Monday, March 30, 2020

Ronie Kendig: Kings Falling

By Kelly Bridgewater

Leif Metcalfe and his team, dubbed Reaper, need to recover the stolen, ancient Book of the Wars if they hope to stop the Armageddon Coalition and their pursuit of global economic control. But their attention has been diverted by a prophecy in the book that foretells of formidable guardians who will decimate the enemies of ArC. While Iskra Todorova uses her connections in the covert underworld to hunt down the Book of the Wars, Leif and Reaper attempt to neutralize these agents but quickly find themselves outmaneuvered and outgunned.

The more Reaper tries to stop the guardians, the more failure becomes a familiar, antagonistic foe. Friendships are fractured, and the team battles to hold it together long enough to defeat ArC. But as this millennia-old conspiracy creeps closer and closer to home, the implications could tear Leif and the team apart.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Ronie Kendig packs a punch and doesn't let go. With the introduction to her second novel in The Book of the Wars series, Kings Falling, Kendig grabbed my attention with the first chapter and really didn't let go at all. It kept moving forward and having climactic moments all over the place. If readers are a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, like me, than this is definitely a book to pick up and devour. Kendig started the book with a little bit of calm before the storm, and I actually enjoyed that. It helped cement the reality of the characters. The characters are reoccurring, and I really liked this element of the story. As a reader, we are really getting to know these characters and understand how they really tick. As for the plot, a major climactic moment is solved, BUT the overarching goal of the series is still not met. The ending is left in a climactic moment. Not that it bothered me at all. I cheered Kendig for doing this. It begs me to return and read the final book. I highly recommend readers of action and suspense to pick up this book, but they should read Storm Rising first. 

I received a complimentary copy of Kings Falling by Ronie Kendig from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Kings Falling

Friday, March 27, 2020

Spring Break

By Kelly Bridgewater

Spring Break, already?

Where has the time gone?

This year is a little different.

It is my oldest sons last Spring Break at home.

Well, what I originally planned for Spring Break has changed. Not that we were going to go anywhere. I started a new job this past Monday, and the entire world is on lockdown because of this 
virus scare.

While my husband, who is an people person, is climbing the walls literally, I'm okay with this. I love hanging out at home, working on the yard, walking our dogs, riding our bikes, reading books, cooking homemade dinners, and playing board games.

I don't feel bad that I have to stay at home. It feels nice to not have to rush to Awana every Wednesday. Not have to pick the boys up front play practice very day.

Not having to rush to band performances every weekend.

Not having to rush our kids off to work and play dates.

It is nice to just sit at home.

Get those things off our to-do list that have been sitting there for a while.

Like update the laundry room where it is more functionable.

Maybe even put the new cabinets we purchased in the kitchen.

I think in the end, this break will be nice for everyone.

Not for the kids though.

I don't even imagine how the schools are planning to grade anyone.

School isn't the same.

How about you? Are you enjoying this down time or going insane?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Colleen Coble: One Little Lie

By Kelly Bridgewater

When Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, there's no time for an adjustment period. He is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, and Jane quickly realizes she's facing someone out to destroy her father.

They escaped from a cult fifteen years ago, and Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is a well-known journalist who makes documentaries, and his sights are currently set on covering Jane's career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid's calm manner as he follows her around taping his documentary, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross.

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Romantic Suspense and Collee Coble go hand-in-hand. Coble really knows the requirements of the genre, and she plays them for the reader. With her new introduction to her Pelican Harbor series, One Little Lie deals with a teenager who left a cult and has moved on with her life. The suspense in this story isn't scary or put readers on the edge of their seat.It does have readers flipping through the pages to see how the story ends. There is some romance between the Jane and Reid, but it isn't overbearing like a contemporary romance. The characters fall for each other as the story progresses. The writing is wonderful. I really like the cover because it leaves a lot to the imagination and fits the genre nicely. While the suspenseful element does wrap up nicely by the end of the novel, Coble leaves a open ended ending for Jane and Reid. Have to come back for the second book to see what happens. Overall, One Little Lie is a fabulous romantic suspense story filled with enough twists and romance to satisfy any fans. If the cult issue interests readers, than Christy Barritt just completed a five book mystery involving a cult. Tosca Lee featured a dystopian series with a cult.  Plenty other novels diving into the cult realm.

I received a complimentary copy of One Little Lie by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase One Little Lie

Friday, March 20, 2020


By Kelly Bridgewater

Spring is almost here.

At least according to the calendar.

I don't mind the flowers everywhere and the pretty colors. I don't mind the beginning of spring where the temperatures start to rise to the fifties, but I don't enjoy when the weather starts to roll toward the eighties.



Hot weather.




Then the only thing, I dread is summer coming. I know it will start in April. Then swelter temperatures the rest of the year until Halloween.

