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

What to say…

I’m at a loss for words. After missing several days in my daily blog I need to find something to say. I’m feeling emotionally wrung out, maybe that’s why my mind is empty. I’ll just have to start and see what happens. It will surprise me as much as it will you, guaranteed. It’s funny how one thing leads to another and rabbit holes appear out of nowhere…

Today was the day for our monthly writers group Zoom call. Since I’m part of the executive there is always a feeling of self inflicted pressure to be a good participant not just a passive observer. As an introvert, fly-on-the-wall is where I would rather be. I was trying to be rested and relaxed ready for the camera but it wasn’t working out all that well for me. I started out stressed, like it or not.

Going into the week, I didn’t have an active part in the meeting. That all changed when the agenda came out and I found I was down for a book review. In the end we had more than enough readers (to share stories that would be critiqued) and there was no time for the my contribution. It didn’t get used but it was good writing practice, working on the review was not a total waste.

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I had been thinking several days ago about my style of writing and the type of critique I would like to have. The thing is, I’m often not sure if what I have to say makes sense. Feedback would be helpful. I think I assume people know certain things already and tend to write in note form with little detail. My first clue I do this is when, days later, I read what I’ve written. Sometimes I have no idea what exactly I was getting at. So, going back to the most recent review I’d posted I found myself with a chance to work on making sense.

The review definitely needed to be reworked and expanded. It was a good exercise in figuring out how much extra detail needed to be included. I’ll try to do better the next time I write something like a review or thoughts (like now maybe.)

So, getting back to today’s Zoom meeting. It did the heart good to see everyone again even though we couldn’t be in the same room together. Five members read their stories, each one personal and unique.

They were all good but the one I appreciated most tore us all apart. It was a very raw and real sharing of a lengthy journey with parkinsons. What she has been through, and will continue to go through, is heartbreaking. Yet she has such a positive outlook on life. We could see it cost her dearly to be honest with us. We felt honored to be trusted enough for the privilege of hearing her story.

Today was a day we will not soon forget.

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I’m going to pick up a fast food hamburger and then the mail (it’s been several weeks and I need to get out.) When I come back I’ll see if this still makes sense to me.

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Well, I’ve made changes. I’m not sure it’s enough but time’s getting away on me. At least I’ve finished supper, washed the pile of dishes waiting for me and played a few games on the computer while I was thinking.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day. The word is Resolution. Guess I’m not done thinking for the night quite yet.

One free book and a review January 14, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion for us.

Forever After (Hanover Falls Series Book 2)

Amazon quote:

A fire killed his best friend and his lifelong dream of
BEING a firefighter. The same fire killed her husband AND
HER hopes for a family. Can new dreams replace old?

Lucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street homeless shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy’s beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders what he could possibly offer Jenna? Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband’s death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future.

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Yesterday we had an interesting looking download but I wasn’t sure what to think about it. The author was new to me, the first chapter or two looked good but it was difficult to tell.

Amber Waves of Grace 

Amazon’s synopsis:

After her father’s accident, Corrie Lancaster moves back to the family farm just in time to help with the harvest. With a bumper crop of wheat waiting, the farm’s only hired hand quits, leaving Corrie with no choice but to accept the help of her old boyfriend’s older brother, Aaron Tuttle. It seems like the perfect plan until Corrie realizes ex-flame Luke isn’t over her. But even with Luke’s apologies and attempts to rekindle their romance, Corrie can’t forget his past betrayal.

Between harvesting, keeping tabs on her younger siblings, and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, Corrie leans on Aaron for emotional support. Wading through jealousy was never on Corrie’s to-do list, but as she navigates the choppy waters, she finds herself falling for Aaron’s good looks and charming wit.

Just when Corrie thinks she has everything under control, a stranger seeking shelter comes to the farm, and an old nemesis returns for revenge. As destructive forces align against her, Corrie must decide which man’s love will bring her back to life and restore her faith in herself, her family, and her purpose.

I wasn’t sure abut it at first but it turned out to be a good choice.

It was well written with good character development. It was engaging in a can’t-put-it-down kind of way. Of my recently read books this is my favorite. My only complaint was the number of crisis points. When Author Jerry Jenkins teaches on the elements of an engaging story he lists the necessity of crisis. He tells you how many and the degree of severity needed (it needs to vary for interest sake.) Jessica Berg did a good job with this element of the story but there could have been one or two less, to be perfect. When the reader thinks not-another-one, you know there are too many.

Other than that I loved the book and was itching to tell you about it, even before I reached the end. I did finish first though, in case you’re wondering.

It’s still a bargain price if you are interested.

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Two favorite things in one day, a podcast and a book, this was a very good day.

A favorite episode from a favorite podcaster

I just have to share this podcast episode. I love it, it makes so much sense.

Patrick Lencioni on How to Discover Your Working Genius

There are two reasons:

Carey Nieuwhof has a gift for asking insightful questions and then listening intently with great follow-up questions. It seems every interview ends with him saying this has been so good. And it has been, every time.

Today’s topic is about giftings in relation to work life. This is one of my favorite topics in the world and it has been for decades. Not just for work but life in general. The more I understand about myself and others the better life goes for me. Today focuses on work life and it makes so much sense.

