Another read and enjoyed August 27, 2021

This was a good story but not a favorite. Not a very good lead-off for something to do with a favorite author.

I’ve read many of her books and have positive thoughts whenever I see her name come up. But the truth is, not every book written is going to be the author’s best one. It wasn’t all bad though, really.

Vanished in the Night (Wrangler’s Corner Book 6) is the book in question.

The Amazon quote is really short so I’ll use it.

After saving Kaylee Martin from abduction and delivering her baby boy on the side of the road, Dr. Joshua Crawford can’t get them out of his mind.

Unfortunately, neither can Kaylee’s violent stalker. He’ll stop at nothing to get to the new mom and her child. Can Joshua keep them safe so they can become the family he’s dreamed about?

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It was a good story, when I stop and reflect honestly. It was well put together and had new and interesting twists and turns. I mean they weren’t entirely new, it was the variations that were new and fresh.

I enjoyed the characters. They were well developed and not always as they seemed. Which was good for the advancement of the story.

So, I enjoyed the read. Mostly. There was one just one frustrating element. I know it happens in real life. We get lost in our heads, fixated on certain aspects that we worry to death. It works in real life but in a book it’s annoying, reading the same pieces of information over and over. It’s OK to reflect real life, but it pays to look at things from a reader’s perspective, to avoid frustrating them.

Overall, I liked the book and Lynette Eason is not in any danger of removal from my favorite authors list.

Now that I’ve said my piece I can figure out what I’d like to read next.

Happy Reading.

Read and enjoyed August 17, 2021

I loved this story. For a number of reasons.

I’ll admit I was uncertain at first as I tried to read the first chapter. Watching hulking men storm the beautiful house brandishing weapons in a uncivilized manner was disconcerting. Reading on was looking highly unlikely.

Fortunately, as I read on a little further and other characters were introduced, the story began looking more and more appealing.

There were so many interesting aspects added as the story unfolded. The nationality, culture, and customs of the “invading army” lent a flavor to the story different from what we are used to. The complex family, residents of the house, were definitely not the norm. Each family had deep secrets which added stress to the precarious legal situation.

And, just when I thought I had something figured out there was another twist to the story.

In the end my only complaint was the first chapter and the last page. For the same reason. They were both awkward and dissatisfying.

Aside from that though, it was a great read, one I would gladly do all over again.

The hulking warriors were definitely becoming more civilized as trust grew. A point in their favor. Really, they were just being as protective as an angry mama bear. It was beautiful to see… unless their anger was being directed at you.

The Rose of Winslow Street 

Romance and Drama to Capture the Heart in This Emotional Tale

The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for decades. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to him long ago. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.

When important documents go missing from the house, Libby suspects Michael is the culprit. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find more layers of mystery surrounding Michael and his family. Despite their rivalry, Libby finds herself developing feelings for this man with the mysterious past.

As a decision about the house looms in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing to remain loyal to her family or give her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.

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I’m looking forward to my next read which will be the most recent Christy Barritt download. It is still a bargain.

Run Aground (Lantern Beach Mayday Book 1)

A dead captain on a luxury yacht leads to a tumultuous seafaring journey . . .

Med student Kenzie Anderson, tired of letting others chart her future, accepts a job as second steward aboard Almost Paradise. But when she finds the captain dead before the charter even begins, her plans seem to capsize.

Jimmy James Gamble senses something vulnerable and slightly naive about Kenzie when he finds her on the docks. Realizing danger may still be lingering close, he uses his hidden skills to earn a place on the charter. But being there causes him to risk everything—especially as more suspicious incidents occur.

As they set out to sea, Kenzie and Jimmy James both wonder if they’re in over their heads. They must figure out how to stop a killer before anyone onboard is hurt . . . otherwise, both their futures might just run aground.

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Happy Reading…

on this warm smoky day

I loved it… August 10, 2021

Unexpectedly, I loved it. Retelling of fairy tales is popular right now. A number of authors have taken a shot at coming up with their own version of a modern tale and I’ve read quite a few of them in the last year or so. There is a certain sameness after awhile, especially when you’ve read so many of them close together.

