That is the Final Verdict! (a review)

To say I enjoy reading is a bit of an understatement. Yes, I can go a few days without a book…when I’m not feeling good, when I am busy, when I am kidnapped…wait, what?! I am not totally obsessed with books….Pffft, who am I kidding! I couldn’t even type that without rolling my own eyes.

In following authors on social media, I get wind of requests for influencers or being part of launch teams. The publisher and/or author sends us their book before it is released to the public. We devour the book and post an honest review on different sites and shout from the rooftops why others should be reading this book! If we do not like the book? Well, we pass it on to someone who we think would enjoy it.

I am fortunate enough to get on teams whose author writes incredible books. And, this one I’m about to shout from the rooftop about is one page-turning, breath-holding-suspense, swoon-worthy read!

final verdictFinal Verdict by Jessica R. Patch will have the reader experiencing all the feels. I smiled and giggled at the quick witted-ness of Aurora and playfulness of Beckett. I stopped breathing multiple times as the suspense grew. I teared up with the trials of the past and reflected on how the past is reflected in the present.

Beckett is the Sheriff. Aurora the Defense Attorney. Complete opposites. Yet, each of their profession draws them together unexpectedly.

Aurora is one tough woman. The past dictated she form tough skin early. Beckett can match her stubbornness any day of the week. He is a protector by profession and by character. And, when someone is suddenly out to hurt Aurora, Beckett will do anything to keep her safe.

Author Jessica R. Patch did a fabulous job of keeping the reader guessing “who done it”. I honestly thought everyone was a suspect at one point! I believe I may have gasped when the nasty, nasty person was finally revealed.

Final Verdict is heart-warming, suspenseful and a lesson on forgiveness when life gives you lemons. The author does an amazing job of weaving the story to keep readers from putting the book down.

I highly recommend Final Verdict! Available for pre-order and it releases April 1, 2017. Go on, click over and snag yourself a copy! (Final Verdict is part of a series but is also a stand alone)

I was given an advance copy by the publisher and author for an honest review/opinion.

From the back cover:

When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in town—and in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it’s his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancée from a dangerous felon, but he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.

Holding On To Him

And He is holding on to us.

Oh, what a week, month, year…you name it. Whatever you are going through and it seems as though the world has gone mad, God is still God and as much as we are holding on to him, or maybe it seems as if He has let go of us, He is still holding on to you. Holding us up, carrying us.

Sometimes it is hard to believe He is a caring God. Questions arise. No, lightning didn’t strike me down just now. He knows our thoughts. He knows who we are and our love for Him.

Hold on, dear friends. These struggles are a blip on the radar screen of life. Some are huge, filling up the entire screen and we wonder if we will ever recover. Hold on, dear friends. Hold on.

I don’t know what you’ve been or are going through. I will not diminish the hurt, the heartache, the not knowing if you’ll be able to breath through the pain.

He is there. Holding you. Aching with you. Hearing your questions, your pain, your shouting.

Cling to Him. There is hope.

The Day We Barely Survived

It was a very traumatic day, I’m not going to lie. A day in which we felt as if we were savages.

For two hours, yes, that is correct, two whole hours we were without electricity. I know, right?! I can hardly believe it myself.

Two hours in which there was no TV, no internet, no microwave, hours of wondering how to clean the dishes already sitting in the dishwasher, no working hot water heater, and the list goes on. People, it got down to 66 degrees in this house. My cell phone only had 54% of its battery left. My Kindle only had 22% of its battery left. Savages, I tell you! Savages.

How will we eat? Don’t open that refrigerator or freezer because spoilage! Since we have a gas stove top we could heat some food but we’d have to get out matches to light it…oh, the energy and strength that would require. I’m exhausted thinking of it.

And, if we do eat, how will we wash the dishes without a working dishwater? Sure, we could wash dishes by hand but that would include…work…as in lighting the stove, heating up water in a pan and then, gasp, placing ones hands in hot water risking wrinkly, chapped hands! We are NOT living in the pioneering age, people!

What will we entertain ourselves with when the sun goes down and we cannot watch the 60 mph wind create whirlwinds causing the leftover stubborn leaves dance. Or watch the power lines bounce and sway. What will we do? What.will.we.do?!

