Read and enjoyed May 08, 2021

My favorite book so far this week is a parallel, modern and historical. The common denominator is a poignant painting with a checkered past and a complicated present.

I’m not always a fan of blending timelines but in this case it works. Probably the biggest reason, it allows for showing rather than telling. We need both time frames because they are intertwined and the present story only makes sense if we can understand the past.

There is an unforgettable painting with unknown origins. It appeared in the most terrible of circumstances and combining past and present stories adds the right amount of lightness to make the story relatable. The love stories play out in both time frames as the book moves along. The events are unpredictable and the resolution to the story is unexpected.

I would describe the unexpected but that would give away the ending which would never do.

I agree with the reviews quoted below. Unforgettable.

The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel Book 1)

Fresh. Fascinating. Unforgettable. The Butterfly and the Violin is a masterpiece of a debut.” –Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning

“. . .impossible to put down.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz–and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire fordistraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl–a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover–the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul–who maybe the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

I will admit, I lost sleep over this difficult to put down book.

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Bargain books May 07, 2021

If I had to name my top ten favorite authors, this man would be on the list. That’s why I’m excited to see one of his books suggested by 1531 Entertainment. This is his most recently published and it’s book 1 in a new series. I believe this will be a first for him. I remember a two part story but not a whole series. I’m looking forward to the experience.

One of his sons wrote an emotional review with one strong suggestion. Cancel all appointments and book time off work. He cautions that once we start reading we won’t be able to put the book down. I believe him.

How fortunate that today is Friday. Good timing.

The Water Keeper (A Murphy Shepherd Novel Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

A riveting new story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.

Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.

When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.

With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.

With Charles Martin’s trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story and a heartrending search for freedom.

Praise for The Water Keeper:

“I’m telling you, it’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel unlike anything I’ve ever read. And remember . . . the day you pick up this book is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world.” —Charlie Martin, son of Charles Martin

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Several of his other books are also listed as a bargain price right now.

Water from My Heart: A Novel 

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami.

Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter.

Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

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The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Experience Charles Martin’s debut novel, a story of loss and undying love written in his signature emotive and heartrending style. 

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

The Dead Don’t Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope.

  • Full-length, emotive Southern fiction
  • Sequel: Maggie

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I will be leaving it here for today. There is nothing I can do to top this, except maybe add more Charles Martin books.

It is a good thing I happen to be between books. I won’t even have to think to know what comes next.

Although maybe it’s late enough I should wait until morning to start. Hmmm.

Join me on this adventure.

Happy Reading

Bargain books May 6, 2021

Four new good looking treasures. Awesome.

One, I have already but want to mention it anyway. I’ve not read it yet but it is supposed to be good.

Traces by Denise Weimer

Amazon quote:

Even if she evades The Eye, someone wants her silenced.

When a failed romance and a $500,000 prize lure Kate Carson into participating in the reality TV show, Traces, the least she expects is to pick her partner. After all, she’s the PR spokeswoman of the company that derived a thirteen-lens, rotating camera from military use and installed it atop Atlanta’s tallest skyscraper. But she never would have chosen to evade techno hunters for twenty days with “G.I. Joe.”

Stoic, ex-military Alex Mitchell is the sort of man she always vowed to avoid, while the shadows of Alex’s past cause him to spurn emotional involvement. When Kate’s insider knowledge makes her a target of someone more threatening than game show hunters, Alex offers her only hope to reveal the dark plans of proponents of The Eye.

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Looking through the suggestion strips uncovered three more I’m excited to read.

I see I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books in this next series.

Starstruck in Willow Falls (Willow Falls Series Book 3) 

Amazon quote:

An acting career on the brink of failure. An upstaged debut novel. A wedding turned into a country-fried spectacle. Book three in the award-winning Willow Falls series has it all.

When a film crew and famous movie stars swoop into Willow Falls to film a full-length motion picture, the small town’s new normal as a popular North Georgia tourist destination is thrown into chaos.