This version of a modern Prince and Princess tale was really, really, good. There were some universal elements that would never, or at least rarely, change in this type of story. Europe, small kingdom, travel to America to find ….

I think the difference is in the details. A house is just a house until the finishing touches turn it into so much more. This story became so much more with well thought out character development, complex interactions and relationships, and intricate plot twists and turns. There were many didn’t-see-that-coming moments. Often they were magical. There were many players, and situations, so much going on and yet it all worked. Every one of the elements was needed.

When I stop and think about the huge cast of characters, it’s amazing how seamlessly it all came together. That was quite a feat on the part of the author and her supportive team.

I loved this story. It’s a good job it didn’t start at night for me or there would have been no sleeping.

To Save a King (True Blue Royal Book 2)

After growing up in small-town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone set off to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But her ambition turned into a journey of a “thousand” bad decisions and after twelve years of seeking fame and fortune, Gemma returns home with a limp and a dark secret.

Now she runs a rescue ranch and is raising her friends’ orphaned daughter. She’s keenly aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her. She just wants to stay hidden in the safe world she’s created.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. As heir to the revered House of Blue and married to the love of his life, he believed his future reign would strengthen the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland. Then tragedy changed everything. Can anything save him from his grief?

When he travels to Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he’s drawn into the local life and cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone during the 4th of July festivities.

While the event has a disastrous result, Prince John and Gemma form a quick friendship—one of two wounded souls finding comfort in one other. However, love is absolutely not an option. John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife, and Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

Then Prince John is called home for an emergency. How can he leave the woman who lifted him from his sorrows? But can Gemma join him on a royal stage and risk her secret coming to light?

With a touch of divine help, Prince John and Gemma just might find the kind of love that saves and ultimately write their very own fairy tale.

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I think this one will be my favorite of the month. It will take quite a story to knock it out of first place.

Happy Reading

Read and Enjoyed June 16, 2021

My favorite read so far this week.

I liked everything about this book. The characters, their personalities and interactions. The freshness of the story line, The way it moved along at a steady pace. Details and secrets doled out in layers.

The other thing I liked about it was the handling of the theme/cause which was part of the story structure.

Sometimes, even often times, a particular cause would hijack the story. The reader would be treated to an ongoing education about the subject of the day, painfully aware of the not-so-hidden agenda and the way it dominated.

In this case some educating was involved but it was a seamless part of the story. Creating not even a ripple in the reading experience.

I gave this one of my rare five-stars.

See Me : A sweet, faith-filled fake engagement romance

Fairytale romances can’t happen in real life. Or can they?

It’s love at first sight when reclusive inventor Jesse Buckley meets unemployed music teacher Bronte, moonlighting as a take-out delivery driver. Okay, so splattering guacamole and sour cream over them both wasn’t the best way to impress the woman he hopes to make his wife, but from here on the only way is up, right? Still, maybe offering her a job as his chauffeur and personal assistant wasn’t one of his best ideas.

It means he’ll see her almost every day, sure. It also means, as one of his employees, she’s out-of-bounds. Besides, though he’s had to admit to his failing eyesight, he hasn’t told her yet that one day he’ll become completely blind. And he’s managed to keep the little fact he’s one of the wealthy owners of the business a secret, letting her believe he’s just another staff member.

Desperate to untangle the mess a con man left her life and her finances in, Bronte gratefully said yes to the job Jesse offered her. Spending most of her time with a sweet, kind, handsome guy she could easily fall head-over-heels for wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal. After all, the last man she thought loved her stole everything she had. Her home, her inheritance, her music, her faith, and most of all, her trust in her own judgment. A new love isn’t on her wish list, especially when she can’t shake the feeling Jesse’s hiding something from her.

