Free and bargain books February 16, 2023

We would have had two free books today but one of them was a good example of less-than-good writing. The second paragraph was all it took for me to make the decision.

The equivalent of one bite before pushing the plate away.

This makes me sad. Reading the synopsis, the story could have been a good one. Two things could have been helpful in making it better. One would be editing, or maybe better editing, and most importantly, time spent perfecting her craft.

There are several things that a person could do to accomplish this. One of the very best things an aspiring writer can do to is to read voraciously.. Well written books and nothing less. We will find ourselves reflecting the habits of an accomplished writer, and that is a good thing.

This is a fact of life for all of us, we begin to sound like the people we hang out with whether we want to or not. Just to show how this can work, unintentionally. This month, I’ve been spending endless hours hanging out with a murder trial. Yesterday, on an office email, I found myself saying let me rephrase the question.

This mimicking can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on our choice of companions.

Hopefully I’ll lose the lawyer lingo.

Although, reflecting on the strategizing conversation with my boss yesterday, I was pleased to see the progress I’ve made toward the ability to express ideas clearly and concisely. I attribute this growth to the people I’ve spent time with (mostly in the pages of a book) and to the conscious practicing of my craft (trying to achieve explanations that make sense.)

I could be writing instruction manuals. There’s a thought.

I’m still a work in progress though. It takes me hours to write a lengthy email with detailed instructions.

So, here is our one free book.

From This Day Forward: Encore Edition (Heartland Homecoming Book 1) 

They thought their marriage was over—
but can forgiveness open the door to a new future?

After his surgical career ends in tragedy and his marriage shatters, Dr. Sam Martin leaves Philadel-phia for a new life in Oak Hill, Missouri. But he’s never stopped loving the woman who stole his heart. Determined to win her back, Sam invites Cara to recover at his home after she suffers a trauma of her own.

Desperate to find a way to conquer the panic attacks that are paralyzing her, Cara accepts—though she wants no part of the husband who betrayed her. Deep in America’s heartland she discovers a changed man—but can she and Sam find a way to build a new future from the ashes of their past?

In this HOLT Medallion winner, bestselling author Irene Hannon takes readers on an uplifting journey that illustrates the healing power of love…and hope.


Another interesting suggestion showed up on this journey, book two in a series we’ve seen before.

Sylvia’s Journey: Betrayals & Beginnings (Seeds of Faith Book 2)

The beach. A kidnapping. An agonizing secret.

Prosecuting Attorney Sylvia Mason has no idea her latest case will have ever-lasting consequences that change her life forever. As a widow, she’s had two years to learn to live with heartache but is unprepared for what’s to come.

Alvin Griffin is a former Navy officer turned part-time preacher. He’s stuck by Sylvia’s side after the death of her husband, even though she pushes him away at every turn.

Will Alvin wait on Sylvia, or has she hurt his already battered heart too many times?


Well, that’s it for today as far as books go.

I hope it is a good reading day for you too.

Read and enjoyed January 12, 2023

It’s time for another batch of read and enjoyed books.

This first one was my favorite. It wouldn’t let me go and I simply had to give it five stars.

Honor Bound (Love and Honor Book #1)

It may seem odd to seek peace by moving to a war-torn African country, but for medical missionary Dr. Cynthia Myers, it provided a way to escape a shallow life of unearned wealth, a philandering fiancé, and a father now square in the public eye as vice president of the United States. At least here she knows her work and life have meaning. But all that is thrown into chaos when she fails to save the life of a local warlord’s mortally wounded son.

As part of the Army Special Forces “A-Team” on a mission to capture and subdue the warlord, Captain Rick Norton is compelled to use deadly force to save Cynthia’s life. Enraged at the violence she witnessed and riddled with guilt that men died because of her, Cynthia tries to hold on to her anger–but an unwanted attraction is taking hold.

With two members of his team badly injured and rebels in hot pursuit, Rick will have to draw upon all his strength and cunning to get her out alive . . . because he’s beginning to think they just might overcome their differences and be able to make a life together.


This next one was a fun read too. I loved it almost as much as the first one. I would be happy to read this one again. The first one too, really.

The Sport of Matchmaking (Clavering Chronicles Book 3)

For once, he has met a lady less inclined to marry than he is. How unfortunate that she is the only bride he will consider.

George Clavering is much too young to think about getting married. Yes, his older brother—and even his younger sister—have managed to tie the knot, but he has plenty more years of play and sporting events ahead of him before he need consider such a thing. Even matchmaking becomes a sport when gentlemen bet on the Season’s successes or failures in the club. He will not give them an opportunity to bet on him. Furthermore, why settle down when there are young women like Lady Alice who liven the sport of matchmaking with friendly wagers?

Lady Alice St. Clair is the fifth daughter of the Duke of Carr, and as she is independently wealthy and may do as she pleases, she has no reason to wed. She certainly has no intention of doing so. If the marriage mart offers nothing more than the unattractive boors who have presented themselves at her door for the past five seasons, it should hardly surprise her parents she cannot be persuaded to the altar. True, George Clavering has a full head of dark hair and a smile that is as mischievous as it is attractive, but no lady of character would change her mind for one above-average specimen of the male race.

For both, what began as a friendly bet between two bored guests at a ball turned into an earnest desire to help their protégés find happiness. And if some deeper feelings should stir in George to win Alice’s heart, then he has no choice but to dampen them. After all, Lady Alice has sworn she will not marry, and George has applauded her decision. For him to try to weaken her resolve now would be…unsportsmanlike.


More excellent books …

One more

It has been a good time, reading this week, or at least since last time I listed the read books for you.

It has been a slow week for new books all the way around. Maybe this weekend will be better for good suggestions. Not that I need any, it says there are over 900 unread books on my device now.

Must remember to read faster. I start out with good intentions but get into the story and forget to hurry. At least I enjoy the book, there is that.

Until tomorrow,

Happy reading!

I loved this book December 28, 2022

Well that bargain didn’t last long. It seems we have to hurry if we want the good deals. But enough of that.

There are many things about this book that I loved. There was one thing in particular, though. Read on to see what that was.

Romeo’s Way (Mike Romeo Thrillers Book 2)

Mike Romeo had a difficult life as a kid. Bullied, not fitting in, misunderstood, neglected at home, he had to find ways of coping to survive. He started life as an overweight kid, that was bad enough but attending university as a young teen was no picnic and his out in both cases was books.

A kind soul took pity on him as he grew older and taught him to box. Well enough to hold undefeated titles. As an adult he was a powerhouse with an arsenal of moves that made him a formidable opponent. That coupled with his vast reading and wicked sense of humor, he was amazing.

That’s what I loved most about him, his sense of humor. His opponents were either impressed or confounded with the flow of pithy quotes. Most of the time words did the job leaving no need for physical altercations.

He wasn’t a fun kind of guy though, life had taught him enough hard lessons that he would never be the life of the party. He was more apt to be a runner when things were uncomfortable. The definition for uncomfortable was relative. It didn’t take much for him to decide to move on. He had friends who disagreed and wanted him to stay.

All of the characters had depth but Mike Romeo was by far my favorite, just as the author intended.

I loved the way the story played out and the way it ended.

This was a Five star read, definitely.


Book description from Amazon…

“I don’t want anybody bleeding to death, okay?” I said. “I think your problem is education. There’s just no discipline anymore. You have to know there are consequences for bad behavior. Without that, society falls apart.”
Baton Guy croaked, “I can’t breathe.”
“You just can’t go around doing this sort of thing,” I said. “It isn’t right. Now, one of you is bleeding pretty badly and won’t be riding a bike anytime soon. The other one still needs to learn, am I right?”
“Don’t kill us,” Knife Guy said.

