Friday, September 22, 2023

Welcome Fall!!!!!

 By Kelly Bridgewater

 Here come one of my two favorite seasons!


Love the orange, brown, yellow, and red on all the trees.

Cooler temperature.




Covered Bridge Festival.

Trail rides.



Baking Homemade goodies.


What about you? Have anything that you look forward to?

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Melanie Dobson: The Wings of Poppy Pendleton

By Kelly Bridgewater

In this compelling new time-slip mystery, a little girl goes missing from her family’s castle in the Thousand Islands of New York. Eighty-five years later, a journalist teams up with a woman living on Koster Isle to find out what happened to Poppy, once and for all.

 On the eve of her fifth birthday, Poppy Pendleton is tucked safely in her bed, listening to her parents entertain New York’s gilded society in their Thousand Islands castle; the next morning, she is gone, and her father is found dead in his smoking room.

. Though Chloe Ridell lives in the shadows of Poppy’s castle, now in ruins, she has little interest in the mystery that still captivates tourists and locals alike. She is focused on preserving the island she inherited from her grandparents and reviving their vintage candy shop. Until the day a girl named Emma shows up on Chloe’s doorstep, with few possessions, save a tattered scrapbook that connects her to the Pendleton family. When a reporter arrives at Chloe’s store, asking questions about her grandfather, Chloe decides to help him dig into a past she’d thought best left buried. The haunting truth about Poppy, they soon discover, could save Emma’s life, so Chloe and Logan must work together to investigate exactly what happened long ago on Koster Isle.


My Thoughts:

The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson took my breathe away. I love how she creates a pathway that readers might think be the solution to the missing Poppy, but then Dobson threw another twist into the story. I love how "Poppy" has a redemption plotline. The modern, Chloe, character took in a little girl with no question asked. Dobson does a wonderful job at bringing readers into the setting. I would have loved to visit this castle and roam the expansive setting. The hidden passages filled with jewels was never really explored. I would have loved to have seen Chloe stubble across a pathway with many of the jewels left by Amelia. The two timelines mixed and mingled nicely. I kept flipping through the pages of the story. I could not wait to see what happened to Poppy and what this has to do with Chloe. The historical mystery and the contemporary mystery wrapped nicely at the end of the story. I LOVED this story, and I can't wait to have a physical copy on my bookshelf.

I received a complimentary copy of The Wings of Poppy Pendleton by Melanie Dobson from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Wings of Poppy Pendleton

Friday, September 15, 2023

Why Student Loan Debt Should NOT be forgiven

 By Kelly Bridgewater

I work in a Financial Aid office at a university.

I see students that take debt because they have no plan to pay their academic year bill.

Their parents did not save anything. They attend colleges all the way across the country where the student is paying complete out-of-state rate, which is usually two times as a resident of that state.

Or students who live in town of the college, but they want that college experience, so the parents want them to live on campus and pay out for room and board. At our university, it is $12000 a year.

That is A LOT of money to live across town.

All of these students and their parents are willing to take out loans.

I see some students that do not want to take loans out, but they have no idea how to pay their bill.

I see Physician’s Assistants that take out over $50,000 a year in loans because they have to travel for their clinicals to another state.

None of these student work.

They live in the most expensive apartments in town. New cars that they lease but want all this debt. They are taking them willingly.

So why as a country should we forgive any loans?

No one is putting a gun to their head and making them take these loans.

I graduated with my BS and MA with no debt.

My son, who is a current senior at a university, has not taken out any loans. He still lives at home and goes to work 24 hours a week. Every paycheck is going toward his bill. He drives his paid for car and pays the car insurance a year in advance.

Why should I, as a responsible adult, have to pay more in taxes to pay back YOUR student loan debt?

If you took it out, then YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE to pay it back.

If you do not want to pay it back, then do not take it out. Go to school closer to home. Work while attending school part time. Live at home.

No one is picking up my mortgage and wiping it away. I still have to pay that every month.

