This is a blog about books but …

This blog is about books, fiction books mostly, regular stories, nothing too heavy. Except for every now and then. Today’s featured book is a heavy topic and is to be read with caution. The authors stress this in the interview.

I’ve read many heavy topic books but don’t always share them, or if I do I do it quietly. This one I think should be shared a little more openly. I’m sure there is someone out there who needs to read it.

I’m including the link to an hour long interview podcast introducing you to this book and it’s authors. I found it very helpful to have background information before I read the book.

Mark Lowry has a way of asking insightful questions, keeping the interview moving along. The hour doesn’t drag or feel like it’s too long.

Brad Jersak pastored a small community church, meeting in the gym of my teenagers school a few decades ago when we lived in Abbotsford BC. I’ve never met him in person but knew of him. Over the years I’ve seen other interviews with him as he’s written a number of books.

Paul Young is author of one of my favorite books The Shack. I’ve followed him through the years as well.

Brad and Paul are friends and collaborated to produce The Pastor: A Crisis

This story is purely fiction and it’s been written to bring hope and healing to a desperate place where there’s little hope. With this type of subject it would be wrong to tell true stories.

The Pastor: A Crisis 

A weary fundamentalist pastor is stuck in a psychiatric ward, staring into the abyss of his own secret shame. Before he can be free, he must confront his demons and find Grace. But will he let go? Will he allow himself to be healed?

The Pastor explores the perilous human journey from self-will and striving through defeat and despair to hope and the redemption found only through surrender.

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This book resonates with me, the adult child of an alcoholic sex addict.

I have my own personal journey with denial and triggers. Recognizing and acknowledging the event behind my trigger and facing it head on has taken the steam out. It’s been a healing experience though not an easy one.

I can relate to this book in a limited way because it was written for men. To me it feels like reading a foreign language where I only know a few words. It doesn’t matter if I get it as long as men do.

If you feel drawn to this book I hope you will read it and begin a journey to find healing.

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I’ve forgiven my father and I’m working on forgiving you too. I can’t honestly ask you to read this book and heal if I’m unwilling to forgive.

More importantly: There’s nothing God can’t forgive if you truly want it.

It seems we have to soundly hit bottom before we are ready for surrender.

I’m praying that if you need to read this book you will.

God’s forgiveness and healing is amazing.

Grandma, I still miss her

I think I posted this tribute once before but can’t find it anywhere… so here it is again. Especially for my brother who is trying to find the blog he keeps hearing about.

I even mentioned he should follow me if he finds this. He claims he gets so many annoying notifications he’s not sure he wants more. I say as his favorite sister I’m entitled to special privileges. He pointed out I’m his only sister. No special privileges.

He loves me. He even called me for my birthday. A sweet guy.

He loves our grandma too. She holds a special place in the hearts of all three of us. I’m blessed with two sweet brothers.

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I Still Miss Her

I think about my grandmother often. She was a major part of turning our broken lives around and we still marvel at how well things turned out for our family after such a horrible beginning.

Grandma was a strong, courageous lady. You couldn’t tell it by looking at her short little self but if you looked closely at the course of her life, you’d notice. She was loving and funny and, in my estimation, she was a saint to accept the three of us the way she did.

As mentioned, the circumstances of our childhood were not great. I don’t want to spoil this day by getting into all of that but referring to it helps to explain the reasoning behind Grandma’s desperate actions.

My mother was about to go to hospital for a second round of cancer treatment.

The first hospital visit had my brothers and I staying home with our dad while Grandma tried helping from a distance. I don’t remember much about it so can’t enlarge on exactly how things went for her but I’m guessing it did not go well. That would be why she declared an ultimatum the second time around.

If mom wanted her to look out for the three of us, we would have to stay with her. Somehow, we are not sure how, she managed to persuade our dad to agree. In later years, Mom told me Grandma’s courage was because she couldn’t bear to go home at night leaving us in the uncertainty of Dad’s care.

In today’s terms – we were removed from an unfit home and placed in foster care with Grandma as the caregiver. A huge undertaking when you think about it. In today’s world, we would have been removed but Grandma probably wouldn’t have been the one to take us. Not with modern day Social Services regulations.