Mike Romeo, the former cage fighter living low in L.A., doesn’t look for trouble. He doesn’t have to. It comes after him. So when he’s hired by a California senatorial campaign to do undercover work, Romeo doesn’t have any illusions. Especially when his duty takes him to San Francisco.

But as Romeo gets closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the hit job on an honorable man, things heat up in the City by the Bay –– and between Mike and a beautiful political operative. Until a bullet nearly takes him out for good.

Now all bets are off. Because if there’s one thing Romeo wants, it’s justice. And he’s going to get it––his way.


I guess the synopsis was going for no spoilers and in my mind that’s why it didn’t do this book the justice it deserved. The reading experience was so much better than the book description led me to believe it would be.

This book is definitely on my top five list. Although 5 is too small for the number of books read that should be on my top five list. Maybe I will make it a fat five so more will fit. I’d have to read fewer books for there to be a smaller number of top five books, so we have to be creative.

This book is worth the read at any price.

Check it out and . . .

Happy Reading

Firefly Cove – a book review November 23, 2022

Firefly Cove (Miramar Bay Book 2)  by Davis Bunn

I cried and still want to, although with time the need is finally fading. The book ended. Intensely bitter sweet.

Honestly, the story brought me to tears a number of times, I would dare you to read it and not cry too. It can’t be done. Really.

Davis Bunn understands on a deep level the way we as people behave in complex situations, which I find amazing.

I think it’s amazing because not many authors are able to do and do it so very well. Charles Martin is the other name that springs to mind when I read a book like this. He has the same deep understanding of human nature.

In both cases their characters are believable, the stories are rich, and every word must be read or we will miss important threads in the story.


This is a story of the unexpected, a story of second chances, a story of mind bending situations.

Anything could be possible, right?

The impossible starts this way . . .

Luke has been attempting suicide, four times. This time it works. A neighbor notices something is not right and intervenes calling for an ambulance, but it’s too late.

Then there is an issue with getting a pick up from the morgue so it’s decided to place him in the basement of the hospital while they are waiting.

Before they leave him Luke moves and wakes up to a cold room with a sheet over his head. It’s a harrowing experience. As could be expected, things don’t go well and he ends up totally restrained in a hospital bed. With burly guards, nurses, a doctor, and his therapists all surrounding him.

It seems he’s lost his memory because he has no idea about this person they think they are talking to.

Here is some back story.

Since the age of seven, Lucius Quarterfield has known he is dying. Doctors told him he had a “bad ticker” and might not live to see his next birthday. But somehow, the frail yet determined boy managed to hang on and surprise everyone. Lucius not only survived to adulthood, he thrived, turning a small car dealership into a successful chain. But now, at twenty-eight, his time is finally running out. So he’s returning to the one place he ever felt happy, near the only woman he ever truly wanted—the California seaside town of Miramar Bay
Jessica was the only daughter of the only dentist in town. She was able to follow in her father’s footsteps, as he desired. But Jessica preferred the simple things in life—a trait that captivated Lucius from the moment he arrived in town. Her quick wit and carefree approach to life were a breath of fresh air to a man who devoted all his time to work. Soon they were falling head over heels—until Lucius pulled away, to spare her the pain of his inevitable fate.

Now, after all this time, he’s going to make each moment count. Because he knows that everything is about to change…he just can’t know exactly how.


I loved this 5 star book and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of these kinds of stories. The genre is listed as romance but it is so much more than that. Love it.

You won’t know how good it is until you get into it.

Happy Reading.

A little of this, a little of that November 13, 2022

This is one of those days when I have nothing.

Although, it’s not strictly true in that while there is nothing structured, and filled with good content, there are still a few things on my mind.

Like how insanely frustrated I am with the recent changes to the stats page. I am sure someone loves the new feature but it’s not me. There are three little pieces of information that could fit in 1/2 inch horizontal space but no, it has to take up 3 inches, at least, meaning I have to scroll back and forth to see the information pertinent to me.

