Tuesday, November 29, 2016


  Fatal Frost (Defenders of Justice Book #1) by [Mehl, Nancy]


Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.
When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety. 
Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?     AMAZON  4.5 STARS

I really liked it.  Intense with lots of action, and some tight friendships.  Mercy and  Tally, her childhood friend, who also was in law enforcement was just one of those family like friendships.  Mercy was one tough, determined woman, who had her walls up when it came to letting other people in close to her.  The last time her friend Tally knew she had cried was when she was 10 years old.  He knew why, but he worried about her.  He was the closest person to her but even their friendship had limits and he knew when not to push.   Mercy might have been walled up but emotions did flow in the story, because of the struggles that Mercy, Tally, and Mark went through.  They were fighting some clever, evil people who had snaked their way into positions of power even in deeper than anyone knew yet.  You want twists and turns?  This story has it.  I had my suspicions about one person, I'm not going to say why or who because that would spoil it for others.   But when Mercy was getting ready to share some vital information where he was present, I was going, "don't do it, don't do it." Well, she did.  And when the man showed his true colors, I went, "No.  I knew it."  I might even have said that out loud.
As you can see, I did get pulled into the story and cared about the 3 main characters.  I kept thinking, "please don't kill off Tally."  You'll have to read the story to find out if he makes it out alive or not.
Mark was also a great character to get to know,  and to see his interactions with Mercy and Tally.  I really liked him.  He was smart, good at his job and he had a caring heart.

I felt that the elements of belief in God was done beautifully.  And even if a non-Christian were to read the book, they wouldn't feel like God was being crammed down their throat in a poorly written book.  Don't misunderstand, God is a part of the story but the story also shows the struggle for some whether to believe or not.  How can  say that it gives glory to God without taking over the whole story?  I guess, I just did.
I ended up feeling like this was a really well written story and I enjoyed it.
By the way, the tribute poem by  Shaen Layle in the front of the book almost brought tears to my eyes.  It's called, "TO MY SON, THE OFFICER".  Wow, just wow.

I was given a copy of this book via Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Steve Shultz: 'I Saw Angels At Almost the 'Speed of Light!' You Must Pray Them Through For Yourself and For Our Nation!'

Steve Shultz: 'I Saw Angels At Almost the 'Speed of Light!' You Must Pray Them Through For Yourself and For Our Nation!'

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lana Vawser: 'Fear is Screaming But the Lord is Declaring: You Have Met the Divine Frontier! The Next 21 Days You Will See Heavenly Glimpses Into this New Land!'

Lana Vawser: 'Fear is Screaming But the Lord is Declaring: You Have Met the Divine Frontier! The Next 21 Days You Will See Heavenly Glimpses Into this New Land!'

Journey with the Holy Spirit - Jenn Johnson

Bethel Music Moment: Find Me - Jenn Johnson


Crisis of Identity by [Moncrief, Denise] 
Tess Copeland is an operator. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good a con. When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.
Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?   AMAZON  4.5 STARS

It starts out fast, and I never knew what was going to happen next. It was quite an unusual start to the book, I liked that.  To say that Tess Copeland was a con woman was a gross understatement.   She was a primo con artist; she could tell a lie as fast as she could draw breath in a hyperventilating state.  I laughed, and I groaned through some of the situations she was put in.  People tended to drop dead around her and USUALLY it's not her fault.  You could feel the tension of her always having to look over her shoulder for any new or old trouble.  She lived on a constant state of alertness.  She'll do what she has to to survive. This girl had grit. If you don't like sarcasm in women,  don't read this book.  I think Sarcasm might have been her middle name.   Still, I couldn't help but like her, she was funny, even with all the decks stacked against her.   The action between Tess, Trevor and Jake was so changeable. When it came to the two men, I was wondering just how trustworthy they were and what their true motives were.
I did like the style of the author, she did a pretty good and often fun way of putting things. For me, it added a picture being drawn with her words.  Let me give just one example.    "Jake's hands clenched the steering wheel as if I'd pulled that revelation from his heart with a pair of needle nosed pliers."  See what I mean?  I enjoyed those moments.  I was also amazed with what Tess got away with, she wasn't going down without a fight.  Her mouth was only one of her weapons, but a very effective one.  The end of this book had a few surprises to it, I can't say that it was totally predictable because the author kept me off balance through most of it.  In a good way.
 I think this book could be read as a stand-alone but it doesn't have to because there is a  quick look into the next book, "Crisis of Serenity" included at the end of this book.

