Monday, September 30, 2019

Tracie Peterson: What Comes My Way

By Kelly Bridgewater

Ella Fleming is on the run from her past and the secrets that could tear her family apart. As a member of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, a wild west show comprised of all-female performers, her uncanny talent for trick riding impresses the viewers. Only while performing can she forget the truth about who she really is--the daughter of a murderer.

Phillip DeShazer blames himself for his father's death and has done his best to bury his guilt in work and drink. Realizing he needs something more, he seeks answers and finds support and kindness from the beautiful Ella Fleming. However, the more she comes to his rescue, the more his guilt grows. He's fallen in love with her and feels confident that she returns his feelings, but until he can overcome the past and let God guide his future, Phillip knows he's not worthy of Ella's love.

Uncertain of what will come their way, Ella and Phillip must learn to trust God even when the road they travel takes them in different directions. Only then can love be a part of their journey.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

What Comes My Way by Tracie Peterson is a wonderful way to end the Brookstone Brides series. I loved hanging out with these characters and watching them change and fall in love by the end of the series. With What Comes My Way, Peterson tied up a lot of loose ends and allowed the predictable romance to follow its path. Even though I knew how the romance would play out, I was still invested each of the characters' lives and couldn't wait to see how the story ended. Not much a spiritual element to the plot, but overall, the characters lived out God' s love in their stories. Organically included in the story. I enjoyed it that way. The plot was wonderfully written, and I really can't wait to buy all three novels and place them on my keeper shelf. I believe anyone who enjoys historical stories should pick up this novel and leave reality for a couple of hours.

I received a complimentary copy of What Comes My Way by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, September 27, 2019

Learned from Reading Fiction

By Kelly Bridgewater

We all read for entertainment, right? There is nothing that can be learned from fiction, right?

I actually know some people who actually believe this.

"The only time you learn something from a book is when the genre is non-fiction."



I have learned more from fiction than I have ever learned from non-fiction. I have a hard time with non-fiction in reading and remembering what I read, unless it is from the Bible. When we read a non-fiction title for Sunday School, I read it, listen to the discussion, maybe even participate in the discussion, then close the book and can't tell you anything about it. It doesn't stick with me.

Now fiction, on the other hand, sticks with me. Either through the characters' themselves or through their struggles. Ask me six months later what happened in the fiction novel, and I can tell you what happened.

So today, I have decided to show you some books that I have learned things from. (All images come from Goodreads, unless noted.)

King Henry VIII: Sandra Byrd

Life of the wealthy in the late 1900's: Jen Turano

Biblical Life: Connilyn Cossette and Tessa Afshar

World War I: Kate Breslin and Myra Johnson

World War II: (America) Sarah Sundin (She also is working on a D-Day series which has two books out already, and I loved them both!!!)


               (London) Cathy Gohlke and Melanie Dobson
               (Germany or other European Countries): Kristy Cambron, Kate Breslin, Liz Tolsma, and      Joel Rosenberg

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906: Karen Barnett

Creation of the National Parks: Karen Barnett

C. S. Lewis' wife Joy: 
Patti Callahan

Elizabeth Camden is one of my favorite writers who teaches me something about the early technological advances in America. She has taught me about the Weather Bureau, Pearl digging, Magazine publishing, Water to New York City, Library of Congress, Great Chicago Fire, and Tuberculosis

What about you? Have you learned anything from FICTION authors? Have you read any of the books mentioned? Is there any author you would add to this list?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Lynn Blackburn: One Final Breath

By Kelly Bridgewater

When investigator Gabriel Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell--a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her--the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put their complicated history with each other aside in order to uncover the identity of a killer. What they'll discover is that revenge has no statute of limitations.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her nail-biting Dive Team Investigations series with a story that will have you wondering how long you can hold your breath

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

One Final Breath by Lynn Blackburn is categorized as a romantic suspense. The suspense element was there and started in the first chapter after a "family" cookout, which was a good thing. The writing was top notch. I enjoyed seeing the different perspective of Gabe and Anissa as they told their story. They both had flaws and had to learn to overcome them in order to make way for their happily ever after. The main issue the plot carried for me was the romance. It was the main focus of the novel. Readers will see more about Gabe and Anissa  trying to figure out their budding romance and their romantic feelings than the suspense. The suspense felt like an afterthought; the romance was the main leading storyline. Also, the motive for the bad guy felt cheap. It didn't really justify, to me, why he was chasing the heroine. I shook my head in disbelief. Overall, One Final Breath by Lynn Blackburn is an okay romantic novel with hints of suspense. Not really one for the books. Fans of Elizabeth Goodard, Irene Hannon, and Colleen Coble might really enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of One Final Breath by Lynn Blackburn from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Lynn H. Blackburn
From Amazon

About the Author:

Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She's passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don't make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, COVERT JUSTICE, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery/Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, HIDDEN LEGACY, released June 2017. She begins a new series, Dive Team Investigations with BENEATH THE SURFACE in March of 2018. (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, September 23, 2019

James R. Hannibal: The Gryphon Heist

By Kelly Bridgewater

Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe--a department only known as "Other." When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she'll be back in DC within a few days. But that's before she knows where the designs are stored--and who's after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere.

Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes?

In this Ocean's Eleven-meets-Mission Impossible thriller, former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James R. Hannibal offers you a nonstop thrill ride through the most daring heist ever conceived.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal is labeled as a suspense novel and the synopsis sounded promising, so I picked up the book to read. The idea of a rookie CIA agent named Talia Inger who has never been on an assignment but as passed all her skills and knowledge test was a different take on a heroine. Especially being a woman. For some weird reason, I thought the story would be told from a male's point of view, but it wasn't. Not that it cheapen the story; Just thought that would work better. Anyways, Talia is shown to have flaws and that makes her a more reliable character. There is no romance in the novel, which I really enjoyed. The plot definitely has its moments of high action, but there were many different occasions of Talia waking up and coming in the gathering room sometimes for breakfast, sometimes alone, sometimes to see the dawn. Really awkward. I did enjoy the danger of trying to free the Gryphon data vault in the mesosphere. It was a unique and not done yet cast of characters. All past thieves or assassins. Enjoyed watching them use their skills for good. There really isn't much spiritual elements to chew on. The mention of God comes from Tyler, Talia's partner, and readers are still left in the dark about how much it changes him. Overall, The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal has its moments of uniqueness, but filled with repetitive scenes, the story became okay. I'm not writing off Hannibal yet as a suspense novelist; he could surprise me with the second one.

I received a complimentary copy of The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

James R. Hannibal
From Amazon
As a former stealth pilot, James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up with surface to air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries for kids and a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series for adults. His first Christian thriller, the Grypyhon Heist, releases Fall 2019 from Revell. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment. (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Welcome Fall

By Kelly Bridgewater

My second favorite season is here!!!

Image result for free fall images

Yes, cooler weather and a beautiful display of leaves .

Nothing smells better than a campfire in the fall.

In Indiana, it is probably still in the eighties with no signs of fall AT ALL. Leaves are still green.

We usually have to wait until mid-November if we're lucky for fall to finally arrive. 

Image result for free fall images

But, I'm still grateful that the calendar says no more summer. (I don't like summer. Can you tell?)

Well, not a long post, but I hope you enjoy fall too.

What is your favorite season? Do you do anything fun in fall as a family?