book review, books

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

I thoroughly enjoyed Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer. The heroine, Grace,  is a telegraph operator in a town comprised of women. Hiding from her father’s murder who seeks something she has, she has found shelter in this town full of women who love and protect their own. I loved the various characters in this town and the side romance that developed by one of the “I hate men” women in the town.

I loved the idea of finding love over the telegraph wire. It is like online dating, but the old-fashioned way. Will they like what they see? Are they the same as their “wire” persona? It makes for great tension in the story when Grace and Amos finally meet for the first time.

I am not usually a fan of beta heroes, but Amos grows on me as he steps up to the plate, time and time again, for Grace. When the Pinkerton character comes into town, this sparks competition between the two as they both vie for Grace’s attention. It also spurs Amos into stepping out of the box and being more assertive.

Overall, this book was an enjoyable read with plenty of adventure and suspense. I would definitely recommend! I gave this 4 out of 5 stars only because of my preference for alpha heroes.

Backcover Copy:

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority. 

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires. 



I received Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

You can purchase the book HERE.

books, quotes

Anne of Green Gables Is Coming!

Have you heard? Netflix is doing a remake of Anne of Green Gables (by LM Montgomery) and will be here on May 12. I just saw a trailer today and am so excited. I loved the old one, but this one looks fresh and funny.

The author has some fabulous lines in Anne of Green Gables.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” 

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” 

“I’m in the depths of despair!” 

“Red hair is my life long sorrow.”

“Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”

Now here is a trailer for the new Anne of Green Gables.


Doesn’t that look fun?

Have you read or seen Anne of Green Gables? What do you love about it?


books, One Little Word, one word, spiritual

Without Rival…One of A Kind

I have been a member of Goodreads for awhile, but haven’t really kept up with it. Since my word for the year is thrive, I decided to challenge myself to read 2 books a month for a total of 24 books this year. I will also track my progress through Goodreads (HERE) to keep myself accountable, as well as keep a running list of the books I read.

Without Rival, by Lisa Bevere, is the first book on my list. The first half of this book was really good and talked about identity and purpose of women. We are loved uniquely, because we are one of a kind, created uniquely by God for a unique purpose. To me, this message was just what I needed and worth the money spent…even if the last half of the book lagged a bit.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game on social media to where your value comes from how many likes you get. Well, that is just crazy. Our worth comes from our Creator. We are made to give Him glory and seek His approval, not the approval of man. Yes, social media is a way to encourage others and share God’s message, but we need to be careful not compare our gifts with the gifts of other people. Our gifts are to share, regardless of the talents of others.

And yes, I am preaching to me.

Why am I preaching to myself? Because I want to thrive in the gifts that God has given me and not shy away from sharing just because I think there are millions out there better than me. Of course there are people better than me! But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share what God has put on my heart to give. I need to be brave and surrender to His will for me. (You see how God uses my past year’s words to speak???) I need to step out in faith in what God is leading me to do.

We all need to quit thinking we don’t have anything to offer to the world. Because we are uniquely created by an amazing God, we have gifts to share with those around us that nobody else has. You are one of kind and the things you do aren’t like what anyone else can do. You have something to offer. Are you willing to share?

You should.

You are one of a kind. You are without rival.

books, Fun Friday Five, personal

Fun Friday Five

This has been my last week of vacation before I have to go back to work this coming Monday and boy, I’ve really tried to relax, have fun, and rest. So here are my obsessions this week.

Crash Team Racing! 
So when the kids were younger, I got into playing their PS game, Crash Team Racing…a Crash Bandicoot game. I got pretty good and found that I am competitive and a bit of a mean player (i.e. I love laying little obstacles and bombs to slow my competitors down.) Well, I have access to the game now and have been obsessed with getting my skills back. Is it weird for a middle age woman to play video games by herself? I don’t know, but I am having fun.

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
I’ve wanted to see the Bush Library for a long time now and it is one of the few things I really wanted to do on my vacation. My husband took the day of Tuesday and off we went. It was truly an impressive display of the Presidency and was good to be reminded that each President really does want to make a different for good in this country.

The Secret Life of Pets
One of the things I love to do on vacation is see a movie! This vacation I chose The Secret Life of Pets because there has been such turmoil and darkness in the past couple of weeks and I just wanted to laugh. And laugh I did. Such a cute movie with a silly story line. Meet Buddy…my favorite. 🙂



Reading
This week I am reading The Gifting by Katie Ganshert. It is a YA book and is a page turner! The good thing is, it is free on Kindle! Here is the back cover copy:

In a world where nothing supernatural exists, Tess Eckhart is positive she’s going crazy. After her complete freakout at a high school party, her family is too. So much that they pack their bags and move across the country, next to a nationally-renowned facility for the mentally ill.

Tess is determined to fit in at her new school, despite the whispers and stares. But when it comes to Luka Williams, a reluctantly popular boy in her class, she’s unused to a stare that intense. Then the headaches start, and the seemingly prophetic dreams that haunt her at night. As Tess tries harder to hide them, she becomes increasingly convinced that Luka knows something–that he might somehow be responsible.

But what if she’s wrong? What if Luka Williams is the only thing separating her from a madness too terrifying to fathom?

