Read and enjoyed … mid February edition

Six books and I loved them all.

The first two were a nice surprise, the author was new to me and it was awesome experience. I’m looking forward to more from her somewhere in the future. I have to tell you, this was not a fluff romance, to say there were tense moments would be a grievous understatement.

P.S. Goodbye (Prequel Novella) (Restoring Heritage)

What if a woman who’s all about the goals and plans falls in love with man who no longer believes his life has a purpose? A novice life coach needs to cement her reputation with one great success story. When a wounded former Special Forces operator walks back into her life looking for a job, she decides to work with him—a win-win for them both.

​If Caroline Williams had her way, she’d help everyone in town find their purpose in life—unfortunately, no one seems to want her help. But she refuses to give up, and her new status as a certified life coach should provide her with some badly needed credibility. All she needs is her first client. When Grant Quinn walks in looking for a job, Caroline knows he needs more than that—he needs a new plan for his life. But when Grant refuses to be honest about his dreams and his struggles, Caroline’s business might come crashing down before it starts.

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You Belong with Me (Restoring Heritage Book #1) 

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents. Unfortunately, selling houses in the town where her family name is practically poison isn’t one of them. When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map–and hopefully finally repay the financial debt Hannah’s mother caused the town. But at first no one supports her efforts–not even her best friend, Luke.

Luke Johnson may have grown up in Heritage, but as a foster kid he never truly felt as if he belonged. Now he has a chance to score a job as assistant fire chief and earn his place in the town. But when the interview process and Hannah’s restoration project start unearthing things from his past, Luke must decide if belonging is worth the pain of being honest about who he is–and who he was.

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The next three authors were all known to me and I loved these books. There was nothing simple about any of these stories, I think that was what I liked best about them.

The Lonesome Librarian: A Heartwarming Journey of Faith, Hope & Love (First Street Church Romances Book 5)

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Small-town librarian Sally Scott’s life is made up of a series of tremendous heartbreaks.

Her parents died when she was young, the love of her life just married somebody else, and looking after her agoraphobic aunt means she can’t leave town despite having no true friends to confide in.

Only her beloved books provide any true escape, until a town outsider returns and causes her to question everything she once thought she knew about herself.

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There was one thing spoiling this next experience for me. The abundance of detailed technical information. It was probably a detraction only because I’d read a similar book in the not too distant past and once was enough. The story was worth it though.

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue Book #1)

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure–and his injuries–has followed him there from Afghanistan.

He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones’s elite rescue team, but he also can’t shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun’s yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her.

As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost.

When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she’ll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes–the man she nearly killed.

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The Island House (Brides & Beaches Romance Book 1)

Thirty-seven, recently divorced, and childless. That’s Charlotte when she disembarks from the plane in Getaway Bay. She wants to get away, that’s for sure. She thought the best way to do that was to buy a run-down house overlooking the bay, knowing she’ll need all her fixer-upper skills to get it in shape. Which is just fine. She’s hoping as she overhauls the house, she’ll get a life makeover too.

She was not expecting a tall, handsome man to be under the kitchen sink when she arrives at the supposedly abandoned house. She wasn’t expecting to get drenched when the non-plumber twists something the wrong way. And she certainly wasn’t expecting her heart to be well enough to feel anything for anyone.

But former Air Force pilot, Dawson Dane, has a charming devil-may-care personality, and Charlotte could use some carefree laughter in her life. But everything with Dawson isn’t sunshine and unicorns. He’s estranged from his family, though he does speak to one of his brothers. And he’s never committed to anything except his career, even choosing flying over an engagement years ago.

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Aloha Hideaway Inn: A Sweet Beach Read (Getaway Bay Resort Romance Book 1) 

She’s got big plans for her tropical bed and breakfast, but the new high-rise resort in the bay is throwing a wrench into everything. So Stacey Stapleton does what any savvy businesswoman would do—she goes to spy on the resort stealing her business and ruining the beautiful Getaway Bay skyline.

Her undercover operation doesn’t do more than show her how flawless the Sweet Breeze Resort is—and that the owner is as handsome as he is smart.

