Monday, January 30, 2012

LESSON FOUR: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 4 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” talks primarily about servanthood. One of the blog study questions from the publisher was “What does it mean to entrust yourself to the one who judges justly? Is there a situation in your life that you need to give to God?” To entrust yourself to the one who judges justly is to completely and totally trust God. It is to trust that whatever our Heavenly Father allows to touch our lives, regardless of whether we think it is a good or a bad thing, is what’s best for His plan and His glory and also for us. He is not a cruel Father who would hurt His kids.

Personally, I need to entrust every day to Him. I need to trust Him with my ministry, my health, my job, my relationships. I need to consciously stop doing things in my own power and allow Him to work through me. I think the situation I need to give to God is my health. I am a breast cancer survivor and I grew very close to Jesus during treatment. Now, treatment is over and tests have been clean for six months. Praise Jesus! But I want to cling to Him with the same intensity now that I’m well as I did when I was “sick”.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 16


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 16 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…


16:10 – we – Luke was with them.

16:15 – members of her household – no husband?





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LESSON THREE: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 3 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” talks primarily about our call as Christians to ministry as priests. What a fantastic honor and responsibility! That places us in quite an elite group with Jesus as our High Priest. I really can’t completely grasp all that this honor entails. Maybe when I finish this 1 Peter study, I will do my own study on the priesthood throughout the Bible so that I might know what my responsibility really is.

My ministry has varied over the years. I’ve been involved in choir and drama. I’ve facilitated adult Bible studies and taught Sunday School. I’ve spent time in the nursery and taught children. I’ve maintained a Bible Study Blog for several years, and review books. I’ve encouraged others through cards, letters and emails of prayers that I’ve said for them. I’ve brought gifts to the medical professionals who treated me for cancer. One constant has remained through each of these activities and is a joy and a privilege that rewards me each time I engage in it: prayer. Definitely a priestly practice, wouldn’t you say?

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Firethorn" by Ronie Kendig

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!




You never know when I might play a wild card on you!









Today's Wild Card author is:







and the book:





Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)




***Special thanks to Ronie Kendig for sending me a review copy.***





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:








An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.


It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990. Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.


Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.




Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:


    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)

    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)

    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)

    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.

    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)

    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)





Visit the author's website.




SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor.



Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin "Legend" Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How can he prove his innocence behind bars?



Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive confusion may turn out to be her last assignment. What will it take to convince the fugitive that whoever set him up has also dissected the Nightshade team? As Kazi and Griffin race to rescue the others and discover the traitor,

love begins to awaken in their hearts.



Can a covert operative and the felon she's freed overcome their mutual distrust long enough to save Nightshade? Will anything prepare them for who—or what is coming?










Product Details:







  • List Price: $12.99



  • Paperback: 352 pages

  • Publisher: Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1602607850

  • ISBN-13: 978-1602607859








AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:









To all American military heroes




At home and abroad,





Those who have gone before





and those serving today—





THANK YOU!





Because of you, we are FREE!





RECON CREED

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit, and Heart.

A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.


Swift, Silent, Deadly






Chapter 1

The Shack

“It’s sad, really.” Marshall “The Kid” Vaughn trudged away from the thumping rotors of the helo that had deposited them back at the Shack, his pack almost dragging the ground. “Ya don’t realize how much a person adds until he’s gone.”

“Legend’s not gone.” Max “Frogman” Jacobs hoisted his rucksack into a better group, his mind locked on Sydney and their two sons waiting for him at home. Poor woman had to be going out of her mind with two of his Mini-Me’s running around.

“Yeah.” John “Squirt” Dighton hit the light breaker, then waited for the six-man team to clear the door. “He’s just temporarily detained.”

Lights sizzled and popped to life. Groaning bounced off the grimy windows as he hauled the door closed, locked it, then started toward the showers.

The Kid grunted. “Forty-years-to-life temporary.”

In the locker room, a depressive gloom hung over the team. They’d been on countless missions, hit just about every terrain and environment imaginable, but none had taken the toll the last couple had. And there was one reason—they were down a man. Griffin “Legend” Riddell. If Max could write the playbook, they wouldn’t do another mission without the guy. But with the man in federal prison for murdering a congressman, it’d be a long wait.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Max looked around the Spartan room. Walls of lockers, most unused. A few benches. A giant once-white bin for dirty duds. And the team. Six men, now. All very skilled. Good men. Even the one missing. Every man here knew Legend had been set up—he didn’t murder that congressman. But nobody could prove it. The evidence was damning. Justice—injustice was more like it—came swiftly. Lambert, ever the puppeteer, couldn’t pull the right strings to get Legend off.

“I’m heading up to visit him tomorrow. Anyone game?” Colton “Cowboy” Neeley slumped on a bench and ran a hand over his short, dark hair. His blue eyes probed the group.

“Nah, man. I’ve got a date,” the Kid said.

Squirt beaned him with a towel. “What girl would go out with you, mate?”

