Rogue Wave

Last post ended with this comment:  Speaking of addictions: that reminds me….. of a idea which I will save to talk about in the next post……… This subject that has been on my mind, often, since that post, and as it won’t seem to go away, I’ll share what I was thinking that day….

I heard an interesting commentary on addictions the other day. It was in regard  to things that – in and of themselves – are not bad for you. Things like work, sports, reading….  activities that, if taken too far, can cause us to neglect obligations, and the significant people in our lives.

The speaker was describing a way to enjoy an activity while encouraging it to shrink back to healthy levels.  The gist of her thought was this – We need to expand our happiness base.  Adding to the number of  activities we enjoy will do this, and the hold any one activity has on us will be lessened.

This commentary belongs to award winning lyricist, Gloria Gaither, and she was giving it in response to a question from Mark Lowry on Monday’s With Mark,   (Mark Lowry’s live video interviews on You Tube.) (Mark is funny, real, and wise beyond his years. Check him out, you might like him). The addict Gloria was speaking about is workaholic Bill Gaither, who agreed – he is an addict. He also agreed that expanding his happiness base has made a big difference in it’s hold on him. Interestingly enough, reading has become one of his new favorite activities. We are cheering you on, Bill!

After hearing this interview, I’ve been taking an honest look at the activities in my own life. It seems I bounce back and forth between four or five different things (sometimes all in one day). Maybe that’s a good sign my happiness base has broadened…. at least a little. There is this compulsion though, in the back of my mind, always looking for openings to snatch a few diversionary moments,  doesn’t matter how big or small they are. I think my happiness base expansion still needs some work.

Addictions and stress levels are never as simple as all that but even now, several weeks later, I can still see the value in the point Gloria was making. I have been making an effort to vary the way I spend time and it has been making a difference. It is getting easier to make myself get up and get going when I need to.


This time the book is …. fantasy.

Deep sea adventure, intrigue, death threats, bombings, rogue killer waves, green men ….  really….. a good book for the addictive reader

 

Rogue Wave   Rogue Wave – Christopher Cartwright

A killer wave that can sink massive ships without leaving evidence of what it is, or where it came from.

A mystery solver dragged into a sinister plot for reasons that are unclear. Someone notices and now his life, and that of his crew, is in danger.

His business associates have fallen for the promise of a payout in the millions, but with his  personal wealth and laser focus on new inventions – the lure of money has no effect on him. He votes to reject the lucrative deal, he can see what this takeover is really all about  – a threat to life as we know it.

His rejection of this deal is a threat to life as he knows it.

In the meantime, his father’s shipping business has been taking a hit with mega tankers disappearing and he wants his son to figure out what’s going on.

Are any of these things related?  Are they all related?

He has a talented crew, with sophisticated equipment, ready to take on the challenge. He’s not confident they will live through the experience so he makes plans.

He decides their best hope is to disappear while they investigate discretely. That’s when the fun begins.


I love a good book, don’t you? 🙂

Happy reading, everyone

 

 

Sometimes I lie

They tell us that we all lie…. and the one we lie to most often, is ourselves.

I agree with this idea whole heartedly. Keeping honesty in mind, I think I’ve been doing a good job at self honesty. About the way I live life. I’m convinced of it. I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m not the same person I was.

But….

Life has been feeling unsettled lately and I’m perplexed about the reason. I’ve been more introspective than usual, thinking about the last few months, of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve seen. Trying to figure out what I need to learn from it all. Wondering what is coming next, on the road of life.

They say if you want to know the truth, pay attention to actions rather than words.

Up until recently, I thought my words and actions lined up pretty well. Now I’m beginning to doubt that’s true.

A change in scenery can expose things we would never see in the everyday routine of life.

Travelling about the country for several months was just such a change. Frequenting unfamiliar public places, daily interaction with strangers, even spending unusual amounts of time with family and friends.

I thought the desire and willingness to make the trip was a sign I’ve finally been able to step outside of the old ways and move on. In some regards it’s true, I have moved on. But, an honest look, at the level of control over all possible interactions, tells me it’s not entirely true. I’m kidding myself if I think I’ve lowered the protective walls enough to let people in. The truth is, on this trip, I went to unusual lengths to keep people out.

Facing this truth, I’m not sure what I can do to change anything, but honesty is a good place to start.  The thought processes have been shaken up and now I’m looking at things from a different perspective.


Help in unexpected places….

I was listening to a podcast, the other day, about How to Stop the Pain. James Richards was saying that brokenness is complex and if we focus on trying to fix ourselves, it is likely, on some levels, that we will make things worse. Like unravelling tangled yarn. Complex.

Instead of focusing on fixing, he uses the sowing analogy. Sow the seeds of what you need and it will gradually become part of your life.

I need to sow openness. I have been thinking in this direction a lot lately –  that I need  to make more of an effort to nod, speak, smile. It’s a good place to start and the podcast was validation of that thought.

