time, unless you merited it! LOL.

Eva Charles | Reply 05.10.2016 20.04

I love Katy Regnery's fairy tales too! All her stories are great. Congratulations on the uptick of traffic on the blog.

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Latest comments

25.09 | 15:11

I enjoyed reading the interview!

30.08 | 21:25

Have loved reading every one of Lisa Scottoline's books. Can't wait for the next one to arrive on bookshelves. Thanks for sharing your remarkable talent!

28.08 | 06:12

August snow days! What a fantastic idea! I've been reading Martin Walker's Bruno series set in rural France full or recipes. Yum

17.07 | 09:13

Like you Marty, neither my heart nor my brain have ever been able to grasp why an adult would humiliate a learner. Slowness and errors are just part of learning

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