Exposed

Hours of enjoyment, that’s what was waiting for me in this boxed set. A Romantic Suspense collection.

Off the top, I have to say – I appreciated the clean-ness of these books. I find that when it’s less than clean (for me anyway) it’s like going to a party with a spot on the front of your favorite outfit …..  it takes the shine off the whole experience. I love an awesome,  distraction free, tale of mystery and intrigue.

These books were well written, with interesting characters, and a fresh slant on the idea behind the stories. I’m a fan of all three attributes but fresh slant is my favorite.

It seemed like before I knew it, I was finishing the last book. I’m a chain smoker when it comes to books. Finish one and light up another. I think I’ve mentioned I’m an addict.

I’m always sad when a story comes to an end. For a few seconds anyway.


Speaking of addictions: that reminds me……. of a idea I’d better save for the next post.


 

So….. back to books

Exposed

Exposed

A Boxed Set Book Bundle Collection of Romantic Suspense with seven great books

Hallowed Ground – Mary Alford …… Erin is devastated when Blake, her CIA partner, is killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan and she’s grateful to have the support of Blake’s best friend and fellow agent, Jax.  The team is sent to Afghanistan on a mission to find  Blake’s killers but it’s a set up. This realization set in when their unit was attacked and  none but two survived.  The details of their deployment could only have come from their superiors. With no idea who to trust, they carefully start digging and uncover more lies. Did Blake discover something he shouldn’t? Or was he part of something worth killing for? Working with Jax to find the truth has Erin realizing for the first time, Jax is a good man.

Fire – Lynette Bonner …. Kyra is a teacher by trade but helps out with manicure’s on the side. It’s a shock, on the first day of school, to see a new student in her class, looking much like a younger version of the good looking guy in her shop on Friday, the one who asked her out. Case Lexington is just as shocked to see Kyra and is living with fear she will blow his cover. He’s posing as a student, to help umcover the source of the drug supply killing local teenagers. Kyra wants to do her part in this search, motivated by the drug related death of her brother. Case is attempting to discourage her, afraid for her safety. A mere student has no credibility so, as a last resort,  he chooses to keep an eye on her by working with her. Not an easy thing to do. It’s been a very long time since he met a woman who could catch his interest, and she thinks he’s a student. The next shock is the source of the fatal drugs.

Jill Came Tumbling After – Lesley Ann McDaniel …. Jill Martin, a single mother of two, is looking for a job, after finding the courage sever ties with her alcoholic husband. Jobs are scarce but there is a new factory in town and, in spite of her obvious lack of skills, they hire her, effective immediately. Working to get the offices up and running she begins to see things that don’t seem quite right.  She is smarter than expected and  manages to figure out they are planning something that will be a hazard to the whole town, She’s torn between the need to tell and the need to keep her job. If they notice her discovery …. will she even live to tell?

Deadly Exposure – Lisa Phillips …. Bradley Harris comes home from deployment to discover his sister, a US Senator, has been abducted and the FBI suspect Alexis, her best friend and former aide. The whole town holds Alexis in contempt, but, knowing her as well as he does, Bradley has doubts about the accusations against her. Once he uncovers the truth behind her fall from grace, he wonders if any of them will survive the fallout.  Getting his sister back and saving Alexis too – seems like an impossible challenge.

Dead on Arrival – Angela Ruth Strong …. Peruvian Princess, Maritza Rosado and her father land in Washington DC and instead of the usual presidential welcome, they are  greeted with a gun battle that kills her father and his body guard and has Maritza running for her life. Hiding out in a soup kitchen is not going well, she’s been recognized by Levi Parker, fresh home from a mission trip to Peru where he learned of her.  Terrified to trust him, she does anyway, and venturing they discover someone has taken over her country. Not only that, they killed her father and want her dead. Devastation is finding out the betrayal is at the hands of someone they both trusted.

Termination Dust – Alana Terry …. Kimmie is afraid to move away from her abusive step father after the death of her mother. She is old enough to leave and make a new life for herself but she is afraid she would be forced leave her little brother behind, and he  would pay the price, in escalated abuse, for her actions. The family has lived in isolation and secrecy for so long, she can think of no one she can turn to for help.The local State Trooper suspects the truth of the situation and is trying to offer acceptable support,  encouraging Kimmie to leave before the abuse escalates. It happens, before her plans are in place, – she is forced to grab her little brother and run for her life.

