Free and bargain books October 20, 2020

BookRunes has a FREE Christmas suggestion by an author I’ve never read. I always (or mostly always) read the first few pages just to get an idea of what I’m in for. Sometimes I get the wrong idea but more often than not it turns out well and I’m left feeling glad about saying yes.

All that to say, I’m taking a chance on both of these books, just for starters. I say that because if I say only two then something else will be sure to show up before we’re done and I’ll be a liar and have to change this paragraph.

A Wish for Christmas (The Happy Holidays Series Book 3)

Amazon quote:

Heat Level: Low
Laugh Level: High

More than anything, India Ramone wants to give her daughter, her younger brother, and her elderly grandfather a Christmas they deserve. After the death of her mother, the last two years have been rough and money is tight. A full-time nursing student, she feels her prayers have been answered with the temporary job of personal assistant to John Laurencelli. The billionaire is rumored to be demanding and difficult but India soon realizes there’s more to him than bad press and weapons-grade dangerous good looks. But with everything on her plate, she doesn’t have time to be falling for her new boss.

John Laurencelli lives, eats, and breathes his business and making money. For his own reasons, he’s avoided Christmas for two decades. But it’s proving difficult this year when his new assistant wears vintage holiday aprons, hums Christmas tunes, and likes to spread good cheer. Despite his determination not to celebrate the season, it isn’t long before India opens his eyes to what’s missing in his life.

Can they overcome their fears and misgivings to make it a truly wonderful Christmas for each other?

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This next one comes via BookBub, it’s a bargain and a complete change of pace. The first was lighthearted. This one is not. But it does come highly recommended. I think I may have read this author once before but I’m not really sure.

Someone to Blame 

Amazon quote:

When a stranger wanders into a small coastal town, crimes suddenly multiply. Everyone is eager to find someone to blame . . .

In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt-ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads that hold them together unravel even more. Breakers, a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest, is draped with cold isolation that seems to mirror the hearts.

For the Moore family, blame is personal, harsh, and merciless … as their lives become entangled with this drifter and they have to face the truths they desperately want to hide from.

As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. Matt is always on edge and easily angered, Irene is sad and pensive, and Casey is confused and defiant. They’ve once more set the stage for calamity. Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores’. His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town – eager for someone to blame – goes after Thurber with murderous intent.

Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way. Author C. S. Lakin explores our need to assign reason and fix blame for the pain and grief in our lives. Though the circumstances are fictional, the emotions are real and universal, making Someone to Blame a great and inspiring read.

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Yesterday This Quiet Sky was one of our downloads and I said it would be next in line on my reading list – if I still remembered by the time I got to it.

I did get to it before I forgot. I made a special point of it

It wasn’t a long read. And I loved every minute of it, even though tissues were needed often. The author is amazing with this heart wrenching story. Her telling is so beautiful even while it makes you cry.

I would urge you to read it, it is worth every one of the five stars I gave it. A story that will touch you on such a deep and profound level does not come along very often.

This Quiet Sky

Amazon quote:

There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams.
Go to college. Become president. Fall in love.
And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

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I would tell you what I’m reading now except it feels wrong to change the mood. I want to feel the memory of This Quiet Sky a little while longer.

Next time.

This is a blog about books but …

This blog is about books, fiction books mostly, regular stories, nothing too heavy. Except for every now and then. Today’s featured book is a heavy topic and is to be read with caution. The authors stress this in the interview.

I’ve read many heavy topic books but don’t always share them, or if I do I do it quietly. This one I think should be shared a little more openly. I’m sure there is someone out there who needs to read it.

I’m including the link to an hour long interview podcast introducing you to this book and it’s authors. I found it very helpful to have background information before I read the book.

Mark Lowry has a way of asking insightful questions, keeping the interview moving along. The hour doesn’t drag or feel like it’s too long.

Brad Jersak pastored a small community church, meeting in the gym of my teenagers school a few decades ago when we lived in Abbotsford BC. I’ve never met him in person but knew of him. Over the years I’ve seen other interviews with him as he’s written a number of books.

Paul Young is author of one of my favorite books The Shack. I’ve followed him through the years as well.

Brad and Paul are friends and collaborated to produce The Pastor: A Crisis

This story is purely fiction and it’s been written to bring hope and healing to a desperate place where there’s little hope. With this type of subject it would be wrong to tell true stories.