Rachel Streetman fears her life-long dream to act is drifting into oblivion and leaving behind bitter regret. Weeks away from marrying Charlie Bricker, their relationship is tested after she auditions for a role opposite a handsome actor notorious for marrying his co-stars.    

Timing couldn’t be worse for Emily Hayes. Her debut novel arrives two days before residents read about the movie-crew invasion in the local paper. The town’s number one gossip accuses Emily of using her editor position to keep the news a secret and give her sister an audition advantage. When Emily and Rachel accept the job as the director’s liaisons, their patience is stretched to the limit by starstruck residents, demanding stage mothers, and wannabe stars.

When Sadie Liles’ budding relationship with Charlie’s father is threatened by an unexpected visitor, the townsfolk rally to stage a protest as American as sweet-potato pie. Will their efforts pay off or drive Brick away forever?

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This next one is a new-to-me author. The first few paragraphs do look interesting.

The Perfect Spy: A Clean Romantic Suspense (An Untapped Source Book 1

Amazon quote:

She’s got the best undercover crew. But will a sinister secret undo them?

Kate Ross has lost way too much in the last six months. With her mother’s death from breast cancer, an agent she handled killed on the job, and her career in jeopardy, the beleaguered CIA officer’s faith in God seems like another casualty. So she’s relieved to be offered a shot at redemption by managing an innovative team of “mom spies”… until they saddle her with a more experienced man as a babysitter.

Battling self-doubt and a loss of confidence in her espionage skills, Kate directs a smoothly successful first mission for the unit. But just as she opens up to her kind and encouraging supervisor, she suspects he’s withholding key information when the subject of their next assignment is his ex-wife. And the only solution to her predicament may be prayers she has no expectation will be answered.

Can Kate find the guiding light to solve the case before her personal crisis threatens national security?

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This next one will be a difficult read. It exposes the abusive fraudulent and hopefully, also shows the kindness of real. Reading the first two pages I’m rooting for someone to stand up and say enough. I want to read more.

Love the Lord Your God with all your heart (The Cooper Family Book 1)

Amazon quote:

AJ Carter lives in a recurring nightmare. On the outside, her family are model citizens, outstanding Christians. There is a lot more going on under the surface than anybody, except for her best friend, knows. She has been a Christian all her life. But God… she feels that He’s just not interested in what happens in her life.

Mac Cooper has his own battles to fight. He has learned that he can’t fight them alone, that he needs help from the Lord. When he is given an opportunity to help AJ out, he finds himself very intrigued by her. But will God help him earn her trust? And perhaps her love?

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Last but not least, we have a change of pace with a fifth book. Kind of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast

The Billionaire Recluse: A Beauty and the Beast Romance Retelling (A Billionaire’s Tale Romance Series Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

He sees a beast, but she sees the beauty within.

With severe burn scars to over half his body, billionaire, Sebastian Bryant keeps himself locked away in his home where he lives and works as CEO in the family business. After almost losing his daughter in the same house fire that took his wife, Sebastian has no idea how to care for the child, nor can he seem to keep a nanny on his employment roster for very long before his daughter scares them away.

Isabel Jordan has just broken up with her self-centered boyfriend and moves back home with her eccentric, inventor father who has somehow managed to put the family home in jeopardy. When she sees an online ad for a nanny position, she applies for the position, hoping to help dig her father out of his debt and save the home she grew up in.

Pressured by his mother to hire a suitable nanny, and finding Isabel only a step above the others, Sebastian hires her to care for his daughter. With his brother biting at the bit for the CEO position, Sebastian’s mother warns him that he can be replaced if he can’t manage to keep a nanny on to care for his daughter.

Isabel can hardly stand the self-loathing billionaire, but if she quits, her father will lose his home.

Forced to spend each day together, Isabel finds the beauty hidden beneath his scars and a little girl begging for the affections of her beastly father. If only she could make him see what she sees.

