To Avoid Rejection, Take the Writer Out of the Story — Jane Friedman

I’m sharing this awesome post because it expresses, in a way I haven’t been able to, the magic of a story with the ability to transport me, the reader, into another realty. Forgetting I’m reading a book, instead living the story. I save my five star reviews for the story that will do this for me.

Today’s guest post is by editor and author Joe Ponepinto (@JoePonepinto).An admission: As I read my way through the submission queue for our literary journal, I often decide to decline a story well before its end.It’s not that the stories are always bad. Many times the premise is interesting, and the characters as well. It…

To Avoid Rejection, Take the Writer Out of the Story — Jane Friedman

Free LPC books July 13, 2020

LPC Books has some new and interesting FREE suggestions for us. Four of them, clean and written for the General Market. Two of the authors are familiar to me with multiple downloads each, Candee Fick and Ann Tatlock. 

Dance Over Me: (The Wardrobe series Book 1)

Dance Over Me

Amazon quote:

Danielle Lefontaine, a fledgling actress, has her sights set on Broadway. But when a jealous cast member threatens to drop the curtain on her dreams, Danielle fears her one brilliant moment in the spotlight is about to become a dim memory. Alex Sheridan is living his dream — playing the trumpet and helping run his family’s dinner theater. When “Dani” dances into his life, Alex is sure he’s found the perfect partner — if only the bright lights of a bigger stage don’t lure her away first.


Devyn’s Dilemma (Thousand Islands Gilded Age Series Book 2)

Devyn's Dilemma

Amazon quote:

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.


Once Beyond a Time

Once Beyond a Time

Amazon quote:

A troubled family, whose pastor father resigned in disgrace from a church in suburban Philadelphia, moves to an old house in Black Mountain, North Carolina. They soon discover that their new home, nearly hidden from view on the side of a mountain, is no ordinary place. The family can see and speak with people who appear and disappear seemingly at will. Some of the visitors seem to have lived there in the past. More mysteriously, some will live there in the future.

Then, soon after their move into the old house, their eight-year-old son vanishes without a trace! Has he been kidnapped, or has he wandered off into the dark forest? Will the “house beyond time” provide the answers? Or does something more disturbing await this troubled family?


Angel Beneath My Wheels: Maybe she was his good luck charm … an angel beneath his wheels.

Angel Beneath my Wheels

Amazon quote:

Beneath his playboy façade, NASCAR driver Luke Brandt yearns for family. Rachel Tate, an inventive, purity-ring-wearing mechanical engineer, wants to prove herself in a male dominated industry. When Luke outbids Rachel on the only muscle cars she could use to test her new vapor-fueled engine, she writes him off. But Luke’s gentle ways and country charm may win her over—if his past doesn’t push her away.

As Rachel begins to touch Luke’s heart, he’s haunted by memories of the mother who abandoned him as a boy. With an intense trust that God will lead her steps, Rachel perseveres, and her innocence and grace breach Luke’s defenses. As they join forces to bring her remarkable invention to market, their love and lives are threatened by the iron-tight grip that “Big Oil” holds over the auto industry. Will Rachel hold on to her values? And will Luke realize his final happiness must come through faith in the One who has always loved him … and always will?


Actually, I’ve read the last one. I thought it sounded familiar when reading the synopsis and it is. It’s from last fall and I remember liking it. I see I’ve read Mathis before too – book one in the Thousand Island series. Small world.

I hope you will enjoy some of these along with me.

Happy Reading!

Bargain books July 03, 2020

1531 Entertainment has a bargain suggestion today and a few others showed up in the same search. A good day. I’ve not seen any of these books or their authors before and that makes for an even better day.

The Heart of Mercy (Georgia Peaches Book 4) $1.39

The Heart of Mercy

Amazon quote:

Mercy Cunningham runs a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Atlanta. Dismissive of her noble work among the destitute, her father continually pesters her to work for his Fortune-500 corporation. A bedraggled stranger visits the soup kitchen and catches Mercy’s attention. Not because of the piercing gaze almost hidden behind his facial hair, but because something seems off about him.

Noah Allen is not the pastor, or even the man, he once was. The single-blow death of his wife and child made sure of that, as did a raging opioid addiction. Blaming himself for their deaths, he wanders the country without a destination and without a desire to find one.

Then, Mercy finds him.