If you couldn’t already tell, sarcasm and silliness reign in this post. However, since I’m a “learner” at heart, here are a few things I did actually learn.

  1. Always keep a “corded” phone stored in your house because one never knows if your cell phone will actually die…or your dad will try calling and not think about calling your cell phone – true story. Make sure you know where said phone is and dust every now and then in that location. Don’t ask. Just don’t ask…do as I say not as I do. Or something like that.
  2. I actually didn’t mind the quiet (besides the 60 mph wind). I read the month-old newspaper I never read before since my Kindle wasn’t going to do me any good.
  3. Eating cashews and a banana really does quench hunger and no dishes are used. Win-win. I could live like a savage…for a minute.
  4. We have it good. What is two hours (although the electric company gave themselves about 3 days when I reported the outage) in shelter. Yes, it would have been not so fun if the outage would have gone on for days. 30 degrees and no running furnace would have made it a bit challenging. And, spoiled food? No thank you. However, people in third-world countries live without our little-thought-of conveniences. We have it good.

As I try to recover from my trauma, I will leave you with this poem I call, “Ode to Electricity and Writing a Post When I am Exhausted”. (Catchy isn’t it)

Electricity, you fickle friend, you.

A little wind and you come unglued.

It’s not until you are gone I realize how I depend upon you.

Don’t leave me again, silly, silly you.

The end.

(drops mic, steps off stage…I’ll be here all week…but first SLEEP.)

 

 

For Love & Honor – a review

for love
Can we talk about my love for this cover for a minute or two?!

 

For Love & Honor is book three* in Jody Hedlund’s Young Adult series. Even though it is written with the younger set in mind, I, being of the older set, enjoyed it immensely.

Lady Sabine is secretly hiding a skin blemish only those closest to her know about. What is the big deal? It is the late 1300s where superstitions and witch hunting prevailed. It could put her life in danger and cause harm to those she loves. It is a period where station and appearances were everything.

Sir Bennet, a kind, handsome knight, is called home for a family emergency. Sir Bennet needs to come up with the money his brother owes neighboring Lords. It soon becomes clear the only option is Bennet marrying for money. This is painfully out of his character but there is no other choice.

Lady Sabine is a spunky, quick-witted young woman. I liked her immediately. Author Jody Hedlund weaves a gorgeous tale of the age-old thread women have in common – our outward flaws and how it may stop us from what God truly has in store. Every doubt, every comment, every ignorant “witch” cry tattooed on our arm.

Sir Bennet is in a tough position and it is hard not to love his honor and his acts of putting others before himself. A true gentleman with a very tough decision to make. He, too, must learn lessons about guilt and protectiveness as he begins to fall for Lady Sabine.

Such a wonderful message in a captivating story! Young and not so young will enjoy For Love & Honor.

What do I think you should do? Well, click over or run to your favorite bookstore! The series will make a great gift for yourself or a young woman in your life.

I received a copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are entirely my own.

*Not counting The Vow, a novella, which kicked off the series.

Because we all need to know…

This will be short since I declared tonight to be “self-care” night and I’ve done everything but. But, that is a different story for another day…

This. This is Daughter #2 and because she is all kinds of wise you’ll need to subscribe to her YouTube channel. Then click on the little bell beside the subscribe button (on her channel page) to get notifications when a new video is up…I know, so much work but totally worth it.

Now go. Click on over. You’ll think, you’ll smile, you’ll love her.

beautiful-brave

Read her blog post announcing her channel. Yes, I am the boss of you. It is hard being brave.

No Fear Friday

Hey, y’all. In case there was a deep seated fear I fell off the face of the earth, never fear for I am here. Or something like that.

What have I been doing since my last post on Valentine’s Day? Why, thanks for asking. You guys know how to make a girl feel loved. Binge watching. Yup, it is really the exciting life we all wish to have. So let’s discuss, shall we?

When Calls the Heart season 3 finally appeared on Netflix last Sunday so what else is a girl to do when waiting over a year to find out what happened after that season 2 cliffhanger?! Yes, it is a slightly cheese Hallmark production but Jack and that Canadian Mountie dimpled smile. And, can we discuss Opal? Is she not the cutest little 5 or 6-year-old you ever did see? Daughter #2, my binge watching buddy, may or may not name her first born daughter after her. If you haven’t given When Calls the Heart a chance, the first 3 seasons are now on Netflix.

