Book Review: High Caliber Holiday by Susan Sleeman

HCH 2015The third installment of Susan’s First Responders series opens and closes with edge-of-your-seat action. Ex-lawyer Morgan Thornsby is taken hostage on a train and the First Response Squad is called out. Negotiations don’t go as planned, and team sniper Brady Owens must take a shot; but he freezes for a split second. When his shot hits Morgan, Brady feels responsible and silently vows to care for her. What they find in her apartment after he takes her home opens up the start of a tense stalker case that finishes in Susan’s trademark twist of plot. Just when you think you’re sure who it is, she dazzles with an unforeseen but believable alternate suspect that makes you slap your head and utter, “I forgot about them!”
The characters in High Caliber Holiday are familiar old friends you’re happy to be revisiting. You want to join them in the dining room of the old firehouse for a home cooked meal by Darcie or attending Skylar’s huge Christmas shindig. They are engaging and you don’t want the story to end.
Susan’s brand of clean romantic suspense is highly recommended for all!


Books For Sale!

Do you remember that classic children’s book Caps For Sale? Oh, I loved that!

Well, like the beloved tale, one can never own too many books, right?

New book is available and so are the other 3. If you would like a copy of any of the Lakeville Series, message me or email me You can pay me via PayPal or my nifty new Cash Me account.

Pricing (includes S&H):

Seasons of a Life, $9.99
Sunnie’s Rainbow, $12.99
Restoration, $15.99
All three above for $25.99
By The Hand of His Grace, proceeds to benefit Karens or The Cure, $14.95

All can be found on

Thank you!


By The Hand of His Grace Release Update

Hi everyone,

Yes, I have been busy editing, cover creating, etc. And, I have some great news; the KINDLE pre-order is LIVE! By The Hand of His Grace

I have a Kickstarter campaign going for the hard copy. Please consider backing this very important project. Here is the backstory, since it’s been a while:

By The Hand of His Grace is the fourth installment of the Lakeville series, and the story of Autumn’s bought with breast cancer.

I had determined long ago that Autumn would not be a primary character in any Lakeville stories, but the Lord had other plans for her and me. In December of 2013 I heard a clear call from Him to write a Lakeville book for my friend Karen, who holds an annual fundraiser for Koman. As I pondered the possibility, He was clear that it was to be Autumn’s story. I hoped to have it ready for her event this year, but I had to complete my preparation for taking the director’s position at CBS. Karen understood, and she’s excited about the book’s progress for next year. 100% of the proceeds will be given to Karens For The Cause (



Mother’s Day, 2015; What I’ve Been Longing To Say For Years

It’s the second Sunday in May and here in Colorado you can almost bank on it being one of two things. Super hot or snowy. Today it’s snowy. It reminds me of May, 2008, when we moved to this wonderful, bi-polarized weather state. It did clear up to spend my first Mother’s Day here on a beautiful day.

Yes, this is a post about remembering, but it may not be the type of Mother’s Day post you’re expecting. Even if that’s the case, please read through. I’d like to tell you about some women, for whom this day is not joyful. I tell you about them, not to diminish your joy in the day, but to see that there is a need for prayer over them. For, if you are a believer on our Lord Jesus as your Savior and King, you are called to pray for the hurting.

Some women today will not feel happy, will not have family rallying around to honor them, who will have pain so deep they can hardly stand up. You have sisters in this world, yea, right under your very nose, who have hurting hearts today. It’s time to open your eyes and see them.

There are Prodigal Moms, ones who have children but they may not hear from them. They may not know where their children are or if they are even still breathing on this earth. For some, there may be joy as a Prodigal returns, but for many, there will not be.

There are the Heart Moms, those who haven’t carried a child, but long to. They so want to have every emotion of joy and pain that comes in this little chore called Motherhood. They understand the hard times come with the good, and their minds are boggled and their hearts saddened when we complain about dirty diapers and late night phone calls.

There are the moms who really don’t treasure their children as they should, but expect them to honor and respect them in every way.

There are women who have husbands or partners or children who do not feel the day is special; that it’s contrived and pt upon them by society, or just really don’t care about it. They desire a small recognition, a card, a flower picked by a child. They will not receive it. They will only receive annoyance and disregard.

Many cannot celebrate with their beloved mom, because they have moved on to their eternal rest. For some this is fresh and it’s a scab being ripped off a fresh wound and for others, even though time has passed. It’s as hard as the first time they celebrated without her.

Some celebrate this day with empty places in their hearts over the child who is missing, because there are some who will never hear the words “Happy Mother’s Day” again from them. They, too, have gone to eternity and left a gaping chasm where a child used to stand. Some have lost these dear ones before or at birth. The pain is no less.

Others chose to reject their pending motherhood by abortion. Yes, the ones who chose the more heinous need prayer, too. Their hearts are hurting, even if you don’t believe it. It’s not an “easy out,” and it effects more than the women who walked that road.

Friends, enjoy your day. Treasure the loved ones that celebrate and honor you. And in that time, please lift your hurting sisters to the Throne of Grace where they will find comfort. It’s not just a privilege, it’s a command.



