Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review - The Prince Who Was Just Himself by Silke Schnee, Heike Sistig (Illustrator)

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Plough Publishing House 

My Review

As the parent of a child with a disability, this children’s book about a little boy with Down Syndrome is a welcome sight. With beautifully colored illustrations and language that flows along as smoothly as a babbling brook, this story will captivate and enchant your little ones. It gently tells of a family full of love and acceptance, and how those qualities embody Prince Noah, allowing him to see beyond the physical appearance and into the heart of a knight called Scarface, who was perceived as evil.

I highly recommend this book to any parent or grandparent who wants to teach their children compassion toward others whom God has made different, or even those who have been scarred from an injury. 

Handlebar Publishing sent me a copy for review purposes only. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading~

Sharing @

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Super Moon, Sunrise, and Life

Hey Y'all! It's been CrAzY busy (that might be a favorite phrase of mine) with our move to VA. Lots of life changes. We've become empty nesters after 32 years of having a child in the home. Well, actually WE had to leave home to get this way. ;-) Our youngest son is still living in our family home in NC with his cousin for a room mate. Oh yeah. Two young men on their own for the first time. Big changes ALL the way around!!!

I managed to dig out my camera in anticipation of last night's Super Moon and Lunar Eclipse. Well, too much cloud cover and high winds made it challenging to get a good shot. Add to that my own exhaustion and impatience, and needless to say the photos didn't come out too good. I didn't stay up late enough to get any of the eclipse but I honestly think it would have been solid clouds by then because we ended up getting rain again.

God's handiwork is beautiful despite my meager attempt to capture it! I know many folks got the perfect glimpse of the night sky. My husband and I enjoyed standing on our balcony overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and dreaming of all the adventures to come our way on this next step in our journey.

And then there are the gorgeous sunrises! I have always enjoyed seeing the sunrise over the foothills in NC and especially from our back deck that overlooked our chicken coop. Always a great way to start the morning, listening to the rooster crow and the 'girls' clucking away, letting me know they are giving me a gift (eggs). :) 

I still have to pinch myself to believe that He moved us from the foothills of NC to the coast of VA. I honestly thought we would never move! 

While I do miss my little hobby farm, now I get to hear the roar and power of the ocean, which always makes me stand in AWE of GOD and his great power!!! Long walks and combing for seashells is fast becoming a part of my day.

Matthew 4:19

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

My prayer is that the Lord will use my husband and I to be a beacon of light to all those we come in contact with. We are so thankful for our friends and family who have cheered us on! 

As time permits, and more boxes get unpacked, I'll be back with some book reviews, giveaways, photography excursions and general life happenings.

Blessings from VA,

Psalm 16:11 
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. 
The Enchanting Rose

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Winds of Change

 Here's what's been happening over the last month or so in my life. 

I know. 

You're riveted to the screen now. :) 

I have barely kept up with blogging since my husband accepted an Engineering position with a company in VA. He and I will be moving this month of September.

The photo above is one of many gorgeous sunrises we have witnessed while staying at the Hilton Garden Inn-- a great place with friendly staff, clean rooms, and an awesome breakfast!

We'll be keeping two households since we love our little homestead in the country of NC. Deciding what to take and what to leave behind is challenging! Trying to find a place that is situated in a different type of area than we are used to is tough, but we finally found a place to rent after making three trips. The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful new home for the next year. I am going to enjoy all the opportunities in photography. :-)

Yes, this move comes right in the middle of the time that our oldest son is home on his first leave from the USAF before going to his first duty station. But these are good gifts from the Lord and we must take time to fully enjoy each one.

Here's a photo of the second best hug I have ever gotten!

The JOY at holding my son in my arms after so many months was incredible! It wasn't captured on video but I will always remember it in my mind's eye. He dropped his bag back at the security gate and ran to catch me up in his arms, swinging me around. Definitely a 'Hallmark' moment! 

My prayer life has been incredibly enriched since my son joined the military. Not that I didn't pray for our troops before but it is deeply personal now. For all of you who have children, spouses, siblings or grandchildren serving, Thank You! Know that I pray for them every day, asking the Lord to protect them, bless them, and bring them home safely to your waiting arms.

Psalms 18:31-36 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

~Have a blessed day in the Lord~

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”(Psalm 143:8)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

{Sunday} Morning Worship & Praise

Words and music by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer, and Friend,
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men?
Oh, you rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace;
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way,
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way.

        You are the One that we praise,
        You are the One we adore,
        You give the healing and grace
        Our hearts always hunger for;
        Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father,
Faithfully loving Your own;
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne,
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.
  © 1989 Word Music ASCAP & Dayspring Music BMI

~Blessed Sabbath~

Friday, September 11, 2015

Contributor Review ~ The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor, #1) by Roseanna White

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.

Reviewed by Rebecca Maney 

"A magnificent journey!"

Loss surrounds the beautiful Brook Eden like a well worn blanket; her life has been pieced together with both love and rejection from those in Monaco who have accepted her into their family, even if in name only; bypassing the fact that her real identity, following the tragic death of her mother, has remained an unsolved mystery; until now.

