Read and enjoyed May 08, 2021

My favorite book so far this week is a parallel, modern and historical. The common denominator is a poignant painting with a checkered past and a complicated present.

I’m not always a fan of blending timelines but in this case it works. Probably the biggest reason, it allows for showing rather than telling. We need both time frames because they are intertwined and the present story only makes sense if we can understand the past.

There is an unforgettable painting with unknown origins. It appeared in the most terrible of circumstances and combining past and present stories adds the right amount of lightness to make the story relatable. The love stories play out in both time frames as the book moves along. The events are unpredictable and the resolution to the story is unexpected.

I would describe the unexpected but that would give away the ending which would never do.

I agree with the reviews quoted below. Unforgettable.

The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel Book 1)

Fresh. Fascinating. Unforgettable. The Butterfly and the Violin is a masterpiece of a debut.” –Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning

“. . .impossible to put down.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz–and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire fordistraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl–a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover–the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul–who maybe the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

I will admit, I lost sleep over this difficult to put down book.

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Favorite book of the week

This was my favorite book of the week.

Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson

Ann Silver is a cop’s cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region’s most trusted investigative positions.

Paul Falcon is the FBI’s top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.

Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn’t expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.

The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the former Vice President. People with good reason to be cautious about who they let into their lives deeply trust her. Paul wonders just what secrets Ann is keeping, until she shows him the John Doe Killer case file, and he starts to realize just who this lady he is falling in love with really is…

*****

There were so many things to like about this book.

The characters were complex, interesting, and the principles very well developed. In the end many more were introduced, all of them needed to make the story work.

The events and situations were unique as well. In all of the books I’ve read I’ve not run across another story treatment even remotely like this one.

On the downside, there were a few segments that didn’t make sense. This book was published in 2012. I think with all of the recent digital changes we’ve experienced, if it had been more recently published some of the questionable areas would have played out differently. Tracking devices could have replaced stake-outs, that sort of thing. It would have made it more believable. Those bits were only annoyances, though, they weren’t deal breakers.

There were many twists and turns in the action. Just when you thought you knew where it was all going everything changed and suddenly you had no idea.

It was delightful that they were people of substance, full of surprises. They did things that made you stop and think a bit. I like books like this.

It did not end the way I thought, and it took all 480 pages to get to a conclusion I’d never have guessed.

The surprising part in the end was the sympathy I felt for the illusive killer.

I would read this book again, for sure.

Bargain book April 17, 2021

BookBub has a bargain suggestion for us. It looks interesting but it’s over 600 pages long, not many can pull off an engaging book with that many pages. How many words should have been chopped? Should they have been chopped or do they all work?

Records show I’ve downloaded ten books from this author and I’ve read seven. Most of the downloads were between 2012 and 2017 and memories of those reads are vague. There were two since 2020 and I’ve read one. Not sure why that is except this author’s name comes up on my Tell-Not-Show list (which is not a good thing) and the unread book has disappeared from my device. Maybe that’s why she made the list.

Before I checked my likes and dislikes lists for her name I read the first few pages. Definitely Show not Tell. People put a lot of effort into first pages (usually) so that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot. Things could easily go downhill from there and sometimes do, quite dramatically.

668 pages is a huge time commitment, do I really want to do this? Then there is the fact that this is an updated version of a 2015 publication. Maybe that means a big improvement in style?

There could be a chance she made my list unfairly. Nine of the books in my library were Romance and the recent unfinished book was Mystery. Maybe I let one bad experience influence me more than I should have. Maybe I need to give her another chance, possibly in a genre that is more comfortable for her.

There is no law that says I have to read the whole book if it isn’t working for me. There’s no law that says I can’t cut to the end and at least see how it all ends if I really have to know. Maybe in fairness I should take another chance to see if I’ve misjudged her. It’s only a $1.24 after all.

His Longing Heart: Returning Home to St. Simon’s Island… A Christian Small Town Beach Romance (Seaside Chapel Book 1)

Amazon quote:

He is a struggling violinist living in poverty. She is a billionairess violin collector with a trust fund. Living in two different worlds, will their unexpected romance last?