It’s amazing how, when I’m trying to figure things out, I stumble upon a book, a podcast, or a conversation, that speaks to the very subject I’m wrestling with.


Speaking of books….

Anne Perry is a name that quickly comes to mind when asked about favorite authors.

I was introduced to her a decade or so ago and read many of her books. More recently, a book suggestion showed up in my news feed, for a volume containing the first three books in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. I was delighted to find I hadn’t read any of them. I have now….. and the last one will soon be finished.

This three volume set is a good place to get started.

The murder mysteries take place in London, in the days of horses, buggies, and high society. The blending of upper and lower class adds dimension and intrigue.

Thomas Pitt vol one

Happy Reading!!

 

Experiences along the way

There were some things I wanted to experience, on my trip to Nashville and beyond. I wanted to find out if some places were as good as they said they were.

I probably shouldn’t use the word they, I should probably be truthful and say he. He is a funny man, given to hyperbole. Are these restaurants really the greatest, or is it just his opinion? And, if it’s just his opinion… is it one I could agree with?

This fellow is funny, fearless, has attention deficit disorder, and is always coming up with good ideas and catching them on video. He has a You Tube channel with thousands of followers and I’m sure some of his friends cringe when they see him and his cell phone coming their way. Many more don’t, though, and he manages to post some great stuff. Fun, entertaining, and touching, all in the same video sometimes.

He loves to eat in restaurants, and share the experience on line. He likes Mexican, Chick Fil A, Waffle House, In and Out burger, and many others. I did get to Waffle House and Chick fil a. I tried southern sweet tea and a fancy salad with thick slices of banana bread, at a Bob Evans restaurant. I passed a Cracker Barrel one day but had just finished lunch so didn’t get to try it out.

I’ve decided he is full of hyperbole but the food was still good. I loved the banana bread but the sweet tea… not so much. That wasn’t much of a surprise to me though as most of the time I prefer my tea hot, and straight up with no sugar.

I’m looking forward to another trip one day, maybe I can check out a few more of his recommendations.


 

The Prisoner's Wife  Maine Brides Series – The Prisoner’s Wife – Susan Page Davis ….. 1720  Jack has been working diligently to make something of his farm in hopes that Lucy would agree to marry him. Her father refused him four years earlier, because of his parentage, and he has not spoken to Lucy in all these years but he still hopes.

Hope turns to despair when he is falsely accused of murdering the neighbouring farmer,  and the murder weapon turns out to be his knife. The whole prejudiced town, convinced  of his guilt, is determined to skip the trial and go straight to hanging

He may not survive this ordeal but maybe there is still a way to keep his valuable farm from falling into greedy hands.

 

Until we reach home  Until We Reach Home – Lynn Austin….. the arrival of an abusive uncle has made life unbearable for Elin after the sudden tragic loss of her parents. Determined to spare her sisters from falling victim to the same abuse, she quietly contacts their uncle in America to see if he can help. Maybe life would be  better for them far away in a new country.

He agrees but…. things don’t go as smoothly as hoped. Her sisters each have their own reasons for not wanting to leave the only home they know, and keeping them in the dark about her motivation has only fed their rebelliousness.

Elin is determined to find a way to make a happy home for her sisters, but everywhere she turns there are unexpected set backs and road blocks. Will they ever find a safe place to call theirs?

 

fial witness  Final Witness – James Scott Bell ….. Rachel is brilliant, hard working, talented in her chosen profession, and  has landed a paralegal position in a prestigious law firm, even though she hasn’t completed her final year of law school.

Her boss trusts her with critical research on a high profile criminal case and her success at finding results has produced two unhappy groups.  Jealous colleagues and a threatened criminal element. Both of them have become a danger to her.

With threats on her life she is taken off the case but goes undercover to finish what she started.

Can she find away to stay alive and still do her part to win this legal battle?

 

hidden currents  Lantern Beach Mysteries – Hidden Currents book 1 – Christy Barritt ….. Detective Cady Matthews has to go into hiding after a notorious gang puts a bounty on her head for taking down their leader.

The small  isolated resort town is turning out to have more going on than expected. And as Cassidy, owner of an ice  cream truck, she is finding it impossible to stay out of things when a body washes up on shore and the local police are bungling the investigation.

She succumbs to looking for creative ways to help the investigation without blowing her cover, or getting her picture on national newscasts. With less than stellar success.

There is one other person in town who is also trying to hide some serious skills. They each have suspicions about the other one but somehow manage to team up without coming out and admitting anything. Maybe there is safety in numbers, maybe they will be able to look out for each other… and solve the crime.

This was a favorite read in this list. I loved the dry humour.

 

murder in room 305  Murder in Room 305 – Gary C. King ….. a shocking true story of sex, greed and cold blooded murder. Kathyrn Ann Martini is a beautiful young woman with a bright future in banking, until she meets a sleazy, smooth talking man with connections to the world of crime.

