Thursday, November 19, 2015

Murder in the Mystery Suite - My Review

I just finished reading a lovely book called Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams.  Mystery novels are one of my favorite genres so this story was a perfect addition to my book collection. 

The setting takes place at Storyton Hall, which is a resort tucked away in picturesque Virginia.  The resort has been passed down from generation to generation, and the halls of Storyton hold a special secret that only the guardian knows about. 

From the beginning of the text, every character you meet and every store you visit in the town carry a literary name.  In fact, Ellery Adams must know her literature and detective stories well, because she references vintage and modern terms throughout the novel.  Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man films, Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon, the beloved English Detective Inspector Morse, Agatha Christie, and Hercule Poirot are a few of the names she includes in her book.  Of course literary greats, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Lewis Carroll are mentioned as well. 

Adams gives the most interesting names to the shops in Storyton too--Geppetto's Toy Shop, Cheshire Cat Pub, and The Potter's Shed.  Her vivid descriptions of each shop and the animated people who own them make for a delightful read.  

The main character Jane Steward, who is the manager of Storyton Hall, is a recent widow raising twin boys.  Her Aunt Octavius and Uncle Aloysius oversee the resort along with the help of a butler, librarian, chauffeur, housekeeper, and chef.  And each employee at Storyton holds a special job that is pivotal to the success of the resort running properly.  

With each turn of the page, the reader will discover that people and events are not always what they seem, and that there are many hidden secrets being kept from those that reside at Storyton Hall.  Even Jane herself is in for many surprises, as she learns more about her family heritage.  

If you love mysteries, I highly recommend this book.  You will be hooked from the first page to the last, and I am happy to report that the second book in this series came out in August.  I will be reviewing Murder in the Paperback Parlor later this year.  

Please let me know what you think of this novel in the comments below.  Happy reading!  

About The Book 

*Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up…

*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.

About The Author

Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea.

Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia. Visit her website at:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hold Onto Every Moment

Do you ever take a moment to stop and think about life?  The life that you live, the moments that surround you, or even the life that others live?  Is there ever a time when you really notice nature, or the people that you come into contact with on a daily basis.

Earlier today, I ran to get a cup of coffee at McDonald's.  I didn't have a lot of time, so I decided to go through the drive-thru, and as always, I was pleasantly surprised by the workers that greeted me at each window.  Both women carried smiles, and were ready to serve me to the best of their ability.  Their level of care made me happier, and if I had been looking at my phone or thinking about all I had to do today, I would have missed out on a great blessing. 

This is what I am talking about--do you ever take the time to notice the little things in life?  Because these little things measure up to greater things in one's life.  A stranger's kindness, autumn colored leaves falling from a tree, a dog's bark in the distance, and a beautiful sunset--all of these moments are important.  It is imperative that we never take any of these moments for granted--small as they might seem. 

I don't want to be too solemn here, but with my own life experiences, I know how easily these moments can be taken away and how precious it is to be a part of normal everyday opportunities.  And that is exactly what they are--privileged opportunities.    

Not everyone will get the chance to hear a robin sing or take their dog for a walk.  Not everyone will get to buy a prom dress or walk down the aisle in a beautiful wedding gown.  Not everyone will have the honor of graduating from college in order to pursue an exciting career.  These possibilities seem quite normal, and you might think that everyone experiences these events.  But they don't.

Never take anything for granted and hold onto every moment. 

I say all of this because of various events I have witnessed recently.  Events that have caused me to stop and ponder what is really important in life.  It is not how much money you have or how successful you might be--it is the little things in life that people miss the most.  These are the memories that people want to relive.  In all honesty, no one really cares about the kind of car they drove when they were young.  They care about the best friend they once knew and for whatever reason lost touch with.  They care about different individuals who touched their life, and who helped shape who they are as adults.  In the end, it's all about people. 

So please take some time to notice the little things today.  Tell someone you love them.  And remember to grab hold of each moment in your life--don't let unimportant matters hold your attention anymore.  Focus on family, friends, and the simple pleasures that life brings us each day.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Books and Tea

This time of the year reminds me that is time to pull out the Christmas and Thanksgiving stories.  I love reading these types of novels throughout the year, but especially when the weather begins to turn crisp and cold.  Then it is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and cup of my favorite tea.

Recently, I ordered the novella collection entitled A Patchwork Christmas, and I am so excited to read this compilation of stories.  


I always love picking up these types of books throughout the year.  It is great way to read a variety of stories from several different authors.  I will let you know my thoughts about this book later this month.

As far as tea goes, my favorite this last month has been pumpkin tea.  I got a cup of pumpkin tea from Barnes an Noble the other week, and it was from the brand Harney and Sons.  I first tried this tea brand years ago at a local tea shop in loose leaf, but it is nice to know that they do have a tea bag version.  Of course, I had to pick up a box...or tin in this case.  

What holiday books do you enjoy reading?  What types of tea have been your favorite this past month?  Please let me know in the comments below.  Have a lovely day! 


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Exciting News!!!

Hi everyone,

Hope you are having a great day.  I have some wonderful news regarding my writing journey!  I am so excited to announce that I will be writing monthly pieces for the Daily Megaphone website!  My good friend from college, Danielle Thompson, runs this lovely website and has given me the amazing opportunity to write for her site.   

My first post is already up, and you can find links to this blog and my Instagram from the Daily Megaphone as well.  Just go to the contributors page, and you will see my biography posted.

