Free books May 02, 2022

LPC Free books has two suggestions for us, both read and enjoyed several years ago. Stories with substance.

All The Way Home – Ann Tatlock

“Tatlock’s rich descriptions and characterizations are unusually fresh and inventive.”~Publishers Weekly

From a rough section of Los Angeles during the late Depression years, to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the South, this novel is a searing portrayal of one family trapped by alcoholism and another living the typical middle class life. A true American story told through the eyes of two girls, best friends, separated by the internment camps of World War II.

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Somewhere a Rainbow (Finding Love in the Low Country Book 4)

Brooke Haddon’s future looks gray… After her unfaithful husband is killed in an auto accident, she faces the challenge of rebuilding her life. With most of her money gone, she takes her five-year-old son to the honeymoon cottage on Hilton Head Island where her marriage began. As a single parent, she wonders how she will manage, and once she arrives on the island, she can’t imagine how she’ll be able to repair a cottage as broken down as her life.

When local carpenter Jake Randolph offers to help, Brooke immediately distrusts him. But as the months pass, she begins to think he may be different from the other men she has known. He begins to melt the emotional ice around her heart. Then Jake admits he’s concealing a secret past. Are Brooke’s hopes of a brighter future about to be destroyed. Or is there a rainbow beyond the storms of heartbreak?

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Two worthwhile reads. Awesome.

Happy Reading!

Free books April 25, 2022

Two FREE books tonight.

Retribution Road 

Gabe Jones—an underwater investigative diver with an unusual gift—has a way of finding trouble. This time though trouble finds him.

Carol Evans helped Gabe Jones survive his last adventure. Now they are a couple and Carol needs his help. Carol’s son, Paul, has made some decisions recently that have led him straight into a deep dark world of trouble. His disappearance has the whole family questioning what this kid has been up to and who exactly is the dead girl in his truck, which was submerged in a watery tomb. As they try and unravel Paul’s disappearance, the answers they uncover lead them on the chase of a lifetime that crosses state lines and national borders.

Carol and Gabe also find themselves needing help and support from Carol’s dad Tom, a retired Texas Ranger, who has a few problems of his own. A plane flown by family friends and the son of a well-known senator has crashed into Texas waters. When Gabe dives on the wreckage, he discovers a Pandora’s box of evidence that links Tom’s friends to Paul’s disappearance into a world filled with crime and violence. Homes and families are destroyed. Every action brings retribution until it appears no one will be left standing. Only total annihilation—or a miracle—will stop the killing. Someone must make the hard choices. Who will it be?

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The Sanctum

“Pamela King Cable has created an unforgettable heroine in Neeley McPherson, a remarkable young woman of such courage and spunk that she dares to stand against unspeakable abuse and injustice not only for herself but also for her beloved caretaker, Gideon. Fleeing a horrendous life, Neeley discovers the true meaning of family, forgiveness, and love in a wolf sanctuary, which becomes a central metaphor for the difficult journey we all must undertake to find our way home. Thoroughly enjoyable book!” ~ Cassandra King Conroy (Pat’s wife) – Bestselling author of Moonrise, The Same Sweet Girls, and The Sunday Wife

This inspirational tale thrills with a tight plot, lyrical scene descriptions, and complex characters. Pamela Cable leaves readers aching for more.” ~ Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author.

“I would compare The Sanctum to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in the deep south during the Civil Rights Era, this book tackles such issues as racial discrimination and abuse.” ~ Kimberly A. Liston-McCabe

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Happy Reading!

Bargain books April 08, 2022

1531 Entertainment has interesting bargain suggestions for us. Several authors are new to this site and that’s always something to celebrate. It’s lovely meeting new people.

Woman in Shadow

Award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her talent for crafting a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow.

A woman off the grid.

Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and strange problems at the ranch begin to escalate, and Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.

A town on fire.

More fires erupt around town, and a serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars her work has caused her are also the reason she’s trying to escape her life.

A growing darkness.

As the shadows continue moving in, pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. To make it out alive, Darby must decide if she can trust the one man who sees her clearly.

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Beyond Justice 

Hayden McCarthy is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious D.C. law firm . . . if the case she’s just been handed doesn’t destroy her first.

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s assigned a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there.

Further complicating matters is Andrew, her roommate’s distractingly attractive cousin. But Andrew’s father is a Congressman, and Hayden’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to kill the case—or her. Logic and self-preservation would indicate she should close the case. But how can she, when justice is still just beyond her reach?

