A boxed set, of Christmas Lights

Comfort & Joy

In my mind it’s never too early. I love Christmas any time of year.

Maybe it’s because I don’t get caught up in all the stressful parts of the season like I used to – the shopping, baking, obligatory social events – I’m past all of that these days. Now I relish the positive parts of the season – lights, music, family, the reason for the season. Every year it seems to feel a little sweeter, in spite of some circumstances, I love how that happens. So…. pardon the early start 🙂

Looking at the cover of this Christmas boxed set, you might be thinking fluff – but you would be wrong. The one line teasers on Amazon even give a feel-good impression. That’s why it was a bit of a shock to find these stories were definitely not light reading. They would fall more into the category of Romantic Suspense. There was romance alright but the details of their lives  took them to unexpected, and sometimes dangerous, places.

Having said all that, I enjoyed this set. The exposure to different authors is great. It  provides a first introduction, if we haven’t already met, and gives us a chance to see if we enjoy what they have to offer.

Alana Terry is author of the first book Frost Heaves and is someone to keep your eye on. She’s young and relatively new to the writing scene but is prolific, with an impressive number of published books to her name. She has participated in boxed sets before, I enjoy her writing and look forward to reading more from her.

Toni Shiloh is author of the second book Deck the Shelves and is new to me. She is listed on Amazon with 8 or 10 books and looks to be a promising author as well. BookBub also carries Toni’s books and that accomplishment is a recommendation in itself.

Cathe Swanson is author of  the third book The Christmas Glory Quilt. I don’t believe I’ve read anything from her before. This was a good experience for me and her offerings on Amazon look promising.  I’ll be watching for more from her as well.

Chautona Havig is no stranger to this blog, having been mentioned here many times. She is highly involved in the writing scene and shows up in different places, in different ways, and is a regular participant in boxed sets. Not just Christmas sets either. The Ghosts of New Cheltenham, the fourth book in this set belongs to her.

I like the way they’ve planned and tied the stories together; it makes for a unique and  interesting reading experience. All of the books in this set are stand-alone but there are familiar elements threaded through them.

They are all captivating and well written but my personal favorites were books 1 and 4.

The set has been offered on Amazon for .99, (in US and Canada anyway, not sure about other countries) which is a steal and makes it easy for us to take a chance on new authors.

Comfort & Joy

 

I hope you are feeling inspired to search for captivating books. There are so many out there just begging to be read.

Happy searching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lawman Returns, after football

Sunday was a great day. Our football team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, won their Canadian Football League Western Semi Final game and will play for Western Finalist next weekend. If they win that, they will play against the Eastern Finalist team for the Canadian Grey Cup in two weeks.

We were all pretty excited, the whole house full of football fans. I’m the only one in the family not really understanding much of what is going on. I mean, I have a general idea about what is happening …… it’s the rules that escape me. I like watching anyway.  Especially when they are winning.

I’ve decided there’s not a lot of hope for me, I’ve been not understanding the game for a very long time. I used to cheer for the BC Lions, decades ago when I lived in Vancouver. (I really liked the Lions even though they have a terrible track record.) The last few years I’ve been following the Bombers, and watching my grandsons football games, every now and then. You’d think with that much exposure over the years something would stick in my brain. Nope.  Thank goodness for commentators.

Winnipeg is definitely excited over the chance their team could be going to the Grey Cup.


Enough about football. Let’s get back to the subject of books…

I’m always excited when Lynette Eason’s name shows up in my daily suggestions email. Her stories are gripping and interesting, and I enjoy reading them.

 

The Lawman Returns Wrangler’s Corner – The Lawman Returns – Lynette Eason …..

Social worker Sabrina Mayfield answers a call to find Jordan, one of her kids, in a panic, wanting a ride. She’s getting directions when he changes his mind and tells her to stay away, it’s too dangerous. He hears someone coming and is suddenly afraid for his life. He has seen something that tells him who killed deputy Steven Stark. If they notice he has seen it, he’s dead.

In a panic, Sabrina requests backup and hurries out to the trailer park to find out what’s gong on. The place looks deserted and creepy, and there’s no sign of the police yet.

