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Impromtu Adventure

Hello everyone and welcome to you all. Recently things have been really busy for us. We were in a situation where we had to buy a new car. Both of us really like our old car, a Pontiac Vibe, a vehicle no longer being made. We pursued a few sites and found one that we liked on Car Fax. The only thing was that it was located up in Sacramento. This excited me because I love road trips. Thank goodness for ride services because in past times we would have had to rely on a cab or else park our car at the airport in short term parking and pay a heafty fee. It was an easy process and we got to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

At our terminal, they had us board the plane outside via a ramp. This was a first for me as I was expecting to walk through the raised walkway like we always do. Thank God the weather was cordial that morning.

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This time our plane ride went smoothly, without the hint of turbulence. It was nice being above the clouds, gazing at the sunlight out the window. On the descend, the clouds were so thick that you couldn’t see anything, but the color grey.   By now both of us were very excited and visualizing ourselves driving the new car.

We had to take a train to the other side of the airport to meet our Uber ride.   I’ve been up to Sacramento many times and at one time my wife briefly lived there. We got lucky with the weather since it has been raining and was supposed to rain last Saturday.   Instead we had partly cloudy and sunshine with a decent temperature. Usually it is cold and rainy up here during the winter months.

As Uber drove us, I felt a sense of deja vous. It turns out that the car dealer was located about 1 mile from where my wife used to live many years ago. Uber dropped us off at the dealer’s lot. We walked about 20 feet before we saw the car sitting up front, looking as bright as ever. We were both excited.

We got in the car and were off on our test drive, with the owner in the back. Soon after, however, we encountered a problem; the brakes pulled. This put us both on high alert, but I didn’t sense any danger. Nonetheless the owner took us to his repair place to get it checked out, saying safety was his number one concern for us. Turns out the emergency brake rear rotate needed attention.   He replaced the back brakes, pads, and rotars with new ones, no charge to us, while my wife and I enjoyed a nice cup of joe at a nearby Starbucks.

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Afterwards we continued with our test drive. We got onto the I-80. It was refreshing to travel at the posted speeds since back home you often times inch along the freeways, even when it isn’t rush hour. Also no one was running red lights, like I’ve seen occasionally down here. There was no congestion on the surface streets. I felt a sense of freedom being in the car.

Back at the dealership, he shaved more money off for us, making the deal even better. As we walked out to our new car, we agreed that this was the funniest test drive we’d ever been on.

Later we went for a drive around town.   The brakes were smooth as well as the ride. The first thing we noticed was that the roads up here isn’t congested like they are down in LA. It took us a moment to get used to it. It was fun driving by places that I’ve been to before and it brought back good memories. We settled on Del Taco for lunch, which, I’ve been to this location.

Later we drove back down to LA along the l-5. We were both pumped up, but stuck to the posted speeds. Since it was still daylight, we were able to see a lot of the countryside. Thankfully we encountered no bad weather. Along the way, we manage to get some homework done. All in all this was a fun adventure and I’m glad we did it.

Stay tuned for my next blog. I am reviewing Breanna Hughes’ A Fine Mess. You don’t want to miss this one. Be safe and have fun.

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Until next time,

Lynn

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Featured photo subject to copy write.
Blog photos compliments of Charliwhiskey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Eve’

 

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‘Christmas Eve’ is the sequel to ‘Christmas Candy.’ It is a new chapter in Candy Parker’s life. She is back with a brand new attitude. She and her family are living in the home of the fireman, Gary, who had rescued her mom, Lanelle, and young son, Dakota, from the fire that destroyed her home the year before.

They are getting married and Candy is scared. She fears that she won’t be able to offer him the life she believes he deserves. Their relationship is very evolved and the love for both people is deep. This guy is amazing in all aspects. Yet she is fixated on one thing about him.

Candy grew up in a single parent household and found that she needed to put forth a lot of effort and faith to get the things she wanted out of life. Nothing was handed to her. Her fear of having money is great, yet she wants to move forward with her life. I really felt she was ready to change.

Candy loves her family more than anything and is always there for them. Her son is the joy of her life and the author clearly shows it. There were a few touching mother-son scenes that may cause your eyes to tear. Mine did.

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“Her heart beating wildly inside her chest, Candy squeezed his hand. It’s ok, she steadied herself. They had rehearsed for this moment a few days before, but standing there, before his family, she found each breath a struggle. Her lips curled into a large grin, she waited as his fingers smoothed a few hairs out of her face.”

 

Samantha Jacobey – Christmas Eve

Candy also has to deal with Gary’s family as she is not comfortable with their ample lifestyle. She puts on a smile, her insides are shaking. Gary’s mother, Evelyn, is very controlling and not very accepting. He loves his mother, yet is now put in between the two women in his life. I found Evelyn to be annoying and at times I wanted to set her straight. This character was well thought out and the story shows it.

At the same time a secret from the past emerges, putting Candy in a difficult situation.   She is forced to deal with this at this time. Her frustration and fear were clearly felt, bringing empathy out in me.  One supporting character made me angry. This made the story even better and you’re going to have to read the book to find out more.

Candy has dreams, like all of us. What she wants more than anything is a loving home.   Deep inside, she is a strong woman. All she has to do is allow herself to grow.  The question is will love prevail.

The pace of the story is fast and can be read in an afternoon. The author included very clear descriptions and many times I felt like I was in the scene with the characters. The author also added a nice touch by naming all of the chapters.

I am waiting for the next chapter of Candy. If you like, you can read ‘Christmas Candy’ first. Here is an excerpt from this fine story:

Candy stared at the dress hanging on the back of her door. A creamy winter white made entirely of lace, it hung just below her knees when she had tried it on, and she knew that it was the one. Her veil a simple mesh that covered her face and topped her head with cream colored roses, she couldn’t wait to wear them.

As a girl, she had stopped dreaming of such things about the time her father died. She felt as if she had lived in a dark tunnel since that night, always running, trying to escape, but there had been no light at the end. Not until Gary came into her life, and even then she couldn’t see his light for so long; hadn’t wanted to see it.

Her fingers lightly caressing the lace skirt, she smiled. “We’re going to have a beautiful life,” she breathed. “Dreams really do come true.” Dropping the fabric, she packed her backpack and headed down stairs. She wanted to get to the school early and be ready for her last exam of the year.

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I am recommending this story for everyone who loves the end of the year holidays with some romantic drama.

 

Five Stars.

Until next time,

Lynn

 

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Rainy Day in SoCal

It was raining cats and dogs last Sunday afternoon. SoCal has been in a drought for nearly four years and we’re finally getting dumped on this year. We were itching to get out so we went to visit a friend, who lives forty miles away.

Our friend needed to run an errand so we all got into the Jeep and went for a drive in the rain. We noticed flooding all over the place, including cars parked on the main road halfway underwater. Each detour road was blocked. I have only seen scenes like this in pictures.

On the way back to her place, we took the freeway, which was fine for about a mile then traffic came to a standstill. Desperate people drove up the embankment to exit the jammed road. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I grew up in the Midwest where it rains a lot.

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This was so bizarre. Never did I think I would be caught in a flash flood with rain pelting my Jeep. As we sit there patiently, it was really tempting for us to put the Jeep into four wheel drive and drive up the embankment with the others. I’m glad we didn’t because the risk isn’t worth it.

At the same time, I can’t complain. I was with two great people, my wife and our trusted friend. We took the situation lightly by staying positive and not panicking. We enjoyed a few laughs and talked about the King of Queens episode where Kevin James and Ray Romano went golfing in weather just like this.

As I was sitting in the backseat, I allowed myself to feel gratitude. I have wanted it to rain for so long and now we have an abundance. It feels good knowing that all of the greenery is being watered. I thank Creator for providing rain for us.

We have a special tree in our backyard that is really benefiting from the extra rain. It is a Norwegian pine tree that my wife has had since it was a baby. It has been to various places, but now it’s permanent home in the backyard and is flourishing. Our other plants are now established, so this will help them grow more.  I enjoy rainy days. I get to go out to my covered patio with a cup of coffee and sit there and watch the droplets fall.   It is so peaceful to hear it’s soothing sounds. And the smell of fresh light rain, that’s the best. When I was younger I used to think that I was going to melt if I get went out in the rain. Now it just pelts on me and rolls right off my back.

