Sunday, June 30, 2013

Photograph & Verse {Sunday}

I made a spacing boo-boo on my graphic that I only noticed afterwards. Drives me crazy when that happens but not crazy enough to fix it J

 I'm guest posting today over at The Enchanting Rose

Have a blessed Sabbath!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Home is where the nest is...

This mommy Killdeer built her nest in a parking lot. The gravel portion goes down into a ravine but she is at the upper edge, just beyond the curb, where I parked my car. The employees at the store where the lot is located said they have been watching her daily and waiting to see the eggs hatch.

Here's #1! This newly hatched little Killdeer popped out from under mom, looking around at the big world. If you look closely, you can see another egg, maybe two, still waiting to hatch. 

Isn't it adorable? 

And the back cute is that nubby little tail?!

On skinny little legs, this baby hopped all around his mommy and over the rocks, then went right back underneath. He must have gotten tired out and decided it was nap time. 

Getting settled...

Snug as a bug in a rug ;)

God's creation never ceases to amaze me!

God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:22

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? ~ Matthew 6:26

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Review ~ Follow the Heart by Kaye Dacus

I always enjoy a book written by Kaye Dacus. She has a mature writing voice that is crisp and clean. Her writing is rich in detail, full of imagination and subtle spiritual themes. In Follow the Heart, we get a glimpse into the excitement surrounding The Great Exhibition in 1851. Plus, it's a two-for-one romance! Kate and Andrew are the main couple, but Christopher and Nora play prominent rolls in the story, as well.

Kate Dearing sets sail to England with her brother, Christopher, under the assumption that she must marry someone wealthy in order to save her American family from financial ruin. Of course, she meets two gentlemen who desire her hand in marriage but only one can reign supreme. Will it be the viscount, Lord Thynne, who has charm and sophistication, and plenty of money? Or will it be Andrew Lawton, the landscape architect, redesigning the gardens at her uncle's home, that she's seen in a compromising position with, twice?

The love triangle in this book is fascinating and exciting without crossing the lines of propriety. I could have routed for either gentleman, and if truth be told, I almost wished she would have picked...oh wait. I can't tell. They're both worthy of Kate's love but only by following her heart will she find true happiness.

Christopher Dearing doesn't have any trouble following his heart! Almost as soon as he lays eyes on Nora, he is smitten. But, Nora is a governess and beneath his position as an attorney. Their budding relationship and subsequent secretive courtship is sweet and endearing.

Fans of Historical Fiction will appreciate this well written and captivating story. It kept me wishing that if time travel were possible, I would like to travel back and see the Great Exhibition. It would have been a sight to behold!

Thanks to B&H Publishing, through Netgalley, for my advance reader copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

: : :

About the book

Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.
At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.
Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.
While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?
Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?

: : :

About the author

Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a full-time academic advisor and part-time college composition instructor for Bethel University.

: : :

Kaye is one of my favorite authors! If you haven't read any of her books, I highly encourage you to grab a couple of them for some great summer reading.

Do you have a favorite author on your summer reading list?  If so, please share!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day Trip {Part One}

Our first day trip of the summer season was to...

Black Mountain, NC!  

Originally known as Grey Eagle to the Cherokee and Catawba Native Americans, the Town of Black Mountain was founded in 1893. The beautiful Black Mountains border the town to the north. When the railroad came through, it turned into a popular pathway for settlers travelling west and became one of the most prosperous and striking communities in the country. (paraphrased from their website)

The weather was having a hard time making up it's mind and I didn't get a decent photo of the mountains, at all...waaah.

An empty building with a dramatic blue door caught my eye immediately.

A fantastic bug made from metal. Love the artistic talent displayed! 

So many of the shops had these strikingly colorful window boxes bursting with flora and fauna!

This is one of several water gardens adorning the town.  

We were walking down a tiny side street and saw this little door almost hidden away behind a building. Love it!

All along the streets are these delightfully painted rockers inviting the weary walker to rest awhile. Yep. We definitely sat down in a couple of them that were in shady spots :)

This majestic eagle stands guard over a memorial with the mountains as a gorgeous backdrop.