I was given this book as a gift and this is my opinion of it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- THE PROPOSAL (#1-Survivor's Club)

The Proposal (Survivor's Club Book 1) by [Balogh, Mary]
Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her. Hugo is a gentleman in name only: a war hero whose bravery earned him a title, a merchant’s son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. Hugo doesn’t wish to court Gwen, yet he cannot resist her guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face. He wants her, but will she have him? The dour ex-military officer who so gallantly carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, Hugo captivates her more—with his desire, with his love, and with the promise of forever.   AMAZON  4 STARS

I did it again.  I read the Book 1 of a Series, last.  I thought that I had already read it but when I re-checked realized I hadn't.  It was a good story and still easy to read all on its own.  I liked both of the main characters even though you could see right off the bat how different their lives were.  Gwen comes from the upper crust of society although she is likable and caring about others.  She is a lady, and first impressions between Hugo and Gwen weren't necessarily all that good.  It was funny how the other Survivor's in the club had teased him about going down to the beach and that would be a way to meet a woman to marry.  Well, he does meet Gwen but like I said they didn't instantly fall in love, or even instant like either.  Over a period of time, they have some unorthodox conversations and some pretty funny ones at times too.  The word, "morose" was used often when it came to Hugo but Gwen was beginning to see the real man under that mask.  He glowered a lot, had the look of a fierce warrior. He was blunt, direct and often not very flattering but then he's a man meant to lead, commanding in his ways.   He is a man who likes to work in business and to also use his hands in what is considered menial work.  As the reader gets to know Hugo, it is easy to get pulled into his emotions and want to see him get a woman to love, namely Gwen.  There are times that he is so painfully inept when it comes to what he feels.   Gwen has been through some heartbreak of her own though she doesn't often let that show.  Hugo gets under her guard though and she begins to share some of those truths with him.  She's not quite the spoiled, empty headed socialite that he thought she was. 

There are secondary people in the story that I also enjoyed.  Constance, Hugo's sister is one of them and has a bit of a mini-story in this book too.  Hugo's stepmother, Fiona was a surprise and it was interesting to watch things change for her too.  The Survivor Club's members do show up in some of the story as well.  On a smaller scale, they do add to the story.  It's more like an introduction to them because of course this is Book 1.  Gwen's family was charming and real as well.  Her brother Neville and sister-in-law Lily had a mini-story as well.   
By the way, I had never heard of "A Forlorn Hope", as a military maneuver before.   I did learn what it was and how Hugo had gone through it, leading it in fact.  He WAS the front-line.  
Gwen's "friend" Vera, was something else.  You know the saying, "with friends like that who needs enemies."   She was a social climber, with a big mouth and was unpleasant to be around. There are several other unpleasant people in the story because of course, that is life. There will be several scenes of sexual intimacies and an unexpected twist or two towards the end. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

BOOK REVIEW- ONLY BELOVED (#7-The Survivor's Club)

Only Beloved (A Survivors' Club Novel) by [Balogh, Mary]
From the legendary New York Times bestselling author ofOnly a Kiss and Only a Promise comes the final book in the rapturous Survivor’s Club series—as the future of one man lies within the heart of a lost but never-forgotten love...

For the first time since the death of his wife, the Duke of Stanbrook is considering remarrying and finally embracing happiness for himself. With that thought comes the treasured image of a woman he met briefly a year ago and never saw again. 
Dora Debbins relinquished all hope to marry when a family scandal left her in charge of her younger sister. Earning a modest living as a music teacher, she’s left with only an unfulfilled dream. Then one afternoon, an unexpected visitor makes it come true.
For both George and Dora that brief first encounter was as fleeting as it was unforgettable. Now is the time for a second chance. And while even true love comes with a risk, who are two dreamers to argue with destiny?   AMAZON 3.5 STARS

I had mixed feelings on this one.  It starts out slow although it was often sweet and charming.
For most it the story remained the same.  Part of the slower pace had to do with George and Dora getting to know each other. I did like both of the main characters.  George was kind and quite the listener, often drawing a person's story from them almost before they realize it.  He found so much of his happiness from giving to others but Dora sensed a deep well of pain and loneliness in him.
He held so much of his painful past to himself and shared very little of it even with the other Survivors who he loved so much.  Things keep moving along until "Bam" some twists, turns and revelations show up.  That was well done.  George's enemy wanted vengeance and he waited for a long time to try to get it. The sense of family, both by blood and circumstances was so easy to feel.  There are some reconciliations that are formed and the completion of each of the Survivor's stories are all neatly and happily tied up.  It ends on a high note.

One thing that I did notice in this book was that there were a few times where there were run-on sentences.  More, like a small paragraph before a period appeared. It was a bit distracting and I do remember it happening in at least one other of this author's books.  I'm not a super stickler about this kind of thing because I'm pretty sure I've sometimes done it myself.  However, a small paragraph?

