Experiences along the way

There were some things I wanted to experience, on my trip to Nashville and beyond. I wanted to find out if some places were as good as they said they were.

I probably shouldn’t use the word they, I should probably be truthful and say he. He is a funny man, given to hyperbole. Are these restaurants really the greatest, or is it just his opinion? And, if it’s just his opinion… is it one I could agree with?

This fellow is funny, fearless, has attention deficit disorder, and is always coming up with good ideas and catching them on video. He has a You Tube channel with thousands of followers and I’m sure some of his friends cringe when they see him and his cell phone coming their way. Many more don’t, though, and he manages to post some great stuff. Fun, entertaining, and touching, all in the same video sometimes.

He loves to eat in restaurants, and share the experience on line. He likes Mexican, Chick Fil A, Waffle House, In and Out burger, and many others. I did get to Waffle House and Chick fil a. I tried southern sweet tea and a fancy salad with thick slices of banana bread, at a Bob Evans restaurant. I passed a Cracker Barrel one day but had just finished lunch so didn’t get to try it out.

I’ve decided he is full of hyperbole but the food was still good. I loved the banana bread but the sweet tea… not so much. That wasn’t much of a surprise to me though as most of the time I prefer my tea hot, and straight up with no sugar.

I’m looking forward to another trip one day, maybe I can check out a few more of his recommendations.


 

The Prisoner's Wife  Maine Brides Series – The Prisoner’s Wife – Susan Page Davis ….. 1720  Jack has been working diligently to make something of his farm in hopes that Lucy would agree to marry him. Her father refused him four years earlier, because of his parentage, and he has not spoken to Lucy in all these years but he still hopes.

Hope turns to despair when he is falsely accused of murdering the neighbouring farmer,  and the murder weapon turns out to be his knife. The whole prejudiced town, convinced  of his guilt, is determined to skip the trial and go straight to hanging

He may not survive this ordeal but maybe there is still a way to keep his valuable farm from falling into greedy hands.

 

Until we reach home  Until We Reach Home – Lynn Austin….. the arrival of an abusive uncle has made life unbearable for Elin after the sudden tragic loss of her parents. Determined to spare her sisters from falling victim to the same abuse, she quietly contacts their uncle in America to see if he can help. Maybe life would be  better for them far away in a new country.

He agrees but…. things don’t go as smoothly as hoped. Her sisters each have their own reasons for not wanting to leave the only home they know, and keeping them in the dark about her motivation has only fed their rebelliousness.

Elin is determined to find a way to make a happy home for her sisters, but everywhere she turns there are unexpected set backs and road blocks. Will they ever find a safe place to call theirs?

 

fial witness  Final Witness – James Scott Bell ….. Rachel is brilliant, hard working, talented in her chosen profession, and  has landed a paralegal position in a prestigious law firm, even though she hasn’t completed her final year of law school.

Her boss trusts her with critical research on a high profile criminal case and her success at finding results has produced two unhappy groups.  Jealous colleagues and a threatened criminal element. Both of them have become a danger to her.

With threats on her life she is taken off the case but goes undercover to finish what she started.

Can she find away to stay alive and still do her part to win this legal battle?

 

hidden currents  Lantern Beach Mysteries – Hidden Currents book 1 – Christy Barritt ….. Detective Cady Matthews has to go into hiding after a notorious gang puts a bounty on her head for taking down their leader.

The small  isolated resort town is turning out to have more going on than expected. And as Cassidy, owner of an ice  cream truck, she is finding it impossible to stay out of things when a body washes up on shore and the local police are bungling the investigation.

She succumbs to looking for creative ways to help the investigation without blowing her cover, or getting her picture on national newscasts. With less than stellar success.

There is one other person in town who is also trying to hide some serious skills. They each have suspicions about the other one but somehow manage to team up without coming out and admitting anything. Maybe there is safety in numbers, maybe they will be able to look out for each other… and solve the crime.

This was a favorite read in this list. I loved the dry humour.

 

murder in room 305  Murder in Room 305 – Gary C. King ….. a shocking true story of sex, greed and cold blooded murder. Kathyrn Ann Martini is a beautiful young woman with a bright future in banking, until she meets a sleazy, smooth talking man with connections to the world of crime.

Her raped and mutilated body was found at the Valley River Inn in Eugene Oregon and her husband of one year was arrested. He had recently taken out a large life insurance policy on her and hired an underworld assassin to stalk and kill his wife.

