Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bed, Breakfast, and You by Maddie James

Bed, Breakfast and You (Ladies of Legend)
Publication Date: February 13, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ladies of Legend Series
Format I read: E-book
Other Reviews for this author: The Heartbreaker
My Rating:

Book Blurb: Suzie Schul has it all. A booming business, a wonderful town to live in, and, well, food. Yeah, she loves to cook and she's the best darned cook in Legend, Tennessee. Everybody says so. She runs her own B&B, has published a cookbook, conducts cooking classes on Saturdays, and caters for special events and holidays.
What more could she want, really?
Nothing that she will admit, anyway. And let's not even think about that brief escape to Gatlinburg several months back when she had separated from her then-husband, Cliff. Or the fact that the man ran off with her little sister while they were, um, estranged. And let's definitely not bring to light that she'd never really revealed to anyone in the small town of Legend what exactly had happened between her and Cliff.
Or the fact that while she was off "finding herself" and "losing her husband" at the same time, she sort of, well, had a fling. But never mind about that, because "the fling" is long gone and likely doesn't even know where to find her. Besides, he was trouble.
And just when Suzie thinks all is well, Mr. Trouble rides up to her B&B doorstep on a bad-ass Harley and tosses her perfect little world into some kind of big, bad tumble.
Bed, Breakfast and You is an ebook novella from the print book/anthology Finding Home by Janet Eaves, Magdalena Scott, Jan Scarbrough, and Maddie James (available March 2011).

My Thoughts: This book is a perfect afternoon read when you just want to lounge around and get lost in a short romance. Suzie is a well rounded character who I think most women will relate too. She is independent and happy in her life the way it is. Brad is the man who wants to change this. One thing that helped make this story so good, was that the characters had history. They knew one another so we didn't have to spend time having them get to know one another. When they hopped in bed together, it wasn't a shocker since the two had a previous relationship. There was a good plot to this story, even with it being short. Despite the cover, this is a very clean book when it comes to the romance scenes. I have read this author before, and this book wasn't lacking the Maddie James charm. Definitely worth an afternoon.

**This book was provided to me by the publishers in return for my honest review.**

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Twenty Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format I Read: E-book (available in paperback)
My Rating:

Book Blurb: Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of her existence. 
Now an editorial assistant and obit writer for a Massachusetts newspaper, Kris stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling "25 Years Ago Today" items from the microfilm. She grows fascinated with the case of a young cocktail waitress who was bludgeoned to death and dumped in the woods. 
Determined to solve the case and atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who expressed herself through haunting paintings of Greek mythology. 
Not only does Kris face resistance from her family and her managing editor, she also clashes with Diana's suspicious nephew, Eric Soares - until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring between them. 
Kris soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday's headline is tomorrow's danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris's present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.

My Thoughts: Kris is an aspiring journalist who at this point keeps herself busy writing obituaries and small articles that deal with something that happens twenty five years ago. She comes across a mystery that deals with a murdered woman from twenty five years ago and the case was never solved. Its the only case in there town that has never been solved. This spikes her interest and she decides that she has to solve this mystery. She meets the family and learns the background. Only the case isn't as easy for her to solve as she would like. Eric, the murdered victim's nephew is there to help along the way and share his insight.

This book has a slight romance in it between Eric and Kris. If your a romance reader, you might enjoy this mystery with that aspect, however the romance is not overwhelming and doesn't take over the book. Its just nice to see the two people come together. The mystery is good in the book. There are a few twists and turns in the story. In some ways I had this book figured out, but then I didn't. If you read this book for the mystery aspect, you will be very intrigued. Stacy Juba weaves a wonderful story and mystery. She shows us who Diana Ferguson really was and not just what people read in the newspaper article. This is a great book and anyone who is looking to get lost in a good mystery will definitely enjoy this one. This is one of those books where I can't say too much about it or else you will figure it out. So, pick it up and check it out. You won't be sorry.

**This book was provided to me by the author in return for my honest review.**

Friday, February 18, 2011

Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress

Georgia Bottoms: A Novel
Publication Date: February 23rd 2011
Genre: General Fiction
Format I Read: Paperback
My Rating: See my thoughts for rating.

