The ones you hang out with

We were just talking about this today… how easy it is to begin sounding like the people  we hang out with. One of my nieces, and her husband, spent a school year in the Canadian Maritimes where there are regional differences in the way certain words and  letters are pronounced. They were commenting on how, in that short time, they found themselves starting to sound like the locals.

Now they are on their way back home to Western Canada, it will be interesting to see if the changes stick or if they revert back to the old ways. I’m betting on the old ways.

I’m convinced the same thing happens when we read…. we begin to sound like the writers we hang out with. That’s why I like to hang out with the best books I can find. I need all the help and positive influence I can get. Hmmm…. I wonder if it’s possible to learn good grammar by osmosis? Wouldn’t that be nice. 🙂


 

Saving Grace  Fleetwood and Shiels – Saving Grace book 2 – Simon Wood …..  the kidnapper, consumed with teaching parents to take better care of their children, zeros in on a young girl whose family is focused more on the tourist attraction than on her. He has had practice, and with his perfectly executed plan, they leave and no one even notices anything wrong.

When the ransom call comes it goes to a local, struggling, newspaper. The person he asks to speak to is Scott, a reporter who no longer works there because of a previous kidnapping gone wrong. Scott’s family is still recovering from their own trauma, how can he get involved with another one? And why would they ask for him anyway?

 

Lady at Arms  Lady at Arms: a Medieval Romance – Tamara Leigh …. Lizanne Balmaine managed to escape her abuser and run for her life. Now, years later, when she spies her enemy at a neighboring castle, made bold by her new skills and an  overpowering need for revenge, she captures him and locks him in her dungeon. There is something a little off about all of this though, he isn’t exactly as remembered, and the difference escapes her.

Ranulf Randieu is furious at finding himself stripped and chained up in a dungeon, accused of offenses he has no memory of; and the lady refuses to enlighten him. With patience, he manages to turn the tables on her, in this game they are playing, and now she is the captive headed for his castle.

What will her over protective brother do when he comes home to find his sister gone? Has she made a fatal mistake with her rash decision to attempt revenge on her enemy?

 

Homecoming   Sweet Hearts of Sweet Creek – HomeComing – Carolyne Aarsen …. Mark is on a mission to find his partner’s sister for him, he doesn’t know much about her except that she hasn’t been home in years. Things begin to go a little wrong when he tracks her to a bar and his attempt to talk to her enrages her boss. It goes from bad to worse and she finds herself without a job she desperately needs.

Sheryl tries but can’t place Mark in her memory and she isn’t about to trust him or go anywhere with him. Especially not back to the place of bad memories. And she doesn’t even want to know why he is here.

Mark has made a promise that he doesn’t understand but feels compelled to keep. He needs to convince her to go home, even for a few days.

 

Blackstone and the Rendezvous  The Blackstone Detective Series – Blackstone and the Rendezvous with Death book 1 – Sally Spencer/Alan Rustage …. a shabbily dressed young man hurries through the streets realizing  he should have left for home hours ago. It will soon be too dark to find his way and there are footsteps following him. This cannot mean anything good in this part of town.

Inspector Blackstone frowns when he sees a body with the face of a gentleman dressed in the rags of a commoner. Who is he, why is he dressed like this, what could possibly  cause him to be in this part of the city; and why has no one listed him as missing. The handling of this will require special care to find the answers, and Blackstone is out of his element, dealing with gentry.

He gets a break when a young lady comes to his office, concerned about the disappearance of her brother. Now he has to find a way to discretely meet with her high powered family, to discover their secrets.

 

Death of a Dead Man   Juniper Grove Cozy Mystery Death of a Dead Man book 1 – Karin Kaufman …. Rachael is new to town and hasn’t learned all the secrets yet but that is about to change when Julia, her neighbour, crosses the yard to show her the latest headlines in the local newspaper. Julia is upset because the editor is out to get her and doesn’t play fair. Rachel reads the headline George Foster officially declared dead and now she’s puzzled, she was under the impression he was dead. She will be even more puzzled when the man in question suddenly shows up dead in her back yard, and his wife is the prime suspect.

