Free and bargain books January 25, 2021

LPCBooks has a couple of FREE suggestions for us. Both of them are new to me and I’m excited about that.

Intertwined: A Contemporary Novel

Amazon quote:

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator finds herself in an altercation with a doctor. Now she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters an old flame facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, they soon discover their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance . . . or is it? This could this be where life begins again.

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Deadly Commitment: A Novel

Amazon quote:

Will the truth about her fiance be more unsettling than the stranger stalking her?

Danni Kemp fears she’s being stalked—but the truth is much more deadly. Her new fiance, Robert Evans, has a dangerous secret. The homeless man who is stalking her, Caleb, may prove to be her only escape from a hidden world of crime. Will she discover in time that neither Robert no Caleb are who they appear to be and the one person she fears may be the one person she needs to trust? 

The Deadly Secrets series drops the reader into the frightening world of illicit drugs, where ordinary lives are lost, and families are changed forever—and in a setting so commonplace you will wonder if you or someone you love could become the next victim.

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Browsing, books 2, 3 and 4 of the Hope Eternal Ranch Romance series showed up at bargain prices.

Overprotective Cowboy: A Mulbury Boys Novel (Hope Eternal Ranch Romance Book 2)

Amazon quote:

Ted Burrows is ready to start his life over again, even if he has to go to a work-parole ranch to get out from behind the walls that have caged him for the past thirty months. He’s got a contact at Hope Eternal Ranch, and the day he gets word that he’ll be released into the Residential Reentry Program and serve out the rest of his sentence under the open sky of the ranch is the best day of his life so far.

But when he meets Emma Clemson, he’s completely thrown off his game. He knows her…from somewhere. She doesn’t seem to recognize him, though, and as they work together on the organization of the programs and tourism of the ranch, their newfound flame flickers and brightens. 

Emma has managed to isolate herself on the ranch and keep her ex out of her life, and she’s finally achieved some level of peace and happiness. Ted’s name does tickle a memory, but she pushes against it as she wants to leave the past where it belongs—in the past.

When Emma’s ex-boyfriend comes back into her life and reminds her of who Ted is, her carefully constructed existence unravels. She and Ted have met before, and not under pleasant circumstances. She’s not that woman anymore, and she doesn’t want Ted to even think of her as the woman she’d once been. She knows he’s not the same man he was a decade ago either.

When he sees Emma’s unrest, Ted’s overprotective side kicks in—a side that has gotten him in trouble before… 

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Rugged Cowboy: A Mulbury Boys Novel (Hope Eternal Ranch Romance Book 3)

Amazon quote:

Dallas Dreyer was once a decorated surgeon. After getting involved in insurance fraud and then spending thirty months in a low-security facility, he gets released only to learn his wife of fifteen years has left their two children at her sister’s and fled the state. He’s determined to figure out how to be a single dad and do right by his kids, and he goes to Hope Eternal Ranch to attend the wedding of one of his best friends.

He meets Jessica Morales, the stable master at the ranch, and he’s instantly attracted to her. She has a big heart, a wide smile, and she’s great with his kids. Jess likes him too, but she’s wary of the rugged cowboy mechanic who doesn’t seem to know when it’s okay to take calls from his ex-wife and how to juggle all of his new responsibilities. Her horses, though, she gets, and since she’s never had a relationship that’s lasted longer than two months, she’s not sure she wants to take a chance with her heart.

When Dallas finds himself dealing with thugs who want him to pay off his ex-wife’s debt, he has to make difficult decisions to keep himself, his children, and Jess safe. That means dealing with his ex-wife and paying whatever price necessary to get dangerous men away from Hope Eternal Ranch.

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Christmas Cowboy: A Mulbury Boys Novel (Hope Eternal Ranch Romance Book 4)

Amazon quote:

Slate Sanders has been out of prison for a couple of months now. He keeps his head down and his mouth shut around the ranch, and not just because he’s only a temporary cowboy. He’s not sure what to participate in, because he’s still trying to figure out who he is post-prison.

When he encounters Jill Kyle on the beach one morning, he can’t help but go see what she’s raging about. He’s worried for her safety, and it’s not until he gets closer that he realizes she works on the same ranch as him. Jill has just learned about her mother’s devastating illness, and she’s ready to take all of her frustrations out on the beach, the ocean, and the Lord.

