Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Christy Barritt: Flood Watch

By Kelly Bridgewater

The tide is high, and so is the danger on Lantern Beach.

Still in hiding after infiltrating a dangerous gang, Cassidy Livingston just has to make it a few more months before she can testify at trial and resume her old life. But trouble keeps finding her, and Cassidy is pulled into a local investigation after a man mysteriously disappears from the island she now calls home.

A recurring nightmare from her time undercover only muddies things, as does a visit from the parents of her handsome ex-Navy SEAL neighbor. When a friend's life is threatened, Cassidy must make choices that put her on the verge of blowing her cover.
With a flood watch on her emotions and her life in a tangle, will Cassidy find the truth? Or will her past finally drown her?

Image result for Flood Watch Christy Barritt

My Thoughts:

Flood Watch is the second book in the Lantern Beach series by Christy Barritt with Hidden Currents being the first book. You can read Flood Watch without actually reading Hidden Currents. But there is information in the first one to explain why Cassidy is at Lantern Beach, even though Barritt does hint about the reasons in Flood Watch. The romance between Cassidy and Ty's kicks-up a notch when Ty's parents drop by unexpectedly, and Ty asks Cassidy to pretend to be his girlfriend. Funny things happen. Romantic things happen. Arguments happens. Just like I expect from Cassidy and Ty. While they are figuring out their emotions for each other, a missing produce man comes onto the scene and figures the death at Skye, their friend. The hunt is afoot. Cassidy and Ty work together to try to solve the mystery. Around every turn, something goes wrong, and Cassidy tries really hard not to give her real self away to anyone. I really enjoyed the quick and easy to read mystery. I finished it one evening. I figured out the bad guy before Barritt told me but don't worry. It doesn't ruin the story. I really enjoyed this story and can't wait for Storm Surge, which releases next month.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, February 26, 2018

James L. Rubart: The Man He Never Was

By Kelly Bridgewater

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. 
So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside—like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I have read a good chunk of James Rubart's novels. While fantasy is okay with certain books, I don't mind them in Rubart's novels. He takes a concept from the Bible and have a hero learn to incorporate the concept into their life. Either from forgiveness to God's love to something deeper. Being familiar with his writing, I knew Rubart would take me for a ride inside the soul of the hero but would tear at my heart along the way.

The writing is clear and concise. I had no problem following Toren Daniels through his though process and watching him interact with the number of characters in the story. The setting is described just enough for me to visual what I need to focus on. When the setting was extremely important, Rubart would spend more time showing me what I needed to know to understand the room.

Toren Daniels is deeply hurting man. Just like a majority of the people in the world today. I really enjoy how the hero is the main character, well actually the only character in the story. Most novels are from the woman's perspective, and I really enjoyed how Toren dove into the deep emotions and struggles bubbling inside a male character. (Yes, I know Rubart is a male author, so he has a leg up on the women writers in this area.) I could relate to him pretty quickly and enjoyed watched his tale of transformation.

The plot is completely different than anything I have ever read before. I enjoyed watching Toren struggle with his problem over and over again. It shows the human side to him. Rubart didn't gloss over his issue with a quick fix. It kept rearing its head over and over. So realistic. But to seek redemption, he needs to rely on God and fully grasp the concept of God's love. While Rubart does a good job at showing how to understand this, I need to go back and re-read some parts of the story I highlighted and spend some time in prayer myself. He had me thinking of the concepts and wanted me to follow and learn like Toren did.

Overall, James Rubart's The Man He Never Was is an unique story and deeply moving. Rubart's story shows the importance of God's love in our lives and the ability to defeat darkness back with trusting God completely. This story gripped my mind and took me for a ride. I highly recommend The Man He Never Was for fans of non-fiction books who are always on the hunt for the next big step to learning something to draw them closer to God. Rubart's stories are written for readers like me who admire Max Lucado's concept but have a hard time enjoying a non-fiction story. I prefer to be entertained to learn a lesson.

I received a complimentary copy of The Man He Never Was by James Rubart from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, February 23, 2018

Writing Goals for 2017

By Kelly Bridgewater

For 2018, I need to make some goals for myself or nothing ever gets done.

Or if you have followed my blog posts for the past couple of years, I have actually wrote that I wanted to complete three novels in the past couple of years, but it has been really hard to sit down and write, so I haven't.

With all the disappointment and despair of my Daddy's death on Halloween in 2015, I haven't done really any writing, except keeping up on this blog with my book reviews and my writing advice.

As for fiction writing, I can't claim that I have done anything.




But . . .

for 2018, I want to complete ONE novel. Even if it takes me all year. Even if I start to write, then have to go research something. Then come back to my story.

I have this World War II spy series in my head for a long time. I was researching and diving into the characters and their background really hard before my father died, but then with his passing, I haven't done anything.

I hope that by just claiming one book that I MIGHT actually get it done. I would love to see these characters that have been dancing around in my mind come to life and tell their story to each of you. I don't think God would let me hang on to the idea for three years if He didn't want me to tell this story.

So are you up for the challenge? Would you be willing to support and encourage me to write this book? If anyone would like to be a critique partner or supporter who sends me a note asking how my book is going? I would appreciate that too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bell Renshaw: As Easy as Riding a Bike

By Kelly Bridgewater

Emma Holland is almost finished with the renovation of The Brown Bear Lodge nestled just off the Pacific Coast 101 Highway in picturesque Justin Harbor, Oregon. Being a business owner in a small town isn’t easy, but Emma’s got more than enough determination—not to mention an excellent eye for interior design. There’s only one problem. One of her first guests of the season is someone she hoped she’d never see again.

As a famous landscape photographer, Connor Pearson has traveled far and wide following his dreams at the cost of losing his first love. Now, back in Justin Harbor, Connor is looking for more than just a place to stay. He’s looking for himself.

As Emma and Connor rediscover their lost friendship and seek to find common ground in the present, Connor feels the tug of his small town roots. Is it possible that a man who’s traveled the world could find his home where his dreams began? Can Emma come to terms with the fact that self-reliance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Will their bonds from the past weather the storms of the present?

As Easy as Riding a Bike will introduce you to the salty air and calming waters of Justin Harbor, the first novella in a series featuring small town women business owners.

Image result for As Easy as Riding a Bike Bell Renshaw
From Bell Renshaw

My Thoughts:

Bell Renshaw has created another novella set in a small town. "As Easy as Riding a Bike" occurs on the Oregon coast. In a made-up town called Justin Harbor. As soon as Conner and Emma meet in the first chapter, memories and sparks fly off the page. They have dated before, so there is a history to this couple. My favorite parts of the story is Renshaw's writing. I love how she brings the settings and the internal dialogues to light. She really dives deep into her character and allows me to see and follow their train of thought. I love how she brings the Oregon coast to me, especially someone who has never been past Missouri, so the west is still uncovered for me. The romance, to be honest, has been done before. I have read this plot of romance before. It was predictable. I knew the ending before Renshaw reached it. One thing that bothered me about the plot is Emma's flashback to show why she is afraid to ride a bike. Renshaw took us the edge and started to show the story, but then she didn't finish it. I'm used to seeing more when it is as important as the  moment was to Emma.

Overall, "As Easy as Riding a Bike" by Bell Renshaw is a captivating tale of a lost love and the misunderstandings that have occurred. The setting is beautiful, and watching their love move on was interesting to watch. Fans of Melissa Tagg and Courtney Walsh should, in my humble opinion, pick up this novella and spend a little time at Justin Harbor.

I received a complimentary copy of "As Easy as Riding a Bike" by Bell Renshaw, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars