Look Forward, Monthly Recap

Month at a Glance: August 2022

I haven’t written one of these in a long time. August was quite a busy month for me and I, unfortunately, didn’t get much reading done. Plus there was one week I got sick and didn’t have any motivation to read. But here is a glance at August 2022.

Books Read:

Ice Crown by Kay L. Moody- 2 stars
The Palace of Lost Memories by C.J. Archer- 3.5 stars
The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker- 4 stars
Knox by Susan May Warren- 4 stars

Books DNF:

Dwindle by K.A. Gandy
Rafe by Kathy Ivan

Books that stuck out:

A funny story about the two books I am about to mention is due to the heroes of the stories. Even funnier the books are named after the hero.

Knox because the hero Knox knew boundaries and respected the heroine and understood why she was the way she was.

Now with Rafe, it has more to do with the author not properly educating herself on law enforcement. It wasn’t even anything that couldn’t be researched either. I don’t think I have had a book that made me rage like that in a while.

Books I look forward to:

Some upcoming books I plan on getting in next month are:

Rise by J.M. Kearl
The Designate by J.B. Cantwell
Between Ink and Shadows by Melissa Wright
Nobody Left Out by Michael Murray
He Healed Them All by Barry Bennett


Disney Challenge will be finished at the end of next month. I plan on doing a Fall challenge that will go through October and November. Then of course a Christmas challenge to end the year.

Hope yall have a blessed September.

Book Reviews

Rafe by Kathy Ivan

My edition: Kindle Owned
Pages: 223
Series: Texas Boudreau Brotherhood #1
Genre: Romance, Western, Suspense
Published: April 14, 2020
Rating: DNF @ pg 63


When Sheriff Rafe Boudreau catches Tessa Maxwell climbing through the window of a house where she doesn’t belong, the crime rate isn’t the only thing that spikes. Turns out, trouble has followed the small-town schoolteacher to Shiloh Springs, and Rafe and the rest of the Boudreau clan must step in to keep her safe. Can they decipher the clues and end the danger Tessa faces before time runs out?


Oh, do I have a bone to pick with this book! I don’t think I have ever had so many Goodread updates before.

First, since I am married to a LEO, I know how cops talk. Rafe does not talk like one. He uses the Q word which if you know first responders, they don’t like that word. It’s a jinx. Also, they don’t call cases or leads a story. They call them cases or leads. There is much more I could say but not going to.

Second, the two MCs apparently had a different meeting than what I read because both said they had an “instant” connection/chemistry. I’m not buying it. There is a difference between finding someone attractive versus actually having a connection with the person.

Third, there is a chapter in which Rafe goes and checks on Tessa at the elementary when he is supposed to be finding a teenage (or I think he was a teenage) boy who might be facing charges due to a young lady’s parents finding out he has been with (just says canoodling) her. Are you freaking kidding me? It even says he should be going to find said dude (we will call him since I don’t know his exact age). Also, there should have been a DUI when a woman was driving her husband’s tractor in town drunk on moonshine, but she gets to sober up and then go home. NO!!!! It’s a DUI!!! Wy’s voice is screaming inside my head at this.

My husband’s voice is inside my head nitpicking at everything. Do you know how bad a book has to be for my husband to be in my head?!

For authors, if you are going to write about law enforcement, please educate yourself. No good LEO would let a woman drunk driving a tractor in town go home. They would do a field sobriety test, write a DUI, then take the drunk woman to jail until she could bond out. It doesn’t matter how small a town it is. The law is the law and they could lose their job or be sued.

There are so many problems I have with how law enforcement is depicted in this book. Let’s not even start with the “romance”. I’m done. I pulled the plug.

Book Reviews

Knox by Susan May Warren

My edition: Kindle Owned
Pages: 251
Series: The Montana Marshalls
Genre: Romance, Christian, Fiction
Rating: 4 stars


He’s not looking for trouble…

Montana rancher Knox Marshall’s danger years are behind him. A former bull-rider, he now runs the Marshall family ranch, raising champion bucking bulls for the National Professional Bullrider’s Expo (NBR-X). Wealth and success are his, but life is stable, expected, and…ordinary.  But he wants more from life…

But trouble is looking for her…

Kelsey Jones just wants a safe life, a family, a home. Onstage, the beautiful rising star of the Yankee Belles becomes the person she longs to be – vivacious and confident – burying the brokenness she carries from a violent assault. Becoming NBR-X’s next country act is key to outrunning her past and achieving the success and security she craves.

When trouble finds them both…

Knox and Kelsey’s paths collide when an explosion at an NBR-X event traps them in the rubble and leaves them reeling. Kelsey’s crippling nightmares return, but for Knox, an obsession to find the bomber is ignited.

What will it cost him to protect her? 

When Kelsey’s past threatens Knox’s family, he’ll have to choose between saving the Marshall legacy or becoming the protector he’s always longed to be.