The Kid snapped the terry cloth back at the former Navy SEAL. “Your sister.”

Squirt froze. His jaw went slack. Then his eyes darkened.

Laughing, Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe rose to his feet from the corner. “You just proved his point by thinking your sister would actually go out with him.”

Squirt swallowed, his face drained of color. “I introduced them at a New Year’s party.”

Midas laughed harder. “Your mistake, mate.

Shuffling closer, Squirt pointed a finger at the Kid. “I swear, you touch her, I’ll shove a fist full of witchety grubs down your gullet.”

“Give me credit, dude.” The Kid raised his hands. “I’m a gentleman.”

Max grunted. “Right.” As he strode around the lockers to the shower well, he heard more threats and much more laughter from the Kid. Max shook his head. Would the Kid ever grow up, learn when to leave things alone?

As he tossed his oily, grimy duds on the bench, Max paused, thinking maybe he should send his report to Lambert now so he wouldn’t have to mess with it tomorrow. The mission had been simple enough, a snatch-n-grab of an Iranian doctor. It’d been nice and clean, in and out. The report wouldn’t take long. Then he could shower, bug out, and know he had the whole weekend with Syd and the boys.

Max jogged up the iron stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath his weight. Down the hall to the right. He punched in the code and entered the secure hub, the door hissing shut behind him. The most high-tech part of this dump-of-a-warehouse.

Shouts drew his attention to the blinds. He jabbed two fingers between a couple and spread them to peeked down into the main area. Squirt and the Kid raced into the bay and back the way they came. Squirt looked ready to kill. The Kid’s face revealed his fear. Max shook his head again. Man, he wanted Griffin back. The guy seemed to bring balance to the team. Badly needed balance.

Max powered up the computer. Hand propped on the warped wood, he waited for the system to boot.

More shouts. Loud thuds.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they never—?

Tat-a-tat! Tat-tat-a-tat!

Instinct drove Max to his knee at the sound of gunfire. He scrambled to the window. Through the slanted blinds, he peered down into the slab of cement. His brain wouldn’t assemble what he saw. Gunmen. A dozen or more. Rushing into the Shack from the parking bay. Moving swiftly, as if. . .

They know the layout.

Max darted to the door and jerked it open. He sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. As his boot hit steel, he froze. A shadow emerged. Floated into the hall.

Too late.

Max jerked back. Pressed his spine against the wall.

By the showers, the Kid looked up. Max signaled to him. Then made his best and loudest Nightshade whistle, hoping it would penetrate the building, give the men warning to take cover.

The Kid threw himself back into the locker room.

Men swarmed the corner. One looked to his left, one right. His weapon slowly rose as he traced the stairs with his M16.

Max leapt backward into the darkness and into office. He closed the door. As the lock clicked, darkness dropped like an anchor over the entire building. Behind him, a glow screamed his location. The monitor!

Max spun. Lunged across the desk. Stabbed the power button. And paused with his hand still near the monitor. If someone was coming after them. . .accessing this computer. . .

On his knees, Max yanked the cords free. With the box, he moved to the window and reassessed the parking bay. Another van with a half-dozen men with AK-47s. They streamed into the warehouse.

Max’s gut wound into a dozen knots. They were screwed.

Think! Hand on the door, he considered going back downstairs. But that would get him captured. Killed. Yet he’d rather be with his guys than running like a chicken.

No, not running. Considering options, gaining the advantage. Planning. The invasion force was armed to the teeth. They knew who they were coming after. They’d brought weapons. And those guys moved with precision. Swift, deadly precision.

Though Nightshade had a stellar ops record, perhaps they had finally met their match. Still. . .two to one? Nightshade had faced worse.

A large black Suburban screeched to a halt in the middle of the parking bay. Two men emerged, both wearing trench coats.

Max cursed his luck to be up here, away from his gear, his weapons. Up here, without firepower. Thus, powerless.

Okay, enough. He was going down there. He eased the door open and slid across the hall. Bathed in darkness, he crouched at edge of the landing, using the wall for cover. A dozen men so far, rushing here and there. Quick, quiet chatter between the men.

A smirk slid into Max’s face. His team had taken cover and these goons couldn’t find them. If he could just get a weapon. . .

“Can’t find them.”

“They’re here. I saw them go in,” the man nearest the SUV shouted. “Find them! Lights!”

Light rushed through the building as headlamps from the vehicles stabbed the dusty, damp building. Max yanked back, out of sight. He needed to get down there, defend his men. His boot hit the landing.

Shouts erupted. A shot bounced off the steel rafters, taunting as it echoed through the Shack. Stilled, Max waited. More shouts. The sound of a scuffle. The half-dozen men waiting by the SUV lifted their weapons to the ready.

The locker room door swung open. A man walked backward, his AK-47 aimed at a large form filling the doorway. Cowboy. Arms raised, dressed only in his jeans, he stalked forward. Someone shoved him from behind, which barely moved the big lug.

