10/31/17

Blind Spot - Book Review

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life-
but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. 
Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," 
Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. 
When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, 
he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. 
She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, 
and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner. 

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . 
meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. 
But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, 
and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. 
But before anything can develop between them, 
they discover evidence of a terror cell-
and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" 
that could cost thousands their lives.




My Thoughts
The sentence below was included in the publisher's description,
"Each of Pettrey's novels has been a multi-month bestseller."
I can understand why Dani Pettrey''s novels are multi-month bestsellers
because her writing is sensational!
Once I finish a book by this talented author
I wait in anticipation for her next work of art
and I am happy to say she never ever disappoints.

Blind Spot is the third installment in the Chesapeake Valor Series.
Do I think you should start the series from the beginning?
Why yes, yes I do :)
This series follows several characters
and they are perfectly woven into the storyline in each book.
Also, the third book picks up where it left off in the second book
so in order to have a little understanding of what's going on
I recommend reading the series.
Don't worry, you'll be glad you did.
Anyway. . .
You can find my reviews for the first two books
by clicking on the links below:



Blind Spot follows Declan Gray, an FBI Agent
who is on a mission to protect his beloved country.
The last words he heard the suicide bomber say were,
"The wrath is coming."
He isn't quite sure what he's chasing after,
but he knows he must stop it before it's unleashed on American soil.
Tanner Shaw joins his fight
and together they are thrown into the sea of danger.
Whatever it is they are chasing it will not let up. . .
it is right on their tails. . .
and it will stop at nothing until Declan and Tanner are silenced.

I read on one review that the story started with a bang
and did not let up until the very last page was turned. . .
I couldn't agree more!
You had better hold on to your seat, my friends,
because this book is overflowing with action, suspense, and romance.

I mentioned in my reviews of the first two books
that I would recommend this series to an older audience
and I still stand by that.

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

About the Author
Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Alaskan Courage series
and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier award for Inspirational Novel,
the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense,
and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel.
She and her husband reside in the DC Metro area.
She can be found online at www.danipettrey.com
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10/29/17

Fade, Fade, Each Earthly Joy

O love the LORD, all ye his saints: 
for the LORD preserveth the faithful, 
and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, 
all ye that hope in the LORD.
- Psalm 31:23-24 -




Fade, fade each earthly joy;
  Jesus is mine.
Break every tender tie;
  Jesus is mine.
Dark is the wilderness,
Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless;
  Jesus is mine.

Tempt not my soul away;
  Jesus is mine.
Here would I ever stay;
  Jesus is mine.
Perishing things of clay,
Born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away;
  Jesus is mine.

Farewell, ye dreams of night;
  Jesus is mine.
Lost in this dawning bright;
  Jesus is mine.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied;
  Jesus is mine.

Farewell, mortality;
  Jesus is mine.
Welcome, eternity;
  Jesus is mine.
Welcome, O Loved and Blest,
Welcome, sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast;
  Jesus is mine.
- Jane C. Bonar -




Each of us was created for the purpose of enjoying
the fellowship of the Almighty God.
Our souls were made for eternity,
not for this brief earthly pilgrimage alone.
The Christian life should be lived each day 
as though we were already enjoying the blessings of heaven.
We deprive ourselves of one of life's greatest treasures
when we lose this perspective
and become bogged down with the trivialities of earthy living.
An intimate fellowship with our Lord should produce 
at least three basic differences in our living:

- More Humility -
a greater realization of our finiteness
and the need for dependence upon God.

- More Happiness -
a realization that this life has purpose and dignity
as we represent God,
as well as a promised eternity in heaven with our Lord.

- More Holiness -
a greater desire to be a worthy representative for God
and to live a life of absolute purity.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -




I have set the LORD always before me: 
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: 
my flesh also shall rest in hope. 
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; 
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; 
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
- Psalm 16:8-11 -


Set your affection on things above, 
not on things on the earth.
- Colossians 3:2 -




Allow the awareness of God's presence
to produce in your life
more humility, happiness, and holiness
as you seek to represent Him.


Have a beautiful and blessed Lord's Day, friends!
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10/26/17

Autumn Pumpkin Cookies

I'm here, sweet friends!
I'm finally here with a post. . .
a real post and not just a book review 
{{smiles}}

First of all, how are you?
I would love to hear how you are doing
and what you have been up to for the last month.
Are you enjoying your autumn?
I sincerely hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

All is well here in the mountains.
We have been busy with school and so far it's a great year.
We use the BJUPress curriculum and this year
we decided to use the DVDs so it's like my son is in his very own classroom 
with his very own teacher for each subject.
We absolutely love it!
Since my son uses the laptop to watch each lesson for each subject
it means I don't get the computer until later in the afternoon
which is part of the reason you haven't seen me blogging.
I must confess that the break from the laptop has been good for me.

