Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Divide - Book Review

Hello, sweet friends!
My computer is still acting up
so I will be missing from action for a little while longer.
I had a couple of books that needed reviewed this month
which I shared yesterday and today.
I sincerely hope you are well and enjoying your summer.
I have a big giveaway coming up in July
in honor of blogging for 5 years
so I hope you will keep an eye out for that.
Take care, dear ones.
Love and hugs to you!

* * * * * * * * *

In this gripping conclusion to The Alliance, 
nearly six months have passed since Leora Ebersole’s Old Order Mennonite community 
fled to the mountains for refuge after an attack destroyed the power grid 
and altered life as they knew it. 
Since then, Leora has watched and waited for news of Moses Hughes,
the young Englischer pilot who held off invading looters 
long enough for everyone to escape. 
Unsure Moses even survived, 
Leora has begun to warm to the affections of Jabil Snyder, 
who has courted her patiently. 
But she struggles to see herself as the bishop’s wife, 
especially when she learns that Moses is alive and has now joined a local militia.

An unexpected encounter in the woods deepens Leora’s crisis, 
as does a terrifying new threat that brings Moses’ militia 
into the community’s shaky alliance with the few Englischers left among them. 
When long-held beliefs are once again put to the test, 
Leora wrestles with the divide between having faith and taking action. 
Just how much will her shifting landscape change her?




My Thoughts
As mentioned in the description of the book,
The Divide is the conclusion to The Alliance.
You can find my review for the first book by clicking here.

The Divide begins where the first book ended
so I highly recommend reading The Alliance first.
And with that being said I will now share my thoughts. . .
Jolina Petersheim is a favorite author of mine
as her books are quite riveting and they captivate you until the very end.
The Divide is no exception and it's a thrill ride to the last page of the book.
I must confess that I wish this book was not the conclusion.
Oh, how the story could go on and on!
I am getting off on a rabbit trail though
so back to my review. . .

In the first book, The Alliance,
you will meet Leora, a young Mennonite woman,
and Moses, a young English man.
Their lives are thrown together when a huge attack causes the power grid to fail.
When the power does not come back only chaos follows 
along with the will to survive. . .at any cost.
The Divide continues on with their story 
and the desperate times they now face after 6 months of no power.
You will find love, compassion, heartache, redemption, 
and a desperate desire to survive while saving those around you 
tucked away in the pages of The Divide.

In all honesty, my friends,
my review will not do Jolina Petersheim justice
because like I said, her books are astounding!
She is a very talented author and the talent flows onto the pages of her books
and will leave you wanting more and more.
I highly recommend this author.

** I was provided a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers
in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Jolina Petersheim is a best-selling author
whose unique Mennonite heritage originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A transplanted southern belle,
she now lives on a farm with her husband and two young daughters
in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin.
Follow Jolina's blog at

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dark Deception - Book Review

Hello, sweet friends!
My computer is still acting up
so I will be missing from action for a little while longer.
I had a couple of books that needed to be reviewed this month
so I will be sharing those today and tomorrow.
I sincerely hope you are well and enjoying your summer.
I have a big giveaway coming up in July
in honor of blogging for 5 years
so I hope you will keep an eye out for that.
Take care, dear ones.
Love and hugs to you!

* * * * * * * * *

Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas 
is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. 
Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. 
Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, 
she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. 
Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, 
the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis. 

Tony readily takes on the assignment; 
Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. 
But when Kate's safety is threatened, 
Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive 
and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.




My Thoughts
There was never a dull moment in Dark Deception
and the entire story kept me on the edge of my seat
in anticipation of what would happen next.
Dark Deception is the second book in the Defenders of Justice series
and you can read my review for the first book
Fatal Frost by clicking here.
The story is incredibly fast-paced
and it will keep you guessing until the very end.
There are twists and turns that are least expected
which makes for an exciting and thrilling read.

