This and That June 19th

Today was a fun day. We gathered at my daughter’s house for the maiden voyage of the new fire pit.

It was also a time to meet the new sweet and cuddly puppy. She spent a lot of time sleeping on my lap. I suspect she slept so deeply with me because I was the only one sitting still long enough to let it happen. It seems she is like many young babies, human or otherwise, requiring lots of sleep in between her energy spurts. We enjoyed one another,

The fire pit was fun too, all of us look forward to wiener roasts in the summer. We chatted about alternatives to wieners and Farmer Sausage and the like. Who knew that anyone would cook a steak over a camp fire. I think I will stick with wieners and sausages.

I’ve mentioned Jordan B Peterson recently. He is an Academic and a Clinical Psychologist. He is brilliant and intuitive, I enjoy listening to him and his podcast guests.

Anyway, he recommended several books. One he wrote recently...

Beyond Order: Twelve New Rules for Life

He also recommended an author we should read if we want to be the best we can be at writing. He mentioned one book but I came across a complete collection and I took it.

Francis Bacon: The Complete Works (Centaur Classics)

Following that I noticed a collection by a classic author I keep crossing paths with but have never read.

Delphi Complete Works of John Steinbeck

I’ll leave you with their covers.

It looks like I have some heavy reading ahead of me.

Have you read any of these books?

What did you think of them?

Story Prompt – Red

Story Prompt is hosted by Confusing Middle’sSunday Scribblings

RED

I know this will come as a shock to you but the first place my mind went with this prompt was Books and Movies.

Who could forget The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan Universe Book 1) 

I will admit I haven’t read the book but I am in possession of (and have watched) the movie (I do own movies I haven’t watched, just sayin’.)

Somewhere under the freezing Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. The chase for the highly advanced nuclear submarine is on—and there’s only one man who can find her…
 
Brilliant CIA analyst Jack Ryan has little interest in fieldwork, but when covert photographs of Red October land on his desk, Ryan soon finds himself in the middle of a high-stakes game of hide-and-seek played by two world powers—a game that could end in all-out war.

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The next movie assaulting my memory is The Scarlet Pimpernel

I will admit, I have not read this book either but I have seen the movie. Or at least one version of it. One of my daughter’s college friends was a lover of the classics and was a collector of the movies. This particular movie has been made and remade, a few times. One detail we all remember with a smile is the favorite exclamation of the foppish main character in one of the versions. Well, SINK me! I’ve no idea where that expression comes from but we thought it was pretty funny.

Amazon quote:

The Scarlet Pimpernel is the first novel in a series of historical fiction by Baroness Orczy, published in 1905. It was written after her stage play of the same title enjoyed a long run in London, having opened in Nottingham in 1903.

The novel is set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The title is the nom de guerre of its hero and protagonist, a chivalrous Englishman who rescues aristocrats before they are sent to the guillotine. Sir Percy Blakeney leads a double life: apparently nothing more than a wealthy fop, but in reality a formidable swordsman and a quick-thinking master of disguise and escape artist. The band of gentlemen who assist him are the only ones who know of his secret identity. He is known by his symbol, a simple flower, the scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis).

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The next remembrance is a story by Francine Rivers. I did read this book but several decades ago. It must have made a big impact if it still springs to mind after so many years. Francine Rivers was a huge favorite so it’s not surprising that I still remember.

The Scarlet Thread: A Novel (The Historical Christian Fiction Story of Two Women, Centuries Apart, Joined through a Journal from the Oregon Trail)

Sierra Madrid’s life has just been turned upside down when she discovers the handcrafted quilt and journal of her ancestor Mary Kathryn McMurray, a young woman who was uprooted from her home only to endure harsh conditions on the Oregon Trail.

Though the women are separated by time and circumstance, Sierra discovers that many of the issues they face are remarkably similar . . . and uncovering Mary Kathryn’s story may help her write the next chapter of hers.

