This and that September 11, 2022

I guess it was by design that my current read is about survivors and family members left behind after 9/11. By design of the publishers, that is. That’s OK, I do enjoy the author and the book. It is book two in the series and I’m pretty sure I read book one somewhere along the line, way back when. These books came out in 2004 so they are not new releases.

For sure this remembrance is uppermost in everyone’s mind but the loss of Queen Elizabeth is showing up often in my news feed too. And politics, that’s another big subject. I admit to having conservative leanings and so I’m happy they finally elected a new leader. It will go along way toward being ready if our Prime Minister were to call a surprise election. Hopefully. Enough of that conversation.

Spending all this time watching the news online has had a detrimental effect on my thinking process. Mainly because I don’t want to talk about any of the subjects mentioned above. I need to spend more time thinking on subjects I can talk about but I have to make room for that to happen..

The biggest hindrance to quiet meditation is that I’ve become addicted to the noise and find myself forever searching for one more video to watch. Even though I’ve heard most of the content over and over again.

Both my writing and my reading have suffered lately because of this fixation. Must make some changes and get back to normal.

I did go for a nice walk in the sunshine this afternoon and it definitely interrupted the unhealthy routine. Walking is something I rarely do. The city has added more pretty walking paths, a big surprise to me, and now there are even more options. The thought did keep running through my mind that this was pleasant and I should do it more often. Maybe I will. No promises but maybe.

So my current enjoyable read…

Beyond Tuesday Morning: Sequel to the Bestselling One Tuesday Morning (9/11 series Book 2) 

The hope-filled sequel to the bestselling One Tuesday Morning. In this new novel by Karen Kingsbury, three years have passed since the terrorist attacks on New York City. Jamie Bryan, widow of a firefighter who lost his life on that terrible day, has found meaning in her season of loss by volunteering at St. Paul’s, the memorial chapel across the street from where the Twin Towers once stood. Here she meets a daily stream of people touched by the tragedy, including two men with whom she feels a connection.

One is a firefighter also changed by the attacks, the other a police officer from Los Angeles. But as Jamie gets to know the police officer, she is stunned to find out that he is the brother of Eric Michaels, the man with the uncanny resemblance to Jamie’s husband, the man who lived with her for three months after September 11.

Eric is the man she has vowed never to see again. Certain she could not share even a friendship with his brother, Jamie shuts out the police officer and delves deeper into her work at St. Paul’s. Now it will take the persistence of a tenacious man, the questions from her curious young daughter, and the words from her dead husband’s journal to move Jamie beyond one Tuesday morning.

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I’m 1/4 of the way through and anxious to see what will happen next. This book is still a bargain if you are tempted.

Happy Reading!

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!

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.

More this and that May 06, 2022

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

It’s hard to know which is worse.

Watching the news, any and every news, sounds like a good idea so as not to be caught unaware. After awhile, though, this activity seems toxic and downright depressing.

Unbelievable too. Did he really just say that? Is he aware how his attitude is not helping his public image? Maybe he’s not worried about future re-elections.

It’s often said don’t believe what they say, watch what they do. When I first heard this piece of wisdom it was in relation to abusive men who would say all manner of things to get what they wanted, all the while not meaning any of it. Paying attention to what they do, to steer clear of manipulators, is sound advice.

It takes a lot of practice to go by actions rather than words, though. These people are highly gifted at sounding believable, especially if they put a lot of emotion in it. It’s very easy to believe they are for real. That’s why video footage, especially the unedited kind, exposes the truth. There are lots of undeniable eye opening caught on tape moments that leave us with our jaws dropping on the floor. Some of them are scenes that we can never unsee.

On one hand the state of our countries, Canada and the US, is highly depressing but on the other hand, some bleak looking situations are beginning to change. For awhile it appeared that the corporate and political world was jumping on the new ideas band wagon which did not bode well for many of us.

I think most of us have forgotten how loudly the bottom line speaks into their world. Many of their recent changes and positions were not in the best interest of average shoppers and when we began to change our spending habits they sat up and took notice.

Making changes in who we work for, where we shop, and a multitude of other areas, will surprise us with unexpected positive side effects. We may even find we are happier than we’ve ever been.

It’s hard to believe any of this will change bullies’ behavior but hey, you just never know. Maybe one day they will wake up and discover people’s opinion of them matters a great deal. Especially if they are running for office or working to become richer.

Oh, right, the question which is worse?

The political situation in Canada or the US.

So far, from what I can see listening to facts and opinions, Canada is winning. Not something to feel the least bit happy about.

Free books May 02, 2022

LPC Free books has two suggestions for us, both read and enjoyed several years ago. Stories with substance.

All The Way Home – Ann Tatlock

“Tatlock’s rich descriptions and characterizations are unusually fresh and inventive.”~Publishers Weekly

From a rough section of Los Angeles during the late Depression years, to the civil rights struggles of the 1960s in the South, this novel is a searing portrayal of one family trapped by alcoholism and another living the typical middle class life. A true American story told through the eyes of two girls, best friends, separated by the internment camps of World War II.

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Somewhere a Rainbow (Finding Love in the Low Country Book 4)

Brooke Haddon’s future looks gray… After her unfaithful husband is killed in an auto accident, she faces the challenge of rebuilding her life. With most of her money gone, she takes her five-year-old son to the honeymoon cottage on Hilton Head Island where her marriage began. As a single parent, she wonders how she will manage, and once she arrives on the island, she can’t imagine how she’ll be able to repair a cottage as broken down as her life.

