Mysteries, with a little Romance

Mystery seems to be the theme in books read this time and I thoroughly enjoyed everything on the list. I love it when that happens. If you like mystery/thrillers I recommend you try these out. I am a fan of TV shows like CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Lie to Me, so it’s fun to find similar good books.

Blake Pierce and Cheryl Bradshaw are a couple of my new favorite mystery writers and Terri Blackstock is a long time favorite.

A couple of romances have been thrown in, just to lighten things up a bit. They are not your everyday fluff romances though so things haven’t lightened up too too much. A pleasing mix, I thought.

 

The Lost Heiress Ladies of the Manor – The Lost Heiress book 1 – Roseanna M White …. Brook Eden was raised in the palace in Monaco, brought there under suspicious circumstances by the woman she calls Maman. She is British but has no idea who she really is and expects she is low born and could never be deemed acceptable to marry her childhood friend Justin. Things change when Justin discovers who she really is. And meeting her family with their secrets puts her life in jeopardy all over again.

Distortion  Moonlighter Series – Distortion book 1 – Terri Blackstock …. Juliet Cole watches as her husband is gunned down in what she thinks is a random shooting. He has always been a model citizen and she cannot believe the things she is learning from the agencies investigating his death. There is little choice about believing when her home is ransacked and her life and that of her family is threatened. Juliet and her sisters help investigate, looking for the truth as secrets come to light, and life as she knows it crumbles. Was anything about her life real?

Once Taken Riley Paige Mystery – Once Taken book 2 – Blake Pierce …. Women are showing up dead, hanging in public places tied up in straight jackets and chains. Riley Paige is popular for her ability to get inside the mind of a serial killer and when called in to help with this case is reluctant to go because she is convinced the serial killer targeting her family has not died like everyone thinks. A page turner thriller. Once Gone book 1 is still free if you want to give this author a try. In fact there is a Blake Pierce Mystery Bundle that is free with 4 books in it, even better.

A Trace of Death  A Keri Locke  Mystery – A Trace of Death book 1 – Blake Pierce…. Keri, a Missing Persons detective in the Homicide division of LAPD, is haunted by the abduction of her still missing daughter. Obsessed with finding her, Keri buries herself in work to deal with the grief. A call about a girl missing two hours should have been ignored but she hears something in the mother’s voice that makes her decide to investigate. The trail has gone cold and she is ordered off the case but can’t bring herself to quit despite the possible repercussions. Everyone has secrets, especially the daughter, and the father. A dark thriller you can’t put down.

A Trace of Murder  A Keri Locke  Mystery – A Trace of Murder book 2 – Blake Pierce…. Keri, still haunted by the loss of her daughter has the first solid lead in years but she has to put it aside when a frantic call comes in from a well known plastic surgeon reporting his wife has been missing for 2 days. Keri is teamed up with a new partner (one she hates) while her regular partner recuperates from injuries sustained in the last case. On the surface it looks like this well liked socialite has tired of her life and run away but conflicting evidence makes Keri think there is something sinister going on. Another engrossing thriller.

Bed of Bones  Sloane Monroe Mystery – Bed of Bones book 5 – Cheryl Bradshaw … Sometimes even the deepest, darkest secrets find their way to the surface. 13 year old Willie Compton and his younger brother Leonard stumble upon an old mineshaft. Leonard’s slinky flips in to the opening and he slips and falls in when he reaches for it.  Present day interest in the mines has grown and the mysteries of the past are about to meet the present.

See Me, Cover Me  Full Heart Ranch Series – See Me, Cover Me book 4 – Barbara Gee…. Tanner James can barely remember who he was before FBI. Years of dangerous undercover work can change a man. He has learned to be whoever he needs to be to protect himself but that all changes when his boss orders him to take time off. One look in this cold volunteer’s eyes and determined Izzy Harding is plotting ways to lighten the man’s burdens. A task not for the faint of heart.


I hope you have been as lucky at finding good books as I have this time. Here’s to even more good books.

Happy Reading!

 

My greatest nightmare

This morning, just before waking up time, I dreamt I was going to a fancy restaurant, and just as I was seated, realized….. I forgot to bring my Kindle!