OK, after saying that, let me share one of my favorite moments.  It's when George asked Dora, "Did I wake you?"  And Dora said, " It was your absence that woke me."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The Captive Heart by [Griep, Michelle]
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.    AMAZON  5 STARS

Love this story; it's a keeper.  I wasn't sure that was going to be the case when it first started out.  It started out in a somewhat harsh and dramatic way.   Intense, sometimes dark and the action just kept coming.   I had to give Eleanor a lot of credit.  She was often shaking in her shoes but she kept trying and trying.  She felt that she just kept failing over and over.  She had such a hard, unloved life prior to this adventure.   Something  Eleanor and Samuel had in common; although they didn't know it yet.  Eleanor's father was a selfish, uncaring man who made her life hell before kicking her out. At least Samuel had experienced some love and happiness for a short amount of time in his life.  But that has been a long time going and the hits have just been coming against him right and left.  He has an enemy, who wants to erase him from the earth and take everything he loves.  This villain is greedy, sneaky, evil and quite mad in his quest.  Samuel never knew exactly when or how he would strike next and as the reader, neither did I.  Made for great tension and glancing over your shoulder moments.  That's not to say that there weren't any other really good people who played into the story.  Inoli, Samuel's best friend was one of the really great people in the story.  So was Samuel's daughter Grace, a whirlwind of action and sunshine, most of the time.  I wish I could add more to tell you how great this story is but I don't want to ruin it for readers who will be reading this book.  This story just had so much richness to it, emotional at times, and times that one or the other or both were fighting for their lives.  
Please don't let it hold you back because God is mentioned and leaned on in this book.  It's a darn good story. 
Hang on for a rough ride before Eleanor and Samuel get their HEA. 

In moments of crisis Eleanor leans on her short prayer: My precious Lord; My only hope; My Saviour, how I need you."  It's a heartfelt cry and became a favorite of mine as I read the story.

At the end of the book is a Glossary of some of the Indian words used in the story.  I liked that and it was helpful.  A couple of Historical notes added depth to the story too.  6 questions were also added at the end of the book.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 21, 2016

What would a life of fullness with God look like?- G. Cooke

What would a life of fullness with God actually look like?
How would our daily experience be different if we received God’s love to the same degree that He is loving us?
What would occur if we actually identified more the Prince of Peace than with the identity of the anxious world around us?
How would our language change?  What would we be thinking?  Who would we be thinking most about?

Instead of just hearing about what God is like and how we should live the Christian life, it’s time to encounter the enormity of what life in Christ offers us.  It’s time to exchange a basic experience of Jesus for a glorious one.

Today, let’s meditate on this “letter from God.” Hear it as Him speaking over you about this fullness & abundance of life in Him!
Now you are alive in Christ and He in you. It is time for you to have the same relationship with Me as He does!  Anything less than that is not the Gospel that He died to give you. The glad tidings of great joy means that great joy must be a key part of our relationship.
I want your peace to be as huge as Mine.  I want your rest to be as dominant as Mine.  I desire that the enormous depths of love that I have for My son should become your lifestyle in Him.  I have set My heart on you encountering the laughter of heaven as your earthly normal.
As a new creation, I want you to have all the experiences with Me that Jesus was dying to give you!
Because you have been raised to newness of life, all Our (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) focus with you becomes the new man.  We will only deal with the real you in Christ.  That is so exciting for Me!
New things are coming to you and they all originate in Me. Your freedom is My passion. Your upgrade is My delight.
I hope that listening to this letter awakens something deep within you to not be satisfied with life as usual, but to press in for a greater experience & partnership with Him.

BOOK REVIEW- ONLY A KISS-(#6 The Survivor's Club)

Only a Kiss: A Survivors' Club Novel by [Balogh, Mary]
The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over....

Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.

Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.

Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?  AMAZON 4 STARS

I felt like this story was a 3.5 Stars but worked its way up to 4 Stars as time went on.  I warmed up to it more as it went on.
I liked both of the main characters.  Percy had the gift of  absurdity, laughter and joy.  He was loved by everyone.  His own definition was that he had charm that oozed out of his pores.  He had been an extremely intelligent young man but then for 10 years wasted his talents in rowdy behavior.  He was always gracious to other people and especially kind to women.  He liked them and he had many an affair but none had grabbed a hold of his attention for long.  However, when he met Imogene, the Marble Lady, every courtesy flew right out of the window.  He found that he had comments coming out of his mouth that he never intended to actually say.  And some of them were rude, personal and often things you just didn't say to a lady.
Their very first meeting is a perfect example of that.
Imogene had been through so much and was suffering from survivors guilt.  She had crushed all feeling behind a very cool facade.  It reminded me of another survivor in their club, Ralph.  It was really nice to re-connect with all of the other survivors in the club and their wives.  I've enjoyed this series a lot.   Percy's family and friends were a delight as well.  They helped provide even more smiles as did the unlikely lot of animals that Percy found running free in his estate.  Hector was of special interest and provided more smiles to the story.
There are a few unexpected twists in the story, some long held mysteries get exposed and we also find out that Percy is not fun and games.  He takes a stand and causes some major changes.  It was good to see.  There were emotional times for Imogene when she begins to unfreeze from her self imposed prison. There is one particular scene that even brought a few tears to my eyes.
Don't worry though Imogene and Percy do get their HEA.

