Happy Birthday to me. September 04, 2022

It’s my birthday today. It has been a good day and I don’t even care that we don’t have any book suggestions today.

Four family members were available to spend some time with me and we had fun. Three of us have birthdays within 5 days and we were all here today. Bonus. We get to celebrate at least twice, some of us even more. How could we be sad about that?

We will party officially another day when everyone else is available. We aren’t given to formal occasions, just a chance to be together and express our appreciation and love for one another.

I should have taken pictures but sadly, I didn’t.

I did try to do a sell job on my last read, though. I’m pretty sure they would enjoy it but it doesn’t appear I’m much of a salesman, no one took the bait. The most avid reader in the group has a good excuse – her last visit to the public library netted her 10 new books. I remember those days so I can’t fault her, she has deadlines after all.

My daughter prefers hard copy while I favor e-copy. There are many conveniences about my e-reader that I can’t live without.

I’m just happy for all the readers we have in the family no matter how they read.

So, I was going to move on to book two in the series I was reading and loved. It was not working for me. The main characters are so different it was hard for me to change lanes. I think a bigger break will make for a smoother transition.

During the break I’m reading the third book in another series I follow. These people are running for their life at the moment.

Risky Ambition (Vanishing Ranch Book 3)

Former Navy fighter pilot Nate Casper, also known as Ghost, splits his time between flying jet-setting celebrities around the world and volunteering to help with rescues at Vanishing Ranch. When movie star Chesney Blake books a trip with him, Ghost sets aside his attraction to her in order to remain professional.

But when his flight plan gets waylaid by a barrage of bullets, putting Chesney in danger, his intention of keeping his distance takes a nosedive.

Chesney Blake needs a break before filming her next movie. But when her getaway erupts into nothing short of chaos and her pilot transforms into her protector, her vacation plans are forgotten. Does someone really want her dead? Or was she even the intended target?

As more incidents threaten their safety, Chesney and Ghost set out to uncover the truth. But as they get closer to finding answers, Chesney is faced with a fate worse than she ever imagined—even worse than death itself.

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Happy reading y’all

Bitter Sweet day with one book August 27, 2022

It is a bitter sweet day but not because of only one book. Our family lost an important part of our life today after a long battle with cancer. He was a beloved, good man, and it is not easy to see him go. At the same time the suffering is over and we can’t help but be happy for him. It would take a whole post in itself to name all the ways he is loved far and wide. We often say nice things about the deceased, true or not. In this case the tributes rolling in tell the real story, he touched many lives in positive ways and he will never be forgotten.

There are so many good stories, maybe there will be another post sometime. This gentle giant led a colorful life with his many talents and his sense of adventure.

Now on to the book suggestion that I’ve downloaded and half read. It was brought to my notice by the author and I’m loving this one.

Justified Means (The Agency Files Book 1)

How could she not be terrified?

When Erika Polowski is abducted from her bed and held captive without explanation, she has one goal. Get away before they kill her.

Keith Auger’s job as an agent is to keep Erika safe—even if it means keeping her locked in an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere. At gunpoint..

What should be a routine “involuntary extraction” goes south when someone finds out where they’re hiding. Add to that a coworker with a chip on her shoulder and too many unexplained “accidents,” and it all adds up to one unlikely, terrifying explanation..

There’s a mole in The Agency..

He’s promised to protect her, but can Erika trust a man whose job it is to hold people against their wills? Does his deep faith make it any better or just a whole lot creepier?

And just who wants Erika dead anyway?.

The Agency Files: They’ll do whatever it takes to keep their clients safe. Period.

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I thought this book seemed familiar in places. It turns out it is because I read it two years ago. Obviously I don’t remember enough to spoil it for me. Maybe that’s a good thing.

It has been a good thing to have this book show up today. It has been a needed distraction.

Until tomorrow,

Happy Reading.

Short and sweet August 26, 2022

No new books today. But it’s Friday so that makes up for the disappointment.

I’m enjoying the current read more than I expected. It isn’t intense like the murder mystery but the characters have depth and their interactions are meaningful. Some of the situations and discussions are thought provoking. I think it’s fair to say there is a point to the interactions and it’s not a bad one. They are gradually allowing new perspectives in their long held habits and opinions and that is always a good thing.