The Pastor: A Crisis 

A weary fundamentalist pastor is stuck in a psychiatric ward, staring into the abyss of his own secret shame. Before he can be free, he must confront his demons and find Grace. But will he let go? Will he allow himself to be healed?

The Pastor explores the perilous human journey from self-will and striving through defeat and despair to hope and the redemption found only through surrender.

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This book resonates with me, the adult child of an alcoholic sex addict.

I have my own personal journey with denial and triggers. Recognizing and acknowledging the event behind my trigger and facing it head on has taken the steam out. It’s been a healing experience though not an easy one.

I can relate to this book in a limited way because it was written for men. To me it feels like reading a foreign language where I only know a few words. It doesn’t matter if I get it as long as men do.

If you feel drawn to this book I hope you will read it and begin a journey to find healing.

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I’ve forgiven my father and I’m working on forgiving you too. I can’t honestly ask you to read this book and heal if I’m unwilling to forgive.

More importantly: There’s nothing God can’t forgive if you truly want it.

It seems we have to soundly hit bottom before we are ready for surrender.

I’m praying that if you need to read this book you will.

God’s forgiveness and healing is amazing.

A little story and a Free book September 02, 2020

This year is going by way too fast. I still have some Christmas decorations about the house. I was looking at them the other day thinking there are so few days left in the year there’s no use putting them away now.

I doubt I could have talked myself into it anyway. I kind of like having them around all the time.

My kids will be here Saturday to take me to lunch for my birthday and they may give me a hard time about them still gracing the fireplace. I won’t share that a bowl full of tree ornaments off the dining room table did make it back in the storeroom a few weeks ago. I was cleaning up for company that didn’t materialize.

I’m excited about seeing my family. Not just for lunch, although I’m looking forward to it. They are also going to clean my gutters while they are here. It’s been a few years since they were done and I’m sure they are badly in need of a good wash. I’ve been tempted this summer to go up on the roof myself, since I’m the only one here to do it. Common sense prevailed. I’d probably fall off and kill my self or break something.

I probably wouldn’t have had to lie there very long before help came. The neighbors have windows over looking my backyard. They’d probably notice the unusual activity in time to see me fall. Knowing that almost gave me the courage to try, except I couldn’t figure how to pull myself up on the roof without destroying the gutters. I’m vertically challenged and age is against me. Spoils all my fun.

It will be something to see what’s in the gutters besides grit off the shingles. I suspect there could be birds nests. I’ve had that thought other years too as I could sometimes hear birds that seemed very close. This year I think there may be more than just the usual small birds I had in mind. The Mourning doves seem to be in larger numbers this year and they spend a lot of time flying around my roof. I keep surprising them in the flower beds too. Lots of babies this year. Hopefully the nests will be empty by now and not in any danger from us.

There isn’t much going on in the book realm tonight so this unintentional story gave me something to say when I thought I had nothing. Seems to be the story of my life (haha)

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BookRunes has a FREE book suggestion for us today and it’s the only thing on the agenda.

I like reading books like this one, always have. Learning new insights has been more than helpful on my journey through the years.

My only hesitation in mentioning the book here is I’ve not read this author before. At least not that I recall. Some authors are more helpful than others and reading through the chapter headings I’m not sure what to think. I’m going to read it and if it doesn’t sit well I have no problem casting it aside. Hopefully it will turn out to be good counsel.

I’m happy with the title. I love having God as my therapist. He knows everything about me. I don’t have to struggle to express anything. He always knows.

It will be an adventure to see if this book holds helpful nuggets. I’m hoping.

If God Were Your Therapist

Amazon quote:

Technological advancements have made our lives increasingly comfortable, safe, and easy; and we have more opportunities and advantages available to us today than ever before.

Given the high level of both opportunity and comfort, one would expect people to be happier than ever, and even more satisfied with their lives. The reality, though, is startlingly different. Instead of thriving and feeling empowered as a result of greater choices, we are deteriorating.

According to the latest research, one in four Americans suffers from mental illness. The drug companies try to keep pace, with the sales of anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and mood-stabilizing drugs at record levels, and tens of millions of new prescriptions being written each year.

But that doesn’t seem to be enough.

Many people are finding life just too painful. Every day, 80 Americans take their own lives, and over 1,900 Americans visit Emergency Departments for self-inflicted injury.