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I’d better quit while I’m ahead. There were three or four more possibles so I added them to my wish list. That will help me find them again. I can revisit them tomorrow and hopefully they will still a bargain.

I’m scared to tally up my book spending for last month, I have a feeling I’ve gone over budget, again. I have a feeling this month may not do so well either, the way things are going.

Oh well. I’m having fun.

I hope you are too.

Happy reading y’all.

Bargain books May 04, 2021

We have a few more bargains than usual today which is very nice, and they look to be top shelf which makes it even better.

1531 Entertainment has two suggestions. One is a new-to-me author and I’m really looking forward to meeting her. The other suggestion is from a favorite author I’m happy to see again.

The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel Book 1)

Amazon quote:

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz–and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl–a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover–the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul–who maybe the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

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Haven of Swans: (previously published as Abomination) (Rock Harbor)

Amazon quote:

A beautiful woman stands by the side of the road, barefoot and bleeding, a child in her arms. Someone just tried to kill her, but she wouldn’t recognize him if she saw his face. She doesn’t even remember her own name.

A suburban cop surveys a kitchen in disarray—a woman and child missing, a chilling note. This crime scene is unlike any he has ever seen.

The man who calls himself Gideon waits and plans. He sees himself as a destroyer of evil, one who rids the world of abominations. He has already killed five. He will kill again.

And somewhere in the wilderness, in a secret geocache near where the wild swans gather, lies the unspeakable clue that links them all together.

Michigan’s rugged and beautiful Upper Peninsula is the setting for this absorbing tale of love and loss, beauty and terror, grievous sins and second chances. A deftly woven thriller from the bestselling author of the Rock Harbor novels.

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BookBub has a suggestion. It’s romance that may turn out to not be a light read. I’ve enjoyed this author before though so I’m looking forward to finding out what this book is all about.

Daisy’s Decision: A Christian Romance (Dixon Brothers Book 4)

Amazon quote:

Ever since the sixth grade, Daisy Ruiz loved Ken Dixon from afar and spent her entire youth pining for him. Ken, the youngest of identical triplet brothers, never even noticed her crush.

Today, Daisy lives her life serving her loved ones and her family’s ministry, Gálatas Seis, where she acts as Executive Director. As the daughter of a youth pastor, she understands the importance of ministry and teaches a women’s Bible study. The sudden discovery that she’s pregnant—and her baby’s lying married father wants nothing more to do with her or the baby—threatens her ministry and her entire reputation.

Solemn, sober, solitary, and silent, Ken grew up in a mission-minded family and consistently seeks ways to serve society in the name of the Savior. He goes to Gálatas Seis with an offer to aid a family in need and recognizes his former youth pastor’s daughter leading the organization. While shocked at the chance meeting, the instant attraction he feels surprises him even more.

When Ken asks her out on a date, Daisy realizes her childhood dreams have literally come true after all this time. Even though she just found out she is pregnant, Daisy tells herself that just one little date won’t hurt anything.

But when they go out again and again, she soon finds herself in a full-blown relationship with hearts on the line. She can’t keep her secret much longer. Does she tell Ken about the baby? Can Ken love her baby, too? Or will he abandon her like the baby’s father did? Daisy has a decision to make.

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I’m excited about this next one, it was in the suggestion strip and looks different from anything we’ve read so far.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society 

Amazon quote:

Five strangers get the chance to rewrite their stories… 

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.  

“This captivating story full of heart, soul, and humor kept me turning pages until midnight to finish it. Rachel weaves the perfect amount of tension and opens possibilities to keep the reader pondering long after the story is over.  I loved it!” —Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author.

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I’m excited about today’s treasures, I hope you are too.

Happy Reading.

My favorite cover is the last one. It must be the window and the books!

Favorite book of the week

This was my favorite book of the week.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

*****

There were so many things to like about this book.

The characters were complex, interesting, and the principles very well developed. In the end many more were introduced, all of them needed to make the story work.

The events and situations were unique as well. In all of the books I’ve read I’ve not run across another story treatment even remotely like this one.