This was truly a disasterPanic sets in. How can I enjoy a fancy meal without him?

I also thought this was pretty funny and I just had to share.

My Kindle is a great friend, one who sticks closer than a brother, to quote a well known verse. He goes with me everywhere. And we have made some great memories together.

He has given me the courage to go places more often than I would  have otherwise.

Occasionally, as I am seated in a restaurant, I think about how pathetic it looks that my only companion is a book, and then I look on the bright side. If a book gives me courage and incentive, then how can that be a bad thing.

 

 

 

In the favorite author category – Charles Martin

I’ve decided to add some of my favorite, previously read books.

Looking through the lists of books read, it seems that many of my favorite authors are missing or under represented. If the pages are to be useful as a resource for reading suggestions there are some authors that need to be included. So I am going to retroactively add at least some of the books I’ve loved.  Here is the first author to pop into my head as I think about this.

I’ve mentioned one or two books written by Charles Martin before. This time I will give you the complete list of books I’ve read in the last couple of years, which is many of them.

Be ready, for an emotionally charged journey.  Researching the book descriptions has been a strong reminder that he will take you to great heights, and equal depths of emotion.  It’s an unforgettable experience. The book descriptions don’t measure up, in letting you know what you are in for.  It would take the first bit of each novel to even give you a little taste of what is in store. His books are poignant and deeply touching. He writes with honesty, facing life in a vey real way that will change you

So…. here are 12 great books for you

Chasing Fireflies  Chasing Fireflies…. Never settle for less than the truth, she told him. But when you don’t even know your real name, the truth gets a little complicated. As Chase Walker found out, finding the truth about yourself can be as elusive, and as magical, as chasing fireflies on a summer night. A haunting story of discovery.

 

the Dead Don't Dance book 1 Awakening – The Dead Don’t Dance book 1….. In a sleepy rural town it’s the end of summer and a baby is about to be born. In the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Sykes 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? A bittersweet but triumphant love story.

 

Maggie book 2  Awakening – Maggie book 2 …. Life began again for Dylan when his wife awoke from a coma brought on by the intense two day labor to deliver their son. In this poignant love story, to embrace their future they must first come to terms with their past.

 

A Life Intercepted  A Life Intercepted… Matthew Rising had it all. He was married to his high school sweetheart, was one of the best quarterbacks in college football and a number one NFL draft pick. On the night of the draft he was accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence and he lost it all including his freedom. Out of prison, he wants to find his wife who has been in hiding since the trial. He finds her living among the nuns of the Catholic school, coaching a teenage boy with exceptional ability. She will speak to him only enough to let him know she wants him to coach the boy. This would violate his parole if discovered but would it be enough to get his wife back.

 

Long Way Gone  Long Way Gone…. Eighteen year old Copper O’Conner leaves home with his dad’s treasures, to find fame and fortune in Nashville, a dream that doesn’t materialize. Just as he is falling in love with Daley, a rising star in the music world, tragedy strikes and with nowhere else to go, he returns home. Daley shows up in his home town, 20 years later, and he wonders if he is being given a second chance to get it right.

 

The Mountain Between Us The Mountain Between Us….. When a blizzard strands them in the Salt Lake City airport, total strangers (a gifted surgeon, and a magazine writer on the way to her wedding) anxious to get home, decide to charter a plane. The unthinkable happens and the plane crashes on a rugged mountain top. Injured, and with no way of calling for help, will they be able to survive long enough to be rescued?

 

Thunder and Rain  Thunder and Rain ….. Tyler Steele is a third generation Texas Ranger, with a strong sense of right and wrong and a tough outer shell that worked well in his job but brought an end to his marriage. Retired and raising his son on his own he is at risk of losing his ranch. He has to find a way to rebuild his life but doesn’t know how. Samantha and her daughter Hope are on the run from danger and are desperate and alone. Ty knows he can help, because that’s what he does.

 

Unwritten   Unwritten…. An actress running from her past finds escape with a man hiding from his future….. Two boats and a good knowledge of fishing, makes it easy for him to live off the grid on Florida’s coast. Until the one person linking him to the real world asks a favor. Helping a self destructive, high profile, actress has complicated his life and made him face things he has been running from. From Florida, they travel to the French countryside, where they will discover the unwritten story of both their pasts and their future.