Fifty-five years old with heart related health issues, married to an elderly man, nearly twenty years her senior, with serious heart issues of his own, I suspect she would have been disqualified. And while their house was amazing compared to ours, it was only a small single story with two bedrooms. Grandma was determined to make it work.

Taking in three hurting children ages twelve, ten, and seven, indefinitely, was life changing, on so many levels.

We never did go back. This move was for the long haul and I’m sure Grandma was relieved. Mom joined us after release from the hospital and Dad didn’t complain, not that I ever heard anyway. I’m sure there were many conversations my brothers and I were not privy to, so I guess we wouldn’t know, even if he did object.

The change in our life was like night and day. The most impactful difference for me was peace and stability. The provision most appreciated by my oldest brother was food – there was always plenty in the frig and we were allowed whatever we needed. We had to get used to regular baths, meals, bedtimes, and church attendance. None of us were not complaining about any of it. We loved our new life.

An undertaking like this meant extra work, and the three of us were required to help. I don’t remember feeling like it was a hardship although I’m sure there were times when I was reluctant to do what she asked. Grandma was a patient teacher and having to work with her provided skills that would set me up for life. I learned how to garden, mow lawns, can and freeze, make bread, pick fruit and vegetables. I learned how to wash clothes with a wringer washer, hang them on a clothes line to dry, iron starched white shirts, wash and wax floors, paint cupboards, and much more. In short – I learned how to work and found I liked it. Working with her was a special gift.

Life wasn’t all work and no play. Grandma was fun, deviously so sometimes. Her antics proved it. She was usually the mischief instigator, shooting watermelon seeds, cherry pits, or peas across the table at one of us, starting a war. It’s a good thing the kitchen was set up for easy cleaning.

Then there was one warm summer day with open windows, a perfect time to take a break from watering plants and shoot a little spray at the person doing dishes. Or one day throwing glasses of water through the space at top of the crooked bathroom door just when someone (my lucky mother) was drying off after a shower. Water everywhere was just part of the fun.

There were many more tricks – rubber sealer rings in bologna sandwiches, chocolate covered ants at church socials, disguising herself as a vagrant on Halloween night to fool the kids. That last one backfired when the army fellow next door noticed a shadowy figure and went striding out to challenge the scruffy trespasser. She revealed herself quickly, I think she was worried he would take her down with a tackle. So many good memories.

We always felt safe and loved at Grandma’s house. Her love wasn’t restricted to the three of us either. It extended to all her grandchildren, even her great grandchildren.

When my first child was born, we (baby and me) would pack up for the drive back home to spend time with her. She loved babies and was always thrilled to have us.

There are special moments in the memories of those days. Baby was six months old when we went shopping for a table and chairs for her new apartment. A set I inherited a few years later and eventually passed on to one of my kids. A few months ago, my daughter bought a new table and passed Grandma’s on to one of her friends who appreciates retro. Her memory lives on.

My second child was born three years after the first. By then Grandma was not doing well as her heart was giving out. She was determined. She was going to live long enough to see this new baby. And she did it. We were able to lay him in the bed beside her so she could look her fill. The next day she was gone.

I still miss her. She was mother to me through my teen years. She was grandma to my first born. The picture I have when I miss her most is the way she was on those visits with Gerald, my first boy. When the missing gets to be too much, I remember how weak and frail she was in those last days. I couldn’t wish her back.

She would be 119 years old this year. It tickles me to imagine what she would be like if she were alive and well today. I’m sure she would be serving bologna sandwiches with hidden sealer rings, while shooting us with cherry pits or watermelon seeds, enjoying every minute of it.

And she would have loved every future baby born to call her Great Grandma and beyond.

Recently Read & Enjoyed.

The books on my reading list lately have been a joy. They were interesting stories with captivating characters. My only complaint with some of them was an over abundance of detail. There were several with a few too many characters. Aside from that it’s been a memorable week of time spent with strong stories. There were more but I just want to share these three.

This was my favorite. An amazing woman with an equally amazing life. It was not easy but she rose to the challenge every time.

