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.

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.

Free books June 20, 2020, and Dads

FREE suggestions for us today.

Princess Paisley (Not-So-Fairy Tales Book 1) 

Princess Paisley

Amazon quote:

Fairy tales aren’t just for children anymore! Welcome to Jackalopany! Meet King Jack and Queen Felicia and their estimable children, Paisley and Jackson. Paisley has reached the year of her majority and is about to endure her “Majority Ball.” She’s unique, prank-loving, and not ready to change her life. She’d rather continue her days herding sheep, playing her harp, and avoiding the responsibilities associated with the Jackalopian throne. The shepherd Henry, Prince Rupert of Froggilandria, Kyle of Kaiandra, Marcus of Wellsbiundia, and the amusing Cletus of Rednecky all battle for the hand (and possibly the rest of) Princess Paisley. Will Darius of Griffinland foil the plans of so many? Will tragedy leave the Jackalopian throne bereft of an heir? And last but not least, will the narrator ever stop yammering about the rigors and rules of the fairytale genre?

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The Mail-Order Bride Carries a Gun (Brides of Sweet Creek Ranch Book 1)

The Mail-order Bride carries a gun

Amazon quote:

The mail-order bride seeks justice. Not a husband…

ELLA HUNTER never thought she’d be a mail-order bride. But when she sees a photo in the Marriage Gazette of the man she believes killed her brother, Ella agrees to marry the Civil War soldier turned cowboy. Prepared to confront a cold-hearted killer then return home, she finds all her expectations dashed when her intended husband appears to be a good man. Ella’s loyalties are torn between honoring the memories of her family and her undeniable attraction to Ty Haven.

TY HAVEN needs a wife. The ranch he runs in the wilds of Wyoming Territory could use a woman’s influence. Frankly, so could he. So when Ella arrives like a gift tied up in a cornflower-blue hair ribbon, more intelligent, practical, and, yes, beautiful, than he could have imagined, he hopes she will give him and the West a chance. Turns out, he doesn’t just need a wife. He needs Ella. But she has a secret, and it might destroy their marriage almost before it’s begun.

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As I write this, it’s Father’s Day tomorrow. Actually, I guess it’s today in many parts of the world. A day to honor our fathers.

My father has been gone for many years. Maybe if he was still alive he would have had time to change his ways and become a good father. We will never know. One thing I am grateful for today; his abusive behavior has not carried on through the generations even though it could have. My grandchildren enjoy loving fathers and I feel blessed.

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Life is not perfect. It never has been and never will be. Life can, and does, go on in spite of it all. If we let it.

I chose, and continue to choose, to forgive and move on. Not an easy thing to do. As I look on my family and the legacy of love, I’m grateful for making this choice, over and over again.

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I can’t help but think about people like me with a past our conscious minds cannot bear to acknowledge. I hear pain, I see pain. All this talk about fathers is dredging it up. I cannot actually see or hear you but I can acknowledge you.  You are not alone. Look around carefully. There are others like you close by. Support one another.

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Some of you will think I am crazy for saying all of this.

Statistics show that one in four women/girls have been abused or will be abused at some point in their life. As I share my story (sparingly) I’m finding this number believable. Feeling alone is a result of conditioning by our abusers. No one will believe you. It’s all your fault. It was an important day in my life when I admitted I was not alone. there were fellow sufferers who knew exactly what I was talking about. I still experience days like that from time to time, it’s always a surprise.

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Father’s day is still a day to celebrate. The good do not need to be brought down because of the bad. I will be the first to stand and give honor to the good dads of the world. We love and appreciate you.

Free books June 18, 2020

Happy Thursday y’all.

I’m browsing. Suggestions are slow coming in again today, so far anyway. That’s the nature of things. Promotions come and go. Some books rarely show up while others make frequent appearances. Every-day frequent.

Some books stretch their infrequent history out over a long time period of time.

This morning is like that, with some books first seen as far back as 2012. It isn’t easy anymore to remember when and where or how often. My goal has been to keep things fresh with as few repeats as possible. Now it’s like faces in a crowd …. haven’t I seen you somewhere before? It’s easy to know my first download date (Amazon notes that for me) the problem is keeping track of repeat appearances. To protect my sanity, a lowering of standards is in order. I’ll still pursue fresh but with more of an oh well attitude. My audience changes daily too. Maybe readers are less aware of repeats than I think. I like that thought I’m going with it.

