Read and enjoyed May 08, 2021

My favorite book so far this week is a parallel, modern and historical. The common denominator is a poignant painting with a checkered past and a complicated present.

I’m not always a fan of blending timelines but in this case it works. Probably the biggest reason, it allows for showing rather than telling. We need both time frames because they are intertwined and the present story only makes sense if we can understand the past.

There is an unforgettable painting with unknown origins. It appeared in the most terrible of circumstances and combining past and present stories adds the right amount of lightness to make the story relatable. The love stories play out in both time frames as the book moves along. The events are unpredictable and the resolution to the story is unexpected.

I would describe the unexpected but that would give away the ending which would never do.

I agree with the reviews quoted below. Unforgettable.

The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel Book 1)

Fresh. Fascinating. Unforgettable. The Butterfly and the Violin is a masterpiece of a debut.” –Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning

“. . .impossible to put down.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!

A Mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz–and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire fordistraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl–a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.
In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover–the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul–who maybe the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

I will admit, I lost sleep over this difficult to put down book.

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Bargain books May 07, 2021

If I had to name my top ten favorite authors, this man would be on the list. That’s why I’m excited to see one of his books suggested by 1531 Entertainment. This is his most recently published and it’s book 1 in a new series. I believe this will be a first for him. I remember a two part story but not a whole series. I’m looking forward to the experience.

One of his sons wrote an emotional review with one strong suggestion. Cancel all appointments and book time off work. He cautions that once we start reading we won’t be able to put the book down. I believe him.

How fortunate that today is Friday. Good timing.

The Water Keeper (A Murphy Shepherd Novel Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

A riveting new story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.

Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.

When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.

With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.

With Charles Martin’s trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story and a heartrending search for freedom.

Praise for The Water Keeper:

“I’m telling you, it’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel unlike anything I’ve ever read. And remember . . . the day you pick up this book is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world.” —Charlie Martin, son of Charles Martin

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Several of his other books are also listed as a bargain price right now.

Water from My Heart: A Novel 

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami.

Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter.

Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

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The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Experience Charles Martin’s debut novel, a story of loss and undying love written in his signature emotive and heartrending style. 

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

The Dead Don’t Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope.

  • Full-length, emotive Southern fiction
  • Sequel: Maggie

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I will be leaving it here for today. There is nothing I can do to top this, except maybe add more Charles Martin books.

It is a good thing I happen to be between books. I won’t even have to think to know what comes next.

Although maybe it’s late enough I should wait until morning to start. Hmmm.

Join me on this adventure.

Happy Reading

Bargain books April 25, 2021

It’s casual browsing day today and it’s been fun. By the look of the first treasures found (I’m needing some light reading) I thought today was going to be a Cowboy – Marriage of Convenience theme. Several books are like that but then I came across something interesting with a darker side to it. There went my lighter theme. Oh well, variety is nice.

A Marriage of Convenience in the Show Me State (Cowboy Crossing Western Sweet Romance Book 5) 

Amazon quote:

Zane Hudson just got custody of his four young children. Only problem is, he can’t watch his kids and run his farm, too. He needs a permanent housekeeper. He has every intention of hiring someone until…

Waverley Madris is two months behind on her rent and about to lose her house and her children. Getting stuck with handsome Zane Hudson and his four kids in the Diner bathroom seems like just the type of thing that was just her luck.

Except she emerges from that bathroom an engaged woman.

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Show Me a Marriage of Convenience: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

An ex-player cowboy with a little son, the boy’s shy plus-size aunt, and a reluctant modern marriage of convenience only the boy is excited about… A sweet, clean, wholesome romance with a happily-ever-after!


Kade agrees to a crazy proposal from the woman his child adores. But as a former foster kid, Kade learned to walk away before getting hurt. Can he now learn to stay and love?


Heather Johnson dreams of a real marriage with the man her sister abandoned. But the rumor is Kade might leave their small town again and take her darling nephew with him. She’s reluctant to trust a womanizer, husband or not. If she allows love for him to ignite her heart, will her marshmallow-soft heart become roasted and burned?

