This has been a good week for books

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*  

This has been a good week! Lots of interesting books for download, a nice stack of books from the library-already half gone, and lots of interesting new (to me) blogs to read and digest. A good week.

It was encouraging to come across blogs sharing the same thoughts I have about the need to encourage reading. If signs of the times are to be believed, there isn’t the same interest in reading as there used to be, we need to help change that if we can. People who read become thinkers and it seems to me that given the days we live in – we need thinkers, we all need to be thinkers.

The thing that excites me most about the books showing up on free sites these days is the great number of excellent little known authors and the large number of really good, well written books. I love that there is an opportunity to take a chance on books I wouldn’t even get to know about in any of the traditional ways of discovering new books. Another bonus,  sometimes there are so may good books showing up  that it is overwhelming trying to imagine how to get them all read. Books that are deep enough to require thinking even. I want to inspire you to tap in to all this wealth too, and make your own great discoveries. Is it working? There really is something for everyone these days!

BookBub and Amazon are my favorite places for new discoveries.

All of the books I’m going to mention have deeper layers so it’s not a frivolous read for any of them, I hope that encourages you too.

The Perfect Life – Robin Lee Hatcher  romance

Whispers From Yesterday – Robin Lee Hatcher   romance

A Vote of Confidence  book 1,        Fit To Be Tied book 2,       A Matter of Character book 3: The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs – Robin Lee Hatcher   romance

When a Heart Stops book 2,       When a Secret Kills book 3:                                              Deadly Reunions – Lynette Eason  mystery

Dead of Night book 3,          Web of Lies book 4:                                                                   Hidden Faces Series – Brandilyn Collins  mystery

The Midwife’s Tale: At Home in Trinity Book 2 – Delia Parr   romance

Purple Like the West: Colors of Faith book 2 – Virginia Carmichael and Mary Jane Hathaway    romance

Happy reading!


There is always a deeper reason….

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*   

It’s true, my current reason for this blog was to share a love of books and to inspire you to love them too. The original blog goal, a decade or so ago, was to target a smaller more specialized group of women and to talk about deeper issues. It was still going to be about books just not the same kind of books. My vision for the blog  then was to share resources and  give encouragement to hurting broken women like me. That blog never did get off the ground. I thought the vision for today’s version of the blog seemed to be broader in scope and not nearly so intense. A few weeks ago in a moment of inspiration I even spent a couple of hours writing down all of the blog topics that popped into my head, three pages worth, and none of them were personal or intense. Now I am not so sure.

The whole idea of a blog sort of came to a head recently. Many things had come to mind as I worked through issues  over the last decade or two, and at times it felt like I should share them with people but had no way to do that without a blog. Recently, in one of my conversations with God, I was talking to him about this wish and promised that if he would provide a platform then I would be sure to say some of those things now. It looks like God must have taken me at my word and thought I was finally ready because in a very short space of time it all came together.

Because God is a big part of what I am doing; before each post I take time to ask him what he would like me to say and how he would like me to say it. I know God sees our hearts and he knows  what our hearts need to hear. I want to do my part to have words that someone needs to hear so I ask him to let me know what needs to be said.

After praying much about this post, I think I am supposed to share some of my story and that surprised me. I am nervous about sharing but the courage is coming from somewhere.

My love affair with books started in 6th grade with a school field trip to the public library. I was in heaven. Saturdays I would walk to the library ( a couple of miles or more) for a fresh supply of books, books with an impact that is still felt even after all these years. Empowerment was the takeaway from one of my favorite characters, she had her own sailing sloop and could take the lead and have adventures, I loved that.

This fascination with the public library lasted for three or four years, until I realized there were no more books in my age group section that I wanted to read. I tried out the adult section but decided it was too soon for that. The disappointment about this discovery had to have been huge because it is still one of my most vivid memories. Happily though, that was just the beginning, it turned out there were to be many more great books in my future.

Discovering the library turned out to be a blessing, not that I consciously recognized it as such at the time. The road that is our life is often filled with potholes, potholes that range from very small and inconsequential to crater size, from far apart to close together. There were some crater sized potholes in my road of life the year I was twelve. I’m pretty sure my new friendship with books made the journey through the potholes a  little easier. They must have because I remember books more clearly that I remember some other things in my life at that time. My dad was an alcoholic and life was often chaotic at our house, mom had cancer, school was never hard for me but I failed  6th grade, on my 13th birthday my brothers and I went to stay with my grandparents (mom’s side) because mom had to go back to the hospital,  and then that move turned out to be a permanent arrangement even after mom came home from hospital. On the plus side, it was a positive and possibly life saving  move for my brothers and I.

The next few decades were smooth sailing and crater free by comparison. But the road of life didn’t stay that way.

Getting back to the blog- about twelve years ago, after a marriage breakup, I joined a twelve step program directed toward women affected by the addictions of people (past and present) in their lives.  I was working on the results of some of the craters in my life and at the urging of one of my neighbors, who turned out to be a good friend and mentor, I started attending the meetings. It was a year or so into the program that I had the desire to start a blog as a way to share resources and encouragement with the other women in the group. My mentor thought it was a great idea and totally encouraged me to go ahead with it. I did get as far as registering a domain name and paying for a package at a web hosting site. I kept that active for two years then decided not to continue as I hadn’t gotten it off the ground. I think the big hurdle was, and has always been, the fear of putting myself out there. It was difficult to share my story even with people I knew well never mind with the world at large. Six or so years ago I tried to start a blog again, twice, this time with free Word Press, but it still wasn’t coming together for me. This year when I felt inspired to try again, it worked! I was so excited.

