Favorite books this week September 23, 2020

This has been an exceptional week for excellent books. Three in a row. I feel like it’s been my lucky week.

A Distance Too Grand (American Wonders Collection Book #1)

What I liked most about this book:

  • There was a whole cast of strong well developed characters. I loved all but one of them. You might even agree with me on this.
  • There was a fresh and interesting story line with more than enough tension and intrigue to keep me reading. All of it well balanced to avoid reader frustration. (I’m a big fan of no frustration.)
  • An amazing setting.
  • I won’t tell you about the ending. Surprises are a good thing.
  • I could easily read this one again. It was my favorite.

******************

Number two on the list was my next favorite.

Blessing Bentley (Marriages of Conviction Book 1)

What I liked most about this book.

  • The writing style was quirky. This created light moments which made the read fun.
  • The foundation of the story was thought provoking. At no point was there intent to convince the reader of a particular point of view. This was both unusual and greatly appreciated. The what if question was posed and thoroughly explored. In the end any conclusions would be left to the reader.
  • Sometimes (many times, if we are honest) the writer has an agenda and it is to sell an idea. With his/her attention focused on the idea the story falters as underdeveloped and weak. A simple vehicle to carry the idea. In this case that didn’t happen. There was an agenda of sorts but it ended up as foundational to the story. It worked beautifully.
  • The characters were relatable and lovable.
  • There was tension in all the right places without a hint of frustration in the reader over the progression of the story.
  • I’m not in a hurry to read this again but I could easily.

****************

Number three:

The Wedding Bond (Christian Romance): Sacred Bond South: Book One

What I liked most about this book:

  • It was both light (not shallow) and deep (not dark). Stories with substance are my favorites.
  • As with the other two books; the characters were relatable and strong. They had flaws and struggles which made them all the more real. I couldn’t help but love them.
  • The plot was unique. Not once did I wonder if I’d read this book before (a thought that runs through my mind more often than I like it to.)
  • Overall, it was worth my time and I’m glad I took a chance on it.

********************

Happy Reading.

I hope your reading week has been as awesome as mine.

Read and enjoyed Mid May Edition

It’s a slow day for interesting book suggestions so we will go straight to read-and-enjoyed.

Usually I start things off with the book I loved most. I can’t really do that this time as I can’t think of one at the moment. This week nothing rose above OK and some didn’t even make it that far. Most of the less than okay stories will show up later on the unfinished list.

Nothing this week was terrible. I do have to acknowledge that. I also have to recognize part of the issue is personal preference. Most of these authors have multiple published books so they do have an appreciative audience out there.

So… The book that stands out most clearly for me at this point in time is not the most favored but the most disappointing.

There are a few reasons why.

  • I really liked the book, in the beginning, and wanted/expected it to be a favorite read.
  • But then, momentum fizzled out about half way through and never did recover.
  • There was a villain, the story needed one. It turned out he was not an integral part of the story but simply a planned element.
  • And then, content cuts did not go deep enough. Particularly in the last part of the book where I skimmed (touched down briefly here and there) quickly through the last dozen or so chapters.
  • Finally, the ending was weak and forgettable.

The villain is awkward and unbelievable but the rest of the characters are well developed and relatable. The story idea is good. If the opportunity is ever available, I think this book would definitely be worth a rewrite.

(Remember: I can’t be disappointed if I’m not invested to begin with.)

Just As I Am: (Unfailing Love Book 1)

Just as I Am

Amazon quote:

Adeline Rhodes has spent years locked away in a New Orleans apartment controlled by her criminal boyfriend. After a daring escape, she realizes just how far she has grown from the things in which she once believed.

Declan King has lived a life of solitude and duty for the U.S. Army. When the deaths of his grandparents bring him home to his family farm, he is forced into contact with people who know too much about his past to simply leave him alone.

***************

 More books read.

