It’s complicated…but I feel better now

It really is complicated, and it’s causing discomfort – like a pebble in my shoe. The pebble moves around a bit and there are periods of relief, but lately it’s been sitting in a tender spot and doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move on.

This latest state of discomfort started with a conversation back in December, just before I left on my winter road trip to British Columbia to spend Christmas with family.

I was telling a friend about some of the people I hoped to see along the way, including some of my work clients I’ve never met in person. I was startled by her quick response – but you are still married.

My instant reaction was an emotional – what’s that got to do with anything? I felt like I was being wrongly accused of something.

I haven’t been able to get this conversation out of my mind and it has become the proverbial pebble in my shoe.

There are two things troubling me about the conversation – the thought patterns behind her comment, and the trigger behind my reactive response.

My weak and ailing marriage fractured more than two decades ago and I have been on my own for at least half that time. The relationship is dead and buried. Divorce is not a reality only because I have been reluctant to address it, (the reasons behind that need to be explored, another day) so I am not sure why she thinks the lack of a divorce is a relevant issue.

Also, as I’ve shared in other posts, I have major trust issues with men and have been actively avoiding any chance of another relationship. My friend knows this too, so – where is her thinking coming from?

I feel bad about my reaction to her because it is not one she has ever seen from me. I expect she felt a little like she’d been punched. That’s the trouble with triggers, reactions to them are unpredictable and often painful to the person on the receiving end.

As I think about all of this, I am reminded of similar conversations with other people in other settings. Conversations that were distressingly perplexing because I couldn’t figure out the reasoning or motivation behind them. In every instance I felt like I was being wrongfully accused of something. And, in some cases the conversations became quite emotional.

Maybe that’s the trigger, feeling wrongfully accused. I will have to think some more on this, at a later date.

Now, after a week of letting all of these thoughts simmer, I expect my friend has moved on and forgotten all about this brief conversation, and I need to do the same.

The exercise of thinking and writing my way through this issue has been more than beneficial. The proverbial pebble in my shoe has ceased to be a bother. My original thoughts on this subject have been replaced by today’s much more coherent offering and I am left with new, and healing,  insights into both sides of the conversation.

It occurs to me that the thoughts expressed by the other party in these conversations may have stemmed from the space they are in personally, and had little to do with me at all. Maybe I need to stop making everything about me. Maybe I need to pay more attention to the pain of others and give greater consideration to things going on in their lives.

The benefits of understanding have also been reinforced. Understanding why seems to take the heat out of certain thoughts and emotions and allows me to move on to a healthier place.

This has been a productive exercise. It looks like I will be doing it again soon.


















Variety in good books

This has been another week of good books.

One of them was so good it kept me up all night reading. I love it when that happens….. even if I  do regret it the next day when I have to get up for work. You’d think I could plan things a bit better wouldn’t you, but how can you predict an ambush.

And, like someone said …. once I open it, how can I be expected to put it down.


When I looked at the clock and it said 5 AM… I figured… might as well finish it. 🙂

The thing I liked most about this selection of books was variety. Different genres,  different eras, different countries, different social strata. Reading doesn’t get old with that much variety.

I’d say it was fun, but not in a light hearted way. They weren’t so much dark as they were intense. Some less so than others, which was helpful. We need lighter somewhere in the mix.

The darkest ones would have been the Jess Williams Trilogy and Digital Winter.

The Jess Williams trilogy really did have a take-no-prisoner mentality, and there were many burials in each book. In spite of that though, it wasn’t as dark as you might think- there was a bit of a Robin Hood quality to it.  Jess was a man with a soft heart underneath the tough exterior, and he was out to bring justice, and protection, to those who needed it most.

Digital Winter was dark because it was easy to visualize battles for power happening in our present digital world. And that’s scary. On the other hand though, it’s good to be scared a little, maybe it will spur us on to be mentally prepared for  the possibility of such a disaster.

I managed to carve out time for a 4 day binge and it was great! Loved spending time with these books.

