My mom, Susan M. Baganz and her dear friend DeeDee Lake have come out with book four of their Rules of Engagement military romance series called Operation: Skirmish.
Now this takes place mostly in Colorado, so where is the skirmish? This isn’t a military proceedural type of book but a romance featuring a military person as the main character and Eliza Torres, aka Tornado, is in for the fight of her life in many ways.
When she meets the handsome Kristos Sava, Eliza is living in a black hole of indecision about her future. Wounded overseas, she’s dealing with a physical disability and in denial about the post-traumatic stress that accompanies it. She’s not sure what she’ll do or where she’ll go when she’s medically discharged from the Army.
Then she spies Kristos and things begin to happen. Her roomate brings her to church, she’s being challenged to stop making excuses and take responsibity for her life. Eliza struggles to come to grips with God. She never needed Him before so why now? Then on top of all that, she decides to go on a mission trip with the church to Mexico.
Kristos is intrigued with Eliza but realizes she’s got issues and the biggest hurdle is her relationship with God. Besides, he’s not in a hurry to get a girlfriend. He has a stable filled with wonderful horses he adores and who adore him. But something about the pint sized soldier stirs him to pray for her. The more he gets to know her, especially on their misadventures in Mexico, the more he desires her.
Battles ensue on many levels and romance blooms. This is the fourth installment by Lake and Baganz and well worth reading.
I’m a dog so I have to say I’m disappointed that Eliza chose a parrot for her pet and not another dog to interact with Obadiah and Lola who have appeared more in other stories in the series. Maybe the authors will rectify that in future books. I hope there will be more anyway, they are wonderful stories. I’ll give this 5 tennis balls, because I’m a dog and they are my favorite.
Karen Malley has a new book out and you need to hear about it! It’s part of a romance series Chester County Couples. Moonlight and Mystery is the title and trust me, it’s a book you won’t want to put down. You’ll be eager for the rest of the series I suspect and she has free novella available as a prequel!
Beth Tarrington is living a good life. She’s engaged to a handsome man with a fabulous career. She’s driving a really nice car and lives in a sweet condo. She works doing something she loves and her last name is so prominent it opens doors. And yet, she’s not happy. Sneaking peanut butter is a comfort and life take on a new zing when she tries out and gets cast in a community theater.
When she finally wakes up to the privelged bubble she’s living in, she decides it’s time to stand up for what she wants, a decision that has dramatic consequences for her. Can God help her through the tough choices she has to make as a result?
When Jason Brooks meets Beth there is an instant attraction, but she’s engaged so he knows he needs to run the other way. Getting cast in the play, opposite her, creates sparks no one can ignore even though Jason and Beth both try.
You have to read the book to go on this adventure with Beth and Jason as well as the characters they act out in the play! Ms. Malley does an amazing job weaving it all together.
This is an awesome read and I hope you’ll get it, and sit, and read, and snuggle a dog like my mom does with me when she’s reading a good book. I’ll give it five squeaky tennis balls because other than snuggling, chasing them is my favorite thing. Oh, and bacon. I really like bacon…and oranges…and steak.
I’m slacking. I admit it. I am living the life as an only dog and to be honest, with the beautiful summer weather I’m having fun making mom take me on walks. And then DeeDee Lake and her husband Seth came to visit and I fell in love with Seth. He wanted me to go to Colorado with him but I chose to stay with mom because they are moving ot Texas and I used to live there and didn’t want to go back.
So my mom and her friend DeeDee Lake wrote this book in their Rules of Engagement military romance series called Operation: Reconnaissance. Now I have to say I loved this because Rusty, the main character, has a dog! Any book with a dog is aces in my mind. Lola is a sweet Sheba Inu and while she was merely in a supporting role, I thought she did great.
Now as for the story, Rusty falls head over heels for Jane who brings her son Mark who has Down Syndrome to visit Kobbe who was in the last book (Operation: Allegiance) for equine therapy. Whew, did you get all that?
Jane is a widow with some serious trust issues and what will she do with her son when she is deployed? Her friend Harley is no longer in the Army and lives too far away. Her parents and in-laws don’t understand this sweet boy. And Rusty? The man must be bonkers to want to help her.
Rusty to be honest does have some issues from a fall he took many years ago but while he’s an adventure guide and successful businessman who lives in his van, he does listen to God. When God tells him to marry Jane even though she doesn’t believe in God, he obeys.
But how can a romance work when they marry for convenience and in name only, and then are separated for many, many months?