On the downside, there were a few segments that didn’t make sense. This book was published in 2012. I think with all of the recent digital changes we’ve experienced, if it had been more recently published some of the questionable areas would have played out differently. Tracking devices could have replaced stake-outs, that sort of thing. It would have made it more believable. Those bits were only annoyances, though, they weren’t deal breakers.

There were many twists and turns in the action. Just when you thought you knew where it was all going everything changed and suddenly you had no idea.

It was delightful that they were people of substance, full of surprises. They did things that made you stop and think a bit. I like books like this.

It did not end the way I thought, and it took all 480 pages to get to a conclusion I’d never have guessed.

The surprising part in the end was the sympathy I felt for the illusive killer.

I would read this book again, for sure.

This and that, one more time.

This is one of those days when it’s taking a herculean effort to sit down and write, I think it’s the uncomfortable space I’m in that’s at fault. I’ll going to try for a this-and-that kind of day and see if anything worthwhile shows up.

I think it’s been a cluster of things that are getting to me, none of it bad though. Some of it is probably taking me out of my comfort zone and that’s the reason for the distress. Adding all the little things together, it does a number on me. The worst thing about it is that the physical response to stress is sidelining me. Frustrating. I wish I could just take a pill and move on. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Oh well, at least there were bright spots in my week.

This was tax time and mine has been filed, on time. (sigh of relief) There was even a small refund. (Awesome.)

I finally gave in and ordered a replacement for a completely destroyed vacuum cleaner hose. I’d taped it together many times until it was finally hanging only by a thread. Even then I just held it together as best I could to limp through a cleaning. The hold up was insecurity about ordering the right thing.

It should arrive in the next few days so we’ll see if I made the right choice. I hate doing things when I don’t think I know what I’m doing.

Life is ironic sometimes. Between my house and my job, I’ve had to do more than a few things I’ve never done before. Especially in the last two years, and we’re not done yet. I have to say though, once I’ve done and conquered, I’m feeling pretty happy about myself.

There is another chore I’ve been putting off. If I want to keep them, I need to put chicken wire around some plants the neighborhood rabbits keep eating. I don’t mind them eating the grass but I wish they’d leave the plants alone. Wishful thinking on my part.

I’ve been hoping the rabbits would be a predator’s lunch one day but so far it hasn’t happened and they are getting big, maybe too big now. My neighbor tells me the eagles like to swoop in and grab lunch but so far these guys have managed to escape those clutches.

There’s more swirling around in my head but for your sake I’ll quit here. Maybe save it for another time.

I have to say writing this has been therapeutic for me and hopefully not too boring for you. 🙂

Currently I’m reading the book I promised in the last post. I’m loving it. One thing about longevity in writers, they can build on their experience to come up with increasingly complex characters and situations. That’s why I’m loving this book so much. I’m glad I grabbed it yesterday because it was a small window of opportunity, it’s not a bargain anymore. Even at full price it’s worth it though.

Full Disclosure

Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

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Thanks for listening.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Bargain books April 30, 2021

BookBub has an awesome suggestion for us from one of my long time favorite authors. I’ve read many of Dee Henderson’s books but I don’t think I’ve read this one, I’m pretty sure it will be next in line.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Amazon quote:

Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

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Sadly, nothing else exciting made itself known to me so this new one is it.

My current read is still a bargain. It’s definitely a different story line than I’ve ever read, which is a big plus in my estimation.

Never Forget the Past: A Clean Romantic Suspense (The Men of Fire Beach Book 3) 

Amazon quote:

A firefighter’s life torn apart by unspeakable crimes in bestselling author Lorana Hoopes’s new page turning novel of romantic suspense…

Could you let your family believe you were dead if you thought it was the only way to save them?

Five years ago, Billy “Bubba” Campbell had a different name, but after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, he fakes his death and leaves town to keep his family safe. He’s adjusted to life in Fire Beach, but when Makenna re-enters his life, he is forced to make a gut-wrenching decision: Continue living his lie or return to his hometown to help her catch the killer.

