A Penny For Her Heart

It has been a great summer. Lots of travelling, lots of reading, not much writing. I will probably share some of my adventures soon but let’s try to catch up  a bit and get straight to some books.

Hopefully, the summer has been good to all of you as well.

An update on a recent post about the YA books I found for my grandsons summer reading. They were a hit, both with the kids and the adults. Yes!!!


A penny for her heart  Detective Rachel Storme series – A Penny For Her Heart book 3 – Alretha Thomas ….. Vanessa and Penny share a dream – to become Chief of Staff to the White House – a dream that drew them together as best friends after a chance meeting in college.

The last few years of working in the Mayor’s office has them on the right track to reach their goal. Life looks good. When a promotion comes up and goes to Penny, Vanessa is feeling slighted. She has seniority and the job should have been hers. Those thoughts quickly become irrelevant when she arrives at work to discover Penny brutally murdered and posed in the ladies washroom, the floor covered in thousands of pennies.

The thing I liked most about this book; there were lots of possible suspects and many red herrings to keep us guessing. Detective Rachel Storme had her work cut out for her, trying to prove who really did it. This is my favorite book this month. it was an interesting read and the ending was a surprise.


None so Blind Sight Unseen Series – None so Blind book 1 – Chautona Havig …. Dani freaks when her eyes open to a room she doesn’t recognize, a stranger is beside her in bed, and the face in the mirror doesn’t look like her. David tries to console her but in the end has no idea how to reach his hysterical wife and calls 911.

Unable to find a cause and having run out of treatment options, Dani is released to go home from the hospital. This leaves her feeling trapped, but what other choice is there, she has nowhere else to go and no means to support herself.

They tell her she is a wife and a mother of three but remembers none of it. When she sees the neglected house they live in she is horrified to discover she is a lazy and disinterested wife and mother. In an effort to feel comfortable in strange surroundings, she slowly sets about making changes, changes that emphasis the fact that the new Dani is nothing like the old Dani. A stretching time of adjustment, for everyone. Will they survive this?


Wired Rogue A Paradise Crime Novel – Wired Rogue book 2 – Toby Neal  ….. Sophie Ang has spent most of her time with the FBI in her computer lab, chasing criminals from a secure location. It was a welcome change to be sent on a field assignment. An assignment that did not progress the way they hoped. Words were exchanged, threats were made and Sophie tendered her resignation effective immediately.

The fallout from this parting of the ways was the possible loss of her brainchild – tracking software, able to search multiple databases. Also lost would be the reason to search for The Ghost, an illusive vigilante she’d been tracking and communicating with for months.

A valuable asset does not go long without being snapped up and a private sector company lost no time in knocking on her door with a job offer. An offer to breach a cult compound to rescue the children they were after on her failed FBI assignment.

The agent she is paired with is a bit of a loose canon so it’s a good thing she has been trained to take care of herself.


The Treasure Harbour Series – seven novellas centered around the quest for gold. Legendary pirate Drake Burton is said to have buried a treasure of jewels from his wife’s  dowry, to spite her murdering father. Camilla took a bullet meant for him when her father tried to stop the marriage.

Two hundred years later the family feud is alive and well, and treasure hunters are still flocking to the resort town in search of the prize.

If you see something here that piques your interest, or sparks a desire to search through available books for something more suited to your liking…. I will consider this a win.

Happy reading.

Here’s to finding good books!







the Book of Negroes

This book is a solid 5 stars, in my estimation.


The Book of Negroes

This is a story written to capture your interest. I was surprised at the unexpected way it captured mine, given the difficult subject matter.

To be honest, it took me over two years to find the courage to read this book. I purchased  it only because it kept showing up as a must-read everywhere I turned. I decided to give it a chance but then couldn’t bring myself to read it as quickly as I normally would.

Reluctance to pick it up as the next-read meant it was buried deeper and deeper with each new downloaded book. Out of sight where it couldn’t make me feel guilty for passing it by, again. I did feel guilty, paying for a book and then not reading it, but mostly I felt guilty for not having the courage to read it.

I was avoiding it because, I know by experience, stories like this are hard to read.

Once I decided to take the plunge it didn’t take long to realize, Lawrence Hill has a gift for telling a story of horrific circumstances in a way that compels you to keep reading. There was no melodrama or righteous indignation. Just an honest, engaging, telling of the facts.

This is a fictional depiction of a 50 year slice of history, and the body of research to back it up is impressive. Also impressive is the size of the team working with him to make it happen.

I think there are many reasons why it’s important to read stories such as this. As you read, I know you will discover some of the reasons for yourself. We all come from a perspective and understanding of life, colored by the circumstances in our own little corner of the world. The messages we take away from reading a book like this will be influenced by the lives we each live. I find it’s that way with most books really, they speak to us where we are at any given time.

There are several important lessons I’ve learned while reading books such as this.  The first is this – cruelty has visited all people groups at some point in history and no people group is exempt from giving or receiving cruelty. We all have reason to weep for our ancestors as we discover cruelty endured, we have reason to rejoice with them for kindnesses received. And sometimes we have reason to be ashamed as we discover their treatment of others.

The second thing I’ve learned is that no people group is all good or all bad. For each cruel person, there are many more that are loving and kind. The cruel ones seem to get more notice, probably because they are often able to make life miserable for the masses. It makes me sad to see the way we humans treat each other. It also makes me sad to realize there is “nothing new under the sun”, cruelty and greed is an age old problem.

I can tell a book has been good for me when I am left saying……. I had no idea.

I had no idea that Black Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia Canada in 1783-1784, never mind that they came in such large numbers. It was a surprise to learn they were there because Britain promised rewards for loyalty to their war effort in the US. It was also a surprise to learn that a decade later a large number would accept similar promises of a good life if they would return to West Africa and take up the challenge to establish a colony in Sierra Leone.

I had no idea that thousands of former slaves had the same opportunity, over the years, to return to West Africa to settle, or to help settle, a number of countries like – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and Ghana.

The Book of Negroes is the story of a beautiful eleven year old girl captured as a slave, learning to survive in spite of catastrophic circumstances, becoming a strong, intelligent, and productive woman, loved by everyone she encounters.

I liked this book for the historical education it gave me, but mostly…….. I liked it for the honest way it brought to life a heart wrenching story.