Kate O'Brien survived the attack of a serial killer,
but sadly, her life has never been the same since then.
She can't help but live in fear
and the pain of losing her twin sister is almost too much to bear.
Slowly Kate lets go of the fear and allows God to heal her heart and soul, 
but when the convicted man is let out of prison
due to lack of evidence at the crime scene 
Kate's world is turned upside down and once again her life is in danger. . .
Will she make it out alive a second time? 
And will her faith keep her strong or will she be shaken to the core?

Nancy Mehl, the author of this book, does not hold back
which means you'd better hold on when reading this book.
It's a "Wow, I didn't see that coming," kind of book.
If you like suspense, danger, and a touch of romance
than this book is for you.

While Dark Deception is the second book in this series
I think it could be read as a stand alone book.
There are a few characters mentioned in the story
that were in the first book, but they don't play a big part.

** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Nancy Mehl is the author of 22 books, 
including the Road to Kingdom and Finding Sanctuary series. 
She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. 
She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. 
Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, 
where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. 
Visit www.nancymehl.com to learn more.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Houston, We Have A Problem. . .

Hello, lovely friends!
I am popping in to let you know 
that my computer is not cooperating
so I am taking it to the "doctor" to have it repaired.
Until it's back up and running properly 
it will be rather quiet around here.
Hopefully. . .
I will see you soon




I wanted to thank all of you for the sweet comments on my previous post
"Things That Are Tickling My Fancy."
I am so glad you enjoyed it and I appreciated your feedback.

Also, today is Father's Day and I just want to make known
that I am incredibly grateful for my father.
He is a quiet, but steady man. . .
a man full of wisdom and love. . .
a hard-working and godly man. . .
a man I love and admire.

And on this Father's Day
I can't help but give thanks to the Lord
for blessing me with an extraordinary husband
who is also the father of our precious son.
This man. . .
the love of my life. . .
is a remarkable man 
and it brings me great joy to watch him
in the role of fatherhood.
As I look at these two wonderful men in my life
my heart can't help but overflow with love and gratitude.

This poem is fitting for both my dad and my husband. . .

My hero is the quiet type,
No marching bands, no media hype,
But through my eyes it’s plain to see,
A hero, God has sent to me.

With gentle strength and quiet pride,
All self-concern is set aside,
To reach out to his fellow man,
And be there with a helping hand.

Heroes are a rarity,
A blessing to humanity.
With all they give and all they do,
I’ll bet the thing you never knew,
My hero has always been you.
- Author Unknown -

Love and hugs to you, my friends!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Things That Are Tickling My Fancy

A good day to you,
faithful friends and readers!

Today I have a slightly different post,
but it's one I hope you will enjoy.
I have seen and read several posts 
where the author shares certain things she is enjoying 
during the month of May, June, etc
so I thought I would do the same just for the fun of it.
I gathered up a few items that I am currently loving right now
and they range from hair products to music.




I was introduced to the Moroccan oil a while ago
and since that day my hair met this wonderful hair product
I have been in love.
I am "picky" about what I put on my hair
as it's very thick, straight, and a tad coarse.
I apply the oil to damp hair and massage it in
and oh, what softness awaits me when I'm done styling my hair.
Sometimes I will add a bit of oil 
after I'm done styling for extra shine and softness.
And may I add that the oil does not leave your hair greasy.

The volumizing mousse is amazing
and after applying it to the roots it feels like there is nothing in your hair.
Have you ever noticed how some volumizing mousse 
can leave your hair feeling heavy and "gunky?"
Well, this definitely does not do that.
And the scent of both products is simply delightful.




If you are on Pinterest
you may have seen the many ads for this selfless tanning lotion
I have seen the ads since last year
and this year I finally decided to give it a try.
Love, love, love it!
You know how it is after a looooong winter. . .
your arms, legs, and face are rather white.
In my case, very white!
This lovely cream worked a miracle on my skin
and gave me a nice sun-kissed glow.
Once I achieved the color I desired
I simply backed off from applying it every day
and now only apply once or twice a week 
to keep the "glow" glowing.
And did I mention this product is all natural.