A FREE book (2015)

A Work in Progress: (The Faith Series, Book 1)

A Work in Progress

Amazon quote:

Rebecca Avery has never been one of “them”—the popular kids, the beautiful people. With less than fashion-plate looks and an off-beat, quirky style to living life, she has been relegated to finding “alone” activities to fill her time throughout high school. Unfortunately, college hasn’t changed that. Then she meets Eric Barnett, a nice guy who seems a little quirky himself. The only problem is, he’s in love with her roommate—one of the truly beautiful people. When Rebecca finds herself falling for him, she must find a way to break out of her shell or risk losing him forever. Who will win out in this mixed up jumble of feelings and loyalties?

Eric Barnett is drifting through college. Unlike his friends, he doesn’t have a path to relentlessly pursue. In fact, he often feels like the tag-along in a life that’s unfolding without him. Then he meets Rebecca Avery’s roommate who seems like she will finally give him what he most wants—credibility with his friends. However, when the roommate proves to be less-than-into-him, can Eric see past the outward appearance to find love with Rebecca?

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FREE (joined me in 2016)

Where Angels Tread (Kensington Family Novels Book 1)

Where Angels Tread

Amazon quote:

Shane Kensington has dedicated his life to serving others as a police officer, sworn to protect the community and people that he loves. But a tragic mistake he made three years ago shattered his confidence and turned his world upside down. Since then, Shane has become a shell of the person he once was.

Until the day he met Heidi.
 
Heidi Griffin is a single mother struggling to make a life for herself and her troubled young son. Still grieving her husband’s untimely death, Heidi is adamant that she won’t open herself up to love — and loss — again.

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FREE (2016)

A Rose Blooms Twice (A Prairie Heritage, Book 1)

A Rose Blooms Twice

Amazon quote:

Rose Brownlee has suffered more loss than most people can endure. Now she must find a purpose and a way to move on with her life. Will she bow to conventional wisdom or will she, like Abraham of old, choose to follow where God leads her . . . even to a wild and strange land she does not know?

Set in the American prairie of the late 1800s, this story of loss, disillusionment, rebirth, and love will inspire, challenge, and encourage you. One woman’s courageous journey to redemption and new love!

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FREE (2016)

Finding the Way Back (Forgiving Hearts Trilogy Book 1)

Finding the Way Back

Amazon quote:

Laurel thought life had dealt her its worst blow when her marriage fell apart. For almost a year, she worked to put herself back together. These efforts culminated in a new job in a new place. Away from all the reminders of pain and humiliation, she can begin again. But what if her attempt to escape doesn’t take her away from Colton, but brings her to him instead?

Colton is reaping the sorrow and misery he deserves. For the worst of reasons, he hurt the woman he loves. Laurel’s heart won’t heal easily or ever without God’s help. Will she give him the chance to regain her trust? Or will he be forced to live the rest of his life without her?

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I’m currently reading a book from yesterday and it is still FREE

Summer with the Marine (Blue Bay Beach Romance Book 1)

Summer with the Marine

Amazon quote:

Eisley Higgins is laid off and needs a fresh start. Her mother offers her the loft space at her new beach cottage. The last thing she wants to do is move to a retirement community in coastal Florida. She gets a job at a local restaurant and her coworkers insist she follow through with the new-employee ritual to go on a date with her first customer. She’s shocked when it turns out to be her childhood best friend.

Ford Armstrong spent over ten years in the military serving his country. During that time, he married, but the relationship and his hope for a family quickly fizzled. After what felt like a failure, he fully turned his focus to the Marine Corps, but then received two life-changing pieces of news. While figuring out his future, he runs into the girl from his past. Only, the first thing out of her mouth is the last thing he expects to hear.

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Happy Reading folks!

It looks like 2016 was a good year (chuckle)

Bargain books April 27, 2020

Fresh inspiration is what I needed in the daily search for good books. Focusing on a single author worked well yesterday and it should be good as a search method today too. After several other tries, Carol Moncado looks promising with an assortment of bargain books. A taste test for some of her other books.