There was an exciting birthing scene where they had to help a new mother-to-be who was in trouble. Her calf was in a bad position and it was touch and go on whether they could help her push out this big baby. Quite the experience for a citified music teacher. In her defense, it was all new but she took it in stride and did an excellent job as assistant to the impromptu “vet”.

It’s amazing how an experience like that can change our outlook on life.

I thought I might finish reading this book tonight but I’m not sure I can stay awake long enough.

My oldest grandson is leaving for college in the morning so we had a going-away/send-off party for him tonight. The backyard party was fun and travelling into the city wasn’t too bad except there was more traffic on the highway than usual. Although I guess, not really for this time of year. Summer is quickly coming to an end and people are making the most of it.

Here is the book, nearly finished.

The male main character is a reluctantly retired farmer who is frustrated because his heart condition does not allow him to work as hard as he wants to.

The female lead character is teaching his grand daughter piano. The student is as frustrated as he is because she wants to be in the barn with her animals, not trying to make pleasing sounds come from a piano.

Grandpa listens intently to the lessons while he is waiting for the lesson to be over. He is picking up the skill much faster than the pupil.

This guy reminds me of a landlord we had once. In his sixties, taking piano lessons for the first time and loving it.

Look at the time, must go.

Happy Reading folks.

Bargain books August 08, 2022

We have books!

1531 Entertainment has two new suggestions for us.

Perennials 

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is quickly engrossed in a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. But the landscaper who’s also working on it is none other than Fisher, the first boy she ever loved. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, the power of second chances, and how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

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Dial I for Identity: Sweet Contemporary Christian Romance Novella (You Are on the Air, Book 12) 

♥ She’s got one chance to find herself and start a new life—with a little help from her radio psychologist. ♥
Quinn Kelly. Intelligent, responsible, hard-working, reliable. She’s also spontaneous and whimsical—when she lets herself be. Certain those two sides of herself cannot peaceably coexist, she takes a serendipitous windfall and a bit of risky advice from some old movies and decides to spend a couple of months at a chalet resort in Lake Vienna—as a pair of twins. (Hint: she doesn’t have a twin). Surely she can sort her issues in a couple of months… right?

Seth Clifton has his own issues—trust issues to be precise. But the girl he keeps running into offers a refreshing perspective on life. Right up to the moment he discovers she’s not who and what she seems.

They both have problems to overcome. They both have the same therapist, sort of. They could each be great for the other with a little work and a lot of help from Dr. Daphne Moore. What’ll it take for the radio doc to resolve their differences and heal hearts?

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LPC Free Books has a non fiction suggestion that looks like it could be helpful.

Anchored: Leading Through the Storms

2019 Selah Award winner Anchored encourages ministry leaders to lead with integrity in the midst of difficult life storms. 

Sharing personal examples, ministry leader and pastor’s wife Cynthia Cavanaugh equips believers with the biblical and leadership principles necessary to maintain influence and to courageously remain anchored to the Rock—Jesus Christ. So when those difficult life storms come to those in ministry leadership, and they will, you’ll know how to deal with that deep question: how can I lead in the midst of this storm and keep my witness intact?

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There were a few suggestions we’ve seen before, I’ll share them in another post just in case you are interested.

Another good book day.

Happy Reading!

Bargain books July 13, 2022

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion for us. I may have read this author as there is one book in my library from 2013 but I don’t think so. Looking forward to this read. Family secrets are always interesting.

Journey’s End (Gilded Promises)

Having grown up on the mean streets of nineteenth-century London, Caroline St. James is used to fighting to survive.

So when her beloved mother—abandoned and ignored by her wealthy family—suddenly dies, the scrappy twenty-two-year-old devises a plan to right this terrible wrong. With nothing to lose, she sails to New York to find the man who turned a cold shoulder to her mother’s suffering: Caroline’s grandfather. To settle the family score, Caroline infiltrates her grandfather’s privileged world, hoping to sabotage his business from the inside.

But as she sets her plot in motion, she meets Jackson Montgomery, a virtuous man who is struggling to recover from a family scandal of his own. As their friendship grows, and Caroline begins to piece together the motives that led her family to turn its back, she is forced to make a decision: Should she risk everything in the name of justice? Or can she look toward the future and let love and forgiveness guide her instead?