One of many quaint shops and cafe's. 

A peaceful serenity garden tucked on a street corner.

This shop wasn't open yet but I couldn't resist trying to capture the gorgeous hand blown glass ornaments in the window. A myriad of colors glistening in the sunlight. I love the reflections in the window, too!

They were having a mini sailboat race on the lake.

Stunning Lily near an entrance gate across from the lake.

Tranquil and serene is this gate tucked into a rock wall.

This is the first part of our trip to Black Mountain, NC. Next time, I will post the photos of our drive through the mountains on our way home. And, I will share a review post on the magnificent German restaurant where we ate lunch. Yummy!

What are your plans for relaxing this summer?

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Review ~ A Most Peculiar Circumstance

Cover Art
Fun & sassy are two words that came to mind when I finished A Most Peculiar Circumstance. Miss Arabella Beckett is a woman out to change the world; or at least help women gain the right to vote. She's spunky and outspoken, speaking at suffragette rallies across the nation. Just what private investigator Theodore Wilder is not looking for in a wife. He's pulled her out of one too many jail cells to want any kind of permanent relationship with her. He wants a wife that is content to be at home and what I term 'eye candy'. Of course, any woman who marries Theodore will be marrying some 'eye candy' of her own.

The intricate way all of the characters play off each other is delightful. I was happy that newlyweds Hamilton and Eliza, and his children Piper and Ben were included in so many scenes. Several subplots are developing that I hope the author continues in future books. I want to know what happens with Zayne, Agatha, Grayson and Felicia.

A Most Peculiar Circumstance is a perfect summer read for lovers of historical fiction with straight forward Christian principles.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my opinion. No other compensation has been received.

: : :

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the down-trodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women's suffrage movement when she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need. But things go sadly awry, and both ladies soon find themselves in dire need of rescue. Arabella, always loath to admit she needs help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.

Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. He is already in a less than pleasant mood, and when Hamilton's sister turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he's at his wit's end. 

Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella's paths continue to cross when they return home to New York, but the most unusual feelings beginning to grow between them certainly can't be anything serious. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love. 

: : :

About the author

Jen Turano

Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with...
Continue reading about Jen Turano

Purchase Jen's books from Bethany House.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tuesday Muse {Red Rose}

A gorgeous red rose in a garden at our main library. I applied a new rain texture from Picmonkey along with adjusting the brightness and contrast.

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Tuesday Muse

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Scripture & A Snapshot {Sunday}

It's been an emotionally exhausting few weeks. The one year anniversary of my daughter's death came and went. All the 'firsts' are passed. I've been writing about life with Amy...and life without. 

For so many years my life was defined by her needs. Our family was defined by her needs. Now it isn't. So I ask myself, Where do I go from here? 

And I answer...


Rejoicing in my Saviour!

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Shine the Divine

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Friday} Random 5

1. This photo reminds me of the beach for some reason, even though there's no water.

2. I love dangle earrings because they...dangle.

3. Thankfully, my camera was between me and a spider that was under a mushroom I was photographing, because my face was c.l.o.s.e. And y'all know how I feel about spiders.

4. The target date to turn on the a/c is July 1, providing we don't have any days that are in the 90's. 

5. My weight loss isn't lost. It seems to have found a permanent home :)


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Random 5 Friday

Review & FIRST Wild Card Tour ~ Letters to Katie by Kathleen Fuller

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Thomas Nelson (May 7, 2013)

***Special thanks to Kathleen Fuller for sending me a review copy.***


 Kathleen Fuller is the author of over twenty books, including the best-selling Hearts of Middlefield series. She lives with her husband of twenty years, James, and their three teenagers in Geneva, OH. Visit her website at


Everything changed between them the first time he called her Katie.

Katherine Yoder has loved Johnny Mullet since they were children, but he never actively returned her affections. Like so many things in their world, he assumes Katherine will always be there. Once his horse farm is a success, then he will court her in earnest.

