Story prompt – Compliment

I must compliment you both. It’s inspiring the way you complement one another.

Compliments are amazing things, often underestimated, I think.

It seems, if some of the stories I’ve read are to be believed, there are segments of society reluctant to give compliments because they are thought to encourage pride. Then there are other segments who are just plain mean and abusive. Not only do they not give compliments, they pile on the insults.

I love stories where a kind heart recognizes worth and goes to great lengths to promote healthy self-esteem in the down trodden.

There is a popular old story I’ve never forgotten. A young farmer was looking for a wife. He picked a young woman, shy and insecure, with literally no marriage prospects. The village people could not understand his choice, in their estimation she had nothing to offer as a farmer’s wife.

The going bride price was two cows. He chose to pay double that. Four cows was unheard of, never mind for a wife with so few talents to recommend her.

He took her home, treated her like a precious treasure and over time she blossomed to became all he knew she could be.

Compliments are powerful and for us to blossom we need them as much as we need food and water. At least that’s what I think.

Then there is complement. (to make complete)

How many stories have I read lately where the author pairs characters because they complement each other. The restaurant owner who is an awesome chef and a hopeless bookkeeper. The female ranch owner struggling with endless heavy chores requiring a man’s strength. Or even the one tasked with jobs requiring two or more people to meet deadlines. How many of us would kill ourselves trying before we would ever reach out.

It’s not easy admitting we need help. I know I struggle with that. Last summer I chose to fight to prune small trees myself rather than ask. My neighbor who is taller, heavier, stronger, (never mind younger) would have gladly helped.

In stories there is often a stubborn character who will not ask or even allow someone to help. Of course, one of the requirements of a good novel is tension and stubborn provides that in spades. By the end, though, they are working together and life is rosy.

It happens that way in real life too if we let it. We’re better together. Especially when our talents complement one another.

I like these two words.

The same only different.

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Story Prompt is hosted by Sunday Scribblings

Read and enjoyed January 24, 2021

My very favorite read this week had depth and layers. Many layers. New discoveries appeared throughout the course of the book with the biggest one at the very end.

Reading this story was an emotional but enriching journey, with many tears along the way. Tears for both of us, the reader and the character. The thing I love most about these stories? There will be a line, a scene, an emotional event, that resonates with me and my life and sheds light on needs I may or may not realize I have. I’m grateful. I’ve not lived though cancer but I can relate to broken families and the effect it can have throughout a lifetime.

Aside from the value of whatever portion speaks to me, I loved this book for itself alone.

The Faded Photo

Some things should be kept private.” Frances Snyder can never quite get her mother’s voice out of her headhow to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Frances’s home life is demanding, and while she’s busy seeing to everyone else’s needs, Frances doesn’t have the luxury of spare time.

So when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, she thinks that she can handle it on her own. Dealing with endless tests, brutal chemotherapy, and the looming specter of surgery, Frances chooses to face cancer on her own terms: alone. That is, until she finally understands that unexpected friendship—and unconditional love—can offer hope in the darkest hours.

With tenderness, grace, and flashes of humor, bestselling author Sarah Price draws upon her own experience as a breast cancer survivor to create a story about one woman’s determined and solitary journey into the unknown—in hopes that she’ll find her way back home.

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The next books were all awesome reads as well and I can highly recommend any of them,

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It has been the best. This reading week.

My current read is a major favorite too. It’s deep, with many layers. A struggle, a romance, a mystery, all rolled into one.

Stay with Me (Misty River Romance, A Book #1)

A mysterious letter alluding to a secret in her parents’ past brings Genevieve Woodward back to her Blue Ridge Mountains hometown, but she’s also in need of a break from a high-profile career that has left her dangerously burned out and concealing a powerful secret of her own. When she wakes inside an unfamiliar cottage to find the confused owner staring down at her, she can no longer ignore the fact that she needs help.  

Sam Turner has embraced his sorrow and his identity as an outsider. The solitary, disciplined life he lives on his historic farm is the life he’s chosen for himself. The last thing he wants is to rent his cottage to a woman as troubled as she is talkative. Yet, he can’t force himself to turn her away right when she needs him most. 

As Genevieve researches her family’s history and her and Sam’s emotions deepen, they will have to let go of the facades and loneliness they’ve clung to and allow light to illuminate every hidden truth.  

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This is story prompt day, I will have to shift gears to come up with something for Compliment.

Happy Reading!

Another awesome bargain book Jan 22/21

Another bargain book I can’t resist. I would save this for tomorrow but what if the promo price expires before then. That would be a tragedy of epic proportions. The audio sample will have you clicking the purchase button just like me.