A Lily Bloomstwo o'xlock slump

The Daddy PactCalled to Protect

A Fine MessMontana Dawn

Second Chance SummerBlast from Her Past

Some Enchanted EveningProtected

Broken ButterflyAn Unfinished Death

Star RisingAccept Me

HiddenHer Kind Hearted billionaire

Troubled watersFinding Mr Write

Her (Not) so perfect love matchMischief in Miracle cove collection

**************

Well, as always, I can’t believe I am way behind again. It feels like only a week has gone by since the last read-and-enjoyed post and it’s been three at least.

The trouble with reading a book every day, after two or three they tend to run together in my mind. As each book was added to this page things started coming back to me and I realize I lied about having favorite books this time. There are a number of books in this list that I did like a lot. I think I mentioned a few on some of the daily posts so that makes me feel a little better.


Until next time….

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome books Read & Enjoyed

Three awesome books in a row, I couldn’t have been happier. Well, four if you count my current read.

Yesterday was the final read of the three books and the last page was a big let down. A cliffhanger? I’m used to neat and tidy. I had to flip through the pages a few times to realize it really was the last page. I wasn’t ready for it to end and unexpected probably made it worse. It didn’t end. It just stopped – mid scene. A real cliff hanger. Now I have to read book 2.

It’s probably a good thing it wasn’t any  longer, I had enough trouble putting it down as it was. In my opinion, everything about the book was perfect. The time travel element had a unique spin that added to the allure. I give this book a solid 5*****

It is still $2.66 CDN. There are  five more books in the series and they are all linked so it’s good to start at the beginning.

Yesterday

Amazon quote:

When HANNAH KRAEGER saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago.

*********

The other two awesome books belong to Chautona Havig. I like all of her writing but these two are my favorites, at the moment anyway. It was an exciting surprise to find them even better than expected and I had trouble putting these books down.

The common thread between them is speech. In Speak Now the leading man doesn’t speak unless absolutely necessary. A successful business man, he does all of life like that and it works for him. Relationship can get complicated, though, when there are missing pieces of information. He’s oblivious. In Corner Booth the leading man loves to talk, more than a little too much. His friends have been calling him on it, daring him to hold back. An experiment seems like a good idea. He won’t speak to his unexpected lunch partner, he’ll try listening, to see if he can. It turns out to be an eye opener and he doesn’t always like what he’s learning about himself. Meanwhile, she’s learning to like him, a lot.

Speak NowCorner Booth

********

I’m currently reading Shadows in the Curtains and I’m almost finished. It’s another book I can’t put down. It’s still FREE if you hurry

It is a Billionaire story but you’d never know it. Not a single hint of the lifestyle-of-the-rich-and-famous. She’s the one with inherited money, lives in a nice house, and can afford to pursue her business dreams. He’s a regular guy, attracted to her before he knows anything about her.  The drama happens when her stalker begins killing everyone close to her so he can have her all to himself.

Shadows in the Curtain

Every stage actress wants fans, but what happens when one goes too far? 
Emmy has the perfect life— a house on the beach, a successful career headlining the local theater, and love. But when a brutal murder brings unimaginable grief, Emmy’s world comes crashing down. As she tries to pick up the pieces, she can’t seem to avoid Josh, the new fireman in town.

********

Happy Reading

on another beautiful day in our frozen neighborhood where it has suddenly turned warm. 1c. The sun is hot and the snow is melting.

 

 

One free book, and a disappointing review for Her Last First Kiss

One FREE book today, courtesy of BookRunes daily email. It appears I would have read this book when I downloaded it in 2013 but I don’t remember. I’ll check it out again, along with you, to see if I liked it or not.

The nephew's wife

A disappointing book review.

This is good bad example… of a story that really isn’t a story, it’s a vehicle used to fulfill a desired purpose. In my opinion.

Her Last First Kiss

The purpose often seems to be; to meet a need to hear the juicy details of a relationship between a hunky man and a beautiful woman. To be fair, the purpose in this case isn’t to provide erotica. The interaction is clean, if you are making a comparison to other books. My complaint isn’t with behavior, it’s with the fixation on behavior at the expense of the tale I was hoping to hear.

A need to focus on boy/girl interaction is something I’ve never been able to understand. I admit I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because at an early age I lived through my own abusive encounters and that had a negative effect. Or maybe it’s just because that’s who I am. As a teen I had zero interest in discussing boys even though I dated through high school.