As Jill and Slate connect over things lost, things gained, and an uncertain future, they both heal in unexpected ways. Jill didn’t think she’d ever find someone to settle down with, and Slate has never had a serious relationship in his life. But together, they seem to make sense in a world where nothing does. 

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Currently I’m reading Romantic Suspense, still at the beginning.

Two Reasons to Run (The Pelican Harbor Series Book 2) 

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Happy Reading!

Read and enjoyed January 12, 2021

This first one was my favorite read this week. It was insightful, well written, with interesting well developed characters and a great story line. It was new and fresh, I’ve not read another story similar too it.

Everything Behind Us: A Murphy Brothers Story (Book 3)

Connor Murphy lives by a code of honor and service. Dignified, duty-bound, and responsible, he’s spent the past eight years as a single enlisted airman, determined never to mess up another person’s life the way he did Sadie’s. As long as he follows orders, does his job well, and avoids romantic entanglements, he’ll do just fine. Of course, that last part was easier before Sadie rolled back into town.

Sadie Allen never intended to return to Sugar Pine—her hometown hosts too much regret—but she can’t face her health crisis alone. Not with a four-year-old depending on her. Even so, Connor Murphy’s proposal of a marriage of convenience wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She can’t fault his reasoning—her prognosis is grim and her son could use a father—but her heart aches at the thought of a marriage without romance. Especially to the one man she’s never gotten over.

The day-to-day challenges of Sadie’s illness are enough to strain the strongest relationships, let alone one hastily conceived in the shadow of past mistakes. Will the pressure be too much for their marriage to withstand, or will they allow God to forge something beautiful through their pain?

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The next two were favorites as well

A Christmas Peril (The Teacup Novellas Book 5) and Because of You (Christmas Heirloom Novella Collection)

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A few more read and enjoyed

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There has not been much action from the usual sources for suggestions so I have nothing new to offer at the moment.

I’m between books again and I’ve read everything I was excited about. Maybe I should go back to a partially read collection. In this one collection it looks like I switched to another read while in the middle of a book instead of at the end of one. I don’t usually do that and I probably shouldn’t have this time. I have no idea what the book is about and it took awhile to figure it out. Now that I have, sort of, I’d better stick with it and finish.

It’s not that the collection isn’t good. Five suspense books in a row is just such a daunting task.

The Rock Harbor Mystery Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor Series)

Without a Trace

Bree thinks a plane crash took the lives of her husband and young son, but her son Davy survived the accident. Can she find him before it’s too late?

Beyond a Doubt

Evidence of a violent crime in Bree’s basement causes police to re-open a cold case. Can she and her K-9 search dog, Samson, stop the killer before he strikes again?

Into the Deep

When Bree’s dog Samson goes missing, it’s just the beginning of her life turning upside down.

Cry in the Night

Bree and Samson discover a crying infant in the snowy Rock Harbor forest. But where are the baby’s parents? And how did she get there?

Silent Night

As Christmas day nears, Bree and her faithful search-and-rescue dog Samson follow the trail of a troubling mystery into the snowy forests of Rock Harbor.

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Happy Reading

Free and bargain books January 09, 2021

BookBub has a bargain suggestion and I’m happy to see it. There was a stage in my reading life when I read everything I could find by this author, Anne Perry. I’m not sure if I managed to uncover everything she wrote but I don’t think I missed much, if anything.

If I had to pick one thing I loved most about her books it would be that every word mattered. On top of that, I loved her characters and the situations they found themselves in.

Life goes on and things change. I’m not the same person I was upwards of twenty years ago, maybe her stories will strike me differently than they did back then. Writing styles have changed significantly. Somehow, though, I think her writing is timeless. I’ll have to re-read this book (I’m sure I’ve read it) to see if I still feel the same way.

Despite how her books may or may not strike me at this present time (memories become bigger-than-life in time.) looking through the internet, her books are still out there and very popular.

If you’ve not read Anne Perry, you really should.

Cardington Crescent (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Series Book 8)

Amazon quote:

Charlotte Pitt defends her own sister against a murder charge in Victorian England, in a novel “suffused with atmosphere, emotion, and suspense” (Booklist).
 As Inspector Thomas Pitt works to resolve the case of a dismembered woman, his womanizing brother-in-law, George March, Lord Ashworth, is poisoned with his morning coffee at the country estate of his cousins. The primary suspect? Charlotte’s sister, Emily, the murdered man’s wife and Pitt’s sister-in-law. Charlotte and Pitt take on the March clan with the help of Great-aunt Vespasia, their formidable relative and a member of the clan, to break through the wall of deceit and silence. When Sybilla March, George’s suspected paramour, is found strangled by her hair and Emily is the one who found her, the case would seem hopeless—for anyone but the indomitable Pitts. Their pursuit of the truth takes them down a path of corruption, depravity, and murder, from the elegant townhouses lining fashionable Cardington Crescent to the horrifying slums of London.

