Free and bargain books for April 15, 2020

Browsing may be fruitful this morning.  This first book is one of my read-and-enjoyed from 2017 and I would bet we’ve seen it recently too. Again is not a bad thing.

Leaving Oxford (Southern Hearts Series Book 1) … $1.31 CDN

Leaving Oxford

Amazon quote:

Escaping home to Oxford, Mississippi, seemed like a good idea. Until it wasn’t.

A year after a tragic accident in Los Angeles flipped her world upside down, advertising guru Sarah Beth LeClair is still hiding away in her charming hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. And she may well be stuck there forever. Suffering from panic attacks, she prays for healing. Instead, her answer comes in the form of an arrogant football coach and an ugly puppy.

Former celebrity college quarterback Jess McCoy dreamed of playing pro football. One freak hit destroyed his chances. Although he enjoys his work as the university’s offensive coordinator, his aspirations have shifted to coaching at the highest level. His plans of moving up are finally coming together—until he falls for a woman who won’t leave town

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Well, it appears browsing is not the way to go this morning afterall. I requested clean. That’s not what was offered so I gave up the search. The usual sources were dry this morning too.

I do have seven or eight read-and-enjoyed to share, in another post though. Removing those will reduce my Kindle book list by one page. Currently the list on my device is up to 29 pages at eight books per page. That’s a little overwhelming, to say the least. I need a slow download day, or two, or three to keep ahead of things. I hope you have the same problem, a long to-be-read list. Maybe not as long as mine.  It would be a sign you are finding a wealth of books catching your interest and I’ve done my job. My self imposed job of  spreading a passion for reading good books.

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I’m currently reading Dakota Peace and it is still FREE. I’m almost half way through. The first part is good and I was hopeful but now it is on a downhill slide. It is becoming predictable, light on story and heavy on fluff scenes. Disappointing. I’ll hurry through but will make sure to see how it ends.

Dakota Peace

Amazon quote:

After a traumatic call, emergency dispatcher Natalia Brynner flees the city, desperate for some distance from her stressful life. Her peace is short lived when a flat tire strands her on the other side of South Dakota with nothing but her high heels and a speeding ticket. State Trooper Travis Wilkins offers to keep her company while she waits for a new tire, but the quick fix turns into an overnight visit which turns into an extended stay.

She soon finds herself in the middle of a foster child’s kidnapping case helping the handsome law man. His presence doesn’t quite settle her anxious heart. With the support of her new friends and her blossoming relationship, Natalia starts to believe she could finally experience a peaceful life … until an armed madman threatens it all.

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Later … for the new read-and-enjoyed list.

Happy Reading!

 

 

Another FREE book February 13, 2020

I missed one, BookRunes had a FREE suggestion this morning too.

Maybe it’s a good thing I missed it. It heads off in a much different direction from the rest of this morning’s offerings. Maybe it deserves the attention of it’s own post.

Beggars Daughter is a true story based on one woman’s life, sharing her struggle with a difficult but very real subject.

Beggars Daughter

Amazon quote:

If you think pornography is just a “guy thing” you would be wrong.

Jessica Harris was 13 years old when she was exposed to pornography. After four years, her use was out of control and when she went to find help, it became apparent that this wasn’t a thing many women do. All of the resources were for men, and when she got caught, she was told “Women don’t have this problem.” That sent her on a downward spiral and nearly landed her in the adult industry.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. Instead, she found freedom, hope, healing and worth in the love and grace of God.

Beggar’s Daughter is a candid look into her story, how she struggled and eventually how God set her free. It is a narrative on grace suitable for the women who struggle and those who want to understand them. Through it all, the message is that no woman is ever beyond the grace of God.

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More abandoned reads, a few available at a good price.

Another slow day for book suggestions, so far any way. A good time to clear out more of the abandoned and partially read books taking up valuable space.

Larkspur Cove. Still a bargain. Maybe it’s just me but I couldn’t get into it somehow.

Larkspur Cove

Never Been Born, it’s months since I gave up on this one. I did hang on the the 3/4 mark.

