This and that December 13, 2022

What are my favorite physical activities you ask? Hmmmm. Well, I like to walk and read since I discovered I could. I don’t do it outside very often because it wouldn’t be safe. Losing myself in a story is risky, for a number of reasons.

I do enjoy losing myself in a book while circling my long, oval, dining room table. It’s easy to find myself on auto pilot, forgetting I’m still walking. That’s what you call good muscle memory keeping me on track without killing myself.

The other thing I like to do in the spring to get back in shape after an inactive winter is dig in my flower beds and clean up the debris of winter. The added bonus to restored muscle tone is the pleasure of a job well done. Everything looks so much better and it gives me joy.

It takes a deliberate effort to pay attention, remembering to move around more often.

I’ve been considering getting a device to count my steps maybe that would be motivate me to do better.

So the reason for this little conversation was the story prompt that’s been appearing lately at the top of each new post. This is my first attempt to take a stab at it. I am out of ideas and could use a little help getting the creative juices. That’s what happens by reading all the time, your mind zones out staring at words floating by.

I’m trying to finish up with my current read. The tension is getting to me and I want to be done. I did go to the beginning of the second last chapter to see if I would be ok with staying there to finish up, skipping over the rest. Nope. Had to go back to where I left off. At least I know they will make it home so I’ve gone back to where I left off.

The tension is because it’s World War Two, they are acquaintances, both Americans living in occupied France where Germany has taken over but they are not yet at war with the Americans.

He is a widow with a four year old daughter, she is a single woman, a ballerina turned bookstore owner having left the ballet to help out a friend.

Over time a friendship develops as Paul and his daughter frequent the bookshop. Inadvertently, they each become a quiet part of the resistance movement. It would mean prison or loss of life if they were ever found out.

To make a long story short, with new discoveries about each other they knew they had to be ready with an escape plan. It wouldn’t be if it was needed, it would just be a matter of when.

Pearl Harbor has been bombed, the US has entered the war and it’s time to flee occupied France to avoid interment camps. A nerve wracking feat made worse by having to split up for safety reasons. Lucie and little Josie will pass in their disguise as French mother and daughter but Paul still sounds like an American. This fact could put them and everyone around them in danger. Not acceptable.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten, at least I know they eventually made it to America, at least the ladies did.

At the moment they are still having to face armed soldiers at the many checkpoints. I will be happy when they finally board a ship bound for America.

Here is the visual for what I’m reading.

Until Leaves Fall in Paris

As the Nazis march toward Paris in 1940, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. Lucie struggles to run Green Leaf Books due to oppressive German laws and harsh conditions, but she finds a way to aid the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.

Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. After they meet in the bookstore, Paul and Lucie are drawn to each other, but she rejects him when she discovers he sells to the Germans. And for Paul to win her trust would mean betraying his mission.

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I’m sure I have been guilty of spoilers, giving too much of the story away but hey, I doubt there are tons and tons of you waiting to read this book. Just a feeling I have, you know.

I’ve looked at the stats, I think we are safe.

Time is flying, must go. Morning comes early.

Not sure I’m awake enough to have avoided major editorial pitfalls.

No new books today but maybe tomorrow.

Happy reading.

Free and bargain books October 16, 2022

There are some good looking books available today after all. The first few pages have me hooked. I noticed we had book 1 of Sky King Ranch Series a week ago but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Too many good books to choose from.

Sunburst (Sky King Ranch Book #2) 

When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others.

And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he’ll need Noemi’s help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding–binding Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, she’s discovered the real reason she was kidnapped, and anyone around her is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her so-called new husband.

She’ll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

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Rocky Mountain Redemption (Rocky Mountain Revival Book 1) 

A Rocky Mountain logging camp may be just the place to find herself.

To escape the devastation caused by the breaking of her wedding engagement, Isabelle Franklin joins her aunt in the Rocky Mountains to feed a camp of lumberjacks cutting on the slopes of Cougar Ridge. If only she could out run the lingering nightmares.

Charles Bailey, camp foreman and Stony Creek’s itinerant pastor, develops a reputation to match his new nickname — Preach. However, an inner battle ensues when the details of his rough history threaten to overcome the beliefs of his young faith.

Amid the hazards of camp life, the unlikely friendship growing between the two surprises Isabelle. She’s drawn to Preach’s brute strength and gentle nature as he leads the ragtag crew toiling for Pollitt’s Lumber. But when the ghosts from her past return to haunt her, the choices she will make change the course of her life forever—and that of the man she’s come to love.

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Beach House Promises (Brighton Beach Retreat Series Book 1)

A single mother who has had many life-changing events.
A man who deeply regrets a decision he made eight years ago and wants to make it right.

A string of poor choices and too many life-changing events lead an unsuspecting pair of strangers into each other’s arms, but is it too good to be true, or will love find a way?