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BookRunes has a FREE suggestion I know I’ve read. From another favorite author.

Strike the Match (The Teacup Novellas Book 2)

Amazon quote:

The last place twenty-four year old Keri McMillan wants to be is back home in Waterford Bay, Oregon. But after two years at prestigious New York University pursuing a degree in journalism, her bank account is drained. Keri is determined to move home for one year – and one year only— to make some serious money working for her dad’s log cabin company, but her goals all go up in smoke when the company’s new showcase home burns to the ground.

Six months ago, Grant Dawson bought the Waterford Weekly, a small newspaper in his father’s hometown. Burned out as a reporter for the L.A. Times and tired of all the inherent politics, he welcomed the slower pace of this Oregon coastal town and the more relaxed lifestyle producing a weekly paper. He enjoys being close to his dad again, a quiet man who captains a whale-sightseeing boat.

Grant is surprised at his unexpected interest in Keri, the niece of columnist Luby Sanders. He thinks Luby is a hoot and can’t help but adore her. But she’s also playing matchmaker, trying to interest him in her niece. When Keri shows up at a log cabin fire in the middle of the night, she’s not the geeky college kid he expected. But he’s not about to fall victim to Luby’s orchestrations.

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In fact all of the Teacup Novellas (books 1-5) are at a bargain price right now. I have the first four and I need the fifth as well.

A Christmas Peril (The Teacup Novellas Book 5)

Amazon quote:

Lucy Alexander’sTeacup Novellas were inspired by a collection of vintage teacups her Aunt Lucille bequeathed to her. She’s excited about writing the next book in the series, a Christmas tale loosely based on her aunt and uncle’s love story set in the 1940s. But when a hostage situation lands Lucy’s boyfriend in the hospital, she sets her work aside to keep a bedside vigil with Mark. As the long hours of waiting stretch on, Lucy starts to read her beloved aunt’s handwritten diary. Shocked to discover a frightening story so eerily similar to the one she’s living, Lucy longs to find hope and encouragement in the pages of Lucille’s diary.

December 1944 – “The most wonderful things seem to happen when you least expect them,” writes Lucille Alexander after a serendipitous meeting with Gary Reynolds, a handsome lieutenant home on leave from the war in Europe. The two are inseparable in the five precious days he has left before heading back overseas just weeks before Christmas. On their last morning together, Lucille accompanies Gary to the train station, already dreading the long separation ahead. But that would be the least of her worries after her brave lieutenant rushes to help an elderly woman in distress.

Lucy finds a strange solace in her namesake’s ink-stained journal. Though seventy years have passed between them, would their stories have the same ending?

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Browsing (I can never resist browsing) there is an interesting but unfamiliar author. After reading three chapters I’m going to take a chance. This will be my next read.

In fact, I think I will abandon and switch out my current read.

Keegan: A Clean and Wholesome Christmas Romance (Texas Rascal Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Iced in at Christmas

When a mysterious stranger shows up on Wren Matthew’s doorstep, sick and delirious—the timid high school teacher can’t leave him out in an ice storm. Not at Christmas. Even though she’s sworn off men, empathetic Wren has little choice but to let him. And never mind that electric chemistry surging between them.

Former cop Keegan Winslow has a dark secret and the last thing he wants to do is draw sweet Wren into his sordid world. But she’s given him a warm place to land in the raging storm and a kindness no one has shown him in a very long time.

But Keegan knows nothing can come of the love he’s found on her dairy farm in this small Texas town, because staying here will put her very life in danger.

KEEGAN is the first book in Lori Willde’s contemporary western romance series, Texas Rascals. If you like emotional, heart-tugging, wholesome holiday romance novels, you will love KEEGAN, from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde.

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Not a bad day for books. Not a bad day at all.

Happy Reading y’all

Free and bargain books January 06, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us and judging by other books I’ve read from this author I will want to read this one too.

Invisible (A Mendocino Village Novel Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Ellyn–chef, cafe owner, and lover of butter–is hiding something behind her extra weight. While she sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him.