This is a book I would like to read again.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide (The Women of Rock Creek Book 3)

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the “Great War” and the “Great Influenza” knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

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This next one was not an easy read for me. It wasn’t, but it was life changing on a deep level. It took me a long time to find the courage to read it and when I finally did I was glad. It was a story of deep despair but it didn’t end that way.

A Place Called Morning 

A Place Called Morning

“Another incisive look at family life and secrets.” – Library Journal.

Mae Demaray retreats from life after her young grandson dies accidentally while under her care. What was once a quiet life in an old clapboard house on a quiet Minneapolis street, rich with the hues of security and love, is now shattered. But a decades-old family secret, based on an unlikely friendship over the years, brings redemption and restoration once it is revealed.

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One more.

This last story was special too. Life hasn’t been as dramatic for me as it was for these two characters but I can relate to listening to the still small voice. An amazing experience. I think Lorana Hoopes has done an excellent job in developing this complex story.

The Still Small Voice: Christian Speculative Fiction (Are You Listening Book 1)

The Still Small Voice

Would you give up everything to follow God?

Jordan Wright’s life was thrown upside down when she ended up pregnant in college. After giving up her son for adoption, she sought to find meaning in her life. As she gave her life to God, she began to receive visions and words to tell others. But can she trust God enough to take on the hardest mission of her life?

Kat Jameson had been a lukewarm Christian for years, but when her best friend died, her world was thrown into turmoil. Dreams haunt her evenings and a strange light began appearing around people. Kat believed she was going crazy until she met someone with a special message for her. Will she let go and finally let God use her?

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There is more to share next time.

Happy Reading

Bargain books August 07, 2020 – Part two

Failing to look at the suggestions at the bottom of the page means I missed interesting offerings for the author of my current read. An author is new to me. I can’t pass up the opportunity to experience more of her so we have to have bargains Part Two.

I don’t know about you but I like what they call speculative fiction. One of these three new books is just that. I do like Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. There are a number of their books shelved in my living room. They say Lorana Hoopes writes like them, I’m looking forward to finding out if it’s true.

The Still Small Voice: Christian Speculative Fiction (Are You Listening Book 1)

The Still Small Voice

Amazon quote:

Would you give up everything to follow God?

Jordan Wright’s life was thrown upside down when she ended up pregnant in college. After giving up her son for adoption, she sought to find meaning in her life. As she gave her life to God, she began to receive visions and words to tell others. But can she trust God enough to take on the hardest mission of her life?

Kat Jameson had been a lukewarm Christian for years, but when her best friend died, her world was thrown into turmoil. Dreams haunt her evenings and a strange light began appearing around people. Kat believed she was going crazy until she met someone with a special message for her. Will she let go and finally let God use her?

Fans of Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker will love this speculative fiction. Best-selling author Lorana Hoopes will challenge your faith in this heartwarming speculative fiction. Are you listening to God’s voice?

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This next one is a romance and is the beginning of a new series. A Prequel on Pre-order at a bargain price. I’m taking a chance.

Sealed With a Kiss: A Clean Inspirational Small Town Romance (Star Lake Book 1)

Sealed with a Kiss

Amazon quote:

He’s loved her for years. She’s never seen it. Will they ever get their chance?

Max has loved Layla since the moment he met her, but the time has never been right to tell her. When she breaks off her engagement, will he finally get the courage to tell her how he feels or will he lose his chance forever?

Layla has been using relationships to determine her worth, but when her latest one falls apart, she decides to give up on men all together. When she realizes Max has feelings for her, will she stand by her conviction or will she give love one more try?

Fans of Karen Kingsbury, Susan May Warren, and Colleen Coble will love this heart-warming prequel to the Star Lake series by best selling author Lorana Hoopes. 

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One more bargain, available without waiting.

Where It All Began: An Inspirational Christian Fiction (A Heartbeats Inspirational Romance Book 1)

Where it all Began

Amazon quote:

An impossible choice. An unforeseen consequence. The hand of God.