For Love or Money – Virginia Vaughan …. Amy Sullivan left everything  behind with the lure of a family connection. When an aunt she didn’t know existed, contacted her  requesting a visit, it seemed like a dream come true. While finding a family connection is important to Amy, it’s not easy learning to love a stranger. Inadvertently she discovers there  is more to the situation than she has been led to believe. Her aunt has been hiding the fact she has terminal cancer. Amy was there for her mother and is determined she won’t be shut out now. Despite the growing closeness in those final days, it’s a shock for her to learn she has been left with a sizable inheritance. It’s an even greater shock to   discover someone wants it enough to kill her to get it.


‘Til next time – Happy Reading!

Here’s hoping you are also experiencing many hours of good reading. I don’t want to be the only one finding exquisite treasures, not when there are so many to be found.

 

Send Down The Rain

Send Down the Rain   Send Down The Rain – Charles Martin

Charles Martin’s newest book.

Life for Bobby and Joseph was never the same after their father left with another woman. Damage was so severe that it sent them on downward spirals, lasting decades. Their  single mother did her best to provide for them, but the threat of draft was  something beyond her control. It felt like an automatic death sentence, for both of them. For her, the thought was unbearable. Although he was younger, Joseph was able to cope in ways his brother never was. The day Bobby’s draft notice arrived, Joseph was the  son his mother sought out.

I have to tell you, this tale is as gripping as all his others, and once started it’s impossible to stop – without good reason.

The good reason, this time, was Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I was able to work around my obligations, be fully present for family time, and still steal enough moments to finish this book.

There is so much to see and hear in these stories, making it impossible to take it all in in one reading. I will be reading this one again.

Charles Martin books are raw, real, and yet, tell a story that repels and draws all at the same time. You cannot help but connect with the lives of the characters, laughing and crying right along with them.

PTSD, bullying, human trafficking; friendship, love, fierce loyalty to family – are all part of the basic foundation this time.

The characters are well developed, and it’s interesting to see the way their lives intersect and, in some cases, are woven together.

I love the twists and turns you don’t see coming.

If you like a story that digs deep, making sure you think and feel, this is the book for you.

 

Raising Attabury

It’s always an experience to read one of Staci Stallings books. Her characters face some of the many aspects of life in a way that feels real.  Sometimes they make good decisions, and sometimes, they don’t. Their journey has ups and downs that most of us  can relate to.

Staci always knows the ending when she starts and works steadily toward that destination. This leaves the reader with a very connected feeling. Everything has a reason, and the story is always going somewhere, somewhere worthwhile.

It was a while after download and I had forgotten what the book was about, From the title I thought it was about raising a child and that wasn’t appealing to me in that moment. It was passed over a few more times before I took a closer look, and discovered the story had nothing whatever to do with raising kids.

Raising Attabury

Raising Attabury is about the compulsion to restore a beautiful old home, even though it has fallen into such disrepair that it seems like a very bad idea.

It’s the story of a relationship that started out to be a match made in heaven but now… heaven feels like it’s a long way away.

It’s about rumors of ghosts, buried treasure, and bitter old ladies that scare the children.

It’s about beautiful endings and hard won battles.

 

 

Flowers in The Snow, and more

This is going to be another, very basic, catch up list.

Distracted by a great number of compelling reads, there was not much writing going on this summer, and the lineup of finished books is growing longer.

The books on this list were well worth reading and I wish there was time to enlarge on them all, as enticement.

There is no time though, there are more almost ready to be added. What can I say, I’m addicted.

One book I would recommend is Flowers in The Snow. It follows, in a way, after The Book of Negroes.

I mentioned The Book of Negroes several posts ago and noticed very little traffic on it. I wasn’t sure whether readers were distressed to see something, seemingly, politically incorrect, or if there were other reasons.

Several weeks ago, at our writers group, it was my turn to present a reading for critique. I revised the post a little, for clarification, and mentioned that the Book of Negroes was  the record book of black loyalists taking advantage of an opportunity for relocation. Relocation sponsored and paid for by the British Commonwealth. There are two versions of the record book: the British version kept in Kew London, the American version kept in Washington DC.

The response to my reading was positive and several said they felt inspired to read the book as well.

One of the books in this new list has a character, a literature professor, teaching her students to notice how much can be learned by reading books thoughtfully.

That’s why I don’t shy away from tough subjects. There is much to be learned from them.

Learning is always a good thing.