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Divine: A Novel (A Clean, Contemporary Christian Fiction Story of Life, Loss, Love, Faith, and the Miracle of Resurrection) 

With hallmark tenderness and power, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury weaves a tapestry of life, loss, love, faith—and the miracle of resurrection.

Mary Madison is educated and redeemed, a powerful voice in Washington, D.C. But she also has a past that shamed polite society. A survivor of unspeakable horror, Mary has battled paralyzing fear, faithlessness, addiction, and promiscuity. Yet even in her darkest valley, Mary was sustained from afar, prayed over by a grandmother who clung to the belief that God had special plans for Mary. Now a divine power has set Mary free to bring life-changing hope and love to battered women living in the shadow of the nation’s capital—women like Emma Johnson. A single mother fleeing an abusive relationship, Emma wonders whether there is hope for her and her young daughters. She is desperate, broken, and unloved . . . and tempted to commit the unthinkable. Then Mary introduces Emma to the greatest love of all, greater than any either of them has ever imagined.

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I’m going for the first two, only because I have to hold the line, it’s running away on me.

The author of the third book has been a favorite for a very long time and I’m sad to leave her behind.

I hope you find something here appealing to you too.

Happy Reading y’all!

Bargain book February 22, 2022

Just one book today. 1531 Entertainment‘s suggestion is one I’ve read and think I’ve enjoyed. My memory on this is a little hazy.

One Thursday Morning: Inspirational Romance (Romance At An Inn) (Diamond Lake Series Book 1)

How Do You Start Over?

Running not only for her own life, but that of her unborn baby, Serenah moves across the country to a little town outside of Spokane Washington called Newport. It’s here she’ll begin to build a new life and go by a different name in the hopes of staying hidden from her abusive husband John.

Can Serenah find happiness in her new life? Or will the past eventually catch up to her?

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Nothing much is showing up in the suggestion strip and it is not easy to care very much tonight.

Life all around us is going a little crazy. Just like in this book suggestion, where the abuser is leveling accusations loudly and convincingly with both words and fists, and his abuse has escalated. She is afraid for her life and rightfully so.

In real life the one yelling the loudest is the bully. Actually, if we look closely, he is the only one yelling. The abused has been emotionally beaten down over an extended period of time to the point she is incapable of standing up to protect herself. At rock bottom she will either choose to stay in abject defeat or in desperation plan and follow through on an escape.

It looks like we are at that point. Rock bottom lowest point.

Low point shows up in the amount and kind of damage being done. The bully has ceased to care about keeping injuries hidden from public view and rage is out of control. The last blow wasn’t fatal but the next one could be.

It’s funny how the world around the couple can often see the truth of a relationship when those living in it day-to-day can’t. Until it’s almost too late.

Oops… February 14, 2022

I was supposed to be writing my daily blog post. Oops.

My mind has been caught up with thinking about Ottawa and what is happening today at the Freedom Convoy protest. Every day new names are added to the list of people I’ve subscribed to, it’s good to have many, mainly because everyone was finding it difficult to stay outside very long with the windchill. Their hands weren’t the only parts suffering. Camera and phone batteries were not liking the cold either. We needed someone else to watch when they left.

One of the guys found a solution to his problem by interviewing truckers while sitting with them in their rigs.

This morning early on, the streets were, to me anyway, uncharacteristically quiet. One surprising bit of activity was the repositioning of trucks scattered out over the surrounding area. The police even provided escort. This was surprising because we had heard the police were tasked with permanently removing them not packing them in more efficiently. Things keep changing.The other thing we heard was that there were more trucks arriving in the next day or two. Some of them must have showed up early as there more today than yesterday.

As the day wore on the crowds of people grew and grew. Today there were hundreds, Saturday there were thousands. In the center of the action Saturday it was almost impossible to move, there were so many.

This afternoon Prime Minister Trudeau declared The Emergencies Act, which means martial law. It would deploy swat teams, riot police, and soldiers with tanks. This leaves us scratching our heads a bit as after many hours spent watching live streams, the whole tenor of the place seems more like a love-in than a active riot, with looting, pillaging, and bodily harm.

I’m hoping someone is planing a legal challenge because I can’t see that there is just cause to declare such a thing. Scary insanity.