So why are we suffering from such emotional pain and anguish? Drawing on timeless wisdom and fundamental principles in psychology, If God Were Your Therapist offers insights into the human condition, and reveals how regardless of the opportunities available to us today, a lack of self-control results in poor choices, and ultimately leads to negative emotions and destructive habits.

As a solution, this book offers neither exercises or affirmations, nor meditations or motivating mantras. There is no homework to do or journals to fill out. Rather, readers learn how to regain self-control and move their thoughts, choices, and lives in a purposeful, powerful, direction, free from the shackles of anxiety and stress.

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Happy Reading y’all

I hope this book turns out to be helpful. We could all use a little bit of helpful.

Recently Read & Enjoyed.

The books on my reading list lately have been a joy. They were interesting stories with captivating characters. My only complaint with some of them was an over abundance of detail. There were several with a few too many characters. Aside from that it’s been a memorable week of time spent with strong stories. There were more but I just want to share these three.

This was my favorite. An amazing woman with an equally amazing life. It was not easy but she rose to the challenge every time.

This is a book I would like to read again.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide (The Women of Rock Creek Book 3)

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the “Great War” and the “Great Influenza” knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?

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This next one was not an easy read for me. It wasn’t, but it was life changing on a deep level. It took me a long time to find the courage to read it and when I finally did I was glad. It was a story of deep despair but it didn’t end that way.

A Place Called Morning 

A Place Called Morning

“Another incisive look at family life and secrets.” – Library Journal.

Mae Demaray retreats from life after her young grandson dies accidentally while under her care. What was once a quiet life in an old clapboard house on a quiet Minneapolis street, rich with the hues of security and love, is now shattered. But a decades-old family secret, based on an unlikely friendship over the years, brings redemption and restoration once it is revealed.

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One more.

This last story was special too. Life hasn’t been as dramatic for me as it was for these two characters but I can relate to listening to the still small voice. An amazing experience. I think Lorana Hoopes has done an excellent job in developing this complex story.

The Still Small Voice: Christian Speculative Fiction (Are You Listening Book 1)

The Still Small Voice

Would you give up everything to follow God?

Jordan Wright’s life was thrown upside down when she ended up pregnant in college. After giving up her son for adoption, she sought to find meaning in her life. As she gave her life to God, she began to receive visions and words to tell others. But can she trust God enough to take on the hardest mission of her life?

Kat Jameson had been a lukewarm Christian for years, but when her best friend died, her world was thrown into turmoil. Dreams haunt her evenings and a strange light began appearing around people. Kat believed she was going crazy until she met someone with a special message for her. Will she let go and finally let God use her?

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There is more to share next time.

Happy Reading

Charles Martin bargain books July 26, 2020

It looks like this is Charles Martin night.

I stumbled across a bargain book by one of my favorite authors. Charles Martin is a awesome story teller and in this book he tells his own story. I’ve not read it but wanted to. It’s a bargain today at $1.99

What If It’s True?: A Storyteller’s Journey with Jesus

What if it's True

Amazon quote:

Years ago, Charles Martin cracked open his Bible and began wrestling with a few fundamental questions. He asked, “What if every single word of Scripture is absolutely true and I can trust it? How do I respond? Something in me should change, but what? How?” This book is the result of that exploration. 

In What If It’s True? he brings key moments from the life and ministry of Jesus to life through his descriptive, novelistic words. In addition, Martin shares key moments from his own journey as a disciple—and bondservant—of Christ and a mentor to others. The result is an exploration of truth that helps us not just think differently, but live differently. Today.

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More of Charles Martin at bargain prices $2.99, and $4.99 for a collection. All of these I have read,

Maggie: The Sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening)

Maggie

Amazon quote:

“When Maggie opened her eyes that New Year’s Day some seventeen months ago, I felt like I could see again. The fog lifted off my soul, and for the first time since our son had died and she had gone to sleep—some four months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, and nineteen minutes earlier—I took a breath deep enough to fill both my lungs.”

Life began again for Dylan Styles when his beloved wife Maggie awoke from a coma. A coma brought on by the intense two-day labor that resulted in heartbreaking loss. In this poignant love story that is redolent with Southern atmosphere, Dylan and Maggie must come to terms with their past before they can embrace their future.

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The Dead Don’t Dance (Awakening Book 1) 

The Dead Don't Dance

Amazon quote:

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.