The musician…

Six years ago, Ivan McMillan was a budding crossover violinist on a world tour with his pianist sister. His career was cut short when Grandpa Otto died suddenly, leaving Grandma Yun saddled with enormous medical bills that ate up all their savings. In the midst of Ivan’s struggle to provide for his elderly grandmother and to save their family home from foreclosure, he finds himself falling in love with his billionairess friend, whose lifestyle he cannot afford.

The muse…

After Brinley Brooks’s ex-boyfriend abandons her due to her vow of purity, the twenty-something heiress goes home to St. Simon’s Island to spend time with her family and to accept her life as a single woman. At her sister’s birthday party, Brinley is mesmerized by a violinist friend, Ivan, when he plays one of Bach’s orchestral suites. Music therapy or not, her heart starts to seek its own second movement in her love life. Or is she just lonely? One thing leads to another, and Brinley enters Ivan’s world of material poverty and spiritual wealth.

The minuet of their lives…

When one of Ivan’s worst fears comes to pass, he feels obligated to show Brinley what it means to be a Christian living through adversity. However, trusting God is the last thing on his mind as the crisis affects his career, his life, his family, and his relationship with Brinley. Ivan cannot let her see how far he has sunk. What is a Christian man to do?

His Longing Heart is the first novel in USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson’s Seaside Chapel Christian small town beach romance series. This book is the updated second edition of the previously published Share with Me.

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668 pages is a lot of pages… that’s like three normal books…

Oh well, it’s done. I hit the purchase button.

My TBR pile is 30 pages x 8 books long. That could be where the angst is coming from.

I could love this book though.

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I’ll let you know how it goes.

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668 pages is a lot of pages for one book.

It’s the TBR pile that’s killing me.

I hope I love this book and then I’ll be wishing it was longer.

Read with me, I need company on this crazy journey.

How can you tell I’m going into this kicking and screaming. I have no idea why I’m doing this except I liked the first few pages and now I have to know.

I need my head examined.

How do I do it?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A commenter, Sheri Dye from ReadBetwixtWords , after my last post with read and enjoyed asks “You read all of these? In April?.. I’m so jealous! 😂”

The answer popping into my head would be much too long for the comment box so I promised a post.

Normally I would read while eating my breakfast but this subject was much too engaging. Every second was spent thinking of all the things I wanted to say in reply.

So, how do I do it? Well, it’s complicated but not a bad thing. I have to say that because my first response to the question puts a big smile on my face, I think it’s pretty funny and I LOVE reading. When I think about it from the listener’s perspective, though, it sounds pathetic.

I am, for the most part, happy with my life. Even if I could do things differently I probably wouldn’t.

There are two major contributing factors to my lifestyle. I’m an introvert and I’m a survivor with hermit tendencies. Translated that means I have major trust issues. Home is safe so I stay home. A lot. I venture out several times a month, maybe. It’s covid, where would I go anyway? lol To be honest, life looks about the same for me now as it did pre-covid. Really, there’s nothing new to see here.

So, we’ve established, I have no life and it’s just me. My life can be ordered however I like and if I choose reading over housework no one complains.

On the realistic side though, I do still have a job and I’m grateful. It adds purpose to my life and gives me contact with the outside world, limited though it may be. I work remotely and spend all of my working time online.

Aside from my job and must-do things to keep myself alive and comfortable, I can do pretty much whatever I want.

So, how do I read so many books?

First of all, no TV. I didn’t watch it anyway and let the subscription go.

I read every second I’m not compelled to be doing something else. I’m addicted, what can I say.

On average I read a book a day. Some don’t really take all that long. For others I’ve developed some habits and learned some tricks.

I try to keep moving. It’s easy to drop back to a stroll when it should be a quick-step. If a book turns out to be the one where every word needs to be read, I give it the respect it deserves and slow down to savor the experience. Not many books are like that though.

Then there are the choices of speed reading or skimming.

Speed reading, I try but don’t use it much as it’s not often that I need to remember everything I’ve just read.

Skimming, I let my eyes quickly run down the middle of the page and at the bottom ask myself “Did I miss anything important?” If no then I keep going like that until a page shows up that deserves a closer look. Practice makes this an effective tool.

There are some things I flat out do not read.