Though annoyed by the new resort, Stacey focuses on Aloha Hideaway Inn, more determined than ever to give tourists the vacation of their lives. But when a tropical storm hits the bay, she and her guests have to take refuge in the high-rise hotel she hates.

Not only that, but the more time she spends with Fisher DuPont, the owner of Sweet Breeze, the more she has to admit that he’s not a monster.

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These were all fun reads and some of them are even still at bargain prices. You should give them a try if they look interesting.

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I’m between reads again and think I will go for a change of pace with a cowboy story.

Rafferty: Cowboy Trail Boss: Christian Historical Western Romance (The Kavanagh Brothers Book 9)

It’s chaos at the Kavanagh Ranch between cattle rustlers and his brother’s wives having babies Rafferty becomes the Trail Boss. He’s taking on the Chisholm Trail from Fort Worth, Texas to Abilene, Kansas. The trail is fraught with hardship and danger.

Just when Rafferty thinks he has everything under control he finds Mae along the trail and nothing in life has prepared him for her stubborn, feistiness. 

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Happy Reading!

What to say…

I’m at a loss for words. After missing several days in my daily blog I need to find something to say. I’m feeling emotionally wrung out, maybe that’s why my mind is empty. I’ll just have to start and see what happens. It will surprise me as much as it will you, guaranteed. It’s funny how one thing leads to another and rabbit holes appear out of nowhere…

Today was the day for our monthly writers group Zoom call. Since I’m part of the executive there is always a feeling of self inflicted pressure to be a good participant not just a passive observer. As an introvert, fly-on-the-wall is where I would rather be. I was trying to be rested and relaxed ready for the camera but it wasn’t working out all that well for me. I started out stressed, like it or not.

Going into the week, I didn’t have an active part in the meeting. That all changed when the agenda came out and I found I was down for a book review. In the end we had more than enough readers (to share stories that would be critiqued) and there was no time for the my contribution. It didn’t get used but it was good writing practice, working on the review was not a total waste.

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I had been thinking several days ago about my style of writing and the type of critique I would like to have. The thing is, I’m often not sure if what I have to say makes sense. Feedback would be helpful. I think I assume people know certain things already and tend to write in note form with little detail. My first clue I do this is when, days later, I read what I’ve written. Sometimes I have no idea what exactly I was getting at. So, going back to the most recent review I’d posted I found myself with a chance to work on making sense.

The review definitely needed to be reworked and expanded. It was a good exercise in figuring out how much extra detail needed to be included. I’ll try to do better the next time I write something like a review or thoughts (like now maybe.)

So, getting back to today’s Zoom meeting. It did the heart good to see everyone again even though we couldn’t be in the same room together. Five members read their stories, each one personal and unique.

They were all good but the one I appreciated most tore us all apart. It was a very raw and real sharing of a lengthy journey with parkinsons. What she has been through, and will continue to go through, is heartbreaking. Yet she has such a positive outlook on life. We could see it cost her dearly to be honest with us. We felt honored to be trusted enough for the privilege of hearing her story.

Today was a day we will not soon forget.

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I’m going to pick up a fast food hamburger and then the mail (it’s been several weeks and I need to get out.) When I come back I’ll see if this still makes sense to me.

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Well, I’ve made changes. I’m not sure it’s enough but time’s getting away on me. At least I’ve finished supper, washed the pile of dishes waiting for me and played a few games on the computer while I was thinking.

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Tomorrow is story prompt day. The word is Resolution. Guess I’m not done thinking for the night quite yet.

Connection – what is it?

Two things are on my mind today.

It’s story prompt day and the word is Time. My last post talked about a New Years resolution which basically acknowledged it was Time for change. The definition for connection (in relation to my friendship resolution) has been on my mind recently so I’m going to combine the two thoughts. To quote a blogger friend ” it’s my blog and I can do what I like” so I guess he won’t complain about my unusual treatment of his prompt.

The whole concept of connection has been percolating in my mind and heart for decades. Through the years many marriage related books found their way into our home but the first solid memory of a discussion centered on connection was a radio program called Love, Sex, and Relationships, with pastors John and Helen Burns. They had many good, practical things to say but one phrase standing out above all the rest was into-me-see. Connection requires intimacy and intimacy in practical terms is defined as into-me-see. Eyes without shutters are crucial.