Some of the books in this list are more thought provoking than others but there is still something to be gained from all of them.

I’m hoping you will feel inspired.


Flowers in the Snow The Edenville Series – Flowers in the Snow book 1 – Danielle Stewart

 

Finding Faith  Love’s Compass – Finding Faith book 4 – Melanie D. Snitker

The Face of the Earth  The Face of the Earth – Deborah Raney

 

Nearly  Nearly – Deborah Raney

 

Glamorous Illusions  Grand Tour Series – Glamorous Illusions –  Lisa T. Bergren

Where the Hurt is  Where The Hurt Is – Chris Kelsey

Tides of Deception  Lantern Beach Series – Tides of Deception book 1 – Christy Barritt

If You Believed in love   If You Believed in Love – Staci Stallings

Sorrowful Road  Detective Allan Stanton – Sorrowful Road book 3 – Alex MacLean

IntroductionsIntroductions to four spunky female sleuths – Christy Barritt

Squeaky Clean Mysteries – Hazardous Duty book 1

A Holly Anna Paladin Mystery – Random Acts of Murder book 1

The Sierra Files – Pounced book 1 (spin off of Squeaky Clean series)

The Worst Detective Ever – Ready to Fumble book 1

New Year's Revolution   New Year’s Revolutions – Chautona Havig

The Nostradamus Equation Sam Reilly –  The Nostradamus Equation book 6 – Christopher Cartwright

In Honor Bound   The Chastelayne Trilogy – In Honor Bound book 1 – DeAnna Julie Dodson

Happy, and inspired, Reading!

Experiences along the way

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so there were two favorite reads this time.

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


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

 

YA books for my grandsons

It was a lot of fun to come across a book store well stocked with young adult books suitable for boys. The boys in our family are becoming avid readers and I wanted to get a jump on Christmas and birthdays if I could. It’s often hard to find things geared to boys tastes in books when you have a deadline.

I haven’t read any of these books yet myself but my daughter gave the first series by Bryan Davis a 3 thumbs up when I checked to see if it had her approval. She probably checked reviews to form an opinion. The rest of the books were also suggested by a very helpful and well read young lady working in that part of the store.

I am excited about these great finds so I’ll just share them all with you now and comment later on to let you know what the boys thought of my selections.

If you have read and enjoyed any of these maybe you can jump into this conversation too and let us know what you think.

I was going to stock pile the new books for future gifts but changed my mind when I started thinking about the excitement level if their summer started out with many books to choose from, especially since they also have a book loving boy cousin visiting for a coupe of weeks soon. I think I might be as excited about this as they will be when they see the stack I have for them.

So, here is the first complete series in my collection… Children of the Bard

Song of the Ovulum bk 1  Song of Ovulum book 1 – Bryan Davis

From the Mouth of Elijah bk 2   Mouth of Elijah book 2

 

the Seventh Door bk 3   The Seventh Door book 3

 

Omega Dragon bk 4  Children of the Bard  – Omega Dragon book 4

 


 

Another Bryan Davis series is Dragons of Starlight

Starlighter Dragons of the Starlight series – Starlighter book 1 – Bryan Davis

There are 4 books in this series and I picked up the first one. The four are Starlighter, Warrior, Diviner, and Liberator.


Then there is a series by Wayne Thomas Batson that looks interesting. It’s called The Door Within Trilogy.

The Door Within bk 1The Door Within book1 – Wayne Thomas Batson

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord bk 2  The Rise of The Wyrm Lord book 2

The Final Storm bk 3  The Final Storm book 3

I did get the first three and see now that there is also a fourth one.


Another series by Wayne Thomas Batson is called The Dream Treaders Series.

Dream Treaders  Dream Treaders is book 1 and I bought that one as a starter, Search for the Shadow Key is book 2, and The War for the Waking World is book 3. Book one will be an experiment to see how we like it.


I picked up four random books just to see what they were like. We can go back for more if they are a hit with the boys.

Hood bk 1  Hood is book one in Stephen Lawhead’s The Raven King Series. Scarlet is book 2 and Tuck is book 3. This series was inspired by the legend of Robin Hood. I’ve read other books by Stephen Lawhead and enjoyed his fantasies. We’ll see what the boys have to say about this one.


We will also try out The White Lion Chronicles by Christopher Hopper.