The irony in all of this is my recent decision to share only positive rather than negative thoughts and opinions. It didn’t take long for that good intention to fly out the window.

The whole negative-thoughts decision was related to my less than glowing assessment on several recently read books. My insecure mindset viewed the weak response to the post as a good indicator that I should stick to compliments. The old adage, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

The thing is – not all books are created equal. In truth, there are probably fewer well written books than there are not-so-well written. Like anything else in life some of us find certain tasks easier than others do. There is nothing wrong with that. In the end though, talent is one thing but willingness to do the hard work is the magic key. So, while not all books are great, I don’t need to comment on them. I’ll just keep quietly removing them before sharing a recently read and enjoyed post. Besides it not like I have a large audience and my opinion matters to the masses.

I am envious of one blogger I follow, she can, and often does, declare loudly about hating a book. She says it and we smile. I don’t have that gift, wish I did (big smile.)


So, on to read and enjoyed.

Last night I finished Book 1 in a series and loved it. Kindle has a new feature that groups series together. It turns out, using this feature, I have Book 2 as well. I do remember starting it but having trouble making a solid connection. Now that I’ve read book one the beginning of book two is making more sense to me. Hopefully it will turn out to be as good as book one.


Final thoughts on the rant we started out with.

Years ago we lived near a talented friend with an amazing voice. He loved to participate in community events singing solos of all kinds. We all thought he could have made it in the music industry if he wanted. He could have but he didn’t have the want to or the drive and dedication needed to make it happen. We’ve seen others with less talent who did make something special out of their gift.

We’ve seen it happen in other areas of life too, where the most talented weren’t the most successful.

It’s amazing how much of our success depends on the way we think and the way we act. A revolutionary thought.


Tomorrow is Monday. Up and at’em

In the meantime. . .

Happy Reading

Review update October 23, 2022

False Pretense (A Murder in the Mountains Book 4)

It’s been decided. Yesterday I mentioned that the beginning of my current read left me undecided about interest level, was it going to be worth my while? It was too early to tell given I’d only read a few pages. My assessment soon was that the story looked interesting but the writing was left wanting. In the end I didn’t read every page but did read the whole book.

My final decision? The story was well thought out, strong, and interesting. The writing/editing was inconsistent. There were large segments that worked well interspersed with smaller ones that were weak and dissatisfying.

Most of the weak segments were part of the transition between scenes. Tense seemed to be part of the problem at times. (Present? I mostly noticed when it felt off. I wasn’t paying enough attention to tell for sure what was originally intended. I’ve been told present tense is not easy to do well.) But the main distraction involved the regular habit of switching between showing and telling. I can see how it may have been easier to list the needed information leading into scene changes but that practice weakened the story.

In the end though, I loved the book.


My current read is going much better. The stories, strength wise, are on a par but the writing/editing is much better in this one. My one complaint is excessive descriptive detail. I’m skimming pages fairly often in this read too. But I’m loving it otherwise.

Sunrise (Sky King Ranch Book #1) 

Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him. 

That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.

When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?


Sometimes I wonder if excessive descriptions are used as a tool for achieving word count. In most cases the stories would survive without them.

I’m happy reading.

Read and enjoyed September 09, 2022

Three books in a row, great books. Every one of them kept me reading much too late at night but the last one read was the best one. They were well written (less-well is a distraction to me. that’s the trouble with reading so many books, it’s easy to become picky about likes and dislikes,) and there was a satisfying amount of meat on the bones of the story.

There were a few things in each book that were less than thrilling but in the long run they were minor when stacked up against the good. Best one first.

Buried Cold Case Secrets (Deputies of Anderson County Book 1)

Recovering her missing memories

could be the key to solving a murder

Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first.

For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?


This next story turned out to be much better than expected. A pleasant surprise, indeed. It may even be a tie for first place on this favorites list, now that I refresh my memory of the story.