Marrying Miss Marshall  Wild Wyoming Hearts – Marrying Miss Marshal book 1 –  Lacy Williams …..  Dana Carpenter, the town marshal, with abilities unrecognized by local citizens, has to work alone because no one is willing to work with her.

Chas O’Grady is caught in a cattle stampede and Dana’s sense of responsibility compels her to risk her own life to rescue the greenhorn from certain death. Not a good first impression to make when you are coming to town hoping to enlist the help of the local marshal. He has the skills and might be willing to be deputized and work with her, but she’s not willing to work with him. Until powers-that-be leave her no choice.


Remember to Forget Clayburn Novels – Remember to Forget – Deborah Raney …. Maggie Anderson has been living under her boyfriend’s tyranny for two years, but circumstances change with a carjacking on the middle of the night run to pick up his whiskey.

Trevor Ashlock has been locked in grief and burying himself in work, until a beautiful stranger comes to town. The suspicious circumstances of her appearance leaves them both on edge trying to protect secrets. Will Maggie’s abusive boyfriend find her? Will Trevor be able to admit to his loss?


Heart of a Prince Crowns and Courtships – Heart of a Prince book 1 – Carol Moncado ….  Vacationing Jordan Haines has been on the water longer than he should have. Needing a rest, he spies an empty secluded private beach.

Crown Princess Astrid of San Majoria, doesn’t expect to find her personal sanctuary breached by someone using her beach chair. She would have ordered him off the property but he seems to have no idea who she is…. and there is something about him that feels safe somehow.


A Soldier's Promise Crystal Lake Series –  A Soldier’s Promise book 2 – Laura Scott…. Julie Crain has a soft heart for people in need but doesn’t want to get involved this time. Not after the  last attempt to help turned into a relationship that ended badly.

Derek Ryerson and his young daughter need a place to recuperate from a serious car accident but there are no rooms available on this July 4th weekend. Julie has the room but is this a man she can trust? Derek needs help but can he trust her if his secret is exposed.


the Jess Williams Trilogy The Jess Williams Trilogy books 1 – 3  – Robert J Thomas – This is a Western thriller series with a take-no-prisoner outlook on life.

The Reckoning …. Jess Williams is eleven when he comes home from town to find his parents and sister brutally murdered, and he knows who did it. In that moment he vows revenge on the three men and plans relentless practice with his dad’s Colt .45 until he can shoot better than anyone else. The sudden and mysterious appearance of a new and unique pistol with holster make that goal possible in a way never seen before.

Brothers Keeper …. Jess returns from his successful mission to find himself in the middle of a bloody war with a father bent on revenge for the death of his only son, an evil man   who clearly deserved to die. His mission after winning this war is to find the brother he never knew he had.

Sins of the Father …. Jess has been hunting his birth father for two years and has him in his sights when a friend needs his help. A range war has broken out between two cattle  barons and everything, including the town, is about to taken over by one powerful greedy man.  Jess arrives and men are dying one by one.


Molly book 3  Women and War Series – Molly book 3 – Ellie Keaton …. Molly wants to join the war effort as a pilot but the US Air Force is not admitting female pilots, yet. Britain on the other hand is desperate for pilots. Travelling by ship, Molly and her friends face the threat of U-boats and other perils before they even set foot in Britain. The man she loves is over there somewhere too, as a fighter pilot, and it has been two years since she last heard from him.


Goodbye, Magnolia Cornerstone series – Goodbye, Magnolia book 1 – Krista Noorman … Maggie is secure in the smooth operation of her successful wedding photography business, until uncertainty shows up in the form of an old, and unloved, classmate. Forced by circumstances to form an alliance with a man she considers the enemy, she has to face up to her fears, and incorrect assumptions.


Digital Winter  8 Minutes to… Digital Winter – Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky … a twenty-two year old savant, with physical limitations, spends all of his time on his computer, creating a virus capable of taking out power grids everywhere. Aided by a shadowy companion he sends out the virus causing world wide blackouts, everywhere but in his New York apartment. Government agencies scramble to figure out who is behind all this, and his parents wonder at the power they have while others around them don’t.