Sabina–tall, slender, and exotic–left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. Why?

Twila has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, she’s tempted to go back into hiding.

As these women’s lives intertwine, will they dare to come out of hiding?

Ginny L. Yttrup is an award-winning author whose novels explore the issues everyday women face.

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Browsing, I stumbled upon another book in a favorite series I’ve been following. This one is a bargain.

Because of You (Christmas Heirloom Novella Collection): A Bradford Sisters Romance Novella

Amazon quote:

Chocolate shop manager Maddie Winslow’s secret crush on Leo Donnelly is as long-standing as it is unlikely to lead to romance.

History professor Leo is brainy, handsome, and kind. But for the past few years since his wife’s death, he’s been solely focused on his young son, their shared grief, and work.

Maddie knows Leo views her as nothing more than his late wife’s friend. However, when they’re asked to work together to provide Christmas gifts for a family in need, the two are thrown into close proximity. And Maddie’s discovery of a family heirloom brooch rumored to bring a happily-ever-after to its owner causes her to hope.

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Another stumble looking good. I’ve enjoyed this author too.

An Old-Fashioned Texas Christmas (The Archer Brothers Book #4): 2-in-1 Holiday Novella

Amazon quote:

Celebrate the joy and warmth of the holidays with two historical romance novellas from Karen Witemeyer, including a brand-new story that provides a glimpse into what the Archer clan has been up to.

In this 2-in-1 novella collection, the Archer brothers return for An Archer Family Christmas. When the Archer clan gathers for the Christmas holiday, an unexpected request for help leaves Cassandra Archer directly in the path of a dangerous outlaw. Desperate to protect the woman he loves, Jim Archer races to the rescue, only to find that Cassie’s life is not the only one in peril. It will take a Christmas miracle–and the entire Archer clan–to keep a second Archer Christmas from ending in disaster.

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I see it’s been a week since I last downloaded any new books. It seems unbelievable, inconceivable. I’m excited about today’s bounty.

I’m having trouble settling on a current read so they are brightening my day. I think Because of You will be up first.

Happy Reading…

…on this grey day. At least it’s warmer than yesterday, only -5c. They aren’t predicting any snow, maybe sunny periods like we had earlier today. We haven’t had a whole lot of snow yet this year, probably 6 inches or less accumulated in my yard. Winter’s not hard to take when it’s mild like this.

Read and enjoyed early January

Recently, we’ve downloaded a number of books by author Melissa Storm. I’ve read & enjoyed them all.

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

Three more …

Almost finished … The Second-Chance Waitress: A Heartwarming Journey of Faith, Hope & Love (First Street Church Romances Book 2)

Switching to multiple authors read & enjoyed

and one more … Second Chances: Inspirational Box Set 

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Christmas week was an excellent opportunity to do some reading and reduce the TBR pile. Not sure where or what the next read will be. Finishing a few partially-reads may be the way to go.

In the meantime…

Happy Reading!

Read and enjoyed Christmas edition.

This first one was my favorite. Judging by the title I was expecting a fluff kind of read but that’s not what happened. It was a thought provoking experience. All the way around it was a good time. It is still bargain priced if you are interested. The stories are all connected in someway and I love the way they’ve pulled it altogether.

Five Gold Rings (Crossroads Collection) 

Amazon quote:

Christmas Mercy by Jaycee Weaver
As the web of lies that kept Rob away from Vera and their daughter unravels, the months following his return test their capacity for mercy, forgiveness, and a second chance at love.

The Seven Year Glitch by Hallee Bridgeman
Seven years earlier, Timothy left Leanne at the altar stealing years of happiness. Leanne rescues him from a rooftop in a floodplain and it is clear there is much more to the story. Can their love redeem the hurts of the past to rescue their future?

Laughing All the Way by Lesley Ann McDaniel
When Jessica’s friends put her up to “fixing” their commitment phobic co-worker, Conner, she doesn’t take them very seriously. Conner doesn’t know whether to laugh at Jessica or tell her to mind her own business.

Ghosted at the Altar by Chautona Havig
After his fiancée, Brenna, abandons Mitchell on their wedding day, she insists she loves him and still wants to marry him. As truths come to light, her little sister, Lauren, turns sleuth to solve the mystery of why Brenna ghosted Mitchell at the altar.