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Then they have a nine book bargain collection, Mysteries. I’ve read many of these authors and I’m looking forward to this experience. This is a pre-order and is scheduled to be out in a few weeks.

Winter Deceptions: A Collection of Christian Suspense Novellas 

Nine riveting wintery suspense novellas. Ten-award winning Christian suspense authors.

MURDER ON FLIGHT 91 by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

When a passenger collapses on an international flight, is it a medical emergency, or attempted murder?

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TWAS THE NIGHT by Dan Walsh

After experiencing an unspeakable tragedy, a young mother relocates from Brooklyn to a small mountain town in North Carolina. Will this be the fresh start she’s hoping for or the beginning of an even greater upheaval to her fragile world?

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ONE WONDERS by Luana Ehrlich

Silas McKay’s worst fears are realized when his investigation takes an unexpected turn.

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THE VOW by D.L. Wood

Kate’s husband left her a year ago, ending their marriage without warning. But when things turn sinister, will she be able to uncover what’s really going on before the danger closes in?

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ZERO TRUST by Jan Thompson

When Mira hires a former soldier to help her assassinate her mother’s killer, she doesn’t expect to target her own father.

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TRIGGERS by Terry Toler

Will Trigger, the loveable German Shepherd with military skills, be able to save a woman running from an abusive husband and a war hero with PTSD?

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AGAINST THE DARKNESS by H.L. Wegley

When Meiling Chen flees to America with vengeful Chinese agents in pursuit, can she find an American medical researcher she can trust?

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TOO LATE by Liz Bradford

Can Chloe Jacobs, a search and rescue K9 handler, overcome her past trauma before it’s too late for her and her partner, Josh Schneider, or will her fears cause a fatal mistake?

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STEALTH GENESIS by Vikki Kestell

East of Dr. Daniel Bickel’s Albuquerque laboratory lies the old Manzano Weapons Storage Facility, a mountain with dangerous secrets that have all but been forgotten . . . or have they?

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It’s a good book day.

Happy Reading!

Bargain book July 09, 2022

BookBub has an interesting suggestion. It’s all about cowboy days in the wild wild west. A scumbag father who has put his kids in a dangerous position. On top of that, he may or may not be dead.

The first few pages are well written and I’m positive this will be my next read. It will be a change of pace too.

Braced for Love (Brothers in Arms Book #1)

Left with little back in Missouri, Kevin Hunt takes his younger siblings on a journey to Wyoming when he receives news that he’s inheriting part of a ranch. The catch is that the ranch is also being given to a half brother he never knew existed. Turns out, Kevin’s supposedly dead father led a secret and scandalous life.

But danger seems to track Kevin along the way, and he wonders if his half brother, Wyatt, is behind the attacks. Finally arriving at the ranch, everyone is at each other’s throats and the only one willing to stand in between is Winona Hawkins, a nearby schoolmarm.

Despite being a long-time friend to Wyatt, Winona can’t help but be drawn to the earnest, kind Kevin–and that puts her in the cross hairs of somebody’s dangerous plot. Will they all be able to put aside their differences long enough to keep anyone from getting truly hurt?

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That’s all we have for the moment. One is definitely better than none.

I’m off to pull more weeds but I have to say, I’d rather be reading.

Happy Reading.

This and that, July 08, 2022

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

This is a just a start talking kind of day. With no book suggestions and no hot topics rolling around in my head I’ve got nothing.

Well, there is one topic consuming many of my thoughts the last few months. It centers around a few possible ideas for the rest of my life, or at least a good chunk of it.

The favorite idea at the moment involves selling my house and buying an RV, one that is big but not too big and insulated well enough to be an all season recreational vehicle. It could be my home as I travel the country visiting friends and family. Have house – will travel.

It’s not an idea unique to me, it seems to be a new trend in a certain segment of the population. The beginning of this whole idea for me was prompted by a decision to leave my solitude behind and be out and about, among people. I was thinking a year of travelling maybe. The plan has grown far beyond that now.

To move forward with this idea I need to investigate a big vehicle like this to see if I even feel comfortable driving it. A test drive has to be on hold for now though because this is the summer all my kids are in town. We have plans. Next weekend we are heading out camping. In tents. It will be fun.