Why should all these people have their loans forgiven?

If so, then what about the people that have had their loan paid in full, do they receive a refund check for the amount they paid off?

Wrong! No student loan debt forgiven!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Kimberley Woodhouse: The Secrets Beneath

By Kelly Bridgewater

Some secrets can only stay buried for so long. . . .

Anna Lakeman has spent her life working alongside her paleontologist father, drawing intricate sketches at every dig. When they find dinosaur bones near their home in Wyoming Territory, they're given the opportunity of a lifetime and are swiftly caught up in the competitive era of the Bone Wars. But after her father becomes sick and Joshua Ziegler, an old beau, returns for the summer, Anna's world is upended, and the practical, orderly life she has made for herself shatters.

Medical student Joshua Ziegler left his hometown to forget Anna, the one woman he truly loved and deeply hurt. But when he returns, time hasn't erased the feelings they've always had for each other. After Joshua's nephew goes missing--just like his sister did years ago--and Anna's job is threatened, tensions mount and dangerous secrets are unearthed.

My Thoughts:

The Secrets Beneath by Kimberly Woodhouse is a unique story. With Paleontology as the main story thread, I have never seen this is a story. At least, not in the Christian fiction market. The story was well-written with plenty of intrigue, romance, and action to keep the story alive. The one character that I really felt bad for was Julian. I kept wanting to see what would happen to him. Since I read a lot of suspense novels, I had a pretty good idea where his part of the story would end up. I would have liked to have seen what the end result of the archaeological dig that Joshua and Anna worked on through the whole story would have shown. Unless Woodhouse plans to keep working on this same dig site in the second novel, it would have been nice to see the final discovery or the article with Anna’s pictures and names on them in a magazine. Overall, The Secrets Beneath by Kimberly Woodhouse was different, thrilling, and had hints of romance to round out a nicely handled story.

I received a complimentary copy of The Secrets Beneath by Kimberley Woodhouse from   Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Secrets Beneath

Friday, September 8, 2023

Bible Verse: James 3: 9 - 10

 By Kelly Bridgewater

  With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

No reason to talk about this. I believe James said it the best.

Monday, September 4, 2023

DiAnn Mills: Facing the Enemy

By Kelly Bridgewater

For the past five years, FBI Special Agent Risa Jacobs has worked in the violent crimes against children division of the Houston FBI. She’s never had reason to believe there’s a target on her back... until now.

When the long-awaited reunion between Risa and her brother, Trenton, ends in tragedy, Risa is riddled with guilt, unable to cope with the responsibility she feels over his death. On leave from the FBI, Risa returns to her former career as an English teacher at a local college, only to see her past and present collide when one of her students, Carson Mercury, turns in an assignment that reads like an eyewitness account of her brother’s murder, with details never revealed publicly.

Alarmed by Carson’s inside knowledge of Trenton’s death, Risa reaches out to her former partner at the FBI. Special Agent Gage Patterson has been working a string of baby kidnappings, but he agrees to help look into Carson’s background. Risa and Gage soon discover their cases might be connected as a string of high-value thefts have occurred at properties where security systems were installed by Carson’s stepfather and children have gone missing. There’s a far more sinister plot at play than they ever imagined, and innocent lives are in danger.


My Thoughts:

Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills features two mysteries that come around and tie together into one eye opening ending. Mills does a wonderful job at diving into a story that uses a writing assignment and missing babies and ties them together. The writing assignment was my favorite part. As a budding author, it felt unique and different. The plot did capture my attention and did not let go. As for the budding romance between Gage and Rise, it seemed a little over the top. Yes, the heroine and the hero have a past, but personally, I wanted a little deeper of a relationship before they dove into their budding feelings. Mills did a wonderful job at crafting a world that keeps the readers actively involved in the plot. The element of the missing babies tugged at my heartstrings. I could not imagine how awful it would feel to have your baby stolen from you when the baby was under three months old. Overall, Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills has some unique, yet original plot ideas; however, the romance was not what I expected. More backstory that leads to the growing romance.