Five Gold Rings by Amanda Tru
When three relationship-challenged couples wish for Christmas weddings, commitment coach, Oliver, teams up with a wedding planner, TeraLyn, to help make their marriage dreams come true.

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I liked this next one too. This short read is still a bargain.

Relentless: A Raven Remington 

You’ve read about her in the Worst Detective Ever mystery series. Now Raven Remington comes to life in this novella that’s written as if it’s a TV show.

An ex-CIA operative. A top-secret mission. Danger that lurks at every turn.

Raven Remington is facing her most challenging mission: protecting the man who may have killed her sister. The former spy is still trying to integrate into life as a civilian and figure out whom to trust. With each passing day, the task becomes more difficult.

Can Raven figure out who is trying to assassinate the man—the senator—she’s been tasked to protect . . . or will surprises hidden just below the surface destroy life as she knows it?

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Another great short read that is still a bargain.

Ride with Me: A clean, sweet, faith-filled, small-town romance, where life begins at forty.

Hotel magnate Henry Scott lives life in the fast lane. True to form, when his great-uncle leaves him property and a Victorian house in Chapel Cove, he takes a weekend drive, only intending to stay long enough to evaluate his new found assets. If they aren’t a viable option for the next Scott Leisure Resort, he just might consider selling to the couple who’d expressed an interest in buying the old place. After all, if not for them, he would never have known about this last part of his great-uncle’s will, sealed for almost a decade.

When her new neighbor rolls into town, Tash Thornton is less than impressed. Not only is the man presumptuous and audacious, he’s downright egotistical. His grand plans for the property adjoining her stables, tack shop, and riding school do not bode well for her business.

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The rest were excellent as well.

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Currently, I’m between reads. I’ve finished all of the newest downloads that caught my attention. I’ll take a look at some of the earlier downloads, maybe I can knock off another older one. Seems fair to me.

I like this author, I’ve been reading her for years. The only reason I have put this one off is the intensity of this genre, and the length. I love long books but… it’s 480 pages. I think I’m hooked and it is relaxed Christmas week, I can afford to spend the time.

Undetected by Dee Henderson

When asked what he does for a living . . .

Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the Navy.” But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping her crew trained and alert during ninety-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and handles it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating around the Pacific Rim, the Navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, with a lovely smile, and very smart. She’s a civilian, yet she understands the U.S. Navy culture. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. A breakup she didn’t see coming, though, has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a major breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she told the Navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter.

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Happy Reading …

on this lazy winter day. An excellent day for kicking back with a good book.

A little this, a little that, at Christmas

This is story prompt Sunday. The word was Jolly. I feel happy and jolly, but totally pulled a blank when it came to anything jolly worth writing about. It’s not a great day for book suggestions either so it will be a this and that kind of a blog day.

I’m good with it. Many thoughts are busily floating through my mind at the moment. As usual, I don’t have any of this planned out. It will be another lets see where we end up post. I’m currently feeling upbeat and I’m pretty sure the post will sound that way too. I don’t want to take a chance with the good vibes I’ve got going on.

I will admit, briefly, that the lead up to this week was anything but jolly. There were a number of emotionally charged things going on and it all brought me to a place where, for days, I just wanted to cry. I couldn’t figure out why. I thought maybe if I gave in to the need the pressure would ease. There were no tears, so that idea was of no value. One thing did help, I counted up all the stresses over the previous week. That explained a lot. Once you get past a certain number a melt down is inevitable.

I worried that a lock-down covid Christmas would only make things worse. Thankfully the opposite happened.

It all began on the 21st when things started out sideways. My daughter-in-law talked about a video call at 4 pm, my eldest and his family. When it didn’t come at four as suggested I thought it wasn’t happening after all. Part way through a piece of blueberry pie my cell phone rang with a video call. No time for primping. I can laugh about it now.

Our whole family gets along well and has a lot of fun together but, scattered all over the country we don’t see each other very often. None of us are good with phone calls either. When we do talk though, it goes on for hours. After three hours I’d seen most of the house and talked with everyone in the house. It was just what I needed.

The next night we had scheduled a full family Zoom call. The first one we’ve ever had as a group and it was four hours of awesome. Nothing fancy or spectacular just the simple joy of being together and seeing each other. I think a few grandkids and a spouse or two may have checked out after awhile and left us to it.