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More recently I’ve been reading A Scarlet Cord by Deborah Raney

In the four years since her husband’s death, Melanie LaSalle’s life has been consumed with managing the family design firm and caring for her five-year-old daughter, Jerica. The possibility of a new relationship is the last thing on her mind. But when Melanie meets Joel Ellington, a new staff member at her church, she is instantly attracted to his warm spirit.
As their friendship deepens, however, Melanie is troubled by something she can’t quite understand or explain. Joel past seems to be off-limits, even to Melanie. Because of her growing feelings for him, Melanie pushes her doubts away. But when Joel disappears, along with the contents of a church bank account, she can no longer ignore her suspicions.
Now, torn between her feelings for Joel and the evidence mounting against him, Melanie faces a heart-wrenching decision: to forget the man who gave her reason to love again or to trust Joel enough to give him her heart.

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One thing for sure… it was easy to find many book and movie titles using some version of Red. Maybe next I should look at pink. Pink Panther, for sure

Bargain books September 26, 2020

There is a new Christmas Romance Collection available for pre-order, it will be out October 20th at the low price of $0.99. I’m excited because there are seven books and all but two are written by authors new to me.

Melodies of Christmas Love: A Boxed Set Collection of Contemporary Christmas Romance Novellas

Amazon quote:

The Heart of Christmas – Lynnette Bonner

When Wynn Mason sees police lights at Misty Cove’s one-and-only bar, she goes inside to investigate and is just in time to see her ex-boyfriend punch Ryland Sage in the face. What is the star of her favorite TV show doing in their tiny Pacific Coast town? Since Wynn is the only medical help for miles around, she has to stitch up his face—and also maybe his heart—all while protecting her own heart from the worldly charmer.

Love on a Mission in Millcreek – JoAnn Durgin

Angelia Ford wonders if she’ll ever live down her unfortunate outburst at the end of the Millcreek Elementary Christmas program. Sixteen years later, she’s home to care for her grandfather and prays the town’s citizens have finally forgiven her youthful indiscretion.

Millcreek’s newest resident, Nicholas Sanders, recognizes the beautiful blonde server at the local diner, but it’s clear Angel doesn’t remember him. What better time than the festive holiday season for Nick to reintroduce himself to the girl he’s never forgotten?

The Bells of New Cheltenham – Chautona Havig

When Justine Driscoll decides to enter a short story contest using a Christmas carol as the inspiration, she discovers love in the carols she investigates, in the story an ex-Army guy tells, and in the little tourist town of New Cheltenham.

A Christmas Duet – Annette M. Irby

A breakup steals a cellist’s inspiration. How will she create new compositions for her ensemble’s next album? Perhaps the church’s handsome music director could help. Join Kate Fleming and Zach Tillmon as Christmas music brings them together on Whidbey Island, Washington.

A Night Divine – Dawn Kinzer

One chilly December night, a tragedy connects successful model Camryn Tate and outreach minister Trace Gardner. As they share a common mission serving the homeless on the streets of Seattle, they provide more than food—they offer hope. But as Christmas Eve approaches, secrets have the potential to break Camryn’s heart.

To Hear the Angels Sing – Lesley Ann McDaniel

Being guardian of her niece isn’t as easy as Devlin Welsh might hope. When her niece is invited to be in a church show, the free childcare is hard to pass up. But when Devlin admits to knowing how to sew, she’s enlisted as costume designer. How will she find the time?

One of Jonah Ryan’s favorite parts of his job as worship leader is working on the kids’ Christmas musical. There’s something about the woman who’s volunteering to design costumes this year that gets him thinking. Could there be more to life than music?

Prairie Rose – Sylvia Stewart

For many years, Rose Morris has lived alone with her dog, Rusty. Mitch Foster, a handsome, un-married neighbor, brings her a bright red geranium, and insists on helping with chores. But who should drive into Rose’s farmyard? The scoundrel husband who had deserted her and her teenaged son years before. Later, a pre-teen runaway, found in her barn, adds his troubles to her own, so Rose decides to re-capture the peace and serenity of Christmas.

