Monday, April 27, 2020

Robin Jones Gunn: Being Known

By Kelly Bridgewater

After her mom passed away, Jennalyn was in the midst of moving, having a baby, and helping her husband work toward his dream job. At the time, she thought she processed the shock and loss, but only now that Jennalyn has two small children, a lovely new home, a lucrative side hustle with her art, and a husband who is always working does she feel the full impact of the loss.

Enter an old boyfriend who knew Jennalyn well and who shares many fond memories of her mom. Jennalyn begins to doubt her marriage and all her other life choices ever since her mom passed away. It takes the power of truth, close friends who know her well, and a series of choices at the heart level before Jennalyn can surface from the confusion and see with clarity where her life is headed.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I really don't enjoy women's fiction, but Robin Jones Gunn captured my attention with the Christy Miller series when I was a teenager, and I look forward to everything she writes whether it is YA or Women's fiction. Being Known continues the journey of adult, parenting group of friends that have devoted time to spend together. Either praying or talking about issues in their lives. It is nice to catch up with Christy Spencer and Sierra from Gunn's earlier writings. But it is also nice to hang with the new girls. Everytime I read Gunn's new series, Being Known included, I wish I had a group of Christian women I could hang out with and plan different get together days. It would be nice to have prayer partners who I can see actually caring about the situations in my life. Gunn does a wonderful job at showing the heartache of being a mother at home with kids all day while the husband works. Now one of her novels needs to show a mother who works 50 hours a week while her husband works 40 hours and she still has to come up and cook dinner, enforce chores, assign baths, and work on homework while the husband lounges on the couch watching television. That is a book I couldn't wait to get my hands on. In Being Known, I really admired the way Gunn handled the grief of losing a mother from Jennalynn's perspective. So many times novels mention once and then the characters appears to move on and never think about it again. So untrue. Losing my Daddy four years ago, it can hit at the most unexpected time, and I think about him almost every day. Overall, Being Known is not a typical women's fiction novel, I love how Gunn faces the harsh realities of being a mother and parent in her novel, but with grace and surrounded by friends. I highly recommend this series to anyone. Christian or not.

I received a complimentary copy of Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn from Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Being Known

Friday, April 24, 2020

Job Hunting Sucks (Part 2)

By Kelly Bridgewater

Three weeks ago, I started my rant on the poorness of companies hiring anyone today. Today, I will continue my rant.

While last time, I talked about having to apply on-line, and all the struggles that entitles. Today, I want to discuss the reasons they won't even look at your resume.

Another issue that bothers me is the requirements to get a job today. When I started my undergraduate degree, I wanted to work in book publishing. So I researched what I degree I needed and the classes I needed to focus on to work in that position when I graduated. I became an English major with tons of grammar and writing classes. I worked on the campus newspaper and the magazine to have some editing under my belt. I graduated with this degree and even went on to work on my MA in Writing. I graduated.

Time to apply for those jobs. RIGHT!!

Now the requirement for those jobs have to have a Marketing degree and 5 years of Editing or Publishing experience at a publishing company. HOW AM I GOING TO GET THE EXPERIENCE IF YOU DON'T HIRE ME?

Another dilemma is that now with my Master's degree I'm too qualified for this job. So they don't hire me. (I have had a number of companies tell me this is the reason why they have rejected my application.) I have had some tell me I earned my degree at the wrong university.

So frustrating!!!

Okay. I have applied for an Administrative Assistant position.
I'm extremely organized, learn quickly, OCD about having things done ahead of time, and management skills, but I don't have the actual title of an Administrative Assistant in my resume, so they ignore me altogether.

All I want is a job that works Monday through Friday 7-6 p. m.. I want to spend the weekends with my family. I want to spend the evenings with my family. I want to make enough money to go on vacations. I want to pay our mortgage off. I'm tired of watching everyone else around me be successful, and we aren't. We have no debt, besides our mortgage. Thank God!

But we haven't taken a family vacation in five years because we don't have the money.

One of the major reasons I left the USPS is because I had to work every Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. (Yes, Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, Labor Day ...) My boys were not doing well at school because I wasn't home in the evening to help them with their homework. I missed a school play my son was in. I missed numerous band perfomances. I missed birthday parties. I missed going to church. The USPS is not a Monday through Friday 8-5 job. It is a 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. job every day of the week.

How do I capture the interest of a company that understands family is important? But so is earning a living without sacrificing your soul and your family?

So depressed!!!!

What do I do???
Someone please help???

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Michelle Griep: The House at the End of the Moor

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Celebrate Lit.

About the Book:

Title: The House at the End of the Moor
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: April 1, 2020

What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

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From Gooodreads

My Thoughts:

The synopsis hints at a little bit of mystery for Michelle Griep's latest novel, The House at the End of the Moor. It does have a mystery. I enjoy the writing. Griep is wonderful at using her descriptions and crafting unique characters that carry readers through the story. The plot was a little different from any previous Regency novels. I enjoyed that idea. The romance wasn't really a leadng factor in the story. In fact, not that important that when they married at the end of the novel, I felt cheatened. The hero and heroine really didn't have feelings for each other throughout the whole novel. They may have said something about each other toward the end, but the majority of the story, they were most focused on returning to a normal life without having to look over their backs for someone to bring them harm. Overall, The House at the End of the Moor is a mystery wrapped in a Regency novel. While the plot was fine and held my attention, the romance was unbelievable. If readers enjoy Griep's other stories, Julie Klassen, or Sarah E. Ladd, then this might be a novel right up their alley.