Happy reading in your part of the world.

Here’s to finding more great books!

I’m calling time on rewrites so hope there are no glaring pot holes left over after the latest rearranges. If there are I apologize 🙂

An exciting new Mystery blog

Kent Holloway Online is the exciting new blog on WordPress. Kent is an established author of thrillers and is thinking about writing mystery. Thus the blog.

You all know, if you have followed me for very long, that I get excited when I read a really good book. I love good writing and good story telling. And I love telling the whole world about it when I find it. I have to tell you about this.

I liked this blog because it challenged me to think about some things, it told me some things I didn’t know before, and it captured my interest with his engaging style.

Have you ever given much consideration to the differences between mystery, cozy mystery, whodunit, procedural, and more? Or how sometimes books are written with mixed genres? Doesn’t this make you think of the dreaded mixed metaphor? I have noticed it is sometimes hard to nail down the genre but can’t say that I’ve ever given it much thought beyond that. After reading this thought provoking post …. well, now I will. I’d be curious to see if someone else can answer the questions better than I could.

In the latest post Kent introduces us to the real Richard Castle ….. author Tom Straw. In a fascinating interview with Tom, we get to hear the back story and see some of the spin offs of this TV show, and if you are a fan of Castle, like I amyou will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look. Even if you have never seen the show you will enjoy the interview, it gives great encouragement to aspiring writers I think.

Check out his blog at

I predict that once his blog catches on it will explode with followers. He has something to say, and he says it well.


At my place – there is a new list of books in the works, stay tuned. I just had to get this blog post off my chest first so I could settle down to work. I do hope you will check it out, I think you will love it too.





Upping our game

This was another week of good books. I liked some of them especially well.

There were a couple I had trouble getting into but I could tell they were good books, just not books that appealed to me at this particular time, so I included them anyway. They will appeal to someone, I know.

One of the things I loved about the books this week – unexpected twists and turns.

We talked about the unexpected at this month’s meeting of the local writer’s group I belong to. We are having a story challenge again.  We will be given a partial sentence to  finish and use as a springboard to jump into a story. We talked about finding new slants so it doesn’t sound like we are all doing a variation of the same outline.

Last months story challenge entries were all well written and it was exciting to see the high level of  enthusiasm. This time we are hoping to up our game a little. We all did tend to go in the same general direction in our story treatment last time. Maybe we will be inspired to think outside the box a little and come up with some unique treatments for this new story.

We are really getting into this, so much so that we are hoping to have something we can publish when we’re done. Maybe something that could be spread around  in the community as reading material. Waiting rooms and care facilities would be good places to start. Who doesn’t love something new to pick up and read at a time like that.

Now, on to the books

A Nest of Sparrows A Nest of Sparrows – Deborah Raney…. Wade didn’t expect to ever fall in love, but he did. And he loved her three children as if they were his own. The unthinkable happens before the wedding can take place and Wade and the children are left to cope with their grief. Uncertainty is very real as it isn’t clear if he will be able to keep them.

A Distant Melody Wings of Glory –  A Distant Melody book 1- Sarah Sundin …. Allie will do anything to gain her mother’s approval, including marrying a man she doesn’t love. Lt Walter Novak is fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women. He takes his last furlough at home, before shipping out, to attend a wedding , meeting Allie, forming a friendship around a mutual love of music. Can they untangle their secrets and commitments soon enough to have a future together.  Wings of Glory follows the three Novak brothers, B17 bomber pilots stationed in England during World War II.    4 stars

Unbound Omega Trilogy  The Omega Trilogy – Unbound book 1- J B Simmons … Elijah Goldsmith is trying to ignore dreams he has been having, nightmares about a dragon destroying  St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He’s never been to Rome. Graduating soon, he is applying to be a spy with the International Security Agency where he meets Naomi. There is a strong attraction between them and she makes him want to share his secrets. As they delve into finding an interpretation for the dreams it seems there is more to their attraction than romance, something else is at play here. The year is 2066, when the world ends.  4 stars  I hope to read the next two in this Sci-Fi/Fantasy series.