Finding Mr. Write: (CANDID Romance Book 1) $1.24

Finding Mr Write

Amazon quote:

Jeremiah Jacobs moved to the Ozarks for a fresh start. He knows no one and has no plans to get romantically involved with anyone. Ever. He’s already had his heart ripped out once and once is enough. Besides he has contractual obligations that prevent him from talking about work – and what woman would want to be involved with a man who has to keep his job a secret? When he attends his first local writers’ group meeting, he finds the leader so intriguing, his instant attraction to her threatens to complicate his currently uncomplicated life.

Dorrie Miller has never been good enough. Not for her father or any of the guys she’s dated in the past. She’s pushed beyond her father’s disapproval to have a good career while pursuing her dream of becoming a published novelist. The Christian Authors Network – Dedicated to Inspirational Distinction, or CANDID, is hosting their annual conference in Indianapolis and who’s rumored to be in attendance? The super reclusive, super-star author, Mya Elizabeth Linscott.

The hunky new member of her local CANDID group, Jeremiah, wants to carpool to Indy. Dorrie can handle not making a fool of herself for eight hours each way. Right? But she never imagined doing a favor for someone during the conference would leave her accidentally married to the gorgeous guy she barely knows. How will she get out of this mess, married to a near stranger? Does she want to? Will her insecurities and Jeremiah’s secrets tear them apart? Or can she trust that, all along, God’s been helping her with Finding Mr. Write?

Hmm… this sounds interesting.

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This one I’ve seen before and it’s good to see it again.

Good Enough for a Princess: (The Monarchies of Belles Montagnes Book 1)  $1.32

Good enough for a Princess

Amazon quote:

The Monarchies of Belles Montagnes
Book 1: Montevaro

Crown Princess Adeline of Montevaro has her life planned out for her: get her Master’s in international relations, marry nobility, produce an heir, inherit the throne. There’s no room for romance with the single father she meets when their cars collide on an icy winter night. Parliament – and her father – would never approve.

Charlie Brewer grew up without roots. The son of an archaeologist father and anthropologist mother, he either traveled along or lived with his aunt and uncle in the States. He’s determined to give his daughter the stability he never had. He also wants to give her a mom, but the beautiful European he’s falling for refuses to move to Serenity Landing, Missouri permanently.

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There were more bargains but they were novellas, a 100+ pages or so, too many of them to mention at the moment. Check out Carol Moncado on Amazon if you like shorter stories. They did look interesting.

This search wasn’t as fruitful as expected so we will finish with an assortment of authors (including Carol) as a further taste test. A year ago was the first sighting of this collection and I know I’ve mentioned it more than once but it was a very good read.

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Betwixt Two Hearts (Crossroads Collection) $1.31

Betwixt two hearts

Amazon quote:

Betwixt Two Hearts by Amanda Tru
With control of their dating website the prize, Bailey and Camden embark on a matchmaking competition that snags on unexpected results. All is fair in a contest of love. May the best matchmaker win.

The Swedehearts Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson
Eleanor ran away to find herself. David knew exactly where he wanted to go. Could a matchmaking agency put them on the same map?

Whole Latte Love by Kari Trumbo
Misguided Drew thinks all quiet women hide harmful secrets. While pretty, new best friend Addi’s soft-spoken nature reminds him too much of past hurts to move their relationship forward. Can a matchmaking agency change his heart?

Seoul Refuge by Alana Terry
Caroline is a new believer, excited and passionate about her faith. Calvin is a Boston police detective, an atheist who can hardly believe Christians have brainwashed his wife. Caroline just wants to follow God. Calvin just wants his wife back.

Guardian of Her Heart by Carol Moncado
Signed up for a dating service by friends and brought together by a stowaway cat, Mark and Casey must decide if they want to overcome their apparent incompatibilities or go their separate ways.

Random Acts of Shyness by Chautona Havig
Heath’s sister, Selby, has laid down the law. It’s time to let her take over his love life. After a series of first and only dates, Heath embarks on her new scheme to help him overcome the debilitating nervous habit that has plagued him all his life. However, between dates, each worse than the last, he tries one more time to do things his way… sort of.

