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Spatzle Speaks: Camouflage Christmas (Book Review)

My mom and her friend DeeDee Lake have conspired to start a new series of books called Rules of Engagement. The first installation, a novella, is Operation: Camouflage Christmas. Do you realize how hard it is to spell that with paws?

You can check out their blog here: https://rulesofengagementmilitaryromance.com/

So mom and DeeDee spent lots of time bringing Brook and Bernard to life in this story. How do you fall in love when in Army Officer Cadet School at Fort Benning, GA?

Brooke has been disappointed in love and she’s resolved to move on even as the date for a wedding she was supposed to star in, nears. Instead, she’s distracted by the rigors of training and also a series of gifts that show the sender knows more about her than most people, which has her perplexed and hoping.

Bernard fell in love with Brooke when they were in high school but she was off-limits. When they met up again she was engaged, but now? Brooke is free and as much as he wants to make it through OCS, he wants to win Brooke’s heart even more. Will she ever see that it’s him? Would she even return his affections? And how would that work when relationships are forbidden in training?

I highly recommend this book for a sweet romance as well as a peek behind the scenes of the challenges our soldiers go through to become officers. It’s not for the faint of heart. Get it! Now! And write a review please? I give the book five bones because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

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Spatzle Speaks: A Husband for Christmas (Book Review)

Is it nepotism to review my mom’s book? Or is it just weird that four years ago she actually did get a husband for Christmas in real life and only now writes a story with that title?

The real issue is this: Where is the dog in this story? Hmmm? I mean, I vetted Ben before they ever got serious and yes, I admit, I became a slave to his roaring at me. What else could I do but roll over for a tummy rub when he did that? Finally a good man in the house, but don’t tell him…I’m still partial to Mom.

OK, enough of that, Mom wrote a Christmas regency called A Husband for Christmas and I gotta admit it is kind of sweet. Two friends finally learn that the mate they are looking for was there all along? But why the rush to get married during the holiday? My mom decided it was nice because the church was already decorated, but this story takes place in early 1800s Great Britain. Yeah, I’m sure they decorated for the holidays but a member of the upper crust wouldn’t be worried about the cost of decorating for a wedding would they?

Miss Adelia Donovan, nicknamed Addie by her distant-not-by-blood relative, Lord Oliver Westcott embarks on a journey to London to find her a husband by Christmas, the dream of Adelia’s mother who was recently widowed by Adelia’s step-father. Following along so far? Addie is a somewhat irreverent character which is refreshing. This isn’t a suspenseful gothic regency like the series Mom wrote a few years ago (at least The Virtuous Viscount had a dog in it).

Misunderstandings and infatuations tend to muddy the waters on the path to blessed matrimony but you’ll have to see how they work it all out by actually reading the book! I have to say it’s a great story because, well, Mom wrote it and if I’m nice she’ll give me treats. Go check it out!

I’ll give five stars and snuggle in for more writing. I think she’s started on the one for next year but I need to convince her to put a dog in it!

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: I Chose You (Book Review)

My mom loves me. I’m a dog and therefore I know this for a fact. She rescued me ten years ago and I’m still her favorite.

Two years ago, Mom decided I needed a friend. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, but Benji was trouble although I admit he was cute and he allowed me to jump on him. We became buds. That is until he bit Mom. I didn’t even say goodbye. Mom wrote a poem on the blog about him here: Ode to Benji She also wrote about it in a different way in this book: I Chose You: Imperfectly Perfect Rescue Dogs and Their Humans, a collection of rescue dog stories by Carmen Leal and many others.

I was really sad when Benji was gone so she adopted another dog: Cooper. He won’t wrestle with me but he’s OK. But them Mom started reading this book and asked Dad about adopting another dog. Another dog? Can you imagine? I had a hard enough time breaking in the last two. I’m fourteen now and I don’t know if I could handle that.

Cooper, a 10-year-old Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix loves to play with his squeaky tennis ball. Mom calls him a “Goofball.” Her nickname for me is “Fuzzy butt.”

Dad said no. Whew. I was so relieved. I left him a little gift of poop on his chair as a sign of my gratitude. He didn’t even thank me.

Mom says this book is great, but I’m not so sure because, well, it made her want to rescue another dog! She says she wants a girl this time but I hear they can be bossy. So read this book at your own risk. You might laugh, you might cry, and you might find yourself and your dog on the pages of this book.