Her raped and mutilated body was found at the Valley River Inn in Eugene Oregon and her husband of one year was arrested. He had recently taken out a large life insurance policy on her and hired an underworld assassin to stalk and kill his wife.

A well presented  story of one of the most sensational trials in Oregon’s history.

 

all in one place All in One Place – Carolyne Aarsen ….. Terra Froese likes to keep people at arms length and move regularly, but an abusive boyfriend  in this last place has her running for her life.

The once close relationship with her sister has become strained with neglect but she is  running to her anyway, hoping for a safe place to hide until she can figure things out.

She’s managed to hitchhike within a few miles of her sister and hopes to quietly cover the last final bit but her choice in attire (dressing to make a good impression) is drawing unwanted attention. First a cop car, with two forlorn little girls in the back seat, stops and wants to know who she is and did she know anything about a wild house party last night. Next a young woman with a hungry and neglected looking baby in the back seat of her convertible, rolls up and offers a ride.

Accepting the ride and an invitation to stop for a drink at the local bar is a bad choice, spoiling her chance for a quiet entrance into town. Unwanted male attention and her attempt to discourage it lands her in jail facing an assault charge.

Making bail for your sister is not the best start to a surprise visit.

Okay, so there were two favorite reads this time.

This is a tough subject but still a fun read, with spunky characters revealing devastating secrets and finding forgiveness.


Happy reading to you, on this close to the end summer day!

 

My trip to Nashville

This summer my son was home from overseas and needed to make a trip to Indianapolis USA to meet up with some of his colleagues. I was excited when he suggested I travel with him. How could I pass up the rare chance of a travel companion.

We would be there a little over a week. I would be on my own while he was tied up with scheduled activities and I was good with that. Getting to travel to and from with him gave me the push I needed to venture out into new territory. I hadn’t been across the border to the US since before passports were a requirement for Canadian citizens, several decades at least, and I’d never travelled in eastern US. I wanted to, mostly because of curiosity aroused by blogs and vlogs of artists I follow. There were places to see and things to experience.

First I had to apply for a passport. I’d been dragging my feet on that subject for more than a decade (but that’s a story for another time). I am now the proud owner a brand new passport, and I don’t hate my picture – that made my day.

One of the places I hoped to visit while I was at loose ends was Nashville. There were several other places too, in other directions, and I needed to end up in Chicago to meet up with my son. Looking at Google maps it all looked doable.

It was but…. I decided to ignore the interstate highways. They are fast paced, a direct route bypassing towns and other interesting landmarks. I wanted to learn more about this  part of the country so I chose minor highways that kind of meander from one town to another.

I was happy with that choice. It was interesting to see the lay of the land, mostly farming, different styles of architecture, and the way things changed from region to region. Some small towns had a down home, country, kind of feel, while some seemed to promote the  past. Others were more formal with lots of well cared for, fancy brick houses. Some had the charming antebellum houses we read about in stories of the old south. Of course this route took much longer than the time Google maps quoted.

I think my favorite part about Nashville, when I finally got there, was driving through city center at rush hour. Creeping along at a snails pace was giving me plenty of time to appreciate the view, there was something about the city scape that I loved.

I stayed in the area that night and the next morning, while trying to find my way back north again, I happened upon a beautiful park in the downtown part of Nashville. It all left me wanting to go back again, for more than a passing look.

Then, when I got back home and discovered I had just missed some of my favorite artists at the Grand Ole Opry…..


OK, book time

Romeo's Rules  A Mike Romeo Thriller – Romeo’s Rules book 1 – James Scott Bell …… Mike witnesses a bombing and all he wants to do is be helpful to the distraught mother of two children who have gone missing.

He has his reasons for trying to fly under the radar, not wanting to draw the attention of law enforcement or drug lords, so he is trying to be discreet about helping. Not an easy thing to do while being questioned as a witness

It turns out it’s a good thing he is knows how to fight to keep  himself alive because he’s not doing a very god job of avoiding notice. Who knew a simple kindness could become so complicated, and life threatening.

 

Sanctuary Murrells Inlet Miracles – Sanctuary book 1 – Laurie Larson ……Nora Ramsey has worked long and hard to get to where she is, a partner in a successful law firm with hopes of becoming a senior partner one day. So, when an legal document arrives advising her she has inherited beach front property from an aunt she loved but hasn’t seen in years, her first thought is to sell.

Life throws curves at us sometimes, and the arrest of her boss, and mentor, on fraud charges was a major curve that shook her world. Maybe checking out her inheritance and making an informed decision would be a better use of forced time off for the investigation.

Revived memories of a happy time with beach and horses has her rethinking her chosen lifestyle. Could she, should she, take a chance on coming back? A renewed relationship with her sister is a strong motivator, not to mention the handsome vet looking out for the animals on her property. She has almost decided yes when she finds out the vet has a secret she wishes she had known before her heart became involved.