Spine pressed against the wood, Max peered down into the bay.

“You move one wrong muscle,” the one in front of Cowboy growled, “and so help me God, I’ll kill you.”

“No you won’t.” Cowboy lowered his hands. “If you wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be out here.”

Ride ’em, Cowboy.

From the side entrance to the showers, three men dragged a shouting, cursing Kid into the bay. Max smirked that it took three tangos to wrangle the Kid.

Hand clenched, Max’s mind went into overdrive. What could he do? God. . .I need. . .something. What could he pray for? Intercepting the team was impossible. Twelve, fifteen armed tangos against one unarmed man?

He latched on to the hope that they’d only found Cowboy and the Kid. No Midas, Squirt, or Aladdin. Good. Maybe they could regroup and—

A man flew through the bay door from the showers and landed with a thud a yard from the others. Midas flipped over, scissored his legs, and swept the thug off his feet. The Kid seized the confusion to attack the men guarding him. And impressively. With a hard right, he dropped the first and used that weapon to disable the second.

Cowboy took a step back and rammed his elbow into the gut of the nearest guard. The gunman bent forward—straight into Cowboy’s meaty fist. The big guy pivoted, slapped the interior of the gunman’s wrist, effectively seizing the weapon and flipping the muzzle around. He fired at the guy.

Crack!

In the split second it took for Max to realize the sonic boom that rent the air wasn’t the report of Cowboy’s .45 MEU but of a rifle, Max saw the man in the black trench coat drop to the ground. A circle spread out like a dark halo.

“Sniper!” someone shouted.

The dead guy had fallen backward. Most likely shot from the front. Which meant. . . Max’s gaze rose to the rafters. With no light, it’d be the perfect hiding spot. But. . .who? Squirt? Aladdin?

Crack!

The man guarding Colton stumbled forward, then went to his knees before hitting the cement.

The man in the black trench coat nearest the SUV dropped. A pool of blood spilled out.

“There!” One guard swung and fired his fully automatic at the ceiling. Four others followed suit, firing at the bank of grimy windows on the southeast wall of the building.

Max followed their direction and watched. Waited, his breath caught at the back of his throat. Cracks and shattering glass blended with the staccato punches of the guns to create a wild cacophony of noise. Max tuned it out, praying whoever—Aladdin or Squirt—wouldn’t be hit.

But then he saw it. A shift of a shadow. Like someone rolling. . .

The gunfire petered out as a body plummeted the eight feet to the ground.

The thud seemed to have supernatural powers as it pounded Max’s chest and pushed him back. Away from the window but not far enough that he lost line of sight.

Silence dropped on the Shack.

“Where’s Max Jacobs?”

As the question streaked through the warehouse, Max registered a red glow in the far corner. Even as he noticed it, he heard a beep. Another. His gaze darted to the source of the noise. Two men were walking the perimeter, their M16s dangling as they raised their arms and pressed something against the supports. Arms lowered and the men stepped back revealing gray bricks with wires.

Explosives.

Gotta stop this. Do something. His gaze collided with Cowboy’s. The big lug gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

Max’s nostrils flared as he wrestled with what to do.

“Where’s Dighton?”

How do they know our names?

“Dead,” someone answered.

Pulled back into the shadows, Max clenched his eyes and bit down on his tongue. Dighton was dead. What about Aladdin—had he survived the fall?

Sirens wailed in the distance.

“Load ’em up.”

“What about Jacobs?”

“Outta time.” The leader left as the gunmen dragged the team out of the building.

Stealthily, Max held on to the box and sprinted the length of the hall to the side of the Shack. In the conference room, he plunged toward the window. Craned his neck to peek out. Three vehicles—twin white vans and a black town car.

The guys were loaded into the van and one into the car.

The leader shifted, held something out, then it wavered.

Detonator.

Max spun around, searching for an out. Doors. Only one way down—the stairs. But they led to the bay, which would be engulfed.

Windows. Overlooked the dock. The canal. It was January. The water would be brutal cold. His split-second assessment told him no matter what route he took, it’d be deadly. Despite his training, if he didn’t find shelter out of the water once he broke surface, he’d die an ice cube. If he stayed, he’d die a fireball.

Good thing SEALs are insulated against cold water.

Max vaulted toward the window, hurtling the computer through the window. The glass shattered as a violent force blasted through the air. It lifted him. Up. . .up. . . Flipped him. Searing pain sliced through his arm. Heat stroked his back and legs. Fire chased him out of the building. Into the night.

Boom!

Another wave slammed into him. Threw him backward. Toward the water.

Something punched his gut. Knocked the breath from his lungs.

Bright white lit the night. Blinded him. Then—almost instantaneously—black. Pure black. And he was falling. . .down. . .down. . .







Ro n i e K e n d i g


Firethorn


Discarded Heroes # 4





OTHER BOOKS BY RONIE KENDIG




Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1)




Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)




Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)




© 2011 by Ronie Kendig


ISBN 978-1-60260-0785-9

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.