Tucker Carlson has some pretty strong ideas about such action and they sure make sense to me. Especially added to last weeks video release of question period in the Federal Legislature. Several opposition members asked questions and made observations that upset Trudeau to the extent that he stormed out of the room without a word. Who does that?

At first glimpse I’m upset with this turn of events, until I begin to hope there is possibility for cooler heads to prevail.

I’ll leave you with Tucker Carlson’s take on the situation.

PTSD Conversation January 29, 2022

“Do you wanna be well, really wanna be well?” The Gaither Vocal Band has a song asking this question.

I’m just now realizing it’s a question I have to ask myself, again.

I’ve loved this song since it first came out and I honestly thought my answer to this question was a resounding YES!

I’m having to rethink this position, based on my actions, or rather, lack of them.

My conversation with the dermatologist on Tuesday is the catalyst.

His question “how long have you had this rash on your legs?” started this train of thought. Looking at my answer “12 years,” from his perspective was upsetting. Added to that, my comment regarding much scratching “pain is addictive,” tipped me over the edge. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I’ve never sought help in regard to this current, and worst, version of the rash. Why is that?

I can get into the weeds pretty quickly if I follow this train of thought too intensely so I won’t go there.

It is true that for many years I have been working on healing from my childhood trauma and the damage it caused. Honestly though, it’s not as simple as I thought.

I think it’s more like a mirrored disco ball. There are many facets and I’ve been honest about some but not others. My behavior shows the truth. No doctor visits in a decade. Never (rarely) leaving my house. Avoiding any gatherings with certain types of people in attendance. (it’s probably more honest to say avoiding gatherings with people in attendance, never mind types.)

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know. For now I think my acknowledgement of the truth is enough. My behavior often changes when my perspective changes.

Baby steps.

The song is based on a bible story found in the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 5, verses 1 – 15

I do want to be well, I’m just not so sure about making changes in some areas.

I like interacting with people in this arena. Maybe, along with honesty, interaction here is all that’s needed. I could live with that.

Free and bargain books January 10, 2022

LPC Free Books has FREE suggestions for us. This first one is an author I’ve not read but in 2017 I did download a grammar book she’s written. I found it very helpful. Now I’m looking forward to this book.

Follow the Dawn

Anna Emory grew up the invisible, shy younger sister, and she prefers it that way. But when her father attempts to arrange an unsavory marriage, Anna learns that courage is sometimes found in adversity. Then she meets a boy and his father struggling in their relationship, and they tip her quiet world upside down.

Captain Mathieu Tudder has run from responsibility, entrusting his young son’s care to another and devoting his Sea Beggar ship to the Dutch Revolution. After that cause fails, Tudder returns to England for the son he left behind. But his son seems to have given his heart to a unknown and quiet lady—a woman who reminds him of all he’s ever loved and lost.

Will these two hearts—the battle-scarred and the broken—ever find true freedom?

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I’m going to include her grammar book, now that I’ve found it again. It’s one I’ve been suggesting to writer friends but couldn’t find to connect them. It’s a short book, laid out to find things quickly. Just what I like.

Write Well: A Grammar Guide

The writing guide that won’t bore you to tears.

Learn to be a better writer in one sitting.

Do you want to learn how to write better books, blog posts, even emails? Then you’ve stumbled upon the perfect guide.

In Write Well, I outline the tools and techniques you need to truly master grammar–in an un-overwhelming way. That’s right. You won’t be yawning or weeping as you read these writing rules, just rejoicing that you’ve finally found the answer to your prayers.

So, go ahead, become the writer you’ve always dreamed of, and catapult yourself to the career you’ve always wanted. Because once you know how to make your words work for you, the world’s your oyster.

Hi there, I’m Rachelle Rea Cobb. and I have history with words. I’m a grammar geek with a knack for storytelling. I help authors (traditionally and self-published), bloggers, students, and ESL writers polish their pages until their words shine–so that they then can sign their own publishing contracts. Did I mention I signed my own book deal at age 22? And now I’d like to share my expertise with you.

Write Well is a short ebook designed to walk you through what you need to know so you can get back to the real work: actual writing.

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LPC has another FREE book that I have but have not read. I must try again. Maybe I was triggered.

The Queen’s Daughters (Kate Bushnell Series Book 2)

Inspired by a dream, Dr. Kate Bushnell writes to Josephine Butler, famous crusader who frees women from sex slavery in Victorian England. Kate tells Mrs. Butler she is planning to travel to Great Britain. Though she she doesn’t have a cent for the journey from America, miraculously she arrives months later in London.

