Free book May 16, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion that looks interesting. It seems pretty clear that there is baggage involved. Lots of it.

Baggage Claim (Hope Again Book 1)

Amazon quote:

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?
When Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, decides to track down his biological parents, he discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches. The deeper he digs, the more Ben would rather cover it all up again and pretend he never met them.

Things grow exponentially more complicated when he discovers shady dealings at his job at Great Lakes Therapy. Piece by piece, his comfortable life crumbles as he becomes caught up in a dangerous network of fraud and deception. Anxious to protect his children, he convinces their nanny – who isn’t quite what she appears to be – to take them to safety while he wrestles with just how much he can trust his “new” relatives to help. When everything is unraveled, and there is no one else to lean on, will Ben find the courage he needs to see it through and the wisdom to lean on the One who can save them all?

*************************

That’s all I have for the moment.
I’m heading outside to work in the garden for a while. I have a This & That post rolling around in my mind so maybe it will happen a little later.

Happy Sunday Reading

Bargain books May 15, 2021

BookBub has a bargain suggestion today. I have one book from this author in my collection and it’s from 2013. I don’t remember reading it, this will be like a first time introduction.

Waiting for Daybreak (Tomorrow’s Promise Collection)

Amazon quote:

Paige Woodward is a woman without choices. Her destitute mother’s only hope for a cure isn’t covered by insurance. When a dream opportunity arises at a brand-new pharmacy, Paige is willing to keep quiet about her past to make sure she lands the job.

For Clarissa Richardson, the dream of running her own pharmacy comes to a screeching halt when her grandfather hires a too-perfect new girl who seems to be hiding something. How far will they go to protect their dreams for tomorrow?

What will happen when one woman’s last hope means ruining another woman’s greatest dream?

*************************

Currently I am reading and enjoying a popular author we’ve seen many times.

The Water Keeper (A Murphy Shepherd Novel Book 1) 

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.

*********************************

Happy Reading!

Bargain book May 14, 2021

BookBub’s weekly top ten list has this interesting book as #1. Historical novels can have a tendency toward boring, Knowing the author and reading the first chapter I can tell this won’t be one of them.

I’ve read Lynn Austin through the years and her name alone had my interest peaked even before any investigation. I don’t have to think twice about deciding on this one for myself.

There is something about this cover that makes me wonder if I’ve read this, back before Kindle and e-books. It will be fun finding out.

Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles Book #1)

Amazon quote:

Bestselling Author Lynn Austin Launches New Biblical Saga

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo’s prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God’s chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.

Zechariah, Iddo’s oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather’s ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

***************************

This new find will not be offered at such a low price for very long so grab it quick if you are interested.

I thought I was going to have to write a this and that post today but look at that, saved by the bell, I mean email.

My current book is light reading compared to today’s newest find. Light is good after spending time with murder and mayhem, though, so I’m not complaining.

***************************

Here in Hart’s Crossing: Four Charming Small Town Novellas by Robin Lee Hatcher

In the charming town of Hart’s Crossing, neighbors still care about neighbors and visitors are offered a respite from fast-paced living as they observe the antics of its lovable residents.

A daughter returns home from the big city to care for her injured mother. Childhood sweethearts reconnect after decades apart. A single mom finds herself the target of her starry-eyed daughter’s matchmaking scheme. And a young couple struggles to find their own American dream in this wonderful collection of four novellas from bestselling author Robin Lee Hatcher.

*****************

Until tomorrow, Happy Reading

bargain book May 13, 2021

One book found today. This author is new to me, although I think she may have been involved in one of many collections we’ve had lately. I’m looking forward to meeting Denise Hunter.

Married ’til Monday (A Chapel Springs Romance Book 4)

Amazon quote:

With a big anniversary party in the works for his ex-wife’s parents, Ryan has just one weekend to play Abby’s husband . . . and win back the woman of his dreams.

Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive two-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.

Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.

Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. It’s just a one-week road trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

*************************

My current read…

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.

**********************

Happy Reading

Four new bargain books May 12, 2021

I’m browsing this morning, on the hunt for interesting bargain books. Once I get started, the challenge to find buried treasure is not easy to resist.

This first one is a pre-order for an author appearing here often.

Somewhere Along the Way: A Christian Romance (New Hope Falls Book 8) 

Amazon quote:

She is already busy juggling her life, but now she’s been roped into helping plan her high school reunion.

