Book Review: High Caliber Holiday by Susan Sleeman

HCH 2015The third installment of Susan’s First Responders series opens and closes with edge-of-your-seat action. Ex-lawyer Morgan Thornsby is taken hostage on a train and the First Response Squad is called out. Negotiations don’t go as planned, and team sniper Brady Owens must take a shot; but he freezes for a split second. When his shot hits Morgan, Brady feels responsible and silently vows to care for her. What they find in her apartment after he takes her home opens up the start of a tense stalker case that finishes in Susan’s trademark twist of plot. Just when you think you’re sure who it is, she dazzles with an unforeseen but believable alternate suspect that makes you slap your head and utter, “I forgot about them!”
The characters in High Caliber Holiday are familiar old friends you’re happy to be revisiting. You want to join them in the dining room of the old firehouse for a home cooked meal by Darcie or attending Skylar’s huge Christmas shindig. They are engaging and you don’t want the story to end.
Susan’s brand of clean romantic suspense is highly recommended for all!

Advertisements

Books That Are Changing My Life

It’s been quite a while since I have read anything that I could honestly say was “life changing,” with the exception of my Bible. Recently, I picked up two books that are doing just that. One was a Kindle special, and the other is a book that I refused to read for years.

wlw coverWomen Living Well, by Courtney Joseph. I snagged this book a few months back when it was only $2.99. This is one book that is well worth the full price! I had fallen away from reading anything but sci-fi and fiction for some time, and I challenged myself to read at least ONE book of a spiritual nature per month in 2015. This one is a goldmine.

Courtney runs the Women Living Well website. That alone is chock full of wonderful and Biblically sound advice. She also has a great ministry, the Good Morning Girls. Her book is about living well as you fulfill the many roles God has given to you. Wife, mother, ministry leader, she has them all in there.

One thing I especially enjoy about the book is her non-condemning attitude. Many books like this will tell you just how awful you are if you cannot juggle everything with a smile. Courtney’s approach is different. Using her own life as an example, she goes through Biblical principals and allows you to make the call in your own circumstance.

I especially loved her insight on using your time wisely. Regarding social media and the internet, Courtney points out that in and of themselves, they have no inherent morality. It’s how you use them that shows your morality. How much time you spend, and at who’s expense, is between you and the Lord.

The chapter on living well in your marriage was thought provoking, a bit convicting, and excellent. I’d say this is a must have on any woman’s bookshelf, real or virtual.

My other read is Trim Healthy Mama, by sisters Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. My crazy food journey is documented on my personal blog, and I’ll leave it to you to hop over there if you’d like to hear all about my adult struggles.TrimHealthyMamacover

When this book came out in 2012 and immediately caused an internet sensation, I listened briefly (VERY briefly) to the descriptions and concluded that it was just another way to be shackled to food. And, what was all this crazy alphabetical meal naming? A system, that’s all it was.

Yet, as I struggled through more “freedom” from diets, systems, and labels, I kept an eye on those I knew who were using the book and getting results. Some were getting dramatic and fabulous results. Meanwhile, I went down a vegetarian road when my health numbers continued rising into the danger zone. I even procured a copy of Serene’s previous cookbook all about raw eating.

I finally took a real, honest look at Trim Healthy Mama when I watched a video by the sisters where Serene is quite frank about the detrimental effects her raw vegan diet had not only on her health, but that of her infants. Nothing like eye opening conviction, right from the source! I began stalking THM’ers online, Pinterest pages and the Trim Healthy Facebook pages and forum. I requested the book from my library, and once it was in my hands, I knew I needed my very own copy.

It’s much more than a “diet book.” Serene and Pearl have done an astounding amount of research and experimented on themselves searching for the right balance of great foods and healthy choices. They have so much good and documented information packed into the book. Not to mention the recipes. The back chapters on spiritual and emotional health are frank and thought provoking. All of this places your total body health right in the hands it’s supposed to rest in. The One Who created you.