Book Blurb: Georgia Bottoms is known in her small community of Six Points, Alabama, as a beautiful, well-to-do, and devoutly Baptist Southern belle.
Nobody realizes that the family fortune has long since disappeared, and a determinedly single woman like Georgia needs an alternative, and discreet, means of income. In Georgia's case it is six well-heeled lovers-one for each day of the week, with Mondays off-none of whom knows about the others.
But when the married preacher who has been coming to call (Saturdays) decides to confess their affair in front of the whole congregation, Georgia must take drastic measures to stop him.

My Thoughts: This is a book I have a hard time rating. I am hoping by the time I finish writing my thoughts about this book I have decided on a rating. In most aspects I liked this book. Georgia is a very intriguing character and keeps the reader entertained. She lives in her own little world. She takes care of her mother "Little Mama" who is losing her mind. For money Georgia lives a secret life. She wouldn't consider herself a prostitute since she doesn't ask for money,  its gifted to her. She has one night a week set to each gentleman and if they leave her a gift, then that's great. No one is off limits for Georgia. This in itself if fun to read about since she lives in such a small little city where cell phones don't even exist. Its very small town, very country area. The dialect in this book proves this to be from a small town.

So you may be wondering now, where I am I having such a hard time with rating this book. The answer is, the racial aspect of this book. I could have done without some of the words and the ignorance. I get that there are still people out there who don't like the other races, and this  book reminds you of it, but I think the story still would have been good without it. The black people in this book spoke with horrible dialect. I live in the south. I am actually in Georgia. I do hear this dialect so it isn't foreign to me. I just could have done without it. The "N" word is used through out this book since Georgia's mom is the main one against black people. I am sure  the author meant well and I enjoyed his story very much. This is my first book by him, I would be interested in reading another just to see what its like. He tells a great story. It was fun taking a trip down a southern road and here about the life's of those who still have it simple. Either way, if you can ignore the racial aspects if this is something that might offend you, then you will enjoy this story.

With that being said, I think I would give the story a 4 but the racial aspect has me put it at a 3. So this book is going to have 2 ratings I guess!

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in return for my honest review.**

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hell Yeah! by Carolyn Brown

Hell, Yeah
Publication Date: August 2, 2010
Genre: Western Romance
Series: Honky Tonk #2
Format I Read: E-book
My Rating:

Other reviews from this author: I Love This Bar

Book Blurb: When Cathy O-Dell buys the Honky Tonk, the nights of cowboys and country tunes come together to create the home she-s always wanted. Then in walks a ruggedly handsome oil man who tempts her to trade in the happiness she-s found at the Honky Tonk for a life on the road with him- He lives the good life- Gorgeous and rich, Travis Henry travels the country unearthing oil wells and then moving on. Then the beautiful blue-eyed new owner of the Honky Tonk beer joint becomes his best friend and so much more. When his job is done in Texas, how is he ever going to hit the road without her? 

My Thoughts:  This is book 2 in the Honky Tonk Series. I am in fact enjoying the series. I liked this book alright. It wasn't quite as catching as the first one, but I did still enjoy it. The sizzle was not rolling off the pages, however I am not going to let that stop me from continuing the series. I think what threw me the most with this book was Cathy did not seem anything like she did in book one. She seemed to almost have a personality switch, so that threw me. She was not the type that came across modest in book one or to be a prude. However in Hell Yeah, she seemed that way. Yes, her heart was broken however as much as she forced Daisy in book one towards romabce, Cathy wasn't quite ready herself. Now, if you read this book as a standalone, I think it makes a great book. I just felt she was off. There is a lot of action in the book with some mystery too. The book sets up well for the next book in the series, which I assume as to do with Larissa. I am looking forward to hopefully starting it soon. This is a fun series, and I definitely recommend it and think anyone who enjoys western romance, is going to enjoy this book.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

A Billion Reasons Why
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genre; Chick-lit/ Christian Romance
Format I Read: Paperback
My Rating:

Book blurb: He's a handsome billionaire. She's not impressed. 
Katie McKenna has never loved any man but one; billionaire Luc DeForges. He was her first love. But there are a billion reasons why she's engaged instead to Dexter Hastings, a solid and stable man who wants the same things she does; marriage and a family but all of the things that she wants without the deep-seeded pain and fear of being abandoned that Luc brings. 
Dexter and she have worked an arrangement that's akin to faith without action, love without deeds -- a dead faith. Going home to New Orleans to sing for her childhood friend's wedding, Katie must search her heart to find out if any of her reasons for being with Dexter are stronger than love. Only when Katie steps fully into faith and jumps off the cliff of life into the arms of Luc does she understand the fullness of God's grace.