I think part of the reason we were all fully in the moment was the recent loss of an extended family member. It reminded us of the fragility of life. Some of us are not getting any younger and the sudden, unexpected passing could have been any one of us. It sounds like we are going to commit to regular monthly visits while we still can. Just not four hours long. I’m couldn’t be happier about the promise of more visits.

Christmas Eve I delivered gifts to my daughter’s family in the city. I didn’t plan to stay long with covid restrictions in place but I was there long enough to see most of another family Zoom call with the extended side of the family. They enjoy each other immensely too and it was a treat to experience their interactions.

I enjoy all of the families my kids have married into. I feel very blessed. Most, if not all of us, find it easy to allow others into our family circles and it’s awesome.

So, aside from conversations I had fun with gifts this year.

I usually just give the teen-aged boys money. I’m a lousy shopper and I want them to be happy. I fully intended to use that method again this year but at the last minute changed my mind and ordered something. It wasn’t a new thought, I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile now but waffled.

I gave them a family Christmas card explaining that I decided to spend their money for them, the gift would be arriving before the 31st and it is a secret. I know they will love the gift. In the meantime curiosity is driving them crazy. It’s a good thing I’m not with them or they would be dragging it out of me. Anticipation is a good thing sometimes.

Included in the bag with the card was a couple of big bags of variety junk food, flavored chips, and three books. Big books.

Several years ago when their cousins (my other grandkids) were visiting I gifted them with a couple of full bags of books. My goal was to find stories they could get hooked on and from there develop a love of reading. I had selection help from a nerdy, teen-age book-lover sales clerk so I knew the options offered were good.

I held back three books (all part of a series with stand alone books) waiting for them to be in need of more reading material. Middle boy is the book lover, boys one and three – not so much… not yet anyway. The distress over the thought of such long books was hilarious. Their dad said he would give oldest boy fifty dollars if he read the whole 600 pages. (If dad was serious about the reward I think I will make a contribution to the incentive. Must check it out.)

Their reaction was no surprise and I didn’t take it personally. Reading is such an important skill, I wanted to do my part to provide tempting reading material. One day they will find a book they love. Aside from that, it gets easier with practice so any book they read will take them in the right direction.

I know they will be happy with the gift when it arrives, It will have them forgetting all about books, I’m sure.

I was unsure how I would feel about coming home to an empty house at this time of year. Usually I would stay with them for a few days to make the most of the season.

Once in a while, when I return from a family visit, grief at being alone will hit me like an unexpected tidal wave. It didn’t happen this time. I think there were several reasons. My emotional tank was refilled with the many hours spent with my family. (virtual works for me.) At the same time someone was praying for me. A friend mentioned I have been on her mind lately and she’s been praying for me even though she had no idea what the need was. I can still feel the comfort of her prayers wrapped all around me. I am grateful beyond words.

It was in answer to my prayers too. Earlier in the week I had cried out to God in my despair and he answered me. (there is a bible verse that says it like that). The change was so dramatic it feels like a miracle.

So, that’s my story. It has been an unexpectedly good Christmas and I still feel good.

(I hope the same for you)

Bargain books for Christmas Day

If we are alone on this covid Christmas a good book is a wonderful friend. BookBub has a couple of awesome bargain suggestions for us.

This first one is from an author frequently on my TBR list. All three books in the collection are new to me.

Kennedy Stern (Christian Suspense 3-Book Box Set 1)

Amazon quote:

Three full-length suspense novels from multi-award winning Christian novelist Alana Terry. A three-in-one bundle of suspense and page-turning excitement as missionary kid Kennedy Stern faces more danger, mystery, and controversy than she knows how to handle.

Confronted with questions of underage abortion, plagued by a stalker and paralyzing PTSD flashbacks, and eventually caught in the center of a police brutality scandal, Kennedy discovers that her first year at Harvard University involves a lot more than passing a few lab classes and fulfilling her premed requirements.

With her parents serving North Korean refugees overseas, Kennedy befriends a loving and highly opinionated pastor, his hospitable and encouraging wife, an eccentric but respectful roommate whose worldview is drastically different from Kennedy’s, and a foreign lab partner who’s harboring a grave secret he’d do just about anything to keep from being exposed.

The Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series tackles controversial issues facing the church today and brings them to light in a way that encourages questions and fosters discussions without ever turning preachy or heavy-handed.

Find out why readers from all faiths and denominations, all walks of life, and all sides of the political spectrum are devouring this thought-provoking series from edgy Christian fiction author Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, The Book Club Network, Readers’ Favorite, and many others.