This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.




For more information about Ronie Kendig, please access the author’s Web site at the following Internet address: www.roniekendig.com




Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,




www.barbourbooks.com




Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.




Printed in the United States of America.




Here is my review of this incredible romantic suspense novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Ronie Kendig and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Firethorn" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Ronie Kendig’s “Firethorn” is an incredible fourth addition to her Discarded Heroes Series. In this installment, Griffin “Legend” Riddell is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. While behind bars, the black ops team – Nightshade – is attacked and disbanded. Now Legend must trust a covert operative, Kazi Faron (a.k.a. Kacie Whitcomb) to bust him out of prison, rescue his comrades, and discover who has targeted Nightshade.

This amazing novel showcases Griffin Riddell, but features all of the Nightshade teammates, their wives and some supporting characters from previous novels, like Range Metcalf. I was torn when I first started reading, thinking that there was too much interaction with the other characters and not enough of Griffin. But this is absolutely Griffin and Kazi’s story. And I cannot wait to see what Ronie Kendig has in store for future Discarded Heroes novels.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 15


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 15 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

15:1 – This was an elitist viewpoint presented by the Pharisees (see v. 5) that placed Jews above Gentiles.

see Galatians 2:1.

15:2 – Perhaps the issue couldn’t be resolved because the people now lacked confidence in the preachers. Enough doubt existed to send Paul and Barnabas back to Jerusalem for clarification. Still, the people agreed to resolve the issue by sending Paul and Barnabas. Seeking the opinion of the Jerusalem church promoted church unity rather than this church simply doing things their own way.

15:7 – Peter got up after much discussion. Enough was enough. Apparently, the discussion wasn’t progressing.

Peter declares his mission from God to preach to the Gentiles.

15:8 – Peter reminds the assembly that God gave the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles and the Jews.

15:9 – Peter states that God makes no distinction between Gentiles and Jews.

15:10 – Peter asks why the Gentiles should be held accountable for a religious obligation when even the Jews couldn’t live up to the law.

15:11 – Peter reminds the assembly that we are all saved by faith through the grace of Jesus Christ. He mentions that the Jews (we) were saved the same as the Gentiles (they), elevating the Gentiles’ salvation and demonstrating the teaching that we should consider others better than ourselves.

15:13-18 – Jesus’ half brother, James, was a skeptic while Jesus was alive. So, when James speaks, people listen.

15:14 – Simeon = Peter.

15:15 – Seek solutions that are consistent with the Word of God.

15:36-41 – Paul’s 2nd missionary journey.

See Colossians 4:10.

Barnabas and Mark were cousins.





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

REVIEW: "Smitten"

“Smitten” is an anthology of four romantic novellas about a small town and its inhabitants. Penned by four of the foremost Christian romance authors, each tale can be read independently, but complement each other perfectly. When the lumber mill in Smitten closes, the very survival of the town and its people is threatened. Then a few of the local ladies come up with the idea to capitalize on the town’s name and turn the community into a tourist destination for lovers and honeymooners.

***Colleen Coble’s tale, “Natalie: Birthday Wish” follows Smitten resident Natalie, part of the foursome who came up with the idea of turning Smitten into a lover’s paradise. She runs the local coffee shop with her mother and has her hands full raising her sister’s daughter, Mia. She believed when her sister claimed that Carson Smitten was Mia’s father, but now that Natalie is falling for Carson, she is having her doubts.

****“Julia: Small Town, Big Dreams”, Kristen Billerbeck’s contribution, is a charming love story. Back in Smitten to care for her mother after an accident, Julia, a successful New York esthetician feels her niche to help the town would be to open a spa. When her brother’s friend (aka her childhood tormenter), Zak takes an interest in helping her dream come true, Julia wants it to be because he loves her. But Zak keeps talking about duty to her brother.

****“Shelby: You’ve Got A Friend” by Diann Hunt is a beautiful tale of two fathers and their amazing daughters. Nick doesn’t want his manly town to transform into a girly, frilly place. He also doesn’t know what to do with his 12 year-old daughter when she moves in with him after her mother dies. Shelby has a strained relationship with her father, so she decides to help her friend, Nick, build a relationship with his girl, Willow.

*****Denise Hunter’s “Reese: All Along” beautifully wraps up the collection of stories. Reese is realizing her dream of owning an outfitter’s shop as Griffen works to renovate her new store to service the clientele that will come to Smitten as a lover’s paradise. They’ve been great friends for years, so Reese can’t act rashly when her feelings for Griff begin to change to something more romantic. Not wanting to ruin the friendship, she hatches a plan to make him notice her as a woman rather than a friend. But when the guy she plans to “date” to make him jealous cancels on her and Griffin offers to step in, are Reese’s plans ruined? Or is this the perfect way to make him love her?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LESSON TWO: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 2 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” provoked some intriguing thought. Challenged by the truth that the mind must be transformed for true change to take place, this week’s study has led me to glean an understanding that I must secure whatever might trip me up in my own thinking. Faulty thinking when it comes to God is not an option because it will taint everything we think and believe about Him.

