Monday, April 30, 2018

Denise Hunter: Honeysuckle Dreams

By Kelly Bridgewater

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Denise Hunter's Chapel Hill series and the Summer Harbor Series. They weren't like the majority of contemporary romance published. She digs deep into her characters and really hunts for the deep flaw in their lives and tosses it to the wind while creating a masterful climax with the a member of the opposite sex. But with her new series, A Blue Ridge Romance, I don't feel the same way.

The writing is still top notch. Hunter really dives into her character's emotions. I understand Brady and Hope's feelings for each other and empathize with them as they move around the story. I can see the setting and understand where I am without any real difficulty.

The plot seemed really rushed to me. For the first forty-two percent of the book, Hunter rushes through two months of time and rushes to a court hearing. Then the next two months fly by for the rest of the book to show the downfall of the characters. I really didn't understand why the sudden emotional change in Hope either. One day she shuts Brady out, and the item that triggers it seemed out of place. Hope becomes dis-attached and depressed, which I didn't see coming and is completely out of character for the build-up of the character for the first half of the book.

I liked Hope and Brady at the beginning of the novel, and they have a nice communication together. But then the story seems forced on the characters. Hope doesn't think twice about what Brady is asking her to do. I think any normal person would have needed to think it over. There is so much she and he doesn't take into consideration.

Overall, Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter didn't appear realistic and too rushed to meet a deadline. I don't think characters did things that would have fit their personalities. The plot moved too rapidly leaving me confused and wondering why I'm still reading the book. I recommend skipping this book and picking up her previous writings. However, fans of Hunter's other stories and contemporary romance might enjoy this novel. This is my humble opinion.

I received a complimentary copy of Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, April 27, 2018

Discounted E-books: Where to Find Them?

By Kelly Bridgewater

I have been asked by tons of people: How do I find discounted e-books?

If you're an avid reader like me, then a Kindle is an important tool. Don't get me wrong. I still have a library full of books, and I'm always shopping at book sales, but I LOVE my Kindle too. Books are cheaper, and easier to carry around a lot at one time. I don't go anywhere without my Kindle.
Church. The post office. License branch. Family get togethers.

You never know when you need a book to read.

There are plenty of dead moments everywhere you go. Especially for me. I'm a huge introvert, and if 
I'm in a crowd, I find a seat closest to the door and don't like to talk to anyone. Now if you approached me, I'll talk, but I don't like to start the conversation.

Websites for free or discounted e-books:

Inspired Reads ( a daily email with books listed)

Vessel Project (also a daily email. Used to be only about books, but I think the founder recently picked up a sponsor of Amazon because a lot of Amazon items are being pushed on the site.)

I signed up for the daily e-mails from these publishers to get reminded of what has been discounted.

Follow the author on Facebook. (This is usually the most promising way to find discounted books. Authors and supporters of authors are always promoting and sharing about discounts on books. Or just telling you about a new book that is about to come out. I follow tons of authors to support them, and then share what I find with everyone in my loop.)

I hope these help you find some discounted or free e-books.

But don't forget to leave a review after reading a book. You can't imagine what a difference it will make to the author.

How about you? How do you find discounted books for your e-reader?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Amanda G. Stevens: No Less Days

Kelly Bridgewater

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Amanda G. Stevens Haven Seekers series. With each consecutive edition to the series, I was more involved with each individual character and I couldn't wait to see where the series ended. Stevens grabbed my attention with the concept and delivered what she promised. So of course, when I heard she was writing a new novel No Less Days, I really couldn't wait to get my hand on a copy. Boy, am I glad that I did.

Stevens does a good job at creating stories of what if? What if Christianity had a bigger impact on the global scale? What if you couldn't die? She took No Less Days in a way I didn't see coming, but I throughly enjoyed it. She isn't afraid to talk about the dark issues in Christianity and throw it into a literal story. Her writing is excellent. I loved following David around in this story and watching him interact with his changing world.

The plot was definitely something I haven't read anywhere, and I do read ALOT, so this was a refreshing tale to enjoy. I got caught up in the story from the beginning, and I really didn't want to put the story down. I finished it one day. What a great ride! The plot is filled with twists and turns I didn't see coming. Stevens had me turning the pages quickly to wonder what was going to happen next.

I don't know if there is going to be more to the story as in a series, but I hope Stevens has more to this series up her sleeve because I would jump in line to read the rest of the stories.

Overall, No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens is an unique story with fascinating characters filled with many unexpected turns. I recommend this novel to fans of James Rubart. Both authors touch on spiritual concepts in the normal world.

I received a complimentary copy of No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Monday, April 23, 2018

Nancy Mehl: Blind Betrayal

By Kelly Bridgewater

Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I have only read one other book by Nancy Mehl, and it was Fatal Frost, the first book in this series. I thought I would give Blind Betrayal a try since I do enjoy suspense. But this book wasn't that suspenseful in my humble opinion. The story was told from at least five different perspectives, and three plus different storylines going on the at the same time to cover different areas Mehl wanted us to pay attention to. Right away, I had a feeling something was wrong with the of the characters, and Mehl showed me just what I suspected about twenty percent into the story. The suspense element was pretty predictable, and it didn't capture my attention at all. I couldn't wait for the story to be over with, so I read really quick to get to the end. The bad guy was no surprise to me either. Mehl doesn't hide that information well either.

In conclusion, Blind Betrayal by Nancy Mehl is not a high-action suspense novel. At every corner, Mehl was spilling her secrets before she even attempted to make it to the end. Way too many characters to mingle with.  I believe if you enjoy romantic suspense, try Irene Hannon, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins. This one won't go on my keeper shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of Blind Betrayal by Nancy Mehl from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, April 20, 2018

Manage Time

By Kelly Bridgewater

How do you manage your time?

Ever since I was a little girl, my Daddy (still miss him!) was a huge believer in the Day-Timer planner for the year. He believed in scheduling every moment of his day and writing to-do lists every Sunday for the week ahead.

My Daddy purchased a complete set with a binder when I was in high school and showed me how to use it. I enjoyed writing down my assignments with the due dates. It kept me organized and allowed to plan ahead when it came to writing my essays and doing my homework.

It helped me succeed in college and graduate school. It also helps me now as a home-school mother who spends a lot of time planning lessons, teaching those lessons, reading books to review and writing reviews.

I can't imagine not being able to keep track of all those things.

Today, I usually just buy a 10 cent binder when school starts and create my own planner inside by drawing the calendars and the weeks, so I can keep track of my things to do.
I also keep track of all my appointments.

This year, I have added in days and word counts to finish my three World War II novels. I would love to have all three written this year.

I also write down dates with my boys and my husband. I will take each son to a dinner of their choosing, and we go do something. A movie. Shopping. Putt-putt golf.

I go on a date with my husband, which usually means we go grocery shopping for the month. So much excitement I know. But it so much easier with no boys running around.

How about you? What do you do to manage your time?

Do you have a planner for every new year? Do you plan out what needs to be accomplished every week? If so, want to share some tips? If not, why don't you?