Thursday, December 6, 2018

Book Review: As the Lily Grows by Susan E. Kirby


Purchase HERE

Title: As the Lily Grows

Author: Susan Kirby

Series: Prairie Rose #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Having put the general store in trust for Frankie, her uncle's illegitimate son, Libby Watson pursues her long held dream by writing for the local newspaper. When Frankie wins a trip to the St. Louis World's Fair, Libby must chaperone the boy accompanied by neighbor Ike Galloway. During the trip, Libby discovers Ike to be a man of quiet strength and faith, and their friendship blossoms into an ardent love.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

I loved it! ❤ At last I got to continue this series and watch Libby's story unfold! And it was so worth it. As the Lily Grows is book two in the PRAIRIE ROSE series by Susan E. Kirby, and is set in the late 1800s/early 1900s. It follows Elizabeth Watson as she has moved to a new town and works at a post office. Her father and brother join her. And she continues to deepen relationships with the townspeople, grow in her faith, and figure out romance! Speaking of romance, I was delighted to realize a certain young man is a POV character, along with Libby, in this book!

Some things I loved about this book were Libby's loving father and his godly wisdom and advice; Libby's friendship with a certain young man *winks*; delving deeper into the backstories of some characters, and seeing new angles and figuring out secrets; truth being displayed in a gentle, raw, admonishing way; the fair(!); and just meeting and growing to love so many endearing characters!
There were so many lovely things about As the Lily Grows and it definitely kept me turning pages. I felt a little lost within the pages of these by-gone days!

It is definitely an exciting, adventurous, old-fashioned tale that will tug at your heartstrings. If you enjoy Christy, the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series, or any of Janette Oke's books, you'll probably love this series by Susan E. Kirby. Do check it out!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review: Prairie Rose by Susan Kirby


Purchase HERE 

Title: Prairie Rose

Author: Susan Kirby

Series: Prairie Rose #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

The first novel in a richly rewarding three-book series about a young woman's journey to find her place in a small town at the turn-of-the-century. Seventeen-year-old Libby Watson is thrilled at the news that she has inherited a small town general store. In Edgewood, Illinois, Libby becomes the town's post-mistress. Quickly swept into the lives of the locals, she soon finds herself with two suitors.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4 stars**

Prairie Rose is a sweet, adventurous, and meaningful tale akin to the classics! It made me think of Christy and perhaps the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series. My second time reading it, I quite enjoyed. Though a little slow at times - or wrapped up in politics or legal matters that I couldn't really bring myself to care about - I still count it a worthy read and love some of these characters even more after an additional read! Elizabeth, Libby, is a lovely character. Kindhearted and ambitious, yet temper-headed and flawed. She's real and I like that. I look forward to watching her grow and blossom as her journey continues in the next couple books of the PRAIRIE ROSE series!


And, I must admit, I'm very invested in the thought of which young man she will choose. I know who I like best! *laughs* Even if I was bored at times, Prairie Rose sucked me into this historical setting and into the lives of these unique characters. And I'm happy to report that I'm reading and loving book two, As the Lily Grows!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Unique Blogger Award

Hello, readers! Today I want to do a tag! I found this tag quite awhile ago on Faye's blog, Create.in.me ... which you should definitely check out! Anyway, I wasn't tagged, but I decided to do it anyway. I hope that's okay! ^_^


The Rules

Answer all the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
Share the link of the blogger who nominated you
Nominate 8 to 13 bloggers for the same award
Ask 3 questions

***

1. Who is your favorite author? How have they influences your own writing?

One of my favorite authors is Tessa Afshar, namely for her three most recent novels (Land of Silence, Bread of Angels, and Thief of Corinth). I suppose she inspires me with her captivating, easy-to-read writing style, the emotion she evokes, and the way she brings out such beautiful and raw faith themes within her novels.

Jill Williamson would be another writer who inspires me. The way she makes me feel I'm right there with her POV character is impressive. I try to remember the aspects of her creative style while doing my own writing.

