Book #17: Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1


Welcome to week 17 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1.  It was free a little while ago on Amazon so I downloaded it to my Kindle Fire.  

I REALLY enjoyed this book- it was a great light read.

The main character Kate is barely paying the bills while running “Beacon of Hope School”- a home for girls, most of whom were either abandoned or were victims of human trafficking.    When one of her girls runs away she meets Wyatt, a Texas Ranger with a teenage daughter.  As can expect there are sparks.

Wyatt’s daughter ends up in danger from a local trafficker who takes Kate as a consolation prize.  Wyatt must save Kate and the missing girl before it is too late!  (How was that for a dramatic description?)

This book is aptly described as a Christian Romance Mystery novel.  It was a nice, easy read.  It didn’t change my life but it sort of makes me want to take a trip to Texas and meet a Ranger!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #16: Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy


Welcome to week 16 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy.  The book description was pretty good on Amazon:

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe–until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch–and Rafe’s controlling ways–as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels–or to be forced to kiss her! 

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

Overall the book was good.  I have to be honest though- the Julia character drove me absolutely crazy.  Sometimes I wondered if the writer portrayed her with PTSD or some other underlying issue that she just failed to mention.  She switches back and forth between being an adult and being a spoiled 13 year old girl.  There were several moments in the book I wanted to reach through the screen (I was reading on my Kindle) and smack her.

What Julia lacks in continuity the other characters in the story make up for.  Rafe is portrayed as the cowboy every girl wants to meet when she thinks of the old West.  Connealy’s description of the land and culture of the time make that time period seem romantic and dangerous all at once- a great combination when you want to get lost in a book.

Overall I would say if you like romantic western novels this is a good bet for you!

 

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #15: “Murder On The Rocks” by Karen MacInerney


Welcome to week 15 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney.  At the time I am writing this, the book is still available for FREE to download to your Kindle, PC or Smart Phone.  As always this can change at any moment!

This is the first free book I read on my new Refurbished Kindle Fire – which I love.  I think part of my reading experience may have been connected to the fact that I was reading in a new medium.

The book is set in Maine and the main character, Natalie Barnes, is running a bed and breakfast on tiny Cranberry Island.  (I really enjoyed the parts about the B & B in the book- when I travel with my mom we try to stay in Bed and Breakfasts often so it was nice to read something from the perspective of the hard working people who run these establishments.)  Natalie is barely making ends meet after picking up her life and investing in the Inn.  To make matters worse a large investor comes to the island with his sites set on destroying all the natural beauty and building a giant resort.  For reasons unknown the developer decides to stay at the B & B instead of in a larger hotel on the mainland along with his assistant and a few other guests.

A few days after his visit begins Natalie discovers his body while out for her morning walk and becomes the prime suspect.  The remainder of the book is her, along with the police, sorting through the various characters on the island to discover the real murderer.

All in all I thought the book was pretty good.  This was the debut book for the author so I am sure she had ironed out some of the kinks in her newer novels.  I felt like the writing was bit choppy at times but the characters were very relate able and there was just enough romance without it being ridiculous.  The struggle of a small business owner to keep herself afloat was also something many people can relate to.

She mentions several mouth watering dishes in the book and I was very pleased to find the recipes in the back.  Not that I would cook them or anything but I have friends who like to do such things.

So if this sounds like something you would like, check out Murder on the Rocks (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, No. 1) (Gray Whale Inn Mystery)!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #14: “A Little Bit Wicked” by Kristin Chenoweth


Welcome to week 14 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I spent a hilarious hour and a half this week reading “A Little Bit Wicked- Life, Love and Faith In Stages” by Kristin Chenoweth.

As a singer and actress myself I generally enjoy reading autobiographies of successful performers- especially those as ridiculously talented as Kristin Chenoweth.

She is an opera soprano who has branched into movies, Broadway and television with great success- well liked by her co-workers and amassing a very loyal following.

She also originated one of the most famous Broadway roles in history by being in the original cast for Wicked (no she is not the green one- who is also incredible).

Here is a taste of some of the humor in the book:

It turns out Kristin is also hilarious. Her autobiography was probably the fastest I have ever read a non-fiction book.

Raised in a conservative Christian home in Oklahoma her parents were very supportive and completely unimpressed with her unbelievable talent. She was adopted at 5 days old and became a little sister to 3 year old Mark- who provides much of the comedy in the book. It’s easy to picture myself laughing so hard at their dinner table my stomach would ache.

There are a million hilarious stories in the book some of them from backstage at Wicked and Pushing Daisies.  There are also two incredibly easy, high fat, high taste recipes that only a 4’11” thin actress can eat without blowing up like a balloon!

But perhaps the most daunting story is one of the lowest points in her life.  She was becoming disillusioned with some of the elements of Broadway.  She had a television show she thought was amazing that was cancelled in under 10 episodes.  She was in New York, wallowing in her disappointment and eating ice cream late into the night.  In the morning, only a few hours after going to bed, she was awakened by sirens that seemed to never end.  Unable to get back to sleep she turned on the television to see the events of 9/11 unfold in her city.  She watched her beloved Broadway dark as tourism died.  It changed her whole perspective on performing in New York.