My Thoughts: I love Kristen Billerbeck. I read her Ashley Series almost a year ago now and fell in love with this authors writing. So, when I was on and they were offering this book for review, I jumped on it. I was so excited when it came in the mail. This book did not leave me disappointed in anyway. I was glad though, with this being chick-lit that it didn't have the same kinda whiny character, if you know what I mean. Katie was well down to earth, she grew a ton in this book. She was always confidant in herself and that helped me enjoy this book. Katie is engaged to Dexter and her love from eight years ago, Luc returns. He's charming, good looking, rich,  but has the reputation of a playboy. Oh and he broke Katie's heart eight years ago when she proposed to him in front of the whole town and he turned her down. Dexter is dependable, passionless, predictable and seems perfect for marriage! Which way will Katie's heart lead her?

You will love this book. This is a good clean read that will leave your heart warmed. It is catching and you will put this book down, only to want to make time to pick it up again. The cover itself is adorable and your going to love having it sitting out just so you can look at it and others can see it. Check it out and head over to and see what others have been saying about it.

**This book was provided to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.**

Its Winner Day! (Follower Giveaway and Suzanne Barrett Giveaway)

Its time to announce the winners to two different giveaways I have had going on.

Up first is The Follower Love Giveaway and two lucky winners will be winning a copy of To Tempt a Rake by Cara Elliott:

Yi Wen Liang
Kelly Whitley

The winner to Suzanne Barrett's E-book giveaway is:

Beverly @ The Wormhole

I will be contacting all of you and you will have 48 hours to get me the information needed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Got any tips or tricks to blogging slump?

It finally happened, I am a bit burned out on book blogging. I am still reading, just not blogging about it. I have been doing a lot more "pleasure" reading and not as much "review" reading. I have not accepted anymore new reviews from authors and I have a very light schedule currently. I think I am trying to get the love for reading back, if that makes sense. Last October was a huge month for me. It was the month that I had 16 reviews scheduled. I was still catching up in November. Even though I have yet to have another month like October and I learned from it (I only agree to 5 reviews a month now), I just have this slump feeling. I am a little worn out I think. So I guess that means I need a small break. So, Beck's Book Picks might not be as active as usual. Maybe some of you have noticed that the past 2 weeks, it has been a little slower here. I have been a bad blogging buddy too. I have not been making my rounds and leaving comments. I think for those who are non bloggers, you might not know how much hard work this can be. Not only as a blogger do I want to produce a quality blog for my reviews and giveaways, but I was a blogging relationship with the blogging world. So I have to stay in constant contact with other bloggers and have blogs I visit frequently. As I stated above, I am a little burned out. So,time for a little break. A little recovery time to get my mind fresh and hopefully once I am feeling a little but better, I will be ready to share all these great books I have been reading.

So,do you have any tips or trick that have gotten you out of a blogging slump?

To Tempt A Rake by Cara Elliott

To Tempt A Rake (Circle of Sin)
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Circle of Sin #3
Format I Read: Paperback
My Rating:

Book Blurb: Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como.
A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.

My Thoughts: I found this to be a cute book. It caught my attention and kept me interested until the end. This is one of those book where you meet the characters and you really get to know them. You feel the spark between the two and you can feel that they are really drawn to one another. It is almost right past the halfway point that the mystery begins. This is when it starts to get really interesting. You are no longer reading about these two characters and there attraction to one another that they must fight off, but there is a murder and Kate is a suspect. She had to prove her innocence and her and Marco join together to prove this and who the killer really was. So you might be asking, why did I only give this book 3 stars. It was predictable. The story line wasn't quite fresh in my opinon and while I did it enjoy it as I stated from the time I begun it to the ending, I had this book figured out. However, I still think this book is a great read.

Best of all, I am giving away two copies of this book in the Follower Love Blog Hop. Click HERE or scroll down one entry to fill out the form.

**This book was provided to me by the publishers in return for my honest review.**

Monday, February 7, 2011

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

I am so excited to be taking part in this giveaway hop. Simply fill out the form below with your name and e-mail address. Then scroll down a little farther and hop on along.

I want to first say thank you for coming by Beck's Book Picks. I love blogging and I love hearing from my readers. Please check my side bar for more giveaways that I currently have going on.