 

Ruthless   The Blackwell Files – Ruthless book 2 – Steven F. Freeman …. Chelsea suspects her family has ordered the killing of her uncle who wanted out of the family business. Chelsea, who has never been part of the business, wants to know the truth and has the means to do it. Alton, her colleague in the cyber security world, has the talent and the skills, if she can convince him to help her.

Mallory, Alton’s FBI girlfriend, agrees to help a little in checking this out but as the bodies keep piling up and a simple mob hit turns into something more, it becomes a full fledged FBI case and it’s more than a challenge for them to keep Chelsea safe.

They still think the killings are the work of the family but some things are not adding up right. So, if not the family, then who?

 

the Chase   Jill Lewis Mysteries – The Chase book 1 – Susan Wales and Robin Shope …… Jill’s expose is about to hit the newsstands and she makes her grand entrance to the office primed for a congratulatory celebration. It’s a shock to open the boardroom doors to find the dour faces of big wigs and lawyers. The politician being exposed has somehow managed to turn the tables and she is the one being accused.

She knows she has the facts straight and he is guilty but without a job she can’t prove it, and her promising career is destroyed, Her marriage prospect has gone up in smoke; under the circumstances she is a liability to his political aspirations.

For some reason the editor of her small hometown newspaper keeps trying to get her to come home and work for him. It’s not an appealing idea but what else can she do, no one else will hire her.

Writing obituaries and covering dog shows is not enough to make her want to get up in the morning but the interest of her boss encourages her to keep gong, and investigating. The goal – to find enough truth to convict and clear her name. Truth someone doesn’t want her to find.

How has your summer been going? Found any good books? I’m hoping you have!

 

 

 

the Book of Negroes

This book is a solid 5 stars, in my estimation.

 

The Book of Negroes

This is a story written to capture your interest. I was surprised at the unexpected way it captured mine, given the difficult subject matter.

To be honest, it took me over two years to find the courage to read this book. I purchased  it only because it kept showing up as a must-read everywhere I turned. I decided to give it a chance but then couldn’t bring myself to read it as quickly as I normally would.

Reluctance to pick it up as the next-read meant it was buried deeper and deeper with each new downloaded book. Out of sight where it couldn’t make me feel guilty for passing it by, again. I did feel guilty, paying for a book and then not reading it, but mostly I felt guilty for not having the courage to read it.

I was avoiding it because, I know by experience, stories like this are hard to read.

Once I decided to take the plunge it didn’t take long to realize, Lawrence Hill has a gift for telling a story of horrific circumstances in a way that compels you to keep reading. There was no melodrama or righteous indignation. Just an honest, engaging, telling of the facts.

This is a fictional depiction of a 50 year slice of history, and the body of research to back it up is impressive. Also impressive is the size of the team working with him to make it happen.

I think there are many reasons why it’s important to read stories such as this. As you read, I know you will discover some of the reasons for yourself. We all come from a perspective and understanding of life, colored by the circumstances in our own little corner of the world. The messages we take away from reading a book like this will be influenced by the lives we each live. I find it’s that way with most books really, they speak to us where we are at any given time.

There are several important lessons I’ve learned while reading books such as this.  The first is this – cruelty has visited all people groups at some point in history and no people group is exempt from giving or receiving cruelty. We all have reason to weep for our ancestors as we discover cruelty endured, we have reason to rejoice with them for kindnesses received. And sometimes we have reason to be ashamed as we discover their treatment of others.

The second thing I’ve learned is that no people group is all good or all bad. For each cruel person, there are many more that are loving and kind. The cruel ones seem to get more notice, probably because they are often able to make life miserable for the masses. It makes me sad to see the way we humans treat each other. It also makes me sad to realize there is “nothing new under the sun”, cruelty and greed is an age old problem.

I can tell a book has been good for me when I am left saying……. I had no idea.

I had no idea that Black Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia Canada in 1783-1784, never mind that they came in such large numbers. It was a surprise to learn they were there because Britain promised rewards for loyalty to their war effort in the US. It was also a surprise to learn that a decade later a large number would accept similar promises of a good life if they would return to West Africa and take up the challenge to establish a colony in Sierra Leone.

I had no idea that thousands of former slaves had the same opportunity, over the years, to return to West Africa to settle, or to help settle, a number of countries like – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and Ghana.

The Book of Negroes is the story of a beautiful eleven year old girl captured as a slave, learning to survive in spite of catastrophic circumstances, becoming a strong, intelligent, and productive woman, loved by everyone she encounters.

I liked this book for the historical education it gave me, but mostly…….. I liked it for the honest way it brought to life a heart wrenching story.

 

 

 

 

Mask of Duplicity – Jacobite Chronicles book 1

Another great book! I’ve already downloaded the next two in the series. It’s not often I feel compelled to read on. I love feeling compelled. The cliff hanger ending is mostly  responsible. In truth, the whole book is responsible.

This is historical fiction, based on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which was trying to overthrow Hanoverian King George II of England and replace him with the exiled king living in France. There is a helpful and detailed explanation about this period in history  at the beginning of the book.

The rebellion theme is a small part of the story. Family drama is the bigger part.