Justin Wildon, also known as Lord Harlow, and soon to become known as the Duke of Stafford, has given Brook the gift of identity, accompanying his beloved childhood friend to England in order to meet her family for the first time. In the blink of an eye this whispered illegitimate offspring has become the Baroness of Berkeley, with a vast fortune at her fingertips and a loving father, the famed Lord Ambrose Whitby, who is overjoyed to finally be reunited with his missing daughter.

In spite of Brook's "happily-ever-after", there are dark forces beyond her control which seek to destroy the young heiress, her life is severely threatened and heinous shadows lurk among her nearly constant, reoccurring nightmares. The one person who has stood by her side and loved her unconditionally for most of her life, now seems determined to put formal distance between them, merely to devote attention to his own family fortune. Brook's impetuous, independent spirit suffers mightily and her heart is nearly broken before God intervenes and transforms her fear into faith. But will it be too late for Brook and Justin? Will greed, betrayal and hatred among friends destroy young love and promising futures?

"The Lost Heiress" swells with history, mystery and romance upon the turn of every page, leading its readers on a magnificent journey, not soon to be forgotten.

I received a copy of this book from the author 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".

: : :

There are giveaways going on, so hop on over to Roseanna's blog (  
to find out where to enter for a copy of this awesome book! 

I am still working on my review copy but will have my review posted as soon as I am finished!

~Happy Reading~ 


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Book Spotlight ~ Expert Witness by Rachel Dylan

Minutes after testifying in a murder trial, sketch artist Sydney Berry is almost killed in a drive-by shooting. United States Marshal Max Preston saves her life then whisks her away to safety. She's his first protected witness, and he'll do everything in his power to keep her safe. But Sydney doesn't want to hide from danger. She is determined to finish her testimony and put a killer away. With potential suspects coming from all corners, Sydney will have to trust Max with her deepest secrets—and her life.


"All rise." The bailiff's deep voice echoed through the crowded Atlanta courtroom.

Sydney Berry took a deep breath and stepped down from the witness stand. Unfortunately, her expert testimony as a forensic artist in the murder trial of businessman Kevin Diaz wasn't over. She'd have to come back tomorrow and testify about her sessions with the eyewitness and the drawing she'd created of the suspect. The goal—to get the sketch of the suspect introduced into evidence. It would bolster the eyewitness testimony to have the contemporaneous drawing in front of the jury.

If the defense attorney was able to tear apart her testimony, the prosecution's case would be severely weakened. And a guilty man likely would walk free. She refused to let that happen.

She walked out of the courtroom doors, and then the other bailiff standing outside nodded to her, indicating she was on her own. Dear God, please give me the strength to get through this. Let my testimony help the jury so that justice may be done for the murder of an innocent woman.

"Ms. Berry!" A male voice rang out down the courthouse hallway.

The last thing she wanted to do right now was deal with the press. She'd refused every media inquiry thus far, and she would do the same again today. Because of Kevin Diaz's position in the community, the local Atlanta media were having a field day covering the trial.

"No comment." She turned around and came face to face with a tall man in a dark suit and a navy checkered tie. No, he didn't look like the press. He had to be a Fed. His dark brown hair was cut short, and his eyes were a striking deep green.

"I'm not a reporter," he said. "Please let me escort you to your vehicle, and I'll explain."

She took a step, and he followed her.

She turned to him. "Who are you?"

He looked her in the eyes. "I'm US Marshal Max Preston."

Close. She had figured him for FBI. Having dealt with the FBI quite a bit in her line of work, she knew its style, and he fit it perfectly down to the gun she caught a glimpse of on his right hip. Though she wasn't accustomed to consulting for the US Marshals, they were obviously built from the same mold.

"As you can tell, I'm a bit preoccupied right now with this trial." She reached into her pocket for her business card. "Here's my card. Contact me and we can set up a consultation. But it will probably be a few weeks before I can fit it into my schedule." When he refused the card, she pocketed it and pushed open the courthouse door. The summer heat of Atlanta hit her, and she already felt her hair starting to frizz.

"I know this is bad timing, but I need five minutes," he said, following her outside.

The persistent marshal wasn't taking no for an answer. They walked down the courthouse steps on to the sidewalk.

"Really, sir, this isn't a good time."

He touched her arm. "It's important, Ms. Berry. I wouldn't come to you like this otherwise, but I really need to talk to you. Now."

Then she heard car wheels screeching loudly. Looking toward the street, she saw a dark SUV barreling down the road in their direction at top speed. Instinctively, she took a step back.

The tinted window rolled down, and the sound of gunshots exploded through the air. Before she could duck, she found herself hitting the sidewalk hard with the faint taste of blood in her mouth.

Screams and mass chaos erupted around her. As she looked up, trying to determine what had happened, she realized that the US marshal with the bright green eyes was on top of her, shielding her body with his own. He had knocked her down. Probably saving her life.

"That's what I wanted to talk to you about," he said quietly in her ear. "Are you okay?" He lifted his weight off her and his eyes scanned her from head to toe, as if looking for signs of injury.

"I'm fine." She paused, trying to catch her breath. "Wait a minute. You think those bullets were meant for me?"

He gently pulled her up off the ground and wrapped one arm around her shoulder to steady her. "Unfortunately, I do. I need to get you to a secure location. Now."


Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at racheldylan.com