Bargain books May 6, 2021

Four new good looking treasures. Awesome.

One, I have already but want to mention it anyway. I’ve not read it yet but it is supposed to be good.

Traces by Denise Weimer

Amazon quote:

Even if she evades The Eye, someone wants her silenced.

When a failed romance and a $500,000 prize lure Kate Carson into participating in the reality TV show, Traces, the least she expects is to pick her partner. After all, she’s the PR spokeswoman of the company that derived a thirteen-lens, rotating camera from military use and installed it atop Atlanta’s tallest skyscraper. But she never would have chosen to evade techno hunters for twenty days with “G.I. Joe.”

Stoic, ex-military Alex Mitchell is the sort of man she always vowed to avoid, while the shadows of Alex’s past cause him to spurn emotional involvement. When Kate’s insider knowledge makes her a target of someone more threatening than game show hunters, Alex offers her only hope to reveal the dark plans of proponents of The Eye.

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Looking through the suggestion strips uncovered three more I’m excited to read.

I see I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books in this next series.

Starstruck in Willow Falls (Willow Falls Series Book 3) 

Amazon quote:

An acting career on the brink of failure. An upstaged debut novel. A wedding turned into a country-fried spectacle. Book three in the award-winning Willow Falls series has it all.

When a film crew and famous movie stars swoop into Willow Falls to film a full-length motion picture, the small town’s new normal as a popular North Georgia tourist destination is thrown into chaos.

Rachel Streetman fears her life-long dream to act is drifting into oblivion and leaving behind bitter regret. Weeks away from marrying Charlie Bricker, their relationship is tested after she auditions for a role opposite a handsome actor notorious for marrying his co-stars.    

Timing couldn’t be worse for Emily Hayes. Her debut novel arrives two days before residents read about the movie-crew invasion in the local paper. The town’s number one gossip accuses Emily of using her editor position to keep the news a secret and give her sister an audition advantage. When Emily and Rachel accept the job as the director’s liaisons, their patience is stretched to the limit by starstruck residents, demanding stage mothers, and wannabe stars.

When Sadie Liles’ budding relationship with Charlie’s father is threatened by an unexpected visitor, the townsfolk rally to stage a protest as American as sweet-potato pie. Will their efforts pay off or drive Brick away forever?

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This next one is a new-to-me author. The first few paragraphs do look interesting.

The Perfect Spy: A Clean Romantic Suspense (An Untapped Source Book 1

Amazon quote:

She’s got the best undercover crew. But will a sinister secret undo them?

Kate Ross has lost way too much in the last six months. With her mother’s death from breast cancer, an agent she handled killed on the job, and her career in jeopardy, the beleaguered CIA officer’s faith in God seems like another casualty. So she’s relieved to be offered a shot at redemption by managing an innovative team of “mom spies”… until they saddle her with a more experienced man as a babysitter.

Battling self-doubt and a loss of confidence in her espionage skills, Kate directs a smoothly successful first mission for the unit. But just as she opens up to her kind and encouraging supervisor, she suspects he’s withholding key information when the subject of their next assignment is his ex-wife. And the only solution to her predicament may be prayers she has no expectation will be answered.

Can Kate find the guiding light to solve the case before her personal crisis threatens national security?

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This next one will be a difficult read. It exposes the abusive fraudulent and hopefully, also shows the kindness of real. Reading the first two pages I’m rooting for someone to stand up and say enough. I want to read more.

Love the Lord Your God with all your heart (The Cooper Family Book 1)

Amazon quote:

AJ Carter lives in a recurring nightmare. On the outside, her family are model citizens, outstanding Christians. There is a lot more going on under the surface than anybody, except for her best friend, knows. She has been a Christian all her life. But God… she feels that He’s just not interested in what happens in her life.

Mac Cooper has his own battles to fight. He has learned that he can’t fight them alone, that he needs help from the Lord. When he is given an opportunity to help AJ out, he finds himself very intrigued by her. But will God help him earn her trust? And perhaps her love?

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Last but not least, we have a change of pace with a fifth book. Kind of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast

The Billionaire Recluse: A Beauty and the Beast Romance Retelling (A Billionaire’s Tale Romance Series Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

He sees a beast, but she sees the beauty within.

With severe burn scars to over half his body, billionaire, Sebastian Bryant keeps himself locked away in his home where he lives and works as CEO in the family business. After almost losing his daughter in the same house fire that took his wife, Sebastian has no idea how to care for the child, nor can he seem to keep a nanny on his employment roster for very long before his daughter scares them away.