Emma Clarke breaks up the solitude of life on her small farm outside of New Hope Falls by helping out at the florist shop in town. Except now she’s on the reunion committee with people she’d never spent any time with in high school. Which would have been fine if it hadn’t been for him also being part of the reunion committee.

An injury has derailed his career and put his future health in jeopardy, so after ten years away, he’s come home to New Hope Falls.

Tanner MIkkelson never planned to return to the small town where he grew up. As star of the high school football team, he’d gone on to college fame which opened the door to a career as a professional quarterback. After several super successful years, his fame and fortune have grown enormously, but they are no protection against a hit that causes a serious concussion. With a history of concussions, he takes the advice of his doctors to retire from the sport.

With his injury forcing him to reevaluate many things in his life, Tanner has to acknowledge that he treated Emma and their friendship badly. Top of his list upon return to New Hope Falls is to apologize and try to make things right with Emma. Too bad she really doesn’t want to give him the time of day. He hopes that working on the reunion committee together will help, but she isn’t making it easy.

**************************

This looks interesting

A Mother’s Love: … it knows no bounds

Journey from the warm, West Coast of South Africa to the cooler English shores of Norfolk with the intriguing and heartwarming small-town stories in this limited edition Mother’s Day celebration boxed set and discover that a mother’s love knows no bounds.

ONE CHRISTMAS WISH

Can one start over by disappearing?

With a change of identity for both herself and her infant son, Delaney and Aidan Jamison flee a bad situation to start a new life far away from everything they love. Soon, they settle into a relaxed lifestyle in a small town on the western coast of South Africa. Well, as relaxed as Delaney can be while looking over her shoulder every day.

Then came those fanciful wishes made on a shooting star with her kind—and handsome—neighbor that first Christmas Eve. And everything changed. Again.

IN AN ENGLISH VINTAGE GARDEN

An unexpected inheritance unlocks secrets from the past.

Jack Lancaster. A name Ellen Oakley has never heard before, and yet the old man has left Ellen an English seaside cottage in his will.

It’s been a catastrophic year. Ellen has suffered through a broken engagement, the sudden death of her father, and the loss of her job. Only one person stands in the way of Ellen flying to England to claim her inheritance and make a fresh start. Her mother.

It takes some convincing, but Ellen manages to get her mom to agree to accompany her to England for a time. As the quaint English cottage on the Norfolk shores offers up its ghosts and skeletons in the closet, one woman finds closure, the other a new beginning.

******************************

I haven’t downloaded this author in a while. It’s Christmas, I’m up for that any time of year.

Until Christmas: A Christian Christmas Romance (The Potter’s House Book 16) 

How do you know when a person is part of God’s will?

Amanda’s struggling to make it through the holidays and so she picks up a part-time job at the mall in Spokane, Washington.

What was supposed to be just a way to help financially turns out to be much more after one evening when a particular man walks into her department.

When do you know God is sending someone into your life? How can you tell if it’s not just another distraction to pull you away from God?

I was quitting until I remembered there was one more.

A Match for Magnolia (Seven Suitors for Seven Sisters Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Womanizer. Adulterer. Divorced. That is Lord Davis Rathbone’s history. His future? He vows to never marry or fall in love again—repeating his past mistakes, not worth the risk. Then he meets Magnolia Blume, and filling his days penning poetry no longer seems an alternative to channel his pent-up feelings. With God’s help, surely he can keep this rare treasure and make it work this time?

Magnolia Blume’s life is perfect, except for one thing—Davis Rathbone is everything she’s not looking for in a man. He doesn’t strike her as one prone to the sentiments of family, or religion, but her judgments could be premature.

Magnolia must look beyond the gossip, Davis’s past, and their differences to find her perfect match, because, although flawed, Davis has one redeeming quality—he is a man after God’s own heart.

**************************

If anything shows up later we’ll talk again.

Happy reading.

Read and enjoyed

In the last post I mentioned my current read and shared about needing to take breaks from it to keep going. Well, somewhere along the line things changed. Maybe it was the story or maybe it was a uninterrupted healthy block of available time. I found myself hooked and couldn’t put it down if I wanted to. In the end I loved this read and gave it five stars. That doesn’t happen very often.

It was charming and at the same time, a deeply emotional journey.

In the beginning we were all just getting to know each other. By the end we were a team, had each others backs, cheering wildly for new victories. How can you not become part of a story like that?

Had to share the excitement now to have a hope of sleeping anytime soon, and since it’s midnight…

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

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

“Rachel Hauck’s flair for inviting prose and well-drawn characters shines in this delightful story about searching for hope and healing within the most unexpected circle of people. Finely tuned themes of love, self-authenticity and discovering the benevolent hand of providence make this one sweet gem of a book.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War .

