Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review ~ Obsession (Natchez Trace Park Rangers 2) by Patricia Bradley

Paperback384 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Revell

Natchez Trace Ranger and historian Emma Winters hoped never to see Sam Ryker again after she broke off her engagement to him. But when shots are fired at her at a historical landmark just off the Natchez Trace, she's forced to work alongside Sam as the Natchez Trace law enforcement district ranger in the ensuing investigation. To complicate matters, Emma has acquired a delusional secret admirer who is determined to have her as his own. Sam is merely an obstruction, one which must be removed.

Sam knows that he has failed Emma in the past and he doesn't intend to let her down again. Especially since her life is on the line. As the threads of the investigation cross and tangle with their own personal history, Sam and Emma have a chance to discover the truth, not only about the victim but about what went wrong in their relationship.

Purchase: Revell Books

*I am NOT affiliated with any vendors. Purchase links are for your convenience only. 

My Review - 3.5 STARS

This is the first book by this author I have read. Suspense laced with a hefty dose of creep is always good and Obsession certainly provides that.

Whether or not I am missing something because this is the second book in the series, I do not know but I did feel a little lost about Emma’s brother being gone.

I enjoyed the relationship between Emma and Sam. They try to fight their old attraction but their chemistry is electric on the page.

Regretfully, I figured out who the villain was very early on. I am not sure why but I think showing their POV is what gave it away. I was quite disappointed by that and feel like in this instance, if that particular view point had been left out, I would not have guessed so soon and enjoyed the story even more.

Bradley came highly recommended so I would say if you are a fan of hers, or even just the genre in Christian fiction, you will likely enjoy it. The faith theme is well done and there is plenty of action, intrigue, and romance!

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Living in a Higgledy-Piggledy World

Did the blog title get your attention?

Do you know what higgledy-piggledy means?

We'll get to that in a minute.

I've been trying for weeks now to think of something to share besides books. Not that I don't love sharing about books because y'all know I adore books!

But life has not been all about books for me lately. If I'm honest (and I always try to be), it hasn't been for a long time. I guess you could say I've lost my book mo-jo. Not 100% but enough that I only aspired to read 20 books for the 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge. 

You see, when I get overwhelmed with life, my default mechanism isn't to escape into a book anymore but to throw myself into creating...anything. Whether it be bookmarks, teacup birdfeeders, mini albums, cards, stitch work, or grab some paint and smear it, my hands want to DO something.

A fabric heart I made for a friend
and I enhanced the image in BeFunky*

2020 was a higgledy-piggledy year if there ever was one, especially in my lifetime. A pandemic and way too many angry political posts and people gave me anxiety way too often. I tried to withdraw as much as possible. Is it even possible to withdraw in a lockdown???

Yep. It is. I think I've done more sitting and staring into space and praying over the last year than ever before. Not that praying isn't a good thing. It is. It's actually the one thing that can calm my anxiety over issues I have no control over. And let's face it. That's most of life. 

But I trust the One whom I'm praying to, and know that because he spoke into existence the world and all its glory, and breathed life into man (wow, that gets me even typing that out!), then he is for sure the One who is in control. Not a single higgledy-piggledy thing that has happened in 2020 surprised Him.

And nothing happening in 2021 is surprising Him either. 

The latest higgledy-piggledy thing to happen in our life occurred three weeks ago. We got a phone call from our daughter that every grandparent dreads. Our youngest grandson (10 yrs old) was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia. That means he's had a complete bone marrow failure. His body isn’t making any new red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.

Y'all, this is bad. 

I mean life and death b.a.d. BAD.

The whole family is wrecked by this diagnosis. But my daughter is doing a stellar job of gathering intel information on this disease, handling the frequent trips to the hospital and clinic, all while being a wife, and mom to three other children. She has great support from her husband who, by God’s providence, is working remotely from home (and has been for much of the pandemic), so for them, some things have not had to change on the day-to-day running of the home front, which is a 3-acre farm!

Our only response allowable from this far away and during a pandemic is long distance support via texts, phone calls, and prayer. Of course we know prayer is the best thing we can do! Our faith and trust is in the One who is not surprised by any of these things happening.

Right now, our darling boy goes to St Jude’s twice a week for life-saving blood and platelets. We are praying tests results come in soon, giving a definitive reason for the cause of this life-altering diagnosis. Our hearts hurt for our sweet grandson and all this could possibly mean for his future.

Would you join us in praying for him and the medical staff who are caring for him? And for his parents and siblings and all the higgledy-piggledy thoughts and feelings they are experiencing?

Oh, I almost forgot!

Higgledy-Piggledy comes from an unknown origin according to *Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and was first heard around 1598 as an adverb meaning “in a confused, disordered, or random manner.”

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a confusing year with lots of disorder happening in random places!

The MWD (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) also lists topsy-turvy as a synonym so I thought this quote appropriate –

“… our lives have been very topsy-turvy for quite some time.”— Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy

Thank you for persevering through this super long (dare I say higgledy-piggledy once again?) post!!

By grace our spirits are lifted and our eyes are fixed on Jesus–our Redeemer, our Rock, our Sustainer.

Images enhanced with the Mosaic brush in BeFunky photo editing program.

* “Higgledy-piggledy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2021.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Rebecca Reviews ~ Network of Deceit (Amara Alvarez #2) by Tom Threadgill

Published February 2nd 2021 by Revell

Amara Alvarez's first case as a homicide detective drags her into the murky world of computer hackers. When she finds herself under attack by cybercriminals, she has no choice but to use unconventional methods to expose the truth and find a killer. 


"You think he was already dead when he went in the water."

"No Detective. I'm certain of it." And just like that, Amara Alvarez lands her first investigation as a newly promoted homicide detective. It's a curious set of circumstances for many reasons. Who would choose to kill someone inside a water park on a hot summer day, then float his body down a lazy river? The young victim had no known enemies, came from an upstanding family, and had no criminal record. Plus, if he died by natural causes, why were there so many convenient security glitches at the park that afternoon . . . . all questions that Amara is determined to answer. However, she never expected to have to watch her own back when it becomes obvious that someone is following her every move.

If you enjoy page turning criminal suspense, this book checks off every box; great characters, fascinating clues, red herrings, pitch perfect pacing, . . . . . . and best of all, the author makes what could be mind numbing technology issues fairly easy to understand. The pages read so smoothly that I was both shocked and disappointed when the ending arrived . . . .. or had it? Prepare yourself for one final twist and turn.

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

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With over 30 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".