I received a complimentary copy of The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep from Barbour Publishing, through Celebrate Lit tours, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Click here to purchase

About the Author:

From Celebrate Lit.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore,but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 More from Michelle

What comes to mind when you hear the word moor? For some, images of Jane Eyre spring to life. For others, The Hound of the Baskervilles starts barking. But for most, it’s a big fat goose egg. The fact is that most Americans don’t have a clue what a moor is, but never fear, my friend…after you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll never again go blank-minded when you hear the word moor.

Last summer I skipped across the pond and tromped around Dartmoor with my daughter and husband. What an awesome experience. I learned first-hand just how windy this vast stretch of land can be, for that’s really what a moor is at heart: a vast stretch of land. Webster’s defines it as an expanse of open rolling infertile land. Sounds rather desolate, eh? Yeah. Kind of. But it’s oh so much more.

In spring and summer, green does abound. Gorse bushes. Scrubby grasses. Lambs and sheep and goats. All these animals roam free so there are trails worn into the dirt that you can hike along. But I hear you…where could you possibly go if there’s nothing besides some farm animals roaming around the place?

You could hike to a tor, which is a “high, craggy hill.” Some of them can be a little treacherous to climb, but sweet mercy, what a view! The earth stretches out like a green and brown quilt. As I hiked that day last spring, whispers in the wind inspired me to wonder a lot of what-ifs, and those what-ifs came together in a story of intrigue and betrayal.

What would you do if you found a half-dead man bleeding in the middle of nowhere? Find out what heroine Maggie Lee does in The House at the End of the Moor.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, April 18
The Avid Reader, April 18
Among the Reads, April 20
Remembrancy, April 23
Hookmeinabook, April 23
Emily Yager, April 24
Betti Mace, April 25
Stories By Gina, April 25
Splashes of Joy, April 26
Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Vicky Sluiter, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 27
Hallie Reads, April 28
Bigreadersite, April 29
Older & Smarter?, April 29
Genesis 5020, April 30
By The Book, April 30
Artistic Nobody, May 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Denise Hunter: Carolina Breeze

By Kelly Bridgewater

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything.

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

A mountain getaway on a lake with no worries at all. What a dream vacation! Oh yeah, someone has to pay for that to happen. Must keep working. Anyways, Denise Hunter's newest novel takes readers back to the Bluebell Inn with Molly, Grace, and Levi. In the first installment, readers became familiar with Molly and her love, Adam. In this addition, readers learn more about Levi and what he is sacrificing to bring this inn to life for his parents. Alot. Then Hunter threw in the heroine, Mia, and all her problems of becoming a famous movie stars. Lies. Deceit. Boyfriends. What a mess! It all comes crashing down in this sweet tale of love and hunting for a precious necklace that belonged to Mia's grandmother. Overall, Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter is a great beach read or when readers take a vacation up in the mountains. It is delightful and a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.

I received a complimentary copy of Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Carolina Breeze

Friday, April 17, 2020

He Is Risen

By Kelly Bridgewater

Last Friday was Good Friday. Sunday was Easter. So this second post dealing with the Scriptures and Jesus's crucificiation is a little late, but it is a WONDERFUL message, so I don't think anyone will mind.

"Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them came to the tomb bringing spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. An did happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!' " Luke 24 : 1- 6

Praise Jesus!!!!

He conquered death and Satan has no power over Him anymore.

I couldn't imagine what those women went through. It was not the morning they were expecting.

I hope this message encourages you to keep trusting in God. What he did was for you and me. Something we can't ever earn. Just accept his gift of eternal life. 

Scripture came from the Journal the Word Bible NKJV.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Lisa Harris: The Traitor's Pawn

By Kelly Bridgewater

When FBI agent Jack Shannon arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, he is focused on one thing: find the man who has been selling encrypted government secrets to the Chinese through online birding chat rooms. But when a senator is shot during a hunting trip and the woman he was with is abducted, Jack agrees to join the search--especially when he discovers that the kidnapping victim is Aubrey Grayson, a woman he was once in love with.

As the search continues, it becomes clear the senator may not have been the intended victim--and Aubrey may be connected to the other case Jack is supposed to be working on. Can Jack untangle the knots before it's too late? And when he learns the truth, will it be too painful to get past?

Join the hunt for the truth--and a traitor--in this tension-laden story of secrets, betrayal, and second chances.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Lisa Harris started her latest novel, The Traitor's Pawn with her guns blazing. Right from the start, she jumps right in and starts the action. Just the way I like a romantic suspense to be. The two main characters have a love interest that they never mentioned to each other. They were best friends who wanted more, but never said anything. I totally understand that. But it bothered me that Harris allowed both of them to hide their feelings for the majority of the novel even though there were tons of underlying emotions. I felt like the hero, Jack should have said something sooner. Maybe just a little hint to make Aubrey scratch her head and wonder why she didn't see it or why she didn't admit to him or even herself. The ending is different. One I haven't seen done at all in any novel, which I really liked, but it still felt like the easy way out. I wanted more. Overall, The Traitor's Pawn wasn't a bad novel. Definitely carried enough suspense and romance to satisfy any reader. Recommended for fans of DiAnn Mills and Colleen Coble.

I received a complimentary copy of The Traitor's Pawn by Lisa Harris, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Traitor's Pawn 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday

By Kelly Bridgewater

"Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, 'Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you?' And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him." Luke 22: 63-65

"Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate." Luke 23: 9-11

"There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.  . . And they divided His garments and cast lost. And the people stood looking on. 

But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, 'He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.' The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine and saying, 'If you are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.'

And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Luke 23: 32- 38

"Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.' Having said this, He breathed His last." Luke 23: 44-46

What a horrible scene! What a blessing this will turn into. I hope you remember all the pain and torture our Lord and Savior endured so we could be with him.