For several weeks, Katherine has been plagued by severe headaches and dizziness. While resting at home, Johnny unexpectedly visits, but when dizziness strikes, she loses consciousness. She awakens hours later in a hospital bed, unable to remember how she got there.

Seeing Katherine injured and vulnerable stirs something in Johnny, and his guilt compels him to spend time with her while she heals. Soon his heart begins to stir with questions: Does she even remember why he'd come to her house that day?

As Katherine struggles to recall recent memories of Johnny, a surprise visitor arrives in her already unsteady world—a man named Isaac who claims they had been writing letters to each other, even considering marriage, before her illness.

With two men vying for her attention and her memory still elusive, Katherine has never felt so divided. The answer may lie behind a door she never considered opening.

Product Details:
List Price: $15.99
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595547770
ISBN-13: 978-1595547774


“Oh, Katherine. This is so schee.”

Katherine Yoder smiled at her best friend, Mary Beth. She’d spent hours working on the baby quilt, making sure the tiny stitches were as perfect as possible for Mary Beth’s new baby.  “I’m glad you like it.”

“Of course I do.” Mary Beth touched the soft flannel quilt, running her fingers over the pale yellow, blue, and peach blocks. Each block had a ragged edge, a new pattern she hadn’t attempted before. The simple style was well suited for a baby, and Mary Beth’s was due within a few weeks.

“I love it.” Mary Beth folded the quilt and placed it on her knees, her expanded belly barely allowing the space. “Danki for such a beautiful gift.  Although I don’t see how you have the time, working so many hours at the restaurant.”

All I have is time, Katherine thought. She pushed the self-pity aside and managed a smile. She didn’t want to ruin the moment between them with jealousy. Unlike Mary Beth Shetler, Katherine didn’t have a husband—and soon a child—to take care of. Outside of working at Mary Yoder’s and helping her parents at home, her only other pursuits were her sewing and needlework.  She was always busy, yet longed for something different. Something more.

Apparently God had other plans.

Mary Beth managed to rise from the chair in her tiny kitchen. Her husband Chris had built the four-room home behind Mary Beth’s parents’  property. The dwelling resembled a dawdi haus, and likely would be used as such once the rest of Mary Beth’s siblings—Johnny, Caleb, Micah, and Eli—married and left home. But for now, the tidy, cozy home was enough.

And more than Katherine had.

Mary Beth placed the quilt on the table. “I’m glad you came over. Since I’ve gotten so big, I haven’t gotten out much.” Her light blue dress draped over her bulging belly.

Katherine’s eyes widened. “Are you sure you’re not having twins?”

“Nee.” Her friend laughed. “But I look like I am.” With a waddling gait she moved to the cabinet. “Do you want anything to drink?”

Katherine shook her head. “I can’t stay too long. I wanted to make sure you got the quilt before the boppli arrived. I have to work later today.”

“Maybe just a few minutes?” Mary Beth went back to the table and sat down. She reached for Katherine’s hand. “It’s been so long since we talked. ”

“We’ve both been busy.” She squeezed her friend’s hand. “And you’ll be even busier in a few weeks.”

“Ya.” A radiant glow appeared on Mary Beth’s cheeks. “But I don’t want us to drift apart. You’re mei best friend.”

Katherine released her hand. “And I promise I’ll be the best aenti to your boppli.”

“The baby has plenty of onkels, that’s for sure.” Her smile dimmed a little.

Katherine frowned. “What’s wrong? It’s not the boppli, is it?”



“Chris is fine too. We’re happier than we’ve ever been. “

“Then what is it?”

 Mary Beth sighed, but she didn’t reply.

“You know you can tell me anything. If something’s troubling you, I want to help.”

Her friend looked at Katherine. “It’s Johnny.”

Katherine’s heart twisted itself into a knot. She glanced away before steeling her emotions. “What about Johnny?”

 “Are you sure you want to talk about him?”

“I’ve accepted that there’s no future for us. What I felt for Johnny was a childhood crush.”

A crush. The truth was, Katherine had loved Mary Beth’s twin brother Johnny for as long as she could remember. For years she held out hope for a chance, however small, however remote. She had clung to that dream as if she were drowning and it was her only lifeline.