Detailed descriptions of all kinds. What people are wearing. Surroundings. Some scenes between characters. Now and then a description sets the stage for future actions but mostly they do not. It takes more effort than I care to give for me to visualize whatever it is.

I avoid thought patterns and conversations. Sometimes the story is fixated on internal struggles and the same narrative happens over and over. Not worth my time to read it over and over.

Hop, skipping, jumping.

If the story moves slowly, I’ll skip paragraphs, pages and finally chapters. I’ll hop ahead a chapter, or two or three, at a time, stopping long enough to see what’s happening. Not much? Move on. Something? Stay awhile. If things are really bad I’ll jump to the last chapter or two where there is generally a story summary.

I love to read slowly and savor a book, if it deserves that kind of treatment. Honestly, most often they do not. There’s nothing wrong with giving it time if that’s what you want and at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with hurrying on through.

To read a book a day, I have to remind myself I don’t have time to sit and chat, I have to keep moving.

In a way this has become like a job to me. If I want to have something to say on this blog everyday I have to put in the time. If I download books and want to know about authors I’ve not read I have to find ways to keep up.

To summarize, if you want to read like I do: have no life and do not read every word.

It’s not perfect by any means but I love my life.

So, that’s how I do it!

And that picture? Totally me, sitting at my table for hours on end 🙂

Read and enjoyed middle of April 2021

It’s time to clear out some of the backlog of finished reads, once again.

This first one was a fun read. Definitely a different twist on a romance story. Autumn MacArthur does come up with well crafted stories regularly, always worth reading.

Forget Paris: Sweet and clean Valentine’s Day Christian romance in Paris and London with an anti-romance heroine! (Love In Store Book 5) 

Zoe’s determined to prove that romance is an illusion and love based on it doesn’t last. Though when she meets Gabe Ross, there to fulfil his mother’s dying wish by placing a lovelock on a bridge for her and his father, even she finds it hard to resist the most romantic city in the world on the most romantic day of the year.

An impulsive challenge to try a psychological experiment isn’t part of her research plan.

Especially when it feels like more, much more, for both of them.

Zoe tells herself their one wonderful day together proves nothing, only gives more evidence her theory is right.

But on her return to London, she discovers she needs Gabe’s help to learn the biggest lesson of all, that love does last.

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I really liked this next story too. It held my attention, was believable and was a story worth reading. It didn’t feel like any other story I’d read and that’s a very good thing.

Run With My Heart: Sweet, Christian Christmas Romance: (A Texas Tornadoes Single Author Sports Romance book 2) (Texas Tornados)

Pro football player Tucker Jackson has a chip on his shoulder. His mother died when he was young, his father threw himself into his work, and the team he now plays for is in danger of losing their season.

His anger drives him to a bar where an ensuing fight earns him service at a community center. Can he find a way to tame his ire before it destroys his dreams forever?

Shelby Doll has a heart for kids, but the community center she runs is short on funds. Tucker Jackson is her last hope to keep the doors open, but will he leave her in a lurch when it matters the most?

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This next one is about the life of a young Jewish woman from the Bronx who found herself with a singing career back in the hippie days of the seventies, the child of Holocaust survivors.

Eventually she married into a bluegrass family and music became a lifelong way of life for her and her family.

Life is always affected by dramatic experiences of all family members and Lily’s was no different. She shares both the good and the painful, but mostly the good.

I enjoyed this book even more because I have closely followed her family’s career or the last decade or two.

You Don’t Cry Out Loud: The Lily Isaacs Story 

An unforgettable autobiography of Lily Isaac, the daughter of Holocaust survivors who rejected her Jewish heritage for a life with Jesus Christ and a music career.

Throughout her music and that of her children, who together form the beloved and multi-award winning group The Isaacs, you hear the resonating inspirational legacy of this family’s faith. Fans struggle to put the book down and are captivated by:

  • An autobiographical look at Lily’s life, from being a Jewish folk singer to serving as vocalist and matriarch of The Isaacs
  • The powerful account of her struggle with a once unknown faith and how she finally “cried her way to God from the church’s back pew”
  • The incredible insights behind heartbreaking moments which were her greatest opportunities of faith.

Whether surviving breast cancer or a challenging career, Lily’s steady refrain has been one of God’s constant love, comfort, and strength. Her story of survival is raw and compelling. It will inspire your Christian faith and help to put your own personal struggles in perspective.

