I’ve Been Tagged

Good morning! It’s good to have you all here reading my blog!

I’ve been tagged by my fellow book blogging buddy Jen at http://www.jengalaxy4.wordpress.com to complete this fun bookish tag!

How many books do you read at once? The number varies, but right now I am reading five library books, four books from Netgalley, and two for pleasure plus my Bible.

How do you decide when to switch between multiple reads? I read the books that need to be reviewed first, then I read my library books and then I read for pleasure the books that I purchased. I also read my Bible every day and it is the first book I read in the morning during my devotions.

Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book? No. I collect bookmarks, so I choose one when I start a new hard copy book and keep that bookmark in the book until I’m done.

What time of day do you usually read? Since I am retired, I can read any time of day. After reading my Bible, I usually eat breakfast and watch a show that I have recorded. Then, I will read a book or books that I need to review soon. In the afternoon, I usually read for pleasure. And at night, I read my library books.

How long do you typically read in one session? One or two hours at a sitting, with plenty of looking outside my window to rest my eyes every 20 minutes or so.

Do you read hardcovers with the dust jacket off? Usually, but right now, I’m reading Karen Kingsbury’s new book TRULY MADLY DEEPLY and I have left the dust cover on it so far.

Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go? Always! I spend a lot of time waiting in medical offices, so I pass the time by reading. Reading calms me.

How often do you update your Goodreads profile? I updated it when I retired but that was three years ago, so it’s not something I really even think about.

If you enjoyed reading the questions and answers to this short bookish survey, consider yourself tagged! And please let me know if you decide to participate as I would love to read your answers.

Have a blessed and restful day!

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Review of RESCUE YOU by Elysia Whisler

First, a warning…you can’t read this book without a few tears, or at least I couldn’t. The puppy mills portrayed were so very sad, but not as heart-wrenching to me as the situation that Constance and Rhett are in. Constance is trying to work through the emotional problems caused by a devastating loss and the resulting depression. Rhett owns a gym called Semper Fit (clever name) in which he pours all of his frustrations from PTSD into intense, extreme exercise routines. Both main characters find out that you cannot run from your problems, and since this is a romance, they both eventually find solace in each other. The getting there to understanding that they are better together is told masterfully in this wonderfully written romance. There is lots of emotion between the humans in the story as they interact with each other, and there are also plenty of emotional scenes between humans and dogs. My heart went out to the dogs being rescued by Constance’s sister Sunny. Those scenes were so realistic that I wanted to jump into the page and help the pups myself. Since both of the main characters are injured in their hearts and their heads, it may take a dog to actually rescue them…the best part of the story was finding each other!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Rated PG-13 because of content
Elysia Whisler was raised in Texas, Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawai’i and Virginia, in true military fashion. Her nomadic life has made storytelling a compulsion from a young age. She doubles as a mother, a massage therapist and a CrossFit trainer and is dedicated to portraying strong women, both in life and in her works. She lives in Virginia with her family, including her large brood of cat and dog rescues, who vastly outnumber the humans.

Author Website: https://www.elysiawhisler.com/
TWITTER: @ElysiaWhisler
Facebook: @ElysiaWhisler
Insta: @ElysiaWhisler
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19812585.Elysia_Whisler