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This next collection is from an author I have read once or twice. I think it is worth a shot, for sure.

Piercehaven Box Set: The Complete Series 

Amazon quote:

Piercehaven (Book 1)

A new teacher. A dark secret. A bunch of kids caught in the middle. 

Emily has just moved to a remote Maine island, but it feels like a different planet. Everything seems to be a mystery. Is her new job really in danger? Is the gorgeous lobsterman really interested in her? Is it possible an entire town is that obsessed with basketball? 

Windmills (Book 2)

Piercehaven Power wants to erect two windmills on Chicken Hill. Some islanders will do anything to stop this from happening. Will the controversy rip this tight-knit community apart? Can Emily’s new softball team put this small Maine island back together again?

Trespass (Book 3)

A young lobsterman is missing. Is it foul play? And why is James acting so weirdly? Emily is trying to plan a wedding, but does she really know the man she’s about to marry? Does she really know anyone on the island?

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Currently, I have a number of books on the go but haven’t managed to get caught up in any of them. They are left stranded on the side of the reading-highway.

Instead of giving them second chances at this moment, I’m going to start reading a new collection downloaded back in October. It includes some favorite authors and is still a bargain if you are tempted.

Five Gold Rings (Crossroads Collection) 

Amazon quote:

Christmas Mercy by Jaycee Weaver
As the web of lies that kept Rob away from Vera and their daughter unravels, the months following his return test their capacity for mercy, forgiveness, and a second chance at love.

The Seven Year Glitch by Hallee Bridgeman
Seven years earlier, Timothy left Leanne at the altar stealing years of happiness. Leanne rescues him from a rooftop in a floodplain and it is clear there is much more to the story. Can their love redeem the hurts of the past to rescue their future?

Laughing All the Way by Lesley Ann McDaniel
When Jessica’s friends put her up to “fixing” their commitment phobic co-worker, Conner, she doesn’t take them very seriously. Conner doesn’t know whether to laugh at Jessica or tell her to mind her own business.

Ghosted at the Altar by Chautona Havig
After his fiancée, Brenna, abandons Mitchell on their wedding day, she insists she loves him and still wants to marry him. As truths come to light, her little sister, Lauren, turns sleuth to solve the mystery of why Brenna ghosted Mitchell at the altar.

Five Gold Rings by Amanda Tru
When three relationship-challenged couples wish for Christmas weddings, commitment coach, Oliver, teams up with a wedding planner, TeraLyn, to help make their marriage dreams come true.

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As I struggle to keep my eyes open I’m having second thoughts about timing. I definitely need a power nap first.

I have this electronic Christmas Advent Calendar from my daughter-in-law and it includes some addicting games. About midnight last night, a few quick games seemed like a good idea. Too bad I couldn’t resist just one more, I could have been asleep before the winter sun came up on the third shortest day of the year.

It was fun and I’m not driving anywhere, so it’s all good.

I’ll start the new read after a nap.

In the meantime,

Happy Reading y’all

Merry Christmas!

FREE and bargain books December 24, 2020

It’s Christmas Eve Day! For the moment I am feeling festive in this less than normal time in our lives. Festive moments are good. I like them a lot. The last hour was spent listening to an inspiring podcast about story telling and the importance of regaining our sense of wonder. It was a lot to take in and I plan on listening to it again, probably more than once. My joy in this moment is a direct result of that experience, at a time when I really needed it.

I had no plans to share this podcast with you but here it is anyway. Harris III speaks to the cynical and shares why a sense of wonder can be restored and why it is so important in leadership and in story telling.

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So, back to books – FREE and bargains.

BookBub has a suggestion for us and it is a story that was part of a collection downloaded recently. I’ve read this book and it was excellent. It’s FREE today, this is a good time to take advantage of the opportunity.

A Christmas Homecoming (Sunriver Dreams Book 2)

Amazon quote:

Can the mystery of Christmas unite two hurting hearts?

Bailey Calderwood gives all she has to her job as an interior design assistant, but her best isn’t good enough for her demanding, bed-ridden boss. For some unexplained reason Mona has turned against her. At least not everyone is out to get her. A mysterious admirer is sending her cards and flowers. Could it be her boss’s son who’s recently returned home in time for the holidays?

Stephen Belafonte rushes home from France to be with his mother after her stroke, and is surprised by the rift between his mom and Bailey, her assistant. When his mom demands he fire Bailey, he’s torn between respecting his mother’s wishes and doing what’s best for the family business. Can Stephen find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go?