***********************

I haven’t moved beyond this story far enough to think about what’s next. For now I’ll just say good night.

Or good …. whatever time of day it happens to be when you read this.

See you again soon.

Couldn’t put it down

Currently, I’m reading The Fifth Avenue Story Society but I took a break to read Hailey’s Haven. That is the book I couldn’t put down. So good.

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

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?

******

The story line wasn’t exotic but it was well written and engaging. The characters were relatable and the one lazy arrogant jerk was taken down a peg. Highly satisfying.

Everything moved along at a steady pace, the resolution was unexpected and logical. Even if we didn’t see it coming. There were clues along the way with a few red herrings to keep us guessing.

I think it was the writing that kept me reading until it was done. Proving well crafted story trumps big flashy plot.

You need to read this. It’s still a bargain too.

******************************

The Fifth Avenue Story Society 

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

********

Francine Rivers says she couldn’t put this down. It was probably true for her but it’s not for me. Frequent breaks is my experience with this book. Usually I would skip chapters and maybe hop to the end and call it a day. In this case I can’t do that. While I need breaks I don’t want to miss anything.

I think a tale structured like this one would not be easily written. So many main characters with stories that all matter to the plot.

The whole idea is intriguing and it is developing in layers, it can’t help but keep reader interest alive. I still need breaks to replenish waning interest, it works. I have stick with it to know what is really going on and how it is all going to work out.

I’m almost half way through. I’ll let you know how it goes.

************************

So far today, I haven’t been faced with any good looking book suggestions.

If any show up before lights out I’ll let you know.

Happy reading y’all

Free book, and a few read and enjoyed. May 10, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion from a popular author. I was hoping for bargain books too but sadly, it’s not to be. There were a few possibles but in the end the attraction was not strong enough for me to cave and order them. Sort-of-like is just not enough.

Here in Hart’s Crossing: Four Charming Small Town Novellas

Amazon quote:

Welcome to Hart’s Crossing … the small town with a big heart!

In the charming town of Hart’s Crossing, neighbors still care about neighbors and visitors are offered a respite from fast-paced living as they observe the antics of its lovable residents.

A daughter returns home from the big city to care for her injured mother. Childhood sweethearts reconnect after decades apart. A single mom finds herself the target of her starry-eyed daughter’s matchmaking scheme. And a young couple struggles to find their own American dream in this wonderful collection of four novellas from bestselling author Robin Lee Hatcher.

Celebrating family, faith, and forgiveness, Here in Hart’s Crossing will warm your heart and soothe your spirit.

Includes: Legacy Lane * Veterans Way * Diamond Place * Sweet Dreams Drive

***************************

Three books qualified as enjoyed this week but they were not at the top of my most-favored list. I liked them enough to wish they could have been.

In each case there was a weakness showing up to demote them from the lofty first place position. Sort of a three-strikes-you’re-out situation. My favorite of the three was The Perfect Spy, it was a light-hearted, fun read with a quirky twist that really worked for me.

One more, almost-top-of-the-list book I forgot about.

All of these were good reads.

Currently I’m experiencing another quirky read. It’s too early in the game to figure out what is happening with this story but I’d like to know.

This is a good example of you-snooze-you-lose. The bargain price has expired.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

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

“Rachel Hauck’s flair for inviting prose and well-drawn characters shines in this delightful story about searching for hope and healing within the most unexpected circle of people. Finely tuned themes of love, self-authenticity and discovering the benevolent hand of providence make this one sweet gem of a book.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War 

****************************

If something interesting shows up later I’ll let you know.

Happy reading.

Happy Mother’s Day

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s a day to be grateful for Mothers, We all had one or we wouldn’t be here, that’s reason enough right there, to be grateful. Life is a precious gift.

Giving life is not an easy thing and wanting to do it more than once can seem like insanity. Those of us who are not firstborn are grateful Mom was excited about a new baby and seemed to forget the down side to the whole process.

If the pregnancy/giving birth thing wasn’t enough to discourage her, the terrible-two’s and potty training surely should have done it. That alone tells us why mothers need to be appreciated. For a week or more at least, never mind this business of only one day.

If we are truly honest, it’s a wonder some of us made it past childhood. You know who you are, don’t try to hide.

We are grateful for moms who gave us life and loved us enough to let us keep it.

Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com

Love you Mom!

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.

*******************************