Calling for Jordan, she approaches the rickety steps. It feels like someone is watching her but she looks around and can’t see anyone. About to go back to her car and wait, she hears a cry, like that of a small child. Now she’s torn. She knows better than to go in without police backup but how can she ignore a cry for help.

She tries the door, it’s locked. Before she can decide what else to do, there’s a loud crack and something whizzes past her head, slamming into the trailer. Someone just took a shot at her.

Pulling into the driveway as the shot was fired, Deputy Clay Stark yells at her to get into his car. He is about to tear out of there, to safety, but changes his mind when she tells him why she’s there.

He is not about to pass up on new evidence and the chance to find out who killed his brother.

She doesn’t want to leave yet either, because she still thinks she heard a small child crying.

She did hear a small child. She recognizes the face in the trailer window. What was Jordan’s little brother doing out here alone in this dangerous place?


Check this author out, if you haven’t already.

Happy reading

Christy Barritt Mysteries

I cannot believe how quickly the weeks are flying by. It feels like a new month is starting every couple of weeks. I know it’s not but it sure feels like it

Lately, I find myself spending more time in front of my work computer and less in front of my blog computer. I have mixed emotions about this. I appreciate the heavier workload but ……  like my favorite bumper sticker says I’d rather be reading. I’m gradually working up to I’d rather be writing and I do see a little progress in that area.

It seems I’m not the only one writing less these days. I’ve noticed many of the bloggers I follow aren’t writing as often as they once were, either. It would be interesting to know why this is. Is it a busier life? Less interest in writing… or in life? Is it a normal cycle, maybe, to start out strong and fade after awhile? Every day, as I check emails for new notifications of blog posts, I wonder about the answer to this question of why. I miss the writers I used to count on as being there. I miss seeing the regular readers for my posts too. They still pop up now and then but not like before. Hopefully things will change one day and we will find our motivation again.

It would be nice to overcome the lethargy I feel at the end of a work day, and find the energy to spend time blogging. The writing process can be an uplifting experience, releasing some of those feel good endorphins. My intentions are good, to do better……. but you know what they say about good intentions…..

In the meantime, I’m still finding good books. Today I have a couple of mystery books to share with you. Author Christy Barritt is showing up often these days and her books are always a good read.

shadow of intrigue  Lantern Beach Romantic Suspense – Shadow of Intrigue book 2 – Christy Barritt …… Lisa Garth feels out of place, all of her friends have someone to share life with and she is odd man out, having no one. It’s most noticeable in the off season with tourists gone and reduced hours at her restaurant leaving her too much time to think.

Braden Dillinger plans to spend several weeks at Lantern Beach, on the recommendation  of his therapist. The hope is that beach time will bring some healing for the debilitating scars of his Special Forces days in battle.

Friends have loaned him the use of their cottage while they are away visiting family. Lisa promised Ty and Cassidy she would play hostess to their guest and cook for him while they are gone.  Things have gotten off to a rocky start, and now she wants to turn her back on that promise.

With no car in the driveway , Lisa assumed their guest had not yet arrived and let herself in to prepare dinner. Braden, forgetting about the special arrangement for his meals, has gone to take a shower and doesn’t hear her come in. She knew he had an injury of some sort but had no idea just what it was, or what reaction her presence in the house would trigger.

She thought she was going to die at his hands.

She explains her presence, he apologizes and, eventually, they begin an uneasy truce.

Distressing, inexplicable events keep happening to them both. Evidence of break-ins in his cottage, shadowy figures watching both houses, shots fired through her window.  With his blackouts, Braden is afraid the memories of these events are part of his paranoia and he is only imaging things. Lisa is labelling her attacks as bored teenage pranks.

Gradually, Braden is convinced someone is trying to kill him, but who is it and how did they know where to find him? Then, there’s the question of Lisa’s attacks – are they connected to his or is something else going on with her?

When he sees Lisa is busy and short handed, Braden decides to offer his services at the restaurant . He thinks listening to the town’s gossip may give him clues as to who and why.  He’s hoping he can figure this out before it’s too late.

