A new list….

It’s been a few weeks since the last post. I am travelling again and life has been full. I’ve still found time to read though… there is always time to read! The read book list is getting to be pretty long so this will be the quick version…… to get it done.

There were several events last weekend where conversation led to books and a discovered shared passion. They¬† were highlights of my week. I should be getting paid for the passionate sell job. ūüėÄ

We shared favorite authors and the benefits of using Kindle paperwhite. (large print, no¬†screen light, hours of reading with no eyestrain… great for the addicts among us!)

Many of the books on this list have been written by some of my new favorite authors. Hopefully you will enjoy them too.

So.. here’s the list….

Walking Shoes Mt Hope Southern Adventures РWalking Shoes: Triumph Over Tragedy book 1 РLynne Gentry

Until I don't¬† The Resolution Series – Until I Don’t book 2 – T.I. Lowe

Truffles by the Sea  The Chocolate Series РTruffles  By The Sea book 2 РJulie Carobini

The Sister Circle  Sister Circle Series РThe Sister Circle book 1 РNancy Moser and Vonette Bright.

Captive Justice  A Jake & Annie Lincoln Thriller РCaptive Justice: A Private Investigator Mystery book 4 РRayven T. Hill

Paper Roses¬† Serenity’s Plain Secrets Series – Paper Roses book 5 – Karen Ann Hopkins

Deadly Countdown  Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations РDeadly Countdown  book 4 РMargaret Daley

The Mask Revealed The Jacobite Chronicles РThe Mask Revealed book 2 РJulia Brannan

the Gathering Storm  The Jacobite Chronicles РThe Gathering Storm book 3 РJulia Brannan

Blood Orchids A Lei Crime Novel РBlood Orchids  book 1 РToby Neal

Proof Bloodline Trilogy РProof book 1 РJordyn Redwood


Happy Reading!

Mask of Duplicity – Jacobite Chronicles book 1

Another great book! I’ve already¬†downloaded the next two in the series.¬†It’s not often I feel compelled to read on. I love¬†feeling compelled.¬†The cliff hanger ending is mostly ¬†responsible.¬†In truth,¬†the whole book is responsible.

This is historical fiction, based on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which was trying to overthrow Hanoverian King George II of England and replace him with the exiled king living in France. There is a helpful and detailed explanation about this period in history  at the beginning of the book.

The rebellion theme is a small part of the story. Family drama is the bigger part.

The¬†characters are many and interesting. Some you love and some you don’t. And you¬†can never be sure¬†where things are going to go next. ¬†It’s romance¬†yet there is serious intrigue,¬†with a few fight scenes thrown in to keep up the momentum.

Mask of Duplicity¬†Jacobite Chronicles – Mask of Duplicity book 1 – Julia Brannan …… With¬†Beth’s focus centered¬†on looking after her ailing¬†father in his final years and¬†with the¬†loss of¬†his¬†income, the estate has fallen into disrepair. A fact displeasing to her angry brother when he arrives home, after a lengthy absence, to claim his inheritance.

He has grand ideas of high society and a commission in the military and decides that to achieve these goals their only recourse is to attempt reconciliation with their noble cousins. Beth has no desire to leave quiet country life but there is no choice but to go along with it.  She finds herself terrified of what her brother will do next, trying to force her to do things his way.

Their reception was not great but at least it was better than they hoped. Snobbish cousin Edward will help, reluctantly, if Beth marries quickly and well. He has conditions. Her marriage must provide a commission for her brother, Richard, and an influence in Parliament for himself.

His sisters, on the other hand, are thrilled to have Beth’s company, condition free, and are already planning ways to launch her quickly¬†into polite society,¬†where there are bachelors of the highest order.

The season won’t start in London for several months yet and they must make do with the few visitors they see at their country estate.

Foppish, socialite¬†Sir Anthony Peters is a frequent visitor, and while he seems to be popular with¬†everyone, including the king, Beth is put off by his vapid ways and the seemingly indiscriminate way he spreads gossip.¬†Beth has learned to be discerning about people but he is beyond figuring out and she still¬†doesn’t like him.