Captain Makenna Drake believed she was saving Matt Fisher’s life when she convinced him to leave his life behind, but now the fires have started again. As the only victim to survive, she hopes seeing Matt will fluster the killer enough to make a mistake. But can she protect him this time or will the killer finish the job started five years ago?

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Later.

Bargain books April 28, 2021

BookBub has a suggestion for us with one of our favorite authors.

Never Forget the Past: A Clean Romantic Suspense (The Men of Fire Beach Book 3) 

Amazon quote:

Could you let your family believe you were dead if you thought it was the only way to save them?

Five years ago, Billy “Bubba” Campbell had a different name, but after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, he fakes his death and leaves town to keep his family safe. He’s adjusted to life in Fire Beach, but when Makenna re-enters his life, he is forced to make a gut-wrenching decision: Continue living his lie or return to his hometown to help her catch the killer.

Captain Makenna Drake believed she was saving Matt Fisher’s life when she convinced him to leave his life behind, but now the fires have started again. As the only victim to survive, she hopes seeing Matt will fluster the killer enough to make a mistake. But can she protect him this time or will the killer finish the job started five years ago?

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This next book was suggested yesterday and the suggester’s name escapes me. It’s definitely still a bargain.

Flying Fossils (Women of Fossil Ridge Book 1)

Amazon quote:

“Some women play bingo and go quietly into the night. My mother steals cars and breaks out of Alzheimer’s units.”

From USA TODAY bestselling Author Lynne Gentry comes this heartwarming peek inside a mother/daughter relationship turned upside down.

My aging mother is proof that not every southern woman is sweet tea and sympathy. Momma can’t remember which road to take when she has to drive from her ranch to the small town where she grew up. But she can recount every detail of the day I broke her heart. Her inability to forgive me has made her as crusty as the tiny fossils that cover the river’s limestone bluffs. After wasting twenty-five years trying to chip away this hurt, I finally decided it was just easier to stay away.

Then Momma fell and broke her hip. I flew home to try to mend fences with her one more time. Her refusal to let me take her back to Washington DC to convalesce left me no choice but to leave her in an assisted living center in Texas. I regret telling her that I thought her memory lapses meant it was time to sell the ranch. The moment she was strong enough to manipulate her walker, she stole a car and broke out of rehab. Just to prove me wrong. Again.

Now Momma is missing and I’m sandwiched between two impossible choices: stay in DC with my troubled teenager or go to Texas to find my demented mother. Either way, I feel like I’ve already lost.

The story of the Slocum women is the story many of us are facing. Navigating the care of an aging parent while parenting our own children is never easy. Some days you just have to laugh to keep from crying.

This series serves up a generous helping of laughs and hope. It’s a touching addition to your collection of southern small-town, generational authors like Ann B. Ross, Jan Karon, and Beth Hoffman.

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Currently I’m reading and enjoying an author new to me, it is still a bargain and so are books 1 & 3 in the series. This is definitely holding my interest.

Every Secret Thing (Acts of Valor, Book 2): Romantic Suspense

Amazon quote:

Former NFL Player Turned Navy SEAL Battles Life and Death for Love and Justice in the Christian Romantic Suspense, Every Secret Thing, by Rebecca Hartt

–Present Day, Virginia Beach, Virginia–

Navy SEAL Lt. Lucas Strong isn’t about to let his platoon leader, Lt. Mills, go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s their retiring commander who should face court-martial for amassing stolen weapons. With the evidence proving the commander’s guilt destroyed, and every witness dead, Lucas must find his only remaining hope, Charlotte Patterson, a gutsy NCIS intern with a photographic memory–missing but believed alive.

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Another interesting book showed up just when I thought I was done.

