Friday, September 29, 2017

Fall is Officially Here

By Kelly Bridgewater

I know this has nothing to do with books, writing, and God, but I'm so happy that Fall is officially here.

I'm not the type of person who likes to be hot, so I dread summer every year.

 In my corner of America, summer begins way too early and hangs on until Thanksgiving.

I don't know when this trend started, but I wish God would stop the never-ending summer.

When I was a child, I remember traveling to my grandparents' house on Thanksgiving, and it was snowing.

I live in Indiana, and we really don't get snow that much. Fall is a blip on the radar. Last fall, it was warm until Thanksgiving that either the weathermen were confused. One day the leaves on the tree were green, then turned their beautiful fall colors for ONE day, then fell. No lingering walks in the leaves or admiring the view from the porch.


This fall, I pray for a early crisp drop in temperatures that stay that way for the duration of fall. I pray for the leaves to change colors and stay that way for a while.

This winter, I pray for many days of accumulating snow falls with snow days, snowmen, and walks in the falling snow. I really do not want warm winter days. I want the winter to stay around for longer than one month.

I want a white Christmas. Around Indiana, we haven't had a white Christmas since 2004. None of my boys have ever seen a white Christmas.


What about where you live? How are your temperatures been? Be honest. No fun to fudge on your temperatures.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Patricia Bradley: Justice Buried

By Kelly Bridgewater

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she's ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she's out of her league--and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he's the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

Crackling with romantic tension and laced with intrigue, this suspenseful story from award-winning author Patricia Bradley will keep readers guessing--and looking over their shoulders.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley is a fast moving suspense novel with the heroine running for her life. Throughout the entire book, I couldn't wait to see what happened to Kelsey Allen. I like my mysteries, thrillers, and suspense to have the same type of things: great characters, a life-threatening incident, and a plot that keeps me wondering. In Justice Buried, Bradley does a good job at all three.

The writing is clear and concise. I had no problem figuring out what the setting looked like, who the main characters were, and what type of emotions were conflicting them at any moment in the story.

The romance was downplayed for the majority of the story, which is exactly how I want the romance in my mysteries to be. If the romance takes over, then I feel like I'm reading a romance story and that is not what I came to read. Bradley does a good job at keeping Kelsey and Brad's feelings on the edge of the story and making it come reality when the moment was right.

The plot was a little different with the historical element at the museum. Most mysteries don't surround artifacts unless it is a Biblical mystery like Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, which I enjoyed even though idea was totally crazy. In Justice Buried, Bradley had just the right amount of tension and heat placed on the heroine to make her want to dig deeper to clear her missing father's name. I did enjoy and finish the novel in a couple of days.

Overall, Justice Buried is a original, unpredictable mystery novel set around a museum, gripping my attention and praying for Kelsey to seek justice for her father. If you enjoy mysteries or suspense, then this might be the next book for you.

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

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Letter to a Non-Reader

Dear Non-reader,

Have you ever been bored? Have you ever wish there was something to do that made you different? 

Ever dreamed you had magical powers? Ever wanted to visit a foreign county, like London, Paris, France, or Italy? Or how about visiting an imaginary place like Hogwarts and Narnia?

Well, you have come to the right place.

I have the solution for you.

Pick up a book.

 I know, what a book? I have tried that before. There are plenty of boring books out there. Trust me, I have read tons of them. 

In college, I think they pick the most boring books and make us poor undergraduate and graduate students read.

But that is the variety of life . . . there are different genres. Something for everyone.



Science Fiction.


Suspense / Mystery / Thrillers.


And a combination of all of these different genres.

As an avid reader, I have experience trips of Europe and other parts of America. I have time-traveled to the past where I have spent time living in a Medieval castle, lived in estates, experienced World War I and World War II, and watched as the world survived fires and earthquakes. I have watched the world embrace new technologies and seen some fall. I have experienced the world as an immigrant. I have experienced the hunt for a number of serial killers and was a police officer on the trail to hunt down injustice.

My world is filled with adventures that I will never probably never experience in my normal life, but because I don't mind spending time with my nose in a book, I spend more time exploring the world not within my reach.

Even though you have been burnt before my bad books, don't hesitate to try again. If the book doesn't fit you, then find a different book. Even in the same genre. Some authors in a genre I enjoy don't write as well as I'm used to, so I return to other authors. But times, I find a new author to enjoy when I browse the shelves at the local bookstore or library.

I hope that you give reading another chance and find something you will enjoy.

All the best,

An avid reader

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Shawn Smucker: The Day the Angels Fell

By Kelly Bridgewater

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.

After his mother's death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life--the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

I'm all for trying different novels in different genres. Who knows if I'm find something or someone else who will stay on my forever shelf. When Revell gave me a complimentary copy of The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker, I was intrigued. The book is titled general fiction, which isn't my normal cup of tea when it comes to book choices. Overall, I'm conflicted about how I feel about the novel.

The writing is crisp and concise. Smucker does a great job at bringing me into the story in the first chapter. I enjoyed watched the Old Man walk down the stairs and learn a little bit about him as he is an old man at the beginning of the story.  I could picture this down hidden between two valleys with a graveyard and a river running through the end. Smucker does a great job at inviting me into the setting and into the character's train of thoughts.

As for the plot, it was unique and completely unpredictable. I really had no idea the story was going to end the way it did. I have never read a story that had a little twelve year old chasing down the Tree of Life as a way to deal with the loss of his mother. While I enjoyed the concept, the delivery of the concept wasn't that captivating. I had a hard time staying focused. I became bored about a hundred and forty pages in and couldn't wait for the story to be done.

This spiritual element is pretty heavy, so be prepared to be hear more about angels and the existence of the Tree of Life with its Biblical elements.

Overall, The Day The Angels Fell didn't really capture my attention even though the writing and the early phases of nostalgia did make me think this would be a good book to dive into. I believe, and I could be wrong, that fans of Billy Coffey, author of There Will be Stars, and Frank Peretti's older writings might enjoy this novel. This story runs in the same vein.

I received a complimentary copy of The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Monday, September 18, 2017

Melody Carlson: The Christmas Blessing

By Kelly Bridgewater

When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson is a sweet, short novel that takes place during World War II. While the idea of a novel that takes place during Christmas time and during World War II perked my attention, the novel didn't quite meet my expectation. I think because the novel is actually a short novella, it didn't ring well with me. Because of the short nature of the plot, the characters weren't really developed. There was so much more that could have been explored. Maybe actually show the meeting of James and Amelia. Show their growing love. Show their conversations. When Amelia shows up in Rushford, Montana, the story rushes to an ending that I totally saw coming. I finished the novel in less than a day and wasn't happy with the predictable ending. If you enjoy stories with a happy, good feeling at the end, then this might be the book for you, but for me, I wanted a lot more to make the story more interesting.

I received a complimentary copy of The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Do you enjoy reading novellas? Or does it have to be by a certain novelist who you have read books from that series? Or do you enjoy novellas that have their own separate stories?