Never Been Born

Chasing the Butterfly is from last summer (July 2019) and almost half read

chasing the Butterfly

Frozen Footprints, with this one it is definitely me that couldn’t get into it. It is still FREE if you want to give it a try.

Frozen Footprints

The Camera Never Lies is a great story idea but I couldn’t connect for some reason. I did want to. I made it to 40%, a good try.

The Camera Never Lies

Memoirs of a Girl Who Loves God, I made it to the 36% point on this one too. This deals with tough subjects like cutting and suicide attempts.

Memoirs of a girl

Watching the Tree Limbs, is a true story that was not free or a bargain. This author was introduced to me through a podcast dealing with childhood abuse. I did want to read her story but it hit too close to home somehow. Down the road a ways I hope to give it another shot.

Watching the Tree Limbs

Her Believing Heart (The Surveyor’s Daughters.) I can remember trying to connect with this and feeling sad when it didn’t work for me. 25% of this one, a good try.

Her Believing Heart

The Champ is another one surviving to the 1/4 point in the book. The reviews called it engaging but I still moved on to other books for some reason.

The Champ

Summer of Suspense is a Sixteen book collection with Mary Alford and others. I did make it to the halfway point. The cover pictures downloaded for August and September 2019 have disappeared on me for some reason and this collection is not listed on Amazon anymore. Oh well, I liked the collection but needed a change and didn’t finish. Another time maybe.

There are more abandoned books still to be weeded out… on another day. I’m happy just to have freed up 4 pages with this little exercise.

Happy Reading!

 

 

Something I Am Not

This time it’s different. I’ve written other posts, lamenting what could have been great writing were it not watered down with obligatory but unnecessary sex scenes. This book is the exception… the sex scenes are not here to titillate the reader. They are an integral part of the story… unfortunately.

There wouldn’t be a story without the raw honesty in Something I Am Not. Sex plays a huge role of the life of the protagonist, and many of the other characters crossing paths with him. It’s heart breaking and difficult to read in places, but I’ve given it five stars.  This is an important and timely story. It will grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning, not letting go until the last page.

It has impacted my life, shining a light on some things I would not have thought to consider. Triggering the surfacing of a long buried memory of my own abuse. I think that was the goal of the author when she birthed the idea. Hoping  hurting and abused  readers would see themselves in the life of another and, find hope. The author has done a masterful job of presenting a difficult subject with sensitivity.

Something I am Not

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something I am Not – Cher Gatto … Billy was three when his mother sent him to live with his manipulative and abusive father. At least that’s the story. He has never seen evidence of his mother and he has no memories of her.  At seventeen he is trying desperately to survive long enough to graduate and move on.

The abuse hasn’t only been at the hands of his father. Piles of unbearable shame have been heaped on his head at the hands of his father’s girlfriend. It seems everyday a new source of abuse appears in his life. It is never ending.

The faithful mentoring of his high school football coach is his only safe place. Billy is a football star and he’s hoping a college scholarship will be his ticket out. At least that was his dream until another little brother showed up one day. How can he think about leaving a defenseless little boy alone to suffer what he has at the hands of his father and his friends?

Part of his father’s business is staging professional boxing matches. Billy has been trained to fight but doesn’t and has never manage a win over his father. Now, he has been backed into a corner and is going to have to fight to the death, to save himself and his little brother. The fight will probably  mean his own death but he is willing if it means his brother will be spared a life of abuse.


Now,  for a change of pace. A few stories in a lighter vein. Well, some of them are lighter than others … but they are all good.

Help Me Hold MeFull Heart Ranch Series – Help Me, Hold Me book 5 – Barbara Gee

Sticks and Stones  The Barn Church Series – Sticks and Stones book 2 – Shellie Arnold

Second Chance Love  Second Chance Love – Pamela S. Meyers

 

Facade  Façade – Pepper Basham

 

The Edge of Mercy  The Edge of Mercy – Heidi Chiavaroli


This was a great bunch of books, it was difficult to pick just one to feature.

