Friday, September 29, 2023

Tribute for Colorado Avalanche

 By Kelly Bridgewater

My favorite sport is Hockey.

My favorite team is the Colorado Avalanche.

As a girl who grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, hockey is not really popular at all.

Basketball and Football.

Yuck! I don’t really count them sports.

During the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, it was the Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panther. Colorado Avalanche was the underdog with their second year as a team. I rooted for them, and they won the Stanley cup.

I have followed them every year since then. I fell I love with this teams strength and endurance. Some of my favorite players have played on this team. My favorite captain: Joe Sakic. Peter Forsberg. My ultimate favorite hockey player, the goalie, #33, Patrick Roy. (I have his jersey!)

Now, we have a team that is doing awesome things too. I have added another hockey jersey to my collection. #29 Center Nathan McKinnon. Love how this team works well together and scores all the time.

What about you? Any favorite teams? Do you watch hockey? Favorite players?

Monday, September 25, 2023

Carrie Turansky: The Legacy of Longdale Manor

 By Kelly Bridgewater

Two women--a century apart--embark on a journey to healing, faith, forgiveness, and romance.

In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. While at Longdale Manor, she meets David Bradford--the owner's handsome grandson--who is desperate to save the crumbling estate by turning it into a luxury hotel. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she's left searching for answers.

In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. She and her family travel to the Lake District to stay on a sheep farm, hoping eventually to find a home with Charlotte's grandfather at Longdale Manor, but old wounds and bitter regrets make it a difficult challenge. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again.


My Thoughts:

The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky features the Lake Country in England. Boy, do I want to travel to London. Turansky does a wonderful job at creating a setting that makes me feel like I am there and feeds my desire to want to visit England even more. With this beautiful setting, Turansky placed two hurting heroines in this serene setting to, hopefully, heal. The plot was original, predictable, yet hauntingly familiar. Turansky has a way of creating such a simple plot and allowing it to flow nicely, inviting the reader to sit and wash away their own struggles. I look forward to Turansky's stories becuase she crafts delightful and unique characters. Her characters, including in this story, jump off the page.While the story does feature Charlotte, an antique historian of artifacts, this thread of the plot appeared to be not that important. I wanted more details of this and how to wrap this up with the Legacy of the Longdale Manor. Charlotte and Gwen both are hurting from their father figures and need to learn to lean own their Heavenly Father. However, the romance between the two time periods was a little unbelievable for me. I wanted more to the romance’s development. Too quick. Not enough of a relationship for me to buy that they were willing to have the happily-ever-after moment together. Overall, The Legacy of Longdale Manor featured hurtful characters who come together to try to find peace and tranquility within the lake country of England. I still enjoy spending time with Turansky's world and story. This story will look beautiful with the rest of her stories on my bookshelf. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Legacy of Longdale Manor by Carrie Turansky from Bethany House Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Purchase The Legacy of Longdale Manor

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?