 

Random Acts of Outrage  Holly Anna Paladin Mysteries – Random Acts of Outrage book 6 – Christy Barritt ….. As usual, Holly arrives on time after school to pick up Sarah, her fourteen year old foster daughter. She’s even a little early today. The line keeps moving up and eventually Holly realizes, all the other students have gone, and Sarah isn’t here. Convinced something is terribly wrong she runs to the school staff and calls her case worker, but no one takes her seriously. They are all of the opinion Sarah has run away, that’s what foster kids do. Holly doesn’t believe it. There are too many indicators, in her mind anyway, that Sarah has been taken against her will.

Holly is desperate and can think of only one person with the ability to help her. He is her ex fiancé, and it will be awkward, but she asks them to call Detective Chase Dextor. Sarah has Type 1 diabetes and without her meds, she could die, they have to find her..

Holly is convinced Sarah hasn’t run away. They have developed a close relationship, and this home situation is the best she’s ever had. She’s even more convinced now that she’s   talked to the teachers responsible for supervising after school pick ups. Someone saw  Sarah get into a lady’s car in the student parking lot and drive away. Holly doesn’t believe she is running, there is something else going on here.

Once she’d gone through her house and found all of Sarah’s meds still there, Holly knew this wasn’t a planned meeting. The deeper she searches the greater her conviction, something is desperately wrong.

Fortunately for her; Chase believes her and is doing everything he can to help figure out what happened. The problem is; they have very little to go on.

It’s a good thing they are looking, because Sarah needs them more than they could ever imagine.


How is your book search going?  Have you discovered a good source for books? What is your favorite? My favorite is still BookBub.

Happy searching, and happy reading this week!

 

Everard – Not-So-Fairy Tales

 

EverardEverard – Not-So-Fairy Tales – Chautona Havig

The awesome narrator (I’ll tell you why she’s so awesome, later) is telling us the Terrible War is finally over and the surviving soldiers are allowed go home.

Brave and courageous, Everard of Havilund is one of the first allowed to leave the battlefield. He knows he is ahead of the others, and they will likely be at least a half day behind him. He also knows the people in the villages will be unaware of their victory and he is excited to share the news with them. This is uncharacteristic for him because,  despite his bravery, he finds it difficult to hold simple conversations and will go out of his way to avoid them.

He’s been travelling four days without seeing another person so when he comes upon a farm house with someone in the yard, he’s fairly bursting to share the news.

Roana has a brother in the war and is desperate to know what’s happening, She is as excited to hear the good news as he is to give it. So excited, in fact, that she flies into his arms, and in the emotion of the moment he does something he has never, ever done before. Something that leaves him totally stunned.

He kisses her.

Of course, she has flown back into the house to share the good news with her dad, completely unaware of Everard’s state of mind.

In the weeks following his arrival back home he comes to a decision. After wrestling with his guilt over what he considers his compromising of her good reputation – he feels honour bound to marry her.

Normally, in this situation, because of his status as a prince, he could simply ask for her hand and it would be given to him. His sense of fairness won’t allow him to do that. He has decided that he must ask for her hand and she must be freely willing to give it.

This is where it gets a little sticky. You would think a father would be thrilled to have a prince asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Not this father. For reasons we have yet to understand, he decides the prince must fulfil a challenge first, to earn the right to ask for the hand of his daughter. It wasn’t just any old challenge either, he had to slay a dragon, and he had to do it alone.

Everard  negotiates to have one person accompany him so that when he is killed there will be a witness to take word home to his family. You can see he is not expecting this situation to go well for him and yet he is willing to try anyway.

This challenge does not go the way you might expect, her father keeps changing the rules.

I liked this story because, while it is the retelling of a fairy tale, it is a loose retelling. It’s more like a mash-up of several fairy tales. This makes it impossible to predict where it is going next. It seems like it should end in a wedding but there are times when it looks a little doubtful.

That brings me to the Narrator. She is hilarious, in my opinion anyway. She thinks it is her duty to stop and explain certain things, and she has definite opinions on the type of things the reader needs to know. She also wants to avoid misunderstandings, and is apt to stop suddenly, to clarify some detail she thinks may confuse someone. I like the way she thinks.

She also has opinions on some of the decisions Everard makes; but he’s not listening to her. He is bound and determined to stick to the course he has set out for himself.