Our first thought of intimacy is physical in relation to a significant other. In reality it is not physical and applies to every type of relationship. If we’ve built walls of protection, generally speaking, they will apply to all of our relationships to one degree or another.

By John and Helen Burns (and many other’s) definition into-me-see only happens through the eyes, the windows of our souls, the keeper of our secrets. Without the eyes there is no connection. I do know this. I wish I didn’t. (with a good relationship I would also have known this and been glad I did.) Physical intimacy becomes intimate on a whole new level when the eyes meet and hold.

The good news is that varying degrees of connection can be found in varying types of relationships. This is encouraging since we are made for connection. We shrivel without having it on some level and since many of us remain single it’s nice to know friends and acquaintances can fill the void. That will be the challenge.

Friends is where we most often encounter walls still firmly in place. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in my quest to leave my hermitage behind. Connection is difficult to find. Friendships on a superficial level are easy. I have a number of friends who are willing and even eager to hear the details of my broken life but, it’s a one way street with little-to-no reciprocation. There is a lack of satisfaction in these friendships and I’ve been mediating on why that is. I recognize deep hurts they aren’t willing to share. Is it the not sharing that bothers me most?

No. It seems I’m good with people not telling me their story. It’s the walls that are the problem. Up or down, there is a different vibe. Walls-down there is a softness with approachability, walls-up there is a harshness with keep out signs. It’s harshness I find myself most often responding to.

I can remember how hard it was to let people in. I can also remember what a freeing experience it was and continues to be. I’ve learned that lowering my walls doesn’t mean I have to tell all to everyone. I can use discretion. The important thing is, it may only be one person I tell but I’ve stopped keeping secrets.

I don’t think I’m all that different from anyone else. We all need connection. Many of us have walls we struggle to bring down. It is not easy to find a good friend.

My New Years resolution: it’s time to be proactive with maintaining neglected friendships and make myself available for new ones. It’s time to stop hiding. Covid and it’s restrictions have caused a deeper need for connection. It takes more work under these conditions to find it.

Only time will tell how well I do with my resolution and whether or not I’m successful at finding connection.

Read and enjoyed – end of November 2020

It’s time to share a few more Read & Enjoyed.

The first one is a recent download and may still be a bargain. It wasn’t a long read and I managed it all today (in between podcasts and jig-saw puzzles) and started book 3, the next one I have in this series. Book 1 was an enjoyable read.

Falling for Zeke: A Sweet Romantic Suspense (Stryker Security Force Book 1)

An ex-Army Special Operations member burned once by love. A single-mom stalked by a powerful enemy. Can he risk his heart for her safety?

Zeke has everything he could want.

A multi-billion dollar inheritance allows him to protect others...

… and with the camaraderie of his brothers-in-arms.

He spends his time growing his security firm and keeping his head down. Love is the last thing on his mind, until Samantha and her daughter are in need of his help.

Book three is about another member of the team and I expect it will be good as well.

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Next is another enjoyable but not a quick read this time. Ann Tatlock writes a meat & potatoes kind of story. No fluff here.

Things We Once Held Dear

New Yorker Neil Sadler returns to his hometown of Mason, Ohio, where the small-town was rocked by the suspicious death of Helen Syfert, the mother of Neil’s friend, Mary. As the pair reconnects, Neil learns their once-close relationship hasn’t survived the tragedy of Mary’s loss. In time, though, the couple finds that what pushed them apart years ago now seems to be pulling them together. Still, Neil finds himself struggling to recover from a more recent loss, one he keeps tucked in his heart. While the mystery of Helen’s death remains unsolved, finding closure will require opening old wounds, mending broken relationships, and facing new fears.

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Set in South Africa this was a good read too. Well, it wasn’t just because of the setting. It was intense, filled with life altering situations. Gripping.

Rachel’s Blessing – (Love in South Africa Book 1)

A South African adventure leads to a life-changing love… 

Thirty-one year old Rachel Wright is thrilled to be getting married. Unfortunately, her fiancé does not share her enthusiasm. When he suddenly breaks off their engagement for a life of adventure, British-born Rachel heads to South Africa for an adventure of her own.