Trial by Fire  Trial by Fire – DiAnn Mills….. Special Agent Savannah Barrett and her partner SA Paul Winston are in the middle of investigating a number of puzzling church fires when she receives word her estranged son and his wife have been killed in a car accident, She is instantly guardian to three grandchildren she didn’t know she had. Life is thrown into disarray as she adjusts to having children again. And life is even worse when the church arsonist begins to target her, and her family. 4 stars

Talking to the Dead  Talking to The Dead: a Novel – Bonnie Grove … Kate Davis is struggling after the unexpected death of her husband. She can’t bear to go upstairs so she has been camped out on the sofa in the living room for weeks. She hasn’t bathed, changed clothes or been out of the house, and she can’t sleep –  because her husband Kevin keeps talking to her.  She is questioning her sanity. She tries many places to find help with this but fails miserably. Until she meets Jack, a warm hearted, unconventional pastor of a ramshackle church. Kevin’s voice seems to get quieter, until she begins to uncover his secrets, then he starts yelling.  This was a good book, definitely a different twist.

The Lady's Slipper The Lady’s Slipper – Deborah Swift … English artist Alice Ibbetson discovers the fragile flower she thought was extinct, in the nearby forest and steals it. She wants to paint it and find a way preserve it’s life for generations to come. She is not the only one to want it. A herbalist wants it for his medicines and a farmer wants it to  increase his fortunes, hoping it will become the next craze in gardening circles. In her efforts to save the flower Alice finds herself caught up in danger, treachery and unexpected passion. Historical fiction.

Her Heart's Promise  Sweet Hearts of Sweet Creek – Her Heart’s Promise book 2 – Carolyne Aarsen …. As the plain sister with two beautiful siblings Nadine is used to being overlooked but she is not going to allow to late father’s employer to overlook  his suspicious death. She plans to use her position as editor of the local newspaper to help her find the truth. The trouble is, her high school crush and new owner of the paper, wants the story buried. To further complicate her life, she has a sick mother, a matchmaking grandmother, and a fake boyfriend who turns out to be real.

Happy reading everyone.

my feral friend

feral friend 2

my feral friend … on high alert

I enjoy his company even though he isn’t very affectionate, or much of a conversationalist. He seems to like me ok too since he shows up nearly every morning to lose himself in dreams on my deck. It’s hard to say how long he has been coming around (I don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in my yard) but I did notice him sunning himself in my flowerbeds in summertime. I’m assuming it’s a he since there has been no evidence of any kittens following him around.

He didn’t show up for a couple of days and I was worried the eagles had swooped in and had him for supper. He’s back today, though, so all is well.

I’m also assuming he has a mother

mother and son

I’m assuming it’s his mother because it’s an older cat, and fathers don’t usually bother with their offspring. It’s cute to watch how territorial he is about this place. Obviously he feels like he was here first and it’s his. Usually he manages to keep her down on the lowest step, sometimes even growling and spitting to make it happen.

I had to be sneaky to get any pictures as it doesn’t take much to make them run. It’s getting better though. I can open the blinds now without him flinching and he will even sit still while I talk to him a little, through the glass, asking him how his day is going.

He reminds me of a cat I befriended a bunch of decades ago. I was just a young thing living in a basement suite when the lady in the house next door noticed a feral cat living in the bushes across the back lane and started feeding him. She figured he was someone’s pet and had been abused, leaving him terrified of people. All would have been well with this scenario but they decided to move, and she had a couple of big dogs making it impossible for the cat to move with them. My neighbor decided that I should overcome my reluctance and take on the feeding of this cat. I finally did and eventually we got on famously. He was comfortable enough to move inside and attempt to take over the house. I loved him but don’t see any house cats in my future this time. That’s ok, judging by the trails I see this one take across my yard, I don’t think I am the only woman in his life.

Books… I have been reading lots and will list them for you in the next post, I will start it in the next few minutes.


