A Spy’s Devotion

A Spy's Devotion

About Book Spy

In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?


Julia Grey is an orphan, taken in by her father’s sister and husband when she was six. Now grown, she understands that the only options for her future are to become a governess or to marry well; however, without a suitable dowry that could be problematic. Her aunt has made it eminently clear that Julia will not be welcome in their home after her cousin marries dashing British officer Nicholas Langdon.

Nicholas has returned home after being wounded in battle. He promised another soldier, who didn’t survive, that he would deliver a diary for him. Nicholas begins to realize the diary may hold more than he suspects when he’s beaten and robbed, but the only thing stolen is the diary.

Melanie Dickerson has done a masterful job of capturing the Regency Era in London. She deftly illustrates the plight of orphans and older unmarried women of the time and their constrictions imposed by society.

I enjoyed the story very much. However, I felt, because of the title, there would be more spying in the plot than there actually was.

If you enjoy stories written about the era of Jane Austen, you are sure to enjoy A Spy’s Devotion.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.



The Lesson of the Black Spot

I re-blogged this. A great lesson for us all!

Good Time Stories

black_spot_on_white_background_by_sukiroseessence-d321hr6Sometimes, simple illustrations teach us simple but important life lessons…..

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:

“I want you to write what you see there.”

The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.

At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black…

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Double Play

Double Play 2

About book double

Sophie Pope is devastated when she hears the news: her former boyfriend, college football star Anthony “Rocket” Rogers, is engaged to be married. Determined to win him back before he says “I do,” Sophie hatches a foolproof plan to stop the wedding. But when Rocket’s best man, aspiring baseball player David Savage, thwarts her plot, she realizes the game is up. For David, though, it’s just beginning . . . David knows that Sophie is just another pretty face, and he’s more than happy to save his best friend from her shallow advances. She’s not his type at all, so he’s baffled by his response to an awkward encounter with Donovan, another of Sophie’s former flames. Despite himself, David feels driven by an inexplicable need to protect her. Pretending to be Sophie’s new fiancé leads to unexpected sparks between the pair, and soon they’re searching for excuses to spend time together. But when a curveball threatens to send them in opposite directions, will Sophie and David step up to the plate for the possibility of true love?

My review double

Sophie Pope believes she has it all, looks, fashion sense and the chutzpa to be a potential NFL star’s wife, so why is “Rocket” marrying TJ? TJ, a girl that was anything except what Rocket needed. And, with that in mind, Sophie sets out to stop the marriage.

David Savage, one of many friends of Sophie’s, realizes what she is up to and decides to foil her plan. He doesn’t, however, plan to fall in love with her, nor she with him.

Double Play by Ranée S. Clark is an interesting book. I had a hard time getting into it at first because I didn’t realize it was a sequel to Playing for Keeps, so I had difficulty keeping up with all the characters. I also had a hard time liking Sophie’s character, as she was mean, conniving and very superficial. Still, I did enjoy seeing the changes in the characters in the book as they grew and began to take their faith more seriously. An interesting side (not to the story) is that it is written from an LDS (Latter Day Saints) standpoint. Because of this, some of the story would have been foreign to me had I not been friends, at one time, with someone of the LDS religion.

Overall, Double Play is an enjoyable book, once you get past the confusion caused by it being a sequel.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Faith of Ronald Reagan

About Book Reagan

Reagan’s greatest virtue wasn’t allegiance to country, but allegiance to God.

With warmth and insight, this best-selling book by Mary Beth Brown delves into the spiritual journey of America’s 40th president and offers profound stories of the provisions God made in Ronald Reagan’s life– from first making it as an actor to winning the presidency, from surviving an assassination attempt to eventually changing the face of politics and the world.

Supported by Ronald Reagan’s own words and writings plus firsthand interviews with his family, friends, and co-workers, Brown weaves a magnificent story that inspires as it informs. Reagan’s strong devotion to God will encourage believers to enter public service, allowing their faith to motivate their actions, and will draw focus to Christ’s matchless sacrifice–forever near and dear to President Reagan’s heart.

My Review Reagan

The Faith of Ronald Reagan by Mary Beth Brown brims with stories from President Reagan’s  years as he grew and later became a politician.  The book vividly portrays his humanity, optimism, strength of character and humor.

Small vignettes shed light on the larger than life person we’ve come to know and love.

President Reagan’s life was profoundly shaped by his mother, Nelle Reagan, a devout Christian. He felt there was nothing his mom gave him more important than her deep faith. A faith he embraced and allowed to guide him throughout his life.

Nelle frequently read stories to him and his brother. Each of these stories had a hero and a moral lesson; teaching good from bad. Most importantly she lived as she taught by putting her faith to work in all she did.
As Reagan grew physically and spiritually he never failed to listen to and for the voice of God to guide him through his journey.

Brown uses stories from friends, relatives and Reagan himself to show and consistently weave the story of his faith in all aspects of his life.
The book follows the various phases of his life from birth to death, with the greatest emphasis on his latter years. It opens with his being shot and closes with poignant eulogies.

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a  blogger book review. I am not required to write a positive review.

**This is a re-blog from an earlier post. I felt, since we’re in the middle of a Presidential campaign and we are coming up on President’s Day, we could use a story about one of our greatest Presidents (at least in my humble opinion).**

November 5, 2012

Sunday-Super Bowl, Sorrow and Sadness


(One of my favorite pictures of Dad)

My father passed away two years ago on a Super Bowl Sunday, that Sunday, however, was February 2.

