Friday, January 31, 2020

Reading Goals

By Kelly Bridgewater

Because I do some much reading for reviews, sometimes it seems like that is all I read, I wanted to include some books into my reading that isn't governed by reviews that have to be turned in.

I would like to read some of my C. S. Lewis books. I have a whole shelf devoted to his work or accomplished authors who have analyzed his novels, and I haven't gotten around to reading them.

I would like to read some of my J.R.R. Tolkien novels. I have purchased some. My Daddy had purchased some, but I haven't found time to read them yet.

I would love to go back and re-read some favorites.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Anne of Green Gables series

Christensen family by Susan May Warren (For research for a series I am thinking of writing. 
Hopefully, there will be details soon.)

Books I owned that I haven't found time to read yet. (That could take a while.)

How about you? How do you decide what to read? I know we all have only so much time to devote to reading in between our life.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Roseana M. White: On Wings of Devotion

By Kelly Bridgewater

All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed "Black Heart" every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

From Goodreads
 My Thoughts:

I adore the cover for Roseanna M. White's newest novel, On Wings of Devotion. The character appears to be glancing toward something, which makes me, as the reader, wonder what it is. I enjoy the idea of the codebreakers during World War I. White does known how to craft a novel and does a wonderful job at bringing World War I world to life with her settings and characters. The problem I had was the plot. For most of the novel, nothing really happened. It was boring, and I kept wondering when the action was going to occur. I didn't really see the connection to the Codebreakers until about 2/3 of the way through the novel, then it felt like White hurried up and dropped it in. I didn't more action to make this a realistic Codebreakers novel. Overall, I have enjoyed a number of White's novels, but for some reason, the Codebreakers aren't honestly capturing my attention. If you enjoyed the first book, then you might totally disagree with me and that's okay. I pray you enjoy this novel too.

I received a complimentary copy of On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase On Wings of Devotion

Friday, January 24, 2020

Verses of the Year

By Kelly Bridgewater

Colossians 3:15 - "Let the peace of God rule in your heart."

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you. My Peace I give to you."

Since I'm doing the word peace for 2020, I found two verses to help guide my word for the year.

I need the peace of God to rule my decisions. I need peace with all the decisions I have chosen. Like leaving the USPS when the money was okay. But all the downside of the job drove me to quit.


I really need the peace from you to calm my mind from thinking bad depressing thoughts. Bring peace to my mind with all the depressing thoughts. I need to think positive thoughts about where my life is going.

I have so much to be thankful. My loving, supportive husband, my three well-behaved boys (for the most part), my dogs, and my house that we are paying off.

Help me to have a better outlook on life. Help me to keep peace and work hard on my dreams.


Monday, January 20, 2020

Lynette Eason: Collateral Damage

By Kelly Bridgewater

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason is the first book in her new series. The plot line reminds me a lot of a Ronie Kendig novel with all the military members and procedures but still carries the dramatic flair Eason is known for. The suspense keeps the readers guessing to the end. At first, I was a little confused with the subplot because it really had nothing to do with the current action, but keep with it. As the story progresses, Eason does a wonderful job at tying the two stories together. The characters of Asher and Brooke are a wonderful introduction to the beginning of a unique cast of characters. I really enjoyed how Brooke has been done before, but I really liked how Eason made her an ex-soldier herself so she could empathize with the soldiers as she tried to help them with their PSTD. Of course, Eason includes a romantic thread between the characters. It wasn't too overbearing, but there were moments where the romance peak its head. Overall, Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason was a thrilling glance into the world of soldiers with plenty of suspenseful moments and a hint of romance. I really can't wait to read her next book in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, January 17, 2020

Word of the Year: Peace

By Kelly Bridgewater

2019 has been hectic.
I worked for the United States Post Office, but right after Christmas, I quit. The money was nice, but the downside to the job was a lot worst.

I hated working evaluated routes where if I didn't finish the route that I didn't know well by the evaluated time, then they stopped paying me. Some days I would work for four hours with no pay. It was annoying. During Christmas, it was hard to deliver packages in the dark on routes I have never done. Food breaks and restroom breaks were not allowed during my 10+ hour shift. Monday through Friday I was on call. Couldn't plan anything because they might call me into work. I had to work every Saturday and Sunday. Didn't get to spend time with my family.