Mysteries, with a little Romance

Mystery seems to be the theme in books read this time and I thoroughly enjoyed everything on the list. I love it when that happens. If you like mystery/thrillers I recommend you try these out. I am a fan of TV shows like CSI, NCIS, Bones, and Lie to Me, so it’s fun to find similar good books.

Blake Pierce and Cheryl Bradshaw are a couple of my new favorite mystery writers and Terri Blackstock is a long time favorite.

A couple of romances have been thrown in, just to lighten things up a bit. They are not your everyday fluff romances though so things haven’t lightened up too too much. A pleasing mix, I thought.


The Lost Heiress Ladies of the Manor – The Lost Heiress book 1 – Roseanna M White …. Brook Eden was raised in the palace in Monaco, brought there under suspicious circumstances by the woman she calls Maman. She is British but has no idea who she really is and expects she is low born and could never be deemed acceptable to marry her childhood friend Justin. Things change when Justin discovers who she really is. And meeting her family with their secrets puts her life in jeopardy all over again.

Distortion  Moonlighter Series – Distortion book 1 – Terri Blackstock …. Juliet Cole watches as her husband is gunned down in what she thinks is a random shooting. He has always been a model citizen and she cannot believe the things she is learning from the agencies investigating his death. There is little choice about believing when her home is ransacked and her life and that of her family is threatened. Juliet and her sisters help investigate, looking for the truth as secrets come to light, and life as she knows it crumbles. Was anything about her life real?

Once Taken Riley Paige Mystery – Once Taken book 2 – Blake Pierce …. Women are showing up dead, hanging in public places tied up in straight jackets and chains. Riley Paige is popular for her ability to get inside the mind of a serial killer and when called in to help with this case is reluctant to go because she is convinced the serial killer targeting her family has not died like everyone thinks. A page turner thriller. Once Gone book 1 is still free if you want to give this author a try. In fact there is a Blake Pierce Mystery Bundle that is free with 4 books in it, even better.

A Trace of Death  A Keri Locke  Mystery – A Trace of Death book 1 – Blake Pierce…. Keri, a Missing Persons detective in the Homicide division of LAPD, is haunted by the abduction of her still missing daughter. Obsessed with finding her, Keri buries herself in work to deal with the grief. A call about a girl missing two hours should have been ignored but she hears something in the mother’s voice that makes her decide to investigate. The trail has gone cold and she is ordered off the case but can’t bring herself to quit despite the possible repercussions. Everyone has secrets, especially the daughter, and the father. A dark thriller you can’t put down.

A Trace of Murder  A Keri Locke  Mystery – A Trace of Murder book 2 – Blake Pierce…. Keri, still haunted by the loss of her daughter has the first solid lead in years but she has to put it aside when a frantic call comes in from a well known plastic surgeon reporting his wife has been missing for 2 days. Keri is teamed up with a new partner (one she hates) while her regular partner recuperates from injuries sustained in the last case. On the surface it looks like this well liked socialite has tired of her life and run away but conflicting evidence makes Keri think there is something sinister going on. Another engrossing thriller.

Bed of Bones  Sloane Monroe Mystery – Bed of Bones book 5 – Cheryl Bradshaw … Sometimes even the deepest, darkest secrets find their way to the surface. 13 year old Willie Compton and his younger brother Leonard stumble upon an old mineshaft. Leonard’s slinky flips in to the opening and he slips and falls in when he reaches for it.  Present day interest in the mines has grown and the mysteries of the past are about to meet the present.

See Me, Cover Me  Full Heart Ranch Series – See Me, Cover Me book 4 – Barbara Gee…. Tanner James can barely remember who he was before FBI. Years of dangerous undercover work can change a man. He has learned to be whoever he needs to be to protect himself but that all changes when his boss orders him to take time off. One look in this cold volunteer’s eyes and determined Izzy Harding is plotting ways to lighten the man’s burdens. A task not for the faint of heart.

I hope you have been as lucky at finding good books as I have this time. Here’s to even more good books.