I received a complimentary copy of Facing the Enemy by DiAnn Mills from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Facing the Enemy 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Labor Day

 By Kelly Bridgewater

 Summer is officially over!

At least, schools are back in session and the pools are closed.

Time to buckle down and finish those last yard projects before winter.

Time to put out the firepit for those cool nights.

Time to put away the sounds of summer.

Even though in Central Indiana, it stays warm until about Halloween, so I won’t be getting too ready currently.

I have mowed the yard the week of Thanksgiving before because it was still in the 60’s outside.

It usually stays pretty warm by allowing us to still wear t-shirts and a hoodie until after Thanksgiving.

Come on cooler weather.

Bring it on!

Do you look forward to cooler weather or do you frown about this time of the year? If you like warmer weather, please share why?

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Rachel Scott McDaniel: The Scarlet Spy

By Kelly Bridgewater

About the Book

Book: The Starlet Spy

Authors: Rachel Scott McDaniel

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: August, 2023

Hollywood Star Turns Spy
In 1943, movie producer Henrik Zoltan approaches Amelie Blake under the guise of offering the Hollywood star a leading part in his upcoming film, but he has a more meaningful role in mind. Amelie’s homeland of Sweden declared neutrality in the war, but Stockholm has become the “Casablanca of the North.” When top-secret atomic research goes missing in Sweden, the Allied forces scramble to recover the files before they fall into Nazi hands.

The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) needs someone who’s subtle enough to spy on the Swedish elite without triggering suspicion. Who better than the “all beauty, no brains” Scandinavian starlet? Fluent in three languages and possessing a brilliant memory, Amelie loathes being labeled witless but uses the misconception as her disguise. She’s tasked with searching for the crucial files, but Finn Ristaffason keeps getting in her way. Is the charming shipping magnate after the missing research? Or does he have other reasons for showing up at her every turn?

With the Gestapo on her heels, Amelie must rely on her smarts in addition to her acting skills to survive a world of deadly spies and counterspies.


My Thoughts:

The Starlet Spy by Rachel Scott McDaniel views World War II spy operative working in Sweden who happens to be a Hollywood starlet. The story opens with a view of Amelie Blake working on her latest movie. Then readers are taken for a ride as they will view who she actually is and then have her return home to Sweden to try to capture a traitor to the American people. There is plenty of action and hunting for clues throughout the story. Even moments where Amelie has to use her acting skills in order to infiltrate the enemy lines. A nice scene with a pool table. As for the characters, Amelie and Finn, Amelie was definitely more relatable and defined. Readers will empathize with her plight to come up from the ashes to make a name for herself. Whereas, on the other hand, Finn comes from a lot of money, and he does not really change for the better or worse throughout the story. Romance blossoms between the two, but personally, I did not buy it. It seemed to be there as a plot device. Not any swooning or real sparks flying. Overall, The Starlet Spy by Rachel Scott McDaniel promised what would be a glorious novel with a Hollywood Starlet during World War II. It was a nicely handled intriguing novel.

I received a complimentary copy of The Starlet Spy by Rachel Scott McDaniel from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Starlet Spy 

About the Author

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. Rachel can be found online at and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.







More from Rachel

Setting The Starlet Spy in Sweden

Hej! If you’ve ever been to Ikea, then you know that’s the Swedish greeting for Hello! Prior to writing The Starlet Spy, my knowledge of the Swedish culture was limited. It seemed I wasn’t alone. Early last year, I held a poll on my social media asking if anyone had ever read a book set in Sweden. A sweeping majority said no.

Since all of my previous books are set in the United States, this is my first novel with an international setting. So I immersed myself into research. I read books about the country, watched videos, followed Swedish Instagrammers to learn more about the language. And let me tell you, I totally fell in love with this Scandinavian world. It is now on my bucket list to visit because it’s just that gorgeous. I wrote The Starlet Spy with a romantic adventure vibe. I wanted to take the reader on a tour of this amazing country, from the classically beautiful Stockholm, to the quaint fishermen city of Malmo, to the ancient streets of Sigtuna—one of Sweden’s oldest villages—to the brilliant Northern Lights in the Lapland region.

