No thoughts on milkshakes

The Sunday Scribblings story prompt today was milkshakes. I think it was chocolate milkshake day but I could be wrong about that. I don’t dislike milkshakes but rarely order one. My drink of choice usually is coffee, second choice would be iced tea. But not sweet tea. I tried it once when travelling in the south, couldn’t do it. I would pick salty over sweet any day of the week.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the other hand, I do enjoy some desserts, especially if they lean toward the semi sweet side. Cheese cakes, tiramisu, tuxedo cake. I’m drooling already just thinking about them. Best change the subject.

I still don’t have a big appetite after the reaction to my second shot. My energy levels have not recovered either. I’m a little discouraged over that. Winter will soon be here and I need to get outside to do winter clean-up before the snow flies. One good thing about the snow – at least I don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting the yard.

Staying inside today produced a good chance to pay bills and respond to messages. That brightened my day considerably. The sad side of it, though, is knowing what my son and his wife and daughter are going through today. They will be putting their two oldest on a plane in a few hours to fly home to Canada. This isn’t a visit, they are moving home to see what comes next for them now that high school is nearly finished. I remember what it was like the first time my son flew off to a foreign country for who-knows how long. It was tough.

At the same time, I can relate to both sides. I have been the leaver and the left. It is much easier to be the one striking out on a new adventure. So many new things to experience. The left get to look at an emptier house every day and keenly feel the loss.

The adventurer doesn’t miss out on sadness though. Unfamiliar culture and languages can magnify homesickness. Even just a new and unfamiliar city brings it’s share of homesickness. No one gets away pain free.

On the other hand, sadness and homesickness means we loved. We can’t miss what we have never loved. What a blessing to have loved and been loved.

The three boys living here are excited to welcome their cousins. My daughter is left wondering how she is going to survive as the only woman with six guys. It will be an adventure, for sure. I tell her be glad it’s not girls, they would have to install another bathroom or two. Although if the girls were anything like the two of us, hogging shower and bathroom time would not be a big issue.

All that said, I enjoyed my kids when they were teens and I think she will enjoy these boys too. They are all loving kids.

Well, word is just in, the first leg of the flight was cancelled which means they will miss the connecting flight. At least they have a travel agent to take off some of the pressure. Arrival time will be affected, although this is not a total surprise.

Turns out the problem is a typhoon. 😦

I guess this is to be continued…

A sister about to miss her brothers.

They will be missing her too.

This and that August 24, 2021

This is another one of those days when I’ve got nothing. Nothing to write that is. Most of the stuff on my mind isn’t appropriate for this post.

I’ve been closely following the debacle that has stunned the world. It seems we have been content to close our eyes to things and just coast along hoping someone else would take care of us. It will take some major courage to get the world out of the tough spot we find ourselves in. Our guys had the courage in WWII, I’m not sure how it could happen exactly but I’m sure our guys and gals could successfully rise to the challenge this time too.

The other news type thing on my mind is the whole covid situation. A fourth wave seems to be showing up in the last few days. Just when restrictions loosen up the infection rate starts rising again.

Along with that concern, we have a family situation where we need to find a isolation spot for teenage boys coming home after a lifetime overseas. I want to have them with me but there is one difficult hurdle to overcome. Other options may work out but if they don’t I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work out well for them. We will have to wait and see how it all turns out.

In regard to books, I can’t find it again but I was reading a book collection that was a retelling of fairy tales. Red Riding Hood and Cinderella were the first two. From my point of view they were really bad. I couldn’t bring myself to even read them. I removed the book from my device without taking note of the title. I wanted to share it with you and thought I could easily find it again but … no such luck. Maybe it’s better that I couldn’t find it. Kinder.

The sky is a heavy grey all of a sudden, I think another storm is supposed to roll through tonight, dropping some more rain. It’s funny, we had been having drought conditions and they were predicting a long hot summer. The prediction has changed, we are supposed to have more rain with cooler temps for the rest of the season. Winter shows up here the end of October/early November usually.

It will be interesting for our newly home teenagers, they have not experienced real winter before. It will be all new. They are excited and looking forward to it, I do know that. I don’t think they have seen snow and if they have it would have been a brief thing. Both of their parents have experienced full on Canadian winters and the kids have grown up with the stories wishing they could visit us in the winter. Their time has come!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

How could they not love it?