Everard’s strong sense of responsibility for the wrong he thinks he has committed makes his task that much harder to complete. And, when it gets right down to it, things are not always what they seem either.

He is so likeable you can’t help but cheer him on.

This was a fun read. If you like fairy tales I’m sure you will like this one too.

There are more books to talk about…. soon.

Happy reading!

Rogue Wave

Last post ended with this comment:  Speaking of addictions: that reminds me….. of a idea which I will save to talk about in the next post……… This subject that has been on my mind, often, since that post, and as it won’t seem to go away, I’ll share what I was thinking that day….

I heard an interesting commentary on addictions the other day. It was in regard  to things that – in and of themselves – are not bad for you. Things like work, sports, reading….  activities that, if taken too far, can cause us to neglect obligations, and the significant people in our lives.

The speaker was describing a way to enjoy an activity while encouraging it to shrink back to healthy levels.  The gist of her thought was this – We need to expand our happiness base.  Adding to the number of  activities we enjoy will do this, and the hold any one activity has on us will be lessened.

This commentary belongs to award winning lyricist, Gloria Gaither, and she was giving it in response to a question from Mark Lowry on Monday’s With Mark,   (Mark Lowry’s live video interviews on You Tube.) (Mark is funny, real, and wise beyond his years. Check him out, you might like him). The addict Gloria was speaking about is workaholic Bill Gaither, who agreed – he is an addict. He also agreed that expanding his happiness base has made a big difference in it’s hold on him. Interestingly enough, reading has become one of his new favorite activities. We are cheering you on, Bill!

After hearing this interview, I’ve been taking an honest look at the activities in my own life. It seems I bounce back and forth between four or five different things (sometimes all in one day). Maybe that’s a good sign my happiness base has broadened…. at least a little. There is this compulsion though, in the back of my mind, always looking for openings to snatch a few diversionary moments,  doesn’t matter how big or small they are. I think my happiness base expansion still needs some work.

Addictions and stress levels are never as simple as all that but even now, several weeks later, I can still see the value in the point Gloria was making. I have been making an effort to vary the way I spend time and it has been making a difference. It is getting easier to make myself get up and get going when I need to.


This time the book is …. fantasy.

Deep sea adventure, intrigue, death threats, bombings, rogue killer waves, green men ….  really….. a good book for the addictive reader

 

Rogue Wave   Rogue Wave – Christopher Cartwright

A killer wave that can sink massive ships without leaving evidence of what it is, or where it came from.

A mystery solver dragged into a sinister plot for reasons that are unclear. Someone notices and now his life, and that of his crew, is in danger.

His business associates have fallen for the promise of a payout in the millions, but with his  personal wealth and laser focus on new inventions – the lure of money has no effect on him. He votes to reject the lucrative deal, he can see what this takeover is really all about  – a threat to life as we know it.

His rejection of this deal is a threat to life as he knows it.

In the meantime, his father’s shipping business has been taking a hit with mega tankers disappearing and he wants his son to figure out what’s going on.

Are any of these things related?  Are they all related?

He has a talented crew, with sophisticated equipment, ready to take on the challenge. He’s not confident they will live through the experience so he makes plans.

He decides their best hope is to disappear while they investigate discretely. That’s when the fun begins.


I love a good book, don’t you? 🙂

Happy reading, everyone

 

 

Exposed

Hours of enjoyment, that’s what was waiting for me in this boxed set. A Romantic Suspense collection.

Off the top, I have to say – I appreciated the clean-ness of these books. I find that when it’s less than clean (for me anyway) it’s like going to a party with a spot on the front of your favorite outfit …..  it takes the shine off the whole experience. I love an awesome,  distraction free, tale of mystery and intrigue.

These books were well written, with interesting characters, and a fresh slant on the idea behind the stories. I’m a fan of all three attributes but fresh slant is my favorite.

It seemed like before I knew it, I was finishing the last book. I’m a chain smoker when it comes to books. Finish one and light up another. I think I’ve mentioned I’m an addict.

I’m always sad when a story comes to an end. For a few seconds anyway.


Speaking of addictions: that reminds me……. of a idea I’d better save for the next post.