Isabel Jordan has just broken up with her self-centered boyfriend and moves back home with her eccentric, inventor father who has somehow managed to put the family home in jeopardy. When she sees an online ad for a nanny position, she applies for the position, hoping to help dig her father out of his debt and save the home she grew up in.

Pressured by his mother to hire a suitable nanny, and finding Isabel only a step above the others, Sebastian hires her to care for his daughter. With his brother biting at the bit for the CEO position, Sebastian’s mother warns him that he can be replaced if he can’t manage to keep a nanny on to care for his daughter.

Isabel can hardly stand the self-loathing billionaire, but if she quits, her father will lose his home.

Forced to spend each day together, Isabel finds the beauty hidden beneath his scars and a little girl begging for the affections of her beastly father. If only she could make him see what she sees.

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I’d better quit while I’m ahead. There were three or four more possibles so I added them to my wish list. That will help me find them again. I can revisit them tomorrow and hopefully they will still a bargain.

I’m scared to tally up my book spending for last month, I have a feeling I’ve gone over budget, again. I have a feeling this month may not do so well either, the way things are going.

Oh well. I’m having fun.

I hope you are too.

Happy reading y’all.

Spring is Bustin’ Out all Over

It is. Well, not quite yet at my house but, by the looks of this, it is at somebody’s house.

A beloved family member was out for a walk in the sunshine this morning, enjoying the scenery in her neighborhood, and shared some of her favorite spots with us. I think she may have even been bragging just a bit.

I have her permission to share with you. It is incredibly beautiful this time of year in her city, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and these pictures are but a little taste of what it really looks like. I have to issue this disclaimer because some of the die-hard spring lovers over there would be wild to think that we aren’t showing the absolute best of what spring is really like in that part of the world.

For those of us living where winter comes for sure every year, we would be thrilled to pieces to have our world looking like this in the spring. I wouldn’t mind walking around the block, one bit.

Beloved family member will be 90 something this year… 4, maybe. I think she is amazing to be out walking around the neighborhood, snapping pictures on her iphone, sending them to those of us not lucky enough to live where she does lol.

One of those balconies up there is hers. On a sunny day she can sit out on the deck with a nice cup of tea, enjoying the mountains behind us, (work with me here, pretend we are right there looking up at her building) and yes, we do get to see those pictures too. Awesome.

Posting these pictures reminds me of some others I’d love to share if I could find them quickly. Since I can’t … next time.

A this-and-that kind of day

Books are on my mind even though, currently, I have no book suggestions to offer you. Instead I’ve been rethinking some things. What’s working and what’s not. Some parts of the original blog routine seem to have fallen by the wayside and when I take a closer look I’m left thinking who cares? Maybe they filled a purpose once upon a time but things have changed. I’m going to restructure somethings in an effort to find new routines that make more sense.

So, that’s one thing I’ve been pondering, the other thing arises out of an email I received a few weeks ago. It was such a great experience that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The email was chatty and charming. I’ve read other stories written by my friend and they didn’t have the same effect, I’ve been trying to figure out why and how to express it so it made sense. I could be wrong but I think it had to do with tone of voice. My friend is passionate and excitable. All of that emotion came through in her email, her other writing has been subdued by comparison. I would love to see her catch the vision for the difference. Her writing could catch fire.

Sometimes I think our writing can have a buttoned up feel to it. This is probably because we are trying too hard to have everything technically correct. I think readers like to hear us shout, stomp, and fling our arms about a little. Figuratively speaking of course.

I am forced to admit, I can’t be pointing any fingers at anyone as I have the buttoned-up mode perfected. Especially with in-person scenarios. It’s a bit easier to relax hiding behind a written blog. I’ve been putting lots of effort in, hoping repetition of healthy relaxed thoughts will create a new narrative in my head. It’s easy to know how it should be, not so easy to do.

Currently I’m reading a fun book. I enjoy cheeky and witty. The main character really doesn’t care what he thinks and isn’t afraid to stand up to him. In Regency times this just isn’t done and it is not sitting well with him. The problem is, his sister wants this particular match-maker to help with her shyness around men in order to find a husband. He would do anything for his sister, even apologize to a woman he can’t stand.

Saving Lord Berkshire: A Regency Romance (Regency Matchmakers Book 1) 

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I was slow in posting this and now it is a new day. Maybe there will even be new book suggestions today. You will be hearing from me again soon if there are.

Happy reading.