 

Cozy Mysteries Collection  Cozy Mysteries Collection – Home for the Holidays , Road to Savannah, Suite Revenge, Winds of Deception, Lethal Lobster, Magnolia Mansion Mysteries – Hope Callaghan …… This was a fun read. Six books pulled from four of Hope Callaghan’s series, one of them on board a cruise ship. They aren’t book 1 of each series either, which means the reader gets a taste of story progression well into the series. Some are holiday, and some are home themed. They were all good.

Happy Reading! I hope you are finding many good books to hang out with.

 

It’s time to talk about some books

Spring has arrived, the snow is gone, and that means dreaded yard cleanup.  Some of my friends love gardening but for me? ….. I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word love. I do love having pretty gardens though. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when full  garbage bags pile up and clean looks so good.  I love the strength returning to muscles that have had the winter off too. Over all, it’s a win/win situation.

Maintenance I can handle. The hard part is knowing what looks good, when new plants are needed. Manitoba Hydro came through last fall and took out two tall blue spruce trees that were the focal point of my back yard. Now they have to be replaced, but with what? That’s the challenge. Maybe I will learn to like this aspect of gardening too, it could happen.

The up side of stiff muscles from yard cleanup? Extra reading time. When it comes to reading, any excuse works for me.

It has been an excellent week, with many books of the hard to put down variety.

 

Tomorrow's Lullaby Chasing Tomorrow – Tomorrow’s Lullaby book 2 – Lindzee Armstrong ….. Sienna is back in college pursuing music and an entrance into Juilliard, a dream side tracked by an  inopportune pregnancy. Giving her son up for adoption was one of the hardest things she had ever done.

Aaron is conflicted over his place in the family, feeling like an outsider most of the time. Forced Spanish lessons, meant to help him connect with his roots, have only served to widen the gap, also leaving him with a negative attitude toward the birth mother who put him in this uncomfortable position.

Sienna has a secret and Aaron has emotional baggage. Is it possible for their attraction to survive any of this?

Bitter Roots  Bitter Root Mysteries – Bitter Roots book 1 – C.J. Carmichael …… A dead woman has been found on the walkway to the local clinic and after a quick look at the crime scene, the sheriff decides the blame belongs to an unknown outsider.

Zak has taken the job of dispatcher by choice, even though he is underutilized in that position. He has his reasons. And besides, one of the perks of dispatcher – he’s privy to  information he would never see in any other role.

Deputy Black cannot understand his reluctance to take a deputy position. She recognizes his talent and is quick to enlist his help when she sees him taking an interest in some of the areas the Sheriff has bypassed. They hope to uncover the truth. Is this woman dead at the hands of an outsider, or is she dead because of harboured small town secrets? Is the sheriff trying to cover for someone?

Charming the Trouble Maker  Mitchell’s Crossroads – Charming the Trouble Maker book 2 – Pepper Basham …. Dr. Alex Murdoch is demoted to a small town university and he doesn’t expect to have reason to stay any longer than necessary. His natural charming ways come out when he catches a glimpse of beautiful Rainey Mitchell and he thinks this small town job may work out better than he thought.

For her part, the last thing Rainey needs is an arrogant flirt in her life and she tries to put as much distance between them as possible. It sort of works until cutbacks threaten her special program and it seems Alex is the one with the needed skills and connections to help save the project,

Forgotten Coast 1 to 4 Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series was my favorite read this week. I liked it because the  characters are complex and well developed, the plot is interesting and unpredictable, and the story doesn’t remind me of any other book I’ve read. The quality of writing is high too. I was hooked and stayed with it until I’d read all four books. The fifth one is from 2016

 

Low Tide Low Tide book 1….. a dead body is discovered on St George’s Island and Lt Maggie Redmond  is distressed to find it’s someone with a past connection to her. It’s been ruled a suicide and she is confident no one, including her boss, knows her secret but she is still worried someone will accuse her of murder. When Gregory’s rich and infamous uncle views her with a sudden and inexplicable interest, the worry increases.

Riptide  Riptide book 2 …. Before Lt Redmond has a chance to solve the cause of death for Gregory Boudreaux the foot of his best friend shows up in a fisherman’s net. It’s looking more and more like Bennett Boudreaux – Gregory’s uncle and the town villain – could be responsible somehow. Maggie is conflicted with this development because, against her better judgement, she is starting to like Bennett. This increases the angst she feels about keeping secrets from the boss she is also starting to like. Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton likes her too and is not happy about her meetings with Boudreaux and the unhealthy rumors they are causing.

what washes up  What Washes Up book 3 ….. Multiple bodies have washed on the beach, appearing to be those of families attempting to reach US shores. The first two murders have yet to be solved and now there are two more murder cases. The second new murder is the body of a man found tied to the mast of a burning boat. The whole situation has turned out to be much bigger than the death of a man and his best friend. The feds have gotten involved and the residents of Apalach are outraged at the thought of all these deaths. Has all of this been part of a bigger Bennett Boudreaux scheme all along?

Ladfall  Landfall book 4. …. Maggie is getting ready to leave town before the hurricane hits, because someone is threatening her family and she is trying to keep them safe. What she doesn’t know is that the threat is coming from an unexpected source and when a stranger shows up at her door she is stunned to find herself and her family hostages of a madman. Even worse, no one will know they are in trouble. They are expected to be on the road already.

In the middle of the madness and her attempts to free herself, the hurricane hits with a vengeance and everything goes sideways. Help in an unexpected form shows up but even that doesn’t go well. Will they be able to survive, or is this the end for them all?

These four books form the foundation for the rest of the series and are best read in sequence. After that, the following books can be read as standalone.

Book 5 showed up on my radar in 2016, I liked it then, too.

Dead Wake Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series – Dead Wake book 5 – Dawn Lee McKenna …. Local florists, William and Robert, are not happy about   tearing their shop apart after a flood only to find a dead body bricked up behind the dry wall. it’s bad for business in a resort town. They don’t want the whole town in on the news so instead of 911 they call Lt Maggie Redmond at home. She doesn’t want to deal with this alone so she drags her boss, Sheriff Wyatt Hamilton, along. She already knows the victim is someone declared missing decades ago so the big question is –  how and why  did he turn up in the wall of the florist shop?

What well kept town secrets will be uncovered this time?

Happy reading for you this week too.

I want to tell you a story

I want to tell you a story, hopefully, one that will build on my last post, and clear up some misconceptions.

It’s about one of my cats. Kitty (as I called him – mainly because my landlord called him Sylvester, a name I didn’t like and didn’t have the courage to try to change), Kitty had been someone’s pet, an abused pet, one who learned to be terrified of all things human.

We discovered him living in the bushes across the back alley, wild and hungry. He could be coaxed out with food, if it was placed somewhere he considered safe, so we fed him.

I found it hard to see him in such distress and set out to woo him into trusting me. It worked, gradually his trust grew to the point that he was eating inside, then living inside – sleeping on the furniture, and finally, on my lap. His trust grew to extend beyond me to my husband, and to our landlord.

Kitty learned to trust the three of us but that was as far as it ever went. He was gone in a flash if anyone else came around, and he was like that for as long as we had him.

The thing is, he didn’t stop to make a judgement call. He had no idea if encountered humans were good or bad, and he didn’t care, he wasn’t taking any chances.

His fear was the result of what had been done to him in the past and had nothing whatever to do with anyone in the present.

That’s the spot I find myself in today. My trust issues and panic attacks are the result of what’s been done to me in the past. The present can inadvertently act as a trigger but other than that, it has no bearing on anything.

Triggers aren’t restricted to strangers, either, they often happen in the presence of people I know and trust, they can even happen when I am alone, maybe reading, thinking, listening to the news, any other activity, really. On top of all that, most of the time I have no idea why.

So, when my talk of trust issues has you worried you are being labelled as a bad guy, please, let that worry go. I don’t stop to make assessments and then act on my findings. Triggers happen when they happen, for reasons all of their own, and they create awkward moments.

Like the one that happened on a day when I was hurrying across a lobby. I spotted a man standing by the door and stopped dead in my tracks. I have no idea what that was about. I had to do some quick, and tough, self talk….don’t just stand there, keep walking.

I can tell you, there were no assessments made that day. He could have been a very good guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde

I have been thinking a lot, this week, about the good men in my life. I’ve never thought like this before, not really. It seems like the after-effects of the bad men in my life have completely taken over; you can tell this because I’ve mentioned them to you more than once with nary a word about any of the good guys.

I’ve never before thought to question how I knew from an early age that not all men  were bad. Now, I realize there has to be experience behind the knowledge, it doesn’t just happen.