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This next one is in the serious category. There are many forms of abuse in our world today and this is one of them.

Shattered Dream (Prisoners of Hope Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Cassie True dreams of the day she can resume her music career. Only one thing stands in her way, a court-ordered rehab program sponsored by a religious cult determined to steal her soul.

Singer/songwriter Cassie True enters a rehab program that promises to change her life. And it does…in ways she never expected. Caught in a religious cult’s ever-constricting web, she fights not only for her sanity but for the freedom to form real friendships. She longs to put alcoholism behind her, finish the program and return to her career. But when her friend is forcibly separated from her husband by the cult leader and a young boy is abused at the cult’s elementary school, she can’t stand by and do nothing.

Bucking the system is dangerous and could result in dismissal from the program—and a return to jail. Can Cassie and her coworker, Corban Dahlstrom, toe the party line yet work together behind the scenes to help others escape the cult’s clutches? Will they be able to withstand the fiery backlash that’s sure to come? Does their budding romance have a chance in a world where an iron-fisted leader controls all relationships?

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One more in the serious category. This is a second look for me, at this suggestion. In many ways it will be a tough read but the topic is timely. The reviews tell me I should take a chance on this. The writer’s treatment of the subject makes all the difference and reviews suggest this has been treated well.

More Than Us by Dawn Barker

Amazon quote:

When parents disagree on how to care for their child, is it justifiable to take extreme measures?

Emily and Paul have a glorious home, money in the bank and two beautiful children. Since leaving Scotland for Paul to play football for an Australian team they have been blessed. But sadness lies behind the picture-perfect family – sixteen-year-old Cameron has battled with health troubles his entire life. There’s no name for what he has, but his disruptive behaviour, OCD and difficulty in social situations is a constant source of worry.

When Paul’s career comes to a shuddering halt, he descends into a spiral of addiction, gambling away the family’s future. By the time he seeks help, it’s his new boss Damien who recommends and pays for a rehab facility.

While Paul is away, Emily has to make a tough decision about their son. She keeps it from Paul knowing he’ll disapprove. And when a terrible accident reveals the truth, Paul takes his son and goes on the run, leaving Emily to care for fourteen-year-old Tilly, who unbeknown to her parents is fighting battles of her own.

Can the family join together for the sake of their loved ones, or will their troubles tear them apart?

What people are saying about More than Us:

Dawn Barker has the reader enthralled and reading as quickly as possible to find out what happens to the complex, flawed, yet endearing main characters.’ Reader review

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Of the four, the book I’m looking forward to most at this moment is the first one, I’m in need of a lighter read to brighter my day. I’m not sure why that is exactly, it just is. Moods seem to be like the weather, unpredictable and change at a moments notice.

Before I can get to the new read I must finish the current one…

I think this one isn’t helping my mood. Probably because the villain reminds me of someone in my past. I think maybe I’d better speed read through this one.

Other than all that it has been a good weekend. I enjoyed a fun visit with my family and a pleasant sunshiny drive to get there yesterday.

I hope the weekend has gone well for you too.

Happy Reading

Bargain books April 23rd Part 2

I promised if anything else showed up I’d let you know. Well, it has. Book 1 in this new series by a favorite author was available last week and now book 2 is available this week. They are both at bargain prices… a good deal. I’ve read book 1 and I’m excited to see book 2 already.

Axel: a clean romantic suspense (Lantern Beach Blackout: The New Recruits Book 2) 

Amazon quote:

Women are missing. Private security firm Blackout must find them before another victim disappears.

Axel Hendrix likes to live on the edge. That’s why being a Navy SEAL suited him so well. But after his last mission, he cut his losses and joined Blackout instead. His team’s latest case involves an undercover investigation on Lantern Beach.

