Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

Around the Globe

Sometimes it takes a small sliver of glass in your foot for you to realize how much you could’ve, would’ve or should’ve been doing.  Today was one such day. I have so much to do and I have used the day as a lazy away day. The last day of true vacation, while tomorrow starts again in the real world.  The past couple of weeks, I have put up a picture of beauty daily on Facebook to remind me of each day and the good in it. I have enjoyed having pictures that show where I have been or what I have done each day. It has allowed me time to reflect on the warmth and sunshine before winter comes.   

This week (as last week), I was a reading fool!  I loved being up late at night reading to only get up the next morning to read more.  I have read so many different types of romance and thriller novels. I have gone to so many places from an island in Maine with The Missing Ones to the Alps in France with The Lake of Learning.  I have danced in balls, ridden motorcycles and been protected with dangerous men. I have laughed and loved with Mo, Lock, Bridger, and Rookie. I have seen more of WWII with all the people who worked to keep people safe. I have helped solve mysteries and been surprised by how some of the mysteries ended.  Perhaps hanging at the lake nearby was not a vacation by many people’s standards, but it allowed me to go places. And I got ice cream!


Books read this week:

The Lake of Learning by Steve Berry and MJ Rose

Lock and Key by Cat Porter

Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley

The Yankee Widow by Linda Lael Miller

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill

A Hand for the Duke by Meredith Bond


At The Lake

What a lovely long weekend!  I got to spend quality time with some people I love!  We spent time at my favorite lake and let me tell you - it was not a breeze like the weatherman said.  It was a gale force wind that sent us running for blankets and towels to wrap up in! And that was when the sun was out!  However, over at the campground there was less of a breeze, so we spent time there. Even the most intrepid of us did not want to get wet.  It was too cold even for him. I loved spending time hanging around with them. Throw in ice cream and fried haddock and I am a gonner.

As I get older I have noticed that I might be getting kind of set in my way at times. (Anne - don’t laugh that hard.)  I found myself trying not to cringe at the way people were treating their paperback novels with dog earred pages and putting them down on the damp sand.  Never mind the seriously creased spines and the rolled back pages. Even now thinking about it gives me the shivers. Perhaps, it is because I read so many library books and they need to stay in great shape.  Anyway - I survived the calmanity without needing oxygen.

Elise Cooper has sent in both a book review (Iris Johansen’s new book Smoke Screen) and an author interview with Maisey Yates.  Both the books Maisey speaks about I have read and reviewed. The interview explains the characters and where the series are going.  Another Great Interview!

Tomorrow is supposed to be hot and sunny, but alas, I must work.  Such is the way it goes. My sister complained how hot she has been, so we have blamed her for the cooler temperatures this weekend.  It is a slightly easier explanation about why I am wearing my slippers in August. Now she is gone, maybe it will be warmer. I wish you all a wonderful week with lots of reading and laughter!

Book read this week:

Claws of Action by Linda Reilly

First Earl I See Tonight by Anna Bennett

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.  

Just His Luck by BJ Daniels 

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean 

Hyacinth by Chris Keniston

Devlin by Barbara Freethy 

Jason by Julia London


martha lawton

A New Job for Me - Fact Checker

What an absolutely beautiful day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day and a chance to connect with the outdoors, family and friends.  I had a great day, though if you saw my face right now, you would recognize that I forgot sunscreen for my face.  JUSSSSTTTT a bit red. Not so red that I won’t be back at the lake tomorrow - with a hat and sunscreen.

Here the farmer’s markets and road-side stands are doing a banner business.  I love being able to eat the fresh veggies that have been picked recently. At the farmer’s market, I was able to buy some homemade bread and jelly - so yummy! I continue to be in awe of the bounty available.  It is so easy to eat local this season.   

I have a new pet peeve.  I know you all are just waiting to hear what my first world problem could actually be…  Well, it really, really bothers me when either the book blurb and/or the book cover do not match the story.  One of my favorite authors is Dorothea Benton Frank. Her newest book called Queen Bee does not contain an accurate blurb.  There were two other books I saw recently that also had blurb errors including an incorrect main character’s name. Now as I understand the publishing business, there are several steps between sharing a blurb and getting the novel into the reader’s hands.  I understand that there are revisions and changes that happen at all steps, but if the blurb is what people read in order to entice them to read the book, then they should be accurate. The other part of this pet peeve is having a cover that matches the story.  In a book I read this week, there was a cover of a man pouring poison in a woman’s drink...didn’t happen in the book. In one I read last month, the main character was a ginger and did not have a dog, but on the cover he had dark hair and a dog. Maybe that could be a new job for me. A checker of blurbs and covers for factual representations - like a junior, junior editor for certain authors or publishers.  