I’ve never thought too deeply about why I didn’t care about boy talk, I just know I like what I like and the focus on raging hormones is not it.

I do like to read about relationships that turn into deep love. Marriages built on  kindness and respect. Maybe this is because life modeled for me in my formative years was based on lust, with a lack of either kindness or respect.

It would be easy to believe the bad example lived before me is all there is to life but as an adult I’ve witnessed positive relationships lived out of deep love. Not many of them mind you, but enough to know it is possible.

The main thing here though is – healthy or unhealthy – I don’t need to hear all the gory details. Tell me a good multi dimensional story, including a few appropriate descriptions important to the flow of the story.

In the case of this book; the story line is weak and frustrating. So much so that I called it quits without even going to the end to see how it all turned out. (Scarlett was there to help turn around her ailing grandfather’s struggling ranch. The ranch took a back seat to her love interest.)

So, in the end, I wasn’t offended, just disappointed.

Calling a book good or bad depends on your point of view. Some books are bad, period, no matter what. This book is not one of them.

You may read it, see things in a different light, and like it more than I did.

Happy reading! There is a weekend coming up.

 

The Shell Collector’s Daughter

There are many TV shows that could possibly qualify as one of my favorites.

Touched by an Angel is one of them. A team of three angels is assigned to help a human in a difficult situation. They must appear undercover, assuming a persona and occupation that will allow them to become a regular part of life for their assignee. They’re allowed to be friendly, as long as they don’t reveal who they really are … unless their person has figured it out first. They can help things along a little by using their heavenly powers but it would have to be done discreetly.

The angel personalities are so different and that’s a big part of the appeal. The older lady is bossy, the younger is tender hearted and helpful. The sweet guy fills two roles; he is also the angel of death.  Most of the time, though, he just makes himself useful. When the three of them have trouble seeing eye to eye, as often happens, the carrying out of their assignment is a challenge — so much fun to watch.

Twice in a Lifetime is another of my favorite TV shows. There is just one angel this time. He’s been given advanced warning and he’s already in place waiting for the event. It is always a premature death of  someone who has managed to made a mess of their life. Sometimes the cause will be bad attitudes, bad choices, or both.  The angel (a cute young guy) will take the newly deceased person before a heavenly judge (an older man with a twinkle in his eye and a heavy hand on his judge’s gavel). To address confusion about why they are there he will show flashbacks of their life, highlighting their bad choices. If they exhibit understanding and remorse they will qualify to attempt a do-over. If they agree to his terms they will be sent back (accompanied by the cute angel) to an earlier  date in their life. They won’t go back as themselves but in some other role meant to cross paths with them. They have several  weeks to convince their younger self (without direct influence) to change their ways. If they are successful their life path will change, avoiding the dreaded death scene. Of course, this is never as easy as it sounds. So many things can go wrong, and usually do. The angel’s patience is severely tried at times, as he attempts to coach them toward a good ending.

The Shack by William P. Young is a book that reminds me of an extended and expanded episode of Touched by an Angel. The similarity is in the part heaven plays in changing lives and it always takes patience on the part of the angels.  They can’t cause, or convince anyone to do anything. They need to find loving ways to influence, but not force, people to make changes and good choices. Fortunately, for the struggling humans, angels do not give up easily.

The Shell Collector’s Daughter reminded me of these past enjoyments and I had to share them as an introduction to this heart warming story.

The Shell Collector's daughter

Surf’s Up Series – The Shell Collector’s Daughter – Beth Wiseman

Carianna has an unusual and close  relationship with God… has had all her life. Every Thursday she has afternoon tea with Him, and they talk. She listens to him every other day, too, but Thursdays are special. The rest of her routine for the week, Monday to Friday, has her catching the early ferry to Shell island. She stays until she has her day’s quota of beautiful gleanings for her father’s shop

Her kindness is legendary. She is loved by everyone in the village, and they take her safety personally. Her father is grateful because Carianna is very beautiful and has gained the unwanted notice of many men, young and otherwise. As protector, he has a  fierce reputation with the men of the village and beyond. So far, not one of the local men has ever gained his approval and they value their life too much to make any unsanctioned moves toward his daughter.