Can I just say Knox is finally the man I have been looking for in a romance? Because he is.

I have found lately that most of the “alpha ott male” is kind of a horrible troupe. Now hold on and let me explain. It’s nice to have a man that is protective, but sometimes that protective comes off as abusive. Still not seeing it?

Not all OTT males are like this but it seems to me that more and more are becoming this. An example of this is Hardin from After. I haven’t read the book and I have only seen reviews of the movies. That dude is what I, my dear friends, like to call red flag syndrome. What is a red flag syndrome? It simple is everything the man does or says is a red flag. Other examples include the dude from the Kissing Booth I think his name is Noah and almost every single Alexa Riley hero. Controlling is a better term. These are guys who want the girls to give up everything and live the way they want. They beat up any guy who goes after said girl. They warn off other guys yet they can go and sleep with half the cheer squad. See what I am saying now? I think it’s After 2 when she gets a job in Seattle and Hardin becomes a complete baby and throws a fit. Also, him destroying his apartment in the first movie… yeah that is a major red flag.

Anyway, I am getting off track. Knox understands that Kelsey has a past that haunts her. Now he doesn’t know exactly what that past is until after the halfway point. But he respects Kelsey’s boundaries. He kisses her and quickly stops because he realizes he forgot to ask for her consent. He waits for her. He makes sure she is comfortable. Even in the beginning when all he wants to do is hunt her down and protect her, she stated she didn’t want to see him. He respects her wishes though it tears him up inside. Knox is a man I have been waiting for and I can’t wait to read Tate’s story.

Book Reviews

Dwindle by K.A.Gandy

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 202
Series: Populations Crumble #1
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Published: December 19, 2020
Rating: No rating. DNF @ 30%


Humankind is in trouble. The Sterilization Vector has crippled reproduction across the globe. With the human population on the brink of utter collapse, the government has stepped in to try to save the human race.

Sadie is just one woman, but could her genes hold the key to unlocking what remains of the world’s reproductive potential? Taken from her home and family, she must fight to find not just her best genetic match, but a man she can try to build a life with.

Will she be able to find someone to love, despite the odds stacked against her, or will she be one more woman swallowed up by the decline of humanity?


Yeah… Yeah… No!

I can’t do it. I don’t like the writing style nor do I like the plot. I understand some people like this book for what I hate about it. I understand what the author is going for but it also feels like it has subtle attacks on men. Maybe I’m reading too much into what the author says but that’s how I feel. Also, I’ve been bored since the start. There is nothing that pulls me in.

The h is lackluster. The H is bland. I couldn’t connect and I just don’t think I should waste any more time. I tried. I did. I was going to DNF at 5% but I decided to continue on but I can’t anymore.

Book Reviews

The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker

My edition: Kindle Owned
Pages: 274
Standalone (Best read w/ Bible nearby)
Genre: Christian, Non-fiction, Bible Study
Published: Jan. 1, 1981
Rating: 4 star


Every story is about Him.
A single, scarlet thread runs through the entire Bible, weaving a beautiful garment of salvation from Genesis to Revelation. This thread shows how the Old and New Testament fit together to tell one complete story.
This sacred thread is the blood covenant Jesus made with God for you.
Uncover the grand narrative of Jesus’ sacrifice, as it is powerfully and prophetically woven through the Scriptures beginning with the covenant rituals, Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses and the prophets.  
With three powerful new chapters, this expanded edition of the classic bestseller, The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread, is your invitation to step into the story of redemption—not merely as a reader, but as a participant.Discover the prophetic origins of the New Testament’s promise for believers and how they picture Jesus in every book of the Bible. Experience personally the deep significance of the covenants, the Passover, crossing the threshold and eating the salt of the covenant. Enter the manifest presence of God through the ancient invitation of the Tabernacle, the High Priest and the sacrificial offerings. 

Have a fresh encounter with God and the
supernatural power of the blood of Jesus!


I love the writing style. It made it easy to read and understand.

But I could see very little, if any, practical spiritual value in the Old Testament. I recognized it as a historical collection of Jewish writings but couldn’t see how it had anything to do with the carpenter from Nazareth in the New Testament. I always thought that the Old Testament was written for Jews and the New Testament was written for Christians. I thought they were different books for different people. Wow, was I ever wrong!

I used to view the Bible this way as well. It was three years ago when God saved me and changed my outlook on life. Now it’s hard to remember before. I can’t see my life without Jesus. I never understood people and how they had this outlook until it hit me in the face full force and knocked me on my rear.

Yet to the passerby, there is nothing exciting about being a Christian. It appears to be a very unattractive, dull and boring life. Their attitude is, “Who wants to be a Christian? Why you have got to have a long face and never have any fun.” They don’t know that all the riches of God’s inheritance dwells in His people

As I said earlier, I haven’t been a Christian for very long. Before I was Catholic in name but I never read my Bible and I certainly did not live as a child of God. One could say that being Christian is boring, but I would love to tell you that I have never been more peaceful. Now, unfortunately, there are bad apples just like everything else. I used to judge all Christians by the ones who actually aren’t all that Christian.