We continued to sit in the standstill. We witnessed a couple of cars driving backwards and a lot of cars driving on the shoulder of the road. It felt like we were in the middle of an a evacuation. In the below picture, a truck drove over the median to illegally exit the freeway.  I’m so glad no one was honking either. It is so aggravating to have to put up with angry blasts, most which are not for an emergency.

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In church on Sunday they spoke about taking rests. I believe that our adventure on the I-710 was a big one for us. Sometimes the Universe or God creates them to force us to be with ourselves. This was a trial for all three of us. Although we know each other well, we had to be observant of everyone’s emotions. I kept reciting the prayer that we say each week, “God is the love that I am.” This really helped because previously this experience would have been frustrating. That day, I sensed no danger and was in the moment the entire time.

Over two hours had elapsed and we were still inching along, the rain never let up. They closed off the road at the next exit and we had to get off. It was a madhouse. Once again some people were driving aggressively. As we were exiting, we looked over and saw that up ahead the freeway was flooded. Fire trucks were everywhere.

Finally we made it off the freeway and took our friend home. Thankfully, we encountered no problems on the way home. It felt so good to pull into our driveway.

Until next time,

Lynn

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Vegan Chili on a Cold Winter Day

Good afternoon, friends. It is so great to see all of your smiling faces today. Now is that time of year where the weather is cold and rainy, or snowing. It is perfect to try my homemade vegan chili and you are going to love this one. This recipe is a family favorite that I’m passing on to you.

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Here are the ingredients:

Beans

1 cup     dry navy beans

1 cup     dry kidney beans

1 cup     dry pinto beans

1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans

 

Veggies

10 medium sized roma tomatoes (or your choice of tomato about 48 oz)

2   peppers (any color)

1   large white onion

1   large Jalapeno (add more for more kick)

4   large cloves of garlic

 

Spices

4 tablespoons oregano

1 table spoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon ground pepper

 

Last ingredients

1  fresh ear of corn (cut kernels off cobb)

16 ounces ground vegan crumble

 

I prefer to use raw ingredients as opposed to those in a can. The first thing I do is gather them, with the first being the beans. Put all the beans in a crockpot and cover with water and soak overnight.

Rinse thoroughly the next morning and put back into crockpot. Put in enough water to cover the beans and cook on low. I like to use my slow cooker because it doesn’t overcook the ingredients.

 

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If you have a food processor, this is the fun part – Dicing. Use the dicing blade that came with yours. Cut all of your veggies into a few pieces and make sure the centers of the peppers are free of seeds, that is unless you want a more heated finished dish. Put veggies into food processor.   I love watching the machine dice up the tomatoes and onion. No crying on my part. I’ve had my fare share of slicing mass amounts of onions and those days are over. So are cutting up veggies by hand.Mix in the veggies with the beans. Then add the spices (add more to taste if you’d like) and continue to cook on low for about 8 hours. It is best to come in and stir it occasionally, but you don’t need to.

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The time is now yours. Good time to curl up with a good book. I just finished two great reads: Breanna Hughes’ A Fine Mess and Samantha Jacobey’s Christmas Eve. Breanna’s book is a dynamic romance story and Samantha’s is the sequel to Christmas Candy. My review for Christmas Candy can be found in the blog archives here and on blogspot.com. I am looking for discussions for both books. If you’ve read them, share what you liked about them and we’ll go from there. Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews.

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The last ingredients to add are the corn and the veggie ground. Remove the kernels from the cob and add to the chili. Stir in the veggie ground crumble and let it cook for an additional hour. The beans should be soft, but not squishy. You can cook for additional time if you’d like tender beans.

Chili is done and time for you to enjoy. Invite your friends over for this treat. Feel free to share your favorite recipes with us. Also I’d love to hear your chili story.

 

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Seasonally yours,

Lynn

 

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Photos provided by CharliWhiskey

Copyright 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review for Linda Bates’, ‘It Drew Pale’

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, for those who chose to join in.  Today  am featuring my review for Linda Bates’ ‘It Drew Pale.’  This book recently debuted, just in time for this holiday season.  Come on in and join us for this fun journey.

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Her greatest asset was her determination, and if you wanted to succeed in something in Oregon, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you had to have plenty of spirit!