Carianna is oblivious to all of the drama.  She’s never shown any interest in a boyfriend, never mind a husband. This is going to have to change. Her father has been diagnosed with cancer and time is quickly running out for him. He’s worried. He’s trying to plan a safe future for her life without him.

Reporter Dominic is spending time on her beach researching an article for a travel magazine. There are a number of beaches in the country popular for shell collecting and this is one of them. He’s writing a fluff piece, really, but since he’s still grieving the death of his mother he appreciates the simple distraction of an easy subject. Other than work, he has nothing  on his mind, not even attractive women. The very last thing he wants to consider right now is love. That’s why it’s such a shock when he encounters a beautiful young woman; feeling an instant and strange bonding with her. She is unlike any one he has ever met. He can’t quite find a way to adequately describe the aura of puzzling innocence about her. The unsettled feeling each time he sees her has him attempting to escape.  It never works. Somehow he finds himself drawn back into her life instead.

This afternoon she’s insisting on taking him home to meet her father. Dominic is trembling in his boots. A fellow passenger on the ferry to the beach told him what would happen if her father ever saw him showing interest. Now he’s in shock; her father has just issued an  invitation for him to stay and share a meal with them … a confusing, and scary  development.

She’s not surprised at her father’s invitation. God has been whispering in her ear. He’s shared with her the description of a man … this man.

Beth Wiseman has done an awesome job, telling this beautiful and unusual story.

 


Now comes a varied selection of interesting, sometimes scary, sometimes compelling,  books. Hopefully you will find them enticing too.

Temporary Bride Dakota Brides Series – Temporary Bride book 1 – Linda Ford.

An Invitation to Murder  Lady Katherine Regency Mysteries – An Invitation to Murder book 1- Leighann Dobbs and Harmony Williams

the bridge beween An Edisto Novel – The Bridge Between – Lindsay P Brackett

Paramedic killer  Medic-7 Series – Paramedic Killer book 2 – Pat Patterson

To Claim Her Heart  To Claim Her Heart – Jodie Wolfe

Conspiracy of Silence  The Tox Files – Conspiracy of Silence book 1 – Ronie Kendig

Deadly Night, Silent Night  Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations – Deadly Night, Silent Night book 8 – Margaret Daley

Happy Reading, ’til next week.

 

 

Murder in the Family .. Five stars

Murder in the Family  Murder in the Family – Ramona Richards

This was a fun read. It was serious but fun. Family feuds, kept alive with greed. Murder and mayhem, from beginning to end. This was the serious part. The reluctant but feisty executrix of Aunt Liz’s will, this was the fun part. I think it makes all of us want to stand up and cheer  when the abused goes toe-to-toe with a bully… and wins. Molly discovers she is adept at gaining the upper hand once she decides to stand and fight.

Twenty years earlier, both Molly and her brother Mike left town when their mother lost her battle with cancer. There was nothing left for them after an unscrupulous uncle  blackmailed their mother into giving up everything they owned. Molly severed all family ties and never looked back… until now. It was a shock to learn Aunt Liz died and left a well thought out plan for her estate to be dispersed in a way, legally, her brother would not be able to get his grubby hands on any of it.

Molly is convinced the whole family is mean and greedy but it appears Liz thinks differently. She’s left detailed lists to make sure the neglected family members will get the help they need for a change. It seems Molly and Mike were not the only ones abused by the family bully and his like minded offspring.

The resolve to honour her beloved aunt’s last will falters when she enters the jam packed house of a hoarder. The shear volume of stuff, and the overwhelming smell of something dead, is enough to make her turn tail and run. If it wasn’t for the perseverance of Liz’s friends she would have.

The many ups and downs of the struggle, along with her determination to win the fight, kept me engaged and smiling with every skirmish won.

This won a solid Five Stars from me. I loved this book.


There is a nice variety of other books again this time. You can probably tell it wasn’t much of a burden to read through this list.