What neither counted on was Jesse’s ailing grandmother and her determination to see him settled with the right woman. First she beguiles them into a fake engagement neither will admit they want to make real. Then she maneuvers them into accompanying her on a trip to Chapel Cove to visit his former PA, Nai. Could it be, the spring vacation in a small Oregon seaside town will bring love, renewed faith, and God’s sweet healing for them all?

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This is still a bargain if you are interested.

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The newest addition to the family today. She is so cute both grandma’s are jealous of the new dad. We want one too.

We are not wanting enough to actually do it, but it sure is tempting.

We’ll go over there, love on her and then go on home. Just like grandmas do with the rest of grandkids. 🙂

Apparently training is starting already.

a book enjoyed etc.

I’ll start off with a book enjoyed. Sometimes our expectations don’t line up with reality. The result of this often is disappointment but sometimes it’s not. Not was what happened this time. It was an awesome surprise.

Basically, Dupree had a defining moment when he admitted he hated everything about his life. Suicide had a certain appeal, for an instant. In the end he walked away from that thought and then just walked away from his life.

Sometimes life’s greatest mystery is finding yourself
Adam Dupree is at a literal crossroad of life. Dupree’s life has become a living hell and it’s time to make a change. Turn right and end it. Or, turn left, break free, and see where life takes him.

That one decision sends Dupree on an epic journey of rediscovery as he attempts to understand the mystery inside himself. Moving down a literal and figurative highway, his life attains meaning by defending the weak, protecting the poor and standing up for what is right in an unjust world.

As he re-discovers the thrill of being alive, Dupree becomes a hero, victim, and healer. But above all, he becomes a man with a purpose in life.

From deep Southern California, up the Great Central Valley, through Oregon and into Washington. Along the way, Dupree meets a cross-section of America. Some good, some bad, some givers and some takers.

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One aspect of this book did not sit well with me, for some reason that is not easy to define. It had to do with the way he walked away. Not that he shouldn’t have. I can totally see why he did but there was something immature and maybe a little off about the way it played out. That uncomfortable impression showed up a number of times throughout the story.

The things I liked, though, far outweighed the uncomfortable bits. In many ways he was reborn and the people he met along the way and his responses to them brought about the changes.

This time, I was probably more aware of the writing (as opposed to being lost in the story) and I consciously had an appreciation for the scenarios the author dreamed up.

It wasn’t all sweetness and light but despite that a lot of cool things happened..

I think this is a book I will not soon forget.

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On the this-and-that theme.

After a very structured and productive work week, today was a bit of a shock. Productive is not a word I could use for it. Disjointed comes to mind and feels pretty honest. Oh well, I can’t expect to win every day.

At least it wasn’t a total loss. There were some fruitful conversations. I managed to get to the store for weed killer while shopping was still an option. My brother called for a catch-up chat. A good day all in all, just not what I hoped for.

I think I’m done, there will be some exterior painting done in a week or two and tomorrow we will try out the paint test patches to see if the colors work as well as we hoped. It’s 1:00 AM and my mind is mush so I’d better quit.

Maybe tomorrow we will have some books. Hopefully.

I’ll let you know.

Read and enjoyed

In the last post I mentioned my current read and shared about needing to take breaks from it to keep going. Well, somewhere along the line things changed. Maybe it was the story or maybe it was a uninterrupted healthy block of available time. I found myself hooked and couldn’t put it down if I wanted to. In the end I loved this read and gave it five stars. That doesn’t happen very often.

It was charming and at the same time, a deeply emotional journey.

In the beginning we were all just getting to know each other. By the end we were a team, had each others backs, cheering wildly for new victories. How can you not become part of a story like that?

Had to share the excitement now to have a hope of sleeping anytime soon, and since it’s midnight…

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Five strangers get the chance to rewrite their stories… 

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.  

“This captivating story full of heart, soul, and humor kept me turning pages until midnight to finish it. Rachel weaves the perfect amount of tension and opens possibilities to keep the reader pondering long after the story is over.  I loved it!” —Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author

“Rachel Hauck’s flair for inviting prose and well-drawn characters shines in this delightful story about searching for hope and healing within the most unexpected circle of people. Finely tuned themes of love, self-authenticity and discovering the benevolent hand of providence make this one sweet gem of a book.” —Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War .