I was looking forward to a ladies kayaking afternoon but it might not be a good idea for me to go with them. My tail bone is still sore from the two hours spent with one of my grandsons last weekend. I noticed the seat had no padding but like the novice that I am it didn’t occur to me until it was much too late to be concerned. We had a good time and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved the experience and he was happy just to be on the water.

Most of my activities this week involved sitting, aggravating the sore bone even more. I need a stand up desk. Hmmm. I don’t think that would work well in an RV.

The picture above is along the lines of what I’m thinking of only a little bigger.

But, back to the present…

I had a good time tonight pulling overgrown weeds in my front flower bed. With all the rain and then heat we’ve had this summer everything has grown like a jungle. I’d swear you could watch them grow. It’s a good thing it’s the weekend, I hope to get lots cleaned up and looking pretty over the next two days.

I’m planning to enjoy the weekend. Wishing you a great weekend too.

Photo by Spencer Gurley Films on Pexels.com

This looks a bit like the lake we were on.

I had beginners luck (not knowing what I was doing) and my jeans were soaked from water falling off the paddles. Who knew they shouldn’t be raised so high.

Current read June 25, 2022, finished – 26th

I’ve figured some things out. Charles Martin is one of my top five favorite authors. There is such depth to his stories. They are real, emotional, and complex. Pretty much like real life. It’s impossible to walk away unchanged after reading one of his books. But…

Despite loving his characters and the life they live there were often uncomfortable moments in the reading that puzzled me. I figured it was something about his style, or the fact that he is a male and I’m not. Everyone knows men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We hear the same words while receiving different messages.

Charles would craft intricately detailed descriptions and explanations that left me confused. Frustrating.

Today an enlightening new thought occurred to me. With further consideration I’ve decided maybe his writing style is not the problem. Maybe it’s my reading style. I’ve gotten used to reading books at 60 miles an hour (figuratively speaking) without missing anything important. Sometimes even skipping whole paragraphs, pages, or even chapters without losing much of the story.

That’s the problem. Speed without much effort. Many of his paragraphs need to have a slow-to-20 sign posted at the entrance.

As I continued through the book I had to admit there was still truth in other contributing issues like male/female thought patterns and lack of subject knowledge on things like places (Florida Everglades) and technical discussions (machines and fishing flies.) Still, the bulk of my confusion would probably be eliminated with slow down.

Sadly, It’s finished.

There is always a sense of loss when such a great story comes to an end.

It has been a few years since I first read this book and it was a shock to discover how little I remembered of the story.

It probably seemed to me like I should remember more because the title has appeared often through the years and since it was marked as read…

The upside of not remembering is the chance for the joy of a first time experience all over again.

I have to say it brightened my weekend.

If you’ve not read Charles Martin, you should. It is always an amazing experience.

I should have posted this on the 25th but I was reading, not paying attention to time, midnight came and went before I noticed. Since it was already the 26th I figured I may as well finish the book first, I was hoping for a good quote to demonstrate my confusion point. There was a perfect one early on but I had read past it, losing sight of it’s location. I was hoping to come across another good one but I guess the new awareness worked against that happening.

Anyway, on to a new story. Haven’t decided what that should be yet. It’ll be a surprise.

Bargain Book June 22, 2022

An awesome book from an awesome author is on sale at a bargain price again. Charles Martin brings some of his books back every year or two for a few days. The first time I noticed this book was 2016 and every time after I remember how much I loved it.

Wrapped in Rain: A Novel

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker can’t see is how to let go of his traumatic childhood and forgive his father.

On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their abusive and alcoholic father ever did.

When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tucker can still hear her voice—and her prayers. “Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.” But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

Wrapped in Rain follows Tucker’s journey from brokenness to healing through the everlasting power of love.

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As a general rule, we have a tendency to underestimate the power of love.

As I read this synopsis, I can see I need to read this book again too.

The new cover is beautiful.

Current read June 21, 2022

I have a new current read that is shaping up quite nicely so far. This author is new to me and I’m enjoying the experience.

A Strike to the Heart

She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.

Wisconsin, 1933When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.

Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.

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This author also has a new book coming out in September and it’s on pre-order at a bargain price.

As Silent as the Night (Strike to the Heart Series) 

He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.

Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.

Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.

Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love.
As Silent as the Night is the Christmas novella to To Stand in the Breach and A Strike to the Heart.

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This series is definitely set in an interesting era we don’t see too often.

Check it out with me.