Free and bargain books August 16, 2021

Read til the end for an amazing scene. But first…

1531 Entertainment has suggestions for us. This first one is FREE. I remember reading this a year ago and it is definitely worth looking at again.

Looking for Justice: Christian Contemporary Romance with Suspense

Amazon quote:

Can a former attorney and a war veteran keep an assaulted student safe and heal their own troubled pasts?“Edgy, gutsy, real” says Varina Denman, Author of the Mended Hearts Series “

Attorney Alexis Jergenson leaves her law firm and the pain of her clients’ abuse cases and decides to start over in a small Tennessee town. The Christian college there is desperate for a law professor, and she is desperate for a new career. The problem is she’s not a Christian, and to add to this, a student has been assaulted and comes to her for help.

Luke Stephens is recovering from the effects of the Afghanistan war. He’s settled down to teach and work his ranch. His only problem is with the new law professor—she looks too much like his unfaithful ex-wife, and Luke will do anything to avoid her. But Luke and Alexis are forced to team up to find the student’s attacker, and they put not only their lives but also their hearts in danger.… a book that will linger in your mind long after you read the last page…” Debby Mayne, author of the Belles in the City series Book 4 of the Dangerous series, but also a stand alone. A Christian book that contains sensitive subject matter.

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Another free book showed up, one more that I’ve read, enjoyed, and still remember.

An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train): An Orphan Train Novella

Amazon quote:

Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he’s grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him–plans that may include this feisty socialite?

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Currently, I’ve started a book that has captured my attention. I’m only on chapter two but still, it should be good all the way through. It’s at a low bargain price too.

This is about a race car driver who crashed and burned, literally. Only he wasn’t on the track, and it may not be an accident.

He’s also inherited a baby but we don’t know yet how that all came about. He’s hired a high school friend, turned private investigator, to figure out what happened. He also wants her to find the baby’s mother.

Show Me Best Friends: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 4) 

Amazon quote:

A “steel cowboy” with a wounded spirit, an ex-cop who’s never forgotten him, and a baby in need of love… Can these childhood best friends become more? A sweet, clean, wholesome romance with a happily-ever-after!

Damaged and scarred after an accident that ended his racing career, Maverick Clark returns to his family ranch to find a new purpose. When he starts caring for his buddy’s baby, Maverick turns for help to his childhood friend whom he’d had a crush on, Vera. Soon he wants more than friendship. But what does he have to offer her now?

At thirty-seven, jobless, husbandless, and childless, Vera Tsareva feels like she took a wrong turn somewhere. But once the road takes her back to her hometown to help her grandmother, she begins working with Maverick, the guy she’s tried to forget for many years. They even go on a trip to the other side of the world together, but he’s closed off his heart to her.

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It has been a warm one today and judging by the orange moon we are still bothered by smoke from nearby forest fires. When I say nearby, they are in the same province but miles away.

My son and his family live in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Yesterday they were driving home from holidays and the mountain highway (Coquihalla) had fire burning on both sides of the road. We were shocked it was still open when they went through.

(we affectionately call it The Coke)

When it is not burning this is an amazingly beautiful drive.

I’m sharing this for the pictures. I love this trip and I’ve driven it many times with some great memories. It’s about 2 hours long. Someone should film the whole highway then we could travel it vicariously. A friend in Norway send me a video like that once, it was a train trip. Norway has high mountains too. Watching something in real time seems like it would be boring but they did a good job with their camera work and it was enjoyable.

Anyway, enjoy the scenery.

And the books

Read and enjoyed July 16, 2021

It’s time to do another read and enjoyed post.

I don’t have a favorite of the week this time but all four were still good reads.

Of these first two, Rock and a Hard Place was my favorite. There was substance to the story, the characters were well developed. The story moved along well and was believable. There was more angst than I would like but aside from that it was a good experience.

The next two were also good reads but my favorite was Faith in the Mountain Valley. The secrets were revealed layer upon layer, which is the best, in my estimation. There was a great cast of characters and in the end I loved them all. Even the villains.

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I’ve just started a new book. I’m not far enough along, though, to make a judgement call on the story but since it’s by one of my favorite authors I’m expecting to love it. It is still a bargain too.

I won’t make it through this read as quickly as I did on the last four. This one is nearly 400 pages long.

I’m not complaining.

