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.

 

 

Sometimes I lie

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

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

But….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Help in unexpected places….

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

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

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

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


Speaking of books….

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

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

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

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

Thomas Pitt vol one

Happy Reading!!

 

Experiences along the way

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so there were two favorite reads this time.

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


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

 

Chasing Charlie

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a compelling story I could not put down.

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

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

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

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

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

Highly recommended. I hope you will read it too.

An insightful look into the world of love and cancer.

Wilma Derksen – writer, communicator

I want to share another awesome writer with you.

We were privileged to have a local celebrity, Wilma Derksen, as speaker at two of the writer’s events I attended this spring. Hearing Wilma was a first for me, and I was impressed. She is wise, has a sweet spirit, and relates well to her audience. I can see why she is popular and in demand.

Wilma’s writing career started with a tragic event in her life, the disappearance  and murder of her young teenage daughter, Candace. The purpose of the first book was to help her make sense of the tragedy, and to assess it’s effect on her family. Publishing and making it publically available brought help and healing to many of those facing similar circumstances. It was also found to be a good resource for those working with victims of serious crime.

The first book was Have You Seen Candace. It was followed by three others, all dealing with other aspects of the coping process. Wilma is tenacious and forgiving, willing to share her secrets with us – and did, in these books. The Way of Letting Go, Confronting the Horror, and Unsettled Weather.

Have you seen Candace   The opportunities as a result of these books have been amazing. She’s had invitations to speak in unexpected places. Her books have been used as educational and training resource material. She’s been given many, and varied, teaching opportunites. There have even been awards.

I’ve had the privilege of reading two of her books, so far, but will list the rest of them for you anyway.

The Way of Letting Go   The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness

Confronting the Horror   Confronting the Horror: The Aftermath of Violence ….. The Victim’s Journey Through the 15 Elements of Serious Crime

Unsettled Weather  Unsettled Weather: How Do I Forgive . …. a group study on forgiveness using a story telling method

 

The next two are the ones I’ve read, and will probably read again. Unlike the first books, these two are novels. Story seemed to be a good way to share some of the wisdom she’s  gained walking through this life of hers. In case you are wondering, these books are not biographical. I know, it feels like they are.

Path of the Heart  Ava Series – Path of the Heart book 1 …..  is the beautiful story of a neglected little girl who loves and feels loved, by her grandmother, a wise woman sought out by many in the community. They come by way of a special path through the forest, knowing she can help them because she has seen an angel.

Echo of the Soul  Ava Series – Echo of the Soul book 2 ….. there is oppression in the community. An overbearing man, and his wife, have moved in and taken over. The man, secretly a liar and a cheat, has bullied people into following his dictates. The path has never seen this much traffic, so many coming to see the wise woman who has seen an angel. She has had many answers for them in the past, they are convinced she will have an answer for this too.

These last two books are already available on Amazon. It’s hoped the rest can be made available soon; as well as the new book that’s about to be released.

I hope these books will inspire and encourage you in your journey.

Happy reading, for a brighter tomorrow.

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!

 

Some things need to be talked about

I am convinced there are some things that need to be talked about. There could be a number of reasons for this. Maybe someone shares a similar experience and needs encouragement. Maybe  someone feels lumped in with the abusers and needs reassurance. Maybe someone has the false impression that all abused women hate men and need to know that’s not true. Or, maybe it’s just to help me figure out some things. It could be for any number of reasons that haven’t even occurred to me yet. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty confident there will be some good come out of a discussion.

This post is a continuation of some things I have shared recently, regarding men and my trust issues. Men have been both a blessing and a curse in my life. In spite of the good, I’m still left with trust issues that creep up on me in a way that makes no sense sometimes. Although, maybe it would make sense if I could uncover the old memories triggering these reactions and deal with them somehow.

Today was one of those days. My niece has the sweetest young husband and I met him for the first time. They stayed over night with me as they are travelling back to Western Canada, they were easy to have around. We found lots of interesting things to talk about, it was a great visit. In the morning though, when it was time for them to leave, it was awkward. I wanted to hug them both good bye but I just couldn’t bring myself to initiate a hug with him. I cannot explain to you why that was, there was just something holding me back.

I am still beating myself up over it.

He could have hugged me and I would have responded, but he didn’t know that.

This is an ongoing issue with me, it happens all the time with my son-in-law, whom I love dearly. I want to hug him like I do the rest of the family, but I just can’t. He could hug me but I sense he has some of the same trust issues I do. It seems we end up hugging with a look.

So, getting back to the initial thinking behind this new post.

There is a question I have been asking myself for the last couple of weeks – how can I have empathy and distrust all at the same time? It seems like it should one or the other. Black or white.

For a short while, I was worried there was something emotionally wrong with  me, and that was distressing because I didn’t want it to be true. The concern over this idea was quickly relieved when someone shared a video on Facebook about a five year old brother comforting his little sister. In a flash, it struck a deep cord with me. I realize I learned to love at a very early age, even while I was learning to distrust.