Guess that’s where you’ll need to read the story to find out. The only thing I can tell you for sure is it does have a happy ending (all mom’s books do). Lots of challenges are faced on both sides but somehow love does prevail!
So go get this book and read it because book #4 (Operation: Skirmish) releases in November! And mom said something about really wanting people to write short reviews on Amazon. But only if you like the book.
I’ll give it five tennis balls! Mostly because of Lola but also because I love Seth, and my mom. So help them out, buy the book, write a review and tell others about it!
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!
I was getting ready for a craft fair and decided to include an excerpt from one of my novellas inside my brochure that lists all my books and contact information. Why? Because whether someone likes my stories or not, the most important thing is their relationship with God. Hopefully, all my stories have some thread or truth of the Gospel in them without being preachy it is usually covert. In my novella Slam-Dunk Christmas, I had a more overt moment, so this is the excerpt I took from that story.
“So tell me what’s on your mind.”
How did he know? “I think God is trying to get my attention.”
Blake grinned. “He’s been trying that for a long time, Sam.”
“Maybe so. I was too busy to listen. I guess I want to make sure I’m not heading down a wrong path. I’m trying to pray…”
“That’s a good start. Let me ask you a few questions.”
Sam nodded. “Go ahead.”
“Do you realize that you are a sinner who can in no way match up to God’s holiness?”
“Duh. Of course. I’ve done and thought unconscionable things. I’m sure every day I screw up in some way in spite of my best of intentions.”
“Do you believe that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again as the perfect solution to your sin problem?”
“Maybe I’m doing this wrong. Hold on.” Blake rose and left the room, returning with his Bible. “Here we go. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Do you agree with that?”
“Of course, after all the evil we’ve seen on this planet, it would be hard for anyone to deny that.”
“Romans 6:23 says, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
“I’ve seen enough of death,” Sam said. “I want to know more about that life part.”
“Great. Romans 5:8 says, ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’”
“So like a criminal who is convicted of a crime, Jesus has taken my death sentence upon himself. Interesting. A substitution.” Sam marveled. He’d read stories about Jesus, but he’d never really studied the Bible or its tenets.
“Exactly. In Romans 10: 9-10 it says: ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’”
“So, I just need to accept the gift. Believe and state it out loud, much like we professed our commitment to the military once upon a time?”
“Correct. Verse 13 states, ‘For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ And when we look back at chapter 8:38-30 we see a wonderful promise, ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
“Whoa. That’s amazingly all-encompassing. So the punishment for my sin is gone, I can live a life with Jesus forever?”
“I want that.”
“Would you like me to pray with you?”
“I think I need to do this myself. Thank you, Blake. Can I borrow your Bible?”
“You can keep it. I have several, and the verses are underlined in here.”
“Let me know how it goes.”
Sam nodded, took the book, and his coffee and headed to his room. Once he was inside, he closed the door. How did someone do this? He placed the book on the bed and knelt on the rug that was there, leaning against the mattress he folded his hands. He hadn’t read that this was important but he’d seen images of people praying that way so he figured it wouldn’t hurt.
“OK, God. You’ve been trying to get my attention and I’m ready. I know I’ve made some big mistakes. What did Blake call it? Oh, yeah, I sinned. I am a sinner, and desperately need You to rescue me from that. You’ve already done that, and I need to accept the gift You graciously offer me. So Jesus, I proclaim You to be the Lord and my Savior. My rescuer. My salvation. I desperately need You to help me live the rest of my life in a way that would honor you, my Commander-in-Chief. Thank you for dying for me, rising again, and finding me, calling me, to be Yours. Amen.”
How about you? Where do you stand with God? HE is the greatest gift of all. Let me know if you’ve taken that step. I’m praying for you!
If you like historical novels Patriot’s Courage by Penelope Marzec might be one you would enjoy. Although there are no dogs in it, my mom seemed to like the story very much.
Ryan McGown has lost his brother in an Indian rampage and vows to kill every Indian can. His views are challenged by his belief in God and a beautiful, independent young woman who has lived with them.
Màxkchulëns was adopted by the Lenape at four years of age. She has adapted to life as an Indian in spite of her red hair and white skin. When here husband is killed in battle she is captured and brought to the fort where Ryan is commanded to teach her English. Raw grief and a longing for her home war with attraction to the young soldier.
Ryan is equally attracted but his faith is challenged when he discovers Màxkchulëns, also called Red Bird, is with child. A Lenape child.