Linda Bates

 

It Drew Pale takes place in the 19th century in the rural west. A man named Jack Preston was moving to Oregon to start a new life. Jack is tough but even keeled. He is witty, has a nice sense of humor, and is respectful of others. Jack is as honest as he can be. However, he has a big secret that your going to need to read the book to find out.

Eleanor and Marianne are sisters who enter Jack’s life. They are daughters of a shop keeper and they dress very well. Their beauty radiates and they are both very nurturing.   it’s no wonder that their family business is doing so well. These two women reminded me to stay optimistic. You can’t help but feel good when you are around them. They are both attracted to Jack’s charm. It’s no wonder that Jack is attracted to them. The question is how are they going to feel once they learn Jack’s secret.

All three players are solid. They are brave in their own ways. Marianne, under pressure, never showed any weak characteristics.   Nor did she cry out for a man when she was in an unpleasant situation. Marianne’s heart is as big as the world. Her strength is very visible and I applaud the author for creating her.

Eleanor doesn’t put up with nonsense. She knows how to hold her own ground and get her point across clearly. She isn’t afraid to use force either. She knows what she wants. No isn’t an option for her. If she wasn’t so attached to her family, I could see her going out on her own and starting a life someplace else. I found her to be a bit standoffish, but after learning a few things, I understood.

Jack has inner strength that is comparable to a super human. Jack isn’t afraid and doesn’t allow physical pain to slow him, especially when fighting for justice. Emotions are well tamed and never take over any situation.   I could see Jack stealth his way across a battlefield unnoticed.

This story is quite an adventure. There is a little bit of violence that made me pause from reading for a moment. The read itself kept me at a slow pace and I had to backtrack a few times so I wouldn’t miss anything. The story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. You are going to want to carve out time so that you can fully experience the entire story without interruptions. And don’t forget to read the introduction before the story. I found it to be very inspiring.

Here are two excerpts from this fine story for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Stepping onto Oregon soil, Jack immediately began to feel the familiarity of it all. It had been eight months since the tired legs had set foot on some good old honest earth. It felt wholesome and fresh. And firm, too, after the bobbling about on the schooner. People were still around to trip over in the busy port-side, yet already Jack felt free. It was certainly a welcome contrast from the life Jack had led back at the claim. There were some real women milling about! Jack was not the type who discriminated against those women who wore trousers and flannel open-necked shirts. After all, in the gold fields it was more practical for a female’s needs, but in Jack’s mind, there was no female figure that was not the embodiment of nature in crinoline and frills! It was the way of it, and Jack had no mind to change the laws of nature. The others, Jack observed, were also viewing the magnificent local scenery.

Excerpt 2 

The busy storekeeper and her sister heard the slam of a door, but were too busy to attend their aggrieved relative. Besides, they had experienced the tantrums of the twenty-year old, and were quite used, after years of the same, to Eleanor’s behaviour. Her father always had the same answer when Eleanor was ‘in a sweat’ as he would call it, and deduced she would desist being out of sorts as soon as she found herself a strong man to calm her temper. And that would anger Eleanor the more her father would vocalise his philosophies. They would never see eye-to-eye on the ideals that matched the general populace, because Eleanor did not see herself as one of the crowd. Rather she was an individual, with needs of her own she had not quite worked out yet.

 

Four Stars!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016

 

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My Review for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Candy’

Good afternoon friends. Welcome to the Christmas blog blast for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Candy.’ I am very excited to share my review so come on in and join in with the fun.  Enjoy!

 

Christmas is nearing and our main character, Candy is doing her best with her challenged young son.   Motherhood is natural for her and her sincerity is clearly shown.  She goes out of her way for him and puts him first.

Candy knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, and get her way.  She is a little spicy, and a real character.  Her strong traits came out several times during the story.  I found it refreshing to see her speak her mind and stand her ground.  She takes care of herself.

On the sidelines stands her love interest.  However she won’t allow herself to pursue him because of a deep seated grief from a loss in her past.  Trust issues come up, creating fear in her.  She wants to break free, but at the same time is keeping herself prisoner.  But for how long?

Life throws her a curveball during the midst and she is forced to surrender some of her self-sufficiency and allow others to help. By humbling herself she is able to process her feelings.  While reading this fiery, committed, chase, you’ll be dying to know what happens next.  Very well done!