The characters are many and interesting. Some you love and some you don’t. And you can never be sure where things are going to go next.  It’s romance yet there is serious intrigue, with a few fight scenes thrown in to keep up the momentum.

Mask of Duplicity Jacobite Chronicles – Mask of Duplicity book 1 – Julia Brannan …… With Beth’s focus centered on looking after her ailing father in his final years and with the loss of his income, the estate has fallen into disrepair. A fact displeasing to her angry brother when he arrives home, after a lengthy absence, to claim his inheritance.

He has grand ideas of high society and a commission in the military and decides that to achieve these goals their only recourse is to attempt reconciliation with their noble cousins. Beth has no desire to leave quiet country life but there is no choice but to go along with it.  She finds herself terrified of what her brother will do next, trying to force her to do things his way.

Their reception was not great but at least it was better than they hoped. Snobbish cousin Edward will help, reluctantly, if Beth marries quickly and well. He has conditions. Her marriage must provide a commission for her brother, Richard, and an influence in Parliament for himself.

His sisters, on the other hand, are thrilled to have Beth’s company, condition free, and are already planning ways to launch her quickly into polite society, where there are bachelors of the highest order.

The season won’t start in London for several months yet and they must make do with the few visitors they see at their country estate.

Foppish, socialite Sir Anthony Peters is a frequent visitor, and while he seems to be popular with everyone, including the king, Beth is put off by his vapid ways and the seemingly indiscriminate way he spreads gossip. Beth has learned to be discerning about people but he is beyond figuring out and she still doesn’t like him.

His wealth and connections are important to the men of the house though and they are hoping he will use those connections for an introduction to the king. Something that is sure to pave the way to an advantageous marriage.

Beth is strong-willed, intelligent, and feisty – standing up to the cruelty of her brother.

Sir Anthony dresses and behaves in a way that appears foppish and vapid, his heavy make-up and flowery cologne is off-putting, but – there are moments when you are sure there is to him than what you see.

I’m hoping this is inspiring you to check out this series. I’m sure you will find it a nice surprise.

The next list will have more books on it. I am getting behind again – reading more than I’m writing about. Not a bad problem from a reading standpoint.

 

Happy reading!  I’m hoping you are finding books you are over the moon about too. 

Chasing Charlie

Chasing CharlieNow and then we meet a book with huge impact…. this was one of those books for me, and I know I am not alone in that.

Vince Glaser is buried in work, as lead investigator on his tightly knit FBI team. His personal life is tough. A messy divorce followed by the tragic death of his ex wife and he is a single father struggling to make life work for his six year old son.

Angela Hawkins, head strong and capable, has been Vince’s partner and best friend on the job. He owes her his life after being shot during a suspect encounter. He would have died if not for her quick action.

In the three years since his divorce and harrowing experience with death, their friendship has deepened and could possibly turn into love, but neither one of them has been willing to go down that road.

Lately, Vince has been experiencing severe abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss,   troubling enough to seek medical help. The diagnosis – Pancreatic carcinoma. Six to eight months. Devastating news. What about Charlie? He has suffered so many losses in his young life, how can Vince leave him like this? How can he tell him his father is dying.

How can he tell his team and the rest of his family he is dying, and there is so little time left.

This was a compelling story I could not put down.

Vince is determined to do whatever it takes to have more time with his son. Quitting his job, chemo therapy, whatever it takes.

His team is devastated and determined to do whatever they can to support him in his fight to live a little longer, for Charlie.

Angela is there for him, like she has always been, but it creates a tension between them. Latent feelings of attraction are fanned into flame with new circumstances. It’s impossible to spend this much time and care this deeply without thinking about wanting more.

Vince is determined he can’t ask someone to start a relationship with him under these circumstances. Angela is determined she wants to be there for him no matter how much time is left. There is no communication, on this subject, happening between them but the mindset is still affecting the ease of their friendship, and in Angela’s case – her relationships at work.

This is so well written that it was impossible not to be drawn into their lives. When they cried, I cried along with them. All of their lives have been forever changed living through this experience. My life has been impacted by living it with them.

Highly recommended. I hope you will read it too.

An insightful look into the world of love and cancer.

Lori Wick – another favorite

Lori Wick is one of my long time favorite authors. Back in the day when I was borrowing library books I would read everything they had for her. It’s been awhile since I last visited a library and I’ve gotten behind a bit. That’s why it made my day to see Promise Me Tomorrow show up as a BookBub suggestion.

I hope you will stop by to meet Lori, if you’ve never read any of her work. And if like me, you’ve read her work but it’s been awhile, join me in getting reacquainted.

With another one added to the growing list of recommended authors, maybe it’s time to start a Favorite Authors page, to help keep track of them all. Most likely it will be coming soon.