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Or you can get them both in one book for $2.99 (The Dead Don’t Dance and Maggie )

Down Where My Love Lives 

Down Where My Love Lives

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And another collection at a bargain price.

A Charles Martin Collection: When Crickets Cry, Chasing Fireflies, and Wrapped in Rain  $4.99

Charles Martin Collection

Amazon quote:

When Crickets Cry

A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.

It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.

Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he’s restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.

Before it’s over, they’ll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

Chasing Fireflies

They have one summer to find what was lost long ago.

“Never settle for less than the truth,” she told him. But when you don’t even know your real name, the truth gets a little complicated. It can nestle so close to home it’s hard to see. It can even flourish inside a lie. And as Chase Walker discovered, learning the truth about who you are can be as elusive—and as magical—as chasing fireflies on a summer night.

A haunting story about fishing, baseball, home cooking, and other matters of life and death.

Wrapped in Rain

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason, has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker himself can’t see is how to let go of the past 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 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 own tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice—and her prayers. But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

, 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 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 own tragic past.

Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice—and her prayers. But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.

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 This author is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. While many have read his books, many more haven’t and they need to discover this gem.

I hope you will be making the discovery.  His stories touch the heart and reading one of his books is an experience.

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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Free and bargain books December30, 2019

BookRunes has a FREE book for us today,  Three Days in Heaven. This book and author is new to me but after reading the introduction and some of the reviews, it sounds enticing. The subject isn’t new to me, I’ve read other books sharing real Near Death Experiences and they are all fascinating. The reviews tell me this author has a fictional, light hearted, but inspiring spin on three days spent in heaven. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Three Days in Heaven

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BookBub is mentioning a FREE book we’ve seen before, Thicker Than Blood. I read and enjoyed this one about five years ago. It’s worth mentioning again.

Thicker than Blood

Amazon quote:

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build her career as a buyer for a large used bookstore. So far she’s been able to keep her drinking problem at bay, but everything changes when she lands a DUI on her thirty-third birthday.

When she’s accused of a crime she didn’t commit at work, she has nowhere to turn. She yearns for her estranged family, especially her younger sister May whom she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. Now the owner of a failing cattle ranch in Elk Valley, Colorado, May couldn’t possibly want a relationship with the big sister who didn’t even say good-bye all those years ago, could she?

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A bargain collection of books from two well known, long-time authors showed up on Amazon this morning. This is a series on my read-and-enjoyed list from way-back-when. I’m not going to say how many decades it’s been but it has been more than a few, and the memory hasn’t faded.

The Russians Collection is a bargain at seven books for $1.99

The Russians Collection

Amazon quote:

In this bestselling series set in pre-revolutionary Russia, both a peasant and a princess face the prospect of their beloved country being torn apart by conflict within and without.

1 The Crown and the Crucible
2 A House Divided
3 Travail and Triumph
4 Heirs of the Motherland
5 Dawning of Deliverance
6 White Nights, Red Morning

7 Passage Into Light

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Happy Reading!

 

Free LPC books November 27, 2019

Possibly the last FREE LPC (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) ebook blast of the year. It’s hard to believe this year of 2019 is coming to a close already. It feels like it’s barely started. I still find myself about to write 2018 every now and again. To think that a decade is coming to a close as well, is even harder to imagine.

If this is LPCs last big push of the year we will have to savor these books and make them last into the new year. Mind you, we have other sources so we won’t panic, but we can be a little sad.

The Highlanders  The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection written by four authors. I’ve read and enjoyed one of the authors –  J’Nell Ciesielski. I’m looking forward to this collection if her previous work is any indication of what’s in store for us. I’m sure it is gong to be good.

Night Fox a love story set in Ireland 1715

A Tender Siege set in the USA 1763

The Year Without Summer set in Scotland 1816

The Violinist set in Idaho, USA 1915

Practically Married  Practically Married is a book I’ve read and enjoyed. I think it was offered as pre-release, you had to sign up for the authors email list to get it.

The story starts with an online relationship.

Tom and Ashley decided to meet in person (they had only talked by video) and marry soon. Ashley sold her house, quit her job, and packed up for the move to his state. Only, he didn’t arrive at the airport to pick her up as planned. Finally improvising, she made her way to his house in time to find he had died in an accident and the existence of a girlfriend was news to his family.