Happy Reading!

Lori Wick – another favorite

Lori Wick is one of my long time favorite authors. Back in the day when I was borrowing library books I would read everything they had for her. It’s been awhile since I last visited a library and I’ve gotten behind a bit. That’s why it made my day to see Promise Me Tomorrow show up as a BookBub suggestion.

I hope you will stop by to meet Lori, if you’ve never read any of her work. And if like me, you’ve read her work but it’s been awhile, join me in getting reacquainted.

With another one added to the growing list of recommended authors, maybe it’s time to start a Favorite Authors page, to help keep track of them all. Most likely it will be coming soon.

Thinking about discovering new authors reminds me of a hand out from a library a lifetime ago. It was a large card with a list of favorite authors in the most popular genres. I loved that card. It provided treasured insight and expanded my horizons.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found choosing books can be a difficult decision. Part of the reason is because I want an excellent experience with every book. This was even more of a need in the early days when the check out limit was three; that’s when the recommendations list really helped me zero in on good ones. Of course, once they raised the check out limit to as many books as you can carry, selection decisions weren’t as critical. With that many possibilities, a few duds wouldn’t be leaving me with the tragedy of nothing to read.

 

Promise Me Tomorrow  Rocky Mountain Memories Series – Promise Me Tomorrow book 1 – Lori Wick …. Katherine Taggart, nicknamed Rusty for her red hair, loves the children in her aunt and uncle’s orphanage and they love her right back.

Chase McCandles, a director for the orphanage, is impressed by her take charge attitude and her easy rapport with children. He is even more impressed when he sees the way his son takes to her. He offers her the job of replacement nanny when a sudden need arises but Rusty is having serious reservations about saying yes, knowing there will be fireworks over differences in parenting styles. Would they survive the conflict? Will her tender heart for the needs of a little boy let her say no? Will Chase ever see her as more than a nanny?

October  October – J. Grace Pennington …… this is a story of unique friendship, discovery, loss of innocence, and a broken heart: An intriguing new girl shows up in church, she carries herself like a princess and Emily is fascinated. Friendship is not quite that easy though, with this illusive princess. But when finally it begins – it’s magical. Life through October’s eyes seems to open up whole new worlds to her friend, and yet, the world that is her is a closed to everyone. This was an emotional read but it touched a deep place, and made me glad for the experience.

Words   Words – Ginny L. Yttrup ….. Sierra Daw has escaped to a  favorite forest where she can privately lose herself in grief on the anniversary of her baby’s death. Out of the corner of her eye something catches her attention but when she focuses, there is only a fleeting glimpse of a young girl. Concerned about seeing a child alone in such a remote location, she investigates and discovers a hiding place in a hollowed out tree. Now she is on a mission to find a child her heart knows is in trouble and needs to be rescued.

Kaylee runs when the woman sees her. She’s intrigued after witnessing such grief but terrified to stay because of what would happen if her captor discovered she had left the cabin.  The tree is the secret place where she can write out words and  hide the  dictionary – a gift from her mother before she disappeared. Kaylee hasn’t spoken since,  but she has words.

 

Two Rivers  The Peacemaker Series – Two Rivers book 1 – Zoe Saadia …. centuries before the US  became a nation there was a confederacy called The Great League of the Iroquois, composed of five nations. After many years of destructive,  retaliatory fighting between the five nations, they came to an agreement and their constitution was born. It worked so well that it maintained perfect balance between the them and their success was evident to all. Many scholars believe this was noticed and so it became the example followed for the writing of the US Constitution.

This series attempts to recreate the events leading up to this Iroquois agreement. Historical books in a similar theme seem to be a popping up regularly just now, but this series is unique in it’s handling of history and is definitely worth reading. I’m looking forward to the rest of the story.