Stay with Me (Misty River Romance, A Book #1)

Amazon quote:

A mysterious letter alluding to a secret in her parents’ past brings Genevieve Woodward back to her Blue Ridge Mountains hometown, but she’s also in need of a break from a high-profile career that has left her dangerously burned out and concealing a powerful secret of her own. When she wakes inside an unfamiliar cottage to find the confused owner staring down at her, she can no longer ignore the fact that she needs help.  

Sam Turner has embraced his sorrow and his identity as an outsider. The solitary, disciplined life he lives on his historic farm is the life he’s chosen for himself. The last thing he wants is to rent his cottage to a woman as troubled as she is talkative. Yet, he can’t force himself to turn her away right when she needs him most. 

As Genevieve researches her family’s history and her and Sam’s emotions deepen, they will have to let go of the facades and loneliness they’ve clung to and allow light to illuminate every hidden truth.  

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The temptation is strong to start the book this minute. It kills me not to but my just-started current read is every bit as enticing. What a nice problem to have. Two books loudly calling my name. It’s going to be a great weekend.

My current read found here Secrets at Cedar Cabin

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Happy Reading!

Free and bargain repeats, January 22, 2021

The books popping up today showed up several years ago and it’s a good time to mention them again.

Summer of Dreams: A From This Moment Novella (bargain)

Amazon quote:

The daughter of a powerful army general, Evelyn White dreams of attending college and vows she will never marry a man in uniform. . . . which is why West Point cadet Clyde Brixton presents a problem. Clyde’s brilliance in the new field of electrical power has him poised for a promising career in the Army’s Corps of Engineers, but his penchant for racking up demerits threatens his chances for graduation.

Evelyn and Clyde feel instant attraction toward one another as they spend one magical summer together. As their lives become more entwined, their friend Romulus’s begins to come undone. When faced with helping Romulus at the expense of his own future, which one will Clyde choose? And when nothing turns out the way Evelyn planned, where will that leave her own future?

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Toward the Sunrise: An Until the Dawn Novella (bargain)

Amazon quote:

Julia Broeder is only six months shy of graduating from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania when one small decision spirals out of control and results in her expulsion. Hoping to travel the world as a missionary doctor, her only choice is to return back home . . . or throw herself upon the mercy of Ashton Carlyle.

Formal and straight-laced, Ashton is not pleased to see an expelled Julia arrive at his Manhattan office. His position as an attorney for the Vandermark family’s world-famous shipping empire entails taking care of the Broeders, longtime employees of the Vandermarks. But Ashton has no intention of using his employer’s resources in defense of Julia’s impulsive and reckless actions.

What Ashton does not expect are a scathing reprimand from none other than the Vandermark family patriarch and the bewildering resistance from Julia herself when he’s forced to change his tune. At an impasse, Ashton and Julia are unprepared for the revelations that arise or the adventure that awaits them.

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None So Blind (Sight Unseen Book 1) (FREE)

Amazon quote:

Dani and Ella Weeks–two women who share one thing in common–the same life, the same family, and the same body.

When Dani wakes with no knowledge of who or where she is–no memories of her life at all–David and Dani Weeks discover that “til death do us part” takes on an entirely unexpected meaning. Practically speaking, Dani died. But she didn’t.

In a desperate attempt to separate the old life from the new, Dani insists on a new name–Ella.

Ella’s doctors can’t explain what happened. Her children can’t understand why she doesn’t know them, and her husband finds himself torn between admiration for the “new” version of his wife and missing the woman he’s known for over fifteen years.

Will Ella ever regain her memory? Why does their pastor suspect it’s one great hoax?

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I’m currently reading one of yesterday’s suggestions. I think it is going to be a nail-biter. This is a limited-time special offer so it pays to be quick if you are interested.

Secrets at Cedar Cabin (A Lavender Tides Novel Book 3) 

Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was. Can Bailey even trust herself anymore?  

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down. 

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava. 

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I’ve read and enjoyed the first three so I’m confident you are seeing worthwhile reads. I’m confident about the fourth one too because of the author. It’s been another good day for treasures.

Happy Reading

I hope you are as excited about your current read as I am about mine.

Free and bargain books January 21, 2021

Bargain books from several popular authors is what we have this time. Collections are nice but sometimes an assortment of single books from varying series is nice too. Colleen Coble is up first.

Two Reasons to Run (The Pelican Harbor Series Book 2) 

Amazon quote:

A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol. 

A crisis looms.

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged.