But not anymore.

She sat straight in the chair, brightened her smile, and said, “What’s going on with him?”

 “He’s been acting. . .different.”

“What do you mean?”

“Distant. Partly because he’s been working so many hours at the buggy shop.  Mamm said she barely sees him except for church service. He leaves early in the morning and comes home late. But when he is around, he’s quiet.”

“That doesn’t sound like him,” Katherine said. “Do you think he’s keeping something from your familye?”

Something. . .or someone?

Despite Katherine’s vow not to care, her heart constricted again at the thought.

“I don’t know.” Mary Beth’s brown eyes had lost the warmth they’d held moments ago. “He’s becoming like a stranger to me. To all of us. We’ve drifted apart.” Her smile faded. “Like you and I have.”

Katherine shook her head in protest.  “You know I’m always here for you.”

Tears welled in Mary Beth’s eyes.

Katherine drew back. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“I’m always crying.” Mary Beth wiped her eyes. “It makes Chris ab im kopp. Hormones, I’m sure.” She sniffed, wiping her eyes. “I’m glad we’re still best friends.”

Katherine hugged Mary Beth. “We always will be.”


Johnny Mullet put his hands on his hips and surveyed his new property. Four acres, a small house and an even smaller barn. All his.

The sad little farm didn’t look like much. But by the time he finished fixing everything up, no one would recognize it. He glanced at the empty pasture on the left side of the house. Tall grass, green and dense, swayed against a southerly breeze. He planned to purchase that acreage, too. Expand, and make his horse farm something he could be proud of.

If only Daed could see. . .

At the thought of his father, the grin faded from his face.

Hochmut, his father would say. Pride.

The worst character flaw any Amish could have.

But was there something wrong with feeling satisfied after hard work? After a job well done?

This wasn’t about pride. It was about independence. Making a good living. He’d seen his family struggle. He didn’t want that for his future. A future that, God willing, wouldn’t include only him.

With the hazy orange sun dipping below the horizon, Johnny hopped into his buggy and headed home. Ten minutes later he pulled up to his parents’  house. He was late for supper. Again. He quickly put up his horse and hurried into the house, sliding into his seat just as his father closed his eyes for grace.

After prayer, his mother passed his father a platter of ham. He speared a slice with his fork, peering at Johnny as he did. “Late day at work again?”

Johnny picked up a roll from the basket on the table. He drew in a deep breath. “Nee.”

“Then why are you late?”

“I bought a farm.”

Silence. Johnny glanced around the table. Caleb’s mouth dropped open, and Micah’s fork was poised in mid-air. Even six-year-old Eli gave him a funny look.  “You what?” His mother’s eyes went wide with shock.

“You know that house down the road a piece? The one with the barn in the back?”

“You mean that shack?” Caleb shook his head.

Micah scooped up a forkful of green beans. “Calling it a shack is a stretch.”

Their father cleared his throat. The boys ducked their heads and kept eating. He turned to Johnny. “When did you do this?”

“Signed the paperwork yesterday.”

“Where did you get the money?”

He was already tired of the third degree, but he had expected no less. “Savings. From my job at Gideon Bender’s.”

“You must have gotten it for a song,” Caleb added. “Or less than a song. Maybe just a note.” He chuckled.

“Caleb.” His father shot him a silencing look before turning to Johnny again.  “I wish you had consulted me first.”

“I’m an adult, Daed. I didn’t think I had to.” Seeing the flash of hurt in his father’s eyes, he added, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

“I hope so.”

“Maybe you two could discuss this after supper?” Mamm’s lips pinched into a thin line. “The food is getting cold.”

Daed nodded, and dug into his food. No one said anything for the rest of the meal. But all Johnny could think about was the disappointed look on his father’s face.


Cora Easely gripped the smart phone in her hand. “The doctor wants me to do what?”

“He’d like to see you again,” the nurse repeated in a crisp, emotionless tone. “As soon as possible.”


“He’d like to run a few more tests.”