Constance slammed on her brakes. Steam rose from the street as rain gurgled through the ditches. She killed the engine, stepped into the pattering droplets and scanned the shoulder of the road. Nothing there but the remains of a goose carcass. “Where are you, boy?” Constance gave a low whistle.
It hadn’t been her imagination. The picked-over goose only made her more certain she’d seen a dog, weaving through the foggy afternoon air like a phantom. A lost dog, with his head bent against the rain as he loped along the muddy ditch.
Constance whistled again. Silence, but for the sound of rain hitting the trees that lined the road. “Maybe I’m just tired.” She’d done a lot of massages today, which made her feel wrung out. Constance almost ducked back into the van, but halted.
There he was: a white face with brown patches, peeking at her from behind a bush. “Hey, boy.” Constance squatted down, making herself smaller, less threatening. The dog watched, motionless. Constance drew a biscuit from her coat, briefly recalling the cashier’s amusement at the grocery store today when she’d emptied her pockets on the counter, searching for her keys. Five dog biscuits had been in the pile with her phone, a used tissue and the grocery list.
“Dog mom, huh?” the elderly cashier had said.
“Something like that.” More like dog aunt, to all of the rescues at Pittie Place. Her sister, Sunny, had quite the brood.
Constance laid the biscuit near her foot and waited. A moment later, the bush rustled and the dog approached. He had short hair and big shoulders. He got only as close as he needed to, then stretched his neck out for the prize. As he gingerly took the biscuit, Constance noted a droopy abdomen and swollen nipples, like a miniature cow.
So. He was a she. Constance inched toward her. The dog held on to the biscuit, but reared back. Constance extended her fist, slowly, so the mom could smell her. “You got puppies somewhere?”
The dog whimpered, but crunched up the biscuit.
“Where are your puppies?”
The dog whimpered again. Her legs shook. Her fur was muddy, feet caked with dirt. She had blood on her muzzle— probably from the dead goose. By her size and coloring, Constance decided she was a pit bull.
Constance rose up, patted her thigh and headed toward her van. She slid open the side door, grabbed a blanket and spread it out, but when she turned around, the dog was several yards away. Her brown-and-white head was low as she wandered beneath a streetlamp, the embodiment of despair in the drizzle that danced through the light.
Constance followed, slipping on the leaves that clogged the drainage ditch. The dog glanced once over her shoulder, but her pace didn’t quicken. Constance decided her calm demeanor was working, keeping the dog from fleeing. And let’s be honest: the biscuit hadn’t hurt. Chances were, the dog would be happy to have more as soon as she got wherever she was going. “Let’s see where you’re headed, then. Show me if you’ve got a home.”
Constance followed her across the road, around the curve and down the narrow lane. Frogs popped like happy corn all over the slick street, but the chill of the oncoming winter slithered through Constance’s blood.
She followed the dog for a good quarter mile. Even before she hooked a left down the unpaved road hidden behind the trees, Constance had figured out that the mama was headed to one of the handful of empty places that sat decomposing on the hundred or so acres the Matteri family owned. Constance paused only long enough to squelch the sizzle of anger that bubbled up inside before she pressed on, determined to know if the dog was a stray or a neglected mother from Janice Matteri’s puppy mill.
Constance took the same turn and watched as the dog neared the abandoned house up ahead. Nobody had lived there in years. It was only a matter of time before it became condemned. The dog bypassed the crumbling porch of the old colonial and went around back. Constance knew little daylight was left, and she hadn’t brought a flashlight. She broke into a trot, clutched her coat tighter around her and didn’t slow until the dog came back into view. Constance followed her, her heart thumping harder with each step.
The dog passed the rusted chain-link fence and disappeared over a rise in the property, near an old shed so overgrown with trees it was only recognizable by a pale red door. Just as she reached the hill, Constance heard a squeak. The sort of high-pitched noise that echoes from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Another squeak came. And another. She crested the hill and saw the dog slink inside the shed door. Constance got to the shed and pushed inside. The dog had reached her destination: a battered old mattress, three shades of brown, lying a few feet inside. The mewls, now loud and hungry, came from a shredded section of the mattress.
Constance narrowed her eyes. At first, she counted only two bobbing, brown heads, but as she drew closer there was a third. Then a fourth. The last one didn’t move nearly as much, just sort of waded on his stomach. The puppies had cocoa-colored fur and black muzzles. Eyes open. The ones that moved didn’t really walk, just stumbled into each other, like drunks. Mama dog curled around them and they all wiggled toward her abdomen.
Constance knelt down next to the mattress and watched the suckling puppies. She decided they were about two weeks old. The air in the shed smelled of sour milk, poop and urine. She dug out another biscuit and reached, slowly, her hand in a fist to protect her fingers, her gaze on the mama for any sign she was upset, such as pinned ears, bared teeth or a raised ridge of fur down the back. The energy around the mom and her pups was calm, to the point of exhausted. Constance had certainly helped with enough of Sunny’s dogs over the years to know. She offered the biscuit and the mom took it. With her mouth busy, Constance carefully touched the smallest puppy, who shook so hard the tremble came from deep inside, beneath his skin and fur, straight from his bones.
Constance rose slowly and did a quick search of the vicinity for more puppies, which turned up nothing but trash, vermin and an old orange crate, which she brought over to the mattress.
Now to see if Mom was going to accept help.
Though daylight was precious, Constance waited until the pups were done suckling before she offered a third treat. “Let’s go back to my place,” Constance said as Mom accepted the biscuit. “My sister has a rescue for critters, just like you. And I help her all the time. You’ll be safe there. Does that sound okay?”
While Mama crunched, Constance reached for the two pups closest to her and, keeping an eye on Mom the whole time, she lifted them and settled them in the crate. Mom’s chewing quickened, so Constance acted fast, lifting the last two pups swiftly but carefully. She rose to her feet, crate in her arms. The mother dog was on her feet almost ahead of her, pointing her muzzle at the crate and whining.
Constance knew the mom would follow her anywhere she took those pups, but she also lacked any signs of aggression, almost as though she knew that this was their only chance. Or as Pete, owner of Canine Warriors and Constance’s longtime childhood friend, would put it, “You just got something about you, Cici. Everybody trusts you. People. Dogs. The damn Devil himself.”
Constance headed back to her van, chasing the sunset. As expected, the mother followed. Once to the vehicle, Constance opened the van and set the crate full of pups next to the blanket she’d spread out earlier. The mama dog leaped in after them.
Constance slid the door closed, settled behind the steering wheel and let out a great sigh. Mission accomplished. She edged down the long, lonely road. The rain pattered on the windshield and the scent of dirty puppies hit her nose. She’d take them home tonight and get them settled in, see how they reacted to a new environment, then text Sunny in the morning. Constance had worked with enough dogs, and people, to know that introducing another new person this evening was bad news. Let Mama get used to Constance first, and get some good food and rest, before she was moved to Pittie Place.
Tonight, at least, this girl and her babies belonged with Constance.