Red Bird struggles to understand English and the faith of her parents from long ago as Ryan instructs her. What is grace? How can she understand this? Life gets confusing for her when once again her white heritage clashes with her Indian upbringing.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away but Penelope Marzec weaves tale full of twists and turns and you won’t want to miss any of it! I give this book five bones, becuase I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs.
Reading Time: 4minutesMy mom had this idea to have authors write a series of romance novellas based on Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (English Standard Version). It became the PONDER THIS series because WHATEVER sounded too cavalier.
So with a little bit of encouragement, eight authors put forth their efforts and viola, a series was born. It releases this month with two novellas a week, but they are available for pre-order. It would be hard to review them all here so let me give you some highlights for each!
Contemporary Romance. Danny Winston wants it all, his dream job and the woman his heart desires, Shelly, who helped make his dreams come true. But things are falling apart and it threatens his future. Shelly isn’t sure she can quit California and move to rural Wisconsin. A horrible secret might ruin it all. Soon another enemy rises up to try to sabotage them, can love prevail when the truth is revealed?
Historical British Romance. Ana is about to lose her home when her patron dies. She is without home or fortune. Mr. Luke Renshow finds that Ana is an important part of the inheritance his aunt wishes for him. He agrees to a marriage of convenience but soon discovers that Ana is worth more than that. Can he swallow his pride and do the honorable thing?
Contemporary Romantic Comedy. Angelica Dunn is a baker, and for some reason, when around Thaddeus Wright, a bit of a klutz. Thaddeus is drawn to Angelica, but his secret job with the CIA might just ruin any chances of a match between them. When she leaves an embarrassing voice mail and tries to remove the evidence, the secrets mount and doing the right thing might lead to justice for criminals, but cost her a chance at love.
Regency Romance. Charlotte was a victim of a London scandal, but society blamed her. As a result, her parents banished her to a remote area to teach school. No family. No friends. A small cottage with barely the basic amenities. Life looked bleak until the school’s handsome patron took an interest in her. Any budding relationship is threatened by a new scandal that breaks around her again.
Contemporary Romance. Hannah is disappointed when her boyfriend doesn’t propose marriage. The relationship over, she vows to wait on God for a man and takes a new job teaching at a Christian school. She runs into Matt who is an attractive teacher and has a poor history of sticking with one woman. When the two of them meet they become friends determined not to be romantic, but things are about to change when Hannah’s old love comes to reinsert himself into her life.
Whatever is of Good Repute: Buttonholed by Anita Klumpers
Contemporary Southern Romance. A southern rivalry brings Manderley Jessup back to her Tennessee hometown where an old dual, a secret past crush, a forbidden romance, and a news crew are all raising up old ghosts from the past. Will her old rival, Abram Coventry work with her to overcome the issues tearing this town apart? Can a special, hand-crafted button design make a difference?
Contemporary Romance. Lucy is doing well with her bakery and her family and friends are great. Her heart is broken over a failed engagement. When a music store opens next door she finds that the hunky guitar player in the band that runs the store, might just be a blast from her past. Henry has loved Lucy for years and when he meets her again he loses his balance. He used to be heavy and he’s lost weight and has been a magnet for the hot girls. Can and old flame be fanned into a new love? Could she trust a man again? Is the old Henry still there in spite of the current trappings of his success?
Contemporary Romance. Celestina’s romance with Jason is on the outs with a small stroke she’s suffered. No permanent damage but still, a threat to her happiness. As she works to win Jason back, an adorable puppy is dropped in her lap. Through a series of misfortunes, she develops a relationship with the hospital chaplain who talks to her of faith and disapproves of Jason. Cele is ordered by Jason to get rid of the dog. Can she have her happiness with the wealthy up and coming Jason, or does it entail the more humble pastor and a puppy?
Think on (Ponder!) these things.
My mom had a blast working with these authors to bring this series about and we both hope you’ll enjoy each and every one! I can’t pick a favorite although the last one does have a cute dog in it!
I give each book 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.
Reading Time: 3minutesI’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Mom doesn’t usually want me playing on her computer. She’s afraid I’ll post something embarrassing on Facebook as if I could do better than she does with that?
Next week three fabulous Christmas novellas are releasing and they are already available for preorder so get yours now!. Well, to be honest, there are more, but these are the only three I’m personally acquainted with, and since mom is so nice, I’m even including hers on this list.