Oath of Honor (Blue Justice Book #1) 

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she’s never without someone to hang out with–or fight with. And she knows they’ll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy’s investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll–including someone from her own family. With her dead partner’s handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy’s head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she’s had a secret crush on for years won’t leave her side?

With her signature fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Lynette Eason invites readers into a captivating new series where justice is a family affair.

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Happy Reading on a happy Friday.

Mind you it’s nearly over. Maybe I should just say have a good weekend!

Free books May 20, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us. It turns out I have read this author once but it was six years ago. Too far back to remember clearly. Looking at the blurb, I wasn’t sure how to feel about this one but then there were some interesting reviews and the price was right, so why not.

I’ve read the first chapter or two (I’ve lost track for sure, always a good sign) and I think I’m gonna like this book.

If you are like me and the synopsis doesn’t grab your attention, read the first chapter. You just might like it.

Dupree’s Rebirth (The Adam Dupree Romantic Suspense Quadrilogy Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Sometimes life’s greatest mystery is finding yourself
Adam Dupree is at a literal crossroad of life. Dupree’s life has become a living hell and it’s time to make a change. Turn right and end it. Or, turn left, break free, and see where life takes him.

That one decision sends Dupree on an epic journey of rediscovery as he attempts to understand the mystery inside himself. Moving down a literal and figurative highway, his life attains meaning by defending the weak, protecting the poor and standing up for what is right in an unjust world.

As he re-discovers the thrill of being alive, Dupree becomes a hero, victim, and healer. But above all, he becomes a man with a purpose in life.

From deep Southern California, up the Great Central Valley, through Oregon and into Washington. Along the way, Dupree meets a cross-section of America. Some good, some bad, some givers and some takers.

Part JOHN STEINBECK, part WILLIAM FAULKNER, part MARK TWAIN, but all Micheal Maxwell.

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This next FREE book was recommended on author Chautona Havig’s Facebook page.

Again, I found myself reading the first few pages to see if it would be boring. I’m going to go for it. This is an author I’ve not read before but the price is right.

Patriot Star

Amazon quote:

It doesn’t get much worse than the prospect of a three-way civil war, and in a global superpower grown arrogant and complacent in its prosperity, one influential man leads the peaceful charge against corruption and tyranny, while others plot more radical solutions. Council Minister Merak Dorvallen’s allies are few, and now his youngest son Coren, a Lieutenant in the vaunted Irrianite military, is the target of government assassins. Desperate, Merak reaches out to Ohrim Sunvail, an old friend in exile who harbors potentially helpful secrets. Ohrim’s exceptionally competent and head-strong daughter Mei’ Shera accepts the assignment and thwarts the assassins, setting in accelerated motion events that will shape a drastically different future for Irrianon.

In the midst of the chaos, scientists in Irrianon have secretly cracked the code for interstellar space travel, which will shape a drastically different future for the entire planet of Toryl, especially when they find a sister planet of humans only a few years behind in technology. The winner of the Irrianite civil war will lay a solid first claim on the stars, unlocking a universe of possibilities for both progress and potential disaster.

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Two free books is awesome, considering I thought we were done for the day.

I’m going to curl up with a cozy blanket. I’m freezing.

The weather turned cool after the blistering heat of a few days ago and my system is not loving it. The fast change from 30c to 12c is just too much to bear. Besides, it went from dry to humid as well. Thunder and lightening. Rain. The plants are loving it. The gardens are turning green over night. Too bad the weeds are outpacing the good stuff.

That’s a lament for anther day.

Happy Reading!

Bargain books May 07, 2021

If I had to name my top ten favorite authors, this man would be on the list. That’s why I’m excited to see one of his books suggested by 1531 Entertainment. This is his most recently published and it’s book 1 in a new series. I believe this will be a first for him. I remember a two part story but not a whole series. I’m looking forward to the experience.

One of his sons wrote an emotional review with one strong suggestion. Cancel all appointments and book time off work. He cautions that once we start reading we won’t be able to put the book down. I believe him.

How fortunate that today is Friday. Good timing.

The Water Keeper (A Murphy Shepherd Novel Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

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.

Praise for The Water Keeper:

“I’m telling you, it’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel unlike anything I’ve ever read. And remember . . . the day you pick up this book is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world.” —Charlie Martin, son of Charles Martin

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Several of his other books are also listed as a bargain price right now.

Water from My Heart: A Novel 

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami.

Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter.

Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

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The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Experience Charles Martin’s debut novel, a story of loss and undying love written in his signature emotive and heartrending style. 

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles 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?

The Dead Don’t Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope.

  • Full-length, emotive Southern fiction
  • Sequel: Maggie

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I will be leaving it here for today. There is nothing I can do to top this, except maybe add more Charles Martin books.

It is a good thing I happen to be between books. I won’t even have to think to know what comes next.

Although maybe it’s late enough I should wait until morning to start. Hmmm.

Join me on this adventure.

Happy Reading

One thing led to another and here we are.

Podcasts. They have captured my attention and it would be safe to say I have been binge-watching often lately. Tonight was no exception and this is where the one-thing-lead-to-another comes in. And, in the end it led to books. I think that is quite awesome.

It’s no secret that there is abuse in my background. I’ve talked about it sparingly along the way and by the looks of it, will be sharing again.

As is often the case, the interviewee on the podcast has recently come out with a new book. Out of the six excellent videos watched tonight, the one to capture my interest the most was a story similar to mine. The ending in relation to her marriage was better than mine, aside from that though, the content was definitely helpful. Spoiler alert… the issue in the marriage was pornography, highly addictive and destructive. At the end of this post I’ll share the link for the podcast. Here is the book…

Choosing a Way Out: When the Bottom Isn’t the Bottom

Amazon quote:

Was it all a lie?

When the author heard her husband’s confession, it took her breath away. Looking back she realized her husband’s sin exposed the deception in her own life. This uninvited crisis proved to be the impetus for her ultimate healing.

Kirsten writes that for most of her adult life she believed:

• She wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or talented enough, or whatever enough.

She wasn’t a good person. She was too stubborn, opinionated, and direct.

She was a failure because she’d tried something bold and audacious and didn’t succeed like planned.

• She was invisible and forgettable.

In these pages, you’ll experience raw honesty and a clear path through the pain. You’ll realize that no depression is too dark and no lie too strong. Discover a powerful process where you exchange isolation for accountability and deception for deliverance. Today you can experience a way out, even in the bleakest of circumstances where the bottom doesn’t feel like the bottom. The truth is that God is greater than your pain.

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There’s more.

In the suggestion strip at the bottom of the screen there was a book that appears to apply to me. The longer I looked at it, the more familiar it felt. I checked. I have two copies of it, gifted years ago by a concerned friend. I have read it and taken copious notes, it was that helpful. I have it but will tell you about it again anyway.

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Amazon quote:

For those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and those who love and care for them, The Wounded Heart offers a tender, compassionate window into the psychological effects of abuse and the theological foundations for healing.

Thirty years ago, with great courage and vision, Dan Allender brought Christians to the table to acknowledge, understand, and help victims heal from their experience of the evil of sexual abuse. His work continues to help victims and those who love them to honestly acknowledge their abuse, understand the unique challenge of repentance for victims of abuse, and learn to love boldly in defiance of their trauma. Ultimately Dan offers the bold assurance to sexual abuse victims that even they can find their way to joy and hope in the comforting embrace of a good God.

The Wounded Heart has sold over 400,000 copies and has been the first book family, friends, counselors, pastors, and victims have turned to in search of Christian answers to the calamity of sexual abuse. With a new introduction reflecting on the ongoing importance of the book, and a companion workbook for personal and group recovery, The Wounded Heart continues to offer an urgently needed word of grace in a world ravaged by sexual abuse.

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So, further investigation led me to a newer book that I think is an updated version of The Wounded Heart. I think I need to read this one too.

Healing the Wounded Heart: The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation 

Amazon quote:

First published in 1989, Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart has helped hundreds of thousands of people come to terms with sexual abuse in their past. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Allender has written a brand-new book on the subject that takes into account recent discoveries about the lasting physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual ramifications of sexual abuse.

With great compassion Allender offers hope for victims of rape, date rape, incest, molestation, sexting, sexual bullying, unwanted advances, pornography, and more, exposing the raw wounds that are left behind and clearing the path toward wholeness and healing. Never minimizing victims’ pain or offering pat spiritual answers that don’t truly address the problem, he instead calls evil evil and lights the way to renewed joy.

Counselors, pastors, and friends of those who have suffered sexual harm will find in this book the deep spiritual guidance they need to effectively minister to the sexually broken around them. Victims themselves will find here a sympathetic friend to walk alongside them on the road to healing.