A well presented  story of one of the most sensational trials in Oregon’s history.

 

all in one place All in One Place – Carolyne Aarsen ….. Terra Froese likes to keep people at arms length and move regularly, but an abusive boyfriend  in this last place has her running for her life.

The once close relationship with her sister has become strained with neglect but she is  running to her anyway, hoping for a safe place to hide until she can figure things out.

She’s managed to hitchhike within a few miles of her sister and hopes to quietly cover the last final bit but her choice in attire (dressing to make a good impression) is drawing unwanted attention. First a cop car, with two forlorn little girls in the back seat, stops and wants to know who she is and did she know anything about a wild house party last night. Next a young woman with a hungry and neglected looking baby in the back seat of her convertible, rolls up and offers a ride.

Accepting the ride and an invitation to stop for a drink at the local bar is a bad choice, spoiling her chance for a quiet entrance into town. Unwanted male attention and her attempt to discourage it lands her in jail facing an assault charge.

Making bail for your sister is not the best start to a surprise visit.

Okay, so there were two favorite reads this time.

This is a tough subject but still a fun read, with spunky characters revealing devastating secrets and finding forgiveness.


Happy reading to you, on this close to the end summer day!

 

My trip to Nashville

This summer my son was home from overseas and needed to make a trip to Indianapolis USA to meet up with some of his colleagues. I was excited when he suggested I travel with him. How could I pass up the rare chance of a travel companion.

We would be there a little over a week. I would be on my own while he was tied up with scheduled activities and I was good with that. Getting to travel to and from with him gave me the push I needed to venture out into new territory. I hadn’t been across the border to the US since before passports were a requirement for Canadian citizens, several decades at least, and I’d never travelled in eastern US. I wanted to, mostly because of curiosity aroused by blogs and vlogs of artists I follow. There were places to see and things to experience.

First I had to apply for a passport. I’d been dragging my feet on that subject for more than a decade (but that’s a story for another time). I am now the proud owner a brand new passport, and I don’t hate my picture – that made my day.

One of the places I hoped to visit while I was at loose ends was Nashville. There were several other places too, in other directions, and I needed to end up in Chicago to meet up with my son. Looking at Google maps it all looked doable.

It was but…. I decided to ignore the interstate highways. They are fast paced, a direct route bypassing towns and other interesting landmarks. I wanted to learn more about this  part of the country so I chose minor highways that kind of meander from one town to another.

I was happy with that choice. It was interesting to see the lay of the land, mostly farming, different styles of architecture, and the way things changed from region to region. Some small towns had a down home, country, kind of feel, while some seemed to promote the  past. Others were more formal with lots of well cared for, fancy brick houses. Some had the charming antebellum houses we read about in stories of the old south. Of course this route took much longer than the time Google maps quoted.

I think my favorite part about Nashville, when I finally got there, was driving through city center at rush hour. Creeping along at a snails pace was giving me plenty of time to appreciate the view, there was something about the city scape that I loved.

I stayed in the area that night and the next morning, while trying to find my way back north again, I happened upon a beautiful park in the downtown part of Nashville. It all left me wanting to go back again, for more than a passing look.

Then, when I got back home and discovered I had just missed some of my favorite artists at the Grand Ole Opry…..


OK, book time

Romeo's Rules  A Mike Romeo Thriller – Romeo’s Rules book 1 – James Scott Bell …… Mike witnesses a bombing and all he wants to do is be helpful to the distraught mother of two children who have gone missing.

He has his reasons for trying to fly under the radar, not wanting to draw the attention of law enforcement or drug lords, so he is trying to be discreet about helping. Not an easy thing to do while being questioned as a witness

It turns out it’s a good thing he is knows how to fight to keep  himself alive because he’s not doing a very god job of avoiding notice. Who knew a simple kindness could become so complicated, and life threatening.

 

Sanctuary Murrells Inlet Miracles – Sanctuary book 1 – Laurie Larson ……Nora Ramsey has worked long and hard to get to where she is, a partner in a successful law firm with hopes of becoming a senior partner one day. So, when an legal document arrives advising her she has inherited beach front property from an aunt she loved but hasn’t seen in years, her first thought is to sell.