Copycat Killer (True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Murder strikes close to home for a new K-9 unit in Brooklyn

When a double homicide is strikingly familiar to a twenty-year-old cold case, Detective Nate Slater is rattled by the parallels. With a child as the only witness, he and his K-9 partner must protect little Lucy and her aunt, Willow Emery. Nate’s rough past means he always keeps an emotional distance…but in this case getting closer is the only way they’ll all survive.

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OK, I’m going to stop looking now.

If you have opinions on any of the authors shared here I would appreciate hearing about it. It would be help me make good choices, to know your likes and dislikes. I’m guessing on somethings and could be wrong. Please leave comments. Much appreciated.

Happy reading.

Free and bargain books April 26, 2021

This will be quick.

Free

Shelter from the Storm: A heartwarming tale that brings together hope and happily-ever-after (Hope and Hearts Romance Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Sometimes the person standing in your way is your only hope…

As the director of the Port Provident Animal Shelter, Becca Collins had devoted her life to helping the furriest residents of Port Provident. When a special Labrador retriever, Polly, needs her help on the eve of Hurricane Hope, Becca can’t say no—even if it means she’ll have to ride out the hurricane on Provident Island. When she shows up on the doorstep of local veterinarian and Army veteran Dr. Ross Reeder, Becca throws a wrench into Ross’ plans to evacuate himself and his combat-weary former service dog, Cookie.

Ross and Becca are used to disagreeing with one another, but they soon realize the only way they’re going to survive the wrath of Hurricane Hope is to put their differences aside and work for the good of the animals who depend totally on them. As they discover they have more in common than they thought and work to rebuild the Texas beach town where they’ve both put down roots, Becca learns secrets about her past that threaten to change the whole direction of her life.

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Bargains, both of them

A Homecoming To Cherish (Cherish Series Book 5)

Amazon quote:

Hard-working accountant Nora Lancaster returns to her modest hometown to help manage an inn that her parents once owned. In order to escape small-town living, she’d married young and moved away. Now, as a single mother of a rebellious teenage daughter, she doesn’t intend to stay long—only a few weeks at most—or until the current owner of the inn recovers from his heart attack.

World-weary Julian Wilson is a businessman who arrives in town for one reason—to open another restaurant. He’s lived life as a bachelor and is at the peak of a rewarding career. Interested in the possibilities of another profitable venture, he views the town as a place to manage an extensive restaurant chain and finally settle down.

Nora never expected to meet a man like Julian—all business, as well as a formidable opponent—or to be instantly attracted to his kind nature and faith in God.

But can Julian convince Nora he’s not the rival she fears?

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Hailey’s Haven: Christian Romantic Suspense (Smoky Mountain Secrets Book 1)

Amazon quote:

A safe place to call home…
After escaping her abusive foster parents thirteen years ago, Hailey Donovan thought her nightmare was over. Gatlinburg Tennessee had been a safe place to live, until she’s nearly hit by gunfire while hiking the Smoky Mountains. Her instincts are to avoid law enforcement, especially handsome park ranger Rock Wilson, but when more gunfire echoes around them, they’re forced to work together to escape.

More attempts against Hailey convinces her to leave the city to start over someplace new. Rock talks her into staying and fighting against the unknown assailant. Rock senses Hailey has been traumatized in the past, and is determined to uncover the mystery surrounding her. As Hailey and Rock seek the truth behind the escalating attacks, Rock realizes he’s also in danger of losing his heart. Can Rock provide Hailey the save haven she desperately needs?

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Later…

Bargain books April 25, 2021

It’s casual browsing day today and it’s been fun. By the look of the first treasures found (I’m needing some light reading) I thought today was going to be a Cowboy – Marriage of Convenience theme. Several books are like that but then I came across something interesting with a darker side to it. There went my lighter theme. Oh well, variety is nice.

A Marriage of Convenience in the Show Me State (Cowboy Crossing Western Sweet Romance Book 5) 

Amazon quote:

Zane Hudson just got custody of his four young children. Only problem is, he can’t watch his kids and run his farm, too. He needs a permanent housekeeper. He has every intention of hiring someone until…

Waverley Madris is two months behind on her rent and about to lose her house and her children. Getting stuck with handsome Zane Hudson and his four kids in the Diner bathroom seems like just the type of thing that was just her luck.