 

Water From My Heart Water From My Heart…. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living on his own by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a full scholarship to Harvard where he did well and developed friendships that allowed him to move in privileged circles. Social skills learned in college helped him successfully navigate lucrative, cutthroat, and dangerous business ventures. He tried to keep personal and business separated but his poor choices created devastating results and now he has gone to Central American to attempt to make amends with the ones who suffered the most by his bad decisions.

 

When Crickets Cry  When Crickets Cry…. a spirited seven year old with a scar on her chest does a brisk business at her lemonade stand. The bearded stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. A beat up bread truck careens around the corner, about to change their lives, teaching them both about unexpected miracles, and the painful reasons why crickets cry.

Where the river ends  Where the River Ends…. He was a fishing guide and a struggling artist from a George trailer park; and she was the only child of North Carolina’s most  powerful senator. They met by accident, and knew from the start they had found their soul mates. Ten years into their marriage she has developed terminal cancer and has a list of ten things she hopes to accomplish before she loses the fight, and he will do anything to make it all happen. They steal away in the middle of the night to start the 130 mile trek to the mouth of the St Mary’s river, a promise from the early days of their courtship.

 

Wrapped in Rain  Wrapped in Rain…. an internationally famous photographer,  Tucker has travelled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. What he can’t see is how to forgive his father. His brother has escaped from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend has shown up with her son and a black eye, forcing him to go home and face the agony of his own tragic past.

so many good books…

I’ve noticed the visits someone has been making to the Romance and Mystery pages  where I keep a list of all the books mentioned in these blog posts. It’s meant to be a   resource, if you are in need of suggestions. If this is you, visiting …… thank you! I was hoping the pages would be used that way.

I was updating the lists the other day, and was looking through them, out of curiosity, to see if the lists looked anything like what my memory said they would. I was surprised to see that authors foremost in my mind didn’t appear as often as expected. I guess they are so big in my mind, not because of the number of books, but because the impression of a single book was so huge.

It was a surprise to see how few times some of my most favorite authors show up. I’m sad about this because this will give a wrong impression, or maybe no impression, and you will miss out on some great suggestions. I have thought about including books I have read, just not recently, which would rectify this situation. I guess now that I am into my second year of doing this, recently read doesn’t really apply so much anymore anyway. Food for thought. I’ll let you know if I decide to do it.

The reason I haven’t been reading my favorite authors, or the reason there may only be one book from an author, is because I am always on the look out for new authors and new slants for stories. With this focus in mind, I read a book and move on. Sometimes I will stop and read a whole series but if I do that too many times I will never get through the list of books I have downloaded. I won’t tell you that I currently have over 660 on my Kindle. I remove them after I add them to the blog, to keep the numbers at a manageable level, but it still keeps getting away on me.

I have been forced to be more selective about the choices I make but there are just so many interesting books appearing in my feed looking for attention.

There were seven more waiting to be downloaded this morning and this was one of them

The Lace Maker  The Lacemaker  – Laura Frantz …. I haven’t read this one yet but   have already started and it looks interesting. It’s about the American revolution and Lady Elizabeth Liberty Lawson. I think I have read books about her part in the war and the contribution she made inspite of the threat of being branded a spy. I’m interested in reading this one because I am intrigued with this author and would like to check her out, to see if she lives up to the recommendations. If it shows up in the list you will know I liked it.

This one I have read, the first book anyway, the other two books are on hold for now but I still recommend the collection, as I’ve read a lot of Colleen Coble, with appreciation,  over the years.

Mercy Falls Collection  The Mercy Falls Collection – The Light Keeper’s Daughter book 1 – Colleen Coble…. Addie Sullivan’s life is turned upside down when a stranger tells her she is not who she thinks she is, and the woman she calls mother, is not.  Many secrets swirl around her presence in the lighthouse. To give them time to discover where the true danger lies the stranger suggests she take the position of governess in the household of her birth.


How is your list of books coming along?

Reading choices are unique to all of us. Different strokes for different folks. Keep looking for treasures, they are out there, I promise you.