She may have been a surprise but the shocker was to find he had inadvertently willed her the farmhouse he shared with his cousin and farming partner.

With all these new revelations it seems she didn’t know him as well as she thought she did. Now she’s legally tied to his large family and no one is happy about it. She is a fixer, maybe she think of a way to make the situation work out well for everyone.

Murder in the Family  Murder in the Family is another book I’ve read and enjoyed. Probably through another pre-release offer.

Molly is a professional storm chaser and hasn’t been home to visit her dysfunctional family in years. She wouldn’t be here now except her beloved aunt died and named Molly sole beneficiary of her estate. Her death is a shock but the reading of her will is a much bigger shock.

The level of family greed is legendary. She wants no part in any of it. Except, she’s backed into a corner with the terms of the will. There is another choice that would let her walk away but it’s not one she’s willing to accept.

To make matters worse her aunt was a hoarder and the house is a dumping place for everyone’s things. The stuffed full interior smells like something died, the last roommate has disappeared, and – the family is convinced there’s buried treasure in the house and it’s their right to come in and take it.

Molly isn’t afraid to chase tornados but she doesn’t feel like she has the courage to stand up to the abusive members of her family. Her aunt seems to think she is the only one in the family who does have the courage.

Among the Poppies  Among The Poppies was a book on our FREE list a couple of days ago. It’s worth considering again though.

Below is part of what I said about this book on the 25th. This story is a good read.

Gwyn has learned, and learned to love, auto mechanics living life close to the side of her chauffeur father. She’s also learned the art of being a lady at the hands of her benefactress and father’s employer. Social norms of the day are restrictive, a woman driving and fixing automobiles was just not done. Gwyn doesn’t care about any of that. There is a desperate need for ambulance drivers with mechanics to keep them on the road. Gwyn has the skills to do both and she plans to answer the call.

Among the Poppies is written by one of the authors involved with the first book collection today.

Sand Creek Serenade  Sand Creek Serenade sounds like a book I’ve read but I’m not seeing it in my list. In any event, I enjoyed the book I did read and I have plans to read and enjoy this one too.

Part of the synopsis on Amazon:

One woman with a deep desire to serve and help. One brave who will stop at nothing to save his people. Each willing to die for their beliefs and love for one another. Will their sacrifice be enough?

As a female medical doctor in 1864, Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to tragedy and loss. While she grapples with the difficulties of practicing medicine at a Colorado outpost, she learns that finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wants peace between his people and the American Army.

Answering the Call Answering the Call is a devotional written…

Based on the author’s experiences as a paramedic, these inspirational devotionals tap into the concerns and issues that trouble men and women serving as first responders. First responders answer the call. (quote from Amazon)

This topic is dear to my heart as I’ve never forgotten my five years spent several decades ago as first responder in a small town. The experience provided a little taste of what it would be like as a full time career first responder in a larger area. Not an easy life. There are many life changing things you can’t unsee, yet your heart of compassion wants to be there for others in times of crisis.

It’s true, career first responders are unsung heroes. I expect this book will give us a little glimpse into the lives they lead. I know the glimpse will lead to appreciation, especially if we ever have need of their services. Remembering a little of how it is for them will deepen our appreciation.

While I took a break from this post to let it settle a bit before publishing, I was thinking back over my experiences on ambulance. I did face fatalities of different kinds, from time to time, but I was spared the difficult scenes of massive injury. I covered many shifts due to my availability as a stay-at-home mom and the only call with car crash trauma that should have been mine was covered by a crew mate who needed to trade shifts with me for that day. I was sorry about the accident but grateful to have been spared the call.

A decade or so earlier while listening to a nurse friend (in another small town many miles further west) talk about riding ambulance, this feeling of horror came over me at the thought of having to do such a job. It’s funny how it goes sometimes. Who knew that one day I would agree to the same job because the town needed me.

I’m grateful to have been spared horrendous scenes that would live forever in my memory. At the same time though I have many rewarding memories of being there when patients with health issues needed help. If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know, I would say yes in a heart beat.

I think my deepest appreciation for first responders comes more from what I know I didn’t experience rather than from what I did. I’m looking forward to reading Answering the Call, to see life from someone else’s perspective.

So, getting back to the subject of books. Enjoy the latest interesting and FREE offerings from LPC Books and we look forward to seeing more from them in the new year.

