Thursday, March 31, 2022

Happy National Atheists Day!

 By Kelly Bridgewater

April 1st is widely known as the April Fools Day!

But my husband and I along time ago, heard that it is actually National Atheists Day. Sounds good to me.

Unfortunately, Atheists are fools for not believing in God, so it works.

I wonder if you can still do pranks on them, but include a Godly message along with it.

How about you? Ever heard this before?

Monday, March 28, 2022

Cathy Gohlke: A Hundred Crickets Singing


By Kelly Bridgewater

In wars eighty years apart, two young women living on the same Appalachian estate determine to aid soldiers dear to them and fight for justice, no matter the cost.
1944. When a violent storm rips through the Belvidere attic in No Creek, North Carolina, exposing a hidden room and trunk long forgotten, secrets dating back to the Civil War are revealed. Celia Percy, whose family lives and works in the home, suspects the truth could transform the future for her friend Marshall, now fighting overseas, whose ancestors were once enslaved by the Belvidere family. When Marshall’s Army friend, Joe, returns to No Creek with shocking news for Marshall’s family, Celia determines to right a long-standing wrong, whether or not the town is ready for it.

1861. After her mother’s death, Minnie Belvidere works desperately to keep her household running and her family together as North Carolina secedes. Her beloved older brother clings to his Union loyalties, despite grave danger, while her hotheaded younger brother entangles himself and the family’s finances within the Confederacy. As the country and her own home are torn in two, Minnie risks her life and her future in a desperate fight to gain liberty and land for those her parents intended to free, before it’s too late.


My Thoughts:

A Hundred Crickets Singing is a standalone novel, but I highly recommend readers reader the first book Night Bird Calling, so the back stories that are hinted at are familiar and help tightening the elements during the Civil War era. Right away, it was nice to see Celia again. She is a returning character, but she is not a little girl anymore. She has grown into quite a young lady. I love her as a character. She is strong, forceful and stands up for what is right no matter what others think or might do to her. Reminds me a lot of me. I do like how readers will see her compose letters to Joe, a friend of Marshall, while he is serving overseas during World War II. I do enjoy the peeks into the letters in the story. They deepen the story, not subtract from the overall action. There is some romance in the present story line too. Of course, this did happen during World War II. On the other hand, the Civil War era story really gripped my heart. I agree with Minnie, her father, and her older brother Elliot. I really hated her younger brother, Grayson. I wanted to see him get his just rewards. He was a spiteful character filled with plenty of hate and anger. I do enjoy how Gohlke tied the two stories together nicely and had me happy in the end. Overall, I am not a fan of Civil War era stories, but Gohlke does a wonderful job at the story that I forgot I was reading a part Civil War story. I highly recommend everyone read this story.

I received a complimentary copy of A Hundred Crickets Singing by Cathy Gohlke from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Hundred Crickets Singing

Friday, March 25, 2022

I'm Living a Sitcom

 By Kelly Bridgewater

As a child, I really enjoyed Full House and Boy Meets World.

I wanted to be friends with my siblings like Stephanie, D.J, and Michelle. I always wanted to be DJ Tanner. They had such a fun life for so many people in their home.

I was smart like Topanga and wanted a boy like Cory Matthews to fall in love with me and love me forever. I wanted a full ride scholarship. I thought English was my dream job since I LOVE to read, but after life experience, I should have been an FBI detective or a criminal lawyer.

I wanted to a marriage with a man who could make me laugh like Jill Taylor.

But . . .

Now that I am an adult. I am a little of a couple of sitcoms.

I feel like Jill Taylor the most. My husband is handy at working on cars and working on fixing on things around the house when he wants to. He does not blow things up, but he is handy. The trick is to get him to do them.

I have three boys. I attended college with three boys. My boys, unfortunately, were a lot younger than the Taylor’s boys when Jill went back to graduate school to earn her MA and Ph.D. in Psychology. Mine was in Writing.

I also find myself like Bill Cosby when he complains and instructs the five children in his life. I have laughed at the same things that I have told my children over and over again. I do not have the romance and laughs all the time like these shows display.

Marriage and parenting is hard.

Not a lot of laughs.

I like things to have a purpose and in their place.

My husband is a messy person who collects EVERYTHING. We might need it in 30 years, so I want to hang on to it. My mother didn’t want it, so I brought it home. Not that we need it, but I own it now.


 This is what most of our argument is over.

With God’s grace, we have been together for 21 years and counting.

Ignore the small things. Marriage is better than that.

What about you? What family sitcoms mirror your current life?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Lynette Eason and Kate Angelo: Driving Force

 By Kelly Bridgewater

 He’s the last client she wants to protect…

 Elite Guardians bodyguard/former sniper CHRISTINA SHERMAN has protected uncooperative clients before—but this time, well her client is bossy, headstrong and occasionally eats off the floor. Yes, he’s a highly trained military working dog, but certainly her skills could be put to better use, right?

Not according to former Special Forces Air Commando GREY PARKER. He needs her help to protect his dog while he undergoes an experimental surgery that could restore his ability to walk. He just needs someone to keep his canine partner safe. Most of all, Grey wants back on his feet so he can track down a deranged scientist known as The Scavenger who unleashed a nerve agent that left Grey sidelined in a wheelchair.