Rise of The Dibor  Rise of the Dibor is book 1 in this series, books 2 and 3 are The Lion Vrie. and Athera’s  Dawn


The adults in the family haven’t been left out. I picked up four books for them too

Son of God (based on the major motion picture) by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. I am not familiar with the movie or the authors but the young lady helping me thought highly of it.

The Prodigal – a Ragamuffin Story by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett was also highly recommended. A modern telling of the parable.

The next two are by Joel C Rosenberg and are thrillers. The Third Target and The First Hostage. These fall into the what could happen category. They aren’t the books she originally recommended by this author but I an a sucker for a sale and thought it would be a safer way to try someone new to me.


If you have opinions on any of these books, you will have to share them with us, we would like to hear what you thought.


I will share more about the store itself  another time. They have a huge selection of new and gently used books and I hear they have an online presence selling books as well.

The store is called House of James in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada …. in case you want to check it out sooner rather than later. It took seconds to come up when I Goggled House of James, so happy hunting.

And happy reading too. Until next time.

 

Poets, and their stories

Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost was so much fun that I’m feeling pumped.

Usually I bask for a little while in the afterglow of a good book  and then quickly move on to another one. By the time I get around to mentioning it here the glow is long gone, never to be felt again

This time I’ll try to talk about it while I’m still feeling it.

As I run through this experience in my mind, trying to make sense of it for you, I recognize that it is the emotional experience, more than anything, that makes me categorize a book as great.

It’s wonderful if the subject is interesting and the book is technically well written. It helps if the characters are relatable and the plot flows well and is easy to follow. Everything about the book can be perfect but in the end it’s evoked emotions that leave me loving a book.

This story was a perfect. There was a full range of stirred emotions, with laughter and giggles at the top of the list.

There are many things that could be said about what it takes to write in a way that will  stir emotions, but that’s a post for another day. By someone else. I recognize those times when I’ve been made to feel but I can’t tell you how to write to make it happen.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I do know that you have to be real to write like that. It has to flow out of  the authentic you. The emotions have to be inside the writer before they can be poured out on the page.

The flow of this  whole consideration led me to think about actors. They can make me feel things when they are pretending to be someone they aren’t. At the same time though, their strategy is to conjure up whatever emotion they need, to play the part. In that regard it’s real. Pretend (when it comes to emotions) doesn’t work well for actors either.

So getting back to Hemingway. This story was fantasy, similar to some of the second chance TV shows we’ve seen.

I will admit, as a disclaimer, I have heard of most of the great poets but have not read much of anything they’ve written. I haven’t paid much attention to their lives either. That means I have no idea if the biographical material contained in these stories  is accurate in any way.  I just know I liked these books, accurate or not.

Four Days With Hemingway's Ghost Four Days With Hemmingway’s Ghost – Tom Winton …..  Jack Phelan had been spending a lot of time reading everything he could find about his favorite poet, and Hemingway was on his mind  when a serious accident put  Jack in a coma. Imagine the shock, to find himself standing outside of one of Hemingway’s houses, talking to an old man he suddenly recognizes.

The next four days were a real trip. They were days chock full of amazing experiences, places and people. They were also days full of angst. There was uncertainty about how this experience would  play out for Jack. Would he pass the test and live?

It could be, that the purpose of this book was to show Hemingway in a different light. Or, it could be that it was just for the fun of it. Either way, I liked it.


Unlike the Hemingway novel this next one is written as Historical Fiction, no fantasy involved.

As mentioned earlier, I have no background knowledge to decide if any of the details set forth are true. For the first time I can remember, I was wishing I did know.

I do know it was immensely enjoyable and it made me think about reading his poetry sometime. Preferably in a book I could hold.

A Strange Beginning  The Lord Byron Series – A Strange Beginning book 1 – Gretta Curran Browne …. a stand alone novel

So…. I decided to do a little research in Wikipedia. It seems the author stayed pretty close to the truth of Byron’s life, although there are differing opinions on several points in the historical accounts. It’s not clear what the truth would be there.

The story has been cleaned up quite a bit too, there was no mention of his debts and only veiled references to his dalliances.

Ms Browne set out to create a work of fiction, loosely based on Lord Byron’s life, so it was the author’s prerogative to write whatever she felt would make it an interesting story.  In my opinion, she succeeded admirably.

Now that I’ve read up on Byron, I think I’m glad I didn’t know much at first. There were no comparisons happening in my head as I read. There was even sympathy for the abuse suffered at the hands of his mad mother.