Even Forever: A Clean Western Romance (Boulder Creek Romance Book 1)

The last thing Rosalie Tomkin wants is another man trying to control her life.

Rosalie’s abusive jailbird father and her ne’er-do-well brother have cured her of that. Not even the wealthy visitor staying in her beleaguered mother’s boarding house can tempt her. She plans to leave Boulder Creek as soon as she can scrape together the funds to do so, and when she does, she won’t ever look back.

Michael Randolph is in a high-stakes competition for the family business and intends to beat his half-brother, no matter what. So when an innocent encounter with Rosalie threatens to cost him everything he hopes to achieve, he’s willing to pay the price demanded by her no-good father. Even if it means marrying a damsel in distress.

Strangers placed in an impossible position, Michael and Rosalie can agree on one thing. Neither of them wants to stay together any longer than they must. What they don’t know is that fate might have a better future in store for them than either could imagine.


Last but not least another good book.

Risky Ambition (Vanishing Ranch Book 3)

Former Navy fighter pilot Nate Casper, also known as Ghost, splits his time between flying jet-setting celebrities around the world and volunteering to help with rescues at Vanishing Ranch. When movie star Chesney Blake books a trip with him, Ghost sets aside his attraction to her in order to remain professional.

But when his flight plan gets waylaid by a barrage of bullets, putting Chesney in danger, his intention of keeping his distance takes a nosedive.

Chesney Blake needs a break before filming her next movie. But when her getaway erupts into nothing short of chaos and her pilot transforms into her protector, her vacation plans are forgotten. Does someone really want her dead? Or was she even the intended target?

As more incidents threaten their safety, Chesney and Ghost set out to uncover the truth. But as they get closer to finding answers, Chesney is faced with a fate worse than she ever imagined—even worse than death itself.


The last two are still on at bargain prices if you are interested.

Happy Reading y’all

Short and sweet August 26, 2022

No new books today. But it’s Friday so that makes up for the disappointment.

I’m enjoying the current read more than I expected. It isn’t intense like the murder mystery but the characters have depth and their interactions are meaningful. Some of the situations and discussions are thought provoking. I think it’s fair to say there is a point to the interactions and it’s not a bad one. They are gradually allowing new perspectives in their long held habits and opinions and that is always a good thing.

There was an exciting birthing scene where they had to help a new mother-to-be who was in trouble. Her calf was in a bad position and it was touch and go on whether they could help her push out this big baby. Quite the experience for a citified music teacher. In her defense, it was all new but she took it in stride and did an excellent job as assistant to the impromptu “vet”.

It’s amazing how an experience like that can change our outlook on life.

I thought I might finish reading this book tonight but I’m not sure I can stay awake long enough.

My oldest grandson is leaving for college in the morning so we had a going-away/send-off party for him tonight. The backyard party was fun and travelling into the city wasn’t too bad except there was more traffic on the highway than usual. Although I guess, not really for this time of year. Summer is quickly coming to an end and people are making the most of it.

Here is the book, nearly finished.

The male main character is a reluctantly retired farmer who is frustrated because his heart condition does not allow him to work as hard as he wants to.

The female lead character is teaching his grand daughter piano. The student is as frustrated as he is because she wants to be in the barn with her animals, not trying to make pleasing sounds come from a piano.

Grandpa listens intently to the lessons while he is waiting for the lesson to be over. He is picking up the skill much faster than the pupil.

This guy reminds me of a landlord we had once. In his sixties, taking piano lessons for the first time and loving it.

Look at the time, must go.

Happy Reading folks.

Book of the month? August 19, 2022

I think it is. This book stood out for me, way above the rest of this months reads. I love it when that happens.