Once there, Kate and her friend Bess are invited to tea with Mrs. Butler. “When I read of your experiences rescuing girls in the lumber camps in Wisconsin,” Mrs. Butler says, “I thought you might be able to help us in India. We need proof for Parliament that the military entices or buys girls for the brothels on the bases.”

Kate glances at Bess. She sees a streak of fear in her eyes.

Mrs. Butler goes on, “I warn you, you would have to enter as secretly as possible. General Roberts, the commander-in-chief, would make sure you’d never enter another base again.” She pats Kate’s hand as if to soften her words. “I’m afraid this will be one of the hardest assignments you’ve undertaken…”

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Another one I’ve read and enjoyed

To Claim Her Heart 

In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his ‘Promised Land. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancée. He hasn’t counted on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he is sadly lacking.

Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith’s only hope for survival, and not just any plot, she has a specific one in mind. The land’s not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. She’s willing to put in whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and Elsie’s determined to keep it.

Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land . . . or her heart.

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This has been good book day. I hope you think so too.

Happy Reading

PTSD and abuse. How do you know for sure? January 09, 2022

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

If you can’t remember how do you know it happened? You could be wrong.

I can see how, lacking memories, skeptics might question my claims of child abuse.

I’ve been thinking about this more intensely this weekend. It’s not that I haven’t spent time with it before. I have… decades in fact. Just not intensely.

This is the first time I’ve managed to lay it all out in order.

Just because my mind has refused to remember extreme pain, that doesn’t mean I have no memories of the rest of my life.

As a child, I remember poverty, insecurity and instability with a self-employed father full of brilliant ideas that didn’t always pan out. Highly sociable parents who loved to party and run with the fast crowd. An alcoholic father who was not always a nice, or faithful man. Dad was never alone much either.

Once the line has been crossed from inactive to active it can never be uncrossed. My conscious mind may refuse to remember the painful violations but my body remembers. Going forward, my unconscious thought patterns, reactions, and expectations were shaped by childhood experiences. As a teen, looking back, I recognize thought patterns that could only come from experience. With nothing to compare to, how could I know an inexperienced teen wouldn’t know what I knew. My naivete was in thinking I went in to marriage as a novice.

The most compelling indicator of abuse, though, was triggers.

For many decades, involuntarily, I refused to question anything. Thought patterns, reactions, hints, not even consideration of the to-question-or-not-to question dilemma, none of it. Subconsciously I knew I wouldn’t like the answers inspection would bring and my mind steadfastly refused to go there.

It was many decades before I gave triggers much thought. They were just a normal part of life. That is how it often is for the abused. Only when we see how others live do we recognize that what we live with is abnormal.

In the beginning most triggers seemed to be related to men. They range from a quick shut down, to knee-jerk reactions, to panic attacks. After years of examining root causes and then dealing with them, there were changes. Or, maybe it was whatever was next-in-line showing up.

The most recent episodes have taken me by surprise. With dysfunctional family dynamics there were multiple levels of abuse, much of it emotional. These lessor? triggers are taking their turn at gaining attention.

Reactions provide compelling evidence of abuse but the final nail in solidifying the idea was my brother insisting I admit it happened.

If there is any lingering doubt acesaware.org (Adverse Childhood Experiences) has extensive questionnaires offering insight. They name the minimum number of boxes it takes to assess probability. I passed the exam with flying colors. More than the required number of boxes checked off.

One of their areas of discussion is health issues. Aggravated by unaddressed abuse trauma. Two areas show up for me. Digestive and autoimmune. They have become more pronounced with each passing year.

A selfie standing on the kitchen floor.

This has been going on for more than ten years. I have a specialist appointment in a few weeks but it doesn’t look like there is any cure. This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had skin issues most of my life, if it leaves one area it pops up in another. Why fight it?

There is no room left for doubt about what happened to me.

One more note: the As a child, .. paragraph above provided ample reasons for the checked off boxes on one of the questionnaire pages.

If you suspect you may be a victim check out acesaware.org , it is sponsored by California health and has a wealth of information and helpful tools available to everyone.

I hope this made sense.

Have you experienced trauma? January 03, 2022

How can you know? One in four women and one in six men have experienced trauma/abuse with many of them not recognizing that they have. Even more recognize the abuse but have not acknowledged or shared it.