His wealth and connections are important to the men of the house though and they are hoping he will use those connections for an introduction to the king. Something that is sure to pave the way to an advantageous marriage.

Beth is strong-willed, intelligent, and feisty –¬†standing up to the cruelty of her brother.

Sir Anthony dresses and behaves in a way that appears foppish and vapid, his heavy make-up and¬†flowery cologne is off-putting,¬†but –¬†there are moments when you are sure there is to him than what you see.

I’m hoping this is inspiring you to check out¬†this series. I’m sure you will find it a nice surprise.

The next list will have more books on it. I am getting behind again –¬†reading more than I’m writing about. Not a bad problem from a reading standpoint.


Happy reading! ¬†I’m hoping you are finding books you are over the moon about too.¬†

Chasing Charlie

Chasing CharlieNow and then we meet a book with huge impact…. this was one of those books for me, and I know I am not alone in that.

Vince Glaser is buried in work, as lead investigator on his tightly knit FBI team. His personal life is tough. A messy divorce followed by the tragic death of his ex wife and he is a single father struggling to make life work for his six year old son.

Angela Hawkins, head strong and capable, has been Vince’s partner and best friend on the job. He owes her his life after being shot during a suspect¬†encounter. He would have died if not for her quick action.

In the three years since his divorce and harrowing experience with death, their friendship has deepened and could possibly turn into love, but neither one of them has been willing to go down that road.

Lately, Vince has been experiencing severe abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss,   troubling enough to seek medical help. The diagnosis РPancreatic carcinoma. Six to eight months. Devastating news. What about Charlie? He has suffered so many losses in his young life, how can Vince leave him like this? How can he tell him his father is dying.

How can he tell his team and the rest of his family he is dying, and there is so little time left.

This was a compelling story I could not put down.

Vince is determined to do whatever it takes to have more time with his son. Quitting his job, chemo therapy, whatever it takes.

His team is devastated and determined to do whatever they can to support him in his fight to live a little longer, for Charlie.

Angela is there for him, like she has always been, but it creates a tension between them. Latent feelings of attraction are fanned into flame with new circumstances. It’s impossible¬†to spend this much time and care this deeply without thinking about wanting more.

Vince is determined he can’t ask someone to start a relationship with him under these circumstances. Angela is determined she wants to¬†be there for him¬†no matter how much¬†time is left. There is no communication, on this subject, happening between them but the mindset is still affecting the ease of¬†their friendship, and in Angela’s case –¬†her relationships at work.

This is so well written that it was impossible not to be drawn into their lives. When they cried, I cried along with them. All of their lives have been forever changed living through this experience. My life has been impacted by living it with them.

Highly recommended. I hope you will read it too.

An insightful look into the world of love and cancer.

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.



Wilma Derksen – writer, communicator

I want to share another awesome writer with you.

We were privileged to have a local celebrity,¬†Wilma Derksen, as speaker at two of the writer’s events I attended¬†this spring.¬†Hearing¬†Wilma was a first for me, and I was impressed.¬†She is wise, has a sweet spirit, and relates well to her audience. I can see why she is popular and in demand.

Wilma’s¬†writing career¬†started with¬†a tragic event in her life, the disappearance¬† and¬†murder of her young teenage daughter, Candace.¬†The purpose of¬†the first¬†book was¬†to help her make sense of the tragedy, and to assess¬†it’s¬†effect on her family. Publishing and making it publically available¬†brought help and healing to¬†many of those facing similar circumstances. It¬†was also found to be a good¬†resource¬†for¬†those¬†working with victims of serious crime.

The¬†first book was Have You Seen Candace. It was followed by three others, all dealing with other aspects of the coping process. Wilma is tenacious and forgiving, willing to share her secrets with us –¬†and did, in these books.¬†The Way of Letting Go, Confronting the Horror, and Unsettled Weather.

Have you seen Candace¬†¬† The opportunities as a result of¬†these books¬†have been amazing. She’s had invitations to speak in unexpected places.¬†Her books have been¬†used as educational and training resource material.¬†She’s been given many, and varied, teaching opportunites.¬†There have even been awards.