This read makes a great stocking stuffer and can be finished in about two hours. The pace is fast so I found myself backtracking a few times just so I wouldn’t miss out on anything important.  The story is easy to follow.  Each scene is described in such a way that I felt part of it.  I am recommending this book for you all!

Scroll down to read more about ‘Christmas Candy’.   I have included an audio and a text excerpt.

 

Here is excerpt #1.  It is an audio file from ‘Christmas Candy’.

Take a listen to the audio file

Here is excerpt #2 from ‘Christmas Candy’.

Swinging around to face her, he towered above her short frame. Catching her hair, he tugged on it playfully while bending his face down close to hers. “Do you have any idea what you do to me?” he blurted, his smile tantalizing. 

Staring at him in wide-eyed surprise, she demanded, “I thought you were going to stop pushing me to date you!” 

“I’m not pushing, and this isn’t a date,” his lips made contact, but only for a brief moment. Stepping back, he caught her hand and pushed the button to call for the elevator at the same time. 

Holding him nervously, Candice followed him into the cubicle, and waited for the doors to close. Once they were alone in the small space, she pulled at his arm and teased, “You make it really hard to trust you.” 

“Only keeping you on your toes,” he shot back while staring up at the ceiling.

“Is that a short joke?” 

“Maybe,” the doors parted and they exited together.

Five Stars.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016

 

Her Name Cover

#Flashback Friday – Alicia Joseph’s ‘Her Name’ Review

Hello Everyone and a warm welcome to you!  Today is #Flashback Friday and I am reposting my review for Alicia Joseph’s novel, ‘Her Name’, originally posted on 11-Jan-15.  This is a story that you can read over and over.  I soon fell in love once again.  I invite you to stop by and check out this mysterious romance.

“Did you ever have a dream where you woke feeling like it was real?”

Madison is a spirited woman who has a big heart.  She is nearing forty and looking for love. Unfortunately, she attracts women who don’t have her best interest at heart.  She’s ready to settle down with a wife and have a family.  But she seems to lack some confidence since she is a beautiful woman who catches the attraction of both men and women when she is out and about.  Madison desires a woman who loves her for who she is and wants to share her journey of life.

Her best friend, Shelly, has told her not to be so hasty in her search that she overlooks some early important details; ones that point out bad traits of a person.

Madison isn’t into the party scene anymore;  she doesn’t want to look for love in a bar.  Nor does she want to pretend.    However, for now she goes along with the ride keeping her hopes to herself.

The passing of her mother is causing disturbing dreams for Madison; dreams that haunt her when she is awake.  Here, the author’s description is filled with such sensory detail that I felt it.  The line between consciousness and Madison’s subconscious experiences is effectively blurred.  I got the chills during certain points during the story.

Raw emotions are exposed many times during the story.  On one hand is her truth that she wants to share, yet on the other she is afraid of going insane.  Her friendships are strained and though Shelly doesn’t understand her, she still supports her.

The chemistry throughout the entire story is electrifying.  The romance parts were very unique and the sex is hot.

This story has twists and turns that kept me on my toes the entire ride.  It’s an easy read and can be finished in a few hours.  The story is very heartwarming and I felt tears a few times.

Here is an excerpt for you.

When I walked into my apartment, she was standing over the stove making dinner. She smiled. “How was work?”

I dumped my backpack on the nearest chair and went to her. Her hair was pulled back in a casual ponytail. She wore a fitted gray T-shirt and light blue sweatpants with an image of a mermaid swimming across her thigh. I stood behind her and breathed in the fresh scent of her hair. I massaged her neck, her shoulders. 

She moaned and leaned her body slightly back. “That feels good,” she whispered while I circled my thumbs and fingers in a rhythmic motion toward the back of her shoulders.

I moved my mouth slowly down her neck and felt her quiver as I pressed my lips against her skin. She reached her arms behind my neck, pulling me deeper into her. 

My hands traced down her back, to her waist, as she turned around to face me. 

“I missed you today,” she said, her voice coarse. With the tip of my right thumb, I outlined the edges of her lips. 

  “I’m here now,” I replied, conviction rising from my chest to my face as I felt—and tried to convey—that I would be there for her, always.

Five Stars.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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