Books That Are Changing My Life

It’s been quite a while since I have read anything that I could honestly say was “life changing,” with the exception of my Bible. Recently, I picked up two books that are doing just that. One was a Kindle special, and the other is a book that I refused to read for years.

wlw coverWomen Living Well, by Courtney Joseph. I snagged this book a few months back when it was only $2.99. This is one book that is well worth the full price! I had fallen away from reading anything but sci-fi and fiction for some time, and I challenged myself to read at least ONE book of a spiritual nature per month in 2015. This one is a goldmine.

Courtney runs the Women Living Well website. That alone is chock full of wonderful and Biblically sound advice. She also has a great ministry, the Good Morning Girls. Her book is about living well as you fulfill the many roles God has given to you. Wife, mother, ministry leader, she has them all in there.

One thing I especially enjoy about the book is her non-condemning attitude. Many books like this will tell you just how awful you are if you cannot juggle everything with a smile. Courtney’s approach is different. Using her own life as an example, she goes through Biblical principals and allows you to make the call in your own circumstance.

I especially loved her insight on using your time wisely. Regarding social media and the internet, Courtney points out that in and of themselves, they have no inherent morality. It’s how you use them that shows your morality. How much time you spend, and at who’s expense, is between you and the Lord.

The chapter on living well in your marriage was thought provoking, a bit convicting, and excellent. I’d say this is a must have on any woman’s bookshelf, real or virtual.

My other read is Trim Healthy Mama, by sisters Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. My crazy food journey is documented on my personal blog, and I’ll leave it to you to hop over there if you’d like to hear all about my adult struggles.TrimHealthyMamacover

When this book came out in 2012 and immediately caused an internet sensation, I listened briefly (VERY briefly) to the descriptions and concluded that it was just another way to be shackled to food. And, what was all this crazy alphabetical meal naming? A system, that’s all it was.

Yet, as I struggled through more “freedom” from diets, systems, and labels, I kept an eye on those I knew who were using the book and getting results. Some were getting dramatic and fabulous results. Meanwhile, I went down a vegetarian road when my health numbers continued rising into the danger zone. I even procured a copy of Serene’s previous cookbook all about raw eating.

I finally took a real, honest look at Trim Healthy Mama when I watched a video by the sisters where Serene is quite frank about the detrimental effects her raw vegan diet had not only on her health, but that of her infants. Nothing like eye opening conviction, right from the source! I began stalking THM’ers online, Pinterest pages and the Trim Healthy Facebook pages and forum. I requested the book from my library, and once it was in my hands, I knew I needed my very own copy.

It’s much more than a “diet book.” Serene and Pearl have done an astounding amount of research and experimented on themselves searching for the right balance of great foods and healthy choices. They have so much good and documented information packed into the book. Not to mention the recipes. The back chapters on spiritual and emotional health are frank and thought provoking. All of this places your total body health right in the hands it’s supposed to rest in. The One Who created you.

If you would have asked me right around the holidays how I was doing, I wouldn’t have been honest. I was falling apart. Worried about my spiritual and physical health, how was I going to get everything together for ministry, my kids, my hubby, my grandkids? I was heading for a crash, and I am so very grateful that the Lord placed these two books into my hands right when I needed them. My only regret is that I don’t have a copy of each to give away.

Till next time, let your dreams soar high, and your prayers even higher!



Book Review: Web of Deceit, Susan Sleeman

This is the premier title in Susan’s new Agents Under Fire series. It begins with edge-of-your-seat suspense and doesn’t stop until the final sentence. Not what I expected. BETTER! Warning: don’t read late at night because you will not sleep till it’s finished!

Kait Knight lives every agent’s nightmare; tailing a family member, her brother-in-law, as a mastermind criminal hacker. She find that he is also quite mentally unhinged. In an attempt to kill her, Fenton Rhoades accidentally kills his wife, Kait’s twin sister Abby. He escapes, and the following three years are Kait’s attempts in catching him at all odds. The story picks up at that point, showing Kait struggles with being a single mother raising her sister’s only child and balancing her career as a Special Agent in Portland. Add in a healthy dose of maternal disapproval, and you see Kait’s living on the edge.

Kait and Fenton play a tight, no holds barred cat and mouse game as he attempts to gain his child back and revenge on Kait for Abby’s death. The local police, in the form of Detective Sam Murdock, who was at the original crime scene three years ago, begin investigating a series of seemingly unconnected murders. He and Kait must work together, and with the task force formed, to catch Fenton before his serial murder spree grows. It’s all out thrills as you follow the trails, cringe when they miss and cheer the final outcome.

Susan follows her other suspense series in fine form. The characters are real, down to earth and engaging. She uses accurate background data so the tale is believable, a compliment to her attention to small detail and research.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Merry Christmas from D.H. Barbara

Hello friends! I wanted to say thank you for all the support and encouragement, so, this weekend only, Sunnie’s Rainbow will be $0.99 and Restoration will be FREE! on Kindle from Friday through Sunday. *subject to Amazon’s picky policies timing issues

They have been reformatted. If you already own a copy and it’s still hinky, dump it and redownload.

Seasons of a Life will remain at $1.99, this is a chance to either own all three or gift them to someone for a great low price! THAT Is a great gift!

Have the most blessed of holidays and see you in 2015!

Dream BIG!

October Joy Tree