Sandra Baker thought her life was on the perfect track until she ended up pregnant. Her boyfriend, not wanting the baby, pushes her to have an abortion and though she doesn’t want one, she realizes she cannot support a baby alone.

After the procedure, Sandra’s life falls apart as the guilt creeps in. She turns to alcohol, her relationship ends, and she struggles to find meaning in her life.

When she meets Henry Dobbs, a strong Christian man, she begins to wonder if his God would accept her. Will she tell Henry her darkest secret? And will she ever be able to forgive herself and find healing? Find out in this emotional love story.

Fans of Colleen Coble, Lori Wick, and Karen Kingsbury will love this inspirational romance from best-selling author Lorana Hoopes.

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This has been a very good book day with strong representation from two genres. We are in good shape for the weekend!!

Happy Reading

….until tomorrow.

Bargain books March 1, 2020

It’s funny how things go sometimes. I’ve been thinking back on yesterday’s post and the Traditions of Leap Year theme. It makes me chuckle, the way the day’s book selections went for us. More often than not Romance novels show up regularly but yesterday when romance – chick-flick style – would have fit with the topic perfectly, that’s not what we got. Irony. We were talking about Sadie Hawkins day where tradition say’s it’s one day where a woman can propose to the man of her choosing, if she can catch him. Since most of the available men we know live in books, it’s a good job we weren’t taking the whole subject very seriously. The lack of good novels could have ruined our whole day.

Getting back to every day topics.

Gospel E-books has some bargains for us today (they are on FaceBook). Author Max Lucado is a prolific non-fiction writer and has been for many years. I haven’t read this book but I’ve read some of his others and appreciate his wisdom. I particularly like buying his greeting cards, he has such a thoughtful way of expressing what I’m feeling.

$1.99 for one of his books is good.

A Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through the Storm

A Gentle Thunder

Amazon quote:

How far do you want God to go in getting your attention? Don’t answer too quickly. What if God moved you to another land? (As He did Abraham.) What if He called you out of retirement? (Remember Moses?) How about the voice of an angel or the bowel of a fish (Gideon and Jonah.) God does what it takes to get our attention. That’s the message of this book: the relentless pursuit of God.

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Another bargain. This time it’s YA fiction from an author unfamiliar to me. The source is trusted so I expect it will be a good read. It’s $1.99 as well.

Gilt Hollow (Blink)

Gilt Hollow

Amazon quote

Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.

Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves. 

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A bargain ($0.99) that popped up while I was busy searching –  Falling for You. This is book 2 in the Bradford Sisters series, I’ve read book 1 and I think I liked it. I will have to double check that just to be sure. Book 3 Sweet on You is a recent download from a few days ago and it is still $0.99 as well.

Falling for You (A Bradford Sisters Romance Book #2)

Falling for you Wade

Amazon quote:

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

Still a bargain at $0.99 

Sweet on You (A Bradford Sisters Romance Book #3)  

Sweet on You

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Looks like there is no shortage of romance today!

Happy Reading 

on this quiet Sunday evening.

 

 

Another FREE book February 13, 2020

I missed one, BookRunes had a FREE suggestion this morning too.

Maybe it’s a good thing I missed it. It heads off in a much different direction from the rest of this morning’s offerings. Maybe it deserves the attention of it’s own post.

Beggars Daughter is a true story based on one woman’s life, sharing her struggle with a difficult but very real subject.

Beggars Daughter

Amazon quote:

If you think pornography is just a “guy thing” you would be wrong.

Jessica Harris was 13 years old when she was exposed to pornography. After four years, her use was out of control and when she went to find help, it became apparent that this wasn’t a thing many women do. All of the resources were for men, and when she got caught, she was told “Women don’t have this problem.” That sent her on a downward spiral and nearly landed her in the adult industry.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. Instead, she found freedom, hope, healing and worth in the love and grace of God.

Beggar’s Daughter is a candid look into her story, how she struggled and eventually how God set her free. It is a narrative on grace suitable for the women who struggle and those who want to understand them. Through it all, the message is that no woman is ever beyond the grace of God.

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The Presence

It’s always a special moment for me when a story speaks into my life with something appropriate for the place I’m at. Unexpectedly, this book has done just that, more than once. It feels like validation.