Olivia Rollins came to the island to escape her problems—and danger. When trouble from her past shows up in town, she impulsively blurts she’s engaged to Axel, the womanizing man she’s seen while waitressing. Now, she may not be the only one in danger. So could Axel.

Axel knows Olivia might be his chance to find answers and that acting like her fiancé is the perfect cover for his latest assignment. But he doesn’t like throwing Olivia into the middle of such a dangerous situation. Nor is he comfortable with the feelings she stirs inside him. 

With Olivia’s life—as well as both their hearts—on the line, Axel must uncover the truth and stop an evil plan before more lives are destroyed.

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Book 1 in this series was my favorite read last week. I couldn’t put it down until the last page was turned. Here is the description as a refresher.

Rocco: a clean romantic suspense novel (Lantern Beach Blackout: The New Recruits Book 1)

Former Navy SEAL and new Blackout recruit Rocco Foster is on a simple in and out mission. But the operation turns complicated when an unsuspecting woman wanders into the line of fire.

Peyton Ellison’s life mission is to sprinkle happiness on those around her. When a cupcake delivery turns into a fight for survival, she must trust her rescuer—a handsome stranger—to keep her safe.

Rocco is determined to figure out why someone is targeting Peyton. First, he must keep the intriguing woman safe and earn her trust. But threats continue to pummel them as incriminating evidence emerges and pits them against each other.

With time running out, the two must set aside both their growing attraction and their doubts about each other in order to work together. But the perilous facts they discover leave them wondering what exactly the truth is . . . and if the truth can be trusted.

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My current read is not easy. Lives are messy and people who should be loving are anything but. They are rigid and judgmental. This book is well written in that the story unfolds layer by layer. At 2/3 of the way through I have no solid idea how it might end. I have some guesses but there are too many unpredictable players to say for sure.

illusions (The Apple Hill Series Book 2) 

One reckless night. A lifetime of regret.

Corey Schaffer has spent her entire marriage privately repenting a horrible mistake made the week before her wedding. When her teenaged daughter is in car accident, Corey blames herself and aches to confess all to her husband.

Additionally, their son’s thoughtless rebellion has put her husband Paul’s pastoral position at risk, and he’s finding it hard to forgive. If he can’t forgive Michael how can he forgive her?

It all comes to a head when a disgruntled church member sees an opportunity for revenge.

Corey must dig deep to find the courage to help her family. Even if that means walking away.

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Until tomorrow,

Happy Reading!

Free and bargain books April 19, 2021

1531 Entertainment has several Free and bargain suggestions for us.

We have previously seen books 2 -5 in this first series and I’ve read and enjoyed book 2.

Sooner Fled: Oak Valley Secrets 1

Amazon quote:

Clean suspense with a touch of faith!


Small-town pastor Peter Andrews has a secret. His real name is Tony Stratton, and the Witness Protection Program left him in Oak Valley, a rural Oklahoma town. Waiting to testify against a ruthless drug lord in Detroit, he is learning to adapt to his new life and solving crimes with the help of the church secretary, Stephanie. 


Stephanie Martin yearns for excitement, but the new pastor is more than she bargained for! And what is he keeping from her? Can she trust a man who has something to hide?


Across five connected stories, they encounter reclusive authors, mob debt collectors, Confederate treasure hunters, and Soviet sleeper agents, all leading to an explosive showdown with Tony’s past.
Mystery, murder, and romance – Oak Valley has it all!

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Next is a FREE suggestion

illusions (The Apple Hill Series Book 2)

Amazon quote:

One reckless night. A lifetime of regret.

Corey Schaffer has spent her entire marriage privately repenting a horrible mistake made the week before her wedding. When her teenaged daughter is in car accident, Corey blames herself and aches to confess all to her husband.

Additionally, their son’s thoughtless rebellion has put her husband Paul’s pastoral position at risk, and he’s finding it hard to forgive. If he can’t forgive Michael how can he forgive her?

It all comes to a head when a disgruntled church member sees an opportunity for revenge.