Ahhh. . .
I can't say enough good things about these peel-off masks.
Have you ever tried one?
If you haven't I highly recommend you do.
They feel ever so good {{smiles}}
I have very sensitive skin,
but these masks don't irritate my face at all.
The other night I used one and my husband was there when I pulled it off.
He looked at my face and was surprised to see how well it worked.
Yes, even he noticed a difference.
You can find them at Wal-Mart for just over $1.00
and from what I can tell they are all-natural.
This particular mask clears the skin and tightens the pores.




Oh, HELLO!
Here is Melly and Duke checking out my next favorite items.
Let's try this again. . .




So my skin tends to be oily
and in the mornings I used to hold off on moisturizer 
due to the oiliness making my makeup look hideous. . .
you know, runny and blotchy.
A few months ago I started using Estee Lauder's DayWear Matte Gel Creme
and my oh my, what a fantastic product!
Before applying my makeup I use this moisturizer along with a primer
{also from Estee Lauder}
and my makeup stays in place all day.
Oh, I might touch it up in the afternoon,
but the oiliness is practically gone.

Also from Estee Lauder is this fantastic Set + Refresh Mist
that feels amazing on the skin.
I use it in the morning and in the afternoon when I need a little pick-me-up
I spritz my face and the finished result is a refreshed face with a soft glow.

And the last item from Estee Lauder is their mascara.
I have used this product since I was in college
and for a few years I stopped using it
because I couldn't find a place nearby to purchase it.
Thanks to online shopping I can now have it delivered right to my home.
I have always thought their mascara to be the best and I still think that.




Thanks to the kittens playing with my backdrop for my pictures
you get to look at them now since they are front and center.
{{smiles}}




Apparently it's nap time. . .




After a little snooze we're back on track.
My husband and son gave me this darling necklace for Mother's Day.
It has officially become my favorite necklace.
On it you will find a Papa Bird, Mama Bird, and Baby Bird.
You can find the necklace on Etsy at Menuet Designs.




At the moment I can't get enough of this lovely fabric
from Sew Stitching Happy on Etsy.
Look closely and you will see tea labels
on the pink fabric.




And the last, but certainly not least thing I am enjoying is
Nocturne in E flat major Op. 9 No. 2 by Frederic Chopin.
Currently I have several songs that I am working on
and this is one of them.
Oh, what a mesmerizing piece!




Click on the video to enjoy the music.
The pianoist adds so much emotion to his performance. . .
you can feel it.




I know this is a rather different post,
but I sincerely hope you enjoyed it.
I would love to hear what things you are enjoying at the moment
so please feel free to share in the comment section.
And please know that I am simply sharing what is "tickling my fancy at the moment"
and I am not being paid for sharing these particular items
nor are the links affiliate links.

Have a beautiful and blessed day!
Love and hugs.

Oh, and one more thing. . .
Here is a photo of Duke
since he hardly got in on the action with the other kittens.
Believe it or not, he was the good boy
which cannot always be said about him - HA!




Happy Flag Day,
my friends!

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
- Francis Scott Key -


Sunday, June 11, 2017

O To Be Like Thee

Great Master,
teach us with Your skillful hand;
Let not the music that is in us die!
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us;
Nor let hidden and lost,
Your form within us lie!
- Horatius Bonar -




O to be like Thee! bless├Ęd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming
Now to receive anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing,
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Chorus
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Bless├Ęd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
- Thomas O. Chisholm -




For we are his workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- Ephesians 2:10 -


But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, 
are changed into the same image from glory to glory, 
even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 -




We are to daily "put on Christ"
- His love and character -
even as we put on our garments.