I am the oldest of three with two brothers. There are five years between the oldest and the youngest and there has always been a strong bond between us.  Until now I have never really questioned why that is. I can see that I need to start asking more questions.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, living with my grandparents, I was asked to babysit, briefly, for several families with young babies. These were people I had never met. At the time I wondered why they would consider me, but it didn’t occur to me to question why I felt like I could do the job. Now it occurs to me to ask the question.

Why did I feel confident I could comfort a crying baby or change a dirty diaper? Why did  Grandma have enough confidence to allow me to take the job? There were no babies in our life with her, any experience I had with them would have come from another time.

At this point, looking back on our family dynamics, I can see my mother pressing me into service with my youngest brother. I’m sure Grandma would have been aware of this fact. I have no memory of any of it, but then, I don’t remember a lot of things. It turned out I did indeed know how. I still do.

me and Jax may 2017 WPG

My youngest brother’s great grandson Jax. We’ve just met for the first time (a year ago). His mother took this picture.

There’s more….

Lately, I have been having conversations with my older brother about our life in the early years. He remembers some things I don’t (my mind has buried all of the painful parts) and hearing what he had to say tells me – life was even worse than I imagined. Among other things, he said Dad was not a nice man.

He told me a number of things about those days but there was one story that shook me.

It was about Dad driving on the railroad tracks running behind our property, he was playing chicken with oncoming trains. I had heard these stories for years  and used to laugh, thinking it was something my crazy risk taking father would do. What I didn’t  realize at the time – my brother was with him, scared out of his mind. That’s one of the reasons why Dad did it, it was his perverse way of trying to force this kid to grow some courage. It finally stopped  when my 10 year old brother made up his mind he wasn’t going to let his fear show anymore. I’m horrified Dad would do that to a kid.

We also talked about another time I do remember. It was Dad beating my brother with a piece of hose, in front of all of us. A tool was missing from his work shop and he was convinced it was my brother’s  fault. I can still remember the distress of watching this happen. I could never understand why Mom did nothing to stop it.

One thing I’ve learned, by first hand experience, boys suffer from abuse as deeply as girls. That is the genesis of my soft heart for men, surviving life alongside my brothers, recognizing the pain in their life.

My oldest brother is the reason I’ve left denial behind and have taken ownership of the abusive early years in my life. He adamantly insisted that I must, even if the memories were shadowy and I couldn’t remember the actual events. He wanted to know why I thought I would be the favoured one, to escape abuse.

All three of us have blocked painful memories, but deep inside, we will never forget.

Our story does have a happy ending in spite of the terrible years. All three of us have grown into well adjusted, productive, loving people. We’ve left behind the bitterness and rage. A miracle, really.

One thing I’ve loved about this process of discovery – the heavy load of old baggage seems to grow lighter with each breakthrough experience.

 

 

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.

 

The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde

I have been thinking a lot, this week, about the good men in my life. I’ve never thought like this before, not really. It seems like the after-effects of the bad men in my life have completely taken over; you can tell this because I’ve mentioned them to you more than once with nary a word about any of the good guys.

I’ve never before thought to question how I knew from an early age that not all men  were bad. Now, I realize there has to be experience behind the knowledge, it doesn’t just happen.

There are very few childhood memories left to give me clues, however, I do have adult memories of Mom’s stories. She talked often about leaving us with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Donald. Uncle Donald was Grandpa’s brother. He was kind, smiled a lot, and cared about kids. I have teenage memories of him and can see how the little me would have loved being with him.  Grandpa was reserved and didn’t smile a lot but I felt safe with him too. I could let down my guard, and did, when we lived with him as young teens.

There were two separate camps in my early life. The good guys, and the bad guys. Now. as I take the time to think about it, I realize how blessed I was. Not everyone has the privilege of experiencing the good with the bad.

Since then, there have been other good guys in my life, too,  and I treasure them all.


I am going to leave you with just one book this time.

James L Rubart is a favorite author and I hope to do a feature on him soon. There are a number of his books in my kindle collection and I need to tell you about them sometime.

He has a unique style of writing but is not alone in it as there are several others sharing a similar style. Frank Peretti is one of them. There is always a bit of fantasy in his stories.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

the man he never was  The Man He Never Was  – James L Rubart….. Toren Daniels wakes up one day and feels like a different person. And has no idea why.

He was a professional football player with a raging temper that finally got him kicked out of the league. Without the usual outlet, his family bore the brunt of his temper tantrums and they were about to kick him out too.

Toren disappeared one day, was gone so long everyone thought he was dead, and his family moved on with a feeling of relief. They were not happy to see him on the doorstep eight months later.

Now, he has two things to figure out:

  • Where was he for eight months and what has been done to him?
  • How does he convince his family he has changed, so he can get them back?

A story well worth the time.

Happy reading!

I hope you have some good people in your life too.