Happy Reading!


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.




In the favorite author category – Charles Martin

I’ve decided to add some of my favorite, previously read books.

Looking through the lists of books read, it seems that many of my favorite authors are missing or under represented. If the pages are to be useful as a resource for reading suggestions there are some authors that need to be included. So I am going to retroactively add at least some of the books I’ve loved.  Here is the first author to pop into my head as I think about this.

I’ve mentioned one or two books written by Charles Martin before. This time I will give you the complete list of books I’ve read in the last couple of years, which is many of them.

Be ready, for an emotionally charged journey.  Researching the book descriptions has been a strong reminder that he will take you to great heights, and equal depths of emotion.  It’s an unforgettable experience. The book descriptions don’t measure up, in letting you know what you are in for.  It would take the first bit of each novel to even give you a little taste of what is in store. His books are poignant and deeply touching. He writes with honesty, facing life in a vey real way that will change you

So…. here are 12 great books for you

Chasing Fireflies  Chasing Fireflies…. 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. As Chase Walker found out, finding the truth about yourself can be as elusive, and as magical, as chasing fireflies on a summer night. A haunting story of discovery.


the Dead Don't Dance book 1 Awakening – The Dead Don’t Dance book 1….. In a sleepy rural town it’s the end of summer and a baby is about to be born. In the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Sykes 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? A bittersweet but triumphant love story.


Maggie book 2  Awakening – Maggie book 2 …. Life began again for Dylan when his wife awoke from a coma brought on by the intense two day labor to deliver their son. In this poignant love story, to embrace their future they must first come to terms with their past.


A Life Intercepted  A Life Intercepted… Matthew Rising had it all. He was married to his high school sweetheart, was one of the best quarterbacks in college football and a number one NFL draft pick. On the night of the draft he was accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence and he lost it all including his freedom. Out of prison, he wants to find his wife who has been in hiding since the trial. He finds her living among the nuns of the Catholic school, coaching a teenage boy with exceptional ability. She will speak to him only enough to let him know she wants him to coach the boy. This would violate his parole if discovered but would it be enough to get his wife back.


Long Way Gone  Long Way Gone…. Eighteen year old Copper O’Conner leaves home with his dad’s treasures, to find fame and fortune in Nashville, a dream that doesn’t materialize. Just as he is falling in love with Daley, a rising star in the music world, tragedy strikes and with nowhere else to go, he returns home. Daley shows up in his home town, 20 years later, and he wonders if he is being given a second chance to get it right.


The Mountain Between Us The Mountain Between Us….. When a blizzard strands them in the Salt Lake City airport, total strangers (a gifted surgeon, and a magazine writer on the way to her wedding) anxious to get home, decide to charter a plane. The unthinkable happens and the plane crashes on a rugged mountain top. Injured, and with no way of calling for help, will they be able to survive long enough to be rescued?


Thunder and Rain  Thunder and Rain ….. Tyler Steele is a third generation Texas Ranger, with a strong sense of right and wrong and a tough outer shell that worked well in his job but brought an end to his marriage. Retired and raising his son on his own he is at risk of losing his ranch. He has to find a way to rebuild his life but doesn’t know how. Samantha and her daughter Hope are on the run from danger and are desperate and alone. Ty knows he can help, because that’s what he does.


Unwritten   Unwritten…. An actress running from her past finds escape with a man hiding from his future….. Two boats and a good knowledge of fishing, makes it easy for him to live off the grid on Florida’s coast. Until the one person linking him to the real world asks a favor. Helping a self destructive, high profile, actress has complicated his life and made him face things he has been running from. From Florida, they travel to the French countryside, where they will discover the unwritten story of both their pasts and their future.


Water From My Heart Water From My Heart…. Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living on his own by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a full scholarship to Harvard where he did well and developed friendships that allowed him to move in privileged circles. Social skills learned in college helped him successfully navigate lucrative, cutthroat, and dangerous business ventures. He tried to keep personal and business separated but his poor choices created devastating results and now he has gone to Central American to attempt to make amends with the ones who suffered the most by his bad decisions.