God gives us understanding through the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Why? Because things of God cannot be understood with human wisdom. The gospel is foolishness to non-believers. God makes worldly wisdom foolishness. God chose the foolish things to shame the wise.

Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” But how can we transform and renew our minds? Follow the advice of scripture: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Small Space Organizing: A Room-by-room Guide to Maximizing Your Space by Kathryn Bechen


First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Kathryn Bechen and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Small Space Organizing" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

I am thrilled to be a reviewer for Kathryn Bechen’s book, “Small Space Organizing: A Room-by-room Guide to Maximizing Your Space”. I don’t live in a small home, but my family does have some unique challenges that make this book a valuable resource. First of all, our kids’ bedrooms are on the small side, so getting the most out of that space can be pretty important to a teenage girl. We’ve converted my oldest daughter’s bedroom into an office because she and her husband just moved into our basement/family room. So, using this book to create for them a defined space that gives them both living and sleeping quarters was essential.

I love Kathryn’s quote at the beginning of the book: “Small spaces give us the opportunity to live sincerely, forcing us to choose which of our possessions make our hearts sing.” What a beautiful idea! I did discover that I have much room to downsize regardless of the space in my floor plan. There are questions to assess your space, website addresses for products and services, space for your own notes on each chapter, and plenty of ideas for embracing the “less is more” concept for every room in the house!

There were only two drawbacks to this amazing book: First, I would have loved some drawings to inspire my imagination. Second, I would have enjoyed reading about ideas for maximizing a small outdoor space.

Still, my plan is to sit down with my husband and choose an area of our house to work on. Then we will read Kathryn Bechen’s suggestions for that space and list our own ideas. Then we can start enjoying the process of investigating the changes we want to make. Maybe we can choose a different project every few months to make the “makeover” more affordable.

I think this would be a great blogging project! Choose a room, post BEFORE photos, blog about the process of “maximizing your space” including stores and websites shopped, decorating tips and challenges encountered, then post AFTER photos.

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bible Study: The Acts of the Holy Spirit - A Study of the book of Acts - Chapter 14


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Acts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. Stay strong. Live in the Spirit. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 14 of the book of Acts. Read it with the thought in mind that this is the first display of the power of the Holy Spirit working through man – aside from Christ, that is. Imagine what the Spirit can do through you if you let Him! Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

14:1-4 – Paul and Barnabas were rejected because of their message – God’s message – but their dependence on God didn’t waiver.

14:5-7 – see 2 Timothy 3:10-11.

14:11-15 – Paul and Barnabas were misunderstood, but they had sufficient knowledge of the culture to be able to explain to the people so they would understand.

14:14 – We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t kill the messenger.” What are the dangers of exalting the messenger?

14:19-21 – They suffered persecution. This attack was premeditated. People traveled up to 100 miles to participate in Paul’s stoning. But this treatment didn’t dissuade Paul and Barnabas from sharing the Good News. They remained faithful to God and their calling.

14:20 – Why would Paul return to Lystra after the townspeople stoned him? Would you have returned? See 2 Corinthians 12 for Paul’s remarks about this time – he probably had the vision he describes while he was unconscious.

14:22-23 – They recognized that trouble would come and accepted that it was necessary.

14:22 – we will suffer persecution.

We are made strong by trials, not prosperity.





• The book of Acts teaches us much about what the Holy Spirit is capable of doing through a mortal life. What have you learned about how He wants to work through you today? What will you do to give up a bit of control to Him?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

LESSON ONE: “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study”

Lesson 1 of “1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times – A Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study” was quite a challenge. I was particularly intrigued by the “Summit” question about God’s sovereignty versus our responsibility on page 12. Here is the rough essay I wrote containing my thoughts on the subject:

The references to “God’s elect” in 1 Peter 1:1 and “chosen” in verse 2 to describe the recipients of Peter’s epistle brings up intriguing questions on the topic of God’s sovereignty versus human responsibility. Why has God chosen some people and not others? Did those who were chosen have a part in their salvation by choosing God? Since I am resolved to work out my faith with fear and trembling, here are my thoughts on the subject. I do realize that full and complete knowledge on this subject is beyond my understanding and that any insight I glean on this topic comes directly from the Holy Spirit. My views on this subject are unimportant. Only the truth truly matters.

One truth that I have personally come to embrace is God’s sovereignty. In light of this question, I want to take a moment and find proof of this in scripture. Such proof is peppered throughout the Bible. According to a recent blueletterbible.com search on the term “Sovereign Lord”, this phrase occurs in scripture 288 times from Genesis to Jude. As a Christian and a believer in the truth of scripture, these 288 declarations tell me that God is sovereign. One of the several definitions of the adjective “sovereign” as displayed on the Dictionary.com website is “having supreme rank, power, or authority.” According to this definition, God’s “elect” or “chosen” would be selected with His absolute authority.