Life throws curves at us sometimes, and the arrest of her boss, and mentor, on fraud charges was a major curve that shook her world. Maybe checking out her inheritance and making an informed decision would be a better use of forced time off for the investigation.

Revived memories of a happy time with beach and horses has her rethinking her chosen lifestyle. Could she, should she, take a chance on coming back? A renewed relationship with her sister is a strong motivator, not to mention the handsome vet looking out for the animals on her property. She has almost decided yes when she finds out the vet has a secret she wishes she had known before her heart became involved.

 

Ruthless   The Blackwell Files – Ruthless book 2 – Steven F. Freeman …. Chelsea suspects her family has ordered the killing of her uncle who wanted out of the family business. Chelsea, who has never been part of the business, wants to know the truth and has the means to do it. Alton, her colleague in the cyber security world, has the talent and the skills, if she can convince him to help her.

Mallory, Alton’s FBI girlfriend, agrees to help a little in checking this out but as the bodies keep piling up and a simple mob hit turns into something more, it becomes a full fledged FBI case and it’s more than a challenge for them to keep Chelsea safe.

They still think the killings are the work of the family but some things are not adding up right. So, if not the family, then who?

 

the Chase   Jill Lewis Mysteries – The Chase book 1 – Susan Wales and Robin Shope …… Jill’s expose is about to hit the newsstands and she makes her grand entrance to the office primed for a congratulatory celebration. It’s a shock to open the boardroom doors to find the dour faces of big wigs and lawyers. The politician being exposed has somehow managed to turn the tables and she is the one being accused.

She knows she has the facts straight and he is guilty but without a job she can’t prove it, and her promising career is destroyed, Her marriage prospect has gone up in smoke; under the circumstances she is a liability to his political aspirations.

For some reason the editor of her small hometown newspaper keeps trying to get her to come home and work for him. It’s not an appealing idea but what else can she do, no one else will hire her.

Writing obituaries and covering dog shows is not enough to make her want to get up in the morning but the interest of her boss encourages her to keep gong, and investigating. The goal – to find enough truth to convict and clear her name. Truth someone doesn’t want her to find.

How has your summer been going? Found any good books? I’m hoping you have!

 

 

 

A Penny For Her Heart

It has been a great summer. Lots of travelling, lots of reading, not much writing. I will probably share some of my adventures soon but let’s try to catch up  a bit and get straight to some books.

Hopefully, the summer has been good to all of you as well.

An update on a recent post about the YA books I found for my grandsons summer reading. They were a hit, both with the kids and the adults. Yes!!!

 

A penny for her heart  Detective Rachel Storme series – A Penny For Her Heart book 3 – Alretha Thomas ….. Vanessa and Penny share a dream – to become Chief of Staff to the White House – a dream that drew them together as best friends after a chance meeting in college.

The last few years of working in the Mayor’s office has them on the right track to reach their goal. Life looks good. When a promotion comes up and goes to Penny, Vanessa is feeling slighted. She has seniority and the job should have been hers. Those thoughts quickly become irrelevant when she arrives at work to discover Penny brutally murdered and posed in the ladies washroom, the floor covered in thousands of pennies.

The thing I liked most about this book; there were lots of possible suspects and many red herrings to keep us guessing. Detective Rachel Storme had her work cut out for her, trying to prove who really did it. This is my favorite book this month. it was an interesting read and the ending was a surprise.

 

None so Blind Sight Unseen Series – None so Blind book 1 – Chautona Havig …. Dani freaks when her eyes open to a room she doesn’t recognize, a stranger is beside her in bed, and the face in the mirror doesn’t look like her. David tries to console her but in the end has no idea how to reach his hysterical wife and calls 911.

Unable to find a cause and having run out of treatment options, Dani is released to go home from the hospital. This leaves her feeling trapped, but what other choice is there, she has nowhere else to go and no means to support herself.

They tell her she is a wife and a mother of three but remembers none of it. When she sees the neglected house they live in she is horrified to discover she is a lazy and disinterested wife and mother. In an effort to feel comfortable in strange surroundings, she slowly sets about making changes, changes that emphasis the fact that the new Dani is nothing like the old Dani. A stretching time of adjustment, for everyone. Will they survive this?

 

Wired Rogue A Paradise Crime Novel – Wired Rogue book 2 – Toby Neal  ….. Sophie Ang has spent most of her time with the FBI in her computer lab, chasing criminals from a secure location. It was a welcome change to be sent on a field assignment. An assignment that did not progress the way they hoped. Words were exchanged, threats were made and Sophie tendered her resignation effective immediately.