 

Forgotten and Remembered  Love’s Second Chance Series – Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke’s Late Wife – Bree Wolf …… Graham is crushed by the death of  his wife and has withdrawn from  life, closing out even his daughter. There is pressure on him to take a new wife as a mother for his daughter so when he notices the interaction between a young woman and the children surrounding her, an idea begins to form in his mind.

Rosabel, has been taken in by her disapproving aunt and uncle after the death of her parents.  A life of total obedience to their unreasonable ways is torture. She is exploring ways to gain her freedom from them when a complete stranger asks for her hand in marriage. Who is this man, why would he offer for her, and what will life be like in this marriage? Better or worse? Will she be sentenced to a marriage of convenience or is there a chance for a real marriage with the duke?

 

The Indigo Rebels   The Indigo Rebels: a French Resistance Novel – Ellie Midwood ……. Three siblings, each of them with different temperaments,  all find themselves caught up in the Resistance movement, in one form or another. Germany has invaded France, hardships prevail, and their houses are taken over by high ranking military men. This causes problems on the one hand while on the other, it supplies opportunities.

I enjoyed this book for the strong and varied characters. It also had a different slant on the war and was unlike anything I’ve read so far. It drew me in from the beginning and came to an end all too quickly. There are sequels and I hope to read them too.

Happy reading! I hope you are discovering a growing list of authors that you love.

 

 

Some things need to be talked about

I am convinced there are some things that need to be talked about. There could be a number of reasons for this. Maybe someone shares a similar experience and needs encouragement. Maybe  someone feels lumped in with the abusers and needs reassurance. Maybe someone has the false impression that all abused women hate men and need to know that’s not true. Or, maybe it’s just to help me figure out some things. It could be for any number of reasons that haven’t even occurred to me yet. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty confident there will be some good come out of a discussion.

This post is a continuation of some things I have shared recently, regarding men and my trust issues. Men have been both a blessing and a curse in my life. In spite of the good, I’m still left with trust issues that creep up on me in a way that makes no sense sometimes. Although, maybe it would make sense if I could uncover the old memories triggering these reactions and deal with them somehow.

Today was one of those days. My niece has the sweetest young husband and I met him for the first time. They stayed over night with me as they are travelling back to Western Canada, they were easy to have around. We found lots of interesting things to talk about, it was a great visit. In the morning though, when it was time for them to leave, it was awkward. I wanted to hug them both good bye but I just couldn’t bring myself to initiate a hug with him. I cannot explain to you why that was, there was just something holding me back.

I am still beating myself up over it.

He could have hugged me and I would have responded, but he didn’t know that.

This is an ongoing issue with me, it happens all the time with my son-in-law, whom I love dearly. I want to hug him like I do the rest of the family, but I just can’t. He could hug me but I sense he has some of the same trust issues I do. It seems we end up hugging with a look.

So, getting back to the initial thinking behind this new post.

There is a question I have been asking myself for the last couple of weeks – how can I have empathy and distrust all at the same time? It seems like it should one or the other. Black or white.

For a short while, I was worried there was something emotionally wrong with  me, and that was distressing because I didn’t want it to be true. The concern over this idea was quickly relieved when someone shared a video on Facebook about a five year old brother comforting his little sister. In a flash, it struck a deep cord with me. I realize I learned to love at a very early age, even while I was learning to distrust.

I am the oldest of three with two brothers. There are five years between the oldest and the youngest and there has always been a strong bond between us.  Until now I have never really questioned why that is. I can see that I need to start asking more questions.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, living with my grandparents, I was asked to babysit, briefly, for several families with young babies. These were people I had never met. At the time I wondered why they would consider me, but it didn’t occur to me to question why I felt like I could do the job. Now it occurs to me to ask the question.

Why did I feel confident I could comfort a crying baby or change a dirty diaper? Why did  Grandma have enough confidence to allow me to take the job? There were no babies in our life with her, any experience I had with them would have come from another time.

At this point, looking back on our family dynamics, I can see my mother pressing me into service with my youngest brother. I’m sure Grandma would have been aware of this fact. I have no memory of any of it, but then, I don’t remember a lot of things. It turned out I did indeed know how. I still do.

me and Jax may 2017 WPG

My youngest brother’s great grandson Jax. We’ve just met for the first time (a year ago). His mother took this picture.