There are very few childhood memories left to give me clues, however, I do have adult memories of Mom’s stories. She talked often about leaving us with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Donald. Uncle Donald was Grandpa’s brother. He was kind, smiled a lot, and cared about kids. I have teenage memories of him and can see how the little me would have loved being with him.  Grandpa was reserved and didn’t smile a lot but I felt safe with him too. I could let down my guard, and did, when we lived with him as young teens.

There were two separate camps in my early life. The good guys, and the bad guys. Now. as I take the time to think about it, I realize how blessed I was. Not everyone has the privilege of experiencing the good with the bad.

Since then, there have been other good guys in my life, too,  and I treasure them all.


I am going to leave you with just one book this time.

James L Rubart is a favorite author and I hope to do a feature on him soon. There are a number of his books in my kindle collection and I need to tell you about them sometime.

He has a unique style of writing but is not alone in it as there are several others sharing a similar style. Frank Peretti is one of them. There is always a bit of fantasy in his stories.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

the man he never was  The Man He Never Was  – James L Rubart….. Toren Daniels wakes up one day and feels like a different person. And has no idea why.

He was a professional football player with a raging temper that finally got him kicked out of the league. Without the usual outlet, his family bore the brunt of his temper tantrums and they were about to kick him out too.

Toren disappeared one day, was gone so long everyone thought he was dead, and his family moved on with a feeling of relief. They were not happy to see him on the doorstep eight months later.

Now, he has two things to figure out:

  • Where was he for eight months and what has been done to him?
  • How does he convince his family he has changed, so he can get them back?

A story well worth the time.

Happy reading!

I hope you have some good people in your life too.

 

 

Staci Stallings Part 2

This will be Staci Stallings books in my-Kindle-collection part two, but first……. I have pressure building up from a major frustration and need to vent before I explode.

Please, please, please,  rewrite as many times as it takes before you publish.

Do you know how disappointing it is to read a book that could be great if it wasn’t so full of typos, mistakes, murky paragraphs, and conversations in need of tweaking?

Rewrites would help expose many of these problem areas, even if grammar is not your strong suit.

Read your book out loud, you would be amazed at how many things will pop out at you, begging for a fix.

Ask someone to edit your book. Make sure it’s someone proficient in the craft. A well intentioned friend won’t help you succeed unless they really are good at the job.

In this micro-wave world of instant gratification, don’t be in such a hurry to publish. I’ve heard some of the most widely read authors say they rewrite more than a dozen times. And, when they think they are ready to publish they put it in a drawer for three months to a year (if possible) so they can read it again with fresh eyes, to do a final rewrite.

If you want your books to be widely read, follow their example and do the rewrites.

If you want to publish many books in a year, start filling up the drawers.

OK, I feel better now. I truly hope you will take this to heart and do whatever it takes to be the best you can be.


Now on to Staci Stallings, and some good examples of fine writing.

And the Greatest of These is Love A Novel – And the Greatest of These is Love …….. Gabi had no idea the community centre was in this much financial trouble, and she is determined to find a way to keep things going. These kids have no where else to go.

Andrew has been working on the biggest breaking story of his career, and now that it is published – he is not happy about his editor demanding he take a day away from it, to do a piece on the financially strapped community center located in a slum area. When he walks in and discovers he has found the beautiful girl from the baseball field, the one invading his dreams, everything changes.

 

The Long Way Home A Novel – The Long Way Home …..  Jaxton is more than a little upset his parents have ordered him to abandon his high powered clients and visit the ailing grandfather he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. The whole idea of this visit is distasteful.

Ami is surprised to find a stranger in her yard, especially one who looks as out of place as this lost city boy. She’d handled his condescending tone just fine until it dawned on her, he was Clarence’s absentee grandson. Now, she sees red as she thinks about Clarence and his family’s neglect after his recent heart attack. Jaxton is seeing red himself, at her attitude, who does she think she is, treating him like this?

Coming Undone  A Novel – Coming Undone …… Ben is revelling in the single life; few responsibilities, weekly card games with his buddies, parties on the weekends. He is totally unprepared for the call asking him to step up and be next-of-kin, the one making the  hard decisions.

Kathryn struggles with singleness, hyper aware of the years slipping by, with little hope  of ever meeting Mr. Right. Fortunately for her, she finds fulfillment in her hospice role, helping families navigate the distress of final days. Ben, faced with his father’s imminent death, looks completely undone and desperately in need of help.