The fallout from this parting of the ways was the possible loss of her brainchild – tracking software, able to search multiple databases. Also lost would be the reason to search for The Ghost, an illusive vigilante she’d been tracking and communicating with for months.

A valuable asset does not go long without being snapped up and a private sector company lost no time in knocking on her door with a job offer. An offer to breach a cult compound to rescue the children they were after on her failed FBI assignment.

The agent she is paired with is a bit of a loose canon so it’s a good thing she has been trained to take care of herself.

 

The Treasure Harbour Series – seven novellas centered around the quest for gold. Legendary pirate Drake Burton is said to have buried a treasure of jewels from his wife’s  dowry, to spite her murdering father. Camilla took a bullet meant for him when her father tried to stop the marriage.

Two hundred years later the family feud is alive and well, and treasure hunters are still flocking to the resort town in search of the prize.


If you see something here that piques your interest, or sparks a desire to search through available books for something more suited to your liking…. I will consider this a win.

Happy reading.

Here’s to finding good books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

the Book of Negroes

This book is a solid 5 stars, in my estimation.

 

The Book of Negroes

This is a story written to capture your interest. I was surprised at the unexpected way it captured mine, given the difficult subject matter.

To be honest, it took me over two years to find the courage to read this book. I purchased  it only because it kept showing up as a must-read everywhere I turned. I decided to give it a chance but then couldn’t bring myself to read it as quickly as I normally would.

Reluctance to pick it up as the next-read meant it was buried deeper and deeper with each new downloaded book. Out of sight where it couldn’t make me feel guilty for passing it by, again. I did feel guilty, paying for a book and then not reading it, but mostly I felt guilty for not having the courage to read it.

I was avoiding it because, I know by experience, stories like this are hard to read.

Once I decided to take the plunge it didn’t take long to realize, Lawrence Hill has a gift for telling a story of horrific circumstances in a way that compels you to keep reading. There was no melodrama or righteous indignation. Just an honest, engaging, telling of the facts.

This is a fictional depiction of a 50 year slice of history, and the body of research to back it up is impressive. Also impressive is the size of the team working with him to make it happen.

I think there are many reasons why it’s important to read stories such as this. As you read, I know you will discover some of the reasons for yourself. We all come from a perspective and understanding of life, colored by the circumstances in our own little corner of the world. The messages we take away from reading a book like this will be influenced by the lives we each live. I find it’s that way with most books really, they speak to us where we are at any given time.

There are several important lessons I’ve learned while reading books such as this.  The first is this – cruelty has visited all people groups at some point in history and no people group is exempt from giving or receiving cruelty. We all have reason to weep for our ancestors as we discover cruelty endured, we have reason to rejoice with them for kindnesses received. And sometimes we have reason to be ashamed as we discover their treatment of others.

The second thing I’ve learned is that no people group is all good or all bad. For each cruel person, there are many more that are loving and kind. The cruel ones seem to get more notice, probably because they are often able to make life miserable for the masses. It makes me sad to see the way we humans treat each other. It also makes me sad to realize there is “nothing new under the sun”, cruelty and greed is an age old problem.

I can tell a book has been good for me when I am left saying……. I had no idea.

I had no idea that Black Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia Canada in 1783-1784, never mind that they came in such large numbers. It was a surprise to learn they were there because Britain promised rewards for loyalty to their war effort in the US. It was also a surprise to learn that a decade later a large number would accept similar promises of a good life if they would return to West Africa and take up the challenge to establish a colony in Sierra Leone.

I had no idea that thousands of former slaves had the same opportunity, over the years, to return to West Africa to settle, or to help settle, a number of countries like – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea, and Ghana.

The Book of Negroes is the story of a beautiful eleven year old girl captured as a slave, learning to survive in spite of catastrophic circumstances, becoming a strong, intelligent, and productive woman, loved by everyone she encounters.

I liked this book for the historical education it gave me, but mostly…….. I liked it for the honest way it brought to life a heart wrenching story.

 

 

 

 

YA books for my grandsons

It was a lot of fun to come across a book store well stocked with young adult books suitable for boys. The boys in our family are becoming avid readers and I wanted to get a jump on Christmas and birthdays if I could. It’s often hard to find things geared to boys tastes in books when you have a deadline.