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One more for me from the suggestion strip.

For years I have been working on telling my story, looking for ways to express it more effectively. It’s important for several reasons. It’s therapeutic for me and affirming to those who hear it.

The percentages listed for those suffering as victims of abuse is high.

It looks like the numbers involved in addictions is even higher. Addicts leave victims, adding even more to the number of casualties. The importance of sharing our story is even greater now than it was when I started on this healing journey many years ago.

To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

Amazon quote:

God wants to reveal himself through your story. Discover how he has written your life so far, and how he is leading you into the rest of your story.

“This is a book worth reading. To make sense of your life. To discover the role God is giving you in his story.”—John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart and Get Your Life Back

Everyone wants clearer guidance from God on what to do with their future. In this insightful book, therapist and professor Dan Allender shows you how to listen to the stories of your life and identify the themes that God has written there. As you begin to understand both the hope and the heartache, you will gain a clearer sense of the meaning that God has written into every detail of who you are. You’ll also see how he invites you to join him in coauthoring the rest of your story. God is your Author, and he is showing you how to follow him into the future.

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In the above blurb the book Wild at Heart is mentioned. Excellent book. I have read my copy and highly recommend it. It’s written for men but gives helpful insight to the women in their lives.

Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

Amazon quote:

God did not create men to be nice boys. He created us to live a life of passion, freedom and adventure. To be dangerous men living in a really big story.

God designed men to be powerful. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: to be a hero, a warrior, to love a beauty, to live a life of adventure.

But sometime between boyhood and the struggles of yesterday, most men lose heart. All those passions, dreams, and desires get buried under deadlines, pressures, and disappointments. Christianity feels irrelevant to the recovery of their heart. No wonder most men leads lives of quiet resignation, meanwhile looking for a little “life” on the side. In this provocative book, Eldredge invites men to wholeheartedness by

  • recovering their true masculine hearts;
  • healing the wounds and trauma in their stories; and
  • delighting in the strength and wildness they were created to offer the world.

In this updated and expanded edition of the timeless, bestselling classic, John Eldredge calls men—and the women who love them—to discover the true secret of a man’s soul and embrace the danger, passion, and freedom God intended for every man.

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I didn’t plan for this post to go so long but it’s all good stuff.

As promised, here is the link for the podcast that started this ball rolling for me. The interview was in two parts and it was the second that impacted me the most. They were both good though.

It would probably be a good idea to watch part one first to give you context. Due to the length of this post I won’t include the link but it will show up for you when this one is opened.

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I hope this will be as helpful to you on your journey as it has been to me on mine.

All the best to you,

a fellow traveler.

Read and enjoyed … mid February edition

Six books and I loved them all.

The first two were a nice surprise, the author was new to me and it was awesome experience. I’m looking forward to more from her somewhere in the future. I have to tell you, this was not a fluff romance, to say there were tense moments would be a grievous understatement.

P.S. Goodbye (Prequel Novella) (Restoring Heritage)

What if a woman who’s all about the goals and plans falls in love with man who no longer believes his life has a purpose? A novice life coach needs to cement her reputation with one great success story. When a wounded former Special Forces operator walks back into her life looking for a job, she decides to work with him—a win-win for them both.

​If Caroline Williams had her way, she’d help everyone in town find their purpose in life—unfortunately, no one seems to want her help. But she refuses to give up, and her new status as a certified life coach should provide her with some badly needed credibility. All she needs is her first client. When Grant Quinn walks in looking for a job, Caroline knows he needs more than that—he needs a new plan for his life. But when Grant refuses to be honest about his dreams and his struggles, Caroline’s business might come crashing down before it starts.

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You Belong with Me (Restoring Heritage Book #1) 

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents. Unfortunately, selling houses in the town where her family name is practically poison isn’t one of them. When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map–and hopefully finally repay the financial debt Hannah’s mother caused the town. But at first no one supports her efforts–not even her best friend, Luke.

Luke Johnson may have grown up in Heritage, but as a foster kid he never truly felt as if he belonged. Now he has a chance to score a job as assistant fire chief and earn his place in the town. But when the interview process and Hannah’s restoration project start unearthing things from his past, Luke must decide if belonging is worth the pain of being honest about who he is–and who he was.

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The next three authors were all known to me and I loved these books. There was nothing simple about any of these stories, I think that was what I liked best about them.