The Presence would have caught my interest even if I was at a different point in life. Having it relate to where I am now is a bonus. Davis Bunn always provides a good read.

The Presence  The Presence – T Davis Bunn ….. The downside to helping his young friend get elected was his own loss for re-election. It seems his sense of integrity was a contributing factor in his defeat.

T.J. Case, lawyer and politician, has always been an honest man. That’s why billionaire entrepreneur Jeremy Hughes hired TJ to represent his company many years before and has never regretted a day of it.

Their relationship is not just business. They have also become close friends over the years. So close that Jeremy can tell when something is bothering TJ. That’s why he knew something had happened while he was out fishing the quiet lake on Jeremy’s large yacht.

TJ wouldn’t talk about it on the drive home and his wife, Catherine, would only say that it wasn’t her story to tell.

He’d loved God all of his life and had never had an experience like this one.  It was still hard to wrap his head around what happened, even after a few intense days to think and pray. It seemed impossible to talk about, to anyone – including his wife, because it sounded so unbelievable.

With his usual cup of coffee, TJ had gone up on deck – like he did every morning – to read and pray in the quiet of the dawn. The morning started out like any other but then something changed.  It was a new quiet that seemed sacred, one that pulsed with meaning.

When it was gone, TJ  was left questioning what had just taken place. Was it a dream, a hallucination? Was it real?

He did know one thing. He was supposed to go to Washington DC.

How could that possibly happen? You don’t just decide to go to the capitol without invitation. And besides, what was he supposed to do when he got there?

Over the next few days both Jeremy and Catherine wrestled with this new idea that would turn both of their lives upside down if TJ went through with it.

Jeremy announced he needed a few days away to think but he didn’t give any clues as to how he was thinking.

Catherine was struggling with moving away from  everything familiar and going to who knows what; when her daughter took sick and grandma was needed. It felt like a blessed reprieve, giving her more time to embrace a decision she knew she’d make.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, newly elected Congressman John Silverwood was having lunch with two senior Senators and feeling very pleased about it. He was not yet acquainted with political workings and didn’t think to question motives.

The Senators had come with an agenda. For some reason, unclear to John, TJ’s presence was needed in Washington. Filling a position with an outsider was rarely done. The three of them  would have  to get their heads together and come up with an assignment that could be given without raising a great deal of suspicion.

John was then  tasked with persuading TJ it would be in his best interest to come and  accept Education Advisor to the President. He was hoping TJ would feel honored and view this insider opportunity as a favor given. One he would feel obligated to pay back,  somewhere in the future.

The cab arrived at an address that was a surprise to TJ. Hopefully Jeremy, who was obviously waiting for him, would have an explanation for this fancy house.  The thing is – Jeremy knew that Washington would eat him up and spit him out unless TJ had someone in his corner watching his back. That was the reason for the house, and like it or not, Jeremy planned to fill every other need as well…. butler, driver, whatever. TJ was  hoping that, when she got here, Catherine could talk some sense into Jeremy. He hasn’t figured out, yet, that the  two of them are working together on this.

With no idea about what he would be doing, or with whom, TJ could only trust that if God was behind all of this, his presence would be near, and he’d let him know what to do when the time came.

His wildest dreams couldn’t have predicted the way things would go. God moves in mysterious ways….. because he knows the truth about what is in the hearts of men.


Like TJ, I’ve been saying yes to God for decades. Lately, it’s like he has a task in mind for me but hasn’t let me in on the details yet.

It’s scary saying yes when I do know what it’s all about, never-mind when I don’t. Even when I know ahead of time, it’s always something bigger than I could accomplish on my own. This time will be no exception.

God tends to be gentle with me, especially when he’s asking for something outside my comfort zone. He always waits for me to say yes and then he works on answering my fears, bringing me to the place where I am happy to do whatever it is. Everything he’s ever asked of me has turned out to be a blessing, even when it’s been hard. We have a good track record together.

Writing has not been on my radar, nor has the thought of coming-out-in-the-open in such a public way as this.

I’ve been highly resistant to the idea of writing. Especially a book.

