Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review ~ Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Published February 1st 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers

Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point—“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

My Thoughts
Step by Step is my favorite Candace Calvert book to date and it’s going on my best of 2016 list! There isn’t anything I didn’t love about this book. With a solid plot line and strong characters—main and secondary—my emotions were fully invested in this story. I was only a quarter of the way in and knew I didn’t want it to end. I took my time, savoring every morsel. Thank you, Candace, for gifting me a copy of this fabulous book!  

Find out more about Medical Hope Author Candace Calvert by clicking the image below. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sunday Morning {Worship & Praise}

 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 
Matthew 4:18-20 

~Have a blessed Sabbath~


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Jazzing up a Napkin Holder

I love searching for items I can use in our home to make it feel more welcoming! Several months ago I came across this wooden fish shaped napkin holder in the thrift store. Even though it's pretty as is (it's made out of beautiful Koa Wood from Hawaii with detailed engraving for the fins and eyes), I wanted to give it a little pizazz for my table decor.

Keeping the project simple, I gathered up supplies of Liquitex, Mod Podge, crumpled Tissue Paper, Sand Paper, Paint Brushes and White Spray Paint.

I started out by roughing up the finish using *extra fine sand paper so that my spray paint would adhere better. After wiping off the powdery residue, I spray painted all of the napkin holder except the bottom. Gotta be able to sit it down to dry ;-)

Once dry, I applied Liquitex using my sponge brush, one side at a time and then carefully pressed each piece of tissue paper onto the surface, leaving a little bit hanging over the edges. This was kind of tricky as it wanted to keep sticking to my fingers and pull away from the surface of the holder, but I was victorious! I let it dry for about 10 minutes then applied the Mod Podge to completely seal it. I trimmed the edges when fully dry.

I'm quite pleased that the detailed etchings of the fins and eyes are still visible. The 'new' napkin holder adds a nice splash of color.

What have you re-purposed or recycled lately? 
Please feel free to share in the comments below. I am always looking for new ideas!

~Happy Crafting~

*I used extra fine sand paper so it would not scratch the wood

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

Published March 1st 2016 by Zondervan

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise. 

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Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

4 STARS!!!

A life lived in the shadows meets a life lived in the limelight, can these two young souls be the other half of their whole? And if so, how can it be possible when one is committed to thievery on behalf of her comrades, while the other is determined that she regain her rightful heritage on behalf of her future?

The beautiful Lady Julianna Wessex has hidden her identity for years. Following the savage murder of her father by a cruel uncle who not only stole her birthright, but proceeded to callously mistreat the humble citizens of Wessex; she joined many others who were forced to flee into the woodlands just to survive. When Lord Collin Goodrich recognizes Julianna beneath her guise as a bandit, he convinces her to seek refuge within the walls of his castle for just one week. Unfortunately, Julianna's public appearance raises the curiosity of her enemies, forcing Julianna and Collin to push aside their growing feelings for one another, while attempting to save the lives of those dependent upon them for their livelihood. Their daring sacrifice is an amazing story.

A great man once wrote on behalf of an even greater man, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

It was such a pleasure to receive 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".

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Sound of Freedom

An F/A-22 Raptor, one of three that flew over our car as we were house hunting. It's difficult to get a clear image of one of these amazing jets with my camera, 
as they are bookin' it! I love living near an USAF base!!! 


God bless our military and their families!

Thank you for YOUR service!!! 

 And just to JAZZ it up a bit...

  Sharing @

The Enchanting Rose

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Super Late Review of Abducted by Janice Cantore

Published August 1st 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers
After solving the mayor's murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner, Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once, everything in life seems to be going right. But then everything starts going wrong. Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband, Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile, when Joe's wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a desperate search to find the baby, her newfound faith is pushed to its limits.

A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. A few years ago, she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, where she lives with three Labrador retrievers, Jake, Maggie, and Abbie. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Accused is the first book in the Pacific Coast Justice series, featuring Carly Edwards. Janice also authored the Brinna’s Heart series, which includes The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice. Visit Janice’s website at and connect with her on Facebook. 

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My Review

Cantore’s sophomore novel showcases some impressive writing skills. With detailed crime scene scenarios and a faith message to warrant a few tissues, I was taken aback by the depth of emotion both on the page and off. Her obvious experience as a veteran police officer is evident on all accounts. Abducted played out in my mind like a movie—a terrifying one. The detail and precision of each character’s thoughts and movements throughout the story kept me riveted to the page. 

Carly and Nick have trust issues with each other and with God, but when they finally confront them, the handcuffs on their hearts unlock, allowing restoration to begin. My personal response to the spiritual element of Abducted threw me for a loop. If any trust issues exist between you and God, get out the tissues. Abducted is a tool that the Lord used to show hard truths about my spiritual condition. It made me realize that I do not trust Him like I should in a certain area of my life right now. 

A fast-paced suspense and a satisfying romance, Abducted is also a beautiful tale of forgiveness. I highly recommend this book to any fan of contemporary fiction. 

Disclaimer: Original copy of book was requested through the Tyndale blogger program in exchange for my honest review. Before I could get the book read, my adult handicapped daughter was hospitalized with complications from Pneumonia. After a lengthy stay in the hospital, I couldn’t find the book. I assumed I must have left it there. Eight months later my daughter passed away. Book was out of sight, out of mind, until I logged into my Tyndale account a few weeks ago and Abducted showed up as needing to be reviewed. Long story short, I was chatting with an author friend and told her about it and she gifted me a copy of the book.  With a profoundly grateful heart, I want to thank a benevolent author for sending me a replacement copy of Abducted for review purposes. No compensation has been received.

~Happy Reading~