Jade Brighton can’t take much more. Her life has already been upended, leaving her and her daughter in desperate need of recovery time. So they pack their bags and head to the family beach house to recharge and recover.

Daniel Barnhill has spent his life lamenting the one who got away. In a desperate attempt to escape his father, Daniel heads for the small town of Blackstone Cove. Not only is he surprised to find her again, but he also can’t believe she has a child.

Can Jade and Daniel rebuild what they once had or has time and life pushed them too far apart?

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I am definitely looking forward to these new books.

My current read is Spies and Sweethearts

She wants to do her part. He’s just trying to stay out of the stockade. Will two agents deep behind enemy lines find capture… or love?

1942. Emily Strealer is tired of being told what she can’t do. Wanting to prove herself to her older sisters and do her part for the war effort, the high school French teacher joins the OSS and trains to become a covert operative. And when she completes her training, she finds herself parachuting into occupied France with her instructor to send radio signals to the Resistance.

Major Gerard Lucas has always been a rogue. Transferring to the so-called “Office of Dirty Tricks” to escape a court-martial, he poses as a husband to one of his trainees on a dangerous secret mission. But when their cover is blown after only three weeks, he has to flee with the young schoolteacher to avoid Nazi arrest.

Running for their lives, Emily clings to her mentor’s military experience during the harrowing three-hundred-mile trek to neutral Switzerland. And while Gerard can’t bear the thought of his partner falling into German hands, their forged papers might not be enough to get them over the border.

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Free and bargain books July 04, 2022

Happy July 4th to our American friends and relatives.

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us.

Songbird (The War Song Series Book 1)

When the travesties and social changes of World War II confront a small southern town, faith, family, and love sustain the lives of one young woman and her family. Can those left behind endure?

“I’m waiting for my life to begin. Waiting for the train to come in,” Ava Stilwell, a young woman eager for life, sings a popular song with the big band that reflects her heart. In the midst of a world at war, Ava has found love, a passion for her music, and new opportunities, but the war still looms over her, threatening to take it all away.

It’s 1943 and World War II has gripped the nation, including the Stilwell family. Rationing, bomb drills, patriotism, and a changing south barrage their way of life. Neighboring Fort McClellan has brought the world to their doorstep in the form of young soldiers from all over the country and German POWs from half way around the globe. As the travesties and social changes of the war confront this small southern town, faith, family, and love sustain them.

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A bargain book showed up in the course of today’s search. It’s on pre-order and is the next book in a series we were introduced to a few weeks ago. Both books are still at bargain prices.

The new book…

As Silent as the Night (Strike to the Heart Series)

He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.

Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.

Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.

Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love.

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Book 1… I’ve read part of it.

A Strike to the Heart 

Wisconsin, 1933—When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.

Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.

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My current enjoyable read.

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Happy Reading y’all

Bargain Book June 22, 2022

An awesome book from an awesome author is on sale at a bargain price again. Charles Martin brings some of his books back every year or two for a few days. The first time I noticed this book was 2016 and every time after I remember how much I loved it.

Wrapped in Rain: A Novel

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker can’t see is how to let go of his traumatic childhood and forgive his father.

On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their abusive and alcoholic father ever did.

When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tucker can still hear her voice—and her prayers. “Life is a battle, but you can’t fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart.” But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

Wrapped in Rain follows Tucker’s journey from brokenness to healing through the everlasting power of love.

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As a general rule, we have a tendency to underestimate the power of love.

As I read this synopsis, I can see I need to read this book again too.

The new cover is beautiful.

Free and bargain books June 06, 2022

Playing catch up again on great book suggestions.

1531 Entertainment has several suggestions for us.

The River Beautiful by Andrea Carmen

A difficult past. A strange letter. An unsolved mystery.

Someone is following Lena, mapping her every move.

Where strength can be weakness and vulnerability-an asset, the greatest danger that threatens Lena may just be herself.

After the death of her father years ago, Lena ran from the quiet community of Kennerdell, but she’s back, forced to face a past she’d rather forget.

To make things more difficult, awkward, and terrifying, her old friend, Will, is back in her life. Even worse, she needs him there if she hopes to figure out what the letter she found in her father’s study means. They’re on a mission to find answers before her stalker does.

The River Beautiful mingles history and legend in a fast-paced ride through the deceptively peaceful Allegheny Mountains on a quest for answers amid loss, strength in the face of love, a whirlwind of self-discovery, and learning to use faith to illuminate even the darkest places.

I will admit to downloading this book several years ago and not reading it. Probably the darkness of the story was the stumbling block. Maybe I should try again, just in case now is a better time.

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This next one is another downloaded book I’ve not read. I have read and enjoyed other Ted Dekker books though. His books chart as Science Fiction and Metaphysical Fantasy.