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While I was noticing this new Christmas pre-order collection I came across a Chautona Havig bargain I haven’t read yet. One thing about Chautona, her stories cover a broad range of styles. I have not read one of her’s similar to this one so I must check it out.

The Ghosts of New Cheltenham (New Cheltenham Shopkeepers Book 1)

Amazon quote:

What’s a guy to do when the ghosts of his past converge on his Christmas present?

Mitchell Bogaert hasn’t done much with his life in the four years since college, to which his negative-digits bank account and credit score will attest. So when news of an inheritance from a man he hasn’t seen in years arrives on the same day as his eviction notice, Mitchell considers the odd terms of the will to be a no-brainer.

Sure, he’ll move into a building in the tourist village of New Cheltenham. Of course, he’d be happy to live there for a year as a condition of inheritance. And yes, he’ll suffer the humiliation of creating, entering, and presenting at the annual Dickens Ghost Story Competition.

Free room and board for a year plus a rather substantial inheritance to boot? Who wouldn’t?

But someone either doesn’t want him in New Cheltenham or doesn’t want him to receive that inheritance, because the more he works on his story, the more convinced he is that a ghost resides in the narrow building he now calls home.

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I am going to download this next one because it’s a new-to-me author, I like the cover, and the first couple of pages have me wanting to check it out. I’m not going to recommend it to you though. The synopsis makes it sound a little preachy. I’m not a fan of preachy. I’m not saying don’t download it, I’m just saying you’ve been warned about what to expect.

I’ve searched by the author’s name to see what else this gal has written but nothing is showing up, not even this one book. I hoped to gain a sense of what she’s like. Guess I’ll just have to read the book.

I Guess I Do 

Amazon quote:

Sarah Miller is one year short of graduating college when she hits a financial snag. To continue her education, she must trust a handsome stranger–and trusting anyone is not something Sarah finds easy to do. As Sarah hurls headlong into a crazy and unexpected adventure, she realizes that her life is lacking a special dimension that can only be fulfilled by becoming part of the body of Christ. Will Sarah open her heart to her new friends, or will she continue living her life alone?

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I’m between books so it’s decision time on what comes next. I think I will make another attempt to get into The Widow of Rose Hill (The Women of Rose Hill Book 2)

Widowed during the war, Natalie Ellis finds herself solely responsible for Rose Hill plantation. When Union troops arrive with a proclamation freeing the slaves, all seems lost. How can she run the plantation without slaves? In order to save her son’s inheritance she strikes a deal with the arrogant, albeit handsome, Colonel Maish. In exchange for use of her family’s property, the army will provide workers to bring in her cotton crop. But as her admiration for the colonel grows, a shocking secret is uncovered. Can she trust him with her heart and her young, fatherless son?

Natalie Ellis is everything Colonel Levi Maish loathes: a Southern slave owner. When he and his men arrived in Texas with the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves still in bondage despite the war having ended, he feels little concern for the trail of plantation owners left in its wake without workers. But the plight of the beautiful Widow Ellis stirs to life his compassion and the heart he’d thought cold as stone after witnessing the carnage of war. While the army camps on her land, Levi finds himself contemplating a future with Natalie and Samuel. But when he learns where her husband perished during the war, he knows a life with Natalie is impossible. How could she ever forgive him for what he’d done in battle on the banks of the Bull Run?

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Tomorrow is story prompt day hosted by a fellow blogger. At the moment I have no ideas. Maybe inspiration will hit me tomorrow. Hopefully.

In the meantime …

Happy Reading!

Free and bargain books May 29, 2020

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us. $1.38 CDN It looks like this could be a debut novel but I’m not totally sure.

The River Beautiful 

The River Beautiful

Amazon quote:

A difficult past. A strange letter. An unsolved mystery.

Someone is following Lena, mapping her every move.

Where strength can be weakness and vulnerability-an asset, the greatest danger that threatens Lena may just be herself.

After the death of her father years ago, Lena ran from the quiet community of Kennerdell, but she’s back, forced to face a past she’d rather forget.