If you want to know more, Patrick Lencioni has a website with testing material available and he is even offering a discounted price on orders resulting from this podcast. I’ll let him give you the details at the end of the podcast.

So here it is: I hope you find it as helpful and I did.

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Bargain book January 13, 2021

BookBub has a bargain suggestion for us. It’s an author I’ve never read and while it’s listed as clean the first few pages seem a little edgy, I’m not sure what to expect. It’s well written, so far anyway, so I’d like to give it a chance.

Amber Waves of Grace

Amazon quote:

After her father’s accident, Corrie Lancaster moves back to the family farm just in time to help with the harvest. With a bumper crop of wheat waiting, the farm’s only hired hand quits, leaving Corrie with no choice but to accept the help of her old boyfriend’s older brother, Aaron Tuttle. It seems like the perfect plan until Corrie realizes ex-flame Luke isn’t over her. But even with Luke’s apologies and attempts to rekindle their romance, Corrie can’t forget his past betrayal.

Between harvesting, keeping tabs on her younger siblings, and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, Corrie leans on Aaron for emotional support. Wading through jealousy was never on Corrie’s to-do list, but as she navigates the choppy waters, she finds herself falling for Aaron’s good looks and charming wit.

Just when Corrie thinks she has everything under control, a stranger seeking shelter comes to the farm, and an old nemesis returns for revenge. As destructive forces align against her, Corrie must decide which man’s love will bring her back to life and restore her faith in herself, her family, and her purpose.

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One book is all we have for today. My sources haven’t come through for us and browsing isn’t working well. It’s behaving strangely today, not sure what that’s all about. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

My current read is a mystery box set. I’m having trouble engaging with it so when I get to the end of the current book I’ll switch over to today’s download. Normally I like this author so I’m not sure what’s going on with this series. It’s bogged down in details that are confusing and don’t seem to matter in advancing the story. I’m disappointed but I guess it’s not possible to have a winner every time.

Maybe the breakdown comes because the main focus is on addressing societal issues rather than the story itself.

Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Box Set (Books 1-3) (Christian Suspense 3-Book Box Set 1)

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Well, with or without books it’s still a good day.

It’s true, all is not right in our world these days. Aside from all the regular stuff there is the virus and political upheaval. A encouraging thought crossed my mind this morning. Pressure brings out strength in us. We will never be a hero until we face desperate situations. In this pressure time we are discovering our strengths. It’s pretty cool to discover we are capable of much more than we ever thought possible.

On that encouraging note.

Happy reading.

Read and enjoyed January 12, 2021

This first one was my favorite read this week. It was insightful, well written, with interesting well developed characters and a great story line. It was new and fresh, I’ve not read another story similar too it.

Everything Behind Us: A Murphy Brothers Story (Book 3)

Connor Murphy lives by a code of honor and service. Dignified, duty-bound, and responsible, he’s spent the past eight years as a single enlisted airman, determined never to mess up another person’s life the way he did Sadie’s. As long as he follows orders, does his job well, and avoids romantic entanglements, he’ll do just fine. Of course, that last part was easier before Sadie rolled back into town.

Sadie Allen never intended to return to Sugar Pine—her hometown hosts too much regret—but she can’t face her health crisis alone. Not with a four-year-old depending on her. Even so, Connor Murphy’s proposal of a marriage of convenience wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She can’t fault his reasoning—her prognosis is grim and her son could use a father—but her heart aches at the thought of a marriage without romance. Especially to the one man she’s never gotten over.

The day-to-day challenges of Sadie’s illness are enough to strain the strongest relationships, let alone one hastily conceived in the shadow of past mistakes. Will the pressure be too much for their marriage to withstand, or will they allow God to forge something beautiful through their pain?

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The next two were favorites as well

A Christmas Peril (The Teacup Novellas Book 5) and Because of You (Christmas Heirloom Novella Collection)

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A few more read and enjoyed

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There has not been much action from the usual sources for suggestions so I have nothing new to offer at the moment.

I’m between books again and I’ve read everything I was excited about. Maybe I should go back to a partially read collection. In this one collection it looks like I switched to another read while in the middle of a book instead of at the end of one. I don’t usually do that and I probably shouldn’t have this time. I have no idea what the book is about and it took awhile to figure it out. Now that I have, sort of, I’d better stick with it and finish.

It’s not that the collection isn’t good. Five suspense books in a row is just such a daunting task.

The Rock Harbor Mystery Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor Series)

Without a Trace

Bree thinks a plane crash took the lives of her husband and young son, but her son Davy survived the accident. Can she find him before it’s too late?

Beyond a Doubt

Evidence of a violent crime in Bree’s basement causes police to re-open a cold case. Can she and her K-9 search dog, Samson, stop the killer before he strikes again?

Into the Deep

When Bree’s dog Samson goes missing, it’s just the beginning of her life turning upside down.

Cry in the Night

Bree and Samson discover a crying infant in the snowy Rock Harbor forest. But where are the baby’s parents? And how did she get there?

Silent Night

As Christmas day nears, Bree and her faithful search-and-rescue dog Samson follow the trail of a troubling mystery into the snowy forests of Rock Harbor.

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Happy Reading