Agnes Hopper Shakes UpThe Adventures of Agnes Hopper Series – Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar book 1 – Carol Guthrie Heilman

A Heart Surrendered  A Heart Surrendered  – Joy K. Massenburge

Fashioning the Future  Aspiring Hearts Series  – Fashioning the Future book 3 – Kay Moser

The Witness Tree   The Witness Tree – Denise Weimer

Tess in Boots  A Country Romance – Tess in Boots – Courtney Rice Gager

Murder in Disguise  A Preston Barclay Mystery – Murder in Disguise book 3 – Donn Taylor

“Till next time, Happy Reading!

Becoming Me

If I had to pick a favorite book for 2019, Becoming Me would be high on the list of nominees.

Becoming Me  The Imagination Series – Becoming Me book 1 – Staci Stallings…  Paige has a crush on Nelson, her sister Taylor’s best friend. Taylor and Nelson are both part of the band Rev 4 and they practice in her family’s basement. Which means Paige gets to see a whole lot of Nelson. It’s obvious he doesn’t even know she’s alive. Which is a good thing because she could never let anyone know she cared for him. Her sister is protective of the relationships in her world and would be enraged if she knew  Paige was attracted to him. There is a problem with secrets though… it’s stressful to keep them pushed down and buried. With no one to talk to, her journal notebook is her only outlet. Everyday she pours out her misery in deeply honest and haunting  poetry. She’d die if anyone ever discovered it.

I love Staci Stallings, for her ability to look deep inside a character and recognize what they are thinking or feeling in any given situation. It flows out of her fingers onto the paper in a way that the reader is able to see what she sees.

Many of us feel like we are never truly seen. Maybe seeing is a lost art, or maybe it’s an undiscovered art. It’s unusual to have someone look below the surface enough to notice our struggles in life, or to notice the things we care about. Several of the characters in this story share this experience. Those living closest to them, who should notice… don’t.

Staci not only notices but she weaves the story in such a way that emotions can be named and explanations given. I think, if we were of a mind, there is much about relationships to be learned through her books.

Since reading the first book in the series I’ve discovered there are five more. I’ve downloaded most of them. It will be awhile before I get to them though so I’m going to go ahead and list them here for your reading enjoyment.

The Tase of Tears  The Taste of Tears book 2

Little Drops of Sunshine Little Drops of Sunshine book 3

Broken Heart Strings  Broken Heart Strings book 4

Only Together  Only Together book 5

Hopelessly Devoted to YouHopelessly Devoted to You book 6


 

Happy Reading!

 

Beauty in Hiding

Reviews. Everyone one wants them. Writers, editors, publishers, and book sellers, to name a few. I totally get why they ask and why reviews are so important to them. Unfortunately, I view the requests with frustration. I have no confidence in my ability to deliver what they are looking for.

I am selective in my reading choices, There is a strict criteria, laid out in my head, for the books that make it into this blog. It encompasses things like writing ability, originality, character development, editing. I like tight writing, puns and dry humor, lack of frustrating characters, and stories free of agendas. And, topping the list – emotional experience.

The story has to take me along for the ride. All of the stories I like do this. to a certain degree. I have to take variables into account and relax my position, though. Not every book deserves an A+ but can still be worth the read, and the mention.

Having said all this, it would seem I should be able to offer an opinion. The criteria helps me decide whether it’s worth reading to the end and then it helps me decide if I want, or should, add it to the recommended list. Using a mental checklist doesn’t really give me  enough solid thoughts to write a review.

At the end of a great book I’m left with feelings rather than concrete thoughts. I savor the feelings and bask in them for a while but I’ve never tried to put them into words. I think it would be like turning steam into ice. I’m not sure I could. And I’m not convinced I want to.

My daughter says having to critique a book would take the joy out of reading. I can relate to that thought.

For now, anyway, I hope the decision process involved in listing my favorite picks will count for something with the folks looking for reviews

Does anyone else share this guilty feeling? … for reading books knowing it won’t end with a review? I feel like this is a struggle unique to me. It would be nice to be proven wrong.