Nursing
Well, I have been neglectful in this 100 degree heat and haven’t watered my potted plants every day. So now I am trying to nurse a few crispy plants back to health. Wish my luck…I’m gonna need it!

What have you been up to this week?

Have a great weekend!


Beth Moore, books, love, spiritual

Audacious Love

The non-fiction book I read for June was Audacious by Beth Moore. May I just say…”Wow”. This book stirred my soul and gave me a thirst and a hunger for more. You know how you get in a rut and are just going through life and everything is just gray? Then you glimpse a bit a color on the horizon, a vivid burst of warm color that drives you forward to bask in its beauty. Well, that was what this book did for me. It helped me see once again the rich love of God…audacious love….and reminded me of the audacious love I once had and have been missing.

“The love Jesus longs for is not just devotion. It’s also emotion. It’s not just volition. It is also affection. It is not just discipline. It is also passion. It’s not just routine. It is also romance. And not just for Christ’s sake but also for ours. Love is the catalyst. The holy cause and effect.”

Following Jesus isn’t just doing church. It’s a relationship. It’s a love for Him…and audacious love.

“The person you are when you love Jesus with everything in you – with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength – is the real you. The brilliant you. The bring-it you. The breathtaking you. The born-for-this you. The person you were born to be crawls out of the shell of a heart cracked wide-open to the audacious love of Christ.”

I want to be the real me. The me that loves with audacious love…a love filled with vitality and verve.


“Every one of you who earnestly asks God to grant you a bold and daring answering-love for Jesus, marked by originality and verve, are going to receive it.”

All I need to do is ask…and keep asking. Loving Him passionately, audaciously, is His will for me and so he will definitely answer my prayer with a resounding YES!

Beth Moore has a beautiful way with words and this book is filled with beautiful word pictures that grab your heart!

“The sentences of our stories are meant to be penned from the inkwell of the supernatural.”

Who doesn’t want God’s supernatural power writing our story? We want His Spirit to be active and powerful in our everyday lives, helping us see Him at work around us and inviting us to join Him in His kingdom work.

If you are ready to have your heart re-charged and spurred on to love Jesus audaciously, then get Beth Moore’s book, Audacious, and savor each and every word. You won’t be sorry.

book review, books

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Stealing the Preacher has been one of my favorite reads this year. It has it all…adventure, romance, struggle, coming to faith, humor, and did I mention romance?? Oh yes, Karen Witemeyer can write great romance.

Here’s the back cover copy:
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.

For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?

Now how can you not love a premise like that?

Usually it is the heroine of a story that gets kidnapped, but Karen’s twist here works marvelously. The spark between Crockett and Joanna was tangible and their budding relationship fun to watch. Not only did I love the main characters, I loved all the minor characters as well. Joanna’s ex-outlaw Silas was a crotchety man, whose love for his daughter made him likable. Of course, you have the young man who has a crush on Joanna. You have Silas’s gang-now-turned-cow-hands, who are now like “uncles” to Joanna. And let’s not forget Holly…the determined young woman who is out to capture the preacher’s eye. Whew! She is a rascal!

I loved Karen’s first story, Short-Straw Bride, which featured another Archer brother, so when this one came out, I jumped at the chance to read it. It is another winner!

I received this book from Netgalley and Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

books, God, Jesus, personal, spiritual, writing

When God Says Not Now

Photo by anankkml @freedigitalphotos.net

Hearing God speak is such weird thing. When I hear others talking about hearing from God, my first thought is “What did He sound like?” I always think of God talking in an audible voice. And while I have had God speak to me in a dream, I have never heard an actual voice when I am wide awake. It’s more of an impression. A feeling. An overwhelming sensation gripping my heart, making my body come alive with awareness…an awareness of God’s unmistakable presence.

God spoke to me last weekend and I was overcome.

I’d been wrestling with my writing, not being able to focus, not being able to hear my characters talk or see their futures in my head. I’ve also felt a guilt about not being more involved in my church. Sure, I go to our church worship gathering every Sunday. I sing on the Praise Team. I teach children’s Bible Class every now and then. But what am I doing to help my husband in his work? What am I doing to further God’s mission in this world through our church? I haven’t been using my gift of hospitality. I haven’t been serving others…just myself and my writing.

All of these things were on my heart last weekend, and Sunday morning I prayed that God would speak to me so that I would know His will for me. I told Him I was expecting Him to speak in a way that brooked no  argument. And He did.

The whole church service spoke, from the songs to the sermon, God whispered to my heart. What was so cool is my husband, who I had not shared any of this with, got up and spoke words throughout his sermon that blew God’s breath over me. He said (paraphrased), “In the story of the prodigal son, it’s not just the wayward sinners who end up in the pig pen. It’s us. We get in a place where we put our wants and desires before God. We lose our focus. He wants more for us. He has more for us. But what does God want from you? Has He been speaking to you?

Well, yes, He has! God spoke to my soul, and He has told me to give up my writing for publication to focus on Him and His mission. I don’t believe He wants me to give it up forever, but I know He has asked me to set it aside for a time to revel in His presence and rediscover my love and passion for Him.

So while I am not writing for publication at this point in my journey, I will continue to post in my blog what God is teaching me, what great books I am reading, and what fun things I am up to.

And oh, how I love to have fun!

So has God been whispering to you?