If you like Kristin or love reading about performers I highly suggest “A Little Bit Wicked.”  You will be laughing out loud!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #13: Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong


Welcome to week 13 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

Last week I reviewed a book from one of my favorite non-fiction authors, Mark Batterson.

This week I re-read a book by one of my favorite fiction authors, Kelley Armstrong.   While she is most well known for a series of fantasy books she has one series that are great crime reads.

The first book in that series is Exit Strategy.  It was published in 2007 so you can get used copies REALLY cheap and hopefully your local library will have a copy!

I absolutely love the main character in these books.  Her name is Nadia Stafford, a former cop who now owns a wilderness ranch in Canada.  She was “released” from the police force for taking matters into her own hands and killing a suspect.  The wilderness ranch was struggling and one of her guests had noticed what an excellent shot she was with a rifle.  It turns out he was connected and had a man who needed to be taken care of.  He offered her an excellent amount of money to help them out and in desperation she agrees.  It’s the first step that leads her to be a contract killer- only for that family and only if she agreed to the job.  She sort of creates her own sense of justice.

She is eventually discovered by a very successful hitman who decides to mentor her and they maintain a mysterious relationship.  A serial killer operating in the United States as the Helter Skelter killer has now released the information that he is a hitman.  Recognizing the threat to everyone who makes their living in this dangerous occupation Nadia knows that they must catch the serial killer before he brings a full on police investigation into all of their lives.

Armstrong builds a phenomenal cast of characters that allows her to easy write the sequel Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2).

I have probably read this book a half dozen times.  I just LOVE the characters and it’s easy to relate to a strong female lead.  She also somehow manages to communicate very well the inner struggle of someone who finds great satisfaction in her job when she knows she shouldn’t.  The characters are like-able and relate-able.

So check out Kelly Armstrong- you might find a new author you like!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #12: Soulprint by Mark Batterson


Welcome to week 12 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week for my book I read Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny by Mark Batterson.

For those of you reading this is a Christian book.  It talks about God and has many references to Scripture.  I gave you that disclaimer so you can quit reading if you will be offended- which is not my intent!

Below is a video that explains exactly what the book is about:

I used this book as a supplement when I did my daily Bible reading. Now I have to give you a warning I LOVE Mark Batterson’s books. He is one of only two authors whose books I buy every time. His newer book The Circle Maker is sitting on my night stand ready to be read as well.

Soulprint opens with one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis:

” The dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship… it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities… that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” 

Trying to narrow down what I learned from this book into something readable is insane.  There is no way.  So here are a few thoughts I had while reading, just to give you an idea of whether or not it would be a good read for you.  These are lessons I learned and am trying to use in my life:

1.  God sees potential in every person.  One of the interesting things about my job is the lack of human interaction face to face and the boldness of people online.  People send me e-mails and messages with some of the most interesting things in them and it is hard to imagine they would be so bold in person.  And because they are a faceless person it is easy just to delete the e-mail and move on.  But as a fellow blogger reminded me once- every single person that visits my site represents a household that I have the chance to make a difference in.  And I believe that God has a plan for every person and sees potential in them.  I want to strive more and more to see the potential in everyone around me.

2.  When we look back at life we can see a blue print.  Occasionally I will sit back and ponder how I got where I am.  The story of how I ended up being a full time blogger is amazing.  How activities I did when I was in my teens prepared me for public speaking, being comfortable on television and radio and helped me develop my frugal attributes.  How decisions I made about not getting into debt on anything that wasn’t necessary 10 years ago mean that I can survive on the money I make now.  I believe that nothing in life happens on accident and so many things had to happen for me to be where I am now.  God had a plan.

3.  Sometimes you just have to be willing to make a fool of yourself.  I have a REALLY hard time with this.  I like looking like I have everything together.  One of the hardest things for me to do as an actress is play the part everyone laughs at.  I prefer being the villain- it’s just easier.   But the bottom line is without taking a chance you never grow. Without the risk of falling flat on my face what gain could I possibly receive?  For me personally I need to take more risks- both at work and in my non-coupon life.

Those were probably my three biggest thoughts during this series- although there is much more written in my prayer journal and on my heart.  Thanks for taking the time to read such a serious post- it’s part of my journey to be willing to make a fool of myself!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Week #11: “The Peach Keeper” by Sarah Addison Allen


Welcome to week 11 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was “The Peach Keeper” by Sarah Addison Allen.

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.

I have spent a great deal of time in North Carolina and this book paints a beautiful picture of life in a Southern town trying to preserve it’s heritage.  It also honors the relationships of old Southern women whose friendships are thicker than molasses (i.e. “Steel Magnolias“).  By following the story of two young southern women and their grandmothers the author demonstrates that some things do not change with time.

It’s a very easy read with light-hearted language  and has a VERY small supernatural element that made it just a bit more interesting.

It seems from the reviews that Sarah Addison Allen’s other books may be even better so if I can get a few other books read I may check out her earlier works!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.