A Persevering Heart (Georgia Peaches Book 1) $1.37

A Persevering Heart

Amazon quote:

When Ms. Pepper Anne Barrington isn’t driving her convertible Aston Martin or writing her bestselling mysteries, she’s busy solving real-life dilemmas happening to her three grown children or the guests visiting her Atlanta bed and breakfast, Edgewater Coventry B & B. It seems to Miss Pepper, there’s always an air of romance, mystery, and perhaps a little adventure and mayhem at the restored 19th century plantation.

When handsome handyman and popular up and coming musician, Bradley Fielding, inherits his grandmother’s Victorian estate in Georgia, he relocates his band from Nashville to Atlanta to oversee the renovations. He decides to stay at the Edgewater Coventry B & B while the Fielding house that has been in his family for generations is being remodeled. All kinds of things begin to go wrong, including the disappearance of his sister and an antique pocket watch.

Patricia Johnston, avid reader and administrative assistant to Miss Pepper, is perhaps the most disturbed of all when she is framed for stealing Brad Fielding’s antique watch. She’s off to the wrong start in her new job—and with one of the country’s most eligible bachelors.


Hidden (Jones-Star Series Book 1) $1.23

Hidden 2

Amazon quote:

He’s a Montana Cowboy and she’s a Boston aristocrat.
Together they are broken ashes and spitfire, discovering common ground in a shared dream. But, even if they can somehow see eye-to-eye and partner-up, their past lives lay in wait, ready to pounce and destroy any chance of a new beginning.

The train arrives at the station on Patrick Jones’ wedding day, but his dreams go up in steam when it fails to bring his childhood sweetheart, Genevieve, west with it. Instead, he finds himself burdened with the responsibility of her adventurous younger sister.

While naïve Ruth Ellen has a hidden agenda concerning both Aspen Glen in Montana territory and her sister’s cast off, she has no idea as to the lengths her prestigious family from Boston will go to stop her from achieving her independence.

Despite Patrick’s emotional battles, he is challenged and intrigued by Ruth Ellen, but it soon becomes obvious that his heart cannot accept the one similarity between the two Thorncrest sisters: Deception.


Nothing new and interesting showed up FREE so we will stick with bargains this time. All three books have a distinctly different flair and that is enticing. It could be a good weekend of reading.

Happy Reading.

Free and bargain books June 26, 2020

BookBub has a bargain book collection suggestion for us. $0.99 Another new author for us. This sounds like it could be fun.

The Sweetwater Island Ferry Collection: A Heartwarming, Feel-Good Trilogy

Sweewater Island Ferry

Amazon quote:

If you like a good fixer-upper, fresh donuts and fun storytelling, jump on the ferry and make your way over to Sweetwater Island! Get ready to meet a delightful cast of friends and family who’ll remind us that a happy, fulfilling life requires having big dreams, faith in the impossible, and a little TLC.

BOOK#1 – For Love…and Donuts:
Virginia’s entire life needed a renovation, but it took inheriting her aunt’s seaside cottage to realize it. Crafting gourmet donuts, hanging out with her sister, and maintaining her slightly off-kilter relationship have become the epicenter of Virginia’s life. But looking in the mirror, she has to admit that life hasn’t turned out exactly like she planned.

BOOK #2 – To Love…and Renovate:
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a huge B&B renovation…Or if you are engaged couple Virginia and Tristan, you try to juggle all three simultaneously.

BOOK #3 – With Love…and Reality TV:
With their new married life underway, Virginia and Tristan have finally got it all together…or do they?


1531 Entertainment has a FREE suggestion for us.

Coming Home: The Route Home: Book 1

Coming Home

Amazon quote:

He was why she left. Now she’s falling for him.

Logging camp owner Seth Blake is Becca’s first love, her brother’s best friend, and the reason she turned her back on her hometown.

In 1881, at the end of the Oregon Trail, head-strong, impetuous Becca Wilson is a university student, determined to be a modern woman and not a resident of a frontier boomtown. Now her brother’s dead, and she needs Seth’s help to find justice. If only she can avoid falling in love with Seth and keep herself out of the killer’s sights.

Quiet and steady Seth joins Becca in her search justice until a piece of evidence implicates him in her brother’s death. If he tells her, he risks Becca leaving again.


I’m still reading the collection from yesterday. By now I’m on book 4. The characters in books 3 and 4 are similar in temperament. The story details are different but the strong willed, take-no-prisoners attitude is the same. The sameness hasn’t prompted me to move on to something else just yet. One more book after this one. I think this is still at bargain price too. There is a lot of shooting and tense life threatening moments in this series.