I’ve had the privilege of¬†reading two of her books, so far, but will list the rest of them for you anyway.

The Way of Letting Go¬†¬† The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness

Confronting the Horror¬†¬† Confronting the Horror: The Aftermath of Violence ….. The Victim’s Journey Through the 15 Elements of Serious Crime

Unsettled Weather¬† Unsettled Weather: How Do I Forgive . …. a group study on forgiveness using a story telling method


The next two are the ones¬†I’ve read, and will probably read again. Unlike the¬†first books, these two are novels.¬†Story seemed to be a good¬†way¬†to share some of the wisdom she’s¬† gained walking through this life of hers.¬†In case you are wondering,¬†these books¬†are not biographical.¬†I know,¬†it feels like they are.

Path of the Heart¬† Ava Series – Path of the Heart book 1 …..¬† is the beautiful story of a neglected little girl who loves and feels loved, by her grandmother, a wise woman sought out by many in the community. They come by way of¬†a special path through the forest, knowing she can help them because she has seen an angel.

Echo of the Soul¬† Ava Series – Echo of the Soul book 2 ….. there is¬†oppression in the community. An overbearing man, and his wife, have moved in and taken over. The man, secretly¬†a liar and a cheat, has bullied people into following his dictates. The path has never seen this much traffic,¬†so many coming to see the wise woman who has seen an angel. She has had many¬†answers for them in the past,¬†they are convinced she will have an answer for this too.

These last two books are already¬†available on Amazon.¬†It’s¬†hoped the rest can be made available soon; as well as¬†the¬†new book that’s about to be released.

I hope these books will inspire and encourage you in your journey.

Happy reading, for a brighter tomorrow.

Poets, and their stories

Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost¬†was so much fun that I’m feeling pumped.

Usually I bask for a little while in the afterglow of a good book  and then quickly move on to another one. By the time I get around to mentioning it here the glow is long gone, never to be felt again

This time I’ll try to¬†talk about it while I’m still feeling it.

As I run through this experience in my mind, trying to make sense of it for you, I recognize that it is the emotional experience, more than anything, that makes me categorize a book as great.

It’s¬†wonderful if the subject is interesting and the book is technically well written. It helps¬†if the characters are¬†relatable and the plot flows well and is easy¬†to follow. Everything about the book can be perfect but in the end it’s evoked¬†emotions that leave me loving¬†a book.

This story was a perfect. There was a full range of stirred emotions, with laughter and giggles at the top of the list.

There are many things that could be said about what it takes to write in a way¬†that will¬† stir emotions, but¬†that’s a post for another day.¬†By someone else.¬†I recognize¬†those times when I’ve been¬†made to feel but I¬†can’t tell you how to write to make it happen.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I do know that you have to be real to write like that. It has to flow out of¬† the authentic you. The emotions have to be inside the writer before they can be poured out on the page.

The¬†flow of this¬† whole consideration¬†led me to¬†think about¬†actors. They can make me feel things when they are pretending to be someone they aren’t.¬†At the same time though,¬†their strategy is to¬†conjure up whatever emotion they need, to play the part.¬†In that regard it’s real. Pretend (when it comes to emotions)¬†doesn’t work well for¬†actors either.

So getting back to Hemingway. This story¬†was fantasy,¬†similar to¬†some of the second chance TV shows we’ve seen.

I¬†will admit,¬†as a¬†disclaimer,¬†I have heard of most of the great poets but have not read much of anything¬†they’ve written.¬†I haven’t paid much attention to their lives either. That means I have no idea if the biographical material contained in these¬†stories ¬†is accurate in any way.¬†¬†I just know I liked these books, accurate or not.

Four Days With Hemingway's Ghost¬†Four¬†Days With Hemmingway’s¬†Ghost – Tom Winton ….. ¬†Jack Phelan had been spending a lot of time reading everything he could find¬†about his favorite poet, and Hemingway was on his mind¬† when¬†a serious¬†accident put¬† Jack in a coma.¬†Imagine the¬†shock,¬†to find himself standing outside of one of Hemingway’s¬†houses, talking to an old¬†man he suddenly recognizes.