The Lonesome Librarian: A Heartwarming Journey of Faith, Hope & Love (First Street Church Romances Book 5)

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Small-town librarian Sally Scott’s life is made up of a series of tremendous heartbreaks.

Her parents died when she was young, the love of her life just married somebody else, and looking after her agoraphobic aunt means she can’t leave town despite having no true friends to confide in.

Only her beloved books provide any true escape, until a town outsider returns and causes her to question everything she once thought she knew about herself.

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There was one thing spoiling this next experience for me. The abundance of detailed technical information. It was probably a detraction only because I’d read a similar book in the not too distant past and once was enough. The story was worth it though.

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue Book #1)

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure–and his injuries–has followed him there from Afghanistan.

He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones’s elite rescue team, but he also can’t shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun’s yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her.

As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost.

When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she’ll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes–the man she nearly killed.

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The Island House (Brides & Beaches Romance Book 1)

Thirty-seven, recently divorced, and childless. That’s Charlotte when she disembarks from the plane in Getaway Bay. She wants to get away, that’s for sure. She thought the best way to do that was to buy a run-down house overlooking the bay, knowing she’ll need all her fixer-upper skills to get it in shape. Which is just fine. She’s hoping as she overhauls the house, she’ll get a life makeover too.

She was not expecting a tall, handsome man to be under the kitchen sink when she arrives at the supposedly abandoned house. She wasn’t expecting to get drenched when the non-plumber twists something the wrong way. And she certainly wasn’t expecting her heart to be well enough to feel anything for anyone.

But former Air Force pilot, Dawson Dane, has a charming devil-may-care personality, and Charlotte could use some carefree laughter in her life. But everything with Dawson isn’t sunshine and unicorns. He’s estranged from his family, though he does speak to one of his brothers. And he’s never committed to anything except his career, even choosing flying over an engagement years ago.

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Aloha Hideaway Inn: A Sweet Beach Read (Getaway Bay Resort Romance Book 1) 

She’s got big plans for her tropical bed and breakfast, but the new high-rise resort in the bay is throwing a wrench into everything. So Stacey Stapleton does what any savvy businesswoman would do—she goes to spy on the resort stealing her business and ruining the beautiful Getaway Bay skyline.

Her undercover operation doesn’t do more than show her how flawless the Sweet Breeze Resort is—and that the owner is as handsome as he is smart.

Though annoyed by the new resort, Stacey focuses on Aloha Hideaway Inn, more determined than ever to give tourists the vacation of their lives. But when a tropical storm hits the bay, she and her guests have to take refuge in the high-rise hotel she hates.

Not only that, but the more time she spends with Fisher DuPont, the owner of Sweet Breeze, the more she has to admit that he’s not a monster.

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These were all fun reads and some of them are even still at bargain prices. You should give them a try if they look interesting.

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I’m between reads again and think I will go for a change of pace with a cowboy story.

Rafferty: Cowboy Trail Boss: Christian Historical Western Romance (The Kavanagh Brothers Book 9)

It’s chaos at the Kavanagh Ranch between cattle rustlers and his brother’s wives having babies Rafferty becomes the Trail Boss. He’s taking on the Chisholm Trail from Fort Worth, Texas to Abilene, Kansas. The trail is fraught with hardship and danger.

Just when Rafferty thinks he has everything under control he finds Mae along the trail and nothing in life has prepared him for her stubborn, feistiness. 

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Happy Reading!

Bargain books January 01, 2021

Happy New Year! I wonder how long it will take to shift over and get the date right. Muscle memory retrain time.

BookBub has a bargain suggestion for us, a three book collection. It appears I’ve downloaded books (including book one of this collection) from this author, Melissa Storm, and I’ve read the others but not this book one. It’s called The Loneliest Cottage, maybe I was shying away from lonely. I’m going for the collection and maybe it will be the push needed to get through and past book one.

Cottage, Light & Home: 3 Feel-Good Novels from the Sled Dog Series

Amazon quote:

These women are ready to take on the last great race… But they may be surprised where it leads them!

This USA Today bestselling series is now available in a special boxed collection for the first time ever. In Alaskan Hearts: Sled Dogs, three friends explore the world of dog-sledding and find themselves falling in love with the last men they ever expected to win their hearts.