I’m beginning to rethink my position on this. I’m finding myself coming around and being okay with working to produce something that could be used, maybe. It all just quietly happened with the beginnings of my newest blog.  Just like the needle you expected would hurt and felt surprise when it didn’t.

I’m left thinking…. wow, smooth move. I didn’t see that coming, God. He just smiles.

The second blog is already started at letterstomamierose.bloga safe place to talk about PTSD, and other things we wrestle with” The focus will be sharing my journey with abuse and PTSD. This isn’t about me needing a place to talk. It’s about hurting people needing a safe place to land. Most of us hurt in silence and loneliness. Healing comes when we discover community.

The idea of starting a community is not new to me. It has been in the works for over a decade, it seems now is the time. Some of my support community will be with me in this venture. We’re better together.

I’m also working on the courage to start a third blog “God, Creator of the Universe, Loves Me” It will be about my journey with God. He has been with me my whole life, including the darkest years – the first 12. I know I’m supposed to share about this and have to keep my Yes promise.

I think I’m meant to talk about him this way because God wants a chance to say I Love You to others as well. If you think he is saying it to you, and you want to know if he is….. ask him. He will talk to you.

This third blog is in the works and hopefully it will go live soon. I think this post will be  the first post over there. It seems appropriate somehow.

In the meantime ….. may you hear some things you need to hear too.

Happy reading!

 

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.

Adding some new features

Collaborating with a friend is such a great idea, especially when said friend has some things figured out, and I don’t. I have to give her credit for the idea of adding cover pictures to my books read list to make things more interesting. The idea has  crossed my mind, at times, but I needed a push to make it happen.

I give her credit for my venture into writer’s groups as well,  joining a group wouldn’t have occurred to me without her encouragement.  It has  been great meeting new people, learning new skills, becoming involved in life again. Writing is a solitary endeavour but community is inspiring in a way we miss out on if we don’t make a conscious effort to get involved somewhere.

The addition of book covers will be a positive change, visually, I think, but it has affected the way I’m writing about the books. I’m not sure why this is. Hopefully it will also be a change for the good.

Several books didn’t make the cut this week, for a couple of reasons, too much telling and not enough show, distracting details, an overbearing agenda. One particular book had a strong start and looked like it could be the favorite of the week until it took a downturn; the writing style changed to the reciting of facts, and dialogue became a soap box for the overbearing agenda. I finished it, wishing ……. It could have been such a great book.

On the bright side, there were still some great books. Check out the covers.


this weeks offering:

come to me again   Come to me Again –  Leah Atwood ….  A devastating broken engagement nearly destroys him. Four years later they cross paths, can there be forgiveness. Will he achieve his dream of a music career and an escape from poverty? Will she escape the clutches of her controlling father and wealthy upbringing. Sometimes we make decisions, for what seems to be the right reason, but the result is heartache, will love win in spite of it all?

Time Lottery  Time Lottery (Time Lottery Series Book 1) – Nancy Moser …. This is a lottery like none other. A chance to go back in time and make new choices; or not. We get to follow the three winners on their ground breaking journeys, a surgeon, a socialite, and a homeless man. It was definitely an interesting new treatment of the idea of time travel.

Echo  Echo (A Kate Redman Mystery Book 6) – Celina Grace …. Torrential rains cause unprecedented flooding and a hillside gives way to expose the skeletal remains of a young woman. There are no clues to help establish identity or date of death. Cold case files go missing and it seems like someone in authority wants the investigation stopped. Kate’s long estranged mother also makes contact which only adds to the mystery. Age old secrets and people in high places. This was a good book.

Fatal FrostFatal Frost (Defenders of Justice Book 1) – Nancy Mehl …. Mercy Brennan has followed in her absentee father’s footsteps in law enforcement, only in a different branch, US Marshall. When she finds herself assigned to a joint task force it puts her in contact with him again,  an unwelcome situation. To make matters worse, unknown to her, the boss assigns her ex fiancé as protector from a high powered gang who have the mistaken idea she has a valuable piece of information they want back, at any cost. The ice storm complicates her protection. The twists and turns made this a favorite book this week.