Not only did I want to paint the scene of these various places, but I also wanted to introduce the Swedish culture. Tucked within the pages of The Starlet Spy, the reader will find traces of Scandinavian folklore and legends, which was super fun to explore. But to be honest, my favorite inclusion of Swedish culture was incorporating a traditional dance—the Hambo! It’s such an interesting and unique dance, and I may have been trying to coax my husband into trying it with me for an Instagram Reel, but so far, no such luck! Though I have no problem getting him to enjoy Fika with me. Fika, my friends, is a coffee break, or simply coffee. Just as the British favor their tea, the Swedes are adamant about their fika. So I can most definitely relate.

If all this intrigues you, I welcome you to read The Starlet Spy. It’s set in 1943, which was a pivotal time for Sweden during World War II. If you’ve read my previous stories, you know how much I love to weave as much true history into the chapters. This book has by far the most!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 29

lakesidelivingsite, August 29

Lily’s Book Reviews, August 30

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 30

Melissa’s Bookshelf, August 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 31

Back Porch Reads, September 1

annette_reads_daily, September 1

Texas Book-aholic, September 2

Cathe Swanson, September 2

Book Looks by Lisa, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 3

Christina’s Corner, September 3

Connie’s History Classroom, September 4

Kristina Hall, September 4

The Book Club Network, September 5

Pause for Tales, September 5

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, September 5

Cover Lover Book Review, September 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 6

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 7 (Author Interview)

The Book Nook, September 7

Betti Mace, September 8

Labor Not in Vain, September 8

Just Your Average reviews, September 8

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, September 9

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, September 9

Blogging With Carol, September 10

For Him and My Family, September 10

Holly’s Book Corner, September 11

Lights in a Dark World, September 11

Books I’ve Read, September 11


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a print 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, August 28, 2023

Mollie Rushmeyer: The Lost Manuscript

By Kelly Bridgewater

In the vein of The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, a priceless manuscript could be one woman’s key to finding her missing grandmother—and to her own second chance.

It’s not just Ellora Lockwood’s home that’s being emptied as she prepares to sell—her heart seems to be empty too. Since the mysterious disappearance of her beloved Grandma June and separating from her husband, Alex, Ellora has felt adrift. Then comes an invitation from Alex to teach history at a summer program at Alnwick Castle in England. He’s even found information about the location of a medieval manuscript that was her grandmother’s obsession before she vanished.

Warily, Ellora accepts Alex’s offer. Surrounded by lush English countryside and captivating history, she pieces together clues about the manuscript’s whereabouts—and uncovers new questions. Could someone have been sabotaging her grandmother’s work? Anonymous threats lead Ellora to suspect she too may be in danger, but as she and Alex work together, she’s finding strength, new purpose and the courage to see this quest through, wherever it may lead…


My Thoughts:

The Lost Manuscript by Mollie Rushmeyer is a contemporary romance lovers dream with a hunt for a hidden manuscript and a lost grandma. From the first chapter, Ellora is hunting for her grandmother, who has been looking for this manuscript her entire life. Right away, readers will be thrown into her world and the struggles that she has had with her soon-to-be ex-husband. As the story progresses, the mystery and the hunt for the manuscript takes center stage and drives the reader on a treasure hunt. However, the left unresolved feelings between Ellora and Alex do come to a head a number of times when they need to work together to solve a clue that grandma left behind. As for the descriptions of the setting, Rushmeyer does a wonderful job at drawing the setting in a way that the readers imagination can take flight and enjoy the passing scenery. The climactic moment near the end of the novel ties up the conflict with grandma and the manuscript. Was it satisfying? Personally, no. Yes, readers will know what happened, but I wanted a little more of a punch to the moment. The creation of Ellora and her pain was woven through the character’s journey. Readers will feel her internal conflict with her marriage and some unresolved issues. However, Alex was not as much as an open book as Ellora. Overall, The Lost Manuscript is a romance with a hunt for a hidden historical item.