The author added a preview of another book in the series.  "Only Beloved."  Whew, she really knows how to grab your interest.  She leaves it at an interesting point, and in an interesting way.  So, yes I am reading that one now.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


One secretive nerd. One irreverent playboy. One Christmas party that changes everything.
I'm Mia, and I dream about publishing a book on medieval Paris. Except... I'm better qualified for writing a manual on how to ruin your life in three easy steps.

My sister Eva carries a torch for the wrong man. Here's the gist of my sermons to her: "Drooling over your hunky astronaut boss is a loser's trek to Calamity with three stops along the way: Heartbreak, Job Loss, and Spinsterhood."
The thing is, I'm in a terrible--you could even say impossible--position to lecture Eva.
I'm attracted to my own boss.
Raphael d'Arcy is funny, smart, and uber-rich. He's also smoking hot. That alone should have scared me away, were I not such a dolt, my academic achievements notwithstanding.
But there's more.
Raphael is France's most notorious playboy who doesn't do relationships. He does one-night stands. If sufficiently intrigued, he might do a fling. Which is the most I could ever hope to have with him--a short-lived fling.
So what, right? It's not the end of the world.
But consider this: Getting my heart broken by Raphael d'Arcy is the least of my worries. Some very serious merde has been piling up in my life lately.
And it's about to hit the fan.   AMAZON  3.5 STARS

I had mixed feelings on this one.  And I like much of what this author writes. When I first started reading, I had to push to keep reading.  I had a hard time connecting with it.  I did like quirky Mia, she was definitely a character all on her own.  It was harder to get to know all that much about Raphael other than his womanizing reputation with women.  And some of the funny, and the sometimes thoughtful times he had with Mia.  I couldn't get a real read on what he really felt about being with her other than a ton of sex.  Which there was plenty of that.   Someone close to Raphael shares something that shed some light on Raphael.  *Keep an eye on his actions and not so much on his words*  Hope that doesn't spoil anything for other readers. He does tend to be a man of fewer meaningful words most of the time. They did have humor on their side though.  I am glad that I pushed though, because about half way through I began to enjoy it more   and it began to have a few more surprises in store.  And other interesting people added to the story. 
By the way, something I found amusing was how long Raphael's real official name is.

I received a free copy of this book and this is my honest opinion of it.  

BOOK REVIEW- ONLY A PROMISE(#5The Survivors' Club)

Only a Promise: A Survivors' Club Novel (Survivor's Club) by [Balogh, Mary]
The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, for one of them, striking a most unusual bargain will change his life forever.… 

Ralph Stockwood prides himself on being a leader, but when he convinced his friends to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, he never envisioned being the sole survivor. Racked with guilt over their deaths, Ralph must move on...and find a wife so as to secure an heir to his family’s title and fortune.

Since her Seasons in London ended in disaster, Chloe Muirhead is resigned to spinsterhood. Driven by the need to escape her family, she takes refuge at the home of her mother’s godmother, where she meets Ralph. He needs a wife. She wants a husband. So Chloe makes an outrageous suggestion: Strike a bargain and get married. One condition: Ralph has to promise that he will never take her back to London. But circumstances change. And to Ralph, it was only a promise.  AMAZON 4 STAR

A really good story with an interesting, different, plot.  I've read several of the stories in the Survivor's Club Series and this one didn't disappoint.   I liked both of the M.C.'s, they each approached life differently.  The book blurb only gives a hint of how turbulent things are about to get.  Each day is a struggle for Ralph, he's fighting to put one foot in front of the other.  He has crushed every emotion that he can, hiding behind a blank mask.   The only people who see behind that mask are the other Survivor's Club members.  These are the ones who know and have been there for each other when it comes to recovering from what they have been through in the war.  The emotions get pretty intense at times.  
Chloe had been through some tough Seasons in society and through no fault of her own has been humiliated and ostracized.  She considers herself ineligible for marriage because of rumor and slander.  She ran after the third time and wants nothing to do with the ton.  But now, she's through running when she sees an opportunity and she runs with IT.   The bargain is a pretty cold one and even after they marry, it stays that way for quite a while.  Both of them get what they want, kind of. 
Chloe is not quite the timid, little mouse that she appears to be but she does know how to fade into the background when she needs to.  At other times she shows a strength that maybe even she didn't know she had.   Ralph begins to see that Chloe, even when terrified had changed her ways.  She would stiffen her back, lift her chin and march right through whatever it was. Even while Ralph begins to admire her for that, he also resents that about her too.  She stirs up feelings, makes him want to run and just be left alone.   None of that is a good thing for a marriage of course and causes all kind of problems for them.  He runs hot and cold with Chloe. 
The other people in the story were good ones and added to the story.  
It's a long, hard fight to a HEA for Ralph and Chloe but they will get there.  In the end.  

There is a really good excerpt from another book in the Series, "Only A Kiss". And it's a good one, it really had a good hook and made me want to read it. I was happy it was next on my list of "To Be Read" books. I'll get to you on that one. And it involves the only woman in the group, Imogen Hayes. Now, there is someone who I wondered what her story was, for some time.

Unspoken - Christmas Everyday

Friday, November 18, 2016


It’s easy to fall prey to a life of circumstances, challenges, and obstacles that are sub-par to the place of fullness that God has for us.
I understand that life can be hard, but no hardship can outmatch the magnificence and majesty of God. He has already given us the upgrade and the answer.

We just have to know what to focus on!

Every time we encounter a difficult situation we have a choice:
    1. Will I get stuck?
    2. Or will I embrace this situation as an opportunity for growth, maturity and transformation?
I know where God gets excited! He wants our life circumstances to grow us. He desires more of Jesus revealed in us, because He is intentional about us maturing into His image. He is passionately committed to our freedom increasing. And He is brilliant at partnering with us in this process.
He has already determined how He is going to see our difficulties in life, and He is eager for us to experience Jesus in these circumstances. Through relationship with Him, we gain keys to an upgraded life of fullness and abundance.

This is the lifestyle He has made available to us!

Today, try meditate on these words from God. Perhaps your perspective might change. You may even find the key to your current challenge!
Beloved, your life is not how you find it. It is how I make it.
I know every pitfall, every difficulty that you will face in the course of your growing up in Me into a place of authority, fullness, maturity, and favor.
The answer to everything is always going to be found in the Person of My Beloved Son. There is no other name or way to be saved outside of Him.
There is no other discipling process in the way of salvation than by the incomparable Holy Spirit who is your Helper, Trainer, and Comforter. No one is more imaginative than your Heavenly Father at creating opportunities for growth and transformation.
Is anything too hard for Me? Is there any situation where I cannot be magnificent towards you? I know how to deal with every eventuality. In truth, you’re hurdles are not much of a challenge to the power of My loving-kindness, goodness, joy, and patience.
Jesus has already given us the answer and the breakthrough.
I hope you find your upgrade in Him today!   Graham Cooke

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Time is flying (eye) Picture

Time is flying...

35 Characteristics of Safe People

35 Characteristics of Safe People: List of behaviors that helps you identify if someone that is likely to be a good partner or spouse.



Colorado Dream (The Front Range Series Book 4) by [Whitman, Charlene]
In New York in 1877, Angela Bellini longs to become a concert violinist and get away from her abusive father. When her dream takes her to Greeley, Colorado, to purchase a violin from a master instrument maker, she learns she must wait three weeks until her violin is ready before she can head home.
Angela is determined not to let anything or anyone waylay her dream, but when she meets rough-and-tumble cowboy Brett Hendricks, her heart is torn. He is her opposite in every way—uncouth, cocky, and reckless. But she is hopelessly drawn to him, like a moth to flame.
Brett Hendricks is on the run—not just from an angry rancher who is tracking him down for shooting his son but from a dark and troubled past plaguing him with guilt and shame. A wild, untamable cowboy, Brett can break any horse with a soft touch and soothing word, but nothing in the world can bring him peace. He fears he will never stop running, never see his dreams of ranching realized.
But then, one evening, he hears sweet violin music that seeps deep into his soul--music that floods him with peace. He falls hard for Angela but knows she plans to leave Colorado. All his attempts to win her heart fail disastrously, and though he buries himself in the cattle roundup, when he helps thwart a rustling outfit, his enemies multiply.
Somehow he must find a way to gain Angela's heart and trust. And somehow Angela must break past her distrust of men to discover the love awaiting her with open arms.  AMAZON