How do I do it?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A commenter, Sheri Dye from ReadBetwixtWords , after my last post with read and enjoyed asks “You read all of these? In April?.. I’m so jealous! 😂”

The answer popping into my head would be much too long for the comment box so I promised a post.

Normally I would read while eating my breakfast but this subject was much too engaging. Every second was spent thinking of all the things I wanted to say in reply.

So, how do I do it? Well, it’s complicated but not a bad thing. I have to say that because my first response to the question puts a big smile on my face, I think it’s pretty funny and I LOVE reading. When I think about it from the listener’s perspective, though, it sounds pathetic.

I am, for the most part, happy with my life. Even if I could do things differently I probably wouldn’t.

There are two major contributing factors to my lifestyle. I’m an introvert and I’m a survivor with hermit tendencies. Translated that means I have major trust issues. Home is safe so I stay home. A lot. I venture out several times a month, maybe. It’s covid, where would I go anyway? lol To be honest, life looks about the same for me now as it did pre-covid. Really, there’s nothing new to see here.

So, we’ve established, I have no life and it’s just me. My life can be ordered however I like and if I choose reading over housework no one complains.

On the realistic side though, I do still have a job and I’m grateful. It adds purpose to my life and gives me contact with the outside world, limited though it may be. I work remotely and spend all of my working time online.

Aside from my job and must-do things to keep myself alive and comfortable, I can do pretty much whatever I want.

So, how do I read so many books?

First of all, no TV. I didn’t watch it anyway and let the subscription go.

I read every second I’m not compelled to be doing something else. I’m addicted, what can I say.

On average I read a book a day. Some don’t really take all that long. For others I’ve developed some habits and learned some tricks.

I try to keep moving. It’s easy to drop back to a stroll when it should be a quick-step. If a book turns out to be the one where every word needs to be read, I give it the respect it deserves and slow down to savor the experience. Not many books are like that though.

Then there are the choices of speed reading or skimming.

Speed reading, I try but don’t use it much as it’s not often that I need to remember everything I’ve just read.

Skimming, I let my eyes quickly run down the middle of the page and at the bottom ask myself “Did I miss anything important?” If no then I keep going like that until a page shows up that deserves a closer look. Practice makes this an effective tool.

There are some things I flat out do not read.

Detailed descriptions of all kinds. What people are wearing. Surroundings. Some scenes between characters. Now and then a description sets the stage for future actions but mostly they do not. It takes more effort than I care to give for me to visualize whatever it is.

I avoid thought patterns and conversations. Sometimes the story is fixated on internal struggles and the same narrative happens over and over. Not worth my time to read it over and over.

Hop, skipping, jumping.

If the story moves slowly, I’ll skip paragraphs, pages and finally chapters. I’ll hop ahead a chapter, or two or three, at a time, stopping long enough to see what’s happening. Not much? Move on. Something? Stay awhile. If things are really bad I’ll jump to the last chapter or two where there is generally a story summary.

I love to read slowly and savor a book, if it deserves that kind of treatment. Honestly, most often they do not. There’s nothing wrong with giving it time if that’s what you want and at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with hurrying on through.

To read a book a day, I have to remind myself I don’t have time to sit and chat, I have to keep moving.

In a way this has become like a job to me. If I want to have something to say on this blog everyday I have to put in the time. If I download books and want to know about authors I’ve not read I have to find ways to keep up.

To summarize, if you want to read like I do: have no life and do not read every word.

It’s not perfect by any means but I love my life.

So, that’s how I do it!

And that picture? Totally me, sitting at my table for hours on end 🙂

Story prompt – Stick

To be honest, I’m a little worried Aaron might stick it to me if I don’t get this done. I mean, I don’t think he’s vindictive or anything but you never know about some people, ya know?

The other thing I was a little worried about last night was opinion on how this piece should be done. In the end I decided Aaron may have strong opinions about some things, and I’m ok with that, but I’m going to stick to my guns and do this my way.

I wasn’t sure for a while if I’d have the stick-to-itiveness to stick with the program. It was pretty tempting to throw in the towel and say sorry Aaron, I just can’t do this. I mean I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday. What in the world is there to say about stick.

Things look a little better by the light of day, maybe I can stick it out and come up with something. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes.

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They say you can tell things are done when they stick to the wall. I’m not sure but I think this could be done. Although, there is an inescapable niggling in the back of my mind. I’ve pretty sure I’ve missed some things.

This is a stick up.

