Monday, August 31, 2015


Congratulations, BETTI!!! 

You are the WINNER of one Kindle copy of The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels.

~Happy Reading~

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review & GIVEAWAY ~ The Lumberjacks' Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

UPDATE: I decided to offer a Kindle copy to one of my blog followers!
Be sure and tell me how you follow the blog in a comment below or you will NOT be entered to win!!! OPEN INTERNATIONAL as long as you can redeem a Kindle Gift Certificate.
Winner will be announced on Monday, Aug 31st!

 A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter begins her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave the lumber camp and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the proprietress must learn to face her past and open her heart. When complications arise, will they overcome adversity in time for The Lumberjack's Ball?

 : : :

My Review

Carrie Fancett Pagels’ writing is one of the reasons I read historical books. I have enjoyed learning about the history of logging in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It’s fascinating! Plus, there is always a strong spiritual thread woven seamlessly throughout the story.

Garrett Christy has been my favorite character in this series. He’s trying to break away from lumberjacking and follow his own calling as a craftsman. Sometimes that’s difficult in a family business. He’s a great guy with integrity and honor who loves the Lord and Rebecca knows from past experience just how magnanimous of a man he is. Speaking of Rebecca, she’s had some tough life experiences to face and learn to overcome, but with God’s grace, she is well on her way to becoming the Daughter of the King she is called to be. 

Another great thing I enjoyed about this book is that the story didn’t end when the villain made his final appearance. There is more story. Yes!!! I’m glad it wasn’t rushed to an end. I was left with a sense of contentment in the future of Garrett and Rebecca, and a foretaste of what’s to come for Richard ‘Moose’ Christy and Juliana. Pagels knows how to finish and finish well! 

I’m eagerly anticipating Lilacs for Juliana, the next book in The Christy Lumber Camp Series. I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. No monetary compensation has been received.

Available for purchase in Kindle or Paperback.

~Happy Reading~ 

Don't forget to leave a comment telling me how you FOLLOW the blog for an entry in the giveaway of one Kindle copy!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Contributor Review ~ The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

Wingate's third Carolina book follows the highly reviewed, The Prayer Box and The Story Keeper as well as related three novellas.

From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny. . .

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at The Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a depression-era love story change everything

Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"A Masterful Blend of History and Story"
A shroud of mystery surrounds the mystic tri-racial Melungeons, thought by many to have descended from the historic "lost colony" of coastal North Carolina, making their elusive residence high in the Blue Ridge mountains and avoiding civilization, being the objects of cruel misconceptions and brutal treatment. Who would have the courage to trace their story, when it appears that their story might be safer kept untold?

Whitney Monroe is desperate, her once promising career in the restaurant business is on thin ice, having been intimidated by local Michigan residents who are resisting the high end competition that her eatery represents. As if life could not get any more complicated, she receives word that her estranged stepfather is in the hospital, miles away on Hatteras Island. Travelling to the Outer Banks takes Whitney on a much different journey that she could have ever anticipated when she begins to unearth family heirlooms with a connection to history that tangles her in a web of controversy over historical properties and personal preferences. Will her fear of love destroy everything that she is beginning to hold dear or will she trust the Keeper of the sea to ordain her steps as of one of His daughters; free to embrace a very promising future?

This novel is filled to over flowing with gems of inspiration and encouragement, not to mention the fascinating historical back story; connecting the narrative with the Federal Writers Program that was initiated by Eleanor Roosevelt during years of economic depression. "The Sea Keepers Daughters" is the kind of book that belongs on every shelf!

I am grateful to the publisher who provided me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

: : : 

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It's refreshing to walk around and see all the textures and shades in nature.
This is a view from my front yard that I often gaze upon.

In my imagination, it is a portal to a distant land harboring lush valleys
where cool streams flow peacefully along. 

A place where the Holy Spirit is felt in the air that is breathed,
His touch whispering along on the breeze--
instilling peace.

~Have a blessed day~

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  
Praise the Lord!
 Psalm 150:6

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Golden hues

A recent sunset in rural NC. 

I know it seems a little early to post an image that looks so much like autumn but I promise I took this just the other day. There was a breathtaking sunset as my husband and I were driving home from our anniversary dinner. He graciously pulled over so I could take a picture of what our Lord painted for our good pleasure.
The works of His hands never cease to amaze me!  

