About Me

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I'm a librarian by day, a writer by night, and a reader and amateur photographer in between. I love to share books and other things that interest me. My own book - The Marshal Meets His Match - released January 2013. You can also find me at www.facebook.com/ClariDees

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Love on the Line

What a fun, delicious read this was! I have read several of Deeanne Gist's novels, but Love on the Line  is my absolute favorite so far.

Georgie Gail is the SWT&T switchboard operator in the German town of Brenham, Texas. She has a passion for protecting birds, a fascination with the local Robin Hood-style train robber Frank Comer, and a distaste for the Texas Rangers who pursue him. Particularly, Texas Ranger Lucious Landrum, whom she saw in action against Frank Comer.

Lucious Landrum has been ordered undercover as Luke Palmer, a troubleman for the SWT&T lines in and around Brenham, Texas. The Rangers are sure Frank Comer operates from that area, and working on rural telephone lines is the perfect cover to uncover the notorious train bandit. Lucious Landrum hates telephones, but his determination to catch Comer is stronger than his distrust of modern conveniences. And the assignment may give him time to hunt some birds. With his rifle.

The detail in this book was well-researched and provided a wonderfully rich background for Love on the Line, yet never distracted from the story which, in itself, was absolutely captivating. I loved the plot of this story, and even found myself laughing at the antics of some of the secondary characters.
I was sorry to come to the end of this story and will have to read it again before long.

 Grab a copy of Love on the Line and treat yourself to the "luscious" romance between Georgie and Luke, a.k.a. Lucious. :-) (And when you read the book you'll understand the "luscious" reference. Trust me! ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Liquid Plumber

Problem: Bathroom sink draining very slowly even after several applications of drain cleaner.
Solution: Dismantle trap and remove clog. (I'm an intelligent female. I can do this!)
Problem: Trap isn't clogged...? Hmmm....
Solution: Snake out the straight pipe that disappears into the wall.
Problem: Found!
Solution: Drag out pieces of a hairy clog big enough to choke a horse (gag...shudder...ugh!)
                Proudly reassemble the plumbing, wipe up mess, run water and check for leaks.
Problem: Uh Oh! Now the sink doesn't drain AT ALL! (grumble, groan.)
Solution: Not sure yet. Back to workroom for different tool.
Problem: Dog has decided to get sick in the bathroom doorway.
Solution: Thank God for sister who takes pity on frustrated faux-plumber and cleans up
                after nauseous dog.
...why is the work room sink faucet dripping? Did I not turn it off completely when I washed up? No problem...just...

Problem! BIG PROBLEM! The cold water handle of the workroom sink shoots off the
                second I touch it, hitting the metal duct work overhead with a clang, followed by a
                very cold fountain of water shooting several feet in the air and filling the floor!
Solution: DUCK! Scream for help!
Problem: Ducking and screaming doesn't work. It's still raining. Inside!
Solution: Kneel down in accumulating puddle of water to turn off the water line.
                Thank compassionate sister for the dry towel. Brrr!
Problem: Now the workroom sink is out of order.

Where was I again (as I wring out my dripping shirt)? Oh, yeah, back to Problem #1...or was that Problem #4?

Problem: Completely plugged sink. (Resist urge to bang head against bathroom sink.)
Solution: Disassemble the pipes. Again.
Problem: Plumber's snake isn't dislodging clog. Sigh! (Who am I to think I can be
                a plumber?)
Solution: Sister rides to the rescue with a wet/dry shop vac. Ah Ha! SUCK the clog out.
                Sounds like it's working! (shudder...oh, the smell!) Ok, let's try this again.
                Reassemble plumbing -- not quite as proudly this time, wipe up the growing mess,
                run water to check for leaks.
Success! The sink drains beautifully! (if you can call this mess beautiful...shut up, mirror!)
Problem: Bathroom is a WRECK!
Solution: Clean bathroom and replace all the stuff that goes under the sink.
               (Do we really need all this?)
Problem: Shop vac needs cleaning up. The workroom sink is still out of
                commission, and at 20°F, the outside faucets are frozen up.
Solution: Set the shop vac outside in the snow. Hang up plumbing apron and wait for
                the guys to come home! Just call me...Liquid (sopping wet) Plumber!

On second thought...Don't Call Me! Call a real plumber!


(No animals were harmed in this attempt at plumbing.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Accidental Bride

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter is the second book in A Big Sky Romance series.

Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter alone, her husband left her shortly before being killed, and now the bank is weeks away from taking the only home she's ever known. What she needs is a miracle. What she gets is the unthinkable.

Shay agreed to be in the Founder's Day wedding reenactment, but to her horrified amazement, the man waiting at the end of the aisle is the man who refused to walk down the aisle years ago and left her high and dry on their wedding day. The man her heart has never forgotten. The man she hasn't forgiven. Travis McCoy.

But what was supposed to be a historical reenactment suddenly becomes the real thing! Shay Brandenberg and Travis McCoy are accidentally married. To Travis, it's a dream come true and a chance to start over. For Shay, it's another blow to her crumbling world. Or is it?

The themes of forgiveness and restoration are deftly woven through this very entertaining story. I wondered how two people could become accidentally married, and that question is answered in a very believable way. Shay and Travis grabbed my heartstrings from the first page, and I couldn't put the book down until I had finished it. Literally. I read it in one afternoon/evening.

Even if you missed book one in this series, A Cowboy's Touch, you can still read The Accidental Bride without missing much. But both books are great reads, and I'm looking forward to the next installment in A Big Sky Romance.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

This book landed on my desk at work this week and the back cover blurb caught my eye: The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo.

Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him—with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church. Determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, he unleashed a plan of terror that was more devastating and violent than the Nichols family could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen . . . And Rebecca’s life was shattered. If anyone had a reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet The Devil in Pew Number Seven tells a different story. It is the amazing true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.

This is not the kind of book I normally pick up, but I'm a preacher's kid who lived through the disillusionment and heartbreak of a church member determined to have his way even if that meant turning the church family against the pastor and his family. So when I read the book cover, I instantly sympathized with the author and had to know what happened.

What I found was a story that, while true, is nearly unbelievable. The scope of tragedy perpetrated by one man on an innocent preacher's family was almost more than I could wrap my mind around. My family's own little struggles pale and disappear in the glaring horror that happened to the Nichols. And yet, the whole purpose of the book is not to show the power of evil, but to show the power of forgiveness--to show how absolutely crucial and necessary forgiveness is. Even when the unthinkable is done to you and your family.

If you struggle with forgiving those that have hurt you or your family, like I do, you need to read this book. Reading about someone else's troubles tend to put my own little trials in perspective. And when they're put into perspective, forgiveness doesn't seem quite so hard.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Arizona Aussie

I grabbed another S.Q. Eads' book to read after work yesterday afternoon -- Arizona Aussie.

Dr. Randee Lambert is a veterinarian from Australia, but she's on sabbatical from her profession to model western wear while trick riding and preforming stunts. Her next job is on a ranch in Arizona

Scott Harrison, owner of that ranch, is recovering from injuries he received from the last air-headed female that set foot on his ranch. There's no way he's going to allow another one anywhere near his place.

So why is there a beautiful blond in the pen with his prize Brahma bull? And why, exactly, is his prize Brahma bull sporting an injured leg?

When Aussie vet meets Arizona rancher it's the beginning of World War III, and this time the two countries are not allies.

This is such a fun, happy story, and I found myself laughing out loud in several places. It also made me think about the verse from Proverbs..."as iron sharpeneth iron..." Randee and Scott need some rough edges knocked of their personalities, and like iron striking iron, sparks fly every time they come in contact with each other.

I really appreciate how this writer makes faith and Christian principles a natural, integral part of her stories and her characters' lives. It doesn't feel forced or added at the last minute to help the story qualify as "inspirational" romance.

Need a fun, Christian romance to read? Check out Arizona Aussie. It'll make you smile; maybe even laugh out loud!

From my window

I love watching for visitors at the feeder outside the window above my desk.
The handsome fellow above is a male red-bellied woodpecker.

The handsome fellow below is a male cardinal.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When Love is wRight

I have read through a bunch of shorter-length e-books from Amazon lately, taking advantage of the inexpensive or even free e-books offered. It's a good way to find new authors and have something quick to read when time is short.

And this week I found a little gem. When Love is wRight by SQ Eads.

The story has elements that I love; a spunky, independent heroine and a pure, 100% alpha-male hero. The story opens with a comedy of errors where the heroine proposes to the hero. She's not serious. He is. And the fight...er, chase...is on.

The story is not all that long, in paperback only 298 pages, but the characters are well-fleshed out, including some very interesting secondary characters, and the scenery in the book is drawn so well I could see it in my head very vividly. By the end of the book, the location reminded me of the old John Wayne movie Hatari!, which I love.

If you're looking for a fun, delightful romance, look no further than When Love is wRight. The paperback is under $10, and the Kindle version is under $5 right now. As for me, I'm off to check into more SQ Eads reads.

Happy reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Don't forget to breathe!

I spent the last few hours of 2011 finishing the fouth and last book in the Discarded Heroes: Firethorn.

I knew the book would be good because I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the preceding titles in the series: Nightshade, Digitalis, & Wolfsbane. I was not disappointed.

Once again, we join the NightshadeTeam, an off-the-books, black-ops-type military response team. Specifically, Griffin "Legend" Riddell.

Someone with seemingly limitless resources has decided to permanently disband the Nightshade Team and destroy them, their families, and anyone who tries to help. Every grudge-holding, gun-wielding bad guy comes out of the woodwork to get a piece of Nightshade, tearing the team to shreds, and leaving them battered, bleeding, imprisoned, and flung to the corners of the earth.

Enter Kazimiera Faronsky. A polish-born spy and mercenary for hire. She might be the only person capable of putting the pieces of Nightshade back together, but she has her own demons actively trying to take her down.

When tiny, blond-haired Kazi rescues massive, African-American Nightshade-member Griffin from a maximum-security Federal prison the race is on to rescue and reassemble the rest of the team before they're all killed. Can these two diametrically opposed forces work together long enough to save the team? Or will they kill each other in the process? Will they learn to give up control so God can take over? Or will their desire to control everything destroy everything?

This story explodes off the pages at a dead run and speeds up with every page you turn. Ronie Kendig's writing is so tight and fast-paced that at times I forgot to breathe. The firefights, explosions, and hand-to-hand combat scenes are written and described so well that I could see it all as clearly as if it were playing out on screen at the movie theater. The scenes in the book are so vivid, I even found myself dreaming parts of the book. And for me that's unusual. I read. A Lot! But very rarely, and I mean only once or twice in my life, do I ever dream about a book I've read!

Speaking of the movie theater. This is a series that deserves to be played out on the big screen. I wish someone would film it in a way that would do it justice and keep the messages in the books intact. Because if they did, this series, in my humble opinion, beats the Bourne trilogy to smithereens!

So, run, don't walk, to your nearest book provider and get a copy of Firethorn. If you haven't read any of the series, grab a copy of Nightshade and enter the heart-pounding, pulse-racing world of the Discarded Heroes.They are books that are destined for my to-be-read-again-and-again shelf, and they set a new standard for Christian/Inspirational action/adventure fiction!

Oh. And when you're reading Firethorn, don't forget to breathe!