Excerpted from Rescue You by Elysia Whisler Copyright © Elysia Whisler. Published by MIRA Books.

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Real Love

We all know that there is a lot of hatred in the world. If we are Christians, we also know that we are supposed to love everyone, including our enemies. A quotation from Dr. Denison’s post today really got me to pondering. Here it is:

Fyodor Dostoevsky stated: “To love someone means to see him as God intended him.”

I’m pretty sure that is how God loves you and me, the way He intended us to be, not the way we are on a daily basis. So that opened my eyes to the possibility that I haven’t been showing God’s love to others. I say that I love, but do I really? I don’t have the answer to that yet, but I am considering it and what it means to truly love someone as God does.

It’s hard to conceive that I have been loving wrong all of these almost five decades since I became a Christian. I have loved, but with a human kind of, “I love you because I’m commanded to but I don’t really like you” attitude. How many of you all are doing the same thing? But to love as God intended for them to be is to see people in a whole new light, isn’t it? Mind-boggling and eye-opening! Have a blessed day and remember to love!

How Long Should We Trust?


As I get ready to head to my third medical appointment in as many days, this is the Scripture that I’m leaning on. Today, I go to get a Reclast infusion for my bones. My prayer is that God will let it work and do no harm. This is the last of these treatments that I can get because my bones are still thinning even with the treatment, and there are no other measures to take since my arthritis doctor has tried them all with me. It’s all good, though, because God will take care of my bones just as He takes care of the rest of me. He knows what I have need of and supplies it. Tomorrow I go to my cardiologist to discuss the results of my stress test and ultrasound that I had last week. I got the results sent to me via email, but since I don’t understand them, he will interpret them for me. The good news is that I have not had chest pains since he started me on my new meds. So, for doctors, I trust and verify. But for God, I just trust. Imagine! He is the “Rock of Ages” who has been there forever. He is totally trustworthy and all that is happening to me right now is in His capable and loving hands. I can think of no one else to trust as I trust Him. Forever and always! I hope the same trust is a part of your life, too. Have a blessed day, my friends!

Old Age


God gave me this verse in my devotional this morning because He knew that I needed encouragement. My devotional was all about I may be old, but I still have seeds to spread, and my seeds are filled with the years of learning that I have spent with God. I really needed this today because I am feeling older than usual. I went to a specialist yesterday because my foot still had not healed from falling six weeks ago. Unfortunately, I have a small fracture on the side of my foot, so now I am wearing a boot. It is cumbersome, meaning that it is hard for me to lift my leg with it on and it makes me feel awkward as I move. But, I can still move around, so that is a praise report! I have to wear it for four weeks and then the doctor will check to see if the bone has mended. So, prayers for that, please? Meanwhile, I am reveling in the fact that although I feel old and awkward with my boot and my quad cane, I know that God is not finished with me yet. He is giving me wisdom and understanding that will help the younger generation understand how important a personal relationship with God is. Blessings to the young ones out there reading this. May you remember to honor the elderly. And blessings to the other elderly who read this. May it bless your spirit as it blessed and encouraged me. God isn’t done with any of us yet! No matter what happens in our daily lives, God walks with us and talks with us if we listen. God bless you!

Regardless of Election Results


This is my prayer for our nation and for our world. These are undoubtedly scary times, but God has this!