Also, I have been busy stocking my Etsy shop
with Christmas goodies.
Can you believe Christmas is only 2 months away?!
I would love for you to stop by for a visit at
I will give you a sneak peek of some of the handmade delights
at the end of the post.

Now. . .  
you are probably wondering about those pumpkin cookies I mentioned in my title.
Well, here is the delicious recipe, my friends.
These cookies were originally supposed to be pumpkin whoopie pies,
but they turned out much too fluffy.
Making whoopie pies out of these would have been quite the mouth full!
So simple cookies they became.



* * Autumn Pumpkin Cookies * *

Ingredients needed:

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 and 3/4 cups light brown sugar packed
2 tablespoons unsulfered molasses
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese ,softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter, oil, sugar, and molasses.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, until combined.
Stir in the pumpkin puree.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda,
salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
Stir with a whisk.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stir just until moistened.
Using a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop,
drop mixture 2-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies feel firm.
Cool cookies on the pan for 5 minutes
before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting,
beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Slowly beat in the confectioner's sugar until smooth.
Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
Beat until blended.
Spread onto the top of each cookie.
Or if your cookies are so "fluffy and tall"
feel free to make these into whoopie pies.




Enjoy!




 It looks like Stripester wants a bite
{{smiles}}




And before I "sign off"
here are a few goodies you will find at
Rose Petal Blessings
Like I mentioned,
the shop is fully stocked and ready for the holidays.

Tote Bags 
for any occasion





Gift Bags



Zippered Pouches



Aprons and Tea Cozies




Tea Time Goodies





Christmas Ornaments
and Stockings





And so much more, my friends.

Have a beautiful day!

Love and hugs to you!

* * * * * * * * *


As many of you are aware,
my grandmother has been through a lot these last 3 months.
I know several of you follow my mom's blog 
and you likely saw the update about her having brain surgery this past Sunday.
I am truly amazed at what dear lady has been through
and yet the Lord continues to give her the strength to carry on.
I will not go into detail since I know most of you are kept up-to-date by my mom,
but I wanted to thank each and every one of you for praying.
The family and I greatly appreciate your love, thoughts, and prayers.
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10/17/17

Loving Luther - Book Review

A happy hello to you, 
friends, readers, and sweet followers!
Long time no chat and for that I am truly sorry.
You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here. . .
life has been rather busy and unfortunately,
I have not been able to write any posts or visit your lovely blogs.
Thank you for your patience, my friends.
I will be "back up and running" very soon.
Until then, please know that you are greatly appreciated
and thought of often.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Loving Luther - Book Review

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, 
Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster 
and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort,
Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. 
God, her father. 
This, her life. 
She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—
but in time, a seed of discontent is planted 
by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. 
Their message? 
That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. 
Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, 
Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. 
But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, 
and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. 
Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, 
Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her 
and the man who paved a way for rescue. 
Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, 
but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: 
a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.




My Thoughts
I have always enjoyed Allison Pittman's writings
and once again she weaves a tale that is rich in history.
Because of the limited resources and information on Katharina von Bora,
Allison had to "fill in the blanks" concerning Katharina's life.
The author painted a picture. . .
a beautiful and inspiring picture. . . 
of a woman who is considered one of the most important participants 
of the Reformation. 
Katharina played a role in helping to define Protestant family life 
and she helped set the tone for clergy marriages.

"Do you know when I first heard your voice?"
Not from the confessional,
and not in that day in Togau,
when you asked about the women.
Not the sounds you make when you speak,
but your voice?
It was months before.
Years, even, when I held a scrap of paper with your writing.
'The Freedom of a Christian.'"
{Loving Luther - pg. 398}

The characters are courageous, bold, dauntless, and valiant
in the face of persecution all for the Lord Jesus Christ.
They are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure God's Truth
is proclaimed among the people.
Loving Luther goes deep into the history of the Reformation.

Read Loving Luther, my friends.
You will be inspired, encouraged, and emboldened
when you read about Martin Luther, Katharina von Bora,
and what the believers faced in the 1500's.
A five star book!

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

About the Author
Award winning author Allison Pittman, 
a high-school English teacher who also serves 
as director of the theater arts group at her church. 
She is also the co-president of a dynamic Christian writers group in the Texas area, 
where she makes her home with her husband and their three boys.
Favorite Bible Verse: 
Lamentations 3:22-23 -
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, 
for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
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10/7/17

An Inconvenient Beauty - Book Review

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, 
and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. 
He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, 
but while Frederica is strangely elusive, 
he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, 
Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, 
but with her family in difficult circumstances, 
her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty 
to assist him in his political aims. 
Already uncomfortable with this agreement, 
the more she comes to know Griffith, 
the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride 
and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?