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BookRunes also has a FREE suggestion, one I’ve read and enjoyed.

Gift of the Magpie

Amazon quote:

Award-winning author Amanda Larrowe has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her next book’s deadline. But as storms move into Richmond, Virginia, Amanda learns that Camden Lancaster, a high school sweetheart, has moved in across the street.

After ten years, Amanda’s heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high-school Valentine’s Day date. Camden may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his charming smile doesn’t win her trust—and certainly not Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor.

Boy is she wrong.

Amanda is about to learn that first loves and broken hearts can sometimes lead to second chances … and a crushing pain that last forever.

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I’m currently reading and almost finished, a book that is still a bargain.

Season of Hope 

Amazon quote:

When a shocking revelation shatters her family and her faith,
will truth prevail and mend what was broken?

Life is good for Ronnie Coborn.

She’s newly married to a man who loves her and dotes on her daughter. A man handpicked by Ronnie’s father, a popular pastor at a megachurch who’s been married to her mother for forty years.

Yes, life is good.

Until a shocking revelation exposes the fact that everything in her idyllic life—her marriage, family, and faith—is based on a lie.

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Happy Reading …

… on the Christmas Eve Day.

Wishing you Peace.

Bargain books December 23, 2020

Browsing has unearthed a few treasures for us today. Stumbling on this pre-order collection started the whole thing.

Save the Date: A Christian Romance Anthology of Faith-Filled Weddings

Some of the authors are familiar to me. I’m looking forward to experiencing the rest.

Amazon quote:

One epic collection. Twelve weddings to remember. RSVP for your front-row seat to inspirational romances that last a lifetime.

Hallee Bridgeman, Kari Trumbo, T.K. Chapin
Chautona Havig, Shoshanna Gabriel.
Dori Harrell, Liwen Y. Ho, Lisa M. Prysock, Camy Tang
Jan Thompson, Marion Ueckermann, Jaycee Weaver

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Season of Hope

Amazon quote:

When a shocking revelation shatters her family and her faith,
will truth prevail and mend what was broken?

Life is good for Ronnie Coborn.

She’s newly married to a man who loves her and dotes on her daughter. A man handpicked by Ronnie’s father, a popular pastor at a megachurch who’s been married to her mother for forty years.

Yes, life is good.

Until a shocking revelation exposes the fact that everything in her idyllic life—her marriage, family, and faith—is based on a lie.

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The Secondary Inheritance 

Amazon Quote:

An inheritance leads Anna to relocate to Lake Tahoe, the city where her heart was broken by Bryson, the only man she ever loved. Family secrets emerge, along with a new relationship, but she doesn’t know if she can trust Bryson not to hurt her again.

Realizing most of her family have passed away, Anna decides to become a foster parent with the hopes of adopting a baby. When baby Ember is placed with her, all her hopes and dreams are wrapped up in the child, and she’s told it’s a slam-dunk adoption case.

That is until Delilah, the child’s birth mother, shows up and decides she wants her baby back.

Neither women expect to form an unlikely friendship, but nothing is impossible with God’s love. With both of their futures hanging in the balance, will Anna and Delilah be able to find peace in the path forward?

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Anther pre-order

Everything Behind Us: A Murphy Brothers Story (Book 3)

Amazon quote:

Neither wants to relive the past, but they need each other to face the future.

Connor Murphy lives by a code of honor and service. Dignified, duty-bound, and responsible, he’s spent the past eight years as a single enlisted airman, determined never to mess up another person’s life the way he did Sadie’s. As long as he follows orders, does his job well, and avoids romantic entanglements, he’ll do just fine. Of course, that last part was easier before Sadie rolled back into town.

Sadie Allen never intended to return to Sugar Pine—her hometown hosts too much regret—but she can’t face her health crisis alone. Not with a four-year-old depending on her. Even so, Connor Murphy’s proposal of a marriage of convenience wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She can’t fault his reasoning—her prognosis is grim and her son could use a father—but her heart aches at the thought of a marriage without romance. Especially to the one man she’s never gotten over.

The day-to-day challenges of Sadie’s illness are enough to strain the strongest relationships, let alone one hastily conceived in the shadow of past mistakes. Will the pressure be too much for their marriage to withstand, or will they allow God to forge something beautiful through their pain?

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This has been a good day for interesting new books.

Happy Reading!