It’s difficult to attach relevance to my responsibility in accepting the free gift of salvation without demeaning God’s sovereignty, but the Bible says that this is part of the process. Trying to describe this idea reminded me of a scripture verse that says something like “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I think that verse captures the spirit of involvement. He is always near. If we reach out to Him, He grabs hold of us. This reminds me of the scene in “Titanic” where the crewmen are rowing through the bodies to rescue the survivors when Rose blows the whistle to get their attention. In a nutshell, dead men don’t reach out to be saved.

There is another passage in scripture that talks about being blotted out of the Book of Life. If God is omniscient, and I do believe He is, no one would ever need to be blotted out of the Book of Life because He already knows whose names will be there. Since our days are numbered from the dawn of time, and we are born into specific generations so that we will seek Him, this appears to be a strategic process so that we will gain the greatest opportunity to enjoy Him in this life. When I first contemplated this aspect of God’s sovereignty versus my choice, the question that popped into my mind was whether there is an age of accountability where everyone’s name appears in the Book of Life at birth and is blotted out when they decide to reject Christ – even though God knows they’re going to do it. This may be the reason anyone is blotted out of the Book of Life – to help humans understand that we all do have a choice, but God already knows what our choice is going to be. He works it out this way to solicit our participation in His plan so that He can bless us in this life by our involvement with Him and His creation (chosen and not).

Here are some of the facts as I see them: God, in His sovereignty, chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, aka Israel. The nation of Israel disobeyed, which logically opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. Jesus died once for all, giving the free gift of salvation that every man must accept. God already knows every person who will accept this gift and everyone who will reject it. So, technically, He could have written only the names of the acceptors into the Book of Life. But, if that is the case, why would scripture mention being blotted out of the Book of Life? Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was always “plan A”. We do have free will and a choice. It’s just that God, in His omniscience, already knows what that choice is going to be. When scripture says that God hardened someone’s heart, He didn’t take away their choice. He used their choice for His purposes to advance His kingdom. He is the orchestrator of all things. His plan is perfection. His Word gives us understanding of His plan at different levels.

One can argue that, as the Creator and King of the Universe and everything in it, God has every right to determine who spends eternity with Him in heaven and who spends eternity in hell. Until we meet Him Face-to-face, we will not completely understand the concepts of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility or why God has chosen some people and not others or what the role of being chosen has in choosing God to receive salvation. I am willing to trust the Lord and the truth of His Word. I will gain understanding as He gives it to me. And this seems to be the case as I contemplate and record my thoughts. But for the purpose of this exercise, I believe we must close here if I’m to move on with the lesson.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“The Shadow of Your Smile” by Susan May Warren

About the book: The Shadow of Your Smile

A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.

After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?

Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here: http://www.susanmaywarren.com/books/the-shadow-of-your-smile.


About Susan: Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder ofwww.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:www.susanmaywarren.com. Sometimes love requires a little forgetting ... Come back to Deep Haven and find out what's been happening in your favorite quaint hamlet. If you're new to the Deep Haven series - this is the perfect book to start with - each book in the series is a stand alone story.



Susan is celebrating the release of The Shadow of Your Smile by giving away a prize pack worth over $200 from 1/9-1/28.







One grand prize winner will receive:


  • A $200 Visa Gift Card (Use that to rekindle a little romance, treat yourself to a spa day, snap up those shoes you’ve been eyeing, or purchase a few great books!)



  • The entire set of Deep Haven Books 


The winner will be announced on 1/30/12 on Susan’s blog, Scribbles! Just click one of the icons below to enter and tell your friends about Susan's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.




Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter




Here is my review of this amazing love story:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Susan May Warren and his/her publisher for sending me an electronic copy of "The Shadow of Your Smile" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity.

“The Shadow of Your Smile” by Susan May Warren is a touching love story about a couple on the verge of a breakup blessed by a horrible accident. Noelle Hueston finds herself fleeing the scene of a robbery, but her escape ends abruptly when she hits her head. When she regains consciousness in the hospital, the trauma she suffered has stolen her memory. At first heartbreaking to her husband, Eli, and sons, Kyle and Kirby, the men soon see this incident as an opportunity to fix their formerly broken family.

The road to rediscovery leads to some startling realizations. Meanwhile, the robber is still on the loose and may believe that Noelle can identify him. So ex-sheriff Eli and Deep Haven deputy Kyle work to protect Noelle and solve the case while helping Noelle to regain her memory. As Noelle and Eli fall in love all over again, will their past resurface to tear them apart for good?

This Deep Haven novel contains several cameo appearances by leading characters from past Deep Haven novels. Susan May Warren crafts a suspenseful plot peppered with romantic storylines and godly wisdom for dealing with tragic circumstances. This is a must read work of fiction.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter



It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!