Please Note: The Crossroads Collections are sets of stories that are interconnected in some way, but the collections are independent, complete, and can be read in any order.

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Happy Reading!

 

Free and Bargain books April 24, 2020

Today is a day for Romance.

This first book is a bargain at $1.32 , from an author new to me.

Snow Belle: A Sweet Small-town Romance (Madison Creek Bed & Breakfast Book 1)

Snow Belle

Amazon quote:

Haley Madison packed her big dreams and drove to the Arctic. Well, all right, so it’s Madison Creek, Michigan. But for a Texas gal, this frozen land ought to come with a sled and huskies. If it wasn’t for her family’s rundown property, she’d have stayed where the sun shone bright and warm. However, she has grand ideas for her inheritance even if the town has thrown up their objections to her plans.

Ethan Winters hated going home and admitting failure. Sure, he has a special talent with the violin, but he has bigger ambitions than playing at the local bowling alley. And then there was the idea of facing his father. No, he wasn’t ready to go home just yet. He veered off the interstate and drove to a little town named Madison Creek. Maybe his luck would change.

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Another bargain at $1.32. I’ve read books 1 and 3 in this series and now I’m looking forward to this one.

Consider the Thorns (The Trampled Rose Series Book 2)

Consider the thorns

Amazon quote:

Barbara Houlton is a best-selling romance author, known for her achingly sweet love stories. However, her own love-life is nothing to write home about. Raped on the eve of her high-school graduation, she was left pregnant and scarred, both emotionally and physically. She has learned to hide the physical scars, but the emotional scars that taint her soul become harder to hide each day. Sarcasm, avoidance and denial have become weapons to keep her monstrous past at bay. Barbara avoids her home town at all costs. She denies to all those who are concerned for her that there is anything wrong. And those who try to pass her protective boundaries are met with her cutting sarcasm. Her emotional scars make intimacy a frightening thing, and those who try to grasp this beautiful rose are quickly met with her thorns. Instead, she loves through her characters, embracing her romantic dreams with every book she writes, and convinces herself it is enough.

When her father falls ill, she is forced to return home to Hamilton, New Mexico, a small town that comes with big problems, the biggest of which is Steve Meston. Steve has had a crush on Barbara since high school. But he is no longer the awkward, shy boy from her youth. He is now confident, handsome and relentless in his pursuit of her, despite her best efforts to put him off. His patient and steadfast love back her into a corner, and she finds that all her weapons are useless against his sweet love. Now she must stop avoiding and confront her past, or lose the one man who was able to get past her thorns.

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This next one is a bargain at $0.99, with another author new to me. I’m always happy to make the acquaintance of a new author.

Not Until This Day: A Christian Romance (Hope Springs Book 6)

Not Until This day

Amazon quote:

Three kids. Two broken hearts. One chance to become a family.

Isabel has three simple rules: Keep moving. No friends. No men. It’s the only way to keep herself and her daughter safe. But when she arrives in the small town of Hope Springs, she finds that she suddenly wants to break all the rules. Especially when it comes to a certain sweet single dad.

Tyler has one goal: Keep his boys from ever getting hurt again. That’s why he avoids dating, women, or anything having to do with love. So why does the mysterious single mother who works at his family’s orchard have him rethinking everything?

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And a FREE book. It’s never to early to talk about Christmas.

The Matchmakers of Holly Circle 

the Matchmakers of Holly Circle

Amazon quote:

Flirtation can be an art, or so they say. Well, if so, Ruth and Richard are “the old masters” of the flirting game. Despite their strictly platonic relationship, there’s “something there,” as so many of their friends and families say. Neighbors and friends for ten years, neither seems willing to change the course of their relationship.
Three doors down, at the end of the cul-de-sac, Mason Dickenson has watched his favorite neighbors with an interested eye, but he’s finally had it with the dance. So, with a pack of cards and a few tricks up his sleeve, he’s determined to get them out of the “friend rut” and into romance.

Thanks to Mason’s unique matchmaking scheme, Ruth and Richard concoct one of their own—a deeper, stronger, eternal love and relationship that nothing on earth can match.