Happy reading!!

 

Harassment?

Two weeks ago, I got back from a 5,500 kilometre road trip. It was a lot of fun, at least it was from my point of view.

I live in the middle of Canada, there is a marker on the TransCanada Highway at a point west of me saying Longitudinal Centre of Canada to prove it. I was  planning to take a month and go as far as Vancouver Island on the West Coast.

I’m originally from British Columbia and have family and friends there. It’s a few years since I’ve been back and I had big plans to visit a lot of people, in a lot of places. The places part worked out.

The trip went surprising well, in spite of the fact it is winter in this cold and snowy land. There were a few rough spots along the way but they usually had more to do with wrong turns and trouble finding addresses.

Like in Regina Saskatchewan, the first night. I’d planned to go farther but major highway construction with detours made for confusion and the wasting of some hours. Thank goodness for cell phones and Google maps. My daughter bailed me out and figured out that I’d better go back to Regina for the night. The light of a new day, and a different angle, made all the difference and it was easy to find my way to Calgary Alberta.

I was excited to be stopping in Calgary for a few days, I was going to meet clients in person for the first time. It didn’t turn out quite like I expected but my time there still worked out well and I was looking forward to the return trip when I would spend another work week before heading home.

Armstrong, BC was the first stop on my continued journey. It’s famous for it’s Armstrong cheese, and Highland Grog flavoured coffee – at least in our house.  Roger’s Pass through the Rockies was interesting. I love the mountains in the winter. From there I went south to White Rock, via the Coquahalla Highway. The Coq, as it’s known locally, is a 6 lane highway through high mountains, with a speed limit of 120km. It was an icy trip, but at least it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen.

White Rock is a popular resort town on the ocean, south of Vancouver. It’s small in area but beautiful and fun to visit. Nothing else around it is small though, the growth since I was there last is amazing, the city is closing in.

While there, I also had the opportunity to make an overnight trip to Victoria, BC’s capital, to visit family. And as always, the ferry ride was beautiful, so was the city. If you enjoy travel I hope you will Google these places and see for yourself , you may even be tempted to visit one day.

The highlight of my trip was time spent with family and friends, I loved every moment.

Roger’s Pass is the usual way to get to Alberta so the return trip followed the same route.

While the trip itself was long and challenging, it wasn’t the biggest hurdle I had to face. The bigger hurdle was in the mental/emotional area. And it turned out surprisingly well.

I’ve mentioned before that I have major trust issues when it comes to men.

One of the side effects of my current lifestyle is the near complete lack of interaction with men. There are sightings now and again but not much else. Add to that the magnification of my trust issues caused by truths I’m facing on the journey to wellness and it’s double trouble. So, there were two parts to the angst I was feeling about the nearing end of this wellness journey, and the possible/probable interactions on my trip.

How in the world would I ever become comfortable around men again (since there are none anywhere in my life, except family), and how would it work to be out-and-about if I couldn’t manage it.  Then, the more immediate question – will my triggers make an in-person meeting awkward? We have a comfortable working relationship on the phone but I’m worried about seeing this client of mine in person.

As the days of the trip went on, my confidence grew, and I was ready to be more relaxed about things. I didn’t see Bill (not his real name) until the second week I was there. By now, it seemed like everywhere I went there were male people. It was like being thrown into the deep end of the pool…… and I found I could swim.

Bill was a major player in my second week there, as he arranged the use of one of their empty offices for me. Their office staff was four men and one woman. Out numbered everywhere. It was a comfortable stay and I think we parted with pleasant memories of the week. At least I did anyway. They were very kind.

Back home, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experience and to think about the reasons for the confidence I’ve found.

I think the biggest change in me has been centered around the thought that I had to stop expecting men to change how they treated me. Instead, I needed to decide what I would or wouldn’t allow. The result of this process was a clear set of hard and fast boundaries, in my head, and it has been a freeing experience.

There is so much more that could be said, and maybe should be said, with all the conversation over sexual harassment these days.

For now I will just say this. There are many things we, as women, need to do to keep ourselves safe but the most important thing, I’ve found, is to have set boundaries. It has changed the way I act and react.