You never know when I might play a wild card on you!









Today's Wild Card author is:







and the book:





Thomas Nelson (January 3, 2012)




***Special thanks to
Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group – for sending me a review copy.***





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!



Visit the author's website.











SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:





Shay Brandenberger has built her entire life on the shifting sands of what others think. Constantly seeking the approval of others, she has struggled through a rocky childhood, a failed marriage and single parenthood. Now it looks like she’s losing the ranch that has been in her family for three generations, a surefire way to mark her as a failure in the eyes of the community. When Travis McCoy, the high school sweetheart who very publicly broke her heart fifteen years before, returns to Moose Creek, she is less than pleased. Not only does his re-appearance dredge up a deluge of painful memories, it also reminds everyone in town that it was he who left her, not the other way around. To make matters worse, Shay and Travis are unwittingly paired to play bride and groom in the annual Founder’s Day wedding re-enactment where, much to her chagrin, she discovers he still has the power to take her breath away.




Product Details:




List Price: $15.99


  • Paperback: 304 pages

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 3, 2012)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1595548025

  • ISBN-13: 978-1595548023






AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:









The bell above the diner’s door jingled
and—despite her most valiant effort—Shay Brandenberger’s eyes darted toward the
entry. An unfamiliar couple entered—tourists. She could tell by their khaki
Eddie Bauer vests and spanking-new hiking boots. Look out, Yellowstone.





When her heart rate returned to normal,
she checked her watch and took a sip of coffee. Five minutes till she met Miss
Lucy at the Doll House, forty till she met John Oakley at the bank. What if he
said no? What would they do then?





“Mom . . . Earth to Mom . . .” Olivia
waved her hand too close to Shay’s face, her brown eyes widening.





“Sorry, hon.” The one bright moment of
her Saturday was breakfast with her daughter, and she couldn’t enjoy it for the
dread. “What were you saying?”





Olivia set her fork on her
pancake-sticky plate and heaved a sigh worthy of her twelve-year-old self.
“Never mind.” She bounced across the vinyl bench, her thick brown ponytail
swinging. “I’m going to meet Maddy.”





“Right back here at noon,” Shay called,
but Olivia was out the door with the flick of her hand.








The diner buzzed with idle chatter.
Silverware clattered and scraped, and the savory smell of bacon and fried eggs
unsettled her stomach. She took a sip of the strong brew from the fat rim of
her mug.





The bell jingled again. I will not look. I will
not look. I will not—





The server appeared at her booth, a new
girl, and gathered Olivia’s dishes. “On the house today.”





Shay set down her mug, bristling. “Why?”





The woman shrugged. “Boss’s orders,” she
said, then made off with the dirty dishes.





From the rectangular kitchen window,
Mabel Franklin gave Shay a pointed look.





So Shay had helped the couple with their
foal the week before. It was the neighborly thing to do.





Fine. She gave a reluctant smile and a
wave. She pulled her wallet from her purse, counted out the tip, and dragged
herself from the booth, remembering her daughter’s bouncy exit. Lately her
thirty-two years pressed down on her body like a two-ton boulder.





She opened the diner’s door and peeked
both ways before exiting the Tin Roof and turning toward the Doll House. She
was only checking sidewalk traffic, not hiding. Nope, she wasn’t hiding from
anyone. The boardwalks were busy on Saturdays. That was why she hadn’t come to
town for two weeks. Why their pantry was emptier than a water trough at high
noon.





She hurried three shops down and slipped
into the cool, welcoming air of Miss Lucy’s shop.





“ ’Morning, Miss Lucy.”





“ ’Morning, dear.” The elderly woman, in
the middle of helping a customer, called over her rounded shoulder, “It’s in
the back.” Miss Lucy’s brown eyes were big as buckeyes behind her thick
glasses, and her white curls glowed under the spotlights.





“Okeydoke.” Shay forced her feet toward
the storeroom.





A musty smell assaulted her as she
entered the back room and flipped on the overhead fluorescents. She scanned the
boxes of doll parts and skeins of yarn until she found what she was looking
for. She approached the box, lifted the lid, and parted the tissue.





The wedding gown had been carefully
folded and tucked away. Shay ran her fingers over the delicate lace and pearls.
Must’ve been crisp white in its day, but time had cast a long shadow over it.
Time had a way of doing that.





Her fingers lingered on the thin fabric.
She remembered another time, another dress. A simple white one that hung on her
young shoulders, just skimmed the cement of the courthouse steps. The ache that
squeezed her heart had faded with time, but it was there all the same. Would it
ever go away?





Shaking her head, Shay turned back to
the task at hand. The gown seemed too pretty, too fragile to disturb.





Oh well. She’d promised.





She pulled it out and draped it over the
box, then shimmied from her jeans. When she was down to the bare necessities,
she stepped carefully into the gown. She eased it over her narrow hips and slid
her arms into the long sleeves. The neckline was modest, the gathered skirt
fuller than anything she ever wore. Here in the air-conditioning it was fine,
but she would swelter next Saturday.