Volunteering at a rural orphanage allows Rachel the breathing space she needs to refocus and have time alone with God. This rugged landscape brings fresh perspective and healing. The last thing on Rachel’s mind now, is romance.

And then she meets Eric, a local game ranger and the area’s most eligible bachelor.

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And, last but not least, three more…

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I’ve been snatching a few pages of the new read (I have no self restraint it seems) before finishing this post and I’m can hardly wait to get back to it. Sorry to bail on you but I gotta go.

Hopefully you are having a good time hanging out with a good book too.

Happy Reading.

Later y’all.

Read and enjoyed mid November 2020 edition

It’s that time again. After another slow book day it’s time to share some favorite reads. Well, every read actually but we’ll start with favorites. Hope I can remember which ones they were. Time always seems to make the memories hazy despite my good intentions to remember them all.

This first one I do remember and was happy to see it come up because of the way I enjoyed earlier book in this series of series.

They are about three sisters who, for reasons we haven’t yet learned, were raised in remote high and craggy mountains. Their grandparents taught them the lowlands were evil and dangerous and they believed it all, enough to never venture off the mountain. Left on their own they managed life with well honed survival skills, always looking out for each other.

It was shocking when someone from the lowlands suddenly appeared on their mountain.

I enjoyed all of the previously read books in this series but I think this one was my favorite.

A string of unfortunate events leads to an unexpected marriage and an unplanned extended visit to a number of progressively larger cites.

It was fun to view life as we know it through her uninitiated eyes.

Woman of Sunlight (Brides of Hope Mountain Book #2)

After years of isolation on top of Hope Mountain, Ilsa Nordegren may finally be ready to leave. Raised to fear the world, Ilsa and her sisters never planned on coming down, but when the Warden family arrived in need, they had to help. And it may cost them everything.

Having made his fortune, Mitch Warden returned home and found the family homestead abandoned. In a land grab, a ruthless cattle baron had forced his family to escape up the mountain, and when he follows, the last thing he expects is to fall smitten to a black-haired woman who dresses like Robin Hood.

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This next one is another favorite. The tale of creating new life out of brokenness and accepting second chances. I’ll let the synopsis speak for the story this time. I did give up five stars to it though, something which happens sparingly at my house.

A Long Way to Run

Sometimes the path to love is a long way to run…

Olympic-caliber running hopeful Riley Dalton lost his left leg from the knee down in the noblest of ways: saving a trapped woman whose car was engulfed by fire. Years removed from that life-changing moment, he returns home to Dunberry, Michigan, searching for the pathway to a new life.

Riley’s high school sweetheart, Jennifer Bailey, understands the process of reinvention. Heartbreak and corporate theft sent her scampering from New York straight back to her small-town roots. In Dunberry, she’s established a clothing boutique that allows creativity to flow while she regroups.

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Here are the covers for the rest. I did enjoy some more than others but they were all well worth the read.

These last two were favorites as well.

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I’m currently reading and loving another excellent Christy Barritt book. It’s still a bargain if you are interested.

Lifeline (The Security Experts)

Only a former navy SEAL can help a woman who is convinced her deceased former fiancé is alive—and out for revenge in this exciting suspense, part of The Security Experts series from USA TODAY bestselling author Christy Barritt.

“I did it for you.” The chilling words in the text message have Julianne Grace fearing for her life. She’s sure that her abusive ex-fiancé has killed two people—and that she’s the next target. But will anyone believe that her presumed dead ex is really alive? The only man who can help Julianne is cool, aloof security specialist Bradley Stone. Not only does she need his protection, but he’s also the link to finding answers about her ex-fiancé’s death. And the closer Bradley and Julianne get to the truth—and to each other, the angrier the madman after Julianne becomes. One wrong move and they could both fall prey to the killer’s deadly scheme.

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Well, it’s Saturday, a good day for house work. I think the floor is dry and I can get back to work.

I’m planning to put up my Christmas tree. Two of my three kids have their family trees up already and I’m feeling inspired. The first time in three years. Something must be working right this year.