Stick to the top of the blog (choice in settings lol)

Stick to your lane

Stick to my fingers

Sticky fingers (in more ways than one)

Help me out guys, what other good things have I missed?

Story prompt is hosted by Sunday Scribblings with Aaron over at peckapalooza The Confusing Middle

Love the Isaacs! – Bluegrass

If you love Bluegrass music, join me. I’m rewatching a live performance from their bus. The Isaacs, a highly popular and greatly talented family of singer/song writers, were on the road last November and found themselves with a free night due to a covid cancellation. The whole band was there and ready to sing so why not go for it. It’s a little tight in such a small space but they did a great job with their impromptu musical sharing. It was relaxed and fun.

Live on the Isaacs Tour Bus!!! November 21, 2020

If you aren’t sure about Bluegrass this is a great chance to hear it for the first time.

Well, that was fun.

It was fun.The other day I was telling you all about a visit I was going to be making in a couple of days. The story prompt was Tooth. I was recounting my lifetime of trials and tribulations with teeth and dentists and how I wanted to call it quits and have them all pulled (the teeth, that is) and be done with dentists. Unfortunately for me he had differing opinions and refused to help me out.

Moving on from teeth, I was telling you about this aggravating skin condition I self diagnosed as psoriasis. It’s about impossible to get rid of and so I had no plans to do anything about it other than find ways to live with it.

I hadn’t seen a doctor in a decade or so. Mainly because doctors in my area are rarely taking new patients and I didn’t really want to see one anyway. What was the point unless I had something either life threatening or needing an intervention of some sort.

Out of the blue everything came together and in short order I found myself with a doctor, and my worrywart kids were happy. You will have to read my tooth post here for the rest of that story.

So, yesterday I was back for my second visit. On the first visit, a getting-to-know-you, taking-a-history, type of visit, the young doctor was pleased to find I had low risk factors for all of the usual serious diseases. When I pulled up my pant legs to show him the semi-angry red patches covering my shins he was smiling even bigger.

Pretty soon he had his camera out,snapping pictures from every angle, making plans to contact his dermatologist friend.

It turned out, maybe I was wrong in my diagnosis. There is another possible condition but it would take a biopsy to know for sure,

That’s what yesterday’s visit was all about.

My doctor and a student intern were having a good time. It was like the doctor found a bone with some meat on it. Routine visits can be so boring. It’s nice to have a little excitement every now and again.

It was fun for me too. I’d never seen or felt anything quite like that before. It was up close and personal because I was sitting up, on the exam table, and had a bird’s eye view of the whole thing. I wasn’t sure if I could watch but it wasn’t bad at all.

After picking the optimal site, he was very organized, getting his equipment all in place so things would go smoothly. He preferred a long needle for freezing because it was thinner and less intrusive. He poked many places making sure it extended as far out as where the stitch would go to cover the hole he made. The freezing was interesting. It was built to burn at first and then when it quit you knew things were frozen.

To take the sample he had this pen-like thing, (flat with no point,) probably more like a miniature post hole digger. He turned it until it cut far enough through the layers and then gently pulled it out, hanging on to a pea sized piece of flesh. They popped it in a small jar of liquid to be sent on it’s way. Pulling the skin together to cover the hole was challenging. Slippery and elastic, it didn’t feel like cooperating. I think he did a little x thing to make it hold. I’ll have to have a look tonight when I change the band-aid,

A good time was had by all.

Now we have to wait and see. He says it will take awhile. If it is what he thinks, it will be a little more treatable than psoriasis, that’s good news.

I asked if there was anything great going to come out of this. Like a cure. He’s says no. It’s an autoimmune disease.

I already know basically what autoimmune is but looked it up anyway to make sure I have my facts straight. After reading the descriptions I am determined to be content. What I have is a nuisance but it could be so much worse. Some of the diseases they listed sounded really scary. I’m grateful to have it as easy as I do.

I’m grateful too for young doctors. They haven’t had a chance to become jaded. They are still exploring and hopeful.

It was fun to learn new things.

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On a different note…

Currently I am reading and enjoying a great book that is still a bargain,

Hannah’s Hope (The Red Gloves Book 4) 

Amazon quote:

Raised in a political family, 15-year-old Hannah Roberts lives a lonely life with her wealthy, unaffectionate grandmother while her parents work abroad.

As Christmas nears, Hannah learns a shocking truth: the man she believed was her father is not her parent after all.

In an effort to find answers, she begins a desperate search for her real father, Air Force pilot Mike Conner, who she discovers to be the man of her distant childhood memories.