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Now for a bunch that were read and enjoyed. It will be a just glimpse to fit them all it.

There’s more but I think this is enough for today.

Happy reading y’all

Read and enjoyed April 12, 2021

Lots of meat to chew on with this read. T.D. Jakes always has many thought provoking things to add to any story and this was no exception. He gives us an in-depth look at four woman types and the hardest one for me to read was the one most like me. All of the women were hurting in one way or another, that’s the way life is. Difficult patches in life are inevitable. It’s what we do with them that will make or break us.

T.D. Jakes doesn’t hold back, he tells it raw and real. He doesn’t expose us and then leave us hanging out to dry. He leaves us with answers (not always the ones we want to hear but answers nevertheless) and points us to hope. Some people will tear us all apart pointing out the broken places then walking away. He doesn’t ever tear us apart, rather he sheds a light in the dark places to help us see the important things we are missing. His goal is to help us choose a better way.

The broken among us have bought into lies we’ve been told over and over. His novel is one more tool in the arsenal to help us break out of our prison of lies.

He is a great story teller. Everything he is trying to share is woven into the fabric of the story making it strong. The best kind.

Cover Girls by T.D. Jakes

This compelling novel follows four women as they learn to balance children, estranged husbands, boyfriends, and problems at work through their faith in God.

Michelle, Tonya, Mrs. Judson, and Miz Ida. African-American, white, rich, poor — they seemingly have nothing in common. Yet every day they face the complex realities of twenty-first-century urban life as they try to balance their needs with their belief in God. Through the course of a year, these women must come to terms with the past, discover their true identities, and recognize the unexpected miracles that reveal God’s all-encompassing love.

These four women entertain us and invite us to join in their lives. As they welcome us, they also introduce us to the men in their lives. The men play supporting roles, adding color and zest to the lives of the Cover Girls.

Bishop Jakes knows the struggles real women encounter and the losses that make it difficult to face the future. He brings compassionate insight and deep wisdom to this novel and proves that he is not only a gifted preacher, but a born storyteller.

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Currently, I’m into a lighter read. It’s not fluffy by any means, just lighter by comparison.

Run With My Heart: Sweet, Christian Christmas Romance: (A Texas Tornadoes Single Author Sports Romance book 2) (Texas Tornados) 

A football player who’s lost. A woman in danger of losing all she loves. Could he be the Christmas Miracle she’s been praying for?

Pro football player Tucker Jackson has a chip on his shoulder. His mother died when he was young, his father threw himself into his work, and the team he now plays for is in danger of losing their season.

His anger drives him to a bar where an ensuing fight earns him service at a community center. Can he find a way to tame his ire before it destroys his dreams forever?

Shelby Doll has a heart for kids, but the community center she runs is short on funds. Tucker Jackson is her last hope to keep the doors open, but will he leave her in a lurch when it matters the most?

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Happy Reading!

One thing led to another and here we are.

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

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

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

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

Amazon quote:

Was it all a lie?

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

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

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

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

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

• She was invisible and forgettable.

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

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There’s more.

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

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

Amazon quote:

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon quote:

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

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

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

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One more for me from the suggestion strip.

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

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

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

To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

Amazon quote:

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the best to you,

a fellow traveler.

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown — Nerdy Book Club

Loved this, you will too – For the Love of Books

When did I first scratch my head about Little Red Riding Hood? Kids are experts at shrugging at the imperfect world. They believe us when we tell them how Wednesday is spelled and then they move on to more important matters. After all, there are bugs to poke. Recently, I have been thinking a lot […]

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown — Nerdy Book Club

Read and enjoyed January 24, 2021

My very favorite read this week had depth and layers. Many layers. New discoveries appeared throughout the course of the book with the biggest one at the very end.

Reading this story was an emotional but enriching journey, with many tears along the way. Tears for both of us, the reader and the character. The thing I love most about these stories? There will be a line, a scene, an emotional event, that resonates with me and my life and sheds light on needs I may or may not realize I have. I’m grateful. I’ve not lived though cancer but I can relate to broken families and the effect it can have throughout a lifetime.

Aside from the value of whatever portion speaks to me, I loved this book for itself alone.