Well written, with plenty of action and emotional times in it. I really liked it.   Both Brett and  Angela had come from some tough times.  While it happened  differently for each, they both did have mean fathers in common. No only mean but violent, dangerous ones. Those men sure caused plenty of damage to their children and wives.   There are lingering, harmful effects from it on both the main characters.  Something that they will have to fight their way through in the whole book.  Angela is running towards her dream and Brett is running FROM his past.  I really liked the both of them and it was easy to be drawn into their "drama".  A few times it felt like it dragged a bit because of the emotions that they were going through.  But it usually picked back up after because there really was a fair amount of things going on.  There was also plenty of other likable people in the story too, they added without distracting. They made for a very warm community with very likable people.
Imagine my surprise when I was reading about 3 of those other people (in a family) and I thought, "wait a minute, this sounds familiar.  I think I might have read their story before"  LeRoy Banks,  his wife Gennie, and his mom, Sarah Banks are the people I am talking about.  When there was a quick mention of their "history", I just had to check it out.  Yes,I had read it and liked it.  It was really great to see them in this story because they did add a lot to the story.  Sarah Banks all on her own was quite the interesting, mysterious person.  This is where I read about them first, just in case you are interested:
Wild Secret, Wild Longing: A Sweet Historical Western Romance Novella (The Front Range Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

This book does come to a very satisfying ending and towards the end the reader gets to see where the idea of the title comes from.  I like that. 
I really enjoyed the Author's Note at the end, it was very enlightening!

"I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review."

Break Every Chain by Jesus Culture Lyrics

Thy Will (Hillary Scott) - Lyrics

Wow, this one is different!
But wow.  A good one!

Kim Walker-Smith - I Exalt Thee

One of many ..of my Favorite songs.
Beautifully done!

Kim Walker Smith - Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here

An Atmosphere changer song
both Inside you and Around you..

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why we must ignore our old man-Graham Cooke

Are you really living in EVERYTHING that God intended when He put you in Christ?
What does it actually mean to be ALIVE in Christ?
Often, I see people, who deeply love God, living in conflict within themselves because they are still battling their old nature.

The Lord never says to work on the old. He said to ignore it.

“Even so consider yourself dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11).
Since he has completely taken away the old, there is nothing to even focus on. He is only working on the new. And this must become our focus too!

You have permission to stop re-killing the old man. By practicing the new, the old remains dead.7

If interested, meditate on this “letter from God.” Listen to His heart to bring you into a life of freedom and partnership with Him. I promise, the “consequences” for you will be life-changing.
Beloved, to be alive in Me means fully engaging with Christ in you.
His power is then directed towards you in all your situations. He gives you the stance in your circumstance that enables you to rise up and walk in Him. You learn the best about your new man as you pursue Jesus.
You can only remain a prisoner because you are ignorant of your freedoms.9
But the Holy Spirit is the God of discovery, resident within you. He guides you into all truth on this journey. He takes what belongs to Jesus and makes it real to you. He is your internal Spirit of wisdom and revelation.3
Expectancy is all I expect from you. All you have to do is ask Me in line with Christ for the next piece of your provision. Seek the fullness of inner truth in Christ, be curious and expectant of what We will be and do for you. Knock on the Door that is always open. You are welcome. Come in and get what you most need.
Your identity is the key to transformation. You don’t become a new person by changing your behavior. You discover the person you already are in Christ and act accordingly.24 That is what it means to be alive in Me. You cannot see My glory through the eyes of the old man.
We are full of joyous hope for you. If you need a miracle it is because one is available. All of your life circumstances will now point you to the new man and Our Presence in you creating that place of joyful faith and loving trust.
Enter into the joyful relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are most welcome!
I hope these words awaken a new reality for your life: your old nature is dead, and you are now alive in Christ! I pray this becomes a fact of life for all us.
PS. This “letter from God” is from my new book, The Nature of Freedom. Written as letters from God, I hope this book brings you into a place of intimacy and freedom. Order your copy here.


Best of My Love (Fool's Gold Book 22) by [Mallery, Susan]
To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool's Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her?
Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he's inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby's boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect.
As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool's Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they're just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!   AMAZON  3 STARS

I'm still a fan of Fool's Gold and its interesting people. It was nice to re-visit.  But this one just didn't spark for me, not my cup of tea this time.  Even though I liked the main characters and it was charming in its own way, I am giving it just "okay" on Amazon. The growth that we get to see with  Shelby and Aidan was  somewhat of a plus.  And while the addition of Charlie, the dog helped and made me smile, my opinion remains the same.  I think it comes down to personal taste.  I've noticed for me at least that I seem to either REALLY like a story in this series or its just okay.  That's kind of odd to me but at least I haven't run across any that I hated. (Fingers crossed.)