Corey must dig deep to find the courage to help her family. Even if that means walking away.

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LPC Books has suggestions for us too. Both FREE

Escaping the Tiger’s Claws

Amazon quote:

Chamron Phal was a carefree teenager when Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge overthrew Cambodia’s capital, forever changing his life.

Almost immediately, Chamron and his family, along with millions of Cambodians, were ejected from their home, herded into the forest, and forced to labor under torturous conditions. With barely enough food to survive, Chamron watched helplessly as members of his family died and countless individuals were dragged from camp, never to be seen again. Yet through each trial and near-death circumstance, Chamron marveled as one miracle after another saw him through.

Eventually daring to risk escape, Chamron journeyed into the unknown, promising God that if he survived, he would serve Him the rest of his life. Would the God he hardly knew spare his life once more?

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Never Past Hope (Triangular Trade Trilogy Book 2) by Janine Mendenhall

Amazon quote:

Miss Mary Hope Adsley always considered herself to be the sensible one. But now, her sensibilities are unraveling around a man she thought she knew.

After he attempted to marry her best friend—for money, no less—authorities charge Sir Steven Likebridge with masquerading as a gentleman and abduction.

With his execution days away, Mary Hope desperately seeks to learn the truth about the man she loves.

Will the truth turn out to be worse than his lies?

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Four new books. Not bad.

Happy Reading …

… on the bright sunny but still cool day at my house.

Read and enjoyed April 12, 2021

Lots of meat to chew on with this read. T.D. Jakes always has many thought provoking things to add to any story and this was no exception. He gives us an in-depth look at four woman types and the hardest one for me to read was the one most like me. All of the women were hurting in one way or another, that’s the way life is. Difficult patches in life are inevitable. It’s what we do with them that will make or break us.

T.D. Jakes doesn’t hold back, he tells it raw and real. He doesn’t expose us and then leave us hanging out to dry. He leaves us with answers (not always the ones we want to hear but answers nevertheless) and points us to hope. Some people will tear us all apart pointing out the broken places then walking away. He doesn’t ever tear us apart, rather he sheds a light in the dark places to help us see the important things we are missing. His goal is to help us choose a better way.

The broken among us have bought into lies we’ve been told over and over. His novel is one more tool in the arsenal to help us break out of our prison of lies.

He is a great story teller. Everything he is trying to share is woven into the fabric of the story making it strong. The best kind.

Cover Girls by T.D. Jakes

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 into a lighter read. It’s not fluffy by any means, just lighter by comparison.

Run With My Heart: Sweet, Christian Christmas Romance: (A Texas Tornadoes Single Author Sports Romance book 2) (Texas Tornados) 

A football player who’s lost. A woman in danger of losing all she loves. Could he be the Christmas Miracle she’s been praying for?

Pro football player Tucker Jackson has a chip on his shoulder. His mother died when he was young, his father threw himself into his work, and the team he now plays for is in danger of losing their season.

His anger drives him to a bar where an ensuing fight earns him service at a community center. Can he find a way to tame his ire before it destroys his dreams forever?

Shelby Doll has a heart for kids, but the community center she runs is short on funds. Tucker Jackson is her last hope to keep the doors open, but will he leave her in a lurch when it matters the most?

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Happy Reading!

Free book April 08, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us. This is a book from two years ago for me. I know I read it and have a vague recollection so I’m planning to read it again to refresh my memory. If I remember right it was well worth the read.

Lost and Found

“Yttrup has penned a many faceted novel that challenges the reader to pursue spiritual growth as fully as any self-help book would, making her fiction as inspirational as it is entertaining.” Publishers Weekly
Two women who’ve compromised for the sake of security… Will they risk it all?

Jenna Bouvier is losing everything: beauty, family, and wealth. When her emotionally destructive mother-in-law accuses Jenna of an affair with her spiritual director and threatens to expose them, Jenna also risks losing her reputation as a woman of faith. She must choose between bowing to her mother-in-law’s control or fighting for what she holds dear. As Jenna loses her life, will she find it?