 

Beauty in Hiding Beauty in Flight series – Beauty in Hiding book 2 – Robin Patchen ….. Harper has an undeserved prison record which limits her options and she’s desperate with a sudden need to go into hiding. It appears Red, her Alzheimer patient, is being poisoned and she suspects his grandson is behind it.  Money and security are major hurdles in this flight. Red is wealthy but she has no way to safely access any of his money, not with his grandson in charge of finances. The first priority is finding a place to hide, she will have to figure everything else out after that.

Finding a believable reason for their presence in a new community is challenging with Red’s memory issues. Jack, her new landlord, isn’t buying her story. He can tell they are running scared from something but she is not sharing. Reluctantly, he decides to find ways to help them until he can figure out if that something is a threat to his little town.

the mystery at Underwood house  An Angela Marchmont Mystery – The Mystery at Underwood House book 2 – Clara Benson

March's luck Larry Macklin Mysteries – March’s Luck book 5 – A.E. Howe

Love's Redemption Walden Beach Series – Love’s Redemption book 3 – Andrea Boyd

The Mockingbird Drive An Alex Vane Media Thriller – The Mockingbird Drive book 3 – A.C. Fuller

 

Hearthland volume 1  The Hearth Land Volume One – Chautona Havig

 

Crazy Love  Crazy Love – Francis Chan


 

I’m hoping some of you will chime in on my review dilemma. Does anyone else ever feel reluctant about reviews or do you love giving them? 

 

 

 

Hide and Seek – Lynette Eason

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut. Same old same old. It feels like I need to find a way to swim in a different part of the pond, to change things up a bit.

When I look back at the books I’ve been reading for the last month or two, the rut feeling doesn’t really hold up. Yes, I’ve been spending a lot more time with certain authors but there have still been a good number of new ones.

Maybe it’s not the part of the pond that’s the issue, maybe it’s the route I take to get there.

A different route works for me when I’m driving so why not here too.

With that in mind, I thought I would sign up for Kindle Unlimited and give it a try. See if it will give me new avenues of exposure. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Another new opportunity presented itself this week, as well.

I saw an ad from a publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It sounded like they were looking for new readers for new books as they came out. If you signed up you would be added to the list to receive free copies. They publish about 40 books a year and you pick and choose which ones you might be interested in reading. I signed up, of course. There have been several emails already, and I’ve ordered and enjoyed reading three or four of their books. It looks like a good chance to see some I may not see anywhere else.

I’m not entirely sure it is what I thought it was – new books just coming out. But, that may be ok, as long as it adds freshness to my reading choices.

Today’s book is one I found on Kindle Unlimited

Hide and Seek

Family Reunions Series – Hide and Seek – Lynette Eason

PI Romantic Suspense

Devastated by the kidnapping of her three year old daughter Molly, Erica James becomes a skip tracer, helping others find their missing children while searching for her own. And, she’s good at it.

It’s been three years with little-to-no progress in finding her daughter but today they have a new lead. A piece of Molly’s clothing was found in a crack-house raid and they were able to lift a fingerprint. It belongs to a girl known to police as a drug addict.

Erica has the address and is determined to see for herself if there are any other clues that may have been overlooked. GPS has taken her into an unexpected rough area where it isn’t safe and she realizes she should not have come on this quest alone. A couple of menacing  shapes are approaching the back of her parked vehicle when a police cruiser appears on the cross street ahead of her. The guys quickly disappear. Shaken, she calls her brother for backup and promises to stay in the car until he gets there.

She meant to wait but screams from the girl she saw entering the house has her running to see if she can help.

Max Powell is a private investigator looking for his illusive, and rebellious, addict sister. He’s heard the same report Erica has and hopes to find Lydia tonight. When he parks behind a car with the driver’s door hanging open he is on high alert. What is going on here?

Erica is inside and in trouble. She has stumbled into the middle of a desperate scene.

From the front door, Max hears commotion inside and can see the trouble. He’s hoping  police will arrive before someone gets killed.

They do, and take charge of the situation, making arrests, but Lydia has disappeared, again.