Thinking about discovering new authors reminds me of a hand out from a library a lifetime ago. It was a large card with a list of favorite authors in the most popular genres. I loved that card. It provided treasured insight and expanded my horizons.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found choosing books can be a difficult decision. Part of the reason is because I want an excellent experience with every book. This was even more of a need in the early days when the check out limit was three; that’s when the recommendations list really helped me zero in on good ones. Of course, once they raised the check out limit to as many books as you can carry, selection decisions weren’t as critical. With that many possibilities, a few duds wouldn’t be leaving me with the tragedy of nothing to read.

 

Promise Me Tomorrow  Rocky Mountain Memories Series – Promise Me Tomorrow book 1 – Lori Wick …. Katherine Taggart, nicknamed Rusty for her red hair, loves the children in her aunt and uncle’s orphanage and they love her right back.

Chase McCandles, a director for the orphanage, is impressed by her take charge attitude and her easy rapport with children. He is even more impressed when he sees the way his son takes to her. He offers her the job of replacement nanny when a sudden need arises but Rusty is having serious reservations about saying yes, knowing there will be fireworks over differences in parenting styles. Would they survive the conflict? Will her tender heart for the needs of a little boy let her say no? Will Chase ever see her as more than a nanny?

October  October – J. Grace Pennington …… this is a story of unique friendship, discovery, loss of innocence, and a broken heart: An intriguing new girl shows up in church, she carries herself like a princess and Emily is fascinated. Friendship is not quite that easy though, with this illusive princess. But when finally it begins – it’s magical. Life through October’s eyes seems to open up whole new worlds to her friend, and yet, the world that is her is a closed to everyone. This was an emotional read but it touched a deep place, and made me glad for the experience.

Words   Words – Ginny L. Yttrup ….. Sierra Daw has escaped to a  favorite forest where she can privately lose herself in grief on the anniversary of her baby’s death. Out of the corner of her eye something catches her attention but when she focuses, there is only a fleeting glimpse of a young girl. Concerned about seeing a child alone in such a remote location, she investigates and discovers a hiding place in a hollowed out tree. Now she is on a mission to find a child her heart knows is in trouble and needs to be rescued.

Kaylee runs when the woman sees her. She’s intrigued after witnessing such grief but terrified to stay because of what would happen if her captor discovered she had left the cabin.  The tree is the secret place where she can write out words and  hide the  dictionary – a gift from her mother before she disappeared. Kaylee hasn’t spoken since,  but she has words.

 

Two Rivers  The Peacemaker Series – Two Rivers book 1 – Zoe Saadia …. centuries before the US  became a nation there was a confederacy called The Great League of the Iroquois, composed of five nations. After many years of destructive,  retaliatory fighting between the five nations, they came to an agreement and their constitution was born. It worked so well that it maintained perfect balance between the them and their success was evident to all. Many scholars believe this was noticed and so it became the example followed for the writing of the US Constitution.

This series attempts to recreate the events leading up to this Iroquois agreement. Historical books in a similar theme seem to be a popping up regularly just now, but this series is unique in it’s handling of history and is definitely worth reading. I’m looking forward to the rest of the story.

 

Forgotten and Remembered  Love’s Second Chance Series – Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke’s Late Wife – Bree Wolf …… Graham is crushed by the death of  his wife and has withdrawn from  life, closing out even his daughter. There is pressure on him to take a new wife as a mother for his daughter so when he notices the interaction between a young woman and the children surrounding her, an idea begins to form in his mind.

Rosabel, has been taken in by her disapproving aunt and uncle after the death of her parents.  A life of total obedience to their unreasonable ways is torture. She is exploring ways to gain her freedom from them when a complete stranger asks for her hand in marriage. Who is this man, why would he offer for her, and what will life be like in this marriage? Better or worse? Will she be sentenced to a marriage of convenience or is there a chance for a real marriage with the duke?

 

The Indigo Rebels   The Indigo Rebels: a French Resistance Novel – Ellie Midwood ……. Three siblings, each of them with different temperaments,  all find themselves caught up in the Resistance movement, in one form or another. Germany has invaded France, hardships prevail, and their houses are taken over by high ranking military men. This causes problems on the one hand while on the other, it supplies opportunities.

I enjoyed this book for the strong and varied characters. It also had a different slant on the war and was unlike anything I’ve read so far. It drew me in from the beginning and came to an end all too quickly. There are sequels and I hope to read them too.

Happy reading! I hope you are discovering a growing list of authors that you love.

 

 

Best book this week – A Noble Masquerade Kristi Ann Hunter

A Noble Masquerade was my favorite this week, but really, all of the books in this list were top notch. I think maybe it was the humor that put this one ahead of the rest, probably because I needed a laugh right about now.

A Noble Masquerade  Hawthorne House Series – A Noble Masquerade book 1 – Kristi Ann Hunter …..  This one was my favorite, it was so good I had to tear myself away from it when duty called (read that – when caught reading while neglecting responsibilities).

One of the best things was the dry humor, some scenes almost had me rolling on the floor, it was great. Humor wasn’t intended to be the main attraction though, just an added bonus. The unconventional characters and unexpected plot twists were the main attraction.