How about where you live? Does April bring flowers, showers, and hot weather? Or is it still cool where you live?

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Mary Connealy: Woman of Sunlight

By Kelly Bridgewater

After years of isolation on top of Hope Mountain, Ilsa Nordegren may finally be ready to leave. Raised to fear the world, Ilsa and her sisters never planned on coming down, but when the Warden family arrived in need, they had to help. And it may cost them everything.

Having made his fortune, Mitch Warden returned home and found the family homestead abandoned. In a land grab, a ruthless cattle baron had forced his family to escape up the mountain, and when he follows, the last thing he expects is to fall smitten to a black-haired woman who dresses like Robin Hood.

Warden is intent on helping his family reclaim their land, but doesn't realize the risks his past has brought. Dangerous men have tracked him, and rather than risk innocent lives, he's determined to end the danger. But that means a journey to the city--and when Ilsa insists on joining him, the mismatched pair suddenly find themselves on a venture they'll never forget.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for Mary Connealy's current series, Brides of Hope Mountain, captured my attention.  really like the covers too. Lots of bright colors and beautiful woman grace the wilderness. I throughly enjoyed Aiming for Love, the first book in this series. Jo was an unique and different style of character. Connealy does it again with Ilsa. She is not like any heroine I have ever read. And I read a lot of suspense novels. She is brave and unfamiliar with the new world outside her mountain home, but she isn't afraid to try new clothes, food, and surroundings. As for Mitch, the hero, he seemed a little off in Aiming for Love, but he redemmed himself in Woman of Sunlight. The plot moved really nicely along.I did like how Connealy paid attention and Isla's indifference to her surroundings, but kept her true nature alive throughout the novel. I liked this story too. I really can't wait to read Ursula's, the third and final sister's, story.

I received a complimentary copy of Woman of Sunlight by Mary Connealy from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Woman of Sunlight

Monday, March 16, 2020

Heidi Chiavorli: The Tea Chest

By Kelly Bridgewater

Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fianc�e, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her--as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

With The Tea Chest, Heidi Chiavorli dives into an important moment in American history and brought it to life for readers. I really liked learning more about the Boston Tea Party and seeing the struggles from the character's perspective. This is why I enjoy diving into historical fiction because I always learn more from the story than a texbook. Even though I enjoyed the historical time line, there is also a contemporary timeline trying to solve the mystery of what happened with the historical timeline. Both characters are brave and have the time to show that and believe they are brave through their actions. Both characters transform by the end of the story. Overall, The Tea Chest is a delightful read. Chiavorli really did her research. I highly recommend this story for fans of American history. Maybe even pass it on to younger readers who are bored with history. Maybe they won't find history so boring anymore.

I received a complimentary copy of The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavorli through Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Tea Chest

Friday, March 13, 2020

BabyBoomers Were Lucky

By Kelly Bridgewater

My husband and I have talked about this a number of times, so I thought I would share something that has been on my heart for a while.

My generation, the kids who graduated in the late 90's and early twenty-first century, are failing. No jobs want to us a living wage. Most companies barely pay anything over $10 an hour. But we are the generation with no Social Security. It won't be there when we reach our retirement age at 68. But we don't make enough money to put away for retirement. Companies don't even offer any type of retirement anymore. Let alone pension plans to help us when we have worked for their companies for years. No more loyalty to stay working for them.

It is hard to pay for $4 for a pound of hamburger. $6 for a pound of bacon. Cheese is $4 a pound. A gallon of milk is $2-3. A gallon of gas is anywhere from $2 - $4. Whatever the stupid people in charge of gas thinks to charge for the day. It changes daily.

Don't forget the electric, water, gas bills, cell phone, cable. Outrageous.

Even when we go to purchase a house, the mortgage companies screw us with a PMI payment of 10 - 15 percent of the cost of the house every month if we can't come up with 20% of a down payment.

Luckily, my husband and I have no debt and realized that if we don't have cash for it, we don't buy it. 
We luckily saved enough money to have 20% as a down payment when we purchased our home.
But bills and money are still tight. We can pay all our bills in full every month, but the money isn't really there for anything else.

I titled this blog post with Babyboomers are lucky because they have social security. They have companies that gave them huge pensions. They are retired and sitting pretty. I have a couple of family members who are traveling the entire time since they retired. They have lots of money. There houses are paid off. They drive newer cars.

My generation will work forever and have nothing to show for it.

This sucks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

James R. Hannibal: Chasing the White Lion

By Kelly Bridgewater

Young CIA officer Talia Inger has reconciled with the man who assassinated her father, but that doesn't mean she wants him hovering over her every move and unearthing the painful past she's trying to put behind her. Still, she'll need him--and the help of his star grifter, Valkyrie--if she hopes to infiltrate the Jungle, the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate, to rescue a group of kidnapped refugee children.

