Friday, November 30, 2018

Forgiveness Part Two

By Kelly Bridgewater

Earlier this year, our Sunday School class did a Bible study on Forgiveness. When we started, I couldn't come up with anyone I needed to forgive.

But of course, as the class progressed, I realized I do have three people who have wronged me, and I may not have told them, but I have felt the sting of their hurt even today.

Here they are: (Wow! This is heart wrenching to actually admit this!)

Last week, I shared the person I needed to forgive. This week, I'll share the second one. 

2.) Two Friends from High School

These two guys are twins who were part of the three people who I consider I was the closest to during my last couple of years in high school. The reason I need to forgive them is because I still feel hurt by how they treated me. They might not even know they hurt me, but they did. They are decent, fun-loving guys.

But . . .

there were moments in school were they only called on me when they NEEDED me. I was okay to hang out with at work, but not in the evenings. I wasn't their girlfriends who took all their attention. I wasn't a guy who they hung out with.

They threw a party one weekend while their parents were away. Lots of people I knew were talking about it. I asked both guys about it, and they said, "You wouldn't want to go. We're going to have beer and listen to not your type of music." Just because I was a Christian doesn't mean I didn't want to hang out with my friends. I felt awful that night. Later, rumors went around about how much of a hangover they had later.

For our senior homecoming dance, I was supposed to be picked up by one of the guys and his girlfriend and go to the dance as a double date. Me and my date hung out at my house until after the dance started, then we called them, and they said they forgot. They left the dance and came and picked us up. It stung.

They always tried to hook me up with stupid boys, and because I was the good girl, it was really hard to find dates, I jumped on them. None of them lasted long. Luckily, I never kissed or did anything with them except watch a couple of movies.

In college, the same guy from earlier and I took the same Algebra class. I found it extremely easy and received A's on everything. He struggled. A LOT. The week before the final, he asked to study with me because he needed to earn a decent grade to pass the class. I offered to meet at my house. He never showed. When I called him later, he said, he forgot, and will just study on his own. That hurt.

They asked questions about God. They went to some church/ youth group functions with me, but they always responded with, "God doesn't sound fun. He sounds boring. Maybe when I'm older. I want to have more fun while I can."

I respected it and kept praying for them to come to Jesus. I kept telling them about God when they asked.

After a year at the same four-year college, they transferred to a community college. While there, they hooked up with the local Christian group and gave their hearts to God. I praised God for bringing them into their kingdom. I planted the seed, and someone else reaped the reward.

Then they started dating Christian girls because now it is was okay to date a Godly woman.

Now they are married and follow God, and sometimes I look at their Facebook pages, and it makes me sad because of how they treated me in the past. They are loyal to their friends, but I guess I was never really one. I just thought I was.

I pray for forgiveness for the hurt both guys have shown me. I pray for me to forgive them. I thank you so much for bringing someone into their lives who showed them your love and your need for them.

Now, I pray a blessing on their current and future lives. I pray they keep having strong marriages. I pray for their children to grow up in the admiration of you. I pray they keep following you and loving you the rest of the days of their lives.

Lord, release this hurt from my heart.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Liz Tolsma: When the Heart Sings

By Kelly Bridgewater

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About the Book:

Title: When the Heart Sings
Series: Music of the Heart #2
Author: Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Romance

Natia has a secret, and she's hiding him right beneath her captor's nose . . .

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. Separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp's overseer, and her husband Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules--and the consequences for disobeying them--Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor's dormitory.

But then Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer's doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear--but if her German captors discover how much she's hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.

From Amazon
PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads  Amazon  B&N  Christianbook  Book Depository


My Thoughts:

World War II novels are wonderful and one of my favorite genres. I enjoy reading about the greatest generation and the heroic acts they endured. Soldiers who went into battle just to defend Old Glory. I love their attitudes. I know with a historical romance there will be a struggle wrapped in a historical setting and filled with adventure. Liz Tolsma's newest novel When the Heart Sings does exactly that.

I love the concept of her story. Using songs to share her heroine's current situation and love for her husband and the ability to sooth the baby was a wonderful twist on a familiar topic. I flew through the story and really enjoyed it. There were moments of realistic horror that made me cringe, but I knew the reality of the treatment of Jews and Poles was horrifying. The plot moved fast, and I had a hard time putting the novel down.

The romance was between a husband and a wife. It showed how deep a romance can go even if the most horrific of places. I loved how Natia and Teodor Palinska cling to the hope of getting back together holds their hope of leaving the horrible concentration camp.

The only problem I had with the plot is being another concentration camp story. When I first started reading the World War II genre, I didn't mind, but now tons of authors have written stories on the horrors that occurred during at the concentration camps. From Kristy Cambron, Joel Rosenberg, Kate Breslin, and Tolsma among a number of others, the idea appears to be the same. How to share the horror and make the reader cringe.

Overall, When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma is a wonderful story blanketed with the horrors of World War II reality. The novel is fast-paced and captured my imagination. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Joel Rosenberg, Kate Breslin, and Anna Schmidt will enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma from Gideon Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


From Amazon
About the Author:

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She's married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters. (Taken from Amazon.)

CONNECT WITH LIZ: Website  Facebook  Twitter   Pinterest



 when the heart sings blog giveaway.png

  • (1) winner will receive (US only) a print copy of
When the Heart Sings
  • Just One More Chapter' throw pillow seen HERE

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. 

Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops! 