Hopefully I can tear myself away from my book long enough to get it done.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, I hope this selection of books is working to inspire you too.

Happy Reading y’all.

Free and bargain books November 18, 2020

There are a few interesting book suggestions again today.

BookRunes has a FREE selection. I can recall reading this a year ago.

Heart of Gold 

Amazon quote:

After the death of her troubled mother, Sienna Hart returns to her small, coastal hometown of Ruby Bay to help her estranged sisters with the estate. She is hopeful that they can mend their broken relationship, and it’s a chance to get away from her selfish, unreliable ex-boyfriend who is pushing to get back together.

Carter Palamo is a kind, handsome, yet bitter man. Burned by his last girlfriend’s cruel rejection of his proposal, he is hesitant to get involved with another woman. He runs his family’s hardware store in Ruby Bay and helps his grandmother with her Christmas tree farm, but makes no effort to bring his dreams of marriage and children to fruition.

When a new artist does a terrible job of decorating the hardware store’s windows for the holidays, Carter hires Sienna to do the work. Neither is open to love, but their fiery attraction to one another keeps bringing them back together. Yet their defenses are just as strong – both coming from tragic pasts and relationships with partners who refused to commit. Will they be able to take a risk on each other and stop the past from defining their future?

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1531 Entertainment has a bargain Historical Western suggestion. I see there are a number of others available in this series as well.

Willow Falls (Matt Bannister Western Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Welcome to Willow Falls. The town young Matthew Bannister ran away from fifteen years before. Now famed U.S. Deputy Marshal Matt Bannister is coming home to reconcile with his family. He prayed he wouldn’t see his ex-best friend Tom Smith nor the only girl he ever loved, Tom’s wife, Elizabeth. However, old feuds unsettled never die and spark a powder keg of action when the desperate Moskin Gang kidnap Elizabeth and leave a murderous trail behind them. In anguish, Tom, the Willow Falls sheriff, turns to his despised old-friend to help get the woman they both love back alive, if they can.

Sometimes God’s greatest blessing is unanswered prayer.

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This current enjoyable read is definitely my favorite this week. I love the strong willed, determined, main characters. Neither one wants to be taking orders but he has to take the lead or it could mean death. She is totally out of her element but no way will she let that stand in her way.

Into the Darkness (Daring Escapes Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

Adventure. Betrayal. Murder.
Dead? Kate Collier refuses to believe her brother and last remaining family member died in the Brazilian rainforest. Determined to find the missing biochemist, she launches an expedition to find him.

A.C. Slader’s past is as dark and turbulent as the Amazon. Consumed with his own problems, when Kate tries hiring him to find her no-doubt deceased brother, he turns her down cold. The last thing he needs is to fight his way through an impassable jungle for a woman who wouldn’t know a stick from a snake. Only when he narrowly rescues her from an attack before she’s even left the relative safety of the town does he realize that without his help, she’ll get herself killed.

Together, they begin a perilous journey that will test the limits of their faith and each other…

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Maybe if it’s a slow book day tomorrow it will be a good time to clear out my Read & Enjoyed list once again.

In the meantime…

Happy Reading, once again.

Bargain books November 07, 2020

Today is another day of discovery. In the one-thing-led-to-another file a new-to-me author appeared and I’m excited to read a couple of her books.

All of these are bargain books and the first one to set things in motion was a BookBub suggestion. A collection by an author we’ve seen before.

Sisters by Design, books 1-3

Amazon quote:

Mac
After separating herself from the oppressive cult where she was raised, Mackenzie Soeurs has two dreams: to give her son Riley a better life than she had, and to live in peace, as far from the harsh God of her past as she can get.

Dane Cooper, Garfield’s former bad boy and groom left at the altar, can’t deny his initial attraction to Mackenzie. Neither can he resist the urge from God to mentor her delinquent son. How can he guard his battered heart and still give Riley the same second chance he was given? 

When Jesse, Charley, Randy, and Alex signed up for Mac’s first fitness class, they were looking for someone to whip them into physical shape.