This book has intrigue, romance, sibling rivalry, and most importantly –  lessons in deportment. 😉 It was a fun read, I loved it.

 

murder in mind  Sloane Monroe Mystery – Murder in Mind book 2 – Cheryl Bradshaw ….. A thriller…. the body of a woman has turned up in a super market parking lot, and inestigators are convinced evidence points to the reemergence of a serial  killer.

Sloane has solved all of her previous cases but one, that of her sister’s murder, and this one looks like it was committed by her sister’s killer, he’s back.  He is brilliant, meticulous, leaving no clues. Can she rise to the challenge and outsmart him.

This book was a page turner. Another favorite.

Unintended Consequesnces  A Jack Turner Suspense Novel – Unintended Consequences book 3 – Dan Walsh ….. Jack and Rachel planned to spend a few days of their honeymoon visiting his grandmother who has never met Rachel. Jack is called away with emergency work obligations but leaves Rachel behind because he wants her to hear the incredible family story his grandmother has to tell.

It  all happened during the second world war and it’s a miracle any of them lived through it.

These days there seem to be many books written around the theme of WWII, and you would think there would be a sameness about them all, but there isn’t. Probably because there are as many unique stories as there are people in the world and the difference in detail adds a freshness. Authors have done an admirable job of finding something that would set their work apart from all the rest.

This story was worth every moment of reading time. Lest we forget.

Beneath Copper Falls   Rock Harbor Series – Beneath Copper Falls – Colleen Coble ….. This is one of Colleen’s latest releases and it is an excellent book. All of her books are, actually. Colleen is a successful and prolific writer with nearly 4 million books sold. I’m thinking most of you must have read at least one or two of her books, if you haven’t  – I hope you will.

A book description for this story would sound much like others I’ve mentioned recently; escape an abusive husband – relocate and hope to start life over in a safer place. The outlines sound the same but the details are as different and unique as any of our personal stories. Colleen’s stories are always well thought out with a depth that makes them worth reading and this one is a good example of that.

 

The Keeper of the Ring SeriesThe Keepers of the Ring Series – Angela Hunt ….. Angela is another prolific and successful author, on a par with Colleen Coble, both selling in the millions of books. You have probably been exposed to her books as well, but if not I hope you will read some of these too. Their styles are different, so you would enjoy both authors. They both write in several different genres as well, reading their work doesn’t get old.

Angela has a number of historical series, The Keeper of the Ring is one of them. The time frame for this series is the settling of North America, before Columbus. The theory is that he was not the first one to arrive on our shores. There were others before him. This series sets out how that could have happened.

Roanoke, the Lost Colony book 1 …. this is the beginning, with a small number of settlers landing on a inhospitable piece of shoreline. Things do not go well and three children are all that’s left of them. They manage to escape but each of the three are captured by a different group and they don’t see each other again for many years.

Jamestown book 2 ….. the children have become adults, inspite of difficult and unfriendly circumstances. This will be a time of discovery as they cross paths again. This contact revives buried memories of families they once had. Others have come now to join the first settlers and have been a mixed blessing, some more hindrance than help. This book follows the continued journey of the three, their joys and their sorrows.

There are three more to go yet on this so I will be getting back to you with them.

 

The Treacherous Journey  Heart of the Mountains – This Treacherous Journey book 1 – Misty M Beller …. Emma, expecting a baby and afraid she may be arrested. is fleeing with her twin brother after the hanging of her husband for fraud. They are travelling on horseback through treacherous mountain passes when Joseph’s horse loses it’s footng and falls, injuring his rider.

Simeon lives a solitary and primitive life, hiding out in his grief, and is not prepared to receive visitors in need of help, especially with one of them an expectant female. It brings back too many painful memories.

Joseph and Emma are trying to make it to Canada where they feel they will be safe from the possibility of arrest, but with Joseph’s injuries they need Simeon’s help to make the journey. Winter will be settling in soon and time is running out. That’s what Simeon is afraid of, time running out.


I hope there is somehing here to inspire you. Be sure to check out these authors if they are new to you. Or, even if they’re not.

Happy Reading!

It’s time to talk about some books

Spring has arrived, the snow is gone, and that means dreaded yard cleanup.  Some of my friends love gardening but for me? ….. I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word love. I do love having pretty gardens though. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when full  garbage bags pile up and clean looks so good.  I love the strength returning to muscles that have had the winter off too. Over all, it’s a win/win situation.

Maintenance I can handle. The hard part is knowing what looks good, when new plants are needed. Manitoba Hydro came through last fall and took out two tall blue spruce trees that were the focal point of my back yard. Now they have to be replaced, but with what? That’s the challenge. Maybe I will learn to like this aspect of gardening too, it could happen.

The up side of stiff muscles from yard cleanup? Extra reading time. When it comes to reading, any excuse works for me.

It has been an excellent week, with many books of the hard to put down variety.