2. What are three of your favorite worship songs?

These might not be my three all-time favorites, but they are ones I love!









3. Who are three of your favorite bloggers and why? Link their blogs below.

Here are three blogs that I really enjoy. Some I've been following since they started ... some are new ones that I love!




***

I Tag ...


LaKaysha @ Calico and Lace





Felicity @ A Grand Adventure


The Questions to Answer:

1. What are you passionate about? Tell us all about it!

2. What is one of the best books, novel or nonfiction, that you've read in your lifetime? What is it you love about it?

3. What is your favorite holiday? Why?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Celebrate Well

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! I hope your day is blessed and filled with joy!


Today I will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. To eat delicious food and enjoy good fellowship.

I just want to say a few, quick words on here. And that is this ... As we enter the holiday season, remember to celebrate well. Don't get so caught up in the busyness, materialism, unrealistic expectations, and stress that you miss the gift of joy, stillness, gratitude, and awe.

Spend today thanking God for the breath He has filled your lungs with! Thank Him for every little gift and every blessing in disguise. Thank Him for every big delight and special happiness. Thank Him even for the struggles that grow you closer to Him.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalm 107:8-9)


Today I thank Him for the gift He has given me of family and friends. And the joy of being able to cook and bake together with my mom and sisters, and then enjoy that food with loved ones!

And I thank Him for the blessing of anticipation. I look forward to the Christmas season and celebrating His coming. Of Christ's coming into our lives. This is a crowning moment when it comes to our faith. When God pursued us!

So enjoy your Thanksgiving Day. And look forward to Christmas. Choose joy. Sit in awe. Embrace your loved ones. Count those blessings. Rejoice in the life God has given you, and use it to glorify Him. Glorify Him this holiday season. And celebrate well.

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-13)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Review: Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

I usually try to only post on Mondays and Thursdays, but felt I had to get this review finally posted! (I had forgotten about it!) If you missed my Monday post, read it HERE!


Purchase HERE

Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures

Author: Sandra Byrd

Series: The Victorian Ladies #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4 stars**

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd is the first book to a new historical series called THE VICTORIAN LADIES. It was quite a lovely read! I enjoyed our main character, Miss Eleanor Sheffield, and her knowledge of treasures. And also, her own journey of trusting God and finding her identity as a treasure herself!

The beginning of this book was perhaps a little slow. But still, there was mystery and intrigue to keep one turning pages. *winks* As the story progressed, it was exciting to see mysteries unfold, and the danger and drama kept me on my toes! There is a dark undertone to this read, but also a good dash of sweetness and a meaningful theme. I loved Eleanor's ministry at the prison, and the different relationships that developed over the course of that.

Overall, it was an enjoyable, endearing, and mysterious read. I look forward to continuing this series!

I received a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 19, 2018

What's Up?

Hello, all! I mean to do an October wrap-up post, but, obviously, that didn't happen! So I decided that I'd share a few pictures from last month all the way up until today, and talk about what's been going on in life.

So. Not too much to share ...

Wednesday, 3rd of October: I lead the study at my women's Bible study at my church. We were going through a little book called Engaging God's Word: Colossians. It was an awesome study, and I'm so enjoying getting to know the ladies in my group!


No work on this particular Monday! I enjoyed cleaning, organizing, and listening to sermons by one of my favorite Christian speakers/pastors, J.D. Greear.


Orange tea and a book! Silencing Insecurity by Donna Gibbs, just so you know, is an amazing Christian Living book on insecurity, self-worth, and identity. I really recommend!

Friday, 12th of October: I left my full-time job due to some serious, on-going problems. I was very anxious about leaving ... especially because it was my first full-time job and I'd been working there less than five months ... but I was counseled by many trusted friends to turn in my notice. So I did. Trusting God's leading me somewhere else!



Nothing quite like sweet potato fries! I try to make them often. *winks* Add some Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder, paprika, etc., etc., and dip in ketchup. They are so good! ^_^


Homeschool group harvest festival! I'm not a stylish person, but every now and then I throw together something interesting that I don't usually wear ... and decide that if I like, that's all that matters! *laughs*

Friday, 19th of October: I made two batches of cold-process, goat milk soap with my sister. Peppermint and orange-coffee. (We use "Young Living" brand essential oils for personal use, but in our soaps we will use brands such as "now" essential oils.)


Sunday, 21st of October: I don't usually wear jeans to church, but since fall/winter has arrived, I'm having a hard time putting together outfits. This is my go-to sweater. It's so long and nice and cozy.

Went to family Bible study, which is always so good. I love my ladies' group there! (Mom, aunts, and two other dear, lovely women.)

Monday, 22nd of October: Volunteering! I haven't helped in many volunteering projects, but it's something I want to do more of. This particular project was helping get a house ready for women with troubled pasts who need help getting back on their feet. I did cleaning, priming, and painting.
Good thing I have some experience with that, what with flipping a house with my family last summer!


Wednesday, 24th of October: Bible study at my church, of course! I love shirts that swoop long in the back. I feel like they suit my shape. I like purple, too. ^_^

Thursday, 25th of October: Made a batch of soap by myself for the first time! (Though my mom, the expert, was there to oversee it, haha.) This was a hot-process batch, which means you cook and cook it so that the lye is neutralized or something, and you don't have to let it cure for six weeks before using! This one was charcoal and bentonite clay, with tea tree and lavender essential oils.


Sunday, 25th of October: Another harvest festival! (After church). And, of course, I wear my fav sweater, haha. But I wore a different shirt, so there. *sniffs*



Started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, which I picked up from Goodwill or something awhile ago. It is a very moving book ... with poetic, soul-stirring writing! Seriously, so beautiful. So tragic. So thought-provoking. So amazing. I'm still reading it, actually. It's pretty deep.
It inspired me to start writing a list of all the little blessings I see. Sometimes I write a few things down. Sometimes I write lots! It's a sweet practice.


Thursday, 1st of November: Reading and my go-to snack ... hot applesauce with cinnamon! (Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd. Good book! ........ *gasps!* I just realized I never reviewed this book. *facepalm* *groans*)


Friday, 2nd of November: Tried a new recipe found on Pinterest! *grins* Chili with corn, sweet potatoes, and quinoa! I love cooking/baking ... making new recipes and such. And it's great to do with my mom and siblings.



Little bro! And Mom making cornbread.


Sunday, 4th of November: Family Bible study again! We meet every other week.

Tuesday, 6th of November: Time to vote! My sister and I went with our parents to do our voting.

Wednesday, 7th of November: My ladies' Bible study group start Engaging God's Word: Philippians! It been good so far. I love these letters from Apostle Paul.


Thursday, 8th of November: Continuing to get our soaps ready to sell and ship to customers! We spent time printing out labels and tying them on. These are honey oatmeal bars that my sister made while I was working.

Friday, 9th of November: Headed to my aunt & uncle's with three of my younger sisters to housesit and care for their cows, horse, and dog! That was fun. We watched some movies and laughed and ate yummy food, like pizza and izze drinks.
Have you all watched The Road to Avonlea? We watched a couple episodes and it was fun!
We went home on Sunday.

And it between all that, I've been applying for jobs, blogging, cleaning, and all the stuff.

Sadly, winter has come and we've gotten some snow, ice, and cold weather!


Today was lovely, though! The sun came out. ^_^ I went into town for a job interview. I won't mention where it was, because I don't know if I'll be hired yet. *winks*

I'll let you know if I'm hired. I'm resting in God's goodness. May His plan for my life unfold, because I trust Him! If I don't get hired, I know He has something different. He is/and is going to do great things in my life and the lives of my family and friends.

How blessed I am to be His daughter forever!

Psalm 103:1-5 & 11-22

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


11 
For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
15 
As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 
The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.
20 
Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 
Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!