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This list could have been much longer if all of the books featured in the brochure were at bargain prices. I’m kind of glad they weren’t, actually. I was worried thinking what if . The thought of thirty seven new books in one day was pretty scary. I am excited to have four new books.

I’m currently reading  Justified Means. This is one author I’ve read extensively, enough to be accustomed to her voice and style. You know, like answering the phone and knowing immediately who is calling. (you have no call display, work with me here) This is the second time I’ve been thrown by the tone of one of her books. Which is cool, actually.

The voice reminds me of another favorite author, I get caught up in the story and forget who I’m listening to. The first time it happened it was shocking, mainly because Chautona has a very distinct and recognizable voice and the shock was finding I wasn’t reading who I thought I was. I can’t remember who I thought it was but it wasn’t Ms Havig.  I guess it would be like watching a movie with a favorite British actor showing up in a movie sporting a very good New York accent.

I have to say, she nailed the new voice and I quite enjoyed both stories. And, when I think about it, this new voice works well in the new genre. Fitting in better than the voice we are used to hearing from her.

Justified Means (Book One) (The Agency Files 1) is still a bargain at $0.99

Justified Means

Erika Polowski, in grave danger–danger she has no idea exists–finds herself captive, shackled, bound, gagged. Her captors have the most unbelievable story, yet as the enemy manages, time after time, to get too close, she has to decide who or what to trust. Can she believe the man who daily holds her at gunpoint? Does she trust her gut? She is certain that she knows nothing that could possibly matter to anyone–has done nothing that should put her in danger.

For Keith Auger, it’s just another assignment. Extract the client, protect the client, return the client to her life with minimal interruption. Except that this “client” isn’t so keen on being protected. His usual cheerful demeanor disappeared the night he helped her escape from her home–escape with the aid of duct tape, rope, and the dark of night.

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Happy Reading.

 

 

 

 

Free and bargain books April 3, 2020

BookBub has a bargain collection for us today $0.99 . This author has appeared for me before but it’s been quite a while and my memory is dim on the experience.

Saddle Springs Romance 1-3: A Montana Ranches Christian Romance

Saddle Springs Romance

Amazon quote:

THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS REUNION (Book 1)

When Kade Delgado joins his buddies in a Cowboy Santa program to shower Christmas blessings on old folks and single moms, he doesn’t expect his former fiancée to return to Saddle Springs, in need and with a child in tow. Does God really expect him to treat Cheri the same as the others on his new Christmas list?

THE COWBOY’S MIXED-UP MATCHMAKER (Book 2)

It’s been fourteen long years since two teens made a pact to marry each other if both remained single at thirty. But the nearer the time comes, the more Lauren Yanovich steps up her matchmaking game to let James off the hook. Not that he likely remembers.

THE COWBOY’S ROMANTIC DREAMER (Book 3)

Burned by love, Trevor Delgado has pushed aside all his personal dreams in favor of expanding his family’s ranching empire in western Montana. That’s what any hardworking, dependable firstborn son should do, right? He’s not lonely, just solitary. All he needs is a saddle beneath him, the mountain breeze on his face, and no time to think.

Editing hundreds of romance novels has made Denae Archibald an expert on love. She knows how it’s supposed to go… and tall, dark and mysterious Trevor Delgado is exactly her kind of hero. If only her issues weren’t enough to send any worthy cowboy galloping for the range.

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1531 Entertainment has a FREE suggestion for us. There was an enjoyable box set from this author last fall.

A Caffeine Conundrum (The CafFUNated Mysteries Book 1) 

a Caffeine Conumdrum

Amazon quote:

Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don’t trust your partner…or their taste in beverages.

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she’ll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

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and 1531 has a second one FREE as well. I’m undecided about this, reading the synopsis, but the first few pages have me taking a chance on it.

Katie’s Crossroads: A Christian Romance (Solomon’s Woods Book 2)

Katie's Crossroads

Amazon quote:

Katie Hardinger lost her faith when God didn’t answer her childhood prayers. For years, she coped with her husband’s psychological abuse while trying to maintain a happy home. As their children approach adulthood, Katie and her husband finally divorce. Katie finds a good job, but before long, trouble follows her there. When a good-looking married man charms her with kindness and compliments, Katie finds it hard to resist.
Hunter Campbell’s marriage ended when his wife deserted him for another man. He’s attracted to Katie Hardinger, and his mom and little boys are too. When Katie realizes her daughters are reading her diaries and breaks down and confesses her sin, Hunter is in the wrong place at the wrong time … or is he?