When Crickets Cry  When Crickets Cry…. a spirited seven year old with a scar on her chest does a brisk business at her lemonade stand. The bearded stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. A beat up bread truck careens around the corner, about to change their lives, teaching them both about unexpected miracles, and the painful reasons why crickets cry.

Where the river ends  Where the River Ends…. He was a fishing guide and a struggling artist from a George trailer park; and she was the only child of North Carolina’s most  powerful senator. They met by accident, and knew from the start they had found their soul mates. Ten years into their marriage she has developed terminal cancer and has a list of ten things she hopes to accomplish before she loses the fight, and he will do anything to make it all happen. They steal away in the middle of the night to start the 130 mile trek to the mouth of the St Mary’s river, a promise from the early days of their courtship.


Wrapped in Rain  Wrapped in Rain…. an internationally famous photographer,  Tucker has travelled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. What he can’t see is how to forgive his father. His brother has escaped from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend has shown up with her son and a black eye, forcing him to go home and face the agony of his own tragic past.

so many good books…

I’ve noticed the visits someone has been making to the Romance and Mystery pages  where I keep a list of all the books mentioned in these blog posts. It’s meant to be a   resource, if you are in need of suggestions. If this is you, visiting …… thank you! I was hoping the pages would be used that way.

I was updating the lists the other day, and was looking through them, out of curiosity, to see if the lists looked anything like what my memory said they would. I was surprised to see that authors foremost in my mind didn’t appear as often as expected. I guess they are so big in my mind, not because of the number of books, but because the impression of a single book was so huge.

It was a surprise to see how few times some of my most favorite authors show up. I’m sad about this because this will give a wrong impression, or maybe no impression, and you will miss out on some great suggestions. I have thought about including books I have read, just not recently, which would rectify this situation. I guess now that I am into my second year of doing this, recently read doesn’t really apply so much anymore anyway. Food for thought. I’ll let you know if I decide to do it.

The reason I haven’t been reading my favorite authors, or the reason there may only be one book from an author, is because I am always on the look out for new authors and new slants for stories. With this focus in mind, I read a book and move on. Sometimes I will stop and read a whole series but if I do that too many times I will never get through the list of books I have downloaded. I won’t tell you that I currently have over 660 on my Kindle. I remove them after I add them to the blog, to keep the numbers at a manageable level, but it still keeps getting away on me.

I have been forced to be more selective about the choices I make but there are just so many interesting books appearing in my feed looking for attention.

There were seven more waiting to be downloaded this morning and this was one of them

The Lace Maker  The Lacemaker  – Laura Frantz …. I haven’t read this one yet but   have already started and it looks interesting. It’s about the American revolution and Lady Elizabeth Liberty Lawson. I think I have read books about her part in the war and the contribution she made inspite of the threat of being branded a spy. I’m interested in reading this one because I am intrigued with this author and would like to check her out, to see if she lives up to the recommendations. If it shows up in the list you will know I liked it.

This one I have read, the first book anyway, the other two books are on hold for now but I still recommend the collection, as I’ve read a lot of Colleen Coble, with appreciation,  over the years.

Mercy Falls Collection  The Mercy Falls Collection – The Light Keeper’s Daughter book 1 – Colleen Coble…. Addie Sullivan’s life is turned upside down when a stranger tells her she is not who she thinks she is, and the woman she calls mother, is not.  Many secrets swirl around her presence in the lighthouse. To give them time to discover where the true danger lies the stranger suggests she take the position of governess in the household of her birth.

How is your list of books coming along?

Reading choices are unique to all of us. Different strokes for different folks. Keep looking for treasures, they are out there, I promise you.

Happy reading!!



Two weeks ago, I got back from a 5,500 kilometre road trip. It was a lot of fun, at least it was from my point of view.

I live in the middle of Canada, there is a marker on the TransCanada Highway at a point west of me saying Longitudinal Centre of Canada to prove it. I was  planning to take a month and go as far as Vancouver Island on the West Coast.