A well crafted story is what did it for me this time. The relatable characters were fully developed and interesting. From beginning to end the tale was engaging. But the biggest reason, aside from the plot, was the slow reveal of a complex story. The unforeseen twists and turns continued right to the very last page.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Nothing is ever perfect though and one scene did rankle. There was an altercation with life threatening injuries but the outcome was barely mentioned. The story just stepped over the body and kept moving on. We, the readers, were left stuck at that spot needing resolution of some sort. The incident was briefly mentioned later but it came across as an after-thought.

In a way I can see why it was left hanging like it was. More time given to the who and why of the incident could have taken the story down an unwanted rabbit trail. The event did clear up an aspect of the mystery and was needed for that but . . .

I can see the issue but have no thoughts on how it could have been handled any better.

In spite of that blip, I loved the book. Well done.

A Midnight Dance 

“Politano writes beautifully, evoking the magic of ballet and the theater from the opening turns to the final curtain, leaving readers applauding for an encore.”–Booklist starred review


All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most–and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.

Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past?


Usually I open a new book the minute a last page is read.

Out of respect, this beloved book needed to be savored for a while.

Morning might be soon enough to move on.

Or not.

I doubt I can wait that long.

I’ll check out today’s book suggestions while I’m waiting and reassess later.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Read and enjoyed March 30, 2022

Three books and the first one was my favorite.

Catching Katie: A Novel 

Katie is strong willed and unconventional. Definitely raising eyebrows everywhere she goes. There are many restrictive expectations put on the women of her day and Katie defies pretty much all of them. University – where women are the oddity, arriving back in town driving a motor car… unescorted. All of it scandalous. Even more so when she hops out of said motor car wearing bright pink bicycling bloomers, showing off her stockinged calves. It is more than her scandalized audience can bear.

The only one not running from Katie is her lifelong best friend. He knows all of her quirks and supports her vehemently, even when he would rather not. They’ve been on many wild childhood adventures together, this day is just an extension of all that.

I loved the way the story unfolded. Katie is caught up in the cause she vowed to support with her life. Then finds herself in a tough place when conflict develops between her pledge to the cause and her blossoming love for her best friend.

Experiencing history in a story like this is enlightening and in this case, enjoyable.


My next favorite was…

Charming the Troublemaker (Mitchell’s Crossroads Book 2) 

This story was enjoyable and engaging. Both characters have experienced hard places in their lives. Trust and insecurities prove to be mountainous obstacles for each of them at times. But then, tense keeps the story interesting.

The story line was unremarkable, other books use similar bones. It was a good thing the details worked to make it unique.

Why didn’t I love this like the first one? There were too many repetitive scenes. I confess to scanning through many pages aiming for the good parts.

I did like the read though and I have enjoyed other books by this author. I don’t recall this experience with other Basham books so it’s likely just not one of her better books. It was good enough though, that in good conscience I couldn’t help but give it 4 stars.


This next one I gave 3 stars. The three stories in the collection were OK but they were basically all the same. Maybe if I hadn’t read them in one sitting I’d think differently. But then again, maybe not.

Carsen Brothers of Sweet Rivers Ranch Books 1-3

At first it reminded me of past reads and it took awhile to figure out if I had or hadn’t read some of them already. The details were different enough to finally convince me this was a new read.

There were six brothers in this series. Unrelated by blood they still developed tight knit relationships as a band of adopted brothers. There wasn’t one healthy romantic relationship among them and it’s easy to see why they unanimously decided to be done with love and marriage. Breaking the pact was unthinkable.

Their beloved adoptive father’s tender heart was committed to family and he wanted that for his boys. For a legacy to live on there must be offspring. You get the picture.

To their collective horror, their dad succumbed to cancer, leaving an iron-clad will specifying all six brothers must be married within twelve months for them to receive ownership of the ranch they love. How could he do this to them?

Not my favorite style of writing but I’m not sorry to have stuck with it to the end. (albeit with lots of skimming)


I’m between books and think my next read will be the latest Christy Barritt mystery. This one is still a bargain. Check it out.

Dylan (Lantern Beach Blackout: Danger Rising Book 2)

Happy reading y’all