Marzec takes Haylie, a former Olympic ice skater with a stalker and a fear of dogs and matches her up with Ethan, a paramedic with serious issues with Christmas and God. The dog, Rufus, is the real star of this story as he is the ultimate matchmaker for these two. This immediately gains it five bones in my book, because I’m pro-dog because I am a dog. Haylie is afraid of relationships but finds that the handsome paramedic keeps showing up in her life, mostly because of his dog. Can Ethan break down the barriers to her heart and can Haylie help restore his faith in God and the wonder of Christmas in his?
Leah Hane’s is without roots. She finds a job working as a cook at the Rocking J Ranch in Crazy Creek, Wyoming. This ragtag bunch of cowboys need more than good meals though. She quickly finds herself needed and helping them in a variety of ways as they strive to save the ranch from being sold.
Noel Johnsen is the legitimate heir to the property, or so he thinks. His family was lost in a horrific accident and Christmas brings up bad memories of that loss. He wants to ditch his family’s homestead but his brother-in-law who had been running the place is reluctant and the new cook they hired keeps butting her nose in where it’s not wanted. Soon more than the land is at stake…but his heart as well.
I love this ranch story. I love the outdoors and running around outside so I was for them keeping the ranch. You’ll have to read the story to find out what they do. I loved it.
A young woman, Noelle, hates Christmas and is paired up with an investment advisor in creating a magical gala for his company. He loves Christmas and soon finds himself attracted to the woman he’s helping out in creating his companie’s big holiday event.
Boy do I know about Wisconsin winters. I love the snow and we’ve already had plenty for me to jump around it. Mom thinks it’s funny becuase I can’t stand rain, or a bath. Regardless, this Christmas romance is sweet and mom included the family sugar cookie recipe at the end and I personally can vouch for how tasty those are.
All of these stories are worthy reads, so get them now and then do your dog a favor and snuggle up with them for a good Christmas reading time, hot chocolate optional. I give each story five bones, because I’m a dog and and I don’t have thumbs.
Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.
Reading Time: 2minutesWhen I discovered Corbin Bernsen wrote a novel, Rust, published by Pelican Book Group, my mom decided she wanted to read it and I am thrilled that she did because it’s hard to for her to relax and I got more snuggles.
Rust is based on a movie by the same name and she’s waiting to see the movie as she absorbs the beautiful words that were penned by the famed actor.
This is an inspirational novel regarding a crisis of faith in the life of a former pastor, James Moore. When he discovers his childhood friend, Travis, has been implicated in starting a fire that killed a family of four. Travis has some emotional/mental differences from the rest of the town, and had been James’s best friend as a child.
Coming home forces James to deal with not only the wounds in his soul, but his family and the entire town. A pastor’s heart is tugged repeatedly by the pain of those around him as he struggles to believe in a God that has seemingly stopped communicating with him. The pastor is turned detective as he believes his childhood friend could never have committed the crime he’s being convicted of.
With the complexity of heart and soul-searching in the character of James Moore, and the complications of relationships from the past make investigating a deadly arson of a family he’d never met a challenge. Written only from the perspective of James Moore the author digs deep into the angst of spiritual and emotional unrest with well-written clarity that makes this novel hard to put down and increases my mom’s respect for an actor she already admired. The book taps into the struggle many Christian’s struggle with not always hearing God’s clear voice when struggling with faith.
This book is a well-written, compelling tale and highly recommended. 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.
Reading Time: 2minutesI wasn’t sure what to expect from Parhelion the latest release by Lisa J. Lickel but my mom was instantly gripped by the story and struggled to put the book down. She’s been busy so I’ve gotten extra snuggle time as she’s stayed up late reading in the middle of the night.
The main character, Maeve is in love with Harry, who is often referred to as Prince Harry. He is a former Air Force test pilot. Captain Harry is out of the service and has fallen for Maeve but he has a secret. When he first made her acquaintance it was for another purpose.
Life on earth is reaching a critical stage where it might soon result in the death of billions. A few communities of select individuals have been preparing for this outcome for many years, and Meave is critical to their plan because she possesses something unique. Harry needs her to join the program but not just for how she can help – but also because he wants her for his wife and if a group leave the planet, he wants her with him on the journey.
The process of getting ready is riddled with complications within the community and from without and Maeve has a choice to make. Harry even struggles with the rules, or lack thereof for this new world, a space station, they would be populating. How does one make a choice when the end of civilization on earth is the only other option?
This book is written primarily from the points of view of Maeve and Harry in alternating chapters. It kept my mom on her toes wondering just what would happen next. Multi-layered and well-written it is a book that my mom strongly recommends. 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.