The next four days were a real trip. They were days chock full of amazing experiences, places and people. They were also days full of angst. There was uncertainty about how this experience would  play out for Jack. Would he pass the test and live?

It could be, that the purpose of this book was to show Hemingway in a different light. Or, it could be that it was just for the fun of it. Either way, I liked it.

Unlike the Hemingway novel this next one is written as Historical Fiction, no fantasy involved.

As mentioned earlier, I have no background knowledge to decide if any of the details set forth are true. For the first time I can remember, I was wishing I did know.

I do know it was immensely enjoyable and it made me think about reading his poetry sometime. Preferably in a book I could hold.

A Strange Beginning¬† The Lord Byron Series – A Strange Beginning book 1 – Gretta Curran Browne …. a stand alone novel

So…. I decided to do a little research in Wikipedia. It seems the author stayed pretty close to the truth of¬†Byron’s life, although there are differing opinions¬†on several¬†points in the historical accounts. It’s not clear what the truth¬†would be¬†there.

The story has been cleaned up quite a bit too, there was no mention of his debts and only veiled references to his dalliances.

Ms Browne set out to create a¬†work of¬†fiction, loosely based on¬†Lord Byron’s¬†life, so it was the author’s¬†prerogative to write¬†whatever she felt would make it¬†an¬†interesting¬†story.¬†¬†In my opinion,¬†she succeeded admirably.

Now that I’ve read up on Byron, I think I’m glad I didn’t know much at¬†first. There were no comparisons happening in my head as I read. There was even sympathy for the abuse suffered¬†at the hands of¬†his¬†mad mother.

With¬†a clearer understanding of the circumstances of¬†his life and the direction of his thoughts, I¬†seem to¬†be having some doubts about reading¬†his¬†poetry. We’ll see…. maybe.

I did love the book and stand by my assessment of it. Read it if you can, I think you would like it too.

Happy Reading.



Staci Stallings Part 3

This is the final list of Staci Stallings books in my three-part series of posts highlighting her work. Twenty books (in five years) is an impressive list of downloads,¬†in my estimation.¬† Part of the reason for¬†so many¬†is her regular¬†willingness to offer books free or at reduced prices….. my kind of books.

I’m pretty¬†sure her books will show up again¬†in my future reading lists and this won’t be the last time we see her¬†name mentioned here.

Staci is prolific, writing in¬†several different styles and genres. Both her writing, and her stories, have a depth that compels¬†us to keep on reading. This makes it possible to read many books from the same author¬†without feeling like¬†it¬†is getting old. I hope you will introduce some of her books¬†to your reading list, if you haven’t already.

I liked all of these books but the one I enjoyed most in this lineup was Dance With Me

Dance With Me¬†¬†¬† Dance With Me ….. Kaci’s dreams are shattered with an injury that won’t allow her to continue the rigorous life as prima ballerina. It’s been three years and she has no hope of ever dancing again…..until she discovers a small dance studio and begins to see a glimmer of possibility.

Josh has hated dance ever since he was bullied because of it years ago. He is in financial straits though, and his mother has decided the only way he will get anything more is to work for it, in the dance studio.

Kaci and Josh must work together and it does not go well.  He suspects Kaci is either a snob, or she is hiding the true level of her qualifications. They are often at odds because they approach dance from different directions. Can they make this work? Is it even worth the struggle?

Mirror Mirror¬†¬† The Grace Series – Mirror Mirror book 1 …… an epic novel. Sage is living the perfect California privileged¬†life of glitz and glamour, until she is suddenly shipped off to spend the summer with her biological dad’s family. She is about to discover¬†that life is not as perfect as she thought it was.

Luke has lived the life of a slacker. His main talent seems to be to showing up when people need help, and right now Jaycee needs his help. Her forgotten step sister is coming¬†for the summer and Jaycee is panicking. Luke is trying to be there for¬†her but it’s tough.¬†Sage is not turning out to be as horrible¬†as¬†he was led to¬†believe. He’s finding it¬†a¬†challenge not to fall for her.