The Faded Photo

Some things should be kept private.” Frances Snyder can never quite get her mother’s voice out of her headhow to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother. Frances’s home life is demanding, and while she’s busy seeing to everyone else’s needs, Frances doesn’t have the luxury of spare time.

So when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, she thinks that she can handle it on her own. Dealing with endless tests, brutal chemotherapy, and the looming specter of surgery, Frances chooses to face cancer on her own terms: alone. That is, until she finally understands that unexpected friendship—and unconditional love—can offer hope in the darkest hours.

With tenderness, grace, and flashes of humor, bestselling author Sarah Price draws upon her own experience as a breast cancer survivor to create a story about one woman’s determined and solitary journey into the unknown—in hopes that she’ll find her way back home.

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The next books were all awesome reads as well and I can highly recommend any of them,

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It has been the best. This reading week.

My current read is a major favorite too. It’s deep, with many layers. A struggle, a romance, a mystery, all rolled into one.

Stay with Me (Misty River Romance, A Book #1)

A mysterious letter alluding to a secret in her parents’ past brings Genevieve Woodward back to her Blue Ridge Mountains hometown, but she’s also in need of a break from a high-profile career that has left her dangerously burned out and concealing a powerful secret of her own. When she wakes inside an unfamiliar cottage to find the confused owner staring down at her, she can no longer ignore the fact that she needs help.  

Sam Turner has embraced his sorrow and his identity as an outsider. The solitary, disciplined life he lives on his historic farm is the life he’s chosen for himself. The last thing he wants is to rent his cottage to a woman as troubled as she is talkative. Yet, he can’t force himself to turn her away right when she needs him most. 

As Genevieve researches her family’s history and her and Sam’s emotions deepen, they will have to let go of the facades and loneliness they’ve clung to and allow light to illuminate every hidden truth.  

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This is story prompt day, I will have to shift gears to come up with something for Compliment.

Happy Reading!

One free book and a review January 14, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion for us.

Forever After (Hanover Falls Series Book 2)

Amazon quote:

A fire killed his best friend and his lifelong dream of
BEING a firefighter. The same fire killed her husband AND
HER hopes for a family. Can new dreams replace old?

Lucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street homeless shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy’s beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders what he could possibly offer Jenna? Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband’s death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future.

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Yesterday we had an interesting looking download but I wasn’t sure what to think about it. The author was new to me, the first chapter or two looked good but it was difficult to tell.

Amber Waves of Grace 

Amazon’s synopsis:

After her father’s accident, Corrie Lancaster moves back to the family farm just in time to help with the harvest. With a bumper crop of wheat waiting, the farm’s only hired hand quits, leaving Corrie with no choice but to accept the help of her old boyfriend’s older brother, Aaron Tuttle. It seems like the perfect plan until Corrie realizes ex-flame Luke isn’t over her. But even with Luke’s apologies and attempts to rekindle their romance, Corrie can’t forget his past betrayal.

Between harvesting, keeping tabs on her younger siblings, and watching her parents’ marriage crumble, Corrie leans on Aaron for emotional support. Wading through jealousy was never on Corrie’s to-do list, but as she navigates the choppy waters, she finds herself falling for Aaron’s good looks and charming wit.

Just when Corrie thinks she has everything under control, a stranger seeking shelter comes to the farm, and an old nemesis returns for revenge. As destructive forces align against her, Corrie must decide which man’s love will bring her back to life and restore her faith in herself, her family, and her purpose.

I wasn’t sure abut it at first but it turned out to be a good choice.

It was well written with good character development. It was engaging in a can’t-put-it-down kind of way. Of my recently read books this is my favorite. My only complaint was the number of crisis points. When Author Jerry Jenkins teaches on the elements of an engaging story he lists the necessity of crisis. He tells you how many and the degree of severity needed (it needs to vary for interest sake.) Jessica Berg did a good job with this element of the story but there could have been one or two less, to be perfect. When the reader thinks not-another-one, you know there are too many.

Other than that I loved the book and was itching to tell you about it, even before I reached the end. I did finish first though, in case you’re wondering.

It’s still a bargain price if you are interested.

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Two favorite things in one day, a podcast and a book, this was a very good day.