I haven’t read any of these books yet myself but my daughter gave the first series by Bryan Davis a 3 thumbs up when I checked to see if it had her approval. She probably checked reviews to form an opinion. The rest of the books were also suggested by a very helpful and well read young lady working in that part of the store.

I am excited about these great finds so I’ll just share them all with you now and comment later on to let you know what the boys thought of my selections.

If you have read and enjoyed any of these maybe you can jump into this conversation too and let us know what you think.

I was going to stock pile the new books for future gifts but changed my mind when I started thinking about the excitement level if their summer started out with many books to choose from, especially since they also have a book loving boy cousin visiting for a coupe of weeks soon. I think I might be as excited about this as they will be when they see the stack I have for them.

So, here is the first complete series in my collection… Children of the Bard

Song of the Ovulum bk 1  Song of Ovulum book 1 – Bryan Davis

From the Mouth of Elijah bk 2   Mouth of Elijah book 2

 

the Seventh Door bk 3   The Seventh Door book 3

 

Omega Dragon bk 4  Children of the Bard  – Omega Dragon book 4

 


 

Another Bryan Davis series is Dragons of Starlight

Starlighter Dragons of the Starlight series – Starlighter book 1 – Bryan Davis

There are 4 books in this series and I picked up the first one. The four are Starlighter, Warrior, Diviner, and Liberator.


Then there is a series by Wayne Thomas Batson that looks interesting. It’s called The Door Within Trilogy.

The Door Within bk 1The Door Within book1 – Wayne Thomas Batson

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord bk 2  The Rise of The Wyrm Lord book 2

The Final Storm bk 3  The Final Storm book 3

I did get the first three and see now that there is also a fourth one.


Another series by Wayne Thomas Batson is called The Dream Treaders Series.

Dream Treaders  Dream Treaders is book 1 and I bought that one as a starter, Search for the Shadow Key is book 2, and The War for the Waking World is book 3. Book one will be an experiment to see how we like it.


I picked up four random books just to see what they were like. We can go back for more if they are a hit with the boys.

Hood bk 1  Hood is book one in Stephen Lawhead’s The Raven King Series. Scarlet is book 2 and Tuck is book 3. This series was inspired by the legend of Robin Hood. I’ve read other books by Stephen Lawhead and enjoyed his fantasies. We’ll see what the boys have to say about this one.


We will also try out The White Lion Chronicles by Christopher Hopper.

Rise of The Dibor  Rise of the Dibor is book 1 in this series, books 2 and 3 are The Lion Vrie. and Athera’s  Dawn


The adults in the family haven’t been left out. I picked up four books for them too

Son of God (based on the major motion picture) by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. I am not familiar with the movie or the authors but the young lady helping me thought highly of it.

The Prodigal – a Ragamuffin Story by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett was also highly recommended. A modern telling of the parable.

The next two are by Joel C Rosenberg and are thrillers. The Third Target and The First Hostage. These fall into the what could happen category. They aren’t the books she originally recommended by this author but I an a sucker for a sale and thought it would be a safer way to try someone new to me.


If you have opinions on any of these books, you will have to share them with us, we would like to hear what you thought.


I will share more about the store itself  another time. They have a huge selection of new and gently used books and I hear they have an online presence selling books as well.

The store is called House of James in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada …. in case you want to check it out sooner rather than later. It took seconds to come up when I Goggled House of James, so happy hunting.

And happy reading too. Until next time.

 

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. 😀

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 – Walking Shoes: Triumph Over Tragedy book 1 – Lynne Gentry

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

Truffles by the Sea  The Chocolate Series – Truffles  By The Sea book 2 – Julie Carobini

The Sister Circle  Sister Circle Series – The Sister Circle book 1 – Nancy Moser and Vonette Bright.

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

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

Deadly Countdown  Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations – Deadly Countdown  book 4 – Margaret Daley

The Mask Revealed The Jacobite Chronicles – The Mask Revealed book 2 – Julia Brannan

the Gathering Storm  The Jacobite Chronicles – The Gathering Storm book 3 – Julia Brannan

Blood Orchids A Lei Crime Novel – Blood Orchids  book 1 – Toby Neal

Proof Bloodline Trilogy – Proof book 1 – Jordyn 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 – Pancreatic 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.