And you might want to rescue another one. I’m OK with that because I was a rescue. I’m a little miffed she didn’t write a story about me though, the perfect rescue dog. (I really am).

I’ll give it five bones in spite of Mom’s “rescue dog fever” because I was a rescue and I’m glad. I love my pack, our home, and our life.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Angel of the L Train (Book Review)

Mom has enjoyed the writings of author Penelope Marzec and her latest release, Angel of the L Train was exceptionally well done if you were to ask Mom. But that doesn’t matter because as her dog I rule this part of the blog so only my opinion really counts.

Thea Ahern is recently hired by a New York City gossip rag called LetSlip. She’s eager to work and earn money to support her mother’s nursing home care, but in the process has to hide her heritage. After a tragic incident on the subway, she assists a man who was brutally attacked and saves his life. Now the papers dub her the Angel of the L Train. Suddenly her anonymity is challenged as people see the resemblance between her and her mother who used to be a famous actress.

John is asked to shadow Thea because his boss believes her to be a way to uncover the truth about what happened to Thea’s mother. John understands the desire to hide from the past and he seeks to protect her from media scrutiny. When the CEO of LetSlip is murdered while John is in the building, his own dark past is revealed. How can he protect her and keep his job? Can Thea ever forgive him when she discovers his past–and his true reason for watching over her?

This is an excellent read filled with adventure and obstacles for the characters to overcome, but also heart as Thea and John both care deeply for family and would sacrifice to protect those they love. I give it five bones because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Flowers for Hattie (Book Review)

My mom really likes the writings of Kimberly Miller, mainly because she likes music. I do as well but prefer soft jazz. Too bad I don’t get to listen to that while she reads. Mom? Hint! Hint! Anyway, Kimberly’s new book, Flowers for Hattie will be a sweet read for those who like romance, flowers, and music. It’s a winning combination.

Hattie Campanelli is an unusual woman. Sacrificial and hard-working, giving up her own dreams to help others in need. Oh, she also has blue hair, tattoos, and prefers t-shirts with snarky sayings. She isn’t the least bit intersted in dating.

Finn Winslow is a pianist for a rock band getting some rest and looking for a muse for his own compositions which are anything but rock. He may look like a bad boy musician but he’s more khakis than blue-jeans and quiet nights on the beach vs the noisy club scene.

When Finn runs into Hattie, or her into him, Finn is thrown for a loop. She doesn’t look anything like his “type” but he can’t get her out of his mind. She becomes the inspiration for him to write the instrumental love song he’s always longed to create. Now if he can just figure out how to get her to like him back. The more he learns about the enigmatic young woman, the more he likes.

Hattie finds Finn cute but a distraction, or maybe a way out of a financial dilemma the pregnancy home she helps run, is desperate for. Conscience collides with pride and desperate need, and is fueled by the persistence of the winsome Finn. But can she let go of her fears and trust a man? Could Finn win her heart?

You need to read this story. Mom gave me lots of snuggles and said it was great. The characters are fun and the story has twists and turns that might surprise you. I give it five bones because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Obedient Unto Death (Book Review)

Mom doesn’t often read Biblical fiction but Liisa Eyerly’s novel, Obedient Unto Death is a suspenseful story of the early church that she at times struggled to read because it was so tense. In spite of that, the novel had moments where she surprised me by laughing out loud.

A young scribe is murdered during a covert Christian worship service. Sabina, a member of this outlawed religion, can’t believe a member of this new faith could be the killer. But when her Roman magistrate father arrests the church bishop for murder, she reluctantly admits all is not brotherly love and harmony among the faithful.

Who would have killed this man? Could it be the church’s bishop? Sabrina can’t believe that would be true. As she strives to prove the man’s innocence she is confronted with the fact that all the followers she’d considered her church family, were not all filled with love and peace.

Sabrina works hard to uncover the truth about who murdered the scribe but the journey is filled with twists and turns and unexpected dangers. Her father can only provide so much protection and will she ever be able to find a husband in the midst of this drama? Will she be able to uncover the truth in time or will she end up in prison as well for being a follower of Jesus?

Intrigue, mystery, and a dash of humor at points, makes this a difficult book to put down. I give it five bones because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Murder of Crows (Book Review)

Mom has a friend, Anita Klumpers and this woman writes books that will keep you reading. The latest release from Anita is Murder of Crows.

Now I’m not one to look at things too closely but I love this cover. It’s amazing. Mom says the book is one you’ll have a hard time putting down.