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Browsing there is a bargain looking interesting. It’s a switching places novel, it’s $0.99 and sounds like fun.

Double Take: A Novel

Double take

Amazon quote:

It’s spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents’ marital problems, and her boyfriend’s neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Bronner wants to escape the so-called simple life–which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening–and she’s well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn’t love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side.

Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.

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I couldn’t resist one more bargain. Not because it’s a bargain either. $1.30

The Real Thing: A sweet and clean Christian romance set in Scotland (The Macleans Book 4)

The Real Thing

Amazon Quote:

He’s an embittered cynic. She’s a perpetually cheerful Pollyanna. They both need to learn what trusting God really means.
Disabled since birth, bullied as a child, Edinburgh author Brodie Maclean has no faith in God, or in human nature. He learned young that his best weapons are his sharp tongue and his biting honesty, and he doesn’t hesitate to use them.
When he’s forced to employ Flynn Ferguson as his housekeeper, it’s instant dislike. She’s too cheerful, she’s too loud, she’s too everything. Including distracting. How is he supposed to write with her around? Even always-look-on-the-bright-side Flynn finds it hard to be glad about her grouchy boss, apart from the little fact the generous salary he pays means she won’t be evicted. As soon as she can (“Tomorrow, please Lord?”), she’ll quit.
Neither intends to deceive the other, but only when they meet online, safe behind names that aren’t their names and photos that aren’t their photos, are they able to be their real selves and fall in love. Can they recognise the truth behind their false impressions before it’s too late?

You’ve Got Mail meets As Good As It Gets meets a mischievous ferret in this faith-filled Scottish enemies-to-love romance.

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Time to quit looking and leave some room for more tomorrow, I think.

I hope you are well and enjoying finding a good book. Until tomorrow…

Happy Reading.

Free and bargain books March 28, 2020

It’s a slow day for book suggestions from the usual sources. There is one FREE book offered by Jennifer Youngblood though. Something on the lighter side, giving us a little sunshine on a day when I’m sure we could use it. Maybe browsing will take up the slack and be fruitful for us with a good book selection again today. We’ll see how it goes.

Love on the Rocks (Hawaii Billionaire Romance Book 1)

Love on the Rocks

Amazon quote:

Artist Liam Barclay has spent the past few years, living the carefree life of a bachelor, playing the field and soaking up the sun in beautiful Oahu. Until a startling heartbreak awakens him to a sobering realization—he’s in love with Maurie, his best friend and business partner. There’s only one problem—she recently got engaged.

Maurie Bradshaw has loved Liam for years, but fears he’s incapable of committing to a serious relationship. Tired of putting her life on hold and waiting for something that might never be, Maurie accepts a marriage proposal from Cooper Manning, a handsome art distributor, who’s an all-around great guy.

Tormented by the knowledge that he’s on the brink of losing the love of his life, Liam sets out to win Maurie’s heart. He becomes increasingly suspicious of Cooper, and suspects that he’s not what he’s making himself out to be. Liam does some investigating and uncovers dark secrets, which put him and Maurie at risk. As events climax to a heart-pounding frenzy, Liam must fight to protect the woman he loves, while trying to convince her that his heart is true.

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Since we are going for the lighter side this afternoon, here is a bargain four book collection looking sweet and  interesting. Part of the attraction for me, aside from the topic, is the chance to read another unfamiliar author. $1.33

Sweet Fake Relationship Romance Collection

Sweet fake relationship

Amazon quote:

The Lumberjack’s Match
Lumberjack Rhett Neumann is looking to buy land, but the seller says he must build a family home on the acreage, establishing roots in their small town. Rhett hasn’t devoted much thought to marriage, but he’ll do anything to acquire this property—even if it means pretending to have a bride. Shy and socially-awkward Lacey Macuzzi has given up on the idea of getting married, but wants to please her pressuring parents. She’d love to find a man willing to pose as her groom for the big day, just to get them off her back.

The Rock Star’s Match
Rock star Skylar Schultz’s manager lectures him about settling down and cleaning up his reputation. Rather than taking him seriously, Skylar turns to the Pretendr app to find someone who will pretend to be his girlfriend. Jessie Monroe is married to her work at an after school music program. A big benefit is planned and she doesn’t want anyone bothering her for a date, so she signs up for Pretendr. But when Skylar and Jessie discover they’ve been matched, they’re shocked beyond words. 

The Cowboy’s Match
In order for him to take over his parents’ ranch when they retire, cowboy Trent Reed needs to get on the straight and narrow and find a wife. Ever the rascal, he logs into Pretendr to find a fake fiancée instead. Pretendr is something Sally Marshall wishes she didn’t need, but her family has given her no choice. She’s successful in her own way, but it seems they’ll never see that unless she settles down and ties the knot with someone. 

The Detective’s Match
Detective Phillip Russell has been handed the case of the century. There’s only one catch. The crime lord he’s supposed to go undercover to bring down only trusts family men. By joining Pretendr, he hopes to find someone willing to act as his wife so he can get closer to the crime boss and put him behind bars. Lucy Mills is a single mom working two jobs to pay the bills. She’s hoping to get a great new job at a law firm, but they’re not interested in hiring someone with so much baggage. She decides to sign up for Pretendr to find a stand-in husband and land the job of her dreams. 

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A bargain book showed up that is definitely not on the lighter side but… it looks good anyway, even with a few reservations I have about leaving light. There are many Staci Stallings books in my collection but I couldn’t resist this is one, mainly because it’s one I’ve not read yet. $1.23 CDN

For Love’s Sake: A Historical Christian Romance

For Love's Sake

Amazon quote:

Love.

It sounds so simple, yet rarely does it turn out to be that way.

From USA Today Best Selling Contemporary Christian Romance Author, Staci Stallings, comes a historical novel about love, acceptance, hope, and the battle for good we are all in regardless of time and place…

At only 19, Bryna Elliott seems to have little control over the circumstances of her life. With her parents gone, she is relegated to running the household and trying to stay in the good graces of her obstinate, disrespectful brother. But when a long-lost neighbor comes back to town, Bryna’s life might be about to change for the better. If only she can learn how not to be herself…

Daniel Brody, a young man steeped in society’s finer points, finds himself in the midst of a romance he neither expected nor wanted to happen. However, the sister of the young lawyer handling his affairs upon his return to his mother’s childhood home soon proves intriguing beyond rationality. Unfortunately, she is as her brother often points out “uncontrollable” especially when love for those in her charge comes into question. Can Daniel hope to bring this headstrong young woman back under the constrictions of society, or is his life destined to be turned upside down by her willful determination to live only for love’s sake?

Set in the pre-Civil War south, “For Love’s Sake” takes the reader on a journey to discover the courage it takes to truly live a life of love for others. The Christian message of not letting the world tell you what is and isn’t proper when love is involved will inspire the reader to reconsider what love means in their own lives. Come along for the journey, you just might find that love means more than you ever imagined.

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Six books is still a good day and most of them are easy reads to make our Saturday a little more fun. It’s a gorgeous sunny afternoon here again and the snow is quickly melting all around us. It’s not even April quite yet, we’re ahead of the game. Sun and good books, can’t beat it.

Happy Reading to you!

 

 

Another Read & Enjoyed installment

There is a mixed bag of emotions in regard to this list of books. For the most part they held my interest and the reading went quickly. There was a need for speed reading in a few places and a little skipping of pages now and again, but not nearly as often as it has been known to happen in truly bad situations.

There is only one book in this group standing out as disappointing. Mainly because the opening had me all excited – it was so good – but then the momentum didn’t last. A strong beginning makes a slightly weak story seem even less than it might have otherwise.

Overall though, it has been a pleasing reading week.

The Marine's Marriage

The Gentile Patriot

Nurse's Date with a Billionaire

Hidden

Traces of Guilt

Love & Family

Falling for you Wade

the Amish Widow

Not a Word

Happy Reading, y’all!