With a clearer understanding of the circumstances of his life and the direction of his thoughts, I seem to be having some doubts about reading his poetry. We’ll see…. maybe.

I did love the book and stand by my assessment of it. Read it if you can, I think you would like it too.

Happy Reading.

 

 

Staci Stallings Part 3

This is the final list of Staci Stallings books in my three-part series of posts highlighting her work. Twenty books (in five years) is an impressive list of downloads, in my estimation.  Part of the reason for so many is her regular willingness to offer books free or at reduced prices….. my kind of books.

I’m pretty sure her books will show up again in my future reading lists and this won’t be the last time we see her name mentioned here.

Staci is prolific, writing in several different styles and genres. Both her writing, and her stories, have a depth that compels us to keep on reading. This makes it possible to read many books from the same author without feeling like it is getting old. I hope you will introduce some of her books to your reading list, if you haven’t already.

I liked all of these books but the one I enjoyed most in this lineup was Dance With Me

Dance With Me    Dance With Me ….. Kaci’s dreams are shattered with an injury that won’t allow her to continue the rigorous life as prima ballerina. It’s been three years and she has no hope of ever dancing again…..until she discovers a small dance studio and begins to see a glimmer of possibility.

Josh has hated dance ever since he was bullied because of it years ago. He is in financial straits though, and his mother has decided the only way he will get anything more is to work for it, in the dance studio.

Kaci and Josh must work together and it does not go well.  He suspects Kaci is either a snob, or she is hiding the true level of her qualifications. They are often at odds because they approach dance from different directions. Can they make this work? Is it even worth the struggle?

Mirror Mirror   The Grace Series – Mirror Mirror book 1 …… an epic novel. Sage is living the perfect California privileged life of glitz and glamour, until she is suddenly shipped off to spend the summer with her biological dad’s family. She is about to discover that life is not as perfect as she thought it was.

Luke has lived the life of a slacker. His main talent seems to be to showing up when people need help, and right now Jaycee needs his help. Her forgotten step sister is coming for the summer and Jaycee is panicking. Luke is trying to be there for her but it’s tough. Sage is not turning out to be as horrible as he was led to believe. He’s finding it a challenge not to fall for her.

When I'm Weak  The Grace Series – When I’m Weak book 2 ….. Jaycee is part of the television industry demanding perfection within tight deadlines. Perfection is what she does best.  She is trying to juggle the challenge of keeping things on track while working with a building contractor new to the world of television.  A handsome building contractor.

Tragedy at home throws her a curve ball. Will she have to choose between family and her job? A job that includes the man who is becoming important to her?

A Love like This  The Grace Series – A Love Like This book 3 …… Rachael, a single mom with two small children, has survived many tragedies in her lifetime but the destruction of her home in a hurricane may be the one that is too much. A solution  presents itself with the arrival of a television construction crew wanting to repair her house.

Caleb’s place is behind the camera, not in front of it as point man for the reconstruction project. His boss wants Caleb to step in as host this time because other obligations won’t allow him to be available for this segment. This is the big break Caleb has been hoping for but it’s complicated by his attraction to Rachael. He would have to leave when the job is complete if he wants to seize further opportunity in front of the camera.

A Moment like This   The Grace Series – A Moment Like This book 4 prequel to book 5 …. This book is the bridge between the first three books and the final one. The characters from the first three are gathered together again and a new couple is added to the mix. Loose ends have been tied up and the stage has been set for book 5.

Raising Attabury The Grace Series – Raising Attabury book 5 an epic novel ….. Eric and Dani have worked hard to build the successful dream life for themselves. It seems like it should be enough but it still feels like there’s something missing. Dani wants to purchase and renovate a big old house. As things move along with the renovation they find it may not even be worth salvaging after all. Will their marriage survive the rocky places this project takes them?

 

A Little Piece of Heaven  The Faith Series – A Little Piece of Heaven book 2 …… Jeremy thinks he has it all when, unexpectedly, everything comes crashing down and even his friends are gone.

Emily has her life all laid out and a relationship with Jeremy does not fit in with the plan. This is a college age romance. Can they overcome the obstacles and find a little piece of heaven together?

White Knight  The Courage Series – White Knight book 2 …… Eve has lost the love of her life, a devastating blow that she can’t seem to move past. Her friends keep trying to set her up with guys, sad to see her alone. They are wanting to help her move on with life but it never goes over well.