Monday, November 14, 2016


Live By The Team (Team Fear Book 1) by [Skaggs, Cindy]
SSgt. Ryder was born, bred, and enhanced as a warrior, but when he returns home to his new wife--exiled from the Army along with the rest of his disgraced team--he faces mounting anger and paranoia. Something shady followed Ryder back from the desert, and he disappears to protect his wife, but his departure leaves a vacuum filled with intrigue. 
Lauren Ryder married thinking she had finally found stability, until her new husband disappeared. In six months, she's lost everything that mattered, and now a madman has her in his sights. Ryder's return lands her in deeper danger from a formidable enemy.As the threats escalate, so does the heat, but even if Ryder can save Lauren from the forces mounting against them, will they survive what he has become?  AMAZON a solid 4.5 STARS

Lots of action and tension throughout the book.  The first chapter starts out on that note, easily setting the tone.   It's intense, but you need to know that this is an adult story with violence and there will be martial sex.
 Now having said that, you also have to know it was a well written story with quite an unexpected twist or two.  Especially towards the last quarter of the book.  One I suspected and a couple I never saw coming!  Well done author, I like that!   I have to admit this book had me on the edge of my seat more than one time.  
I think that Ryder  did the best job of describing who Lauren was.
" Lauren's personality matched her big heart and her boundless energy."
Do I think this story has a cliffhanger?  Not sure because much of the story was concluded.  
But the baddies didn't all get rounded up; they are still out there.  So, the adventures continue.  But you can stop right here if you want and probably be satisfied with Lauren and Ryder trying to overcome so much. That part does come to a satisfactory end, to my way of thinking.  But more adventure is open to you IF you want to continue.  

 I just took a moment and checked on future stories.   And it looks like what I suspected was brewing between Rose (another Team member) and Debi (Laura's BFF) earned them their own story in, "Fight by the Team".  Debi was a really good friend to Lauren  and I couldn't help but like her as they had each others back in this book.  Debi had a bit of a mean streak in the ways she showed her disapproval about certain things.  Not hateful but she does get her point across and it did make me smile.  She was definitely creative.  I'm thinking about getting this next book.  

“I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review”.

Right-handed Speed Knitting Technique

Knitting How to Tension the Yarn for Continental Knitting

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cross Eyes Stitch - Crochet Tutorial


Eviternity: An Arash Novel by [Stevens, Elke]
Beautiful Ruth’s life as she knows it is gone. Having lost everything that truly matters to her, Ruth decides to leave London and heads for New York. Craving a normal human life, she stumbles upon the weird family of illustrious art dealer James Huntington-Brown and soon gets involved in a horrifying string of murders. Suddenly everyone is under suspicion, above all Ruth herself. No one is safe, neither humans nor Arash, when the killer strikes again.    AMAZON  3 STARS

It's a good story although a bit strange too.  I had a bit of trouble getting into it, it took a while.  And I'm not all that sure that I got all the way into it. A lot of the story carried supernatural abilities not known to man.  It causes the imagination to be stretched often.  I know that this is the final book in the series and I haven't read any of the other ones.  Some may think that is the reason I had trouble getting into it.  I don't really think that is it because it seemed to be a book that could stand alone. It took me quite a while to figure out how I felt about Ruth.  Who is she really and is she the good "guy" or not?   I have to agree with several people who thought that the family of James Huntington-Brown was a strange one.   Even though many of the Arash "families" were a strange collection of people, this one just might beat the others for their strangeness.  I know Ruth sure thought so and I have to agree. The characters were good ones but there sure were a lot of people with hidden motives.  And it all comes to a head towards the end of the book.  And it was a surprising conclusion at that.

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cozy Crochet Blanket Pattern

Cozy Crochet Blanket Pattern

Stretching Your Calf Muscles - Kinetic Health

#1 Best Calf Stretch To Relieve Tightness

What if God is Happier with us than we know?- Graham Cooke

Many people live as though God is incredibly impatient—fearing the worst if they were to hear how He felt towards them in their process.
But what if He is not only unbelievably patient, but is actually delighted in you and your process—no matter how long you may take?

His patience is a byproduct of His delight in you.

He is looking at Jesus in you and smiling. He is looking at your new nature! He is patient with you as you explore this new nature in Christ, and continue to realize what you already have in Him.

The key to your growth is exploring His delight in you as a new creation.

