It’s “Not by Happenstance”

Being born and raised in the state of Hawaii is what first pulled me to read “Not by Happenstance”. It takes place in Hāna, Maui, a place that takes a long curvy, not-so-motion-sickness friendly, yet gorgeous path to get to. I’ve been to Hāna, so reading a book placed there was intriguing as I’ve never read a fiction story about my home state before.There is a lot of what we call pidgin in this book, something mentioned in the book called Hawaiian Creole. It is used by the locals a whole lot more than my friends and family ever do. But, I live in a more urban area and it is likely that pidgin could still be popularly spoken by those in the Hāna area. It’s been a long time since I’ve been anywhere near there.

I also sensed slight animosity between the locals and visitors, even though this story is set at a bed and breakfast and the main character is not a local, but actually from California. This may be true in some areas, but I like how the story warms up to the visitors when they show they really care. 

The main character is Lokelani (Lani to her friends), she helps her grandmother (who’s real name is Cora, but Lani calls her Puna) take care of the bed and breakfast. Other characters include the interesting Pearl, who is a Chinese visitor who shares the right wisdom at all the right moments; Ahe, Lani’s local friend who doesn’t quite care for haoles (visitors); the college students who wrecked their place; a few others not mentioned much, and most importantly the mysterious, handsome, and flirtatious haole, Easton Allard, who is staying at the bed and breakfast for three whole months. 

Constantly attempting to do things and be close to Lani, Easton talks his way into doing things with her with the encouragement of Puna and Pearl. Frustrated, Lani goes anyway and Easton happily tags along, even though Lani made it clear that she is engaged to Derek. But, Easton makes it clear that Lani isn’t wearing an engagement ring, so technically she’s not engaged to anyone. 

Their adventures go from a potluck at Ahe’s with Lani’s local friends to fishing, hiking, and cleaning the place the college students trashed. Easton is always there to create memories with Lani, which she doesn’t like at first. It’s always sad when an engagement is broken, but when the love isn’t the same for both people, can it really work? Will being single be an open door for Easton or more frustration for Lani?

It is not often that I stay up all night to finish a book, but this is one of them. Enjoyable and adventurous, flirtatious and cautious, “Not by Happenstance” by Rachel Anderson is a book that will make you go through smiles, tears, blushes, and anger all in its 252 pages. 

   

Miss Match is obvious to everyone else but the matchmaker

Toujour is a European matchmaking business that utilizes actual people to match couples together using one-on-one interviews. Top matchmaker, Brooke, used Toujour to see the effectiveness of the program and she found an artist from Europe, who she is now engaged to because she believes in the effectiveness of Toujour. However, Brooke’s best friend, Luke, has been in love with her for eight years. Will Luke be able to convince Brooke he’s a better match for her?

 Luke Ryder has been named the CEO of Ryder Communications, a business his late father built years ago from his basement. Luke’s father recently died of lung cancer and Luke has been struggling to get through life. The board of directors at Ryder Communications question Luke’s ability to run the company. It is Beooke who is there for him and helps this bachelor to make sense of life as he now knows it. 

Simultaneously, Brooke’s boss and owner of Toujour shares that unless sales pick up, Toujour will close its doors. Brooke devises a plan to sign up hot bachelor and very popular Luke Ryder as a candidate on Toujour to help save the business. Little does she realize how many single people will suddenly line up for a chance to date Luke. 

Luke agrees to helping Brooke but refuses to seriously date any one because of his love for Brooke. Will Luke find true love and his original plan backfires? Will Brooke ever realize that there’s a better match for her than her fiancé?

Miss Match by Lindzee Armstrong is part of the No Match for Love series. An excellent first book to snag your attention and leave you eager for more excitement. The characters are realistic and details so descriptive. 

Ebooksforreview.com is a website that offers complimentary ebooks for a review. This is the first time I’ve used this site and I am so far very pleased. The selection of books is updated quicker than I can read a book and the format very simplified. 

Believing Jesus is eye-opening and so real

Several months ago, I came across a book study with FaithGateway. It was a study about Believing Jesus and it was more than your typical book study, it came along with a video teaching series that discusses each chapter of the book. It was like doing a book study with other women, from my own living room! 

  

Little did I know, the devil would sneak up on me and my plans to enjoy this series with other women as I quickly fell behind. However, I persevered and completed the book on my own. Believing Jesus by Lisa Harper keeps you engaged as she throws her personal testimony and that of people she knows into the mix of scriptures and ideas.

I especially love it when Ms Harper uses modern modes of transportation for how the apostles traveled. It places them in the modern world which helps me to better understand the scriptures themselves. It places personality into her book and I love the attention to detail provided to assisting the understanding of what happened some two thousand years ago.

Ms Harper eloquently explains her experiences with the little girl, Missy, who she adopted from Haiti. HIV positive and transplanted to the States, little Missy seems to enjoy life and sparks a love for Jesus at her young age. As a single parent, Ms Harper expresses the challenges she’s been through and doesn’t shy away from absolute honesty.

Believing Jesus by Lisa Harper is a book I highly recommend to anyone struggling with how or why they should believe the words in their Bible. It’s one thing to know and understand the scriptures, but it’s something totally different to believe those words and live it daily.

Putter and the Red Car took me on a road trip across America

Literally, from the east coast to the west, Putter and the Red Car by Kate K. Lund and illustrated by Ana Maria Velicu took me on a road trip. With a few stops in between, driving across America can be fun and exciting. How do you travel with an Airdale terrier from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington?   

Putter is a seven-year old Airdale terrier who went on a road trip with his human family. They stopped at dog-friendly hotels and got to play on playgrounds, which gave him and his human brothers a chance to stretch their legs after long drives. Putter had a few firsts during this road trip from staying at a hotel to riding an elevator, Putter even got to eat a hamburger!

Stopping to visit friends along the way is always fun, too! Putter had a chance to see a friend, Hercules, and they got to play together. Traveling is often more fun when taking advantage of seeing old friends to spice up a much needed stop.

My son and I read this road trip adventure together. We paused to study the maps at the beginning and end of the book. Being from Hawaii, it was immediate that the map did not include the 50th state. Although, there’s no way anyone will every drive here, it sort of makes sense to not be included as it is a book about road trips.

Otherwise, I personally would have stopped at more significant locations as a learning experience for the boys, places like Philadelphia or Yeklowstone. However, traveling with a pet changes everything as not all hotels or stops are pet-friendly.

A highlight for my son was Mount Rushmore as he recently learned about it at school. We also saw a small display of it at a local retailer the day before reading Putter and the Red Car. If only we could go to all these places he learns about at school!

Putter and the Red Car was provided complimentary for an honest review. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to go on a road trip and needs to prepare their family to do it. I recommend it even for children who want to follow a pet on a road adventure. Happy traveling!