Randy
Her soft side is buried deep… 
After surviving a traumatic childhood, Miranda Franklin grew up tough, fast, and convinced of her inability to ever nurture a child. Eli Page is the only man to earn Randy’s trust. For him, she will face her worst fear—spend a day caring for his granddaughter. When the unthinkable happens, Randy realizes she’s the same as her mother was—a monster. 

How can he choose…? 
Widower Eli Page devoted the last fifteen years of his life to raising his daughter Celeste. Now it’s time for his happiness. His future. But six weeks before his wedding to Randy, Celeste skips town, leaving her one-year-old daughter for Eli to raise. Randy wants no part in raising a child—but how can she expect him to turn away his own granddaughter? 

Charley
A MOTHER’S WORST FEAR 
Charlene Hubbard wanted the dream—a loving husband, a fulfilling career, and a few kids. When it looked like she’d have to settle for two out of three, God dropped a child into her empty arms. For fifteen years Charley kept the secret of that adoption close, fearful that the truth would make her less of a mother in the eyes of the child she loves. 

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Next on the list, two books

COMPLEX: A Sweet Small town Standalone Romance (Eron Outsiders Book 1)

Amazon qote:

The detective’s mother has gone missing. Her family is the prime suspect in her disappearance…

After ten years away, Sofia Wise returns home to mourn the loss of her grandmother, and she’s desperate to reconnect with her family.
When a dark, devastatingly handsome stranger shows up on her family’s doorstep, Sofia takes one look and is tempted to make her visit permanent. The problem is, the town’s detective is suspicious of her entire family, and it might take some convincing to prove that she’s more interested in the man himself than in the complex case at hand.

Trevor Freeman is a hardworking detective for the town of Eron. When his mom disappears, he blames the Wise family and will stop at nothing until they are brought to justice —that is, until Sofia Wise blows into town. The mysterious, beautiful member of the notorious Wise clan complicates everything, distracting him from his investigation and threatening to steal his heart.

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Beyond Repair: A Sweet Small town Standalone Bad Boy Romance (Eron Outsiders Book 3)

Amazon quote:


Hiding from her troubled past, Jules Demski sequesters herself in the mountains of Eron, Colorado, the only place she’s ever felt safe. Her solitude is shattered when an injured man staggers into her family’s barn.
Burned once and still in repair, the last thing she needs is another criminal on her hands. If she can only convince her heart of this, she just might be able to resist the interloper’s charm.


Former gangster Lorenzo Macedo has cleaned up his act, but now he’s running for his life. He stumbles upon a barn just as a bullet pierces his body.
Jules appears standoffish and cold, but the tender way she nurses Lorenzo reveals a soft-hearted, passionate woman aching for her own wounds to be healed. No woman has ever set his blood on fire like Jules, but he has nothing to offer her except a life on the run.
Can Jules and Lorenzo find redemption in the small town, or are their lives Beyond Repair?

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I’m definitely enjoying my current read. It’s fun and still a bargain. I like their quirky humor and snappy comebacks.

Christmas at the End of Main Street (A Nestled Hollow Romance Book 2) 

All either of them wants for Christmas are some jingle bells, to deck the halls, and for everyone to stop finding them dates.

Macie Zimmerman would love to get married and start a family. But after so much searching, she’s sick of having hope that something will work out. All she needs is a good six months of no dating– time she could spend building her business, Paws and Relax, and hanging out with the animals who show her all the love she needs– to be able to face it again. If only she can keep everyone in town from trying to find her a husband.

High school teacher Aaron Hall plans to never get married. He got engaged once, and it turned out as awful as his parents’ marriage had. But that doesn’t stop all his married friends from trying to convince him otherwise. And worst of all, his students are now determined to find him a wife before the end of the school year.

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It’s Saturday, I’m going to get comfortable and read awhile before tackling a few chores.

Enjoy the day.

Happy Reading!

Just say something… anything

That’s the advice of a fellow blogger. Rather than abandoning a regular post for lack of ideas just start talking, who cares what you say.

I have a little trouble with the who-cares part.

Anyway, I decided to start talking and just see where it would go. At the very least, I thought I would tell you a quick story. One where I made a choice and got away with it, until I didn’t. It has to happen to all of us sometime, right?