This book points out everything I’ve come to know about Jesus and even taught me a few things I haven’t learned before. (i.e. The sacrifices and a deeper study of the importance of them and why they were set up.) There is a difference between knowing “about” God and knowing “who” God is. I have stumbled many times in my walk but each time I grow. No matter what, nothing can take me out of God’s hands. This book shows what I have come to recently learn, the whole Bible is tied together by Jesus.

It also points out one of my statements I have come to say. You have to read the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) to understand the New Testament (New Covenant). An example of this is when Jesus says I AM, you wouldn’t understand why the people got so angry with Him if you did not know the history of Moses and the burning bush. You wouldn’t know that I AM is God’s name. In ancient Hebrew, it looks like YHWH.

If you are wanting a deep study of how the Bible’s 66 books connect, this is a great starting book. I immensely enjoyed it. There are a few grammatical errors along with spelling errors but nothing too horrible.

Book Reviews

Ice Crown by Kay L. Moody

My edition: Kindle Owned
Pages: 150
Series: The Elements of Kamdaria #1
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May 2022
Rating: 2 stars


The competition could save her life…
But only if she wins.

Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.

A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.

Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.

Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.


On Goodreads, the synopsis says for fans of Avatar the Last Airbender. My husband, Wy and I love the Last Airbender. So my first thought is this better not disappoint.

Talise is from the outer ring called the Storm. The Storm is where the lowest members live (i.e. criminals and their families who cannot get out). Even though one person commits a crime, the family is sent to the Storm. I’m confused about this. I think that is a weird system. I may have read the laws wrong but it doesn’t make much sense.

They never left because life in the Storm required crime. It required stealing from trade wagons just so there would be a slice of bread for dinner. It required threatening guards so they wouldn’t torment a neighbor. It required saving rainwater just so there would be something to drink after a day of labor.

People never left the Storm. Never. Especially not children who were seven years old. Unless they got into the academy.

Talise at the start of the book is headed to the Academy. It ends right before the competition. Talise learns of some news before she is supposed to compete. She has to make a decision to stay or to go.

I skimmed most of this book. There wasn’t anything that really captivated me. The laws were confusing. I wish there was more to this book. More to flush out. I feel like if we got more details of the world it wouldn’t be as confusing. This seemed more of a tell than a show. It had potential but didn’t fully live up to it. I think I will pass on this series.

Book Reviews

The Palace of Lost Memories by C.J. Archer

My edition: Kindle owned
Pages: 254
Series: After the Rift #1
Genre: YA, Historical, Fantasy
Published: Oct 9, 2018
Rating: 3.5 Stars


The king’s magnificent palace was built in a matter of weeks. No one saw the builders, no villagers are allowed beyond the gilded gate, and only one servant has ever left. The haunted look in her eyes as she was recaptured by the palace guards is something Josie, daughter of the village doctor, has never forgotten.

For Josie, the palace is a mystery that grows more intriguing after she meets the captain of the guards, a man known only as Hammer, as mysterious and captivating as the palace itself. Whispers of magic fuel Josie’s desire to uncover the truth, but an ordinary girl like her can only dream of ever being invited inside.

When the king decides to take a wife from among the eligible daughters of the noble families, the palace gates are finally thrown open and the kingdom’s elite pour in. In a court where old rivalries and new jealousies collide, the king’s favorite is poisoned and the doctor is summoned. As her father’s assistant, Josie finally sees inside the lavish walls, but she soon learns the palace won’t surrender its secrets easily, for not a single resident, from the lowest servant to the king himself, has a memory from before the palace existed.

In the search for the truth, Josie is drawn deeper into danger, and the answers she seeks might shake the very foundations of the kingdom.


Well, that was an interesting start to a series. Josie is a good character. I like Hammer but still, I wish there was a bit more. I know that there will be more revealed in later books. I just have to put them on my second in series until I can buy them.

I thought I knew who the poisoner was but it actually turned out to be someone I didn’t expect. So far the start of the characters is good. I hope for more character growth in the next books. I also don’t like the king. He is fishy. I also think he is the one to blame for everything.

Book Reviews

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 490
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: July 8, 2014
Rating: 3 stars


In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.


I did not know that this book was hyped up. I stumbled across it when I was looking through recommendations on Goodreads. A tab I should stop going to but can’t help. I started reading this and got the idea to look at some friends’ reviews. Little did I know just how many people read this book. As I have come to find out, I tend to dislike books that are hyped up…

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

I didn’t fully dislike the book. I just wasn’t really a fan. I skimmed about half of it. I tried really hard to like the characters and to like the story. It’s actually not bad for world-building and original. But I just couldn’t get myself to fully invest.

And I am not filled with longing for the second book either. So it’s safe to say I’m not moving on with this series. Sorry.