Loving the Texas Stranger: A Texas Lawman Romantic Suspense (Garrison’s Law Book 4)

Loving the Texas Stranger

Amazon quote:

An assassin takes a shot and hits two people with one bullet.
Natalie Brewster, a deep undercover agent for a group that doesn’t officially exist, saw the gunman aiming. He definitely waited, lined up the shot, and tried to kill both of them. Nat and Case Garrison hit the ground bleeding. They both come up shooting and kill the assassin—but that just makes him mad.
Now Case and Nat, who have never before met, have to figure out what they have in common to make them prey for a killer.


Happy Reading…

from my house to your house, on a warm day.

Between the lingering warmth of the day and eyes that want to drift closed after hours spent out in the flower beds today, I think reading for me will have to wait until tomorrow. A very sad way to start the weekend!

Progress has been made so I am a happy camper.

Read and enjoyed – end of April installment

I’ve just finished Serenity Landing Second Chances and loved it. It was one of those stories where you gradually lose sight of your own reality and begin to feel like you are living in theirs. This collection has the Princess Diaries feel to it (one of my favorite movies.) Each of the three books involves a different member of the family and while it leans toward a lighter read it has enough depth to keep it interesting. Books 1 and 3  were the ones I enjoyed the most. This is still FREE too which is very nice.

Serenity Landing Second Chances Compilation: (Serenity Landing & Beyond – The Collections Book 3)

Second Landing Second Chances

Book 1: A pregnant mom with no place to live and a child television star with a royal brother.

Book 2: Three women in the cottage yarn industry. Three men who don’t understand their fascination, but love them anyway.

Book 3:  A duchess trying to escape from under her father’s tyranny and the Crown Prince who’s loved her for years.

The books are all linked together with friends and extended family members walking in and out of each story.


This next one was good too. It wasn’t a light read though.

Dakota Peace

Dakota Peace

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. 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.


Another excellent read.

A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy Book #1) 

A Stolen Heart

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners–like her. Lydia won’t let that get her down, though. All will be well when she’s reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared–and that he left behind a pregnant wife–Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?





Images/Excerpts — Robert Stermscheg

Reposted from a new blog from a friend you all might like. This is an excerpt from one of his books.

Prologue excerpt from Stealth Willy Messerschmitt, a tall no-nonsense aircraft designer, was hunched over a drafting table conferring with a senior engineer about propulsion issues that were plaguing the Me-262 jet fighter. He had been working on overcoming design problems with mounting the new BMW engines, when his secretary, Hilde Schwartz, interrupted him. “An urgent […]

via Images/Excerpts — Robert Stermscheg

Free and Bargain books January 21, 2020

This could be a good day, we have books from two sources.

BookBub has a bargain book, one I remember from my 2014 reading days.

The Measure of Katie Calloway $0.99

The measure of Katie Calloway

Amazon quote:

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway’s Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he’s hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.


Then, there is a second bargain book ($1.29), one I’ve not read, Calming the Storm

Calming the Storm

Amazon quote:

After a rocky start, Rachel Peters finally has her life on track. Then a tragic accident takes away her sister and leaves her to raise her niece, Kendra, alone. About to lose custody of her last blood relative, Rachel is desperate to prove she can adequately care for her niece. 

Brandon Barlow has long admired Rachel. When her world begins to fall apart, he feels led to help. A marriage of convenience would enable him to provide Rachel and Kendra with a stable life. Once Rachel gained full custody of her niece, the marriage could be annulled.


LPC Books has one FREE book for us this time. I was hoping for more but the other four bargain books in the email did not come up at the reduced price. Very sad.

Hush a suspense story new to me, from an author I’ve never met. I’m always excited to see something new.


Amazon quote:

Lacey Campbell dreams murders before they happen.

The night she dreams of a man strangling a young woman while crooning the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby,” she tries to convince herself it doesn’t mean anything. The next day she’s horrified to learn her dream was reality. Then she dreams the second murder….

Detective Ford Jamison is called in to help the local police, and he soon has a working theory about the murders. His belief that the killer is using the lullaby as a “blueprint” to target women who resemble Lacey, doesn’t slow the killings. Lacey is now afraid to fall asleep at night because the next face she sees in her dream might be her own.


Three books to choose from still makes a good day.

Happy Reading.

Thriller and Historical Mystery

Two books that I enjoyed enough to read all the way through, a number of weeks ago.

Enjoyed is probably not the right word for a thriller dealing with destructive behavior but I think you know what I mean.