So I was writing this inspired version of the story, including pictures to illustrate the point. The trouble was, one of the pictures was in a weird format and no matter what I did nothing changed. It was irritating because one picture was big and beautiful and the other was not.

The trouble escalated when I explored, trying to find something in this new editing format that would help me out.

I clicked on the Wrong button.

It was something called enhanced format or some such thing. I did not want to go there but it would not let me leave. There was no close or cancel button that I could see. No matter what I did it wouldn’t go away.

So I did the only thing I could do.

I trashed the whole thing.

I’m starting over with a scaled back version of my story…which is probably better anyway.

The law of averages says you can keep taking a chance but sooner or later something will backfire and get you.

I’ve been doing a bunch of pruning in my yard this fall.

I have a nice sharp pair of clippers. If I twist just the right way with grit and determination, I can muscle through some good sized branches. By good sized I mean about twice as big as one of my fingers.

Anything bigger I’m out of luck. Usually.

Last fall while my teenage grandsons were over I borrowed a long handled pruner from my neighbor and they whistled through the bigger branches. The ones I couldn’t cut with my clippers. They weren’t huge. Maybe an inch and a half thick.

This fall, I still had those long handled clippers. I looked at them, looked at my small trees and thought, why not? I bet I can cut something with them.

Sure enough, it worked and I was thrilled.

It was easy to move on to bigger and bigger branches until it was almost impossible to have the strength to squeeze the handles together enough to get the job done.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. Get creative.

With lots of whole body contortions I discovered I could rest one handle against my left side, grip the other handle with both hands and squeeze with everything I had. It worked. Sometimes I had to finish the last little bit with my small clippers, but it worked.

I was down to the second last tree and it was awkward up against the fence, so close to another tree. Somehow I just couldn’t seem to get the usual angles happening. My left side normally worked better for this chore but not this time. So I decided to give my right side another try.

Bad move.

Something popped. I was Ow, Ow, Ow, THAT hurt. Hmmm. Let’s go back to the left side.

I’ve never cracked a rib before.

It’s been about four weeks and things are starting to feel better. If I behave I can forget it’s even happened.

The trick is to know when to hold and when to fold. I gambled and lost 🙂

So, like my guy in the Sunday story prompt…. I have one more story to tell the grandkids.

Story prompt – Expectation

Sunday Scribblings  initiator of these story prompts is hosted by peckapalooza – the Confusing Middle

Today’s prompt …

Expectation

I was hoping to write some awesome fiction for today’s submission but I think my self-expectations were too high. I don’t seem to have much of an imagination when it comes to stories worth reading.

I suppose, with enough effort it would be possible for me to produce something but honestly … my heart is just not in it. There are so many other things I feel passionate about.

When I look at this whole idea realistically, it makes sense to be thoughtful and wise when deciding where to spend my time. Not that I will never write fiction, just not today.

Sometimes my expectations are too high but sometimes they are not high enough.

So, this was my task for yesterday. The two smaller trees in front were in need of a prune. It doesn’t really look like it so much in this picture because fall is here and most of the leaves have dropped. A few weeks ago, though, they did look overgrown and in need of a haircut.

The day went well and I managed to prune and clean up the main mess before I ran out of daylight. Six very large garbage bags later.

So this is what it looked like post haircut.

I know, you are probably thinking that looks more like a scalping than a haircut.

Last year I did the same thing to a tree in the front yard. I didn’t really know what expect but I figured it would probably take a couple of years at least for it to grow back. Boy was I wrong.

The lovely full tree on the left was scalped last year and look how lush it is now.

My expectations were blown out of the water. I can see what I should have been doing all along.

The bush in front is a lilac and it can’t be treated quite the same way. It will have to wait to have it’s major haircut next spring after it blooms. I can hardly wait.

So…

My project today was to be haircuts for these three trees. I managed to get the middle one done and cleaned up before the rain started. Tomorrow is another day but as long as I get it done before the snow flies it will all be good.

Next year’s challenge will be to win the war with the bunnies. They’ve eaten most of the tender perennials gracing the center part of this flower bed.

My expectation is to find a way to be smarter than they are and win the turf war.