This is Us. I can’t even begin to express my feeling for this show. Since I watch it almost every Tuesday night I really can’t include this in a binge watching category – perhaps invested would be a better word. If you haven’t watched This is Us on NBC, do it. One really should watch from the beginning. NBC’s website had certain episodes “unlocked” so try there first. After that, you are on your own. The writers and editors (and everyone in between) have done a great job with the flow of the show. I just can’t explain it.

On to my Wednesday after work fix obsession which was interrupted so now you know how busy my life really was this week. We do not have cable, satellite or any of those newfangled services. Just plain old antennae TV. And, because my love for Chip and Joanna is strong, I purchased the current season through Amazon. I get all kinds of giddy when I see an email bright and early each Wednesday morning informing little, old me there is a new episode of Fixer Upper waiting to be watched. Perhaps I am happier than I should be but CHIP AND JO JO!

Also, I have been attending a Wednesday night book study at church. It is Jenny Allen’s Chase. It is all kinds of good. Fear, courage, bravery currently pop up in this study. And, what seems to happen when studying those topics? Apparently those topics are ones in which I need to work upon. When I open my Bible, BOOM, a verse on fear. When I read a blog post, BOOM, there it is again. And, just last night I watch this video and TEARS. Please take some time to watch the video (I hope the link works!). Then, let me know in the comments if it struck you as hard as it did me. And, perhaps we can help one another scrub off that tattoo sleeve we’ve been wearing for years.

Last but certainly not least, I’ve been cleaning. Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. Actually I’ve been redoing some of the wall hangings/decorations. So basically I’m making a bigger mess. A lovely young lady whose parents are missionaries has been spending her college breaks with us since we are only a few hours from her school and we love her and she loves us. Well, spring break starts this weekend and she will be part of our family for about five glorious days. Cleaning and making sure we have actual meals for supper are high on the priority list when she stays. However, with my decoration obsession at the moment, that priority has lost its priority-ship. Now I need to focus as she will walk through the door tomorrow. And, now the dinning room table looks like frames and pictures with a little wood peeking through. Yet here I sit. Typing. Avoiding. Writing too many words in one paragraph. Yup, priorities.

Have a great fear-free, full of courage and bravery weekend! And, seriously, if you watch the video let’s discuss how we can help one another overcome!

The Day In Which Flowers Find A Home

Well, at some homes. But not mine. Because flowers die and why give your wife something that dies when our love lives on forever…or something like that. But, I’m not bitter.  (I joke, I jest, I…well, you get it.)

And to the four people who may actually read this blog, Happy Valentines Day!

What am I doing for Valentine’s Day, you ask? Well, thanks for asking! Today I will officially obtain my crown (think teeth) and all the duties that come with said crown. Yup, pretty pumped to be spending 45 minutes of my day with my dentist and his assistant after work today. Yup. pretty. pumped. (Side note: I do LOVE them. Really, I do. It’s just my love/hate relationship with teeth. It’s me, not them.)

The whole root canal/crown thing has been suggested by someone in this household,  who is still alive to tell the tale, that all this fun is my Valentine’s gift…and the next twelve birthday gifts. It’s love, people. Pure love.

In other news, Influenza A hit our house…well, daughter #2 last week. And, just when the doctor said the rest of us were past the time of catching it…it hit daughter #1. It’s like a petri dish in here. Save yourselves by avoiding us if you see us in public!!! Plus if my count is correct, I believe 3 out of 8 people in the office at work are NOT coughing. So, if you see me on the street and I look doomed…I probably am.

And, no, do not even ask if we subjected ourselves to the flu shot. Daughter #2 and I already heard the lecture. I have a counter lecture if you really want to go there but I won’t.

Since all four of my readers are probably bored to sleep, I don’t have anything else to say and I actually do need to think about getting ready for work…or as I call it, the other petri dish in my life… I will bid you a fond farewell.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Remember, God loves you more than anything! Stay healthy out there!