Local politicians and the city’s newspaper catch wind of her quest, and the entire state joins in Hannah’s hope that she’ll find her father before Christmas.

Happy Reading y’all

Love, Lies, & Typewriters

This was a GOOD book. I loved it enough to give it 5 stars.

Love, Lies, & Typewriters: A Christian Historical Western Romance

Amazon quote:

At the height of WWII, New York reporter Bryce Richard is tapped to promote the concocted romance of a wounded veteran and Wyoming cowgirl Lucy Daniels, all in order to sell war bonds. But when Bryce falls in love with Lucy, he must stop her impending fake—but very legal—wedding by devising his own rugged proposal. Can this city slicker cowboy-up to the challenge? 

A heartwarming romance worthy of the Hallmark Channel, Love, Lies, & Typewriters is a funny, inspirational story about real love and real courage at a transformational time in America.

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There were a number of things I loved about this book.

The plot was well thought out, fresh, and believable.

The characters worked well together. There was the right amount of tension between them to keep it interesting. They were true to their identity all the way through. There were hints letting us know who felt what but the ending wasn’t immediately obvious. It was a surprise. Well… it was and it wasn’t, which was very nice. The way it all came together was the biggest surprise.

The realness in the story was rooted in the author’s personal history. I could tell you what it was but it would be called a spoiler. That would be wrong on so many levels. Besides, there was an author’s note telling us we would have to wait until the end to hear that story. I have to say, it was worth waiting for. You’ll have to read the book if you want to know too.

Oh, can’t forget… I also loved the quirkiness in conversations and interactions. It was hilarious at times.

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The tone of a book always influences the mood I’m left with. My mood is happy and upbeat at the moment.

It may or may not last with my current read.

I love quirky, dry humor. So far this new read is delivering on that score and my upbeat mood is still intact. It could be in jeopardy though given the North Korean setting, smack in the middle of dangerous intrigue. I’m sure the protagonist’s resourcefulness will have him surviving by squeaking through the tiniest of cracks.

I won’t tell you abut the other character he will meet soon (at least I think it will be soon) but I can tell you she will be a good match for him in the survival game.

I’m looking forward to this read!

The Ingenue: Political Spy Thriller (THE SPY STORIES Book 2)

Amazon quote:

America’s next endearing hero, CIA operative Alex Halee, goes off mission to infiltrate a cybercrime lab in North Korea run by the notorious Pok.

When he runs into trouble, he gets help from the most unlikely person. Bae Hwa is a thirteen-year-old North Korean girl who likes to steal backpacks. When she unknowingly gets her hands on a satchel full of nuclear codes, her entire family is in danger and she ends up in prison.

Alex is arrested and thrown in the same prison cell as Bae. It’s a race against time as he has to save them both and keep the codes out of the hands of those who want to destroy America . . .

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Must go, I have a book to read.

Happy Reading….

on this significantly warmer, sunny day.

It seems the deep freeze has finally left us and it is a balmy -8c out there right now. After minus 30 – 40c… -8c feels downright warm.

(… it’s because someone could have friends or family living in our part of the world and they wonder what it’s like.) (I could hear you asking why. 🙂 )

Boys turn into men

It’s a sad/happy day for Grandma when her little boys grow up. Today was proof. The river of life moves on and things change. I can’t help feeling some sadness but thankfully that’s not all I feel. My daughter’s eldest passed his drivers test today and is now the proud owner of a new licence. I’m proud of him too.

Along with this news I heard a rumor, something about him taking over taxi duties for his younger brothers. His mother seems rather happy about this.

Of course, there have been signs long before now. Voices dropping to the lower ranges, Faces losing the boyish look. Taller, much taller. Then there’s the day of the last sleep over. You pop your head in to say good night and see him lounging on the bed. It’s a blow to the heart. This is a young man, he’s not a little boy any more.

There is something special about a relationship with a child. They are excited to stay at Grandma’s house. We play games, watch movies, have sleepovers lasting several days. Plan on hot dogs with macaroni and cheese. Sure… we can have pie for breakfast. Precious memories.

It’s funny how the view changes from mom to grandma. I didn’t lose much sleep when my own three were old enough to have drivers licences. I was counting my blessings having someone take over taxi duty.

I’m delighted to see my grandsons grow into awesome young men. There will be more good times, the memories will just be different. In fact they may even be better. Games will take on a whole new look when they actually understand the rules for play. There’s a good chance I may never win again. Hmmm. Maybe not better.

Of course it’s better.

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