Andee Bell has found exactly what she wanted: fame, fortune, respect, and a special man–Jenna’s brother. Despite her success, a secret quells her contentment. As memories torment, Andee can pursue peace in a relationship with God or sabotage herself while taking down the only person she cares about. As Andee finds her life, will she lose it?

Moving between San Francisco and the Napa Valley, Jenna and Andee form an unlikely relationship that leads them to a crossroad. They can follow familiar inclinations, or risk it all and walk in faith.

“A fascinating and helpful read about a woman caught in the web of another person’s deceit and manipulation.” Leslie Vernick, Author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship, and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

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A book I do remember reading by this author is Words. It is not a bargain or Free but is worth mentioning just because it is. It made a huge impact on me. Insightful and heart grabbing. I would read this again, in a minute. If my TBR pile was not so large I would read it again.

Words

A child whose silence holds the truth captive. An artist whose work speaks the agony of her past. When drawn together, will they let the truth set them free?

Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn’t speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods, in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.

Sierra Daw is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter’s death, Sierra’s control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.

Will Kaylee and Sierra let the truth set them free?

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I’m currently reading a nine book collection. I can’t say I’m loving it. I’ve just finished the 5th book and so far it is the one I liked the best. Sometimes the best are the first. Maybe this time the best will be last. I’m hoping, anyway. It is still a bargain price if it is appealing to you.

The Second Chance Brides Collection: Nine Historical Romances Offer New Hope for Love

Hope for Happy Endings Is Renewed in Nine Historical Romances
 
Meet nine women from history spanning from 1776 to 1944 feel the sting of having lost out on love. Can their hope for experiencing romance again be renewed?

Book 5 The Widow of St. Charles Avenue by Grace Hitchcock – New Orleans, 1895
Colette Olivier, a young widow who married out of obligation, finds herself at the end of her mourning period and besieged with suitors out for her inheritance. With her pick of any man, she is drawn to an unlikely choice.

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I suppose one thing that could account for the lack of depth in this collection is the length. Less than 100 pages each, although sometimes it feels like more.

At least I am still reading it, that has to mean something. If it was really bad I would have given up long ago and banished it from my device. It’s true.

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Happy Reading y’all

Bargain books April 08, 2021

I’m reminded today of Charles Martin, the well loved author of deep and engaging stories. My sister-in-law introduced me to his books. and I have to agree, they are everything she said they would be. More than a read they are an experience. To be honest, they have spoiled us. It’s not easy finding other authors with stories that move us the way his do.

One of his books came up as a suggestion this morning. It doesn’t qualify as a bargain but I decided to mention it anyway. Then I noticed the two books included in this collection can be purchased individually at a combined price that is lower than the price of this book. A good deal indeed.

Down Where My Love Lives

USA TODAY bestseller from the author of The Mountain Between Us, now a major motion picture!

Collected together for the first timeDylan and Maggie’s love story.

Down Where My Love Lives is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s spiritual journey through the darkness of despair into the light of hope.

The Dead Don’t Dance was New York Times best-selling author Charles Martin’s debut novel. Even then, the deep characters and emotional power for which he has become so well-known were apparent in his writing. Now, this story—and its sequel—are together in one volume.

The Dead Don’t Dance—A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with both love and loss. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more?

Maggie—Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must accept their past before they can embrace their future.

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Here they are

Enjoy

More later….maybe

This resonates with me

A short interview on a timely topic, for me anyway. It feels to me like this should be shared.

Coffee break is awesome today. This video is part of an interview series I’ve been following and this man is very wise. The series is based on a book he’s written, so there you go, we still have books to think about.

This resonates with me because past buried, horrendous, memories still plague me in the form of triggers. I’ve come a long way in the last decade but there is still more to be done and I appreciate any resource crossing my path.

I share because it touches me but also because someone else may need to hear this as well.

Wishing you the very best in your healing journey.

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!