Black (Circle Book 1)

Thomas Hunter narrowly survives a shooting attempt only to awaken in an alternate universe of green forests, a world to which he subsequently travels every time he goes to sleep.

This is the short version of a synopsis. The longer one is… long… and wild.

Check it out. He is on a quest to save the world. Both of them.

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Changing the subject totally…

BookRunes has a suggestion I have read and enjoyed.

Red Rose Bouquet: (Grace Revealed Book 2)

Cheryl Thompson learned over a decade ago to guard her shattered heart with a veil of cold indifference. Life since that day has been an endless cycle of detachment and loneliness, followed by superficial relationships. Break up, rinse, and repeat. Until something in her snaps. This life…she can’t do it anymore. She returns to her childhood home in the Colorado Rockies to help her nana.

Brock Kelly lived high as King of the Slopes in the world of snowboard cross racing. Medals. Money. Fame. But after a visit to an orphanage in Mexico, he gave up his adrenaline-packed lifestyle to follow a calling from God he didn’t know he had—helping kids who’d been damaged emotionally.

When Cheryl finally tells Brock what she’s never told anyone else…no wonder she is the way she is. It would take a miracle to heal that wound, and a love bigger than Brock had ever imagined to walk with her through the process.

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I think there could be more but that will have to be a new post.

Happy Reading y’all…

Although, with this lot it may be more tense than happy.

Tense can be good though… right?

Free books April 25, 2022

Two FREE books tonight.

Retribution Road 

Gabe Jones—an underwater investigative diver with an unusual gift—has a way of finding trouble. This time though trouble finds him.

Carol Evans helped Gabe Jones survive his last adventure. Now they are a couple and Carol needs his help. Carol’s son, Paul, has made some decisions recently that have led him straight into a deep dark world of trouble. His disappearance has the whole family questioning what this kid has been up to and who exactly is the dead girl in his truck, which was submerged in a watery tomb. As they try and unravel Paul’s disappearance, the answers they uncover lead them on the chase of a lifetime that crosses state lines and national borders.

Carol and Gabe also find themselves needing help and support from Carol’s dad Tom, a retired Texas Ranger, who has a few problems of his own. A plane flown by family friends and the son of a well-known senator has crashed into Texas waters. When Gabe dives on the wreckage, he discovers a Pandora’s box of evidence that links Tom’s friends to Paul’s disappearance into a world filled with crime and violence. Homes and families are destroyed. Every action brings retribution until it appears no one will be left standing. Only total annihilation—or a miracle—will stop the killing. Someone must make the hard choices. Who will it be?

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The Sanctum

“Pamela King Cable has created an unforgettable heroine in Neeley McPherson, a remarkable young woman of such courage and spunk that she dares to stand against unspeakable abuse and injustice not only for herself but also for her beloved caretaker, Gideon. Fleeing a horrendous life, Neeley discovers the true meaning of family, forgiveness, and love in a wolf sanctuary, which becomes a central metaphor for the difficult journey we all must undertake to find our way home. Thoroughly enjoyable book!” ~ Cassandra King Conroy (Pat’s wife) – Bestselling author of Moonrise, The Same Sweet Girls, and The Sunday Wife

This inspirational tale thrills with a tight plot, lyrical scene descriptions, and complex characters. Pamela Cable leaves readers aching for more.” ~ Julie Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author.

“I would compare The Sanctum to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in the deep south during the Civil Rights Era, this book tackles such issues as racial discrimination and abuse.” ~ Kimberly A. Liston-McCabe

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Happy Reading!

Free books today March 28, 2022

1531 Entertainment has a FREE suggestion for us.

FIRE: Contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense (Spiritual Warfare Series Book 3)

When a violent gang re-organizes, an undercover cop could lose everything…including the woman he loves.

Following a gang war, the undercover cop known as Patriot is forced to flee his hometown and assume a new identity. When the gang re-organizes and threatens a friend, Patriot—now a firefighter—returns to face them.

Chloe Swearingen confines herself to the fast pace of the ER and away from interpersonal relationships—for a reason she keeps to herself. But when she helps save a gangster’s life, she’s thrown into a cauldron of relationships from which she can’t escape.

Then a series of fires target Chloe, her church and her friends, and she and Patriot must risk their lives to bring an end to the forces of darkness arraigned against them.

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LPC Free Books has a FREE suggestion for us. I remember reading and enjoying this book.

Midnight Is My Time

Loner Andy Mayer is on the run from a past he cannot escape and headed into a future he cannot foresee. But along the way he meets Missy, a mysteriously gifted and blind woman, whose senses point him in the right direction.

Andy and Missy need to get to Maine but it seems every force in the universe is against them. Navigating a post-apocalyptic landscape, the two fight their way north where they eventually come face to face with an enemy so powerful it will take their collective efforts to defeat it. And only then will they both realize the true purpose of their journey.