Happy Reading

 

 

 

 

Intensity, and Moondust Lake

I’ve been reading The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey by Ian Morgan Cron and it’s been very enlightening. Another timely book in my life’s journey.

They tell me Enneagram has not been proven but has been experienced as useful. They also say it is not personality typing in a psychological sense but in a spiritual one. Of the nine categories number eight is Challenger and it is the strongest and most complicated in relationships. I guess that’s why the book deals with it first.

It didn’t take long for me to see myself in Eights description. This is not a surprise as similar results have come up in other tests I’ve taken over the years.  It’s nice to see it expressed in a different fashion though as it adds another dimension to my understanding of why I do some of the things I do. A few of the descriptions for an Eight are – intimidating, intense, fearless, and more. To be honest, I’ve never viewed myself this way. I’ve always thought of myself as a wall flower trying not to be noticed. When I take a closer look at my life though, I can see I have been in denial about some things.

It was interesting: At work one day, eight or nine years ago, one of the guys asked me what I was like as a teenager. I couldn’t figure out why he would ask me that. I lead a very quiet life, then and now, so what would make him think I was a handful as a teenager? That question still runs through my mind  occasionally and it’s only now, pondering all of this, that I can see what he saw in me. A passive, immovable strength. My brothers would call it stubborn.

As a teenager I wasn’t bothered by peer pressure, and don’t remember being afraid of my teachers or other authority figures. In my mind, it was fine if people didn’t think or believe the way I did. I kept to myself a lot with only a small circle of friends. I didn’t recognize any of these thought patterns as strength back then. As a teen you think what you feel is just normal and don’t spend much time thinking about it. Now, I’m beginning to see things from a different perspective.

Type Eight craves intense and this is so true for me. Both in conversations and in books. An Eight also does things in excess, which would explain the binges in most of my activities. The book describes this habit as go big or go home. I think 10 jigsaw puzzles in a row and a stack of books, all in a few weeks, qualifies.

All of this brings me to the one of the last books read along with Enneagram. A perfect example of intense.

Moondust LakeMiramar Bay Series  –  Moondust Lake book 3 – Davis Bunn ….  Buddy Helms has never been able to please his father no matter what. At least that’s the way he feels about it. He hasn’t been able to say no to his demands either. The hardest for him to swallow was the demand that Buddy join the family business. In reality, it isn’t a family business, it is a one man show – dictatorship is his dad’s leadership style and he rules with an iron fist.

Economically the company is floundering and Buddy  negotiated a major deal that will  put the company back in the black. Along with this deal he’s put together an exit plan to get himself out of the business he is good at but hates.

He’s had to spend time with the new psychologist in town, while setting up a new clinic, and association with her has also helped him find the courage to stand up to his dad. He’s ready to take the plunge and knows it will take a brilliant plan to pull it off.  He has one that will do it if he can make the right alliances.

He expects his father to fight this decision to leave but doesn’t expect him to fight dirty. He doesn’t expect his association with her would also bring the psychologist under fire, a devastating blow for her after such a big move.

His mother is beyond thrilled Buddy finally has the courage to stand up to his father.

The family is going to be in shock; but she has a plan too. Enough is enough.

Davis Bunn’s books are always thoughtful and well written. I won’t be forgetting this book in a hurry.

If you like intense as much as I do, you will enjoy this book. I am positive about that.


Happy reading!

More to follow…

 

 

 

Podcasts, vlogs, and blogs

Podcasts and live videos have been capturing my attention lately and I am hooked. There is something about live interaction that makes the dissemination of information so much more attractive – at least to me anyway.

Podcasts

Carey Nieuwhof is one of the podcasters I’ve been following lately.    http://careynieuwhof.com/mypodcast/

Carey’s specialty is leadership training and everything he does revolves around that.  He has the gift of finding interesting guests and insightful questions for his podcasts. Every one I’ve listened to so far has been worthwhile and inspiring; even more interesting  than the titles suggested to this non-leader type  person. I examine the subject title and wonder how it could relate to me. It’s a surprise to find there is always something to catch my interest and keep me listening. Most of the interviewees have recently written a book and that’s always part of the conversation as well.