Don’t miss the chance to lose your heart to a courageous team of sled dogs and the humans that love them in these three novels—The Loneliest Cottage, The Brightest Light, and The Truest Home—set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness.

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Several other Melissa Storm books showed up as bargains that I can’t resist.

The Sweetest Memory: (Alaskan Hearts Book 4) 

Amazon quote:

Ellie was lucky to survive what should have been a fatal accident. Unfortunately, she woke up with no memories of her past or what her life was before.

Recovery is slow, but each night she dreams of the same nameless, faceless man. It’s clear she loved him once, but she has no idea who he was or why he abandoned her in her hour of need. And as Ellie’s memories slowly continue resurface, she is horrified by the type of person she was before and questions how anyone could have ever loved her as she was.

Will she treat the accident as a second chance to right the mistakes of her past while forging a new future? Or will she risk everything that’s left in an attempt to reunite with the man that only her heart remembers?

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Saving Sarah: (The Gold Coast Retrievers Book 1)

Amazon quote:

A shy girl, a social guy, a second chance to get their stories right…

Sarah Campbell loves living vicariously through the residents at the Redwood Cove Rest Home. But when a surly patient insists she can’t die before “setting things right,” Sarah finds she may end up taking on far more than she ever bargained for… especially since all signs point to murder. Have she and her therapy dog Lucky stumbled upon the key to solving the most famous cold case in Gold Coast history?

Despite creating the world’s most popular social network, Finch Jameson lives a life of ashamed solitude. The last thing he wants is to draw attention to himself, but that’s exactly what happens when a distant relative delivers an earth-shattering confession in her dying days. Soon he finds himself more intrigued by the shy and beautiful nurse who’s committed to helping him solve his great-aunt Eleanor’s mystery than in the mystery itself. But will she ever let her guard down long enough to let him in?

Can Finch and Sarah work together to solve Eleanor’s big mystery before time runs out? And might redeeming Eleanor’s legacy somehow save them both in the process?

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I’ve read book 2 in this series.

The Long Walk Home: (The Church Dogs of Charleston Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Some say that whenever it snows in Charleston, God is giving a miracle to his most favorite of places. So, I reckon, the blizzard that bleached the entire sky that December must have been a blessing of epic proportions. It was certainly a miracle that I’d forgotten my cell phone after giving my Christmas Eve sermon and had to race back to the sanctuary in order to retrieve it.

Otherwise, how would anyone have ever known that right there in our famous nativity scene, a trembling, little Chihuahua had given birth to a litter of puppies? Yes, right there in the manger. O Holy Night for sure!

This is a story about how those special pups came to change our church—and all the people in it—for the better. Most especially my poor daughter, Abigail. Being the preacher’s kid is never easy. I know, because I grew up as one, too. But losing your spouse right while expecting to become a parent for the first time?

Well, that’s enough to make even the strongest of believers question God’s plans. I know I did. But then our Mama Mary Chihuahua and her Mini Miracles found us… And, well, I’ll let you read the story to find out what happened next!

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One more Melissa Storm and this one is FREE

The Second-Chance Waitress: (First Street Church Romances Book 2)

Amazon quote:

Small-town waitress Kristina Rose Maher wants to know why fairytales never happen for fat girls. When the doctor tells her she needs weight loss surgery to treat her diabetes, she sees this as a second chance to embrace life to the fullest and maybe even find a happily ever after all her own… Could the best friend who’s always been there for her be the prince she’s been hoping to find all along?

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One last one (a suggestion from BookRunes) and it’s also FREE. A total change of pace, it sounds intriguing enough to take a chance. I’ve not read this author so have no idea if it will be good or bad. As always, I’m anticipating and hoping for good.

Love Covers (Leaving Lennhurst Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

Two strangers hiding their own life-long secrets. Can pretending to be married…be that hard?

The town of Greenlock shuns the daughter of the mortician. Day after day, Lauren begrudgingly has to take over her father’s duties creating despondence in her tender heart.

Then a voice speaks from the morgue basement. A rough and tumble outlaw who’s supposed to be dead is still alive! For some unfathomable reason, Lauren agrees to help him stay dead.

Elias was raised at Lennhurst Asylum. Since he had no family or future, he jumped a half-served prison sentence and enlisted in the recent Civil War to wield explosives. From running and surviving all his life, all Elias promised anyone was loyalty. Love was out of the question. When Lauren mentions her longing to see her mother and sister in Colorado, for loyalty’s sake, he offers to take her on the arduous wagon train journey. Of course, it wouldn’t be proper not to be married while traveling together. Lauren and Elias, so vastly opposite; their charade should be easy and yet they never expected it to threaten their very lives.