 

So….. back to books

Exposed

Exposed

A Boxed Set Book Bundle Collection of Romantic Suspense with seven great books

Hallowed Ground – Mary Alford …… Erin is devastated when Blake, her CIA partner, is killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan and she’s grateful to have the support of Blake’s best friend and fellow agent, Jax.  The team is sent to Afghanistan on a mission to find  Blake’s killers but it’s a set up. This realization set in when their unit was attacked and  none but two survived.  The details of their deployment could only have come from their superiors. With no idea who to trust, they carefully start digging and uncover more lies. Did Blake discover something he shouldn’t? Or was he part of something worth killing for? Working with Jax to find the truth has Erin realizing for the first time, Jax is a good man.

Fire – Lynette Bonner …. Kyra is a teacher by trade but helps out with manicure’s on the side. It’s a shock, on the first day of school, to see a new student in her class, looking much like a younger version of the good looking guy in her shop on Friday, the one who asked her out. Case Lexington is just as shocked to see Kyra and is living with fear she will blow his cover. He’s posing as a student, to help umcover the source of the drug supply killing local teenagers. Kyra wants to do her part in this search, motivated by the drug related death of her brother. Case is attempting to discourage her, afraid for her safety. A mere student has no credibility so, as a last resort,  he chooses to keep an eye on her by working with her. Not an easy thing to do. It’s been a very long time since he met a woman who could catch his interest, and she thinks he’s a student. The next shock is the source of the fatal drugs.

Jill Came Tumbling After – Lesley Ann McDaniel …. Jill Martin, a single mother of two, is looking for a job, after finding the courage sever ties with her alcoholic husband. Jobs are scarce but there is a new factory in town and, in spite of her obvious lack of skills, they hire her, effective immediately. Working to get the offices up and running she begins to see things that don’t seem quite right.  She is smarter than expected and  manages to figure out they are planning something that will be a hazard to the whole town, She’s torn between the need to tell and the need to keep her job. If they notice her discovery …. will she even live to tell?

Deadly Exposure – Lisa Phillips …. Bradley Harris comes home from deployment to discover his sister, a US Senator, has been abducted and the FBI suspect Alexis, her best friend and former aide. The whole town holds Alexis in contempt, but, knowing her as well as he does, Bradley has doubts about the accusations against her. Once he uncovers the truth behind her fall from grace, he wonders if any of them will survive the fallout.  Getting his sister back and saving Alexis too – seems like an impossible challenge.

Dead on Arrival – Angela Ruth Strong …. Peruvian Princess, Maritza Rosado and her father land in Washington DC and instead of the usual presidential welcome, they are  greeted with a gun battle that kills her father and his body guard and has Maritza running for her life. Hiding out in a soup kitchen is not going well, she’s been recognized by Levi Parker, fresh home from a mission trip to Peru where he learned of her.  Terrified to trust him, she does anyway, and venturing they discover someone has taken over her country. Not only that, they killed her father and want her dead. Devastation is finding out the betrayal is at the hands of someone they both trusted.

Termination Dust – Alana Terry …. Kimmie is afraid to move away from her abusive step father after the death of her mother. She is old enough to leave and make a new life for herself but she is afraid she would be forced leave her little brother behind, and he  would pay the price, in escalated abuse, for her actions. The family has lived in isolation and secrecy for so long, she can think of no one she can turn to for help.The local State Trooper suspects the truth of the situation and is trying to offer acceptable support,  encouraging Kimmie to leave before the abuse escalates. It happens, before her plans are in place, – she is forced to grab her little brother and run for her life.

For Love or Money – Virginia Vaughan …. Amy Sullivan left everything  behind with the lure of a family connection. When an aunt she didn’t know existed, contacted her  requesting a visit, it seemed like a dream come true. While finding a family connection is important to Amy, it’s not easy learning to love a stranger. Inadvertently she discovers there  is more to the situation than she has been led to believe. Her aunt has been hiding the fact she has terminal cancer. Amy was there for her mother and is determined she won’t be shut out now. Despite the growing closeness in those final days, it’s a shock for her to learn she has been left with a sizable inheritance. It’s an even greater shock to   discover someone wants it enough to kill her to get it.


‘Til next time – Happy Reading!