Lucky Harmony series The Harmony Series – Lucky book 2 …. One terrible moment and everything Danae believes to be true is exposed as a lie, and she’s left in a puddle of grief, with no way of getting home from the wedding.

Kalin, trying to rebuild his life after the devastation of bad choices, has taken a job with a band playing the wedding. From his place on the stage, he couldn’t help but notice the beautiful bridesmaid as she flitted about taking care of details, or the groomsman she  was obviously with.  The last thing he expected to find, as he left to go home, her, crying  alone, huddled against the side of a car in a muddy parking lot.

Happy reading!

 

Featuring Staci Stallings…Part 1

Out of curiosity, after downloading yet another Staci Stallings book, I searched my downloads to see how many other Stallings books are in my Kindle collection. There have been nineteen since 2012, and only three have been mentioned in this blog. It’s time to change all that.

As an encouragement to writers out there, Staci’s website tells the story of beating the odds while breaking the rules of formula writing. She was also a pioneer in self publishing, before self publishing was even a thing.

Formula writing includes external conflict, Staci’s writing uses internal conflict. That makes her writing a blessing to many because as readers we can relate to characters facing many of the same hurdles we do.

So, without further ado, here is the list, or at least part 1 of the list.

More Than This  A Novel – More Than This …… Jake likes the anonymity of the dark corner of the coffee shop, a quiet place to sit with his laptop writing the novel that will have his name in lights. At least he’s hoping it will.

Liz and Mia make a game out of examining customers, trying to guess who they are and what they are about. They think the mysterious Jake could be clandestine CIA or something equally exotic. In an attempt to find clues about him Liz makes excuses to refill his coffee cup, succeeding only in breaking his concentration.

A Work in Progress Faith series The Faith Series – A Work in Progress book 1 … Rebecca has never been one of the beautiful people, instead she finds herself forever doing the alone thing, watching the beautiful people enjoying relationships, wondering how they do it.

Eric is drifting through college, not really settled on anything, looking at relationships as something to give him credibility with the world in general. Rebecca notices him after a disastrous meeting involving spilled hot chocolate, he’s cute, quirky, and interested in her roommate.

 

To Serve and Protect The Courage Series – To Protect & Serve book 1 …. Jeff endures much good natured  teasing from his friends over his inability to strike up a conversation with a pretty woman. Reluctantly, he joins a celebratory night out on the town after graduation at the fire academy.

Lisa is buried under piles of work in her ad agency and does her best to avoid the  awkward situation that will be her sister’s bachelorette party. Things are even worse when the girls move over to join the firemen’s table.

 

Eternity friendship series The Friendship Series – Eternity book 1…. Aaron has given up on life and girls since the love of his life left him for someone else. He’s stuck in a job he hates and the only bright spot at work is Harmony, a friend who has always been there for him. Unfortunately for Harmony, she loves Aaron but doesn’t expect he will ever feel the same way about her.

Aaron has a new roommate, Drew, a talented landscape artist who would like to start his own company and Aaron can see he would be great at it.  Drew has met someone special and is on a hot date. I have a feeling I know who that someone will be, and Aaron won’t be happy.

 

Deep in the Heart  A Novel – Deep in the Heart…… Maggie has successfully applied for a nanny position she desperately needs. What she doesn’t know – the strict house rules have been responsible for the short tenure of the all previous nannies, and there are bets she won’t last either. In the meantime, the children are starved for simple connection   and there is something about her that causes them to cling to her.

One other thing she doesn’t know – the handsome hired hand, who does funny things to her heart…. he’s actually part of the family… and he’s engaged.

 

Cowboy - Harmony series The Harmony Series – Cowboy book 1 ….. Beth is struggling to make a life for her little daughter, stuck in a diner trying to make ends meet, flooded with grief after the death of her husband.

Ashton’s life has been destroyed by the death of his best friend and biggest fan. Tempted to end it all on a rain soaked road, he stops at a diner for a cup of coffee. What he doesn’t expect, as he sits in his misery, is a perceptive waitress wanting nothing from him but the unburdening of his broken heart. She remembers the pain of running to escape and wanting it all to end.

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.

Exactly!

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 kenthollowayonline.com

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.