Friday, March 1, 2024

Colossians 3:2

 By Kelly Bridgewater

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Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

English Standard Version


A good reminder.

I need to keep my mind on God, not on all the craziness that is going on in our world today.

Thanks to Biden and inflation.

What about you? What do you do to keep your focus on God?

Monday, February 26, 2024

Dani Pettrey: One Wrong Move

By Kelly Bridgewater

Christian Macleod was pulled into a life of crime at a young age by his con artist parents. Now making amends for his corrupt past, he has become one of the country's foremost security experts. When a string of Southwestern art heists captures the FBI's attention, Christian is paired up with a gifted insurance investigator who has her own checkered past.

Andi Forster was a brilliant FBI forensic analyst until one of her colleagues destroyed her career, blaming her for mishandling evidence. She now puts those skills to work investigating insurance fraud, and this latest high-stakes case will test her gift to the limit. Drawn deep into a dangerous game with an opponent bent on revenge, Christian and Andi are in a race against the clock to catch him, but the perpetrator's game is far from finished, and one wrong move could be the death of them both.

Bestselling and award-winning author Dani Pettrey is back with a thrilling new series that will keep you up all night as you race toward the explosive finish.


 

My Thoughts:

One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey traces an art heist from one side of the American country to the other side of the country. The heroine and the hero are both similar because they want to move forward from a huge mistake in their pasts. The truth from their pasts do make them stronger as they evaluate the mystery element and have to learn to work together to help solve the case. Of course, as the mystery ups its game, Andi and Christian must learn to trust each other with the reality of their pasts and learn if they can move forward with the truth. As the clock clicks closer to the climactic ending, Pettrey does a okay job at tightening the noose around the character's necks. The mystery element is not that original, yet predictable. Overall, One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey does check off all the boxes for a romantic suspense, but I personally, wanted more suspense than the romance.

I received a complimentary copy of One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase One Wrong Move


Friday, February 23, 2024

Not Like It Used To Be

 By Kelly Bridgewater

istock.com


When I was a young child, my father made about $40,000 a year. When I applied for Financial Aid with the FAFSA during the 2000 Spring, which was my senior year, for college, my father made too much money for the Pell Grant.

My father made about $20 an hour.

Today, between my husband and I, we almost make double that money, but now we are eligible for Pell Grant for our children.

Gas is $5.25 a gallon in Indiana. Almost $10 in other states.

A pound of cheap hamburger is $5 a pound.

Chicken is $3.50 a pound.

Milk is $4 a gallon.

Eggs are $3.50 a gallon.

Car payments are over $800 a month for up to 8 years. $60,000 for a new car. Not a truck or SUV.

Companies no longer offer retirement matches or pension plans.

Companies want you to work 24-7 for, if lucky, $12 an hour. They want you to give up your family time and focus completely on them for under $25,000 a year.

Where is the loyalty?

Where are the benefits for the employee to stay at your company?

It is really hard for my generation to save, put money away for retirement, or take vacations without debt. Luckily, my husband and I have no debt, but it is still hard to save for anything and watching the funds that we put in retirement every month disappear. We do NOT take vacations. I want to visit Mt. Rushmore, England, Yellowstone National Park, Universal Studios . . . I could if I wanted to take on debt and pay for these vacations for years in the future. That is no fun!

College degrees are worthless. I have a Masters in Writing, and I earned $14.37 an hour to work at a university.

Disgraceful!

Wonder why our generation is so upset. Pay us more! If the older generation keeps raising prices on everything we buy, but forgets to help raise our hourly rates, then we will never retire and enjoy the relaxing life like they are right now.

Not fair!

What do you think? Am I crazy or the only one that thinks this way?

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Melanie Dickerson: Lady of Disguise

By Kelly Bridgewater

Only the hidden treasure will allow Louisa and her sister to gain their freedom.

England, 1388. All her life, Louisa’s dreamed of finding the rumored “Giant’s Treasure,” a collection of ancient, lost riches said to be hidden on a mountaintop in Scotland, guarded by a fierce monster. It’s a story her father used to tell her, and when he dies and she and her younger sister have to go live with their shiftless, greedy uncle, Louisa is determined to find that treasure. It’s the hope that has kept her defying her uncle’s efforts to marry her off to the highest bidder.

After her uncle starts to parade Louisa’s twelve-year-old sister Margaret in front of potential husbands, Louisa realizes she has no time to waste. She disguises herself as a boy and takes off for Scotland. But the road is a harsher place than she’d imagined, and she is relieved to find a friend in the knight, Sir Charles, who goes along with her on her journey.

Charles is intrigued by this young woman who claims her name is “Jack” and is set on going to Scotland. He goes along, pretending to believe she is a boy, in order to make sure nothing bad happens to her. As they meet new friends along the road, and as Louisa comes clean about her identity, the pair find themselves falling in love. But what will happen when they reach Scotland? Will they find their independence and the freedom to marry in the form of a buried treasure, or will the monster from Louisa’s own past keep the young couple apart?


