Monday, November 28, 2022

Amy Lynn Green: The Blackout Book Club


By Kelly Bridgewater

In 1942, an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn't be more different--a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.


My Thoughts:

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is an exciting viewpoint of a book club that meets during World War II. Green does a wonderful job at crafting a novel that takes readers through the normal life of the women and certain men who are left behind as they run the American factories and wives of the soldiers. It was nice to see her attention to detail as the story showed a different side to the warfront. The characters were handled nicely with many hurts as they adjusted to life during this time with Blackout curtains and not allowed to be out after a certain time. Even raising kids during this time was difficult. The plot is told through the eyes of the characters and the pages of the “minutes” of the Blackout Book Club as they form a bond that comes to the rescue near the climactic moment near the end of the novel. Overall, The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is definitely a different World War II story than what I am used to reading because it takes place stateside, which I liked a lot. A nice book to add to any World War II fans’ collection.

I received a complimentary copy of The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Blackout Book Club

Friday, November 25, 2022

Dream Jobs

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Do you work at your dream Job? What is your dream job?

When I was a little girl, I used to teach all the kids in the neighborhood during the summer. I enjoyed it. I loved seeing their eyes light up. I loved assigning homework, which they never completed and returned.

My mom was for sure that I was going to be a teacher. Nope. I did not.

I did teach College Level Writing classes when I attended Graduate school. Even won an award because I was nominated by one of my students because she loved me as a teacher.

But I did not pursue this career.

When I hit fifth grade, I wanted to be an astronaut.

Our school took a field trip to a planetarium, and we learned all the stories behind the constellations, and I was hooked. I wanted to spend more time in the stars.

I remember my Daddy taking a telescope and sitting outside with me at night and looking at the stars. Good memory.

I went to a Magnet middle school for Math and Science, so I could pursue this dream.

Once I hit my junior year, I knew that Science was not for me.

I enjoyed reading and writing my whole life, so I thought a journalist. I could write stories. I was on the newspaper my junior and senior year in high school.

But I did not like focusing on non-fiction stories.

I enjoyed fiction.

In college, I started to pursue the steps to becoming an Acquisitions Editor for a publishing company. I have the BS in English with a Minor in Creative Writing. I have a MA in Writing.

But no experience.

I would love to sit and read books all day. Yes, we should publish this one. No, we should not publish this one.

OR I would love to get my tail end into gear and actually compose tons of novels that I have written outlines for.

Are you working at your dream job? What is your dream job?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson: Dark Fall

By Kelly Bridgewater

When a remote Peruvian village is reduced to ash in seconds, the Shepherds face a horrific question: Is this the work of a man-made weapon of unthinkable power, or is God raining down judgment from above, as some believe?

As the recently installed leader of the Joshua Bravo team, Jedidiah Johnson shifts into covert operation mode to follow rumors of a new energy-based weapon able to incinerate a target—even a human target—with no warning. With the assistance of the CIA, Jed’s team deploys to Hong Kong to extract the Chinese scientist who helped develop the weapon.

What the Shepherds learn from Dr. Zhao confirms their worst fears: The weapon is real and has disappeared from the testing facility where it was held. With help from the Watchers, Jed discovers that Victor, the leader of the Dark Ones, has the weapon and intends to use it to wreak untold damage and destabilize the faith of millions. But as Jed and his team race the clock to find and disable the weapon, Victor begins to unfold secret plans for another attack . . .

And this target is much closer to home.


My Thoughts:

Dark Fall by Brian Andrew and Jeff Wilson follows the harrowing tale of the Shepherds who see the interaction with the demon world. While on a life saving mission, they are trying to find out what the weapon is and how to stop it before it destroys much of mankind. The action is definitely a moving target as the story progresses. My favorite part is the last thirty percent of the novel where the main climactic moment of the whole series come to a head. With plenty of action and movement, Wilson and Andrews will take readers on a ride through the demonic world and understand the overarching power of God and how he can defeat all of them. THe storyline was different, yet familiar to readers of spiritual darkness like Frank Peretti, but they allow soldiers who are trained in armed forces to deal with this type of evil. Overall, Dark Fall by Andrews and Wilson had enough action to keep this suspense loving reader actively involved, but it also forces me to wonder how deep my faith is. A great question to ponder.

I received a complimentary copy of Dark Fall by Brian Andrews and Jeff Wilson through Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Dark Fall

Friday, November 18, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I pray you have a day filled with family, good food, and maybe some crazy board games, which is what our family does after eating and cleaning up.

If you do not have the family to spend time with because of family strife or you live too far away. I pray you find some friendly friends that will allow to crash their day and have a wonderful time.

Plenty of moments to make memories.

Plenty of good food!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Jenni L. Walsh: The Call of the Wrens

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Introducing the little-known story of the daring women who rode through war-torn Europe, carrying secrets on their shoulders . . .

An orphan who spent her youth without a true home, Marion Hoxton found in the Great War something other than destruction. She found a chance to belong. As a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service—the Wrens—Marion gained sisters. She found purpose in her work as a motorcycle dispatch rider, assigned to train and deliver carrier pigeons to the front line. And, despite the constant threat of danger, she and her childhood friend Eddie began to dream of a future together. Until the battle that changed everything.

Now, twenty years later, another war has broken out across Europe, calling Marion to return to the fight. Meanwhile, others, like twenty-year-old society girl Evelyn Fairchild, hear the call for the first time. For Evelyn, it’s a way to prove herself after a childhood fraught with surgeries and limitations from a disability. And with the re-formation of the Wrens as World War II rages, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a difference in the world at seventy miles per hour.

Told in alternating narratives that converge in a single life-changing moment, The Call of the Wrens is a vivid, emotional saga of love, secrets, resilience—and the knowledge that the future will always belong to the brave souls who fight for it.


My Thoughts:

The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh introduces readers to a world of brave women during World War II who rode motorcycles to deliver messages across and through enemy lines. Being an avid reader of World War II novels, I have never heard of motorcycle riders. Bicycle riders, yes, but not motorcycles. The first thirty percent of the novel was setting up understanding the two heroines and their lives before they are thrown in the dangers of the World Wars. At times, it seemed to be going nowhere. Walsh was leading up to the war, but it seemed a lot of time to spend in the backstory that could have been sprinkled later on in the actual story. Story felt realistic and unique, but it did drag for a while and not keep my attention for long. There was a romance in the past timeline, but I did not know if I liked it or not. Felt realistic enough to go with the story, but I did not care about their relationship at all. Walsh does a good job at crafting the novel. Her writing was nicely done, but I need more movement in my stories to capture my attention. Overall, The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh was a unique and different storyline, but the plot needed more action.

I received a complimentary copy of The Call of the Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh from Harper Muse Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Call of the Wrens

Monday, November 14, 2022

Susan May Warren: Sundown

By Kelly Bridgewater

Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn't trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled--and smart--woman.

A few of her stories prove true--he's found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

But Colt's not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it'll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they've vowed to protect.

Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.


My Thoughts:

Sundown by Susan May Warren nicely ties up the three Kingston’s brothers’ trilogy. With plenty of action, drama, and romance, Warren does not leave her readers’ much room for breathing or taking a break. Sundown is the type of novel that needs to be read in one sitting.  Warren surprises the readers with some familiar characters from her previous novels. The romance does round out the story and help develop the characters deeper. Some of my favorite parts of Warren’s recent stories are the third-party character who speaks truth into the characters. The moments of truths dig deep into my heart as well as the characters. Makes me want to think about those words for a little bit longer. The setting and description are nicely handled. Readers will feel like they are in the places and can feel the cold air across their face as Warren details them. Overall, Sundown by Susan May Warren is thrilling way to end a series features three brothers. I recommend all fans of Warren’s writings to pick up this book.

I received a complimentary copy of Sundown by Susan May Warren from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Sundown

Friday, November 11, 2022

National Novel Writing Month

By Kelly Bridgewater

Every November, it is National Novel Writing Month.

This is a program that tries to help writers craft that novel that they have been wanting to write. There is a website that writers can join where they keep track of your daily word counts.

The goal is to complete 50,000 words during the month of November.

No, this is not an actual novel. Most 325 -350 page novels are actually anywhere from 90,000 plus words.

But this does help or can even bring fear to a budding author who has that novel that is dying to come out.

I have completed it twice, first time in 2013 and the second time in 2016. I have both times written 90,000 plus word novels in that month. It is good to sit down and force yourself to write every day, but there are days that it is really hard to write anything. The characters and the plot do not want to cooperate. I have struggled with putting the words down on the page.

The website does have sponsors that are willing to donate a little discount of their services or even free items if you actually complete the 50,000 word challenge by November 30th.

How about you? Have you ever done a challenge like this or even completed this National Novel Writing Month?