If you would have asked me right around the holidays how I was doing, I wouldn’t have been honest. I was falling apart. Worried about my spiritual and physical health, how was I going to get everything together for ministry, my kids, my hubby, my grandkids? I was heading for a crash, and I am so very grateful that the Lord placed these two books into my hands right when I needed them. My only regret is that I don’t have a copy of each to give away.

Till next time, let your dreams soar high, and your prayers even higher!

dhsigbanner

Happy Mother’s Day!

What better way to celebrate than with a $0.99 Kindle book? How about THREE of them? Beginning Saturday, May 10* all three Lakeville series books will be priced down to $0.99 in celebration! Sunnie’s Rainbow and Restoration will start out at $0.99 on Saturday, May 10* and incrementally rise back to their current list prices.

Seasons of a Life is the foundational novel in the Lakeville series. 4SeasonsRevise

In Seasons of a Life, you are introduced to Samantha Young, matriarch of the Young family. (On a side note, I do not like the word ‘matriarch.” It makes Sammie sound ancient.) Sammie is a widow, on the threshold of an empty nest. When she meets her best friend, Victoria, for lunch in town one day, she also makes the acquaintance of Rob Revell. Their chance meeting leads to a blossoming friendship and more as Sammie realizes the Lord has brought her to a new season in her life. Get to know her five children, who are the focal point of the series’ continuation.

Sunnie’s Rainbow, the second Lakeville novel, follows Sammie’s eldest and tempestuous daughter, Sunnie, as she begins a new chapter of life back home in Lakeville.

SunnRevise4Sunnie comes to terms with the father she was unable to reconcile with, as well as a new and growing faith. She’s comfortable with her status until a minor fender bender reconnects her with a handsome police officer. Through a stormy romance, Sunnie struggles with commitment and living out her new faith in terms of a relationship. Complications abound, but the couple perseveres as Sunnie finds herself able to give her heart freely, without reservation.

 

 

Restoration spans a time period beginning in Seasons of a Life, through Sunnie’s Rainbow and beyond, capturing the lives of the Young men, Silas and Jude, as they come of age.

Restore thumbAlthough their lives take very different paths, Silas and Jude remain as close as brothers can be. Everything the outgoing Silas dreams of becomes his reality. His faith and confidence take a hard hit when he and his wife hit the rocky grounds of infertility. Quiet and reserved Jude finds himself in an unexpected relationship fraught with problems from the word go. It drives a wedge between the brothers, who find that they have grown to believe very different things. Crisis draws them back to God and each other.

 

The sale ends on Tuesday, May 13. You’re best buy will be on Saturday, when all three books are priced at $0.99. What a great gift for mom or any friend in your life. I hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day and spend sometime in Lakeville with the Young family.

*Prices and dates subject to Amazon.com’s timetable, which doesn’t always perfectly coincide with mine.

dhsigbanner

What’s the Buzz? Mondays

Happy New Year!

On “What’s the Buzz? Mondays” I’ll add a little of this and that…just to keep you up to date on things that are buzzin’ in my life as #crazyauthor.

Book Buzz:

To Tuscany, With Love by Gail Mencini…tells the story of seven friends who spend a summer in Italy as youths, and reunite 30 years later. Secrets are broken and friendships, as well as old romances, mend. Some semi-graphic details I would have been happy without, and I frankly think the book would have been better without, but it was a decent read.

NASCAR Buzz:

34 days, 0 hours, 42 minutes, 23 seconds till the Daytona 500…more or less party_19

WIP Buzz:

Angels Unaware: Chapters 1-4 in process editing, still looking for the original owner of the shot I want to use as the cover

102551

Trial and Triumph (Lakeville 4): cover designed, 23,453 words in process

Wynter’s Gift (Lakeville Christmas Novella): cover designed; editing to begin in May

By The Hand of His Grace (Lakeville 5): cover designed, still under 5000 words

Bible Buzz:

Studying Acts with Community Bible Study and reading through Psalm 119

What’s buzzin’ around you?

Till next time, dream big!
Barbara