Except she emerges from that bathroom an engaged woman.

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Show Me a Marriage of Convenience: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

An ex-player cowboy with a little son, the boy’s shy plus-size aunt, and a reluctant modern marriage of convenience only the boy is excited about… A sweet, clean, wholesome romance with a happily-ever-after!


Kade agrees to a crazy proposal from the woman his child adores. But as a former foster kid, Kade learned to walk away before getting hurt. Can he now learn to stay and love?


Heather Johnson dreams of a real marriage with the man her sister abandoned. But the rumor is Kade might leave their small town again and take her darling nephew with him. She’s reluctant to trust a womanizer, husband or not. If she allows love for him to ignite her heart, will her marshmallow-soft heart become roasted and burned?

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This next one is in the serious category. There are many forms of abuse in our world today and this is one of them.

Shattered Dream (Prisoners of Hope Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Cassie True dreams of the day she can resume her music career. Only one thing stands in her way, a court-ordered rehab program sponsored by a religious cult determined to steal her soul.

Singer/songwriter Cassie True enters a rehab program that promises to change her life. And it does…in ways she never expected. Caught in a religious cult’s ever-constricting web, she fights not only for her sanity but for the freedom to form real friendships. She longs to put alcoholism behind her, finish the program and return to her career. But when her friend is forcibly separated from her husband by the cult leader and a young boy is abused at the cult’s elementary school, she can’t stand by and do nothing.

Bucking the system is dangerous and could result in dismissal from the program—and a return to jail. Can Cassie and her coworker, Corban Dahlstrom, toe the party line yet work together behind the scenes to help others escape the cult’s clutches? Will they be able to withstand the fiery backlash that’s sure to come? Does their budding romance have a chance in a world where an iron-fisted leader controls all relationships?

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One more in the serious category. This is a second look for me, at this suggestion. In many ways it will be a tough read but the topic is timely. The reviews tell me I should take a chance on this. The writer’s treatment of the subject makes all the difference and reviews suggest this has been treated well.

More Than Us by Dawn Barker

Amazon quote:

When parents disagree on how to care for their child, is it justifiable to take extreme measures?

Emily and Paul have a glorious home, money in the bank and two beautiful children. Since leaving Scotland for Paul to play football for an Australian team they have been blessed. But sadness lies behind the picture-perfect family – sixteen-year-old Cameron has battled with health troubles his entire life. There’s no name for what he has, but his disruptive behaviour, OCD and difficulty in social situations is a constant source of worry.

When Paul’s career comes to a shuddering halt, he descends into a spiral of addiction, gambling away the family’s future. By the time he seeks help, it’s his new boss Damien who recommends and pays for a rehab facility.

While Paul is away, Emily has to make a tough decision about their son. She keeps it from Paul knowing he’ll disapprove. And when a terrible accident reveals the truth, Paul takes his son and goes on the run, leaving Emily to care for fourteen-year-old Tilly, who unbeknown to her parents is fighting battles of her own.

Can the family join together for the sake of their loved ones, or will their troubles tear them apart?

What people are saying about More than Us:

Dawn Barker has the reader enthralled and reading as quickly as possible to find out what happens to the complex, flawed, yet endearing main characters.’ Reader review

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Of the four, the book I’m looking forward to most at this moment is the first one, I’m in need of a lighter read to brighter my day. I’m not sure why that is exactly, it just is. Moods seem to be like the weather, unpredictable and change at a moments notice.

Before I can get to the new read I must finish the current one…

I think this one isn’t helping my mood. Probably because the villain reminds me of someone in my past. I think maybe I’d better speed read through this one.

Other than all that it has been a good weekend. I enjoyed a fun visit with my family and a pleasant sunshiny drive to get there yesterday.

I hope the weekend has gone well for you too.

Happy Reading