I received a complimentary copy of The Lost Manuscript by Mollie Rushmeyer from Love Inspired Trade Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.75 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Lost Manuscript

Friday, August 25, 2023

ACFW Conference

By Kelly Bridgewater

ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference is this week.

It is a blast to go to.

If you read Christian fiction, it is a delight to see all the authors that you enjoy in person.

It is nice to sit at a table and discuss writing with them. It is nice to have them autograph your treasured novels.

Every day, we worship as a unit. It is a nice feeling to see all these Christian writers thanking and praising God for the gift that he gave us to use for his glory.

There is even a prayer chapel around with a number of authors who are more than willing to pray with you.

I enjoy the classes. Learning from authors who have accomplished what I want to accomplish.

Spending time with friends that I only see at this conference.

I have not been since September 2016. Covid has ruined that for 2019 – 2021, so no one went, but it is nice to maybe go again.


How about you? Ever been to a writing conference? What was your favorite part? 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Jennifer L. Wright: The Girl from the Papers

 By Kelly Bridgewater

 Inspired by one of America’s most notorious couples, Bonnie and Clyde, Jennifer L. Wright delivers a riveting tale set during the public enemy era of the Great Depression.

Beatrice Carraway has dreams. Although she’s aged out of the childhood pageant circuit, she’s intent on carrying her talents all the way to the big screen―if only she can escape the poverty of West Dallas first. But as the Great Depression drags the working class further and further under, Beatrice struggles just to keep herself, her mother, and her younger sister afloat. After a string of failed auditions, she feels defeated.

And then in walks Jack Turner. Though Beatrice is determined to pull herself up by her bootstraps, Jack has decided on a different path out of the gutters. It isn’t long before Beatrice is swept into an exciting and glamorous life of crime beside the man she loves. Keeping one step ahead of the law, she sees her dreams of fame come true when her name and picture are plastered in newspapers across the country. Yet as their infamy grows, the distance between them widens. While Jack begins seeking bigger payouts and publicity, Beatrice starts to long for a safe, quiet life and something deeper to fill the emptiness in her soul. But when the danger of Jack’s schemes ratchets up, Beatrice fears her dreams―and her future―will end up going down in a hail of bullets.


My Thoughts:

The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright is a Bonnie and Clyde retelling. One of my favorite aspects was the internal dialogue of the main heroine. She wonders if she is ever good enough to be loved. I can completely relate. But through the help of Allie who shows her who God is and how much he loves her just the way that she is, the heroine begins to understand that God will love her no matter what she has done or will do. The plot moves at a fast pace and will hold the imagination of the readers. Wright does a wonderful job at showing why the heroine stayed with Jack even as he kept doing the horrible things that he did. Made it more easy to empathize with her plight. Their romance is more of a need to fill the hole in the heroine's heart. The setting and descriptions were nicely explained and shown to the readers. The synopsis made me want to read the story, but Wright's take at the heart issue really kept me glued to the active storyline. Overall, The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright moves the heart, but shows a delightful story while doing it. I recommend this story.

I received a complimentary copy of The Girl from the Papers by Jennifer L. Wright from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Girl from the Papers

Friday, August 18, 2023

Most Anticipated Historical Romance for Fall 2023

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Here are my Most Anticipated Historical Romance books that will be released from now until December 31, 2023. (All covers come from Goodreads.)

The Wings of  Poppy Pendelton by Melanie Dobson

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky

Against the Wind by Amanda Cabot

Children of the Shadows by Erica Vetsch

The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt

To Spark a Match by Jen Turano

The Juliet Code by Pepper Basham

A Winter by  the Sea by Julie Klassen

What about you? Any other suggestions of novels that I should read?