Unaddressed trauma is often the root cause beneath many health issues. Heart disease, auto immune disorders being the most common.

Yesterday I discovered a popular podcast dedicated to helping people live better lives and I enjoyed it enough to subscribe. Today’s interview is with an experienced psychiatrist and author of a new book on the subject of trauma, and it deals with today’s question.

I’m sharing this because helpful resources are so important in our healing journey.

I hope you find this as helpful as I did.

We can never see too many of these podcasts. We need to hear this information over and over again. Partly because we are in a different place with each step forward and we are able to take it in in a way we couldn’t on an earlier step.

And, we need to hear the information again because it reinforces earlier hearings and eventually is able to take dominance over the negative narrative we’ve lived with forever.

Happy Viewing!

C-PTSD conversation December 12, 2021

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Trigger alert. Don’t read this if you are easily triggered or distressed with abuse stories. For sure don’t read this if my story distresses you. (family, friends.) I do promise there will be no explicit details. Generalities are bad enough.

Why now? you ask… It’s time.

If you are a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers. This is going to cost me, big time. It has to happen sometime and it feels like the time is now so I’ll carry on.

Why even do this?… It will be cathartic.

Advance warning – I do plan to end on a positive note. Something healing happened this week and I will share what that was.

Most of my life has been intentionally lived as if my past never happened. Parts of my adult life have been lived as a public figure, no one connected with me knew my background. It was all a secret.

There are two reasons for not speaking up sooner. One was that I had deeply repressed memories (still do) and wouldn’t admit to my suspicions without proof. My brother made me admit the abuse about 15 years ago when I was no longer a young woman.

The second reason (excuse) was tied up in protecting the reputation of the abuser. My outlook on that aspect has changed and protecting him no longer seems as important. I guess I was reluctant for family reasons too. None of that seems as important now either..

The reason for the abuse and the form it took is complex. I’m fairly certain there was abuse in Dad’s background which would explain why his alcoholism was firmly established by mid teens. It would also explain the sex addiction which probably started in early to mid teens as well.

An unplanned pregnancy (me) with unwanted responsibilities and lifestyle changes added rage to the mix.

Double addictions along with rage brought variety to the abuse. Selfish, immature, vindictive traits, didn’t help either.

So, all of that to say the abuse started early and took different forms depending on mood and availability. As the years went by access became more readily available. Mom had a job and also spent significant time in hospital fighting cancer. The last two years with him were the worst.

Dad was an extrovert and there were always visitors on the property. He was not adverse to sharing with his friends. As the abuse progressed I was groomed and trafficked. Money was a big draw. He was always in need of another bottle of whiskey. He was proud of his grooming.

My brothers and I were rescued as I turned twelve. Mom had to spend another stint in hospital and we were sent to stay with my grandmother. She insisted.

The door in my mind was slammed shut on all of the repressed memories. The experiences endured were unpleasant and as a teen there was not a speck of me wanting to be sexually active with boys. I’m grateful.

There were little clues in some of my irrational responses and thought patterns back then that might have been a tip-off if I had been willing to examine them.

Over the years prayer has been a very important part of my healing journey. I keep asking God to heal the exposed broken places that I have no idea how to fix or move past. He has been healing me incrementally for years, and friends and family are noticing the difference.

The positive note to end this post is about one of those healing times.

One of the aspects of intimacy, the experts say, is the connection formed in that moment. Casual or serious makes no difference.

I know it’s true. The relationship changes once that bridge has been crossed. The connection with your first is probably the strongest. Dad was my first and there were many more after him.

The last while I have been allowing myself to relax and let memories resurface if they want to. Sometimes it’s been emotions, sometimes bits of memories. There has been a heavy sense of connection to Dad.

This week in answer to prayer that connection with him has been broken. It’s gone, for him and all the other men he allowed in my life. I felt the emotion drain out of me and now I feel nothing for him.

I’ve let go of anger, I’ve forgiven him, the connection has been broken, and now the secret has been revealed.

There will still be triggers, more healing needed, and more issues to be faced. In the aftermath there will be a price to pay for sharing this story. It’s part of the deal.

Despite all of that I’m celebrating, in a numb kind of way. The secret is out. Another hurdle in the healing journey has been crossed.

If you made it this far, thank you for listening.

The sun is peeking from behind the dark clouds.