 

Tomorrow's Lullaby Chasing Tomorrow – Tomorrow’s Lullaby book 2 – Lindzee Armstrong ….. Sienna is back in college pursuing music and an entrance into Juilliard, a dream side tracked by an  inopportune pregnancy. Giving her son up for adoption was one of the hardest things she had ever done.

Aaron is conflicted over his place in the family, feeling like an outsider most of the time. Forced Spanish lessons, meant to help him connect with his roots, have only served to widen the gap, also leaving him with a negative attitude toward the birth mother who put him in this uncomfortable position.

Sienna has a secret and Aaron has emotional baggage. Is it possible for their attraction to survive any of this?

Bitter Roots  Bitter Root Mysteries – Bitter Roots book 1 – C.J. Carmichael …… A dead woman has been found on the walkway to the local clinic and after a quick look at the crime scene, the sheriff decides the blame belongs to an unknown outsider.

Zak has taken the job of dispatcher by choice, even though he is underutilized in that position. He has his reasons. And besides, one of the perks of dispatcher – he’s privy to  information he would never see in any other role.

Deputy Black cannot understand his reluctance to take a deputy position. She recognizes his talent and is quick to enlist his help when she sees him taking an interest in some of the areas the Sheriff has bypassed. They hope to uncover the truth. Is this woman dead at the hands of an outsider, or is she dead because of harboured small town secrets? Is the sheriff trying to cover for someone?

Charming the Trouble Maker  Mitchell’s Crossroads – Charming the Trouble Maker book 2 – Pepper Basham …. Dr. Alex Murdoch is demoted to a small town university and he doesn’t expect to have reason to stay any longer than necessary. His natural charming ways come out when he catches a glimpse of beautiful Rainey Mitchell and he thinks this small town job may work out better than he thought.

For her part, the last thing Rainey needs is an arrogant flirt in her life and she tries to put as much distance between them as possible. It sort of works until cutbacks threaten her special program and it seems Alex is the one with the needed skills and connections to help save the project,

Forgotten Coast 1 to 4 Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series was my favorite read this week. I liked it because the  characters are complex and well developed, the plot is interesting and unpredictable, and the story doesn’t remind me of any other book I’ve read. The quality of writing is high too. I was hooked and stayed with it until I’d read all four books. The fifth one is from 2016

 

Low Tide Low Tide book 1….. a dead body is discovered on St George’s Island and Lt Maggie Redmond  is distressed to find it’s someone with a past connection to her. It’s been ruled a suicide and she is confident no one, including her boss, knows her secret but she is still worried someone will accuse her of murder. When Gregory’s rich and infamous uncle views her with a sudden and inexplicable interest, the worry increases.

Riptide  Riptide book 2 …. Before Lt Redmond has a chance to solve the cause of death for Gregory Boudreaux the foot of his best friend shows up in a fisherman’s net. It’s looking more and more like Bennett Boudreaux – Gregory’s uncle and the town villain – could be responsible somehow. Maggie is conflicted with this development because, against her better judgement, she is starting to like Bennett. This increases the angst she feels about keeping secrets from the boss she is also starting to like. Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton likes her too and is not happy about her meetings with Boudreaux and the unhealthy rumors they are causing.

what washes up  What Washes Up book 3 ….. Multiple bodies have washed on the beach, appearing to be those of families attempting to reach US shores. The first two murders have yet to be solved and now there are two more murder cases. The second new murder is the body of a man found tied to the mast of a burning boat. The whole situation has turned out to be much bigger than the death of a man and his best friend. The feds have gotten involved and the residents of Apalach are outraged at the thought of all these deaths. Has all of this been part of a bigger Bennett Boudreaux scheme all along?

Ladfall  Landfall book 4. …. Maggie is getting ready to leave town before the hurricane hits, because someone is threatening her family and she is trying to keep them safe. What she doesn’t know is that the threat is coming from an unexpected source and when a stranger shows up at her door she is stunned to find herself and her family hostages of a madman. Even worse, no one will know they are in trouble. They are expected to be on the road already.

In the middle of the madness and her attempts to free herself, the hurricane hits with a vengeance and everything goes sideways. Help in an unexpected form shows up but even that doesn’t go well. Will they be able to survive, or is this the end for them all?

These four books form the foundation for the rest of the series and are best read in sequence. After that, the following books can be read as standalone.

Book 5 showed up on my radar in 2016, I liked it then, too.

Dead Wake Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series – Dead Wake book 5 – Dawn Lee McKenna …. Local florists, William and Robert, are not happy about   tearing their shop apart after a flood only to find a dead body bricked up behind the dry wall. it’s bad for business in a resort town. They don’t want the whole town in on the news so instead of 911 they call Lt Maggie Redmond at home. She doesn’t want to deal with this alone so she drags her boss, Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, along. She already knows the victim is someone declared missing decades ago so the big question is –  how and why  did he turn up in the wall of the florist shop?

What well kept town secrets will be uncovered this time?

Happy reading for you this week too.