But as Talia and her elite team of thieves con their way into the heart of the Jungle, inching ever closer to syndicate boss the White Lion, she'll run right up against the ragged edge of her family's dark past. In this game of cat and mouse, it's win . . . or die. And in times like that, it's always good to have someone watching your back.

Former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James Hannibal takes you deep undercover into the criminal underworld where everyone has an angle and no one escapes unscathed.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Suspense is a great way to spend a couple of hours. With James R. Hannibal's second novel in the Talia Inger's series, Chasing the White Lion, Hannibal definitely delivers. With fast chasing across the globe to hunt for missing children, Talia and her troop of misfits sweep up the mischief and mayhem. With th first novel, The Gryphon Heist, I really loved how he crafted together the least likely bunch of criminals to create a family who seeks for justice. Hannibal throws in a little bit of spiritual lesson too for the fans of redemptive stories, but nothing to preachy. Only one litte scene. But boy, does it make an impact. The final climactic moment in the last twenty percent of the novel has a Hunger Games feel to it. A chase through mazes against some of the worst criminals in the market. Overall, Chasing the White Lion is a memorizing addition to the series, and I honestly can't wait to see what tasks Hannibal allows Talia to venture into next.

I received a complimentary copy of Chasing the White Lion by James R. Hannibal from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Chasing the White Lion

Monday, March 9, 2020

Morgan Busse: Cry of the Raven

By Kelly Bridgewater

Lady Selene Ravenwood has come into her full power as a dreamwalker just as the war with the Dominia Empire begins. Working with the other Great Houses, Selene and Damien use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by the war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses, destroying their unity as the empire burns a path across their lands. At the same time, Damien Maris starts to lose his ability to raise the waters, leaving the lands vulnerable to the empire's attacks.

The only one who can unite the houses and restore her husband's power is Selene Ravenwood. But it will require that she open her heart to those who have hurt her and let go of her past, despite the one who hunts her and will do anything to stop her power.

Will Selene survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

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From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

The thing I love the most is the cover of Cry of the Raven. It reminds me so much of a Tolkien cover. That is what I thought of the first time I saw this cover almost six months ago. Cry of the Raven is the huge climactic moment in the three book series. Lots of tension and fighting. Learning to know what is worth fighting for. Learning to trust and love others. This story was wonderfully written with enough fantasy to capture the imagination. It is nice that all three are now published because I think I should go back and read them all one after another to grasp the complete storyline. That is usually my issue when it comes to fantasy. If they aren't all available at the same time, then, as a reader, I forgot certain elements of the past stories when I return to the stories. Not that there is really anything to do about this. I know with the publishing schedules; it is hard for a publishing company to publish all three at once. Overall, Cry of the Raven is truly unique story that reminded me a lot of Tolkien's mythology. If readers enjoy Tolkien, then they might want to try Busse's stories.

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

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Cry of the Raven

Friday, March 6, 2020

Safe Novels

By Kelly Bridgewater

I rejoice when any author I have followed on Facebook earns the right to become published. It is a lot of hard work. Either producing a publishable manuscript or doing all the market work to have the book reach the hands of an agent or editor who finds the book worthy of publication.
I'm proud to say they have reached the stars. Congratulations!

I surely can't do that.

 At least, not yet. (Lord, willing.)

But . . .

I have noticed lately that a number of authors have been published with safe stories.

What is a safe story do you ask?

I believe it is a story that checks off all the elements of a certain genre. It is well-written with all the senses involved. Deep Point of View is invoked. The story begins with friends who hate each other or a dead body. Then the romance story follows with love you and then hate you moments before beginning with the end where the couple realizes their growing feelings and declare their undying love to the predictable happily-ever-after. In the romantic suspense or mystery novel, the story begins with a dead body or a suspenseful element then the police officers or reporters talk to suspects, follow clues, and end with a climactic moment where the heroine or hero is captured by the bad guy hence revealing the bad guy and the motive.

While I have read TONS of novels that feature this plot movement, I want something different. Something that strikes it out of the park with a different element or a twist to the novel that has me studying the novel with post-its in hands. The last suspense novel that shocked me was The Knight by Steven James. I did not guess the killer, and when I finished the novel, I stepped back going "No Way. No Way. How was that guy the villain?" I actually went back and studied the clues and found them. James did a good job at covering them that I didn't even notice them. Still my favorite suspense novel.

Some books lately have been written so safe that fans of that genre enjoy and devour these books because they are safe, but they have been boring me. Already read that. Knew exactly what the end of the story would be. Totally predictable and not original.

What about you? Have you found any "safe novels?" Don't list any titles because I really don't want to offend anyone but are there some "safe novels" you found?