I managed to write a synopsis of the first one but not the second, in spite of time spent planning it out. It was planned enough that I feel like I did write it. It was a big surprise (and disappointment) to find I hadn’t. Oh well.

I want to add these books, and others, to my lists of books read but I am seriously so far behind that I have to find a simpler way to move on. The other choice is to stop keeping track altogether and I don’t want to do that.

I am already culling the list I keep, by raising the bar on what will be included. This means leaving off some of the books I’ve read and are worthwhile.

Maybe I will add some straight to the list without adding them to a post first. There is some merit in that thought. Sometimes I need a way to remember what I’ve read, even if it was less than 4 star. Straight to the list would be good.

So there you have it, I’ll add books to the posts with less fanfare for a while, at least until I can get caught up.

Or, like a book so well that I just have to talk about it. There have been some of those alright.

Whatever happens will be a surprise, by the looks of it.

Blow out the Candles   Blow Out the Candles and Say Goodbye – Linda S Glaz ..

A thriller….   little girls, kidnapped and sold into overseas slavery, or given new identities and adopted out to the highest bidder.

A couple, posing as upstanding citizens move into an unsuspecting community. They gain everyone’s trust and then hold an amazing birthday party ending in a sleepover.   Arriving the next morning to retrieve their five year old daughters, the parents meet with shock and horror.  Everyone in the house has vanished, including all evidence anyone has ever lived there.

Brandy’s little sister, Tory, vanished after just such a party and life has been forever changed for their family. Brandy and her father Joe both suffer the anguish of misplaced guilt, believing they are responsible somehow. Brandy’s mother suffered two years of unbearable pain over the loss of her baby and ended it by taking her own life.

Crooked cops, unscrupulous lawyers, blackmailed judges, and award winning actors posing as upstanding citizens, have all worked together to make this lucrative enterprise a success.

Until now.

Things are beginning to slowly unravel.

a dangerous road   A Smokey Dalton Novel – A Dangerous Road – Kris Nelscott (pen name of Kristine Kathryn Rusch)  ….

A Dangerous Road happens in Memphis near the end of Martin Luther King Jr’s life

I enjoyed this book.

The mystery is figuring out who responsible for a large donation to his checking account. The next thing to find out is why. A decade later and another infusion of cash ramps up the concern and the need to know where and why.

A beautiful rich woman, looking for a particular detective, seems to be connected to his mystery. Could their mysteries be related?

I hope you are finding as many books as I seem to be finding these days.

Be sure to check out my Romance and Mystery Pages if you could use some reading suggestions.

Happy reading!



Send Down The Rain

Send Down the Rain   Send Down The Rain – Charles Martin

Charles Martin’s newest book.

Life for Bobby and Joseph was never the same after their father left with another woman. Damage was so severe that it sent them on downward spirals, lasting decades. Their  single mother did her best to provide for them, but the threat of draft was  something beyond her control. It felt like an automatic death sentence, for both of them. For her, the thought was unbearable. Although he was younger, Joseph was able to cope in ways his brother never was. The day Bobby’s draft notice arrived, Joseph was the  son his mother sought out.

I have to tell you, this tale is as gripping as all his others, and once started it’s impossible to stop – without good reason.

The good reason, this time, was Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I was able to work around my obligations, be fully present for family time, and still steal enough moments to finish this book.

There is so much to see and hear in these stories, making it impossible to take it all in in one reading. I will be reading this one again.

Charles Martin books are raw, real, and yet, tell a story that repels and draws all at the same time. You cannot help but connect with the lives of the characters, laughing and crying right along with them.

PTSD, bullying, human trafficking; friendship, love, fierce loyalty to family – are all part of the basic foundation this time.

The characters are well developed, and it’s interesting to see the way their lives intersect and, in some cases, are woven together.

I love the twists and turns you don’t see coming.

If you like a story that digs deep, making sure you think and feel, this is the book for you.


My greatest nightmare

This morning, just before waking up time, I dreamt I was going to a fancy restaurant, and just as I was seated, realized….. I forgot to bring my Kindle!

This was truly a disasterPanic sets in. How can I enjoy a fancy meal without him?

I also thought this was pretty funny and I just had to share.

My Kindle is a great friend, one who sticks closer than a brother, to quote a well known verse. He goes with me everywhere. And we have made some great memories together.

He has given me the courage to go places more often than I would  have otherwise.

Occasionally, as I am seated in a restaurant, I think about how pathetic it looks that my only companion is a book, and then I look on the bright side. If a book gives me courage and incentive, then how can that be a bad thing.