To make things more difficult, awkward, and terrifying, her old friend, Will, is back in her life. Even worse, she needs him there if she hopes to figure out what the letter she found in her father’s study means. They’re on a mission to find answers before her stalker does.

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A reader suggested I should mention FREE Classics and I think it’s a good idea. Here are a few for your enjoyment. I’ve read and enjoyed a number of classics over the course of my lifetime but have not yet read the first two although I have downloaded them and have good intentions. The third one I’ve read a number of times. These three are popular and diverse. Something for everyone (hopefully.) If you’ve never read the Classics, I hope you will.

A Tale of Two Cities 

A Tale of Two Cities

Quote:

Novel by Charles Dickens, published both serially and in book form in 1859. The story is set in the late 18th century against the background of the French Revolution. Although Dickens borrowed from Thomas Carlyle’s history, The French Revolution, for his sprawling tale of London and revolutionary Paris, the novel offers more drama than accuracy. The scenes of large-scale mob violence are especially vivid, if superficial in historical understanding. The complex plot involves Sydney Carton’s sacrifice of his own life on behalf of his friends Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette. While political events drive the story, Dickens takes a decidedly antipolitical tone, lambasting both aristocratic tyranny and revolutionary excess–the latter memorably caricatured in Madame Defarge, who knits beside the guillotine. The book is perhaps best known for its opening lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and for Carton’s last speech, in which he says of his replacing Darnay in a prison cell, “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” — The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

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Moby Dick (AmazonClassics Edition)

Moby Dick

Quote:

Ignoring prophecies of doom, the seafarer Ishmael joins the crew of a whaling expedition that is an obsession for the ship’s captain, Ahab. Once maimed by the White Whale, Moby Dick, Ahab has set out on a voyage of revenge. With godlike ferocity, he surges into dangerous waters—immune to the madness of his vision, refusing to be bested by the forces of nature.

An exhilarating whaling yarn, an apocalyptic theodicy, a tragic confessional, and a profound allegory, Moby Dick encompasses all that it means to be human—from the physical and metaphysical to the spiritual and emotional. Full of strange wisdom and wild digressive energy, it’s a singular literary performance universally regarded as one of the great American novels.

Revised edition: Previously published as Moby Dick, this edition of Moby Dick (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

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A number of movies have been made based on this book. An enjoyable new one was released this winter. I liked it, along with many others.

Little Women (AmazonClassics Edition)

Little Women

Quote:

As a New England mother struggles to support her family in the wake of her husband’s service in the Civil War, her four daughters struggle, too—caught between childhood dreams and the realities of burgeoning adulthood. For Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March, raised in integrity and virtue, negotiating the right path in life means making choices that will either narrow or expand their destinies.

Based on the author’s life, Little Women transcends genre, gender, and class with its examination of personal quests, societal restrictions, family ties, and the end of innocence.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

Revised edition: Previously published as Little Women, this edition of Little Women (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

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I’m currently between books, again, and I’m looking at a lighter read this time, a collection that is still a bargain price $1.39

Honeysuckle Cove: The Collection: Books 1-6 

Honey Suckle Cove collection

Amazon quote:

Enjoy the first six books in the Honeysuckle Cove series, all in one collection.

Now is the perfect time to take a mini-vacation to the cozy town of Honeysuckle Cove, where romance two-steps with a hint of mystery…

Sunrise at Honeysuckle Cove ~ Dylan O’ Connor’s handyman skills will be put to the test when it comes to rebuilding the bridge between Maggie’s heart and his, and designing a future…together.

Beyond the Storm ~ Nick Jones is skilled at extinguishing fires, so he doesn’t count on kindling the flames with lifelong friend Ava Kennedy.

Honeysuckle Cove Secrets ~ When the paths of childhood friends Luke and Peyton cross, he must make a choice—bare his heart and face the consequences of a past mistake, or allow the only woman he’s ever loved to slip away. …

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Happy Reading!