Here’s hoping you are also experiencing many hours of good reading. I don’t want to be the only one finding exquisite treasures, not when there are so many to be found.

 

Raising Attabury

It’s always an experience to read one of Staci Stallings books. Her characters face some of the many aspects of life in a way that feels real.  Sometimes they make good decisions, and sometimes, they don’t. Their journey has ups and downs that most of us  can relate to.

Staci always knows the ending when she starts and works steadily toward that destination. This leaves the reader with a very connected feeling. Everything has a reason, and the story is always going somewhere, somewhere worthwhile.

It was a while after download and I had forgotten what the book was about, From the title I thought it was about raising a child and that wasn’t appealing to me in that moment. It was passed over a few more times before I took a closer look, and discovered the story had nothing whatever to do with raising kids.

Raising Attabury

Raising Attabury is about the compulsion to restore a beautiful old home, even though it has fallen into such disrepair that it seems like a very bad idea.

It’s the story of a relationship that started out to be a match made in heaven but now… heaven feels like it’s a long way away.

It’s about rumors of ghosts, buried treasure, and bitter old ladies that scare the children.

It’s about beautiful endings and hard won battles.

 

 

Flowers in The Snow, and more

This is going to be another, very basic, catch up list.

Distracted by a great number of compelling reads, there was not much writing going on this summer, and the lineup of finished books is growing longer.

The books on this list were well worth reading and I wish there was time to enlarge on them all, as enticement.

There is no time though, there are more almost ready to be added. What can I say, I’m addicted.

One book I would recommend is Flowers in The Snow. It follows, in a way, after The Book of Negroes.

I mentioned The Book of Negroes several posts ago and noticed very little traffic on it. I wasn’t sure whether readers were distressed to see something, seemingly, politically incorrect, or if there were other reasons.

Several weeks ago, at our writers group, it was my turn to present a reading for critique. I revised the post a little, for clarification, and mentioned that the Book of Negroes was  the record book of black loyalists taking advantage of an opportunity for relocation. Relocation sponsored and paid for by the British Commonwealth. There are two versions of the record book: the British version kept in Kew London, the American version kept in Washington DC.

The response to my reading was positive and several said they felt inspired to read the book as well.

One of the books in this new list has a character, a literature professor, teaching her students to notice how much can be learned by reading books thoughtfully.

That’s why I don’t shy away from tough subjects. There is much to be learned from them.

Learning is always a good thing.

Some of the books in this list are more thought provoking than others but there is still something to be gained from all of them.

I’m hoping you will feel inspired.


Flowers in the Snow The Edenville Series – Flowers in the Snow book 1 – Danielle Stewart

 

Finding Faith  Love’s Compass – Finding Faith book 4 – Melanie D. Snitker

The Face of the Earth  The Face of the Earth – Deborah Raney

 

Nearly  Nearly – Deborah Raney

 

Glamorous Illusions  Grand Tour Series – Glamorous Illusions –  Lisa T. Bergren

Where the Hurt is  Where The Hurt Is – Chris Kelsey

Tides of Deception  Lantern Beach Series – Tides of Deception book 1 – Christy Barritt

If You Believed in love   If You Believed in Love – Staci Stallings

Sorrowful Road  Detective Allan Stanton – Sorrowful Road book 3 – Alex MacLean

IntroductionsIntroductions to four spunky female sleuths – Christy Barritt

Squeaky Clean Mysteries – Hazardous Duty book 1

A Holly Anna Paladin Mystery – Random Acts of Murder book 1

The Sierra Files – Pounced book 1 (spin off of Squeaky Clean series)

The Worst Detective Ever – Ready to Fumble book 1

New Year's Revolution   New Year’s Revolutions – Chautona Havig

The Nostradamus Equation Sam Reilly –  The Nostradamus Equation book 6 – Christopher Cartwright

In Honor Bound   The Chastelayne Trilogy – In Honor Bound book 1 – DeAnna Julie Dodson

Happy, and inspired, Reading!

My trip to Nashville

This summer my son was home from overseas and needed to make a trip to Indianapolis USA to meet up with some of his colleagues. I was excited when he suggested I travel with him. How could I pass up the rare chance of a travel companion.