He has made everything beautiful in its time. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11a

~Happy Snapping~

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The Enchanting Rose

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review ~ Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

About the Book

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder. Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family's cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She's mourning her father's passing but can't let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. As Heather digs, she finds a mysterious journal that belonged to a woman she never knew and it contains clues that lead to the truth about a mysterious drowning decades ago. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history. Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways. Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

My Review ★★★ ½ (Four ½ Stars)

It’s not often that a story moves me to such emotional depth as Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor has done. It is a lovely and compelling read and one that I didn’t want to put it down. I was mesmerized by the characters and their plight—how negative choices followed from one generation to another, repeating themselves almost verbatim and the consequences therein. 

This is a complex story with many facets. The author chose to include a character who has what today would be called Autism but in fact very little was known about in the past. Perhaps the author drew from personal experience and that is what gave such realism to this character, I don’t know. But Libby was fascinating and strange and totally captured me from childhood to adulthood. 

Dobson exquisitely shows the isolation and rejection from society that comes to families who have children that are perceived as handicapped. I could certainly identify with Maggie, Libby’s mother, as I had a daughter with severe physical and mental disabilities. Even in our so-called modern society we experienced some heinous behavior from adults toward our daughter in her lifetime. It is a daily struggle for a parent to stay focused and positive for the child’s benefit. The author portrayed this element with great finesse, though at times I wished for a few happier moments. 

In life there are those who think trying to hide their sin is the best solution but in the end the truth usually prevails. It certainly did for Maggie. It cost her dearly in her marriage, with repercussions spreading to her husband and daughter. Walter’s poignant and heartbreaking journal entries begin each part of the story and are key to what drives it forward, in my opinion. I felt so sorry for him from the beginning. Not that he was without some faults but he was rooked. 

There are some tough choices and decisions made by each member of this family that can only be redeemed and used for good through their surrender to Christ. Not everything is neat and tidy at the end but it was still an engaging story because the author has a way of weaving words and emotions together on the page that are mesmerizing. Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is filled with love, betrayal, broken promises and dark secrets exposed.

Melanie Dobson has become one of my favorite authors and I am looking forward to reading her future work. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical/contemporary hybrids laced with mystery and faith.

Thank you to the author and Howard Books for providing me with a copy for review purposes. My honest opinion is all that is required. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading~

Friday, August 7, 2015

Celebrate Good Times, Come On...

 I fell off the blog wagon last week but I have a good excuse.

My husband graduated!

Last week was filled with preparations to participate in and celebrate his college graduation on Saturday. He has earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems 
from Gardner-Webb University.

I don't know if any of y'all have a had a spouse work full time while attending college but it is not easy, especially when you are middle aged! I have been telling my husband for years how proud I am of him for going after his dream of getting a degree. He has always told me it would be impossible without my support but you know what-- it's a joint effort for everyone in the household, children included.

I kept my husband supplied with a fresh cup of hot coffee or tea, snacks and meals while he worked away in the evenings and on weekends at his school work. Our boys were busy taking care of the yard, animals, and minor household issues that arose. Most family activities were curtailed so dad would be able to finish assignments on time. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy because it was not. There were plenty of times we probably wished he would quit but that is just not in my husband's nature, and none of us would really have wanted that to happen. So we worked together to help him achieve his goal. I'm thankful for this amazing family that the Lord has blessed me with!

My husband's brother and his wife volunteered to pick up his parents so they could see their son receive his degree in person. Our daughter and son-in-law brought all our grandchildren to see Poppy graduate. And our youngest son came along because I told him to. Just kidding! We were missing our oldest son who is in the USAF so I took a photo of the amazing flags that were hanging from the auditorium ceiling, to represent our Airman. Though he couldn't be with us in person, he was there in our hearts!

The neatest surprise was having best friends that we hadn't seen in over three years (they're missionaries in Peru) arrive at our home on Friday evening, just in time to join us for the big day. And I didn't get a single photo of us with them at the graduation. Not. One. I am sick! I can't believe I let that happen. I'll just chalk it up to exhaustion.

Thanks for listening to me gush over my husband's achievement. He would be the first one to say it was all only possible because of the Lord! His grace is sufficient and has sustained us through years of hard work.

~Happy Hearts~

Psalm 105:4  
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Red and White

 I fell off the blog wagon this past week but I have a post coming soon to explain why. For today, I thought I'd share another great barn on one of the lesser traveled roads around here.

A big red and white barn that no matter what angle I tried to get a shot from, this red Crepe Myrtle was always in the frame. It adds a touch of something to the image, just not sure what. 
But I like it. :-)

Weave Texture applied in Picmonkey

~Happy Snapping~

Sharing with
The Enchanting Rose