A.J. finds himself in the same boat, his best friend keeps arranging disastrous blind dates for him in spite of his objections. He notices Eve’s predicament and she has his sympathy.

For Real   The Courage Series – For Real book 3 ….. Blaine has a secret and so far he has been able to keep that way…. secret.

Things begin to fall apart when an old friend comes back into his life and starts to ask hard questions. Soon, Melody begins to find that the Blaine she thought she knew is not the real Blaine.

the Easy Way Out The Friendship Series – The Easy Way Out book 2 ….. Drew is trying to pick up the pieces of his life after the perfect girl left him to marry his best friend and business partner.

It seems Charity is never able to measure up and she resents her perfect older sister for always making her look like second best. While she notices Drew – as he goes about his work – and feels sad for him, she isn’t interested in her sister’s cast offs. Still, there seems to be an attraction there. Is it worth exploring?

Thanks for reading!

 

The ones you hang out with

We were just talking about this today… how easy it is to begin sounding like the people  we hang out with. One of my nieces, and her husband, spent a school year in the Canadian Maritimes where there are regional differences in the way certain words and  letters are pronounced. They were commenting on how, in that short time, they found themselves starting to sound like the locals.

Now they are on their way back home to Western Canada, it will be interesting to see if the changes stick or if they revert back to the old ways. I’m betting on the old ways.

I’m convinced the same thing happens when we read…. we begin to sound like the writers we hang out with. That’s why I like to hang out with the best books I can find. I need all the help and positive influence I can get. Hmmm…. I wonder if it’s possible to learn good grammar by osmosis? Wouldn’t that be nice. 🙂


 

Saving Grace  Fleetwood and Shiels – Saving Grace book 2 – Simon Wood …..  the kidnapper, consumed with teaching parents to take better care of their children, zeros in on a young girl whose family is focused more on the tourist attraction than on her. He has had practice, and with his perfectly executed plan, they leave and no one even notices anything wrong.

When the ransom call comes it goes to a local, struggling, newspaper. The person he asks to speak to is Scott, a reporter who no longer works there because of a previous kidnapping gone wrong. Scott’s family is still recovering from their own trauma, how can he get involved with another one? And why would they ask for him anyway?

 

Lady at Arms  Lady at Arms: a Medieval Romance – Tamara Leigh …. Lizanne Balmaine managed to escape her abuser and run for her life. Now, years later, when she spies her enemy at a neighboring castle, made bold by her new skills and an  overpowering need for revenge, she captures him and locks him in her dungeon. There is something a little off about all of this though, he isn’t exactly as remembered, and the difference escapes her.

Ranulf Randieu is furious at finding himself stripped and chained up in a dungeon, accused of offenses he has no memory of; and the lady refuses to enlighten him. With patience, he manages to turn the tables on her, in this game they are playing, and now she is the captive headed for his castle.

What will her over protective brother do when he comes home to find his sister gone? Has she made a fatal mistake with her rash decision to attempt revenge on her enemy?

 

Homecoming   Sweet Hearts of Sweet Creek – HomeComing – Carolyne Aarsen …. Mark is on a mission to find his partner’s sister for him, he doesn’t know much about her except that she hasn’t been home in years. Things begin to go a little wrong when he tracks her to a bar and his attempt to talk to her enrages her boss. It goes from bad to worse and she finds herself without a job she desperately needs.

Sheryl tries but can’t place Mark in her memory and she isn’t about to trust him or go anywhere with him. Especially not back to the place of bad memories. And she doesn’t even want to know why he is here.

Mark has made a promise that he doesn’t understand but feels compelled to keep. He needs to convince her to go home, even for a few days.

 

Blackstone and the Rendezvous  The Blackstone Detective Series – Blackstone and the Rendezvous with Death book 1 – Sally Spencer/Alan Rustage …. a shabbily dressed young man hurries through the streets realizing  he should have left for home hours ago. It will soon be too dark to find his way and there are footsteps following him. This cannot mean anything good in this part of town.

Inspector Blackstone frowns when he sees a body with the face of a gentleman dressed in the rags of a commoner. Who is he, why is he dressed like this, what could possibly  cause him to be in this part of the city; and why has no one listed him as missing. The handling of this will require special care to find the answers, and Blackstone is out of his element, dealing with gentry.

He gets a break when a young lady comes to his office, concerned about the disappearance of her brother. Now he has to find a way to discretely meet with her high powered family, to discover their secrets.