We would be there a little over a week. I would be on my own while he was tied up with scheduled activities and I was good with that. Getting to travel to and from with him gave me the push I needed to venture out into new territory. I hadn’t been across the border to the US since before passports were a requirement for Canadian citizens, several decades at least, and I’d never travelled in eastern US. I wanted to, mostly because of curiosity aroused by blogs and vlogs of artists I follow. There were places to see and things to experience.

First I had to apply for a passport. I’d been dragging my feet on that subject for more than a decade (but that’s a story for another time). I am now the proud owner a brand new passport, and I don’t hate my picture – that made my day.

One of the places I hoped to visit while I was at loose ends was Nashville. There were several other places too, in other directions, and I needed to end up in Chicago to meet up with my son. Looking at Google maps it all looked doable.

It was but…. I decided to ignore the interstate highways. They are fast paced, a direct route bypassing towns and other interesting landmarks. I wanted to learn more about this  part of the country so I chose minor highways that kind of meander from one town to another.

I was happy with that choice. It was interesting to see the lay of the land, mostly farming, different styles of architecture, and the way things changed from region to region. Some small towns had a down home, country, kind of feel, while some seemed to promote the  past. Others were more formal with lots of well cared for, fancy brick houses. Some had the charming antebellum houses we read about in stories of the old south. Of course this route took much longer than the time Google maps quoted.

I think my favorite part about Nashville, when I finally got there, was driving through city center at rush hour. Creeping along at a snails pace was giving me plenty of time to appreciate the view, there was something about the city scape that I loved.

I stayed in the area that night and the next morning, while trying to find my way back north again, I happened upon a beautiful park in the downtown part of Nashville. It all left me wanting to go back again, for more than a passing look.

Then, when I got back home and discovered I had just missed some of my favorite artists at the Grand Ole Opry…..


OK, book time

Romeo's Rules  A Mike Romeo Thriller – Romeo’s Rules book 1 – James Scott Bell …… Mike witnesses a bombing and all he wants to do is be helpful to the distraught mother of two children who have gone missing.

He has his reasons for trying to fly under the radar, not wanting to draw the attention of law enforcement or drug lords, so he is trying to be discreet about helping. Not an easy thing to do while being questioned as a witness

It turns out it’s a good thing he is knows how to fight to keep  himself alive because he’s not doing a very god job of avoiding notice. Who knew a simple kindness could become so complicated, and life threatening.

 

Sanctuary Murrells Inlet Miracles – Sanctuary book 1 – Laurie Larson ……Nora Ramsey has worked long and hard to get to where she is, a partner in a successful law firm with hopes of becoming a senior partner one day. So, when an legal document arrives advising her she has inherited beach front property from an aunt she loved but hasn’t seen in years, her first thought is to sell.

Life throws curves at us sometimes, and the arrest of her boss, and mentor, on fraud charges was a major curve that shook her world. Maybe checking out her inheritance and making an informed decision would be a better use of forced time off for the investigation.

Revived memories of a happy time with beach and horses has her rethinking her chosen lifestyle. Could she, should she, take a chance on coming back? A renewed relationship with her sister is a strong motivator, not to mention the handsome vet looking out for the animals on her property. She has almost decided yes when she finds out the vet has a secret she wishes she had known before her heart became involved.

 

Ruthless   The Blackwell Files – Ruthless book 2 – Steven F. Freeman …. Chelsea suspects her family has ordered the killing of her uncle who wanted out of the family business. Chelsea, who has never been part of the business, wants to know the truth and has the means to do it. Alton, her colleague in the cyber security world, has the talent and the skills, if she can convince him to help her.

Mallory, Alton’s FBI girlfriend, agrees to help a little in checking this out but as the bodies keep piling up and a simple mob hit turns into something more, it becomes a full fledged FBI case and it’s more than a challenge for them to keep Chelsea safe.

They still think the killings are the work of the family but some things are not adding up right. So, if not the family, then who?

 

the Chase   Jill Lewis Mysteries – The Chase book 1 – Susan Wales and Robin Shope …… Jill’s expose is about to hit the newsstands and she makes her grand entrance to the office primed for a congratulatory celebration. It’s a shock to open the boardroom doors to find the dour faces of big wigs and lawyers. The politician being exposed has somehow managed to turn the tables and she is the one being accused.