Thank you for stopping by!!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Forgiveness Part I

By Kelly Bridgewater

Earlier this year, our Sunday School class did a Bible study on Forgiveness. When we started, I couldn't come up with anyone I needed to forgive.

But of course, as the class progressed, I realized I do have three people who have wronged me, and I may not have told them, but I have felt the sting of their hurt even today.

Here they are: (Wow! This is heart wrenching to actually admit this!)


This isn't about Jesus forgiving me for my sins. I completely accept his death on the cross for my sins. I trust in him for loving me. I trust in him with my whole heart.

But . . .

there is an area in my past that I think Jesus hasn't forgiven me. I know that sounds sacriregilous. That isn't even possible, is it?

I created my first son out of wedlock.

I think and sometimes believe God is still punishing me for this sin because of where my life is. Not great paying jobs. Not enough money to actually pursue anything we want. Allowing us to financially do something last year that we worked really hard to avoid. Everytime, we save a little money for something. Like a vacation or something really neat for the boys. Something breaks.

Like the transmission for my Suburban.
The water heater.
The furnace.
The air conditioner.
The head gasket on my husband's truck.

Band money for my middle son.
New windows.
New bathroom because the bathroom broke and they haven't made that part in over fifty years.
New kitchen because we had a huge rat and mouse problem every fall and winter. 

I want a life where I can travel, but every time I save up money for a vacation, God allows something to break, and I have to use the money.

The only real vacation our family has taken in seventeen years is a trip to Disney World and guess what, I didn't even fund that. My husband's aunt left us money when she died to take the boys.

Disclaimer: If you completely disagree with my thinking of God holding a grudge against me, please don't say anything mean. I know it probably isn't true, but it feels like it to me. 

I know this complaint sounds funny. But doesn't it say in the Bible, that if we believe in you, then all things work out for good. Then what happened with me?

I know I sinned with my husband before we were married. I have asked for your forgiveness, but it still feels like I'm being punished by not allowing me to find a decent job that I can use my smart brain for.

I pray for blessings for our family.  I pray for a job where I can bring home a decent paycheck and be able to use this smart brain that you have given me. I pray we earn money to take wonderful vacations and can spend time together as a family.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Robin Caroll: Stratagem

By Kelly Brdgewater

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

A romantic suspense or suspense novel for that matter should have the characters running for their life and trying to solve the crime that has occurred near the beginning of the novel. Robin Caroll's Stratagem is a hunt against the clock to solve the murder that occurred in the first chapter to Grayson's wife, Anna Belle. The murder happens, and then the rest of the novel is interview after interview after interview. After completing the whole novel, I would have liked to see the actual action leading up to the murder instead of hearing it second hand from the characters. This novel would have been more enticing to me if it was laid out like the movie from the eighties Clue. I see the guest arrive, then we see the action leading up to the interview, then we end up with the aftermath. It felt like I was getting everything second hand, and it didn't satisfy my suspense loving mind. The ending with the layout of what happened was the most interesting part of the novel. I enjoyed seeing who murdered Anna Belle and why. No I didn't figure it out early enough. The person who I thought did it, didn't do it. Overall, Stratagem by Robin Caroll didn't hit out of the park for me. I wish I could have seen the actual murder instead of learning the story from interview after interview.

I received a complimentary copy of Stratagem by Robin Caroll from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

From Amazon
"I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I've never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in." ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin's mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage--two aspects Robin weaves into each of her 30 published novels.

When she isn't writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty+ years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home--in the South, where else?

She serves the writing community as Executive Director/Conference Director for ACFW.

Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, RT Reviewer's Choice Award, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year.

On her faith, Robin says, "I love Jesus and will follow Him wherever He leads me."

An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she'll read just about any good story. Except historicals! To learn more about this author of deep South mysteries of suspense to inspire your heart, visit Robin's website at (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Morgan L. Busse: Mark of the Raven

By Kelly Bridgewater

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I have heard a number of good things about Morgan Busse's writings, but I haven't gotten around to reading any of her novels yet. Mark of the Raven was my first attempt at her fantasy novel. I enjoy Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter, so fantasy can be handled well and enjoyed. Mark of the Raven had a hint of Potter with the seven houses and the word Raven, but the similarities end there. Busse goes into a completely different direction. A direction that I actually enjoyed. I really enjoyed how she created Selene as a character who had a heart and wanted more of out of her life than the gift she was supposed to use. She saw the evil in it and choose a different path, even though she knew it would upset her family. Damien carries around some heavy burdens and promises to bring light to the world he lives in. The plot does have moments where nothing really happens but watching Selene use her gifts, so it became repeatable at times, but the plot moves along at a nice pace, sweeping me along for the ride. Overall, Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse is a different fantasy novel with sweeping and wounded characters. The novel ended on a cliff-hanger, and I anxiously await to see what happens next.  Fans of Patrick Carr might enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From Amazon
About the Author:

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She's the author of the epic fantasy Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. Mark of the Raven, a new fantasy series, releases Fall of 2018 from Bethany House. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel. Visit her blog at (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, November 16, 2018


By Kelly Bridgewater

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope you eat lots of turkey, potatoes, green beans, salad, and of course, the best part, PIE!!!!

I pray you spend time with your family and make memories!

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I bless everyone that reads this blog post. Please guide their travels, either far or close, to visit with family. I hope they make memories to share. I hope they treasure everyone who is there and remember the ones who aren't there.

I pray they find plenty of food for the table. I pray their is no fighting. Just enjoying each other's company.

Protect everyone and thank you for allowing us to begin this busy holiday season leading up to your birth.


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