A killer targets her son.

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good.

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays? 

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Secrets at Cedar Cabin (A Lavender Tides Novel Book 3)

Amazon quote:

Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was. Can Bailey even trust herself anymore?  

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down. 

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava. 

Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington’s coast where nothing is quite as it seems.  

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This next one is from popular author Terri Blackstock

Smoke Screen 

Amazon quote:

One father was murdered. Another was convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado hometown. His mother begs him to come back now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down not long after, people assumed Nate set the fire to get even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left town without looking back.

Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and now she’s fighting a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. Brenna is barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As Nate and Brenna deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—the past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

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My current read is a nice change of pace. I’ve only just started, it seems like it will be a worthwhile read though. It’s still FREE too.

Publishable By Death (St. Marin’s Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Change is hard in a small Southern town, especially when it brings a side of murder.

All Harvey Beckett wants to do is help the residents of St. Marin’s find the perfect book for that moment, snuggle with her hound dog Mayhem, and be ignored by her cat Aslan. But when the small, waterside town’s newest resident discovers the body of the community’s persnickety reporter in her bookshop storeroom just before her grand opening, Harvey can’t help trying to solve the crime, even when it might cost her business and her life. The more questions Harvey asks, the more secrets she uncovers.

Will Harvey and her friends be able to solve the murder of the town reporter without her becoming a victim herself?

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It was a pleasure to find awesome books. Exciting even.

Happy Reading

I will be happy reading too.

Free and bargain books January 20, 2021

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us today from a regular contributor to our book collection.

Deepest Roots of the Heart (Legacy of the Vines Book 1)

Amazon quote:

During WWII, Avelino Carrillo spent four harrowing years in the South Pacific with one thought driving his survival: to return to his beloved home in Napa Valley.

The Carrillos have a history in the valley that stretches deep, like grapevine roots in the soil. For a century, they worked the vineyard at their family home, la Casa de los Sueños, until they lost the property to a wealthy land baron. Now, Avelino is determined to reclaim the land and home he loves so much. When he meets Amelia, a young woman who lives at the vineyard with her grandfather, he finds that regaining his birthright isn’t his only struggle—he battles the longing of his heart as well.

Can Avelino overcome the local bigotry and personal demons that face him to create the life he desires?

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Browsing, I found a bargain priced pre-order for a new collection coming out in March with authors names from my favorites list.

A Place to Belong: A Collection of 12 Heartwarming Novels with Animal Sidekicks

Amazon quote:

Family and friends you can depend on, close-knit communities who embrace you, and the special animal companions that have a knack for changing lives and bringing us purpose…

A PLACE TO BELONG has them all, ready and waiting for you. Immerse yourself in this 12-book collection of stories about women who rose to the challenges life threw their way and emerged stronger because of it.

New York Times bestselling author Melissa Storm joins established and emerging talent in the genre of Women’s Fiction to bring you a heartwarming set of novels to entertain, inspire, and to show you the ones you love amidst its pages.

Because home isn’t a place. It’s the people (and the animal friends) who give life its purpose.

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A Free cozy mystery showed up, I’ve not read this author but it looks intriguing and the price is right.

Publishable By Death (St. Marin’s Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Change is hard in a small Southern town, especially when it brings a side of murder.

All Harvey Beckett wants to do is help the residents of St. Marin’s find the perfect book for that moment, snuggle with her hound dog Mayhem, and be ignored by her cat Aslan. But when the small, waterside town’s newest resident discovers the body of the community’s persnickety reporter in her bookshop storeroom just before her grand opening, Harvey can’t help trying to solve the crime, even when it might cost her business and her life. The more questions Harvey asks, the more secrets she uncovers.

Will Harvey and her friends be able to solve the murder of the town reporter without her becoming a victim herself?

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Well, we definitely have some variety going on here today and more than one book makes this a good day.

Happy Reading …

… on this grey but warm day.

1 degree celsius (above freezing) in the middle of January where I live is considered a very warm day. I haven’t decided if we should be happy. I guess if we care about winter sports this won’t be good news. We haven’t had any really cold weather yet this season (-40c) and I think I heard them say we’ve only had three days with -25c so far. Our recent new-comers from warmer countries will be glad, 1c seems cold enough to them.

They say the temps will drop tomorrow but with fickle weather we will have to wait and see about that.

To my roasting friends in the southern hemisphere, we would be happy to make a little trade, ship you a few hours of our cool… Wouldn’t that be nice!

On a happy note: I do love winter, that’s why I chose to come live here and a warmish winter gives me best of both worlds. Life is good.

And I have books!

Bargain book January 19, 2021

1531 Entertainment has an interesting but serious bargain suggestion for us.

The Faded Photo

Amazon quote:

Some things should be kept private. Frances Snyder can never quite get her mother’s voice out of her head—how to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Frances’s home life is demanding, and while she’s busy seeing to everyone else’s needs, Frances doesn’t have the luxury of spare time.

So when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, she thinks that she can handle it on her own. Dealing with endless tests, brutal chemotherapy, and the looming specter of surgery, Frances chooses to face cancer on her own terms: alone. That is, until she finally understands that unexpected friendship—and unconditional love—can offer hope in the darkest hours.

With tenderness, grace, and flashes of humor, bestselling author Sarah Price draws upon her own experience as a breast cancer survivor to create a story about one woman’s determined and solitary journey into the unknown—in hopes that she’ll find her way back home.

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This is all I have. There is nothing else interesting on the horizon at the moment. I did spend time browsing but most of the good suggestions are books we’ve seen before and that really isn’t very helpful.

My current read is a book that I’m reluctant to recommend, I’ll think on it some more before deciding what to do about it.

I’m having trouble staying awake or even thinking straight. It’s time to call it a night. Maybe tomorrow will be better, especially if there are books we can get excited about.

In the meantime …

Happy reading, and a restful night.

Bargain books January 18, 2021

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us this morning. Another author I’ve never heard of. It’s amazing how many great writers are out there, I think this may be one of them. I’m looking forward to finding out.

No One’s Bride (Escape to the West Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

Becoming a mail order bride is Amy’s last resort, but after narrowly escaping an attack by her lecherous employer, she’s desperate to escape. She won’t marry her waiting groom, however. She’ll find a way to repay him the train fare, but a lifetime of hardship has taught her to rely only on herself.

Adam’s life in the small Californian town of Green Hill Creek has everything he could want, except someone to love. Although hurt when Amy arrives and he discovers the truth, he feels God prompting him to protect her. But he’ll have to risk everything to show her he can be the refuge she longs for.

Amy’s determination to trust only in herself wavers in the presence of Adam’s kindness and charm, but when danger finds her again, will she flee?

Or will she stay and fight for a life she never dreamed could be hers?

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Last night, I read yesterday’s download and it was awesome. It’s still FREE

A Western Bond (Christian Romantic Suspense): Sacred Bond Guardians Book Five 

Amazon quote:

Back in Miracle, Montana after escaping her stalker boss on the east coast, Serena Harrington is in desperate need of a job to support her and her adopted son. As luck would have it, Mark Stern, her teenage crush, is hiring.

As the new interim president of Agape College, Mark is on the hunt for a secretary. With the tarnished reputation of his womanizing predecessor, Mark needs someone who will make the right impression. And he needs to keep his past locked away.

Serena and Mark working together is a perfect situation, until they uncover a link between them that might be the perfect storm to destroy Mark’s career. Will the secret they share bond them together, or tear them apart?

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Well, I was hoping for more but one is better than none. There is one source I’ve not heard from yet today, if they came through and there’s more I’ll do a follow up post.

In the meantime,

Happy Reading

Free book January 17, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us. I’ve downloaded a number of this author’s books and look forward to another one.

A Western Bond : Sacred Bond Guardians Book Five

Amazon quote:

Back in Miracle, Montana after escaping her stalker boss on the east coast, Serena Harrington is in desperate need of a job to support her and her adopted son. As luck would have it, Mark Stern, her teenage crush, is hiring.

As the new interim president of Agape College, Mark is on the hunt for a secretary. With the tarnished reputation of his womanizing predecessor, Mark needs someone who will make the right impression. And he needs to keep his past locked away.

Serena and Mark working together is a perfect situation, until they uncover a link between them that might be the perfect storm to destroy Mark’s career. Will the secret they share bond them together, or tear them apart?

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I’m between books again. I say this often. I think the reason usually is me not wanting to interrupt reading to share a post. Hence the between books situation. I would tell you what’s next but I’m not sure yet. Podcasts and jig-saw puzzles have more allure these days.

I did attempt, rather unsuccessfully, to browse for more books so our poor one wouldn’t be lonely.

Tomorrow could be better. Sometimes Monday is a profitable day with suggestions from multiple sources. Hopefully that will be the case tomorrow.

In the meantime, this new download can fight it out with the newly started jig-saw for my attention.

I wish I could read and do a jig-saw at the same time. So far, it’s not working out real well. May have to resort to audio books one day.

Happy Reading