 

Death of a Dead Man   Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Death of a Dead Man book 1 – Karin Kaufman …. Rachael is new to town and hasn’t learned all the secrets yet but that is about to change when Julia, her neighbour, crosses the yard to show her the latest headlines in the local newspaper. Julia is upset because the editor is out to get her and doesn’t play fair. Rachel reads the headline George Foster officially declared dead and now she’s puzzled, she was under the impression he was dead. She will be even more puzzled when the man in question suddenly shows up dead in her back yard, and his wife is the prime suspect.

 

Cozy Mysteries Collection  Cozy Mysteries Collection – Home for the Holidays , Road to Savannah, Suite Revenge, Winds of Deception, Lethal Lobster, Magnolia Mansion Mysteries – Hope Callaghan …… This was a fun read. Six books pulled from four of Hope Callaghan’s series, one of them on board a cruise ship. They aren’t book 1 of each series either, which means the reader gets a taste of story progression well into the series. Some are holiday, and some are home themed. They were all good.

Happy Reading! I hope you are finding many good books to hang out with.

 

Staci Stallings Part 2

This will be Staci Stallings books in my-Kindle-collection part two, but first……. I have pressure building up from a major frustration and need to vent before I explode.

Please, please, please,  rewrite as many times as it takes before you publish.

Do you know how disappointing it is to read a book that could be great if it wasn’t so full of typos, mistakes, murky paragraphs, and conversations in need of tweaking?

Rewrites would help expose many of these problem areas, even if grammar is not your strong suit.

Read your book out loud, you would be amazed at how many things will pop out at you, begging for a fix.

Ask someone to edit your book. Make sure it’s someone proficient in the craft. A well intentioned friend won’t help you succeed unless they really are good at the job.

In this micro-wave world of instant gratification, don’t be in such a hurry to publish. I’ve heard some of the most widely read authors say they rewrite more than a dozen times. And, when they think they are ready to publish they put it in a drawer for three months to a year (if possible) so they can read it again with fresh eyes, to do a final rewrite.

If you want your books to be widely read, follow their example and do the rewrites.

If you want to publish many books in a year, start filling up the drawers.

OK, I feel better now. I truly hope you will take this to heart and do whatever it takes to be the best you can be.


Now on to Staci Stallings, and some good examples of fine writing.

And the Greatest of These is Love A Novel – And the Greatest of These is Love …….. Gabi had no idea the community centre was in this much financial trouble, and she is determined to find a way to keep things going. These kids have no where else to go.

Andrew has been working on the biggest breaking story of his career, and now that it is published – he is not happy about his editor demanding he take a day away from it, to do a piece on the financially strapped community center located in a slum area. When he walks in and discovers he has found the beautiful girl from the baseball field, the one invading his dreams, everything changes.

 

The Long Way Home A Novel – The Long Way Home …..  Jaxton is more than a little upset his parents have ordered him to abandon his high powered clients and visit the ailing grandfather he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. The whole idea of this visit is distasteful.

Ami is surprised to find a stranger in her yard, especially one who looks as out of place as this lost city boy. She’d handled his condescending tone just fine until it dawned on her, he was Clarence’s absentee grandson. Now, she sees red as she thinks about Clarence and his family’s neglect after his recent heart attack. Jaxton is seeing red himself, at her attitude, who does she think she is, treating him like this?

Coming Undone  A Novel – Coming Undone …… Ben is revelling in the single life; few responsibilities, weekly card games with his buddies, parties on the weekends. He is totally unprepared for the call asking him to step up and be next-of-kin, the one making the  hard decisions.

Kathryn struggles with singleness, hyper aware of the years slipping by, with little hope  of ever meeting Mr. Right. Fortunately for her, she finds fulfillment in her hospice role, helping families navigate the distress of final days. Ben, faced with his father’s imminent death, looks completely undone and desperately in need of help.

Lucky Harmony series The Harmony Series – Lucky book 2 …. One terrible moment and everything Danae believes to be true is exposed as a lie, and she’s left in a puddle of grief, with no way of getting home from the wedding.

Kalin, trying to rebuild his life after the devastation of bad choices, has taken a job with a band playing the wedding. From his place on the stage, he couldn’t help but notice the beautiful bridesmaid as she flitted about taking care of details, or the groomsman she  was obviously with.  The last thing he expected to find, as he left to go home, her, crying  alone, huddled against the side of a car in a muddy parking lot.

Happy reading!