 

My Thoughts:

Lady ofDisguise by Melanie Dickerson starts out with the heroine wanting to find a buried treasure in the side of the mountain. As the journey begins, she leaves dressed as a boy in order to keep hidden. Then she meets the hero and the plot pushes forward from there. Many moments were the hero must save the damsel in distress, which of course, the heroine finds enduring and sweet. The plot kept throwing the hero and heroine into dangerous situations because of the supporting cast. Of course, as the plot moved forward; the romance moved forward also. Really didn't feature many of the Dericott siblings that were prominent in the previous books in this series. This reads more like a standalone novel to the series. According to the synopsis, this story is a Jack in the Beanstalk remake. There is elements of the familiar story with climbing to a high place with a giant protecting the prize. But there are differences too. Nice giant who has been taken advantage of by the people in the low lying village. Overall, Lady of Disguise by Melanie Dickerson features a protective hero who shows his devotion to the heroine while flipping Jack in the Beanstalk on its head.

I received a complimentary copy of Lady of Disguise by Melanie Dickerson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Lady of Disguise

Monday, February 19, 2024

Patricia Bradley: Fatal Witness

By Kelly Bridgewater

As a child, artist and potter Dani Bennett witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. With no memory of the incident or her true identity, she was forced to take on a new name and a new life, hidden away in Montana for the past 25 years.

Mae Richmond has spent the same stretch of time searching for her granddaughter, who went missing the night her daughter and son-in-law were murdered. Convinced the woman she saw in a pottery magazine feature is the woman she's been searching for, she enlists the help of K-9 officer Mark Lassiter of Pearl Springs, Tennessee, who tracks Dani down.

Skeptical but curious, Dani sets out on a journey to uncover the secrets of her past and reclaim her true identity. But someone close to her is determined to keep the truth of what happened all those years ago hidden.


 

My Thoughts:

Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley opens with a young girl hiding in a closet than hearing gun shots. From this moment on, readers are trying to guess what actually happened to her parents. Why were they shot? Who killed her parents? Dani, the heroine, goes home to Pearl Springs, and try to piece together the pieces of her memory from this fateful day. The plot features many moments of bullets flying and questioning others to try to figure out what happened. Of course, what is a romantic suspense novel without a touch of romance. Dani and Mark, the hero cop, protects her and helps her figure out her memories and maybe fall in love. It was nice to return to Pearl Spring and see what Alex, the heroine from the first story, has been up to. While the plot read like a suspense novel, there were moments that I personally, would like to have had more suspense elements. Just enough more to keep me flipping through the pages. Overall, Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley was a predictable, yet sometimes not as suspenseful as I would have liked it, with a hint of romance.

I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Fatal Witness

Friday, February 16, 2024

Dogs in Novels

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Dogs are man’s best friend.

They appear in movies. They appear in books. They appear in our homes.

I have two dogs. I have a five-year-old golden retriever named Nana, and a 13-year-old Beagle named Snoopy.

My life is definitely better with them in it.

Who else is so excited to see you when you come home?

Who else wants to spend time with you and listen to you as you rant and rave about an injustice?

Who else will cuddle with you when you are feeling sick?

My dogs do.

Here are some books with dogs in them:

Trinity by Ronie Kendig (This whole series features working dogs for the police or military.)



Lantern Beach series by Christy Barritt (Ty has a golden retriever.)



Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Janice Cantore: One Final Target

By Kelly Bridgewater

Two wounded heroes shattered by tragedy and paralyzed by guilt and must find their footing and work together to catch a killer.

A warrant service in the San Bernardino Mountains goes horribly wrong when an IED blast kills four police officers. Devastated by the loss of her team, the lone survivor, Long Beach sergeant Jodie King, struggles with her guilt and grief, especially as the case remains open with no clear leads or suspects. Weeks after the explosion, Jodie retires from the police department and returns to the mountain bomb site seeking peace and resolution . . . only to find herself in the crosshairs once again.

Sam Gresham just happens to be in the right place at the right time when shots are fired at Jodie. The newest detective for the county sheriff’s department, Sam is assigned to work the IED, his first case back after his own traumatic loss. While Sam sees an opportunity to help Jodie heal from her lingering scars, Jodie hopes fresh eyes will bring new insight to the investigation. Because after this latest shooting, one thing seems clear: Jodie has always been the intended target—and the threat may be much closer to her than anyone wants to admit.

Janice Cantore delivers another pulse-pounding contemporary romantic suspense novel about overcoming grief and learning to trust again.

 


My Thoughts:

One Final Target by Janice Cantore is a police procedural novel filled with many twists and turns. The plot is predictable and unoriginal. Romance. Someone wanting to hurt a cop that wants to seek revenge. The difference is that Cantore used her knowledge of the inner workings of the police force to strengthen the characters’ personalities. I did enjoy getting to know the heroine and the hero. They were brave, strong, and determined. Romance is part of the plot, but honestly, just the way I like it, as a side-note. Not the entire focus of the couple. A Cantore novel is adventurous, realistic, and filled with danger. This time around, Cantore showed how computer hacking could ruin someone’s life and throw the crime scene into a world of hurt. It is scary to think of technology like this. Overall, One Final Target by Janice Cantore will capture fans’ of police procedurals and romantic suspense novels. Plenty of action just like fans of Cantore’s other stories have come to expect.

I received a complimentary copy of One Final Target by Janice Cantore from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase One Final Target