My Thoughts
Let me just say that I am still smiling
after reading the last page of this book.
It's sweet, it's humorous, it's captivating, and yes,
it's ever so endearing.
An Inconvenient Beauty 
is one of those stories that gives you a nice, warm feeling.
It's a story that will make you sigh with happiness.
Sounds cheesy, I know, 
but sometimes a book like that is just what you need.

When I requested this book to review
I was not aware that it was the 4th and final book in the Hawthorne House Series.
Yes, I should have paid closer attention when requesting this book
since I am one of those that likes to begin a series at the beginning.
With that being said, I did not have any trouble following along
and while it was apparent that several characters from the previous books were mentioned
it was not hard to connect the dots.
In all honesty I think An Inconvenient Beauty could be read as a stand alone.
But I will say that Kristi Ann Hunter is a very talented author
and by reading this book she has motivated or rather inspired me
to read the entire series.

The characters were flawless,
the history of the Regency Era was spot on,
and the Christian aspect was presented beautifully.
An Inconvenient Beauty is an all-around lovely book.

** 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
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech 
with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. 
Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series 
and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. 
She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. 
Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com
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10/4/17

Cutlery Pockets


The fondest memories are made
when gathered around the table.




My dear friends,
today I have a fun little project just for you. . .
cutlery pockets/silverware holders, whatever you want to call them.
These charming little pockets are a delight to whip up
and they will add the sweetest touch to your next dinner party.
And wouldn't they be lovely to use during the holidays?
You could tuck some extra gifts inside 
like a packet of hot cocoa, a bookmark, a candy cane, 
and whatever else you can think of,
and give the pockets away to each dinner guest.
How fun would that be!




Let's get started, shall we. . .

You will need:

fabric {I made this set with a bundle of 4 fat quarters}

batting or fusible fleece {whatever floats your boat}

sewing machine, thread, measuring tools, and all that jazz,

embellishments {if you so choose}


For one pocket you will need to cut two pieces of fabric that are
4 1/2-inches x 10 1/2-inches.



For the pocket you will need to cut one piece that measures
4 1/2-inches x 12-inches.
Fold the strip of fabric in half and press with an iron.




Iron on the fusible fleece to the backside 
of the front piece of fabric.




Place the pocket onto the top piece of fabric 
like so. . .




Now place the second piece of fabric right side down
on the pocket and other piece of fabric
and pin into place.




Sew along the edges with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Leave a small opening to turn right side out.




Turn right side our
and press with an iron.
Top stitch along all four edges.




Now have fun embellishing!
As you can see
I added coordinating fabric flowers to mine.
Four of them have fabric rosettes in the center
and the other four have sparkly buttons.




Be creative, my friends! 
Add lace and satin trim.
Don't be afraid to go with some bling!
{{smiles}}




Now simply tuck a fabric napkin inside the pocket
along with your silverware.




Place these sweet cutlery pockets beside china plates
and you're all ready to go for your next dinner party.




Dinner is better
when we eat together.




Thank you for visiting, lovely friends.
Have a glorious day!
{{hugs}}

If you like these particular pockets
you can find them in my ETSY SHOP.
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10/1/17

Thy Word Is Like A Garden, Lord

For the child of God,
the daily reading of the Scriptures
is the nourishment to the soul.
- Kenneth W. Osbeck -




Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, with flowers bright and fair;
And every one who seeks may pluck a lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine; and jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.




Thy Word is like a starry host: a thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler and make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair;
And find, for life’s long battle day, all needful weapons there.




O may I love Thy precious Word, may I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean, may light upon me shine!
O may I find my armor there! Thy Word my trusty sword,
I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord.
- Edwin Hodder -




How sweet are thy words unto my taste! 
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: 
therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path.
- Psalm 119: 103 - 105 -


Open my eyes that I may see 
wonderful things in Your law.
 - Psalm 119:18 -


Search the scriptures; 
for in them ye think ye have eternal life: 
and they are they which testify of me.
- John 5:39 -


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, 
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, 
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -




The Bible's value has been described in many ways-
as the traveler's map, 
the pilgrim's staff,
the pilot's compass,
the soldier's sword,
and the Christian's charter.


Read it to be wise,
believe it to be safe,
and practice it to be holy.
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.
It is a mine of wealth,
a paradise of glory,
and a river of pleasure.
- Unknown -




Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!
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