Anyways, I will keep praying and hope there is another job that pays well enough for our family to keep us away from living paycheck to paycheck.

So as 2019 came to a close, I always pray for a word for the year. This year, I felt lead toward


 I need peace with where I am at in my life.

I need peace to be happy with what I do have.

I need peace in my mind.

I need peace from God.

So this year, I am hoping to discover the peace to make my life better.

What about you? What is your word for 2020?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Rachel Scott McDaniel: Above the Fold

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book:
Title: Above the Fold
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: December 3, 2019

After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.

Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

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From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel is a delightful debut novel. After finishing the novel, I had a hard time believing Above the Fold was written by a first-time novelist. It was well-written. I loved how McDaniel made readers feel like she was actually in the 1920's. She really captured the essence of the era and allowed her characters to swim around in this world. As for the plot,  I have read a number of stories during this time period about journalist, but McDaniel added a twist with her mystery, which I enjoyed. The romance was between two people who used to be in a relationship, but life happened, and they went their separate ways. The romance sprinkled and bloomed along with the story. Overall, Above the Fold was a captivating debut novel with plenty of history, romance, and a little mystery to round out the plot. I believe fans of Julie Lessman's O'Conner's series might enjoy reading this novel too. I can't wait to see what McDaniel comes up with next.

I received a complimentary copy of Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel through the Celebrate Lit Tours, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Above the Fold

About the Author:

Rachel Scott McDaniel
From Goodreads
 Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. She currently enjoys life in Ohio with her husband and two kids. Rachel can be found online at and on all social media platforms.

More from Rachel

What does the classic movie His Girl Friday, famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, and my husband’s grandfather all have in common? They were all used as inspiration for my debut novel Above the Fold.
His Girl Friday is one of my favorite stories. This movie captures the thrill of the newspaper world—that drive within the reporter’s heart to get the scoop, that hum of activity from the newsroom to the firing of the presses, and that inescapable pursuit to beat out the opposing paper. But what I loved most about this movie was the chemistry between the two main characters. They share a romantic history. In turn, there is major tension, but man oh man is there spark! So this triggered my creative mind. What would happen if I switched the roles and had the heroine be the one that gets jilted? What if I set this story in the 1920s when the profession of journalism was male-dominated? What if I add some more mystery? Cue Agatha Christie.
My husband and I love Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series. Did you know that she wrote over 74 books? That’s staggering to me. My mind reels at how intricate and varied all her plots are. My husband and I would try to guess who the murderer was at the beginning of a story and more often than not, we were wrong! On one particular night we were watching a PBS version of Miss Marple and an idea struck me. What if I changed my story to go this route? What if I made this person the villain instead of that one? The idea that came to me had nothing to do with the story we’d been watching, but one thing that’d been said flickered a light in me. I love it when that happens! And I also love it when I can incorporate pieces of my personal life into the book. This brings me to the biggest inspiration of the story—my husband’s grandpa.
Grandpa Jay Lewis had two loves in his life—his wife and the newspaper press. He’d started working for the local newspaper during his early teens and made his way up the ranks until he became the press foreman. Here’s a picture of Jay when he was in his early 20s. The hat shown was made of folded newsprint paper and worn to keep the ink from dripping on his head. But the expression in this picture says it all—the press was his happy place. He’d worked with the presses for over five decades, until he no longer had the strength. In 2004, he passed away, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of many. So in tribute to Jay and his great passion for the newspaper world, I included him in the cast of characters. I only hope I was able to capture his zeal.
So there you have it. Inspiration came to me in a myriad of ways, but they all worked together to bring you a story that I pray delights your heart.

Blog Stops

Robin’s Nest, January 14
Godly Book Reviews, January 15
Betti Mace, January 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 18
Texas Book-aholic, January 19
janicesbookreviews, January 20
Emily Yager, January 20
She Lives to Read, January 21
Life of Literature, January 22
Daysong Reflections, January 23
Stories By Gina, January 24
Jacquelyn Lynn, January 24
Hallie Reads, January 25
Back Porch Reads, January 26
Batya’s Bits, January 27


To celebrate her giveaway, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an Autographed Paperback copy of Above the Fold, A Custom Newspaper-Themed Book Cozy, An Above the Fold vintage-style bookmark!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.