Hi and Run  Hit and Run (The Delilah West Thriller Series Book 3) – Maxine O’Callaghan …. A down on her luck private eye is witness to a rainy night fatal hit and run. It seems straight forward at the time but doubts arise as the teen’s mother pleads with her to prove his innocence. Her reluctant investigation turns up more questions than answers. I like this protagonist and her irreverent way of going about life.

The Recipe  This is a heartwarming story about a young dietary assistant trying to find her place in life. While she is trying to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-off, in hopes of finding her calling, she feels drawn to the needs of some of the patients adding doubt about where she belongs. A nice lighter read.

That’s it for now. Let me know if you like the addition of book covers, does it add inspiration?

As always, Happy reading!

A favorite book this week

This week is about books, some I loved and some…I didn’t.

Generally, I don’t like to talk about books I dislike in a blog post (I save my rants over pet peeves for in person conversations not caught on camera) Putting dislike into words in a blog post just feels too much like a written rejection letter.  I would rather stick to the positive and  tell you about the books I liked and let the negative be shown subtly by the book’s absence from my list.

But, there’s a downside to positive only comments, it gives the impression I am an  indiscriminate reader.

So, I will give you a reason to believe I have opinions about what’s good and what’s not. There were a half dozen books this week that didn’t survive past the first few pages. There were two in particular, though, that caused a high level of disappointment. I had great expectations for them because they were written by popular public figures with something to say. I kept reading longer than usual, wanting them to get better. They didn’t

The first one is an allegory, I’ve read other books in a similar style and loved them, I expected to love this one too. The first off putting thing was, the hype overkill at the beginning of the book. How many endorsements do you really need! The second off-putting thing was, the story didn’t live up to the hype. It was disjointed, hard to follow, and the symbolism didn’t marry well with descriptions and actions, which was frustrating.

The second book was also similar in style to several other books I’ve read and enjoyed  recently. My expectations were high because I’ve not seen another book address this particular topic, at least not from this angle. The introduction gave me hope because it talks about how the book came to be, and how it was originally longer but they pared it down significantly. It could have been pared down even more, in my opinion. How many ways should you say the same thing?

The major downfall I see with both of these books; they had something worth saying, but the process of writing is not a strong skill for either of them. An experienced editorial team would have been a great asset.

I give them kudos for trying though because writing a successful book is not as easy as it looks.

 

So, having mentioned books I didn’t like, it’s time to mention some books I did like, enough to stay up reading half the night in some cases.


Kiya Trilogy – Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh book 1, Kiya: Mother of a King book 2 – Katie Hamstead …… this is a fictionalized story of King Tut, an excellent read and my favorite this week. I’m looking forward to reading book 3

Detective Madison Knight Series – Deadly Impulse book 6 – Carolyn Arnold …… I enjoy Carolyn Arnold and this was another good one from her, lots of believable twists and turns while  looking for the killer.

Bridge to Haven – Francine Rivers ….. this story starts when an abandoned newborn is mercifully found by a tender hearted man, under the bridge at the edge of town. Sometimes the sad places of our lives cause us to make devastating decisions. This is a book of second chances. Francine Rivers has been one of my favorite authors for many years and still is.

A Riley Paige Mystery – Once Gone book 1, Once Taken book 2 – Blake Pierce ….  a brilliant female police detective with a broken past that makes her more than a little prickly. Blake Pierce is a new favorite author of mine.

The Kate Lange Thriller Series – Damaged book 1 – Pamela Callow …..  Suspense…. recovering from the death of her sister and a messy break-up, Kate finds herself with a new law firm, embroiled in a dangerous mystery.

Skye Cree Thriller – The Box of Bones book 3 – Vickie McKeehan …. a serial killer, dismembered bodies, and not much to go on. This was  believable too, a mystery that keeps you guessing to the end, the best kind.

The Retired Gardener – Gideon Williams ….. this is definitely not your usual thriller, a retired gardener who always seems to side step away from harm directed at him.  A new slant on thrillers.

As always, I hope you will be on the lookout for good books, there are so many out there waiting to be found.

Happy reading!