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Top 10 Book I Read in 2018

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Here are the top 10 books I read in 2018 in the order that I read them. I gave all of them 5 stars as they were well written, held my attention through to the end and I think the authors are all awesome.

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League, Book 1) by Alyssa Cole

an extraordinary union by alyssa cole
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.

Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.

Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy’s favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .

A Hope Divided (The Loyal League, Book 2) by Alyssa Cole

a hope divided by alyssa coleFor all of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her—until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerrilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
 
Unbeknownst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
 
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line,  she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love—and freedom—before they ever cross state lines.

Scoring with the Wrong Twin (WAGS, Book 1) by Naima Simone

scoring with the wrong twin by naima simoneShy, awkward Sophia Cruz has a hard time telling her vivacious identical twin “no.” But when her sister begs her to swap places for a modeling shoot, she caves … again. Then Zephirin Black walks onto the set. The brooding, aloof, and gorgeous tight end for the Washington Warriors. But she can keep it professional… She has to. Because the adorkable Cruz twin has no luck with guys once they compare her to her sister.

After a bad break-up, Zeph hasn’t been big on second chances—and even less with trust. But he finds himself giving please-call-me-by-my-middle-name-Sophia both. The woman he’d dismissed as a spoiled cover model is different from the first time he met her. Quirkier. Funnier. Definitely sexier. What started as one night turns into another…and another…and another…

Still, Sophia can’t go on keeping her secret from him. But telling Zeph the truth will mean losing him for good.

Judgement Road (Torpedo Ink, Book 1) by Christine Feehan

judgement road by christine feehanA brutal education in a Russian training facility for assassins has taught this group of men one thing: It’s a long road to redemption...

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

Tempest (Old West, Book 3) by Beverly Jenkins

tempest by beverly jenkinsWhat kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, Book 1) by Alyssa Cole

a princess in theory by alyssa coleBetween grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Scoring off the Field (WAGS, Book 2) by Naima Simone

scoring off the field by naima simoneTennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend…and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years. But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on. Enter steps two and three: new job and new man.

Football is Dominic’s life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson—is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating. He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend.

Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not.

Shadow Keeper (A Shadowriders Novel, Book 3) by Christine Feehan

shadow keeper by christine feehanThe paparazzi can’t get enough of infamous bad boy Giovanni Ferraro. But unknown to them–and the women he beds–he’s just playing a role. Keeping the spotlight on himself keeps it off the family business. And if this lethal shadow rider can’t hunt in the dark, he’ll find his pleasure elsewhere…

Sasha Provis grew up on a Wyoming ranch and thought she knew how to protect herself from predators. But in the nightclub where she works, she’s fair game–until one of the owners steps in to protect her. Giovanni is gorgeous. He’s dangerous. And his every touch takes her breath away.

The devil at her heels may have finally met its match…

Scoring the Player’s Baby (WAGS, Book 3) by Naima Simone

scoring the player's baby by naima simoneAfter a divorce from her cheating football player ex, PR whiz Kim Matlock would rather drive a pine tree through her walled-off heart than work at the Seattle Wedding Expo. And the last thing she expects is to be grabbed and kissed breathless by a hot giant of a man looking to fend off a stalker. She doesn’t want emotional entanglements, but she can’t say no to one scorching night with the sexy stranger.

To her shock, she finds out afterward that a) he’s a pro football player, aka her kryptonite, and b) she’s pregnant.

But nothing could have prepared her for his response…

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, Book 2) by Alyssa Cole

a duke by default by alyssa coleNew York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

If these authors appeal to you, please check out their websites for more of their books. For 2019, I will be joining the Goodreads Reading Challenge and starting my list with 35 books.

What did you read in 2018? What will you be reading in 2019?

Source: Photo of woman with a book from Pixabay.com

 

MFRW 52 Week Blog Hop

Writing – Fun, Profit or Other?

Writing Hands - copy-space-3399521_1920.pixabay Happy New Year! Welcome to a new year of the 52-Week Blog Challenge.

Ever since I wrote my first story  and “published it” using construction paper and cardboard, I’ve had the dream to one day become a professional writer. Check out this post about my favorite story.

I wrote for fun as a young girl in elementary school writing stories, superhero plays, Easter plays and Christmas plays that family and friends starred in. The superhero plays usually involved X-men.

As I got older, I wrote poems and songs about nature, family and boy bands I loved. I look back fondly about my fictional adventures and smile at my naiveté. Because, life got in the way and demanded my attention so I had to put writing aside for a while.

Now I’m pursuing a career as an author of romance and science fiction in this next phase of my working life. Have I let anyone other than close family read my work? Only one person. Am I published yet? No, but I hope to change that this year. Will I write for profit or enjoyment? It will be a little bit of both and so I feel I’m up for the challenge.

Please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below and check out other authors participating in this blog hop.

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2018 Kwanzaa Gift Ideas

Kwanzaa Kinara

Kwanzaa is a unique holiday. It is a celebration of family, heritage, and community.  It’s a tapestry of the past, present, and future that looks toward the next day while honoring the last day.

Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University in Long Beach created the holiday. Kwanzaa is not one holiday, it is a seven-day celebration pulled together from traditions of many different African countries. The days or “Seven Principles” are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

The best gifts to give family and friends are homemade. Here are two.

  • Homemade Candles

  1. Get your supplies: You’ll need one sheet of black beeswax, three sheets of red beeswax, three sheets of green beeswax (all about 8 x 16”), and a roll of #2 square braid wick.
  2. Starting with the black wax sheet, cut a wick that’s about 8 ¾” long. Line the wick up along the edge of the 8” side of the wax, then fold the wax tightly over the wick, pressing firmly to hold in place.
  3. Gently continue rolling, keeping the ends of the wax sheet straight as you go, until the entire wax sheet is rolled up with the wick in the center. Gently press the end of the sheet against the rest of the candle to seal.
  4. Repeat with the remaining wax sheets.
Source: Elfster
  • Kwanzaa Scrapbook

  1. A scrapbook or album filled with photos of family and friends of past Kwanzaa celebrations, song lyrics of favorites songs for the holiday, recipes, and bits of kente cloth.