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I haven’t moved beyond this story far enough to think about what’s next. For now I’ll just say good night.

Or good …. whatever time of day it happens to be when you read this.

See you again soon.

Free book April 11, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion for us today. I have a lot of respect for this author. He has a tender heart filled with wisdom and has a gift for sharing encouragement. I don’t know his full story but he must have one the way he can relate to our pain. He has written many books and has a robust online presence. It adds a new dimension to the impact of his message if you can experience the visual version of his wisdom.

Naked and Not Ashamed: It’s Time to Reveal What God Longs to Heal 

Amazon quote:

Secrets to Healing and Wholeness

Can you present your hurts and failures to  God without shame?

In this classic bestseller, Bishop T.D. Jakes brings encouragement that casts out the fear of vulnerability before God. When you can stand before God, unashamed, you can receive the healing He freely offers.

From the pain of a sick body to the sadness of a dying relationship, from the crushing blow of betrayal to the mental torment of reliving past mistakes—God longs to set you free and release cleansing rivers of mercy, forgiveness, and restoration into every hurting part of your life!

Discover how to:

  • Rest in God’s healing power as you honestly give Him your pain, fear, and hurt.
  • Live your life with confidence because you’ve learned how to break the power of guilt and shame.
  • Boldly access the power of Jesus’ blood and apply it to every area of brokenness you are facing. 

When you open your failures and hurts to God, He will open the floodgates of healing over you!

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T.D. Jakes has written many books, most of them non-fiction but there are a few novels mixed in. I’ve never read any of them but one caught my eye as I breezed past.

Cover Girls by T.D. Jakes

Amazon quote:

This compelling novel follows four women as they learn to balance children, estranged husbands, boyfriends, and problems at work through their faith in God.

Michelle, Tonya, Mrs. Judson, and Miz Ida. African-American, white, rich, poor — they seemingly have nothing in common. Yet every day they face the complex realities of twenty-first-century urban life as they try to balance their needs with their belief in God. Through the course of a year, these women must come to terms with the past, discover their true identities, and recognize the unexpected miracles that reveal God’s all-encompassing love.

These four women entertain us and invite us to join in their lives. As they welcome us, they also introduce us to the men in their lives. The men play supporting roles, adding color and zest to the lives of the Cover Girls.

Bishop Jakes knows the struggles real women encounter and the losses that make it difficult to face the future. He brings compassionate insight and deep wisdom to this novel and proves that he is not only a gifted preacher, but a born storyteller.

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Currently, I’m reading an engaging thriller. My favorite of the week from an author I’ve previously enjoyed at least four times. This experience has not disappointed and I am very happy. This book is still FREE so check it out if you enjoy thrillers and clean novels.

Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book #1) 

Kaely Quinn’s talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she’s demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, the reporter’s ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem’s predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.

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This has definitely been a slow week for great book suggestions that fit my free or bargain criteria.

I use this criteria for several reasons and I can’t figure out which one is more important. It’s a tie, I think.

For one thing, I use it as the only unemotional way I can come up with to narrow down the possibilities. I use clean as a filter too but it still leaves far to many choices. To be honest I can’t keep up with all of the downloads as it is. I need a filter with muscle.

I suppose I could resort to not ordering every book I mention but that creates another problem. I want to offer books that I know are worth the read. I can’t do that if I don’t read them or know the authors from previous reads.

The other reason, for the most part, that I stick to free and bargain is budget. It would be really easy for me to go over board on spending without restrictions of some sort.

The other thing I like about free and bargain is that it gives me a chance to liberally experience unknown authors. This privilege has been a blessing in so many ways. My favorite authors list has grown to be unbelievably long.

I’m hoping by focusing on free and bargain suggestions it will give you a chance to read books you might not otherwise too. It is so much fun to discover new loves.