When you live from your new nature in Christ, you are living in His delight. He is perfectly pleased with Jesus, and Jesus is in you. Freedom becomes your new norm. You are now able to experience accelerated growth in areas where you have previously felt stuck.
This very process of growth is actually why I wrote my last book. In it, I share a series of “letters from God” allowing us to hear how passionate He is about our freedom.
If interested, meditate on these words today as if He was writing them to you:
Because you have been raised to newness of life, all Our focus with you becomes the new man. We will only deal with the real you in Christ. This is so exciting for Me!
I want you to be free. I want you to experience our delight in you so that you may be delighted in us.
I want your peace to be as huge as Mine. I want your rest to be as dominant as Mine. I desire that the enormous depths of love that I have for My Son should become your lifestyle in Him. I have set My heart on you encountering the laughter of Heaven as your earthly normal. As a new creation I want you to have all the experiences with Me that Jesus was dying to give you!
New things are coming to you and they all originate in Me and come to you through the person of My Son. Your freedom is My passion. Your upgrade is My delight.
May you find yourself today in His delight!
PS) There’s plenty more of these “letters” in The Nature of Freedom. Learn more of download a free chapter of it today!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Slender Reeds: Jochebed's Hope by [Gregory, Texie Susan]
Trapped beneath 400 years of Egypt’s injustices, the Hebrew people await deliverance from generations of Egyptian slavery. But while it is still dark, God is at work. Young Jochebed is unaware the Master Weaver is preparing her to mother three formidable leaders: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife tasked to kill Hebrew male newborns, remembers childhood stories of a merciful God and cannot resist His call on her life.
Two women, each following the dangerous path God has set before them—this is their story 

I find myself pondering exactly how to rate this book.  It's good let me say that right off the bat.  It's not one bit hard to be pulled into it and "feel" the emotions of their times.   But it's also Intense, really intense.  It might not be something that everyone wants to read but the women in the story really stand out.  And not just through just Jochebed, and Shiphrah but through their on and off friend, Lili and Jochebed's mother Elisheba.  Elisheba was like a mother to many and put so much of her love of God into others and put so much of God into everything she did.  She wove the stories of God into the baskets that she made and as she taught others they learned of God this way also.    One of the favorite things that she spoke often to Jochebed and others was, " But while it is still dark, God is at work."   This is so hard for Jochebed to accept when she suffers so much loss, death and darkness.  This is one of the things that might made it hard for some readers, because there was a lot of suffering shown in the book.  Since the book was so well written, I just feel like it deserves 4 STARS on Amazon.  There were other secondary people who were so well added to the story and some have connections that don't see until nearing towards the end of the book.  The story was like a well woven basket.  

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Communion Heals Your Soul - Katie Souza (e89)


Venture capitalist Vlad Snezhinsky excels at two things: making money and being a dad. Still struggling to get over a disastrous marriage, he has zero interest in starting a new relationship. That is, until he meets Klara Lazarev. 
Klara doesn’t have time for romance. She’s too busy forging her own path in life: scrambling to finish her senior thesis, applying to grad school, writing innovative software in her spare time. Besides, she’s been burned before. She refuses to let it happen again—especially with a man who seems to have trouble remembering their first disastrous encounter.
But when a shocking murder throws their world—and their hearts—into chaos, discovering the truth becomes more than a matter of trust… AMAZON  3.5 STARS

I liked the story but it just didn't draw me in as much as I would have liked.  I'm having a hard time putting my finger on exactly what was missing for me.  Maybe it was, the spark between Vlad and Klara, I just wasn't feeling it all that strongly.   Yes, when they had sex, that was easy to see how they related but at other times not so much.  Her sister Anna caused more of a reaction in me.  I wanted to smack her in the head for being so overbearing.  Vlad's hopefully soon to be ex-wife got in her shots with her demands too.  It's good story, with a few surprises.  It's just that I was hoping for more depth I think. 

I received  an Advance Review Copy of  this book and now I am giving my honest opinion of it.  

Monday, November 7, 2016


Love in a Fix: A Contemporary Christian Romance (Modern Conveniences Book 1) by [Atwood, Leah]
Modern Conveniences- a new series featuring contemporary marriages of convenience.

As a widowed, single mom, Lyndsey Allen has a load of financial troubles. Despite her best efforts to stay afloat, she faces foreclosure. With a young son to consider she needs a miracle and quick, but pride won't let her accept money from a longtime friend.

When handyman Shep Patterson promised his best friend that he'd look after Lyndsey should anything happen to him, he never imagined that would include marriage, yet a proposal slips from his mouth. 

Lyndsey accepts his proposal, shocking them both. Will their marriage of convenience hold just as many surprises?    AMAZON   3.5 STARS

This was a good clean story with good main characters.  The only reason I gave it a lower rating is because it was fairly predictable, with what I thought had no real surprises.  I gave it the additional half star because it was charming and I thought the author did a good job with showing the emotions of what the people were going through.  Also there is scripture in this story but its not overloaded with it and it does show some of the lifestyle of people who are really trying to live the Christian way of life.  
So if you want a tamer, clean story that is charming, this is it!