When I'm Weak¬† The Grace Series – When I’m Weak book 2 ….. Jaycee is part of the television industry demanding perfection within tight deadlines. Perfection is what she does best.¬† She is trying to¬†juggle the challenge of keeping things on track while working with a building contractor new to the world of television.¬† A handsome building contractor.

Tragedy at home throws her a curve ball. Will she have to choose between family and her job? A job that includes the man who is becoming important to her?

A Love like This¬† The Grace Series – A Love Like This book 3 …… Rachael, a single mom with two small children, has survived many tragedies in¬†her lifetime¬†but the destruction of her home in a hurricane may be the one that is¬†too much.¬†A solution¬† presents itself with the arrival of a television construction crew wanting to repair her house.

Caleb’s place is behind the camera, not in front of it as point man for the reconstruction project. His boss wants¬†Caleb¬†to¬†step in as host¬†this time because other obligations won’t allow him to be¬†available¬†for this¬†segment. This is the big break Caleb has been hoping for but it’s complicated¬†by his¬†attraction to Rachael. He would have to leave when the job is complete if he wants to¬†seize¬†further opportunity¬†in front of the camera.

A Moment like This¬†¬† The Grace Series – A Moment Like This book 4 prequel to book 5 …. This book is the bridge between the first three books¬†and the final one. The characters from the first three are gathered together again and a new couple is added to the mix. Loose ends have been tied up and the stage has been set for book 5.

Raising Attabury¬†The Grace Series – Raising Attabury book 5 an epic novel ….. Eric and Dani have worked hard to build¬†the successful¬†dream life for themselves. It seems like it should be enough but¬†it still feels like there’s¬†something missing.¬†Dani wants¬†to purchase and renovate a big¬†old house.¬†As things move along with the renovation they find it may not even be worth salvaging after all. Will their marriage¬†survive the rocky places this project takes them?


A Little Piece of Heaven¬† The Faith Series – A Little Piece of Heaven book 2 …… Jeremy thinks he has it all when, unexpectedly, everything comes crashing down and even his friends are gone.

Emily has her life all laid out and a relationship with Jeremy does not fit in with the plan. This is a college age romance. Can they overcome the obstacles and find a little piece of heaven together?

White Knight¬† The Courage Series – White Knight book 2 …… Eve has lost the love of her life, a devastating blow that she can’t seem to move past. Her friends keep trying to set her up with guys, sad to see her alone. They are¬†wanting to help¬†her move on with life but it never goes over well.

A.J.¬†finds himself¬†in the same boat, his best friend keeps arranging disastrous blind dates for him in spite of his objections.¬†He notices Eve’s¬†predicament¬†and she¬†has his sympathy.

For Real¬†¬† The Courage Series – For Real book 3 ….. Blaine has a secret and so far he has been able to keep that way…. secret.

Things begin to fall apart when an old friend comes back into his life and starts to ask hard questions. Soon, Melody begins to find that the Blaine she thought she knew is not the real Blaine.

the Easy Way Out¬†The Friendship Series – The Easy Way Out book 2 ….. Drew is trying to pick up the pieces of his life after¬†the perfect¬†girl left him to marry¬†his best friend and business partner.

It seems Charity is never able to measure up¬†and she resents her perfect older sister for always making her look like second best.¬†While she notices Drew –¬†as he goes about his work –¬†and feels sad for him, she¬†isn’t interested in her sister’s cast offs. Still, there seems to be¬†an attraction¬†there. Is it worth exploring?

Thanks for reading!


Books to address the tough subjects


I wasn’t sure…. in the first few pages….¬†if¬†I could read this book, but I persevered and was glad I did. Really glad. I would like to recommend¬†it to you, too.

Coming Home Again¬†tells the story of rape, and¬†it’s devastating¬†aftermath,¬†in¬†a way that we can bear to hear the worst and still¬†keep reading.¬†I had to check to be sure it was fiction because¬†it¬†is presented in a way that feels very real. (The best stories have you¬†doubting¬†they are fiction.)