I’m originally from British Columbia and have family and friends there. It’s a few years since I’ve been back and I had big plans to visit a lot of people, in a lot of places. The places part worked out.

The trip went surprising well, in spite of the fact it is winter in this cold and snowy land. There were a few rough spots along the way but they usually had more to do with wrong turns and trouble finding addresses.

Like in Regina Saskatchewan, the first night. I’d planned to go farther but major highway construction with detours made for confusion and the wasting of some hours. Thank goodness for cell phones and Google maps. My daughter bailed me out and figured out that I’d better go back to Regina for the night. The light of a new day, and a different angle, made all the difference and it was easy to find my way to Calgary Alberta.

I was excited to be stopping in Calgary for a few days, I was going to meet clients in person for the first time. It didn’t turn out quite like I expected but my time there still worked out well and I was looking forward to the return trip when I would spend another work week before heading home.

Armstrong, BC was the first stop on my continued journey. It’s famous for it’s Armstrong cheese, and Highland Grog flavoured coffee – at least in our house.  Roger’s Pass through the Rockies was interesting. I love the mountains in the winter. From there I went south to White Rock, via the Coquahalla Highway. The Coq, as it’s known locally, is a 6 lane highway through high mountains, with a speed limit of 120km. It was an icy trip, but at least it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen.

White Rock is a popular resort town on the ocean, south of Vancouver. It’s small in area but beautiful and fun to visit. Nothing else around it is small though, the growth since I was there last is amazing, the city is closing in.

While there, I also had the opportunity to make an overnight trip to Victoria, BC’s capital, to visit family. And as always, the ferry ride was beautiful, so was the city. If you enjoy travel I hope you will Google these places and see for yourself , you may even be tempted to visit one day.

The highlight of my trip was time spent with family and friends, I loved every moment.

Roger’s Pass is the usual way to get to Alberta so the return trip followed the same route.

While the trip itself was long and challenging, it wasn’t the biggest hurdle I had to face. The bigger hurdle was in the mental/emotional area. And it turned out surprisingly well.

I’ve mentioned before that I have major trust issues when it comes to men.

One of the side effects of my current lifestyle is the near complete lack of interaction with men. There are sightings now and again but not much else. Add to that the magnification of my trust issues caused by truths I’m facing on the journey to wellness and it’s double trouble. So, there were two parts to the angst I was feeling about the nearing end of this wellness journey, and the possible/probable interactions on my trip.

How in the world would I ever become comfortable around men again (since there are none anywhere in my life, except family), and how would it work to be out-and-about if I couldn’t manage it.  Then, the more immediate question – will my triggers make an in-person meeting awkward? We have a comfortable working relationship on the phone but I’m worried about seeing this client of mine in person.

As the days of the trip went on, my confidence grew, and I was ready to be more relaxed about things. I didn’t see Bill (not his real name) until the second week I was there. By now, it seemed like everywhere I went there were male people. It was like being thrown into the deep end of the pool…… and I found I could swim.

Bill was a major player in my second week there, as he arranged the use of one of their empty offices for me. Their office staff was four men and one woman. Out numbered everywhere. It was a comfortable stay and I think we parted with pleasant memories of the week. At least I did anyway. They were very kind.

Back home, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experience and to think about the reasons for the confidence I’ve found.

I think the biggest change in me has been centered around the thought that I had to stop expecting men to change how they treated me. Instead, I needed to decide what I would or wouldn’t allow. The result of this process was a clear set of hard and fast boundaries, in my head, and it has been a freeing experience.

There is so much more that could be said, and maybe should be said, with all the conversation over sexual harassment these days.

For now I will just say this. There are many things we, as women, need to do to keep ourselves safe but the most important thing, I’ve found, is to have set boundaries. It has changed the way I act and react.

Predators are looking for the weak. Boundaries give us confidence, and with confidence we appear strong. When we appear strong, men tend to change direction and back off.

Boundaries have allowed me to lower my protective walls (the ones that keep everyone out) and it feels good.