She knows she has the facts straight and he is guilty but without a job she can’t prove it, and her promising career is destroyed, Her marriage prospect has gone up in smoke; under the circumstances she is a liability to his political aspirations.

For some reason the editor of her small hometown newspaper keeps trying to get her to come home and work for him. It’s not an appealing idea but what else can she do, no one else will hire her.

Writing obituaries and covering dog shows is not enough to make her want to get up in the morning but the interest of her boss encourages her to keep gong, and investigating. The goal – to find enough truth to convict and clear her name. Truth someone doesn’t want her to find.

How has your summer been going? Found any good books? I’m hoping you have!

 

 

 

A Penny For Her Heart

It has been a great summer. Lots of travelling, lots of reading, not much writing. I will probably share some of my adventures soon but let’s try to catch up  a bit and get straight to some books.

Hopefully, the summer has been good to all of you as well.

An update on a recent post about the YA books I found for my grandsons summer reading. They were a hit, both with the kids and the adults. Yes!!!

 

A penny for her heart  Detective Rachel Storme series – A Penny For Her Heart book 3 – Alretha Thomas ….. Vanessa and Penny share a dream – to become Chief of Staff to the White House – a dream that drew them together as best friends after a chance meeting in college.

The last few years of working in the Mayor’s office has them on the right track to reach their goal. Life looks good. When a promotion comes up and goes to Penny, Vanessa is feeling slighted. She has seniority and the job should have been hers. Those thoughts quickly become irrelevant when she arrives at work to discover Penny brutally murdered and posed in the ladies washroom, the floor covered in thousands of pennies.

The thing I liked most about this book; there were lots of possible suspects and many red herrings to keep us guessing. Detective Rachel Storme had her work cut out for her, trying to prove who really did it. This is my favorite book this month. it was an interesting read and the ending was a surprise.

 

None so Blind Sight Unseen Series – None so Blind book 1 – Chautona Havig …. Dani freaks when her eyes open to a room she doesn’t recognize, a stranger is beside her in bed, and the face in the mirror doesn’t look like her. David tries to console her but in the end has no idea how to reach his hysterical wife and calls 911.

Unable to find a cause and having run out of treatment options, Dani is released to go home from the hospital. This leaves her feeling trapped, but what other choice is there, she has nowhere else to go and no means to support herself.

They tell her she is a wife and a mother of three but remembers none of it. When she sees the neglected house they live in she is horrified to discover she is a lazy and disinterested wife and mother. In an effort to feel comfortable in strange surroundings, she slowly sets about making changes, changes that emphasis the fact that the new Dani is nothing like the old Dani. A stretching time of adjustment, for everyone. Will they survive this?

 

Wired Rogue A Paradise Crime Novel – Wired Rogue book 2 – Toby Neal  ….. Sophie Ang has spent most of her time with the FBI in her computer lab, chasing criminals from a secure location. It was a welcome change to be sent on a field assignment. An assignment that did not progress the way they hoped. Words were exchanged, threats were made and Sophie tendered her resignation effective immediately.

The fallout from this parting of the ways was the possible loss of her brainchild – tracking software, able to search multiple databases. Also lost would be the reason to search for The Ghost, an illusive vigilante she’d been tracking and communicating with for months.

A valuable asset does not go long without being snapped up and a private sector company lost no time in knocking on her door with a job offer. An offer to breach a cult compound to rescue the children they were after on her failed FBI assignment.

The agent she is paired with is a bit of a loose canon so it’s a good thing she has been trained to take care of herself.

 

The Treasure Harbour Series – seven novellas centered around the quest for gold. Legendary pirate Drake Burton is said to have buried a treasure of jewels from his wife’s  dowry, to spite her murdering father. Camilla took a bullet meant for him when her father tried to stop the marriage.

Two hundred years later the family feud is alive and well, and treasure hunters are still flocking to the resort town in search of the prize.


If you see something here that piques your interest, or sparks a desire to search through available books for something more suited to your liking…. I will consider this a win.

Happy reading.

Here’s to finding good books!