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Friday, July 10, 2020

My Personal Library

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back in February, I decided to paint our living room, my library , and our main hallway a light gray. As I put the books back on the bookshelves, I counted my books. I owned 900 physical books. My boys were amazed.

They obviously don't enjoy reading, so they don't understand my obsession with having physical books.

But with the way the world was running a couple of months ago where no one could leave their houses, it is nice to have a library to go to since most "real" libraries across the nation were closed.

I enjoy my library.

It features all my books.

I organized them by author then once you hit the author, it is organized by publication order.

It is easier for me to find a book this one.

What about you? What does your library look like? Have you ever counted how many novels you have on hand? How do you organize them?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Liz Tolsma: The Green Dress

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book:
Title: The Green Dress
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Historical
Publication Date: June 1, 2020

Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.
When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed devouring this series with American Crimes published by Barbour novels. I have read every single one of them. Some I like more than others. But The Green Dress written by Liz Tolsma was a fascinating read. I had a pretty good idea who was doing the harm to the family members. I don't think Tolsma tried to hide the reality of the bad person from us. I was just in awe over the character's ability to do these things to their family. I loved the writing style. Tolsma took me into the story and the setting with her historical research and allowed me to enjoy the storytelling. The concept of the green dress is the novel is a little creepy. See if, as a reader, you catch it before it is revealed. I did! Overall, The Green Dress was a delightful, yet horrible story about a true event in America's history. Fans of this series should pick this one up and add it to their collection.

I received a complimentary copy of The Green Dress by Liz Tolsma from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Green Dress

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.
 More from Liz
We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.
That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.
I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.
 —Liz Tolsma

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, June 27
Genesis 5020, June 29
Emily Yager, June 29
Robin’s Nest, June 30
Bigreadersite, July 1
Betti Mace, July 3
Remembrancy, July 4
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
amandainpa, July 6
Hallie Reads, July 8
Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Melanie Dickerson: The Peasant's Dream

By Kelly Bridgewater

In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.

Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.

Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he's asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.

With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Melanie Dickerson has crafted a wonderful family saga with the Hagenheim family. It was really neat to see different versions of popular fairy tales and seeing them come to life with the individuals from this one family. The Peasant's Dream is Ardela's story. She is a painter who wants to marry for love, but her family wants her to marry a kind hearted person, but he needs to have money. Not that her family is really pushing, but with the choices they offer her, it says different. I love the idea of the hero, Frederick, being the poor person who falls in love with wealthy. It was a nice difference. The plot is interesting, and I enjoyed every moment I spent back in Hagenheim. At the end, there was a family reunion. Familiar characters returned, even if only by name. I believe fans of Dickerson's series will enjoy this novel too. I sure did. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Peasant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Peasant's Dream

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 4th

By Kelly Bridgewater


Enjoy Your Day!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Kathy Tyers: Crystal Witness

By Kelly Bridgewater

Crystal Witness FB Banner

About the Book:

Title: Crystal Witness
Author: Kathy Tyers
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: June 16, 2020

Her memories are blocked. Her freedom is gone. Her crime is a mystery.

When Ming Dalamani awakens from twenty years of suspended animation, she recalls only fragments of her former life: the life she led before she was arrested by the governing interplanetary corporation, Renasco, for a now unremembered crime.

Relocated to an alien world far from the only home she has ever known, Ming serves a powerful Renasco representative to repay her debt. But daily she lives with deadly threats from two men—the hideous mutant Zardir Huekk and the handsome, secretive musician Tieg Innig—who both want the same thing: information. Renasco-trained as a calligrapher in three dimensions, Ming begins to remember more: a clan, a mission, and interstellar piracy.

Ming must decide where her loyalties lie: with her powerful new employer, with a budding resistance movement... or elsewhere.
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From Goodreads
My Thoughts:

While I enjoy the Star Wars series, I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but Crystal Witness by Kathy Tyers sounded interesting, so I offered to give her a chance. Tyers does a wonderful job diving into the characters and making their internal dilemmas come to life. But I problem was with the pacing of the plot, it started out with what could have been a wonderful moment, then she throws us into a story that doesn't appear to have anything to do with what we just read. So as I followed the story, I kept being confused, maybe just like the heroine who was stuck on this new planet. Maybe that was Tyers agenda from the beginning. I don't know. The climactic moment didn't seem to wow me either. I ended the book not satisfied at all. Maybe because the genre doesn't really appeal to me could be why my rating is so low, but I tried something different, which is what we all should do. 
I received a complimentary copy of Crystal Witness by Kathy Tyers by Enclave Publishing through Celebrate Lit, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating:   3 out of 5 stars