Elise Cooper has interviewed Leila Meacham about her new mystery from WWII about which spies in occupied Paris survived called Dragonfly.  The reviews this week should interest many. There are three distinctly different thrillers, The Escape Room, Before She Was Found and Because You are Mine along with a cozy mystery and a romantic thriller.  All great reads. Enjoy Reading! 

Books read this week

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

Because You are Mine by Rea Frey

The Ladies Guide to Ettiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Steel Resolve by BJ Daniels


My New Kindle among Other Things

Hello heated days of Summer!

What a fun week this has been!  Did I remember to tell all of you?  I bought a new Kindle with 32 gb of memory.  I read up about the new paperwhite kindles and decided to stay with the paperwhites and went for the biggest memory I could get. When I checked out the history of my kindles in the past, I keep them about 4 to 5 years and only get rid of them when they become SO SLOW.  Some of the negative comments I read pointed out the slowness of the start up and turning on. OBVIOUSLY, they have never had a full kindle or they would know what S L O W is. I loved how quickly all my books loaded on!! The hardest part was finding a new cover. It took two tries to find the right size cover…  

I have been reading more and more from my kindle with the other books being those borrowed from the library.  I am lucky that I have a great library to use! I have some authors that are always reads and some new authors who I am excited to find.  Covers do catch my attention, but plotlines are stronger. Recently, I have been disappointed in some of the covers and their inaccuracy with the story lines.  One book recently had a cowboy and a dog. In the story, there was no dog and the cowboy should have had red hair.

I wonder sometimes how other people read?  Kindles? Paperbacks? Hardcovers? Library? Buy?  And why do you read who you read? What attracts you to certain books?  Cover? Storyline? Favorite Author? I would love to hear from my blog pals about their preferences.

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner was a hit this week!  Elise has also done an author interview, which is so cool and I have included my review.  Check it out…. Another fact is that Lisa Gardner is a New Hampshire writer! The book is a seat gripper! Guaranteed to catch your attention!

There was plenty of time for reading this week so there are more reviews than usual.  I hope you have a chance to check them out!

Books reviewed this week:

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Iron Heat by Daphne Loveling

Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Lobe, Loyalty and Mayhem by various authors

The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix

The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett

Falling With You by Carrie Ann Ryan

Needled to Death by Annelise Ryan



It hot….  I mean really hot. It is 95 degrees right now.  Here - in central NH.  

The sun is beating down on the yard, although there is an occasional breeze that is stirred up.  I spent a couple of days at the lake cooling off, but today I knew the lake would be unmanageable and I wanted to be lazy.  So here I am in my pjs with all the fans blowing on me attempting to stay cool. Even Oscar has given up and is sleeping on a patch of floor.  


All my book reviews are done, except for the book I am reading.  Staying low and slow was the key for today. I know many other places are struggling with the heat - so I am only one voice out of many.  Tomorrow the weather will change and by Tuesday it will be in the 70s!


What I have discovered about myself in the heat…

I don’t care what outfits I wear or how I look in them if I am hot - upper arm flab be damned.

It is always better to be wet when hot.  It helps cool off

Two fans are better than one and three fans are the best.

Sunglasses made with metal can be hot if left in the sun accidentally.

It is easier to fall asleep on the couch when you are hot.

Oscar still likes to sleep on you when it is hot.

Housework nor cooking is not done when it is hot,.

I don’t care if the gardens need weeding or if the lawn is mowed.

I wish there was takeout with delivery available up here.

It is hot in the sun, in the shade, on the deck and under the umbrella.

I love a good breeze.

Cooler weather is coming.  I hope I remember the heat come February!

Books read this week:

A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

All Roads Lead to You by Jennifer Probst

Iris by Chris Keniston

The Conspiracy by Kat Martin

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Lone Wolf Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Falling With You by Carrie Ann Ryan (not reviewed yet)


I have ORD

I have ORD.  It is time to share the diagnosis with my friends and family.  It is not a surprise to many of you, but the diagnosis is clear now.  I have struggled with this since I began reading in elementary school.  It has ebbed and surged throughout the years. Lately it has become more apparent.