There’s more….

Lately, I have been having conversations with my older brother about our life in the early years. He remembers some things I don’t (my mind has buried all of the painful parts) and hearing what he had to say tells me – life was even worse than I imagined. Among other things, he said Dad was not a nice man.

He told me a number of things about those days but there was one story that shook me.

It was about Dad driving on the railroad tracks running behind our property, he was playing chicken with oncoming trains. I had heard these stories for years  and used to laugh, thinking it was something my crazy risk taking father would do. What I didn’t  realize at the time – my brother was with him, scared out of his mind. That’s one of the reasons why Dad did it, it was his perverse way of trying to force this kid to grow some courage. It finally stopped  when my 10 year old brother made up his mind he wasn’t going to let his fear show anymore. I’m horrified Dad would do that to a kid.

We also talked about another time I do remember. It was Dad beating my brother with a piece of hose, in front of all of us. A tool was missing from his work shop and he was convinced it was my brother’s  fault. I can still remember the distress of watching this happen. I could never understand why Mom did nothing to stop it.

One thing I’ve learned, by first hand experience, boys suffer from abuse as deeply as girls. That is the genesis of my soft heart for men, surviving life alongside my brothers, recognizing the pain in their life.

My oldest brother is the reason I’ve left denial behind and have taken ownership of the abusive early years in my life. He adamantly insisted that I must, even if the memories were shadowy and I couldn’t remember the actual events. He wanted to know why I thought I would be the favoured one, to escape abuse.

All three of us have blocked painful memories, but deep inside, we will never forget.

Our story does have a happy ending in spite of the terrible years. All three of us have grown into well adjusted, productive, loving people. We’ve left behind the bitterness and rage. A miracle, really.

One thing I’ve loved about this process of discovery – the heavy load of old baggage seems to grow lighter with each breakthrough experience.

 

 

I want to tell you a story

I want to tell you a story, hopefully, one that will build on my last post, and clear up some misconceptions.

It’s about one of my cats. Kitty (as I called him – mainly because my landlord called him Sylvester, a name I didn’t like and didn’t have the courage to try to change), Kitty had been someone’s pet, an abused pet, one who learned to be terrified of all things human.

We discovered him living in the bushes across the back alley, wild and hungry. He could be coaxed out with food, if it was placed somewhere he considered safe, so we fed him.

I found it hard to see him in such distress and set out to woo him into trusting me. It worked, gradually his trust grew to the point that he was eating inside, then living inside – sleeping on the furniture, and finally, on my lap. His trust grew to extend beyond me to my husband, and to our landlord.

Kitty learned to trust the three of us but that was as far as it ever went. He was gone in a flash if anyone else came around, and he was like that for as long as we had him.

The thing is, he didn’t stop to make a judgement call. He had no idea if encountered humans were good or bad, and he didn’t care, he wasn’t taking any chances.

His fear was the result of what had been done to him in the past and had nothing whatever to do with anyone in the present.

That’s the spot I find myself in today. My trust issues and panic attacks are the result of what’s been done to me in the past. The present can inadvertently act as a trigger but other than that, it has no bearing on anything.

Triggers aren’t restricted to strangers, either, they often happen in the presence of people I know and trust, they can even happen when I am alone, maybe reading, thinking, listening to the news, any other activity, really. On top of all that, most of the time I have no idea why.

So, when my talk of trust issues has you worried you are being labelled as a bad guy, please, let that worry go. I don’t stop to make assessments and then act on my findings. Triggers happen when they happen, for reasons all of their own, and they create awkward moments.

Like the one that happened on a day when I was hurrying across a lobby. I spotted a man standing by the door and stopped dead in my tracks. I have no idea what that was about. I had to do some quick, and tough, self talk….don’t just stand there, keep walking.

I can tell you, there were no assessments made that day. He could have been a very good guy.