Purchase Crystal Witness

About the Author

Kathy-20b (1)Kathy Tyers is widely published in speculative fiction, including her award-winning Firebird series and two licensed Star Wars “Legends” novels, as well as a travel book, a writing reference book, and a memoir co-written for classical guitarist Christopher Parkening. Her messiah-in-space novel Daystar, fifth in the Firebird series, won a 2013 Carol Award, and her terraforming/genetic engineering science fiction novel Shivering World won the 2019 Christy Award for Visionary Fiction. At home in southwest Montana with her husband William Gillin, Kathy focuses on writing, teaching music, and freelance editing.
 More from Kathy
In 1988, after the initial release of Firebird and Fusion Fire by Bantam Books of New York, my then-editor asked for a stand-alone novel, and my then-agent presented me with a contract to write that book in just over half the time that I actually needed. So my third novel, Crystal Witness, appeared in 1989—and while the plot had strong bones, I wished I’d had several more months to polish it. Much to my delight, Enclave Publishing is re-issuing Crystal Witness in June 2020 with the layers of polishing added. While I was adding those layers, I found myself wondering what would happen next. Maybe … oh, yes … hmmm … Aha!

Now that Crystal Witness is ready to stand up and sing, I am delighted to be working on a multi-book sequel series, The Sunstone Saga, also to be released by Enclave Publishing. Book 1 of the saga, The Long Silence, is well underway. It introduces a new cast of characters and asks a powerful question: Where has God been, while humankind went to the stars?
Crystal Witness is the story of young Ming Dalamani, who wakens from twenty years of suspended animation to find herself “company property” on a distant world, with no memory of the crime she must have committed. She only knows that a powerful corporate monopoly rules interstellar space, and she has been assigned to serve a company representative. Immediately, powerful (and opposing) individuals offer threats and bribes, trying to enlist her to spy for both sides of a deadly intrigue. How long can Ming play both sides of the plot against her urgent wish to find out who she is … and what was her crime?

My background in music and the arts always manages to show up in my books. I made Ming a calligrapher in three dimensions, wielding a set of injection pens to create elegant designs in clear slabs. Another character is a court musician with futuristic technology at his fingertips. My entire family was musical; my mother played in 20thCentury Fox’s prestigious sound stage orchestra in the 1950s, and my father grew up in a family band that toured the U.S. every summer. When I was widowed in 2004 and needed to make a fresh start, I discovered that Regent College in Vancouver BC had a program in which I could study toward a Master’s degree in Christianity and the Arts—and write a science fiction novel as part of my thesis project. That book, Wind and Shadow, picked up the Firebird series at Book 4 and led to its completion in Daystar, Book 5. That series is conclusively finished—as you know, if you have read Daystar!


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a still-in-box set of miniature toys that was released in 1996 to go with her novel, Star Wars: The Truce At Bakura, a signed copy of Firebird and One Mind’s Eye!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Amanda Dykes: Set the Stars Alight

By Kelly Bridgewater

Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

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From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Set the Stars Alight is an amazing story in finding the treasures God has for us as we discover our true passions. I adore the cover for Amanda Dykes newest novel Set the Stars Alight. What a beautiful cover! As for the story, I loved learning the past story before the present timeline learned the story. The story opens with us, readers, discovering the characters heart and early passions, then it moves into how those passions guide their future lives and love. Dash is a fascinating hero who loves the stars and everything to do with Lucy; whereas, Lucy wants to discover the reality of what her father's stories mean. As someone who misses her father, I understand the hurt that can take over with a lost parent. The story is interesting, and the writing is wonderful. Overall, Set the Stars Alight is a delightful story with unique characters and unseen twist.

I received a complimentary copy of Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Set the Stars Alight

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Psalm 120

By Kelly Bridgewater

Psalm 120

"In my distress I cried to the Lord, 
And He heard me. 
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue. 

What shall be given to you,
Or what shall be done to you, 
You false tongue?
Sharp arrows of the warrior, 
With coals of the broom tree!

Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech,
That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace. 
I am for peace;
But when I speak, they are for war."

All Scripture come from the Journal the Word Bible NKJV version.