Paulina Deacon is the main character and she has a frightful experience. In fear for her life she drives, and drives, and drives. She believes her boyfriend has been murdered and as a witness, via a video call, she’s next. She ends up in Briar, Wisconsin, calls herself Polly Madison, and ends up working at a rehabilitation clinic where everyone has secrets.

Hal Karlsen runs the clinic and is suspicious of Polly–and curious. Polly quickly develops friendships. Soon the terror Pauli feared finds here in Briar. She confides in Hal and together they try to unravel who is after her and why. As a result, they draw closer together. He wants to protect her and she wants to protect the clinic.

I won’t tell you how the crows play into this but they do–big time. Mom had a hard time putting it down which meant I got extra cuddles in the process. I give this book five bones because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Susie (Book Review)

Now maybe it’s because the book has a derivative of my mom’s name that I wanted to review this book, or maybe because it’s different than the usual fiction reviews posted here, but mom spent time reading Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr., and found it fascinating.

Susie Spurgeon might seem like an imaginary model wife, always perfectly supporting her husband in ministry, and she was that, but so much more. Susie lived from 1832-1903 and was married to Charles for 36 years. She continued to minister as a widow and lived for 11 years before passing away at age 71.

In spite of weakness and chronic debilitating pain, she was devoted to her husband and helped him in ministry, reading with him, transcribing notes, and compiling books. She was a prolific author herself. She set up a ministry called the Book Fund designed to help poor pastors by providing them with valuable resources, sometimes beyond theological tomes. Toward the end of her life, she helped plant a church even though she was too ill to be there when it opened.

This book is a charming look at life in the Victorian age of Great Britain and it broadens the scope beyond our modern day. Back then the vocabulary was larger and the culture was different from ours in America–but the truths of the gospel transcend time. Who would be like Susannah Spurgeon in our day and age?

That’s a difficult question to answer because as a couple they supported and encouraged each other and I don’t think you can separate them which goes to the issue that a great man can be all the greater with the love and support of a wive, but to obtain such a prize, he needs to valuer her deeply. Such was the case of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon.

This is a book I highly recommend if you like biographies. The story is told at a good pace with the blessing of her great-grandchild. I give it five bones, because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Sunflowers and Suspicions Book Review

My mom’s at it again, reading books and my “adopted” brother Benji keeps getting in the way of my snuggles. That doesn’t stop me from having an opinion about Karen Malley’s latest Pine Springs romance Sunflowers and Suspicions!

Being a twin must be hard at times. Julie Wagner firmly believes something is wrong with her sister Jade so she heads to the big city to track her down. Jade’s neighbor, Matt Callahan from across the hall is the first person to be able to tel lt hem apart. But where has Julie’s sister disappeared to?

Matt is willing to help as he becomes enchanted by Julie. Soon his entire family is equally enchanted with her. But can they find Jade? Tracking down the mystery takes them on a journey fraught with danger and intrigue. The biggest danger is to Julie’s heart as she thinks Matt is really in love with her sister.

I don’t want to give too much away but this multi-layered story will keep you reading till the very end! Matt and Julie are compelling characters and the backstory for all of them kept me turning the pages.

I highly recommend Sunflowers and Suspicions by Karen Malley! I give it five bones becuse I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Madi’s Secret (Book Review)

My mom wrote Madi’s Secret many years ago and then she forgot it was releasing. I think my brother, Benji, who has dementia has been distracting her. And then there are other life things going on too, much I don’t understand. Still, I really liked this book except there’s no dog in it. Really, mom?

So Madi comes back to Wisconsin with her teenage son, but she left without a trace a long time ago leaving the love of her life behind. He never really understood where she was or why she’d left.

Parker had moved on after a while and married, had a daughter and became a widow. As a paramedic he’d seen many challenging things but nothing challenged him as much as finding his long-lost love trapped in an upside down car on the side of the highway.

She was back. But why had she left? Why wouldn’t she tell him? And her son? Who was the father?

Could love reignite in the shadow of the secrets she hasn’t shared? Madi isn’t even sure what it is that she saw that has her hunted by unknown evil. She returned to Wisconsin because she believed God was leading her back. But would she survive that obedience? And would God ever give her a relationship with Parker once the truth came out?

I recommend this book. Sure, it was written by my mom, but I know she pours herself into these stories. Check it out. It’s in ebook only for now but hopefully it will come out in print soon!

I give this book five bones, because I’m a dog and that’s how I roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.