“How many more tests does he need?” Cora looked down at the bruise on her arm from the blood draw she’d received a few days ago. For months she’d been poked, prodded, scanned, and questioned.  The dehumanizing madness had to stop. Her weary body couldn’t take it anymore.

“You tell Dr. Clemens I’m through with his tests. If he doesn’t have a treatment plan by now, clearly I need to see a more competent doctor.”

Silence on the other line. The nurse cleared her throat. “Mrs. Easley, Dr. Clemens is just being thorough.”

“Too thorough, if you ask me.”

“Are you refusing more testing?”

“Yes. That’s exactly what I’m doing.”

A pause. “I’ll mark that in your chart. You’ll still need to meet with Dr. Clemens at your earliest convenience. He will want to talk to you.”

“And I want to talk to him.” This nonsense had gone on long enough. She already had a diagnosis—Parkinson’s. What she didn’t have was a cure.

After making her appointment, Cora clicked off her phone and laid it on the glass coffee table. She walked to the large window in her penthouse and looked at the landscape in front of her.  New York. The city of her birth, the place she’d lived all her life. But everything had changed in the past few months, changes she never expected.

Her hands trembled. The shaking had worsened over the past two weeks. Dr. Clemens had said to expect it. She hated that he was right.

Parkinson's. The diagnosis terrified her. She’d briefly glanced at the literature about the disease, only to promptly dispose of the pamphlets after reading about some of the symptoms. Loss of memory.  Loss of motor function. Loss of control.

Cora Easely had never been out of control. She'd dictated and orchestrated every aspect of her life except for one. And now she was facing the possibility that within the next couple of years, she wouldn't even be in control of her bodily functions. What kind of life was that? Not one she wanted to live.


Cora turned to look at her maid, a faithful servant for the past several years. If it hadn't been for Manuela, her grandson, Sawyer, wouldn’t have found out the truth about his parents and the reason his mother ran off with his father. Or the story behind the estranged relationship she had with her daughter Kerry, and how Kerry had tried to mend the rift between them. Cora’s stubbornness had thwarted that. And now her grandson didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with her.

When he left to find Laura Stutzman two months ago, he swore he’d return. But he hadn’t. She wasn’t sure he ever would.

“Señora?” Manuela repeated. “Por favor. Did you hear me?”

“Sorry. Lost in my thoughts, I suppose.”

“Is everything all right?”

“Everything is fine.” But it couldn’t be further from the truth. She walked away from the window. “I need a glass of sparkling water.”

“Sí. Anything else?”

“No, just the water. Bring it to my bedroom.”

Manuela nodded and disappeared from the room. Cora made her way to her spacious bedroom. She sat on the edge of her bed, the silk comforter rustling from the movement. She picked up the landline phone on the mahogany end table. Dialed a familiar number. Tensed when she heard the voicemail.

“This is Sawyer. Leave a message.”

She opened her mouth to speak, but words failed. She couldn’t tell her grandson about her diagnosis. Not like this. She’d have to find another way. But she had no idea how.

My Review

Letters to Katie is a story of unrequited love and seeking God’s will above our own. It’s a story with crucial spiritual lessons in acceptance, judging others, and surrender.

Katie has been in love with Johnny for years but he doesn’t seem to feel the same way and avoids her as much as possible. It seemed to take forever to get to the crucial moment in the book when Katie is feeling ill, doesn't go into work and Johnny goes over to visit. He is in the process of finally confessing his feelings for her when BAM! Katie faints. When Katie regains consciousness and has short term memory loss, will Johnny be able to convince her he cares for her? Will she ever remember the moment he called her Katie? 

There are multiple characters in the book that were in at least two previous books. Cora is an elderly English (or Yankee, as this author refers) grandmother and quite overbearing, to say the least.  With a recent long term health diagnosis, she plans to use it to her advantage and manipulate her grandson, Sawyer (previous book) into coming back to New York and running her Fortune 500 company. This whole other story within the story was an added bonus for me. I felt like I was reading two books in one. Does Cora succeed in getting Sawyer to give up his Amish ways and embrace a very lucrative future in New York?