When an attempt is made on Grey’s life, and dead bodies begin piling up—with evidence the same toxin is responsible—suddenly Christina is tasked with keeping both dog and soldier alive…and with them, the secrets that could stop a terrorist attack.

But this time, even Christina might be in over her head.

Dive into the exciting ignition to the Elite Guardians Collection.


My Thoughts:

In typical Lynette Eason fashion, Driving Force by Lynette Eason and co-authored by Kate Angelo features a high-stake chemical warfare race to justice. With characters like Christina, Greg, and the dog, Boss, the characters are fully developed, have a dark past that colors their view of the current situations. Angelo does a good job at having the characters play off these dark wounds and allows them to motive the characters in their current situations. As for the plot, their, of course, were plenty of moments of running from bullets and trying to chase down the Dr. and / or the Russians who are producing the chemical warfare. There were many high-octane moments that were mirrored over and over again, so it did not seem that inventive. With the dog and all his training, it reminded me a lot of Ronie Kendig’s A Breed Apart series, which I loved. I love seeing working dogs who are highly intelligent and put their lives on the line for our country too. Overall, Sunrise Publishing is definitely doing a wonderful thing by allowing accomplished authors to mentor unpublished authors and allow them to craft stories from the accomplished authors secondary characters. I love this idea. I believe that James Patterson started this, but this is the first of its kind for the Christian Publishing industry.

 I received a complimentary copy of Driving Force by Lynette Eason and Kate Angelo from  Sunrise Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

 My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Driving Force

Monday, March 21, 2022

Rachel McMillan: The Mozart Code

 By Kelly Bridgewater

No matter how you might try to hide in a war to escape your past, it is always close at hand.

Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turing’s Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Now, as part of Simon Barre’s covert team in post-war Vienna, she uses her inimitable charm and code name Starling to infiltrate the world of relics: uncovering vital information that could tilt the stakes of the mounting Cold War. When several influential men charge her with finding the death mask of Mozart, Sophie wonders if there is more than the composer’s legacy at stake and finds herself drawn to potential answers in Prague.

Simon Barrington, the illegitimate heir of one of Sussex’s oldest estates, used the previous war to hide his insecurities about his past. Now, he uses his high breeding to gain access to all four allied quarters of the ruined city in an attempt to slow the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has been in love with Sophie Villiers since the moment he met her, and a marriage of convenience to save Simon’s estate has always kept her close. Until now, when Sophie’s mysterious client in Prague forces him to wonder if her allegiance to him—and their cause—is in question. Torn between his loyalty to his cause and his heart, Simon seeks answers about Sophie only to learn that everything he thought he knew about his involvement in both wars is based on a lie.


My Thoughts:

The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan is a post World War II story that is supposed to have the main heroine looking for a lost Death Mask of Mozart, the composer. While I love the cover on the story, the story does not live up to what should be inside the story. First, the story takes place after World War II, so the heroine is trying to uncover historical artifacts that the Nazi had stolen during World War II. Great! I can really get behind a treasure hunt story. But that is not what this story is about. The main heroine and her "love" are what the story is focused on. The plot moves back and forth between their courtship, marriage, and the present day. Emotions fly across the page. But I wanted a treasure hunt. I do not mind if the romance intermingles with the plot, but the story does not focus on what the characters are doing. Once in a while, McMillan goes back to the hunt for the death mask of Mozart, but it does not seem that important. While the issues with the plot did not work for me at all, McMillan is a wonderful creating at bringing this post World War II world to life. I enjoyed traveling through the countryside and the rubble of the setting. I love how she evaluates the story's importance with her writing. As for the characters, they also appeared indifferent to what McMillan wanted them to do. They did not see the importance of finding these items. It appeared to be more important at showing their relationship than what they need to accomplish. The first chapter promised to deliver a hunt for the Mozart mask, but the story does not deliver. The plot was seriously lacking depth.

I received a complimentary copy of the Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Mozart Code

Friday, March 18, 2022

Welcome Spring

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I don’t mind the beginning of spring where the temperatures start warm up a little. A light jacket. Flowers blooming.

Color popping everywhere.


Trees flowering into a wild expanse of color.

But as spring progresses, it becomes warmer and warmer. Bees start flying around.

Weeds overtake all my pretty flowers.

Have to mow grass EVERY WEEK!

Then summer comes!


But if you enjoy spring, have fun!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Lynn H. Blackburn: Malicious Intent

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Dr. Ivy Collins, founder and CEO of Hedera, Inc., is ready to begin clinical trials of her company's cutting-edge prosthetic. Her work has been heralded by government, medical, and advocacy groups and everyone hopes the device will be a success. Well, almost everyone. Someone is trying to sabotage Hedera and the launch, but to what purpose--and how far will they go to get what they want?

Meanwhile, U.S. Secret Service Agent Gil Dixon can't believe he's finally been reunited with Ivy, his childhood best friend. Now that he's found her again, Gil intends to spend the rest of his life with her. But it will take all his skill to uncover the truth in time to save Ivy's life's work, her own life, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

Perfectly balancing chilling suspense and uplifting romance, award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn delivers a story of revenge, greed, and overcoming that you won't want to put down no matter how late it gets.


My Thoughts:

Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn checks all the boxes off for a Romantic Suspense novel. The first chapter dives into a character, who happens to be the heroine of the story, who has been tortured recently. From then on, the story moves forward with trying to discover who harmed her and why. Of course, the heroine, Ivy, runs into someone from her past, the heroine, Gil, who actually has loved her and wanted to come back into her life. As the story progresses, the suspense is heightened also, allowing the readers to jump into the action just like the heroine and the hero. On the same vein, the romance is questioned, then jumped into with full emotions. When the climactic moment is revealed, there is many different elements that make the final answer different than I have ever seen before. Has it been done before? Not in any novel that I have devoured. Can I see it happening in real life? Most definitely. Overall, Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn does give fans of romantic suspense just what they want. Plenty of action sprinkled with fighting emotions across the page. Fans of Colleen Coble and DiAnn Mills should be pick this novel. They would definitely enjoy time spent with this story.

I received a complimentary copy of Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Malicious Intent

Friday, March 11, 2022

Family Sitcoms

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I was born in the early 1980’s and became a teenager in the mid to late 1990’s.

I grew up on sitcoms.

I especially spent tons of time watching Family dynamic sitcoms.

Plenty of laughter, heartache, and reality.

I enjoyed spending time watching television.

Friday nights were TGIF (Thank Goodness its Friday) block. It was from 8 – 10 pm. It started with Full House, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, and Step-by-Step.

During the week, I would watch Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Cosby Show reruns.

Dick Van Dyke Show.

Mama’ Family.

Home Improvement.

Stanford and Son.

All in the Family.

Television today is too vulgar and tries to be too much of a “reality” that glorifies sin way too much. I’m glad to offer my boys other options to good shows.

How about you? Do you find yourself and your family watching re-runs of the good shows?

Monday, March 7, 2022

Sarah E. Ladd: The Letter from Briarton Park

 By Kelly Bridgewater

In Regency England, one letter will alter a young woman’s fate when it summons her to Briarton Park—an ancient place that holds the secrets of her past and the keys to her future.

Cassandra Hale grew up knowing little about her parentage, and she had made peace with the fact that she never would. But Cassandra’s world shifts when a shocking deathbed confession reveals a two-year-old letter from Mr. Clark, the master of Briarton Park, with hints to her family’s identity. Stung by betrayal, she travels to the village of Anston only to learn Mr. Clark has since passed away.

James Warrington is a widower and the new master of Briarton Park, where he lives with his two young daughters, his sister, and his mother-in-law. When Cassandra appears at his doorstep with a letter from the previous owner and then proceeds to assist his family in an unexpected way, he is honor bound to help uncover the answers she seeks.

The more time Cassandra spends in Anston, the more she begins to suspect not everything—or everyone—is as they seem. As details emerge, the danger surrounding her intensifies. Using wit and intuition, she must navigate the treacherous landscapes between truth and rumor and between loyalty and deception if she is to uncover the realities of her past and find the place her heart can finally call home.

Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency romance, first in the new Houses of Yorkshire series, combines mystery and intrigue with the best of historical storytelling.


My Thoughts:

What if you did not know who your parents were? What if right before someone died they handed you a letter from your biological father that you should have received a long time ago? That is exactly where The Letter from Briarton Park by Sarah E. Ladd starts. With true Regency flair and a hint of a mystery, Ladd will captivate readers as they flipped through the pages of this story. With a strong setting and a wonderful writing, Ladd takes readers for an adventure as they try to uncover with Cassandra who her parents are and discover her own personality in the world. I enjoy following Cassandra as she discovers who her parents are. The plot was nicely handled. As for the romance, it was slowly developing and then a rush to the happily-ever-after moment after all the twists and turns were tied nicely together. Overall, The Letter from Briarton Park by Sarah E. Ladd was a well-crafted Regency novel with the delight of a thrown in mystery that I believe fans of Julie Klassen and Erica Vetsch would enjoy diving into.

I received a complimentary copy of The Letter from Briarton Park by Sarah E. Ladd from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Letter from Briarton Park

Friday, March 4, 2022

Acts 4:29

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Acts 4:29, NIV: "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." 

Acts 4:29 is my prayer. I heard our Pastor Ben using it one time in a sermon, and I loved it. I highlighted it and put a star by it.

I pray the same thing that the Apostles did when they were facing persecution right after Jesus ascended into Heaven.

I believe this will be more of a reality in the coming days. I need to stand strong. This is a fight. I’m ready and willing to do this.

I have been proving my faith with the education system already by arguing about systemic racism. We should not be teaching our future generations to hate others. We should be teaching them to love others and accept others for who they are and who God created them to be.

 I will be bold like Paul.

If it means prison or death, there is no way that I would deny Christ in front of any man.

How about you? Have you found a verse that just stuck with you? You know, something that means something. Maybe something that will change the way that you see things.