Leaving the button-up back gaping, she
hitched the skirt to the top of her cowboy boots and entered the store.





Miss Lucy was ushering the customer out
the door. When she turned, she stopped, her old-lady shoes squeaking on the
linoleum. “Land sakes.”





Shay took two steps forward and dropped
the skirt. It fell to the floor with a whoosh.





“Fits like a glove,” Miss Lucy said.
“And with some low heels it’ll be the perfect length.”





Shay didn’t even own heels. “My boots’ll
have to do. Button the back?”





Miss Lucy waddled forward, turned Shay
toward a small wall mirror flecked with time, and began working the tiny pearl
buttons.





Shay’s breath caught at her image. She
forced its release, then frowned. Wedding gowns were bad luck. She’d sworn
she’d never wear another. If someone had told her yesterday she’d be wearing
this thing today, she’d have said they were one straw short of a bale.





Miss Lucy moved up to the buttons
between her shoulders, and Shay lifted her hair. The dress did fit, clinging to
her torso like it was made for her, wouldn’t you know. Even the color
complemented her olive skin.





Still, there was that whole bad luck
thing.





And what would everyone think of Shay
Brandenberger wearing this valuable piece of Moose Creek heritage? A white
wedding gown, no less. If she didn’t have the approval of her closest friends
and neighbors, what did she have? Not much, to her thinking.





She wanted to cut and run. Wanted to
shimmy right out of the dress, tuck it into that box in the storeroom, slip
back into her Levi’s and plaid button-up, and go back to her ranch where she
could hole up for the next six months.





She checked the time and wished Miss
Lucy had nimbler fingers. Of all days to do this, a Saturday, when everyone
with two legs was in town. And she still had that infernal meeting with John
Oakley.





Please, God, I can’t lose our home . . .





“I’m obliged to you, dear. I completely
forgot Jessie was going out of town.”





“No problem.”





“Baloney. You’d rather be knee-deep in
cow dung.” The woman’s marionette lines at the sides of her mouth deepened.





“It’s one hour of my life.” A pittance,
after all Miss Lucy had done for her.





Miss Lucy finished buttoning, and Shay
dropped her hair and smoothed the delicate lace at the cuffs.





“Well, bless you for being willing. God
is smiling down on you today for your kindness.”





Shay doubted God really cared one way or
another. It was her neighbors she worried about.





“Beautiful, just beautiful. You’ll be
the talk of the town on Founders Day.”





“No doubt.” Everyone in Moose Creek
would be thinking about the last time she’d worn a wedding gown. And the time
before that.





Especially the time before that.





Third time’s a charm, Shay thought, the corner of her lip
turning up.





“Stop fretting,” Miss Lucy said,
squeezing her shoulders. “You look quite fetching, like the gown was made for
you. I won’t have to make a single alteration. Why, it fits you better than it
ever did Jessie—don’t you tell her I said so.”





Shay tilted her head. Maybe Miss Lucy
was right. The dress did make the most of her figure. And she had as much right
to wear it as anyone. Maybe more—she was born and raised here, after all. It
was just a silly old reenactment anyway. No one cared who the bride and groom
were.





The bell jingled as the door opened
behind her. She glanced in the mirror, over her shoulder, where a hulking
silhouette filled the shop’s doorway. There was something familiar in the set
of the man’s broad shoulders, in the slow way he reached up and removed his
hat.





The sight of him constricted her rib
cage, squeezed the air from her lungs as if she were wearing a corset. But she
wasn’t wearing a corset. She was wearing a wedding gown. Just as she had been
the last time she’d set eyes on Travis McCoy.



Here is my review of this wonderful novel:

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Denise Hunter and her publisher for sending me a copy of "The Accidental Bride" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Denise Hunter’s “The Accidental Bride” is a thrilling sequel to “A Cowboy’s Touch” and the second triumphant novel in the Big Sky Romance series. In this story, characters whom you’ve grown to love in the first book take center stage. You may recall Shay Brandenberger and her daughter Olivia from the previous novel. Fourteen years ago, Travis McCoy left Shay at the altar. Now, Travis is back in town to watch over his parents’ ranch and he finds himself portraying the groom at the Founder’s Day festivities…to Shay’s bride. Travis really does want a second chance at love with Shay. But Shay wants nothing to do with him. So when it turns out that they were actually wed on Founder’s Day, Travis wants to make a go if it and Shay only wants to get herself out of debt with the intent of paying Travis back. She doesn’t trust that Travis can stay away from rodeo competition or the women that hang around the cowboys. But will the five months they’ve agreed to stay together be enough to link them for life?

This wonderful book went by way too fast. The solid plot, lovable characters and uplifting romance make this a must read for a long weekend. I am anxiously awaiting more terrific stories from Moose Creek, Montana.