But the big question is...

Does Katie’s love for Johnny remain unrequited?

I think most Amish Fiction fans will enjoy Letters to Katie but I would suggest reading the previous books because that can only enhance the enjoyment of reading this one! I know I will be making a visit to the library soon J

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review ~ A Bride For All Seasons by Margaret Brownley

About the Book

And Then Came Spring by Margaret Brownley

Mary-Jo has been unlucky all her life. But who would guess she’d travel halfway across the country to meet her match . . . only to find him dead!

My Review

A Bride for All Seasons is a collection of four novellas, set in four different midwestern and western towns during 1870. Melvin Hitchcock is the owner and editor of The Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalogue. As such, he feels he has the right to read the letters going back and forth between his clients. You know, just in case he needs to “fix” what he feels might not be presenting them in their best light. After all, he wants these guys and gals to get hitched. The ensuing embellishments cause all kinds of misunderstandings and distorted communications leading to some humorous moments between the mail order brides and grooms-to-be.

Each author has done an excellent job in this collection. The stories are fast-paced with plenty of sparkling repartee that kept me positively engaged. The character development is good and there are some precious moments between the brides and bridegrooms.

Introducing us to the ramifications of Melvin's meddling is author Margaret Brownley's And Then Came Spring. With her trademark wit, Margaret blends feelings of fear, abandonment, and grief into a work of fiction that is both funny and sweet, while showing how God works his perfect will in life. Lots of chuckles and oh no's, along with some serious head shaking made my family look askance at me a few times while I read this novella.

Mary-Jo Parker arrives in Colton, Kansas expecting her groom to meet her at the train station. The agreement was they would get “hitched up” right away but after a few hours of waiting, he doesn't show so she goes looking for him. Of course, being such a highly superstitious person, she has to be extremely careful. Margaret managed to introduce me to all kinds of superstitions people have that I wasn't aware of. Thanks to Sheriff Tom Garrett and his steadfast faith in the Lord, Mary-Jo learns that there's no need to live in fear of stepping in the wrong place, spilling salt or any of that other nonsense. God is the one in control! And you'll meet Eddie, a little boy who has firmly planted himself in my heart and I hope gets a grownup story of his own someday.

I highly recommend this collection of novellas to all Historical Fiction fans!

I received an ARC of the book from the author in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received.

About the Author 

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.

Connect with Margaret at any of the places below:


To purchase A Bride For All Seasons visit  Thomas Nelson.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A cool treat on a hot day

Proverbs 27:23 tells us to know the condition of our flocks and to give attention to our herds. I am trying to care diligently for my flock of chickens. With the extreme temperatures that were predicted today, I was concerned about my birds. I want to do all I can to keep them comfortable and cool. When it's 79* one day and 97* the next, they have a tendency to get stressed and overheated. A few months ago, I saw this Confetti Ice Wreath on the Fresh Eggs Daily website and decided now was the time to try it.

 They converged on it immediately, enjoying the corn, peas and raspberries!  

Yes, a couple of them decided to cool their heels a bit, too :) 

This is such an easy way to offer the girls some treats while keeping them from overheating and possibly getting sick or dying. I enjoyed hearing them clucking and cackling, as if they were saying Thank you, Mom!

My husband and youngest son installed the automatic chicken watering system today. There's a dozen poultry nipples supplying fresh water inside the coop now. The bummer...they're too low! Saturday he will raise them up...big sigh.

I switched from shavings to sand in the coop yesterday. Boy, was that a stinky job! The girls seem to like the sand better though. It's cool and absorbs moisture so it's supposed to be more sanitary. It's also easy to scoop the poop. I just think about it like it's a great big litter box

And here's my Smithy. I do believe he is a she as the saddle feathers are rounded, not pointed. It doesn't matter to me but I do wish the other chickens didn't ostracize her. Here she is, sitting quietly in the coop while the others enjoyed the cool treat. Next time I will have to make her a small Confetti wreath of her own.

I really don't have any idea why they treat her this way. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting the others to let her be a part of the group?  

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Rurality Blog Hop #18

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre