Friday, January 25, 2013

Friends in the country.

This day....a week or so ago....gave Ella's friend, Keturah, a chance to ride a horse. The girls had so much fun, even Ella who led Keturah around a bit on ever-faithful Vern. Most especially do I love the photo of my dad with Ella leaning against the fence with a spectacular backdrop of winter-tipped trees. It was breathtaking. I thank God for moments such as these, to enjoy creation and lift our eyes towards His beauty!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Choices of the Heart, a review

Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But when a scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther takes a position as a teacher in the western mountains of Virginia instead. There she finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. When it seems as though her past has followed her all the way into the mountains, all she wants is to run away again. In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, a young woman learns the true meaning of choices of the heart.

I've enjoyed the Midwives series and its premise has been a unique touch. The third installment brings many curious elements....A woman who yes, indeed, has decisions to make. And in those decisions, comes across a battlefield of family. I feel Esther's personal growth takes precedent in this story- you see her flee from her past and into a unknown future, and she is again matched up with what she doesn't want- attraction from a couple men who wish to court her. Plenty of story, a taste of old-fashioned feuding, and a love triangle makes a choice read!

Thanks to Revel for the complimentary review copy in return for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Waiting for Spring, a review

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker's shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer, Charlotte feels drawn to him. If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can't shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future. Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett's plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

A pure gem and a fascinating story! I held my breath the entire way through Amanda Cabot's second book in the Westward Winds series! The layers of plot, adventurous setting, fully developed characters- all these elements provided an excitement I embraced completely, with no thought to anything else around me. Cabot masterfully created these layers in her story that pull you in and your heart, in turn, is taken in with an abundance of emotion. Oh! From Charlotte's son, to her friend's choice in beau, and Barrett's dream...not to mention the main thread that carries the story, Charlotte's hiding, it will leave you breathless! I cannot wait for the upcoming book in this's proven its excellence!

Thank you to Revel for the complimentary copy in return for an original review!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Impromptu photos on a springlike January day!

after an afternoon of getting things done here and there, and taking care
of a sick boy...
I decided to take Ella out back, while the weather was warm.
I had a....
Vision, Opportunity,and Heart's Desire 
for these photos, almost exactly!

All I did was simply grab the feathers decorating the front of her door, a decorative fan
from the Great Trail Festival, and an elegant cream dress, with an added sleevless
vest for extra style along with her horse puddle boots.

She has been my model for so long, I didn't care if she pouted. Or looked serious. 

And she played it up a bit. And then the cat came along.  


I thank the Lord for these special moments, when the timing is right, and when
I have energy.

I hope you enjoy these magical photos!

gorgeous smile

one of my favs

this tells a story. what do you think it is?

I adore the tiny bit of color that accents this photo!

Here's an extra photo prop, the neighbor's cat, and a nonchalant hand reaching over to pet him.

perhaps THE favorite of the entire shoot

She's growing up too, too fast.

A certain brilliance in this photo...a girl's delight at a precocious cat.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Lesson, a review

In her wildest dreams, spunky and impulsive nineteen-year-old Mary Kate Lapp never imagined herself behind a schoolteacher's desk. A run-in (literally) with the schoolteacher compels her to act as a substitute teacher, just as her restless desire to see the world compels her to apply for a passport . . . just in case. The only thing of interest to M.K. in the sleepy Amish community of Stoney Ridge is the unexplained death of a sheep farmer that coincided with the arrival of a mysterious young man into the community. Frustrated that no one takes the crime seriously, she takes matters into her own hands. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case for M.K., she jumps headlong into trouble. Centered on one of Suzanne Woods Fisher's most loved characters, this is the story fans have eagerly anticipated. The precocious M.K. is all grown up (well, almost) and ready to take on the world--with surprising results. Fisher's trademark plot twists and turns are as unexpected and satisfying as ever in this third book in the Stoney Ridge Seasons series.

I cannot tell you have much fun I've had reading the Stony Ridge Seasons series. I've been waiting for a story centered around M.K. And Suzanne Woods Fisher has done Mary Kate's story a splendid justice. Just a young thing, trying to mature in a world that throws curves at her, M.K. has plenty to sort through. But she learns, and teaches, literally. A friendship cultivates and a murder is investigated- whew! All while M.K. continues to endear us to her in her precocious , entertaining way. I especially enjoyed her red scooter- one of the things that the author succeeds at is bringing the Amish way of life closer to our own. I've learned so much through this series of books!

Thank you to Revell for providing me with this wonderful, and complimentary, book in return for my review.

Vanished, a review

Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she's startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement--and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road. A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can't forget the look of terror she saw on the person's face in the instant before her headlights swung away. The person she hit had been in trouble. She's sure of it. But she can't get anyone to believe her story--except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case. From the very first page, readers will be hooked into this fast-paced story full of shocking secrets from fan-favorite Irene Hannon. Vanished is the exciting first book in the Private Justice series: Three justice seekers who got burned playing by the rules now have a second chance to make things right.

Author Irene Hannon has masterfully written another suspenseful book. I've been a fan of hers, even though I am an avid historical fiction fan since I began reading. The above summary sets you up for a fantastic, well-plotted book. But you won't find yourself in mystery and intrigue until you open this book up- and it's so well worth it! I was drawn to Moira, the heroine, instantly. You're rooting for her, and perhaps you might think she IS crazy but a hero comes around for her nonetheless. The depth of Hannon's characters make this book a keeper. I am excited it's the beginning of a new series!

Thank you to Revell for the complimentary review copy in return for my honest review.