Predators are looking for the weak. Boundaries give us confidence, and with confidence we appear strong. When we appear strong, men tend to change direction and back off.

Boundaries have allowed me to lower my protective walls (the ones that keep everyone out) and it feels good.

 

Collections

Collections have been very popular this winter season, and there were many to choose from. More than I could possibly read before winter is over so I had to show some restraint.

I’ve always enjoyed collections. Especially the ones with various authors, because their individual styles make the flavor of the story change. The more books the better, is my thinking, and 3 – 7 books in 1 is a veritable gold mine.

Today, it looks like collections are still being offered, so it’s not too late to get in on the bounty and enjoy the spoils of your own treasure hunting.

I’ll share several I’ve downloaded this season. Most of these are on the lighter side as other parts of my life have been busier than usual lately, and I’ve needed something in this part of my life that didn’t require a lot of concentration.

There are a wide range of genres and intensities out there to choose from, though, so I know there will  be something to please you.

If there is something you like, in your search, grab it quickly before it disappears. Looking for the cover picture to go with one of the boxed sets, I found it is no longer available, (I should have downloaded the picture while I could). The good news is –  there are still other sets available.

I will mention one of the sets anyway, even without the picture. It was an interesting collection and you may run across some of these authors sometime. The boxed set was called Pursued  and it was a Romantic Suspense collection. There were 7 Novellas and I enjoyed them all. They were: NOWHERE TO RUN – Mary Alford  IMPERFECT – Christy Barritt   THE UNRELENTING TIDE – Lynette Bonner  SAVING GRACE – Lesley Ann McDaniel   PREY – Lisa Phillips  IDENTITY THEFT – Alana Terry, and, HOMECOMING SUICIDE – Virginia Vaughan.

It’s possible the individual authors will release their own book as a single since they each retained their rights. It could even be that some are planning their own series and this novella  will be the first book in the series. Something to watch for.

Then: Here is a collection that is still available

out of the blue bouquet bk 1Out of the Blue Bouquet (Crossroads Collection book 1)

The interesting thing about this collection, the 5 novellas are written by different authors but the characters from each book walk in an out of  each story. It’s very cool to have them all tied together like that. You get a different flavor and focus in each novella but they are all part of a bigger story. Chautona Havig is one of the authors and it may be her influence as this strategy happens in many, if not most, of her successful and prolific books.

The five books are: COURTING CALLA – Hallee Bridgeman  SEOUL IN LOVE  Alana Terry  A KOERASTI FOR CLARI  Carol Moncado  PREMEDITATED SERENDIPITY – Chautona Havig,  and  OUT OF THE BLUE BOUQUET Amanda Tru

The other unusual and interesting thing about this collection, is the vast difference in approach to romance, and the type of characters involved. Usually this sort of collection would be about a group of five friends and the story would be about each of their romances. This was so not like that. I won’t say more and spoil it for you. It was interesting, I’ll say that.

I will finish this list with the mention of a couple of single books.

Shadows of the Past  Logan Point Series – Shadows of the Past  book 1 – Patricia Bradley is one I read a couple of years ago. I was reminded of it today as I was considering another of her books and was trying to remember if I had read anything of hers before. I found this one and read the last of it to see if I enjoyed it. I did and now I am looking forward to reading the latest download from her which is;

Justice Buried A Memphis Cold Case  – Justice Buried book 2 – Patricia Bradley

Check them out – Shadows of the Past is still free and Justice Buried is a good deal right now. Time to take a chance on a, possibly, new-to-you author.

Don't Leave Me  The last one to recommend tonight.

Don’t Leave Me – James Scott Bell …. a thriller ….Chuck Samson, a military chaplain with the Marines, comes home to take care of his adult, autistic, brother. The trauma from his capture and torture in Afghanistan is enough to deal with, and now both of their lives  are being threatened, for unknown reasons, from unknown sources. Will they be able to figure it out and survive? A good read.

Happy reading, may you find many treasures this weekend!

A Listening Ear, Connection

There are several things I hope to talk about, in regard to the month long road trip I finished two days ago. The one foremost on my mind right now, has to do with conversations, and time spent, with several people I had never met before.