For some reason the process of writing has given me a sense of fulfilment and purpose. I am very excited about this new step and so glad to finally be in a place where it’s out of the old and into the new. I am not sure where all of this blogging/writing will take me, and I’m not sure how much sharing of my story will be required but I am excited for the journey. Fulfillment for me will be having something to say that someone’s heart needs to hear.

I have been reading books through all of this but won’t share them this time. Except to say, there was a book I read in 1992 about  how Joseph of Arimathea and band of new believers travelled to Britain after Jesus death to escape the persecution of the Romans. It covers the  time from 4 BC or so, up to 1640 or so. The book is called Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England by Donna Fletcher Crow. It is a long book, over 800 pages, but a fascinating read. I loved it and wanted to read it again but, sadly, had loaned it out.  On an outside chance, the other day when I was thinking about it  I checked Amazon and there it was,  it has been reissued as an ebook. You know what I will be reading for the next while. If you are interested in historical fiction check it out. The legends come to life. One of my takeaways from this book was that the Irish and Scots are cousins who can’t get a long. Who knew! Although it does make sense when you think about it.

Happy reading and, hopefully, encouraged hearts!

The goal is not to inspire you to like the same books. The goal is to inspire you to like books. Books that you like.


*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

ALL this week I have been thinking through the list of books read so far and it seems that most of the books have been mysteries and thrillers….. it feels a little lopsided. I do read  romances, cozy mysteries, and other things too, but the way my filters are set up in BookBub, each day’s suggestions seem to be mysteries and thrillers  more often than not. And when romances do show up I usually read them first, needing a break from the darker side, and then it’s back to mysteries again for awhile. All of that to say, I am happy that this weeks list has a bigger variety of light and dark than we’ve had so far, I am hoping you will be happy about that too.

I’ve also been thinking today about my goal here and out of that thinking has come a small change to my routine. I’ve decided that I should include books I read but didn’t necessarily like. If my reason for not liking a book is purely personal and not a legitimate complaint about the quality of writing and story line, it seems only fair to include it anyway, because … others may quite like the book. The book I’ve included today is well written, has an interesting story even, but moves at a slower pace than I like. I found myself skimming a lot and about half way through the book gave up and skipped to the last 50 pages, and skimmed through a lot of them too. I don’t enjoy rabbit trails and a lot of extra detail that doesn’t seem, to me, to be necessary to the story.  And, since well known authors have endorsed this book and I have no other complaints it seems only fair to add it to the list. I did like it enough though to want to know how it ended!

I really enjoyed all the rest of the books in this list. Check them out on Amazon for a better description of each book, maybe you will find something you would really like to read too.

Stain of Guilt (Hidden Faces book 2) – Brandilyn Collins ……  there is a 20 year old murder cold case, and the wife of the murder victim is convinced that Annie is the one she wants to draw an aged version of the suspect for a special TV show wanting to highlight and solve this cold case.

First Lady of Three Rivers Ranch – book 1  – Liz Isaacson …… Heidi is home for the summer and looking for a job to pay for her last year of Pastry Chef school. The handsome cowboy was not part of her life plan.

Brink of Death (Hidden Faces Series book 1) – Brandilyn Collins …. Annie and her kids move back to the mansion in Grove Landing after the death of her notorious lawyer father. A graphic artist, used to courtrooms, Annie find herself involved in a murder case  tasked with producing an artist sketch of the shooter.

Baking is Murder (A Bee’s Bakehouse cozy mystery) – Kathy Cranston ….  Jessie moves back to Springdale to help her aunt Bee after her life falls apart in the big city.  Life in Springdale turns out to be anything but dull…..

Every Bride Needs a Groom (Brides with Style book 1) – Janice Thompson …… Katie has always loved all things wedding and was talked into entering a contest to win a designer wedding dress for the wedding she was sure was going to happen with her longtime boyfriend.

The Random Acts of Cupid – Amanda Tru ……. Elise is a secret cupid, trying to be helpful. A lawyer discovers her secret and threatens to expose her.

Along Came a Prince – Carol Moncado ……… Ellie can’t abide pretty boys, especially rich spoiled ones, who end up in her group on a wilderness weekend. She  will discover things are not always what they seem.

None so Blind – Chautona Havig …….. Dani wakes up one morning, terrified, with no memories of her life and family. She had to learn trust and love all over again.

Beyond the Waves – Lynnette Bonner …… after many years a high school boyfriend returns to town wanting to make amends for a hurtful breakup.

Rescuing Lady Bugs – Diane Lil Adams….. Maura travels to check out a mountain cabin inherited from grandparents she hadn’t seen since her parents divorced many years ago.

Deadly Pursuit (Guardians of Justice book 2)  – Irene Hannon ….. a Child Services worker is targeted  by an unknown person with a vendetta for a wrong perceived to be her fault. ….a good story but not my favorite

Fatal Judgement (Guardians of Justice book 1) – Irene Hannon….. a Judge is targeted by someone unhappy with how their life went after an unfair but unavoidable ruling.