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Happy reading y’all

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown — Nerdy Book Club

Loved this, you will too – For the Love of Books

When did I first scratch my head about Little Red Riding Hood? Kids are experts at shrugging at the imperfect world. They believe us when we tell them how Wednesday is spelled and then they move on to more important matters. After all, there are bugs to poke. Recently, I have been thinking a lot […]

Reconsidering Red Riding Hood by Eli Brown — Nerdy Book Club

Say something, say anything March 24th

This is one of those days, mind going a million miles an hour, with nothing coherent to say.

My thoughts are in problem solving mode. Scattered and busy, busy, busy. Reading is definitely out of the question when it gets like this.

Since I couldn’t settle down enough to read, it seemed like the next best thing was podcasts. Several of my favorites posted today. New material.

One of them is in news format. A niche market, very focused. Often times it is light and fun and the co-hosts keep it interesting. Most of the news revolves around a world that I am not part of, but I enjoy hearing about it anyway. Except today. It definitely was not light and fun. That’s part of life though. It’s tragic but it’s real.

The first podcast I watched was my favorite. I thought about sharing it with all of you but I’m not ready to cast it out into the world just yet. I need to park on it for a bit. There was just so much to take in and I need time to digest even a fraction of it.

There were so many things I liked about it. The interviewer and interviewee were both interesting, engaged in the subject, with lots to say. In a way, the subject matter wasn’t new but their perspective was fresh and new. The purpose of the podcast was to encourage the listener to think. Most guests on the podcast have a new book out and I’d have to go back and check but if I remember right the title of the book tonight was Think Again.

By that he meant be willing to take out your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, even decisions, and with an open mind take an honest look to see if you still think/believe the same way.

I can remember having a thought similar to this back in my twenties, you know, that time in your life when you think you know a lot of things for sure. By experience I learned to avoid being loudly dogmatic about anything. Backtracking on a strongly held opinion was not an experience I particularly enjoyed.

Anyway, I am still living tonight’s inspiring experience. When it wears off I will listen to it again once or twice and then maybe I’ll share.

Instead, I will share what I was doing part of the time while listening/watching the podcasts.

When it’s finished I always need to savor it for a while. That’s why there is a finished one hiding under my diamond painting projects. One of these days it will go back in the box.

Well, I’m glad I stopped by to visit with you all. This exercise has been a settling experience. Much needed if I hope to sleep tonight.

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Tomorrow, (well technically today since it 1:13 AM) maybe we will get back to books.

Currently I’m reading and enjoying ….

Leaving November (Clayburn Novels Book 2) 

Eight years ago, Vienne Kenney moved away from Clayburn and all its gossip to pursue a law degree in California. But now she has failed the bar exam again. Is she destined to be stuck forever, a failure—just like her father—in this tiny Kansas town?

Nine months ago, Jackson Linder left Clayburn with no explanation to anybody. Now he, too, is back. He isn’t sure he’s ready to face the rumors and well-meaning questions of the town’s busybodies. Yet he’s determined, once more, to make his art gallery a success—despite the secret that haunts him every day..

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Happy Reading!

(Yes, it’s still Christmas at my house. The tree is even still up in the other room. I’m thinking if I leave it another month or two I may as well go ahead and leave it up for next Christmas lol)

Bye!

A favorite episode from a favorite podcaster

I just have to share this podcast episode. I love it, it makes so much sense.

Patrick Lencioni on How to Discover Your Working Genius

There are two reasons:

Carey Nieuwhof has a gift for asking insightful questions and then listening intently with great follow-up questions. It seems every interview ends with him saying this has been so good. And it has been, every time.

Today’s topic is about giftings in relation to work life. This is one of my favorite topics in the world and it has been for decades. Not just for work but life in general. The more I understand about myself and others the better life goes for me. Today focuses on work life and it makes so much sense.

If you want to know more, Patrick Lencioni has a website with testing material available and he is even offering a discounted price on orders resulting from this podcast. I’ll let him give you the details at the end of the podcast.

So here it is: I hope you find it as helpful and I did.

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