As mentioned, at first I didn’t think I could read this book. I was about to delete it unread but¬†remembered there must have been a good¬†reason why I downloaded it in the first place. So¬†I kept reading, and I’m glad I did. I find books like this one¬†are a positive part of my healing journey. It seems they show up¬†at¬†just the right time¬†with an answer to the current¬†question plaguing my mind.¬†I love how that works.

T.I. Lowe gives statistics that tell us millions of Americans have been victims of rape and attempted rape. A third of them have suicidal thoughts, and more than ten percent of them have attempted it.

I think it’s important for all of us to read this kind of¬†story because it helps to¬†give us an understanding we may not already¬†have. If we can understand the reason behind behaviours, the ones¬†we probably even find offensive, it¬†can be life changing, for everyone. Knowing more, we may even recognize abuse¬†while there is still time to intervene. That could be life saving.

For the victim. it’s important to know they are not¬†alone in this experience. Secrecy is a big part of the abuser’s tactic and it’s easy to believe no one else knows or cares.

I like¬†the writing¬†technique in this book.¬†Details of the story are passed¬†out in¬† manageable bites. And in some of the¬†more graphic¬†places, she gives you a¬† clear choice –¬†to read or not to read.

This¬†story¬†gives us¬†hope…¬† there is life after abuse, we don’t have to be broken forever.


Coming Home Again¬†A Coming Home Again Novel – Coming Home Again book 1 – T.I. Lowe…….¬† young teenage sisters¬†fall prey to the wishes of a handsome, charming college age young man their mother¬†introduces to their home. She¬†charges him¬† with oversight of her family¬†while her husband works and¬†she is off¬†pursuing her self-indulgent lifestyle.

Savannah is distressed at the inappropriate ways this man interacts with the girls and  she goes to great lengths to avoid him. Mostly it works.

Her father notices her disappearing¬†act and¬†is¬†distressed¬†by this behaviour. He¬†tries to put an end to¬†it¬† but doesn’t think to ask any of¬†the right questions¬†about why it’s happening in the first place.

Her mom seems to be oblivious to everything, in her self absorption, and does nothing.

Then comes the horrendous weekend that changes their lives forever. Mom must have finally noticed something amiss, because on her return from vacation  she  sends  the young man away.

It’s too little too late,¬†the damage¬†is already done.

At the first opportunity,¬†the girls pack up and leave,¬†hoping¬†to escape the demons haunting them.¬† After all this time¬†away, it still¬†feels¬†impossible¬†to¬†go back to the place of unbearable memories, even¬†to bury the loving father they haven’t seen in¬†years.

Will they survive this reunion? Savannah has serious doubts.

This is actually a pretty upbeat book considering the nature of the subject matter. Kudos to the author for the way she handled it.

I have read several more books that touch on difficult subjects but I think I will keep them for another post.

Wishing you the very best in your journey.


Best book this week – A Noble Masquerade Kristi Ann Hunter

A Noble Masquerade was my favorite this week, but really, all of the books in this list were top notch. I think maybe it was the humor that put this one ahead of the rest, probably because I needed a laugh right about now.

A Noble Masquerade¬† Hawthorne House Series – A Noble Masquerade book 1 – Kristi Ann Hunter …..¬† This one was my favorite,¬†it was so¬†good¬†I had to tear myself away from it when duty called (read that – when caught reading while¬†neglecting responsibilities).

One of¬†the best¬†things¬†was the dry humor,¬†some scenes almost¬†had me¬†rolling on the floor, it was great. Humor wasn’t intended¬†to be the main attraction though, just an added bonus.¬†The¬†unconventional¬†characters and unexpected plot twists were the main attraction.

This book has intrigue, romance, sibling rivalry, and most importantly – ¬†lessons in deportment. ūüėČ It was a fun read, I loved it.


murder in mind¬† Sloane Monroe Mystery – Murder in Mind book 2 – Cheryl Bradshaw ….. A thriller…. the body of a woman has turned up in a super market parking lot,¬†and inestigators are convinced¬†evidence points to the¬†reemergence of a serial¬† killer.