Dad had been having trouble here at home, which had sent him to the hospital and then rehab. My sister, who lives in another state, wanted to spend some time with him and help to get him back to better health.  Therefore, we decided when he left rehab for him and hubs (to help with transfers, etc.) to fly to her home state for Dad to visit.

Things were going pretty well until he had a small incident with his heart that sent him to the hospital. He was there for a while and then sent to rehab again. Things were progressing really well at rehab, but he was lonely. My sister’s FLMA (Family Leave and Medical Act) time was up, so I decided to fly out to visit for a short time.

While I was there, his doctor decided to release from rehab on February 2. I was scheduled to fly home on January 29. I tried everything I could think of to delay my flight, but without a substantial penalty, I couldn’t. Naturally, I turned to prayer!

On January 28 a huge ice/snow storm was predicted for the south, where I was flying back to. In the early AM of January 29th, I received a message my flight had been cancelled. I jokingly told my brother-in-law that the Lord had answered my prayers. He, not so jokingly, replied that he really didn’t think the Lord inconvenienced the entire South for my benefit. Whoa!! Talk about me being put in my place!


We got 13 inches of snow where I was. I don’t remember ever seeing that much snow in my life and definitely not from start of snowfall to the end. It was COLD but very, very pretty.

We all went to see Dad and joked about the weather, lamented about his beloved Cowboys not being in the Super Bowl and teased each other about our choices of winner. Everyone was in high spirits looking forward to Dad being out of rehab and the upcoming Super Bowl.

On the morning of February 2, Dad got up, ate breakfast, teased with the nurses and CNA’s (he always said he’d be a tease til the day he died, and he was!), took his shower, shaved, got back in bed for a little bit to warm up from his shower-and never got up again.

There were so many things about Dad that were admirable, and quite a few that weren’t, also. He was a dedicated and hard worker. He cared very much for his family. He even, when our car broke down and we didn’t have money to repair it, rode a bicycle to and from work, in all kinds of weather and at all hours of the day or night-whatever his schedule dictated. There were times he could be unbelievably sarcastic and cruel, but he never asked anything of anyone that he wasn’t willing to do himself.

at-t-stadium Dallas

He worked for several years for the Dallas Cowboys, during their golden years with the Jimmy Johnson dynasty. And, even though he could not stand owner Jerry Jones, he was fiercely loyal to the Cowboys. (Loyalty, to a fault sometimes, was another of his good qualities.) I have some wonderful memories of visiting the old Cowboy’s stadium, along with some fantastic pictures-my kids have run off with the pictures!

So, every Super Bowl Sunday is bittersweet for me. I’m sure it will be even worse when the Cowboys finally do play a Super Bowl game again.

Friends, it looks like, even with the flu shot, that each of us are succumbing to the flu 1 by 1. Today, I’m feeling the beginnings. If I do like the last time I had it, approximately 12 years ago, I won’t resurface for about a week. The others are worse than I am right now.

Monday’s Mention


cropped-exit-right-header.pngExit Right book jacketA provocative, intimate look at the evolution of America’s political soul through the lives of six political figures—from Whittaker Chambers to Christopher Hitchens—who abandoned the left and joined the right.

In Exit Right, Daniel Oppenheimer tells the stories of six major political figures whose journeys away from the left reshaped the contours of American politics in the twentieth century. By going deep into the minds of six apostates—Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens—Oppenheimer offers an unusually intimate history of the American left, and the right’s reaction.

Oppenheimer is a brilliant new voice in political history who has woven together the past century’s most important movements into a single book that reveals the roots of American politics. Through the eyes of his six subjects, we see America grow, stumble, and forge ahead—from World War I up through the Great Depression and World War II, from the Red Scare up through the Civil Rights Movement, and from the birth of neoconservatism up through 9/11 and the dawn of the Iraq War.

At its core, Exit Right is a book that asks profound questions about why and how we come to believe politically at all—on the left or the right. Each of these six lives challenges us to ask where our own beliefs come from, and what it might take to change them. At a time of sky-high partisanship, Oppenheimer breaks down the boundaries that divide us and investigates the deeper origins of our politics. This is a book that will resonate with readers on the left and the right—as well as those stuck somewhere in the middle.My Review Exit RightOppenheimer’s book Exit Right is a deep, thought-provoking book about human character. What is it about character that makes a person a conservative, liberal or fence sitter?

As Oppenheimer delves into the lives of the following: Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens, he gives us a unique perspective of six humane Americans who adopted the tenants of the progressive movement as young men. However, later in life. these same individuals did an abrupt about-face, adopting not a moderated progressivism but instead a conservatism as robust as their liberalism had once been. They were able to do this without losing any of the humane instincts that had initially drawn them into the progressive cause.

This is a fascinating phenomenon. Although the six individuals’ erstwhile friends turned on them with venom and their newfound allies hailed them as heroes, Oppenheimer’s evenhanded narrative clearly depicts them as men whose basic characters had barely changed. It is hard to escape the conclusion that there are some fundamental aspects of progressivism and conservatism as alike at their core as they are dissimilar in their program. Both attracted the minds of six geniuses as principal spokesmen in the 20th century – the same six.

This is a book to be read and re-read by every spectator or participant in American politics who has ever wondered whether their core beliefs – left or right – are grounded in reason or are perhaps just a little bit arbitrary. That class of readers would be all of us who are thoughtful and honest with ourselves.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.