book review: “things you save in a fire” by katherine center

Releasing on August 13, Things You Save in a Fire would make a great late summer read; I read it over two nights (it was a page-turner!!!!) If you liked How to Walk Away, you will like this one. Maybe even more, as I did.

I loved Cassie, the main protagonist, who is a firefighter! Hooray for all firefighters, and specifically lady firefighters! I learned a lot about firefighting and was duly impressed – Center’s husband is a volunteer firefighter so she used him to get the details right. And Cassie was the firefighter that worked to save Mags from Walk Away. I loved that connection, however, Fire can stand on its own.

Again, this is what I consider a great summer read. I liked the pacing – the storyline drove the narrative which I love and need in my fun fiction books. It also was about 300 pages. Anne told me that I needed these two things in my fun fiction reads and I think that she was right. And while there’s a romantic element (it could be classified as chick lit), I love how Center includes a more substantive narrative of forgiveness. Fun and romance while learning lessons? I don’t think that it gets any better than that!

Beware: One character has suffered a sexual assault in the past. It is not explicitly detailed or described. And there is adult language.

4 of 5 stars

A huge thank you to Snail on the Wall books for the ARC. Preorder your copy here.

Have you guys read this one? Will you read it now? What else would you like to know about it? Let me know in the comments.

enjoy life…


happy thanksgiving

Today, it’s time for my annual grateful list of 2018. I have made a habit of writing down the things that I am grateful for each year – as many as I am old.  I won’t share my entire list here but I want to share some of them with you to encourage you to think about what you may be grateful for also. Take some time and write them down.

  1. Of course, I must start with my family: the Hubby, the Buddy Man, my sister and her family, my parents, my in-laws, GG, aunts, uncles, you get the idea!
  2. My friends
  3. The Florida sun
  4. My Writing Peeps and Supporters: my mom (my biggest writing fan), Taralyn, Stephenie, Angela, Toya, Lucas, Eva, Ms. Harpe, Dr. Hyman, Kem, the Dream Plan Create fam,…
  5. Books, books, and more books
  6. Playing Dominos with my brother-in-law
  7. Tuesday Morning Play Dates for the Buddy Man and me. Mostly for me.
  8. Clean sheets
  9. Lower blood pressure measurements
  10. Barnes & Noble, Bridgstreet, Huntsville
  11. GG’s 80th Birthday Surprise
  12. #write31days: This Bookman: Meditations & Miscellany. I didn’t think that I could write for 31 days straight on the blog but I did it!
  13. My home
  14. The 15th Annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run. I am so glad that I didn’t skip it this year
  15. Dental cleanings
  16. Katie & Travis
  17. Jigsaw puzzles
  18. The whispers of my soul, “the voice of God”
  19. Sister, Sister phone calls
  20. Trips to Daytona Beach, Miami, and Las Vegas
  21. The power of a story
  22. Meeting Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Anne Bogel, in person!!!
  23. Rocket City Mom Book Club
  24. Time and space to breathe

I’m grateful for this creative journey – writing through the fear. I’m grateful for the lessons that I have learned and the progress toward living the life that I feel called to live this year.  I am grateful for all of you, my readers. And I leave you with my favorite quote for this time of year.

Given the amount of unjust suffering and unhappiness in the world, I am deeply grateful for, sometimes even perplexed by, how much misery I have been spared.” -Dennis Prager

Happy Thanksgiving!

meditation on stories

accessory blur book close up

Photo by Pixabay on

I have been thinking a lot about stories recently. Probably because I am considering a number of storylines for books and articles. Maybe because of what’s been happening in our society recently.

There’s no denying the fact that stories are very powerful things, for good or for ill.  Jesus told many stories that were so simple that kids could understand the stories’ lessons but so layered that theologians still wrestle with the stories’ meanings.

There would be no personal or global history without stories. I don’t know about yours, but when my family gets together, stories (sometimes the same ones) are told about my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, allowing me to know them in meaningful ways. Without written and oral story-telling, we wouldn’t know anything: from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, to the Pilgrims’ landing in New England, to the experiences of the Middle Passage or the Holocaust.

On the other hand, if there is no opportunity for certain groups, cultures, etc. to tell their stories or for their stories to be heard, we are left with the fabric of our human experience not fully woven.  And we can’t possibly understand them if we don’t listen to the stories.

I know I couldn’t.  We could start there: what don’t we understand? With what group do we disagree? How do we meet people where they are, if we haven’t a clue as to where that actually is?

It begins with listening to the stories being told around us. And searching for the stories that we need to hear.

til tomorrow, enjoy life

I’m writing for the 31 days in October about books and reading.

Catch up on the rest of this series.