Sloane has solved all of¬†her previous cases but one, that of her sister’s murder, and¬†this one looks like¬†it was committed by her sister’s¬†killer, he’s back. ¬†He is brilliant, meticulous, leaving no clues. Can she rise to the challenge and outsmart him.

This book was a page turner. Another favorite.

Unintended Consequesnces¬† A Jack Turner Suspense Novel – Unintended Consequences book 3 – Dan Walsh ….. Jack and Rachel planned to spend a few days of their honeymoon visiting his grandmother who has never met Rachel. Jack is called away¬†with emergency work obligations but leaves Rachel behind because he wants her to hear¬†the incredible family story his grandmother has to tell.

It¬† all happened during the second world war and it’s a miracle any of them lived through it.

These days there seem to be many books written¬†around the theme of WWII, and you would think¬†there would be a¬†sameness about them all,¬†but there isn’t. Probably because there are as many unique stories as there are people in the world and the difference in detail adds a freshness. Authors have done an admirable job of finding something that would¬†set their work¬†apart from all¬†the rest.

This story was worth every moment of reading time. Lest we forget.

Beneath Copper Falls¬†¬† Rock Harbor Series – Beneath Copper Falls – Colleen¬†Coble ….. This is one of Colleen’s latest releases and¬†it is an excellent book. All of her books are, actually. Colleen is a successful and prolific writer with¬†nearly 4 million books sold. I’m thinking most of you¬†must have read at least¬†one or two¬†of her books, if you haven’t¬† – I hope you will.

A book description for this¬†story would sound much like others I’ve mentioned recently; escape an abusive husband – relocate and hope to start life over in a safer place. The outlines sound the same but the details are as different and unique as any of our personal¬†stories. Colleen’s stories are always¬†well thought out¬†with a depth that makes them¬†worth reading and this one is a good example of that.


The Keeper of the Ring SeriesThe Keepers of the Ring Series – Angela Hunt ….. Angela is another prolific and successful author, on a par with Colleen Coble, both selling in the millions of books. You have probably been exposed to her books as well, but if not I hope you will read some of¬†these¬†too. Their styles are different, so you would enjoy both authors. They¬†both¬†write in several different genres as well, reading their work doesn’t get old.

Angela has a number of historical series, The Keeper of the Ring is one of them. The time frame for this series is the settling of North America, before Columbus. The theory is that he was not the first one to arrive on our shores. There were others before him. This series sets out how that could have happened.

Roanoke, the Lost Colony book 1 …. this is the beginning, with a small number of settlers landing on a inhospitable piece of shoreline. Things do not go well and three children are all that’s left of them. They manage to escape but each of the three are¬†captured by a different group and they don’t see each other again for many years.

Jamestown book 2 ….. the children have become adults, inspite of difficult and unfriendly circumstances. This will be a time of discovery as they cross paths again. This contact revives buried memories of families they once had. Others have come now¬†to join the first settlers and have been a mixed blessing, some more hindrance than help. This book follows the continued¬†journey of the three, their joys and their sorrows.

There are three more to go yet on this so I will be getting back to you with them.


The Treacherous Journey¬† Heart of the Mountains – This Treacherous Journey book 1 – Misty M Beller …. Emma,¬†expecting a baby and¬†afraid she may be arrested. is fleeing with her twin brother¬†after the hanging of her husband for fraud. They are travelling on horseback through treacherous mountain passes when¬†Joseph’s horse loses it’s footng and falls, injuring his rider.

Simeon lives a solitary and primitive life, hiding out in his grief, and is not prepared to receive visitors in need of help, especially with one of them an expectant female. It brings back too many painful memories.

Joseph and Emma¬†are trying¬†to make it to Canada where they feel they will be safe from the possibility¬†of arrest, but with Joseph’s injuries they need Simeon’s help to make the journey. Winter will be settling in soon and time is running out. That’s what Simeon is afraid of, time running out.

I hope there is somehing here to inspire you. Be sure to check out these authors if they are new to you. Or, even if they’re not.

Happy Reading!

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 Рhow 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.