To Tempt A Rake (Circle of Sin)Up for grabs are two copies of  To Tempt A Rake by Cara Elliott. This is a very exciting read and I know that other will enjoy it. Here is a quick blurb about it:

Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como. A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.

So, fill out the form below and then continue hopping. Thank you so much for being a part of Beck's Book Picks.

Pass It Forward: Giveaway Hop

Welcome to February's addition of  Pass It Forward. I am excited to being doing this meme for a second month now. So, what is Pass It Forward? Its a giveaway hop where you can get rid of your old books and pass it on to someone else. Essentially your hosting a giveaway and linking it to this post. I can provide you with the code if your interested in putting this on your  blog too so readers can keep hoping. I ask that you please grab a button on the right side bar so the giveaway can be linked back here. If you have any more questions, most should be answered HERE.

Montana GloryThis month I am giving away Montana Glory by R.C. Ryan. This is my ARC copy. The book of coarse deals with a hunky cowboy who falls hard for a single mom.

The last thing in the world Zane McCord wants is a wife. But after returning home to the family ranch in Montana to help his cousins search for the lost treasure that is their legacy, Zane can't help notice that love and marriage seem to be contagious. Both his cousins have succumbed, but he refuses. Determined to stay a bachelor till he dies, Zane wants to devote his time to filming documentaries and taking care of the ranch...and then Riley Mason walks into his life. The last thing on Riley Mason's mind is romance. Sent to the McCord ranch to save the family's accounting problems, she only wants to impress her firm in Helena and be on her way. Life as a single mother isn't easy and she needs to impress her bosses for a raise. But when Zane McCord opens the door, her breath catches in her throat and a desire she's never experienced before takes over her. When the McCords insist that she and her daughter, Summer stay at the ranch, she's forced to give in and before long, she's pulled into their search for the long lost treasure. But she absolutely draws the line at getting involved with Zane McCord, playboy and heartbreaker extraordinaire. But as they all get closer to finding Coot's lost treasure, a dangerous series of accidents target Riley and her daughter Summer. Can Zane keep her safe while trying to win her heart?
Interested, then enter the form below. Its quite simple. This giveaway will end on the 15th of February. One winner. This is US Only.

And finally, fill in the linky below. I have to use a new service, since Linky tools is now charging. I don't use the service enough to justify the $24 for a year. Please enter the name of the book and the date your giveaway is ending. I can't figure out how to add the code to the post without putting another linky. So please leave me a comment (with your e-mail) for the code and I will get it right to you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How To Marry a Duke Winners!

Yikes, the 31st of January has come and gone. I have been swamped this week. So, its time to announce the three winners to this giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered. I had an amazing turnout for this book. Thank you again!

The winners will have 48 hours from the time they get my e-mail to send me their address. If someone has already won this or does not respond I will choose another winner. Once again, thank you for entering!

Winners chosen using

Marlene Breakfield

Stephanie M

Regina Hott (Gina ~ Hott Books)

All That's True by Jackie Lee Miles

All That's True
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Genre: General Fiction/ Young Adult
Add to your Goodreads TBR List
My Rating:

Book Blurb:  "My life was close to perfect-until my brother Alex got killed and my mother started drinking and my father starting having sex with Donna, my best friend's stepmother, who's not even thirty years old."
Thirteen-year-old Andi St. James' privileged life in Atlanta is interrupted one fall, to say the least. With an equal mix of joy and sorrow, All That's True follows Andi's poignant-and sometimes laugh-out-loud-journey to young adulthood, where she struggles with the elusive nature of truth and the devastating consequences of deception.

My Thoughts: This book was almost like sitting with the main character, Andi as she struggled with life. Andi starts out so innocent in this book, and while still innocent at the end, the layers are being pulled down as she discovers more and more of what life can bring. She starts out the book two months after her older brother Alex passed away. You watch through her eyes how her parents deal with this; her mother turning to alcohol and here father is having an affair. The book goes on as you learn more about the parents, but everything is through her perspective. Its refreshing to remember how young and innocent a thirteen year old is, but how much they actually understand. This book will also take you back to the early 1990's when in some ways things seemed much simpler. I enjoyed the era that the author wrote this book.

I think this is an excellent book for anyone to read. Its a story and it almost seems real. It isn't some made up crazy story that most of us love. Even though this book is fiction, it feels real. I think this book is also appropriate for a young adult reader.

**This book was provided to me by the publishers in return for my honest review.**