Monday, January 27, 2020

ReMo Challenge {#ReMo2020}

Hey, friends. As we close out January this week, I'm getting even more excited about a neat reading challenge over on Goodreads that takes place in February this year. A few friends and I founded the Read More "ReMo" Challenge in 2019, so this is the second annual ReMo Challenge. All the rules and the giveaway details are over in this Goodreads group, which is also where the challenge takes place.

If you're anything like me, you've got more books in your TBR stacks than you really know what to do with, but you're still trying to read ALL of them anyway. If that sounds familiar, this reading challenge is probably right up your alley. Hop on over there and sign up in the "Set Goals" thread, and I'll get you linked up in the list of participants.

Since this is a leap year, that will give us an extra day to fit in even more books toward the challenge. Maybe one day doesn't make a huge difference, but we won't know until we try.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason {book review}

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

What a twisty, complicated story! This was an atypical Lynette Eason read for me in that I was not able to figure out very many details prior to a couple of pages before the twists or reveals came. Sometimes her books are more predictable to me (yet still quite enjoyable), but this one kept me guessing throughout. Something that aided that was the high tension present in every chapter and the stakes that kept ramping up with each turn of events.

The style was good overall. I did struggle at times to keep a few characters straight. I think this was because many names were given in a few patches early on. That made it more difficult for me to settle in to which characters were POV holders and which were supporting. It settled out in my mind eventually, but this was a bit of a struggle for me. There were a handful of word or phrase choices that bugged me, and they seemed out of character for the author compared to her earlier books. Other aspects of the style were great. The author voice was clear, the military details seemed spot-on, and the human trafficking aspect appeared well researched and applied. My reading experience was enhanced by the details of the way of life in Afghanistan, particularly as it pertained to American female military personnel, as this helped me immediately feel immersed in the tale.

The plot twists were fabulous, and I never really got a foothold on figuring things out ahead of time. Usually, with an Eason book, I can figure out one or two of the main bad guys way before the big reveal. This time, though, I was unable to do so. The pacing and surprises and high tension lent themselves well to creating an edge-of-my-seat reading experience that kept me mentally off kilter in the best way.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Rainy Day Blues {a short story}

Clouds painted the upper part of the window in front of Carly, who stood staring out at the driveway that had been empty all week. When would Daddy come home? He’d been gone a long time, but he’d promised he’d be home before church day. That was coming soon, she was sure, but she couldn’t remember which day was today.
Rain streaked down the other side of the glass and pattered against the roof. Did that mean God was as sad as she was right now? It sure looked like He was crying with her, but maybe He was just watering the ground so the flowers would come up real pretty when it was springtime again. How long would that be? Probably a lot longer than Daddy would be gone, but Carly couldn’t be sure since she couldn’t tell time yet.
“Do you want a snack, Carly?”
She shook her head but didn’t look back at Mommy. Instead, she pressed her palms and nose up against the glass, leaning up on her tiptoes to see even more of the outside world.
All of it was wet.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Labels and Names

Who are you?
How do you label yourself?

For me, I usually introduce myself as Andrea. If I'm filling out an online bio section of a social media website, I typically add something like, "child/daughter of God, family gal, writer, reader, sports fan." Sometimes I get wordier, lengthier, and type up an entire monologue about being Texan born and bred and wishing for snow in the winter or how I'm a dog lover without a dog (maybe I should write country music songs...).

You get the idea.

I wonder, though, if I'm hitting the right mark. I wonder if any of us nail it right the first time or if we figure it out with trial and error.

Take a look at how apostle Paul defined himself in Romans 1:1...

"Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God's good news." (HCSB)