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Eight new books. It seems like it’s always either feast of famine. Today is feast.

I’m excited about the appearance of diversity. I couldn’t make it through eight books with out it.

Happy New Year and happy reading

Bargain books December 06, 2020

I needed a distraction after an emotional morning so I went book browsing. It paid off this time. I found a bargain pre-order on a new release for an enjoyed author and I’m excited. It will be out in February. Here I was hoping for sooner.

Tides of Duplicity (Coventry Saga)

Amazon quote:

A jewelry heist, a kidnapping, and a choice. When Fitz’s sister disappears, he’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love. 

Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets and spends time with the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard.  

But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels—and he has the video evidence to prove it. As Shelby’s guardian, Fitz has to focus on caring for his sister, whether Tabby is innocent or guilty. He refuses to help the man—until he learns the mobster has abducted his sister.  

The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life. 

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Next, I found a couple of bargain novellas by another favorite author. One is Historical while the other isn’t.

On the Wings of a Whisper: A serialized historical Christian romance. (Sonnets of the Spice Isle Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Stone Town, Zanzibar, Early 1866

RyAnne Hunter is determined to stop her father from leaving for the continent of Africa, where he plans to start a mission station. And she only has until morning. Tonight at the Harcourts’ Annual Ball will be her last chance to change his mind. She must succeed! Papa’s health, and her future, depend on her success. But, as if her task isn’t difficult enough, now the insufferable Captain Dawson has agreed to guide Papa’s expedition!

After spending six months at sea, Captain Trent Dawson only wants to think about rest and relaxation. However, when he’s recruited by a British naval officer to help put an end to a slave smuggling ring, the perfect opportunity presents itself in Dr. Hunter, who needs a guide to the Interior. Now if he can just help the doctor without spending too much time with the man’s troublesome and flighty youngest daughter.

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My Blue Havyn (Heart’s of Hollywood series Book 1)

Amazon quote:

When Havyn Jessup agreed to join her church’s building trip, she had no idea the man who broke her heart was coming as well. The last thing she wants is to spend time with the now internationally famous actor, Levi Carter. Even if it is in Africa, where he might, if God had any sense of justice, be eaten, one tiny bite at a time, by a pride of hungry lions. Two whole weeks. She’d never survive that long.

Levi is elated to learn that Havyn will be joining the building team. He had planned to look her up just as soon as he got home to tell her what a fool he’d been. But there is no time like the present. And what better place to ensure she would hear him than when she was strapped in at thirty thousand feet above sea level? Two short weeks. Could he convince her he was a changed man in that amount of time?

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Usually, I prefer regular length books but the attractive thing about shorter right now is I can plow through them so much faster. It will help clear up some backlog… maybe. One can hope.

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Currently I’m reading a story fraught with misery. Sort of like my story prompt post today. There is enough hope in it to keep me reading, though. I can relate to this story.

The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace Book 1)

Amazon quote:

The Fragrance of Geraniums (A Time of Grace Trilogy, Book 1)

Told from multiple perspectives, this is a powerful story of three women – of the threads of mercy that connect them – and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father’s overwhelming redeeming grace.

Rhode Island – 1934

A GIRL
Grace Picoletti has nothing going for her – but she’s determined to succeed in life, nonetheless. Born to severe destitution, she claws her way up from the pit of family shame and secrets. She avoids close friendships – even with the likable, persistent Paulie Giorgi…

A WOMAN
Despite her own agonizing emotional pain, childless Emmeline Kinner reaches out to a young woman so far beneath her. She could never have known whom else God would set in her path through her friendship with Grace…

A MOTHER
Long ago, Sarah Picoletti resigned herself to a loveless, abusive life – and she believes that her daughter Grace must inherit the same fate. Yet Sarah’s own soul cries out for the blessed peace and hope of which the radio minister speaks…

A multi-generational Christian women’s novel set during the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930s. (Also appropriate for older teens.)

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Happy Reading …

… on the tail end of this cheerful sunny day.

I can tell it’s chilly out there by the way people are dressed but that hasn’t seemed to stopped them any. Many are still walking past my window as I sit here typing this up for you. My window on the world.