In the process of explaining to police what they are doing in this house, they realize they are both searching for the same girl. Just for different reasons. Maybe they would learn more if they worked together on finding her.

They have no idea how grateful they will be for that decision.

I am a fan of Lynette Eason and always enjoy her writing.

Look for samples from Lighthouse Publishing choices in a new post


Happy Reading

 

Two o’Clock Slump – Chautona Havig

 

2 o'clock slump

The Hartfield Mysteries book 3 – Two o’Clock Slump – Chautona Havig

Alexa Hartfield, beloved mystery writer, lives in the small town of Fairbury and  is famous, at home and abroad, for her everyday appearances in a wide array of elaborate and authentic vintage ensembles.

The recent arrest and conviction of her best friend, and seamstress extraordinaire, has given her attention of a new and different kind. Murder and mayhem found only in her popular books has leaked out into her personal life. An uncomfortable situation.

Change is unsettling to Alexa and there’ve been many others recently ….. a move to a new and larger house, a new engagement, and the discovery of a possible replacement seamstress – capable of the perfection she requires. All of these things have upset her orderly  lifestyle. Strict routine has been her method of coping since breaking free of  her dysfunctional family.

Her house and writing area was set up just the way she liked it. That made it possible to create the rituals which became an integral part of her writing process.  Nothing is  working the same way in the new house and it’s a struggle trying to recreate what was lost with the move.

The latest book is finished and the end always calls for a celebratory roast beef dinner. For years she’s done this alone but it’s different now with another person to consider.  She feels the need for the presence of her policeman fiancé, Joe, at this meal. When he isn’t able to show up at the expected time and dinner is ruined, it’s too much. Her fragile hold on this life of change is severely challenged and she’s ready to run.

This concerns both Joe and her brother Wes. Especially Wes, he knows his sister and can see it all happening again.

Joe is happy her decision to break their engagement is tabled for now . She has a bi-annual trip planned to visit her judgemental, critical family. Her brother Wes is his  roommate, and that’s given Joe some insight into  the distressful family dynamics. He  needs time to convince her to stay and take a chance on the good relationship  they have together. He knows life can be different for them. The needed conversation can wait until after she gets back, that will buy him time to launch a defense.

Alexa stands up for herself and reserves a hotel room, not giving in to the pressure to  stay  with her family. Two weeks is just too much, two days would be too much.

She’s exhausted and thankful to crawl into bed after the long trip and the disastrous homecoming dinnertime spent with her parents and sister.

When she’s pulled out of a deep sleep at 2 am by an alarm ringing incessantly in the next room she calls the front desk to complain.

They say it can’t be happening, the room is empty. They keep insisting it’s unoccupied but finally agree to send someone up to  investigate. There’s a lot of racket in the hallway and Alexa figures she’d better go see what’s happening since she made the call. She hears vomiting and then there’s a figure backing out of the room. Soon the hallway is filled with other guests wanting to know what the commotion is all about.

It seems the empty room has a body in the bed. A dead body.

The police keep asking her a lot of, what she considers, irrelevant questions. She’s tired and orders them out of her room if they aren’t planning to arrest her. They leave but she gets the unsettling impression they think she had something to do with it. For some reason they think the evidence is pointing in her direction.

It turns out someone is trying to frame her for this murder, but why?

Chautona Havig is always a good read. She has a vivid imagination turning out unique and varied story lines in different genres. She’s prolific, I’ve downloaded and read 30 of her books and there are still many more waiting to be read.

There has never been a moment in this reading experience where it felt like deja vu …. that’s amazing. One thing I have felt though is character recognition – wait a minute .. have we met? There is good reason for that feeling. She likes to link her books and often has characters  popping up in the middle of someone else’s story. Sometimes inadvertently. Ooops.

As well as her  wild imagination, Chautona has a unique take on life; that makes for interesting characters and situations.

I could spend more time on her books but then I’d be short on time to read all the other interesting authors I’ve downloaded. A wonderful dilemma.

In the meantime I need to get back to Hartfield Mysteries book 4 Front Window. Joe and Alexa are on their honeymoon and it looks like things are about to go awry.


Happy Reading!