The first one was a man, a client I have been working with, from a distance, for a few weeks now. He is a self-professed Chatty Cathy, has gotten carried away in phone conversations a few times, and invariably said I don’t know why I am telling you all this as he shared about his job history, family, health, and whatever else came to mind in the moment.

This connection has been both interesting, and concerning because I have major trust issues with men, issues that have been growing steadily over the last decade or so as I face the deeply buried truth of my early life (a conversation for another day). It’s fairly easy to be relaxed hiding behind the anonymity of a telephone conversation but a face to face conversation is another story. Would my triggers create an awkward situation in the meeting I knew would happen soon?

Thankfully, he was as respectful and easy to talk to in person as he was on the phone. I felt relaxed and our conversation was honest and natural. He was still a Chatty Cathy and still had occasion to say – I don’t know why I am telling you all this. It would do my ego good if I had the idea he shared because he thought highly of me, but I knew that wasn’t it. I think the truth simply was – I was willing to listen.

The second person was the waitress in a Husky Restaurant. It was a small town on my way home and it was getting close to closing time when I stopped for lunch. There were several tables of local boys having coffee and the rest of the tables were empty. I took a seat at a table near them and after a time of quiet, their conversations returned to the easy relaxed way of friends. The seasoned waitress seemed to be the instigator of many conversations, that was her thing.

Usually I have my protective walls firmly in place and don’t easily engage in conversation but things have changed on this trip. As I went to the cash register to pay my bill I decided to attempt a few comments, to open the door a little, and what followed was a full on conversation about the town,  her family, jobs, commutes, and the first trip in 40 years to the next big city. We would have talked longer but she had to finish closing up.

The last person was the desk clerk when I stopped for the night. It seemed to be a slow night for her and she wanted to talk. We talked about her weight problem and all of her concerns, which were many, around that subject.  I learned a lot about her family and their health issues. We talked about living in the country while working in town and the things you have to do to make that work. The last subject we explored had to do with recycling and the inventiveness of her father in using everything and anything as building material. Other guests were looking for her attention several times and I finally took the opportunity to slip away, I had to go – if you catch my drift.  I came away from the conversation feeling bad, and I still do, because she obviously didn’t want me to leave, and seemed to feel deserted when I did.

I can relate to the way she feels. It is not often we find someone willing to take time to listen to us. Many of us seem to be starving with the need for a listening ear.

Then, there are two little people who come to mind in regard to connection. I’ve noticed their unique need many times over the years and make a special effort when I meet little ones. Probably because I remember being that age, somewhere in the buried memories.

The two little boys are 4 and 6. A great nephew and a grandson, visited in different towns. Eye contact seems to be the key to connection for kids, they don’t do deep conversations but have a need to know they have been seen. I had a good time connecting with both of them.

micah and I train track

He has my undivided attention while we are trying to give mommy space to get some things done. It was an unconventional layout for a train track but, hey, we were having fun. Pretty much everything in the room has a function, he remembers what it is all for and explained in detail as we explored one of the bins. The mattress behind him is his dual function trampoline/punching bag. Grandma got to hold the punching bag upright while he practiced his Ninja kicks and chops. It was a challenge but I managed to stay upright myself through it all.

Travelling

This is a short post to try out a new editor app. Not sure what difference it will make since this is not the device I normally use so I have nothing to compare with. Hmmm, I see now that I need to read some of the provided material to answer this question. Pays to read the instructions 😀

It’s also a good opportunity to say I have been travelling many kilometres the last few weeks so haven’t had much chance to post anything. I am having a good time, I love long distance driving, even in the cold snowy winter, so it has been great. And safe too, so far, I pray it stays that way. It has been special to spend time with family, and a few friends, over the Christmas season.

I’ve finished a few more books and will share them in a later post.

One of them I will mention now though, it was Untangled: A story of resilience, courage, and triumph. Alexis Rose is a fellow blogger and this is her story of surviving a life of unimaginable abuse. Check out both her blog and her book for encouragement and inspiration. I can heartily endorse both.

I will be back soon, hopefully, with a full post. In the meantime, I hope you are all making some positive winter memories too, in one way or another.

Soon!