Today’s podcast was to be about organizing your calendar in a way that would make it possible to accomplish a daunting list of tasks without spending mega hours in the office. This guest is a busy man with an overwhelming mountain of responsibility  but somehow he manages to streamline his day and get it all done.  They discussed his methods for a while and then switched to the topic of his new book. It’s called The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery, by guest Ian Morgan Cron. It’s based on an old psychological system with nine personality types. That’s a higher number than some of today’s more popular systems use, which makes it different before we even get started. They touched briefly on each of them in the hour long podcast. Carey had read the book and applied the test to himself so the informed discussion was enlightening.

The first order of business at the end of the podcast was to purchase my own  copy from Amazon. I’m always interested to see what I can learn about myself with any of these tools. I haven’t started reading the book yet but I’m sure I’ll be talking about it when I do.

Video Podcasts (Vlogs)

Anglican Unscripted is a video podcast/vlog I’ve been following for a year or so. They do a journalism show in live video. The subject is always news as it relates to the Anglican church and happens once or twice a week. I’m not Anglican, (although I am ecumenical –  does anyone even use that word anymore?) but I find their discussions interesting. It appeals to me because I like to have a feel for what is going on in the world.

There are three main participants in the show; Kevin Kallsun and George Conger in the US, (Connecticut and Florida) and Gavin Ashenden in the UK. The link to check them out is AnglicanTV Ministries – YouTube.

Gavin used to be chaplain to the Queen but parted ways with the Anglican Church over doctrinal issues. He is highly educated and has a wise way of expressing himself. George is an Episcopal priest and while he agrees with Gavin, most of the time, he has his own slant on things. I enjoy watching them discuss the issues of the day. Once in a while, we even hear interviews from Australia, Israel, Africa, or several other places.

This week Anglican Unscripted/Anglican TV shared six videos that captured my interest enough  to watch all of them three times. The speakers were polished, knowledgeable, and inspiring; workshop leaders at an Anglican’s For Life Conference in Washington DC. The conference was in conjunction with a Right to Life march happening there that weekend.

The speakers did touch on the subject of abortion, but only one spoke to it in depth. The others spoke on topics like terminal illness and its affect on both the patient and the family; the needs  that stem from this hurting community and how they can be met. Up to ninety percent of a persons support systems fall away after cancer diagnosis, mostly because as a society we don’t know how to deal with the issue and tend to run away from it. The challenge from each speaker was to step up and learn what we can do to be there for these people in our lives. They talked about post abortion devastation and the grief process that is being endured hopelessly, in silence, and about bringing hope to the elderly – their life isn’t over, it still has meaning and purpose, if they look for it.

On the surface the subjects sound depressing but each speaker dealt with their segment in a way that brought hope for a better future.

I found the speakers compelling and know I will be contemplating their thoughts for some time to come. If you would like to hear more, the videos are on YouTube on the Anglican TV channel. It would be well worth your time if you have a heart for hurting people.

The speakers I liked the best were Georgette Forney, Rick Berge, David Bereit, Aveda King (related to Martin Luther King Jr.), Ryan T Anderson, and Cathie Young.

Blogs

Last but not least, I have been following Dr. Perry’s blog at  makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com.  I recommend his site if you are looking for safe and helpful input in your life. Check out his bio for a clearer idea of what his site is all about.

This time it was an excellent and helpful post about empathy; but what really caught my attention was a comment on the post. A reader mentioned a book she found helpful, by Alan Alda, one of my favorite actors in the old Mash TV series.

Alan is an intelligent, educated, and well-read man interested in all things science. He hosted a science show for over a decade and has followed some of his own ideas with an obsession. Communication is dear to his heart and he’s put much effort into testing and understanding his ideas for improvement. Empathy forms a large part of his strategy for good communication and he has a light-hearted way of sharing serious information so that it sticks. He’s written a book called If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?  I’m half way through it and I have to tell you; he has a lot to say. This book is the literary equivalent of a well packed suitcase that must be sat on to be closed successfully.

Empathy is connection with another person. You learn how to notice what they are thinking and feeling. This takes communication, and relationships, to a whole new level. Empathy improves not only verbal exchanges but written ones as well. We can become better writers if we practice empathy. And practice is exactly what’s needed. the more we do it the better we become and our work will improve to show it.

If I understood you

There is so much more that could be said about each and every one of these examples but I wanted only to give you a taste, hoping you would explore these sites for yourself, and be enticed to follow them too.

Happy hunting.