Here’s a quotation from my devotional today in the You Version App:

True ‘holiness’ is when you leave every person more alive than when you found them.-Nicky Gumbel

I pray that we will all strive for true holiness. Be blessed, my friends, so that you can be a blessing.

Can the Pope Be in Error?

Yesterday, the Pope stated that the civil union of same-sex couples is okay with the church. Really? Seriously? Is it okay with God? Has God changed His mind? Or His Word? Just because man has become more tolerant of sin does not mean that God has. So, in my very humble opinion, I think that the Pope has made a grave error. I must state here that I am not Catholic, so I do not revere the Pope as holy or anything similar. Only God is holy, and that includes all parts of the Holy Trinity. I don’t mean to offend anyone, however. I just want you to take an honest look at what the Bible says and what the consequences are of not following God’s instructions. Once again, Dr. Denison says it a lot better than I ever could.

Dr. Denison Oct. 22, 2020 Pope and Gay Marriage

Good News!

In my inbox today, along with Dr. Denison’s newsletter, was good news from the You Version Blog. May these testimonies bless and inspire you just as they blessed me.

Let’s Celebrate Good News!

May you all have a blessed day! Seek God’s face in His Word and find yourself in the hollow of His hand, ready to face the new day and whatever it brings.

True Forgiveness

God has forgiven me much, and I’m sure that if you believe in His Son as your Savior, He has done the same for you. Yet, sometimes, I find myself holding onto grudges, past hurts and insults. How do I know that I am doing that? Well, when a certain person’s name is mentioned, I clinch my teeth and say things like I hope that I won’t see them in Heaven. What a horrible, horrible thing to think, much less say! God spoke to me this morning about this attitude. Since He has forgiven me so much, who am I to tell the person who offends me that they don’t deserve His forgiveness? He died for ALL!

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Photo from Flourishing Today

Finally, I read in Dr. Denison’s article today about a man who killed the wife of a neighbor…vehicular manslaughter, and suddenly a family with four children had no mother. Yet, the father forgave the man who drove into his wife. Forgave him! Imagine! My heart was breaking at the idea of such a great ability to forgive! Then, the Lord spoke quietly to my heart and said that He forgave me great things and He wants me to forgive others of great and small things. Just like that, my eyes were opened and I know that now I will forgive, because I choose to do so. Just as Jesus chose to lay down His life for us and for our reconciliation with the Father, He forgave from that cross on the hill outside Jerusalem. I pray that from this day forward whenever I hear the name of a person who has offended me that I will pray a prayer of forgiveness for them and wish them well. But, more, I pray that they will come to know the love of the Savior so that they can experience Heaven with me. God bless each of you as you go through your day and may you reach out to those who need forgiveness and extend your hand of love.

Dr. Denison October 20, 2020 Husband Forgives Distracted Driver

Review of ONE CHARMED CHRISTMAS by Shelia Roberts

What a delightful and light-hearted Christmas romance! WIth the holidays approaching, Catherine’s friend Denise convinces her to go on a European cruise with her. After all, Catherine’s two children are busy leading their own lives, Catherine has a serious health issue to deal with after the holidays, and Denise really is a god friend. Also on the cruise are sisters Sophie and Sierra. Sierra is married but her husband reneged on the cruise at the last minute, so hypochondriac Sophie decides to travel with her sister. The cruise is all that they dreamed of, and all that I could dream of, too, if I had been along. Sumptuous meals, beautiful port cities with Christmas shopping all along the way. Plus, Trevor is on the cruise, the chocolate king of Cupid’s Chocolates. Of course, there is lots of matching up in couples, lots of drama, lots of romance and plenty of Christmas. My favorite part was the slide show presented by Sophie and Sierra’s brother at their family celebration. Seriously, this was like watching a Hallmark movie or living right in the scenes with the characters. The whole book was that realistically portrayed! The characters were three-dimensional and the plot was extremely well-written with no loose strings left at the end. (Or should I say missing Christmas tree bulbs?). Anyway, this was one of the best Christmas books that I have read and I highly recommend it for those who love the holiday and the romance that it brings. And if you don’t love the holiday, you will enjoy this book because it’s that good, even for Scrooges!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Clean, romantic read
Check our information about the author at Shelia’s Place

Available NOW! Purchase Links:

Google Play


Powell’s Books


Barnes & Noble


I hope that you will check this book out and purchase it today! It will really lighten your mood! At least, it did mine…no election news, just good, clean fun.