When local carpenter Jake Randolph offers to help, Brooke immediately distrusts him. But as the months pass, she begins to think he may be different from the other men she has known. He begins to melt the emotional ice around her heart. Then Jake admits he’s concealing a secret past. Are Brooke’s hopes of a brighter future about to be destroyed. Or is there a rainbow beyond the storms of heartbreak?

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Two worthwhile reads. Awesome.

Happy Reading!

Love, love, love the harmony May 02, 2022

Have to share.

The Sound musical group has come out with a new album and Mark Lowry is giving us nearly an hour long taste of their awesome sound. Amazing voices and memorable melodies. Connect with them at thesound.org

Fun fact:

Mark’s show is called Just Whenever and that’s because he goes live just whenever he feels like it. Which is pretty much everyday when he is home. He’s been on the road doing concerts the last couple of weeks and we all missed him. Tonight’s live made up for it, in spades.

Enjoy this toe tapping, can’t bear to sit still music.

I’m Not Gonna Worry – April 27, 2022

A fellow blogger shared some tried and true rules for a good life. There were ten and one of them was Never worry.

I have been doing some of that this last while. Fussing over some possible changes coming in my life. Worrying because I don’t know if it will work out, how it will work out, should it work out. If it doesn’t what will I do.

I want to take on a challenge that will require more from me than I have ever put into anything I’ve ever done before. There is always a hurry up and wait time with these things. Maybe that isn’t a bad thing. My vision is being refined as the days go by. Maybe things won’t move until I have worked through all of the details just right.

I try not to indulge in worry because it doesn’t accomplish anything except to make me feel dejected and discouraged. Discouraged is a good word for the way I’ve felt the last week or two. Today’s beautiful sunny day following on the heels of a week or two of a winter storm helped significantly. There is nothing as cheerful as blue skies.

The thought of not worrying reminded me of a song that always lifts my sagging spirits.

I need to listen to it another time or two yet before lights out tonight.

Maybe this will help with end of winter sagging spirits for you too.

I hope it will.

Enjoy

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

An excellent, insightful, helpful article. A Must share. — For the Love of Books

Today’s guest post is a Q&A by Andrea A. Firth (@AndreaAFirth), a writer, editor, and teacher and cofounder of Diablo Writers’ Workshop. Getting published in literary journals is hard—still. Editors routinely say that they often have to turn down good writing. The submission cycle takes months, and months. But some things have changed. No more…

How the Literary Journal Landscape Is and Isn’t Changing — Jane Friedman

Free books April 23, 2022

Grace Livingston Hill was one of my favorite authors in my twenties. She was a prolific author, I was a prolific reader, and I still have fond memories of those days. Most of the books came from the library, the main source of reading material back then. I can’t remember who but someone loaned me a whole grocery bag full once and I was in heaven.

Here is a short bio:

Grace Livingston Hill (April 16, 1865 – 1947) was an early 20th-century novelist and wrote both under her real name and the pseudonym Marcia Macdonald. She wrote over 100 novels and numerous short stories. Her characters were most often young female Christian women or those who become so within the confines of the story.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Two free books appeared for us this morning and further investigation has revealed a lot more. Also, there are a boatload of bargain books available too. You will find them if you select the author’s name, it will make all of her books come up.

The Witness

“The Witness” deals with the fate of Paul Courtland, a successful student, star athlete, and fraternity president.

After he witness a tragedy when his classmate dies Paul starts seeking for a solace. Ultimately, Paul meets a girl who is going to get him into trouble and he will be put in a position to choose between his emotions and faith.

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Here is the next one

Bright Arrows

Eden’s life turns upside down when her beloved father dies. She feels completely lost and broken. The only comfort in Eden’s life are the letters written by her mother when she was just a child, that her father gave to her prior to his death.

Eden’s faith is being restored when she meets a handsome lawyer who comes to execute her father’s will.

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An Unwilling Guest

Evelyn Rutherford, a New York society beauty, decides to visits her aunt, who lives in the country, for the summer. When her aunt falls ill, Evelyn becomes the unwilling guest of a neighbouring family.

What Evelyn thought will be a boring summer turned up to be a spiritual journey where she discovered the truth about herself and God.

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Crimson Roses 

Alone in the city without money and friends. Mother and father gone, her home sold over her head, deserted by her only brother – for Marion Warren the world seemed to stop. But her long years of nursing an uncomplaining father had taught her a great lesson.

And she stepped bravely into a new life. Things seemed pretty black until the roses came…

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Astra

Astra Everson, travels alone on a train thinking of everything that went wrong in her life. What Astra is not aware is that a Christmas miracle is about to happen when she meets a handsome Charles…

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I’ve added links this time. Often one word titles are not easy to successfully search and links will help.

This will be nostalgic, a blast from the past for me. I’m anxious to see if these stories hold as much interest now as they did decades ago. The fact they are still around more than seventy years after her death is a positive indicator of their present day appeal.

Check out the rest of the books not mentioned too. The more popular stories may have prices on them.

Enjoy…

and Happy Reading

Reminiscing here: I think the appeal for me back then was the strong woman role model. Hard times fell on these characters and somehow they stiffened their spines and looked for ways to live through their tough circumstances. It was a message I needed to hear back then. Not that I was consciously aware of it. I remember thinking – if they can suck-it-up and keep on going then I can too. It’s an influence I’ve never forgotten. I’ve always wanted to be that woman. I still do.