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Two good books. Awesome.

Happy Reading!

Bargain book March 07, 2022 Part Two

This bargain showed up as I was pursuing the books in today’s part one post. It is with an author I’ve not had a chance to read and I’m looking forward to the experience.

The Cryptographer’s Dilemma (Heroines of WWII Book 1

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring
 
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
 
FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?

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My current read pairs well with this new bargain as they are related to the same era. Not in exactly the same way but still. I’m not far enough in to truly say I’ve started this book but I’m motivated to keep going because I’ve only read one story from this author. Not nearly enough to make a decision on likes.

The Witnesses

Young lawyer Parker House is on the rise—until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye—a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.

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It’s always a good idea to grab quickly because we never know how long a bargain price will last. It could go back to full price in a flash.

I’ll have to revise my current read status. I was checking it out a bit more and forgot I was supposed to be working on this post. That’s always a good sign.

Happy Reading… while I go back to my book.

This and that … Saturday March 05, 2022

Click Bait. A skill I have not mastered but really should. It would help draw in unsuspecting new people, or even lure back some I haven’t seen in a while. Click bait has a good reputation for attracting attention. On the other hand, it has a bigger reputation for being a total liar. I have first hand experience so fact checking will not be necessary. All those times I took the bait, listened to the very end only to realize I’d been had. If any attention was given to the person or subject promised, it was but a blink of the eye and I missed it entirely. While I wouldn’t mind grabbing more attention myself, my guilty conscience for lying to make things seem special would be a killer.

So what is taking up thinking space in my head this week? Ukraine is on the minds of the whole world. I like keeping track of what is going on. Click bait stuff has been going on. People in a hurry to put something out when they had nothing were forced to improvise. Oops. Who knew someone would recognize those pictures from another place in another time.

I’m not so sure anyone has really figured out the truth of what is going on with this situation. I’m hearing many voices with as many “expert” opinions but I’m not hearing consensus, even on a small scale. When the truth finally comes out, if it ever does, there will be more than a few people saying the same thing. So far we are not hearing it.

When I ponder this for a while, it seems there are a whole lot of things going on, most of them under the table. I’m sure we would be shocked if we learned who the real players and influencers were in all of this.

It’s easy to worry about where the world is going but when it comes right down to it there is nothing in my power to do that would make any difference to the outcome. Worry will do nothing but destroy my life. We need to care, pay attention, and pray earnestly for the innocent people caught up in the flying debris, but we can’t let worry consume us. What good would we then be if trouble ever did come knocking on our door?

I have to give myself this lecture on a regular basis as I walk away from one more podcast on the whole scenario.

I’m focusing, briefly anyway, on my everyday life and I’m finding it gives me a mental boost in the right direction.

My frig, after many months, is now free of the long haired residents I was loath to deal with. (my grandsons will be impressed.) (procrastination is my middle name) A few closets and shelves have been sorted through and are looking better once I tossed some things I haven’t used in years. (I’ve found expiry dates as old as 2014!)

There is something about accomplishing tasks I have been avoiding forever that makes life suddenly seem good, very good in fact.

Who knew such mundane and inconsequential things could be an outlook changer?

Another of my current fixations. My first time ever growing an amaryllis.

A little beauty is another unexpected game changer.

I’m wishing some unexpected game changers for you too in these turbulent times.

Bargain book February 22, 2022

Just one book today. 1531 Entertainment‘s suggestion is one I’ve read and think I’ve enjoyed. My memory on this is a little hazy.

One Thursday Morning: Inspirational Romance (Romance At An Inn) (Diamond Lake Series Book 1)

How Do You Start Over?

Running not only for her own life, but that of her unborn baby, Serenah moves across the country to a little town outside of Spokane Washington called Newport. It’s here she’ll begin to build a new life and go by a different name in the hopes of staying hidden from her abusive husband John.

Can Serenah find happiness in her new life? Or will the past eventually catch up to her?

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Nothing much is showing up in the suggestion strip and it is not easy to care very much tonight.

Life all around us is going a little crazy. Just like in this book suggestion, where the abuser is leveling accusations loudly and convincingly with both words and fists, and his abuse has escalated. She is afraid for her life and rightfully so.

In real life the one yelling the loudest is the bully. Actually, if we look closely, he is the only one yelling. The abused has been emotionally beaten down over an extended period of time to the point she is incapable of standing up to protect herself. At rock bottom she will either choose to stay in abject defeat or in desperation plan and follow through on an escape.

It looks like we are at that point. Rock bottom lowest point.

Low point shows up in the amount and kind of damage being done. The bully has ceased to care about keeping injuries hidden from public view and rage is out of control. The last blow wasn’t fatal but the next one could be.

It’s funny how the world around the couple can often see the truth of a relationship when those living in it day-to-day can’t. Until it’s almost too late.