But put ye on the LORD Jesus Christ, 
and make not provision for the flesh, 
to fulfil the lusts thereof.
- Romans 13:14 -




Have a blessed and beautiful Lord's Day!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Honoring Friends

Hello, friends!
Yesterday was National Best Friends Day
so in honor of sweet friends around the world
I am offering a special discount at my Etsy shop
today through Sunday ONLY.

Enjoy 25% off your order by using this coupon:
FRIENDS25.
Always free shipping in the USA.


At times our own light goes out 
and is rekindled by a spark from another person. 
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude 
of those who have lighted the flame within us. 
- Albert Schweitzer -




Happy weekend to you,
lovely friends!
{{{ hugs }}}

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Sweet Lemon Lush Dessert

Happy day, my friends!
Today I have another delicious treat for you. . .
a sweet lemon lush dessert
that is simply perfect to enjoy during the summertime.

Easy 
peasy
lemon 
squeezy.




For the Crust:
1 cup butter, softened but not to room temperature
2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 c. pecans, chopped in small pieces

For the Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar

For the Pudding Layer and Topping
2 small packages Jell-O instant lemon pudding mix
3 1/2 c. cold milk
2 cups freshly whipped cream
3 tablespoons sugar
lemon zest, to garnish (optional)

* * * Live your life with zest * * *

Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and chopped pecans in a mixing bowl. 
Press into a 9x13 baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes at 350°, 
or until a light golden brown. 
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. 
Spread over cooled crust.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk. 
Allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken up a little. 
Spread on top of the cream cheese layer. 
Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Add the 3 tablespoons of sugar to the cream and whip until nice and fluffy.
Spread whipped topping over the pudding layer. 
Cut into 18-24 pieces and garnish with fresh lemon zest.




And now, sweet friends,
simply enjoy!






And just to let you know,
I've added some new handmade treasures to my shop:

All kinds of goodies
so stop by for a little peek.




Have a beautiful and blessed day!
{{ hugs }}

* * * * * * * * * * *

My dear friends,
I just found out a good friend of mine in South Africa
just lost her home to a fire.
Many of you know sweet Kelly-Anne
and on her blog this morning was a post about her home burning to the ground.
Thankfully she and her family are safe,
but oh, what heartbreaking news!
You can read about it by clicking HERE
Maybe you could pop over and offer some encouragement
as I know she and her family would appreciate it.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Crown Him With Many Crowns

A blessed Lord's day to you, my friends!
Some of you may remember this post from 4 years ago,
but it is a favorite of mine so I thought I would share it again. . .
I hope you don't mind.
Please enjoy these beautiful images and words.




Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne:
Hark! how the heav'nly anthem drowns all music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.


Crown Him the Lord of love: behold His hands and side -
Rich wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified;
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his wond'ring eye at mysteries so bright.




Crown Him the Lord of life: who triumphed o'er the grave,
Who rose victorious to the strife for those He came to save;
His glories now we sing, who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring and lives that death may die.


Crown Him the Lord of heav'n: one with the Father known,
One with the Spirit through Him giv'n from yonder glorious throne.
To Thee be endless praise, for Thou for us hast died;
Be Thou, O Lord, through endless days adored and magnified.
- Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring -




The one who bore the crown of thorns while on the cross
is now crowned with "many crowns" as the reiging monarch of heaven.
Each crown in this hymn text exalts Christ 
for some specific aspect of His person or ministry:
stanza one for His eternal Kingship;
stanza two for His love demonstrated in redemptive suffering;
stanza three for His victorious resurrection and ascension;
stanza four as a member of the triune Godhead ever worthy of worship and praise.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -




Jesus Christ,
the condescension of divinity
and the exaltation of humanity.
- Phillips Brooks -


His eyes were as a flame of fire, 
and on his head were many crowns. . .
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: 
and his name is called The Word of God.
- Revelation 19:12-13 -


Have a beautiful and joyous Lord's Day!
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