The list of criteria:  

I would rather read than sleep.

I bring a book with me everywhere.

I have fallen in love with many fictional characters.  

I can’t finish my TBR list in four lifetimes.

I count my book as my significant other.

I have nightmares about not having anything to read.  


For sure, it is obsessive reading disorder.  We can even add another couple of items to the list.

I will read a book in any format necessary.

I teach others how to read.

I always have at least one book going.

I have a list of always read authors longer than one single spaced page.


Like I said, it is clear.  ORD. Obsessive Reading Disorder.  As I understand it there is no cure and there is no medication available.  It is too deep seated at this point. I am sorry. NOT!


Books read this week

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

A Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery


Life is a Collection of Moments

Life is a Collection of Moments was on a pin I found today.  Such simple words for such a huge thought. The small simple moments that make up a day and make up a life are they the true meaning of life. When I was young, my Aunt Barbara would say how grateful she was for the small blessings like seeing someone’s new baby or having coffee with her sisters.  I remember thinking that those are not blessings, but are things that happen. How wrong I was! Those are the happenings in a collection of moments.


The last two weeks, I have thought a lot about my collection of moments.  I realized that some of my moments that I have collected were very precious to me, but at the time, I did not recognize their significance.  I have tried to be more aware of the moments. I have seen flickers feeding their babies, I have seen the cardinal calling his mate, I have seen a fox trotting down the driveway and Oscar sleeping on his back sprawled in the sand.  I have always tried to stop and live in the moment with them, but now I realize I need to be more receptive to even more. This week I saw my bestie and her daughter for the first time in three years. Those moments playing Rummikub or Skip Bo in the hotel laughing and plotting how to beat each other are some of that collection to save and cherish. Of equal importance was sitting quietly with each other as we read our novels was also a moment to save and cherish.  Those moments from a quick visit in an anonymous hotel between our homes were special moments - it is those moments that make up a life well lived.  


This week, Elise has given us an interview with Laura L Sullivan about her book Milady.  If any of you have ever read The Three Musketeers, you may recognize the character of Milady De Winter.  It is a great interview. I have read a number of books this week that are romances and one very disturbing book, Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson.   I have to admit, I have had trouble letting the Lucy Dawson book go. It is a twisted story that really has made me think about how the main character in the book… well read it and let me know what you think….


Enjoy your collection of moments this week - may you find them precious.


Books Read this week:

Cowboy to the Core by Maisey Yates

The Bad Luck Bride by Jane Goodger

The Reluctant Duchess by Jane Goodger

One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke

One Night of Scandal by Darcy Burke


Vacation Days

Last Day of true vacation, but I only going back to work part time for the summer, so I can’t complain.  I had some gorgeous days and enjoyed them all. I was able to balance my reading and cleaning house to some extent, which is always a plus!  I still need to find my dining room table. Pretty sure it is lost somewhere beneath all the paperwork. This summer I am determined to go through all the paperwork and get rid of lots of it.

One of the authors that allows me to read her ARC novels had three new novels out this week.  They are sweet romances that definitely sound like they are from around one of the lakes here. Heather (book 1), Lily (book 2) and Violet (book 3) are the titles of the first three novels in Chris Keniston’s series called Hart Land.  There will be nine books altogether, all nine granddaughters with flower names who visit The General (grandfather) and his wife (grandmother). There are set ups that always cause problems and lots of fun characters. The setting is on a lake in Northern New England with a small town. 

This week, hands down, the best book was Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes.  While the book is listed as Christian, the category is too limiting. It is not just about religion and beliefs,  it is about the greatest generation, loss and love, hope and faith, and people who struggle with making a living and finding their way forward.  It is a book I highly recommend. Oh and it’s setting is on the coast of Maine down past Wiscasset and near Machias.  

The other books this week were a mixed batch of romance (historical, current, and biker).  A couple of great beach reads with Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer set on Nantucket Island and The Big Kahuna by Janet and Peter Evanovich set in Hawaii.  However the islands are the only thing they have in common. Nancy Thayer’s book is about two women who grow up on the island and their lives and struggles.  The Big Kahuna is more of a thriller style with lots of chasing bad guys and being in tight spots.  

Elise has a great interview with Amanda Flowers and her newest cosy mystery called Toxic Toffee.  The books sounds like a fun read.


Books read this week.  

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer

The Big Kahuna by Janet and Peter Evanovich

Hurricane Hearts by Nina Levine

Tightrope by Amanda Quick

One Night of Surrender by Darcy Burke


You can't have just one

I received a text today from my bestie.  It seems that Judith Krantz has died. For some of you, this might be an unknown name, but for me this is an author that helped me fall in love with reading modern romances of the rich and famous.  She is famous for her books Scruples, Princess Daisy and Mistral’s Daughter among others. Her books were huge stories of people with money and means with lots of drama, sparkles and more drama. Her stories brought me into a world that I never knew existed nor ever expected to join.  I owe her my thanks.


Today started my vacation and I have to admit both my couch and lawn chairs were recipient of the bounty of time.  I read and read and read some more. Oscar joined me at times helping me by blocking the book from view. That was one item on my list of things to do, but it was exactly what I did all day…. happily.  I have started to count my summer reads with 2 so far and 78 for the year to date. According to Goodreads I am one behind my schedule. Whatever! I guess I was stuck on the thought that I can’t have just one book I read today.  

The books this week were a bit of a mixed bag, but all had romance in common. Three of them (Queen Bee, Evvie Drake Starts Over and A Vineyard Summer) were great summer reads.  All were set in a place I consider a great summer place - near the ocean. One was a romantic thriller (Dangerous Choice) that I read in one sitting - with breaks of course.  One was a good old fashion cowboy romance (The Second Chance Rancher) with cattle, chaps and horses. Last but not least, an older romance that could be called a bodice ripper (Dearly Beloved).  All of the books were good, but my favorite would have to be the book by Dorothea Benton Frank called Queen Bee. There is something about how she writes characters that pull you into the story. Her books are almost always a five star read and a wonderful journey!


Tomorrow I have an appointment with my toes and sand!  


Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

A Vineyard Summer by Jean Stone

Dangerous Choice by Barbara Freethy

The Second Chance Rancher by Kate Pearce

Dearly Beloved by Mary Jo Putney


The # 500 badge

The # 500 badge

When I started my blog I had 50 hits a month, mostly from family. Now I average over 1000 hits a month, definitely not mostly from family. Between Pinterest and Tumblr, I have another 100 followers.  Thank-you to my partner-in-books Elise Cooper with her great interviews, Net Galley for all the ARC books and for the support from my book family and friends. I also am lucky enough to count some authors as a huge support by allowing me to read their ARC novels.  


Each year I save thousands of dollars by borrowing books from the library when possible as opposed to buying them.  Bow’s Baker Free Library has been a wonderful resource for me and I am ever so grateful that I am allowed (I pay now, unlike when I worked in Bow) to use the library.


I have been a member of Net Galley since 2012.  This week, I finally received a new badge for 500 reviews.  It doesn’t seem possible but I have reviewed 510 books for Net Galley and maintained a feedback ratio of over 90%.  Even more important, I have three publishers that send me books, if I ask for them. YUP a guaranteed acceptance. I am auto approved… (giggling to myself)  


Why am I telling you all this?  It is because I am so very grateful.  While I still have more to accomplish,  I have been loving this particular ride in my life.  I am able to read, write and talk about books. Now I just need time to put my toes in sand while I read - vacation is soon.

Books read this week

Nothing to Hide (Lucy Kincaid #14) by Alison Brennan

One Night to Remember by Erica Ridley

Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

Project Duchess by Sabrina James

Summer at Firefly Beach by Jenny Hale


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Kirke | Reply 10.06.2019 12.03

The news Jacquelyn Winespear is on my summer reading list.
Looking forward to another Maise Dobbs

KATHY | Reply 24.12.2018 00.28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

Jeannie | Reply 01.10.2018 16.20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

Jeannie | Reply 27.05.2018 23.23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

Jeannie | Reply 26.03.2018 16.01

At first I thought it said spa season. Either way it is a sign of rejuvenation! On a Kristin Hannah kick, loved Winter Garden. Happy reading!

Jeannie | Reply 19.03.2018 14.10

Cities are fun but exhausting. Like you the quiet is needed.

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.

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Latest comments

10.06 | 12:03

The news Jacquelyn Winespear is on my summer reading list.
Looking forward to another Maise Dobbs

24.12 | 00:28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

01.10 | 16:20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

27.05 | 23:23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

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