This is such an exciting endeavor for me, and I look forward to writing and posting pieces each month.  You can find a link to the Daily Megaphone on my blog, so please head on over to her website and check it out!

Thanks so much for your support!  

Heather J. Snyder 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quote for the Day

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

                                          ~Walt Disney~

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Just Be Held

I heard this song on the radio this morning, and I wanted to write about it on my blog.  It's a beautiful song by Casting Crowns called "Just Be Held."  The lyrics remind the listener that no matter what life throws your way, don't worry, because the Lord is holding you.  So, just rest in His loving arms.

I know the times in my life where I have been overwhelmed by what is going on around me, and I want to ask God why.  Why me Lord?  But I love the words in this song--"Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place."  God knew what was going on in my life even if I didn't understand it, and it's true--my life was falling into place.  My life was being weaved into a beautiful story that only God can create.  A life that I could never fathom, and I can honestly say a better life than I ever imagined.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you're tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You'll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You'll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you'll understand
I'm painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you'll find Me
And where you are, I'll hold your heart
I'll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won't let go

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Here is the music video clip for this song: 

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Excerpt from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

"Jane," he (Mr. Rochester) recommenced, as we entered the laurel walk, and slowly
strayed down in the direction of the sunk fence and the horse-
chestnut, "Thornfield is a pleasant place in summer, is it not?"

"Yes, sir."
"You must have become in some degree attached to the house,--you,
who have an eye for natural beauties, and a good deal of the organ
of Adhesiveness?"

"I am attached to it, indeed."
"And though I don't comprehend how it is, I perceive you have
acquired a degree of regard for that foolish little child Adele,
too; and even for simple dame Fairfax?"

"Yes, sir; in different ways, I have an affection for both."
"And would be sorry to part with them?"
"Pity!" he said, and sighed and paused.  "It is always the way of
events in this life," he continued presently:  "no sooner have you
got settled in a pleasant resting-place, than a voice calls out to
you to rise and move on, for the hour of repose is expired."

"Must I move on, sir?" I asked.  "Must I leave Thornfield?"
"I believe you must, Jane.  I am sorry, Janet, but I believe indeed
you must."

This was a blow:  but I did not let it prostrate me.
"Well, sir, I shall be ready when the order to march comes."
"It is come now--I must give it to-night."
"Then you ARE going to be married, sir?"
"Ex-act-ly--pre-cise-ly:  with your usual acuteness, you have hit
the nail straight on the head."

"Soon, sir?"
"Very soon, my--that is, Miss Eyre:  and you'll remember, Jane, the
first time I, or Rumour, plainly intimated to you that it was my
intention to put my old bachelor's neck into the sacred noose, to
enter into the holy estate of matrimony--to take Miss Ingram to my
bosom, in short (she's an extensive armful:  but that's not to the
point--one can't have too much of such a very excellent thing as my
beautiful Blanche):  well, as I was saying--listen to me, Jane!
You're not turning your head to look after more moths, are you?
That was only a lady-clock, child, 'flying away home.'  I wish to
remind you that it was you who first said to me, with that
discretion I respect in you--with that foresight, prudence, and
humility which befit your responsible and dependent position--that
in case I married Miss Ingram, both you and little Adele had better
trot forthwith.  I pass over the sort of slur conveyed in this
suggestion on the character of my beloved; indeed, when you are far
away, Janet, I'll try to forget it:  I shall notice only its wisdom;
which is such that I have made it my law of action.  Adele must go
to school; and you, Miss Eyre, must get a new situation."

"Yes, sir, I will advertise immediately:  and meantime, I suppose--"
I was going to say, "I suppose I may stay here, till I find another
shelter to betake myself to:" but I stopped, feeling it would not do
to risk a long sentence, for my voice was not quite under command.

"In about a month I hope to be a bridegroom," continued Mr.
Rochester; "and in the interim, I shall myself look out for
employment and an asylum for you."

"Thank you, sir; I am sorry to give--"
"Oh, no need to apologise!  I consider that when a dependent does
her duty as well as you have done yours, she has a sort of claim
upon her employer for any little assistance he can conveniently
render her; indeed I have already, through my future mother-in-law,
heard of a place that I think will suit:  it is to undertake the
education of the five daughters of Mrs. Dionysius O'Gall of
Bitternutt Lodge, Connaught, Ireland.  You'll like Ireland, I think:
they're such warm-hearted people there, they say."

"It is a long way off, sir."
"No matter--a girl of your sense will not object to the voyage or
the distance."

"Not the voyage, but the distance:  and then the sea is a barrier--"
"From what, Jane?"
"From England and from Thornfield:  and--"
"From YOU, sir."
I said this almost involuntarily, and, with as little sanction of
free will, my tears gushed out.  I did not cry so as to be heard,
however; I avoided sobbing.  The thought of Mrs. O'Gall and
Bitternutt Lodge struck cold to my heart; and colder the thought of
all the brine and foam, destined, as it seemed, to rush between me
and the master at whose side I now walked, and coldest the
remembrance of the wider ocean--wealth, caste, custom intervened
between me and what I naturally and inevitably loved.

"It is a long way," I again said.
"It is, to be sure; and when you get to Bitternutt Lodge, Connaught, Ireland, I shall never see you again, Jane:  that's morally certain.
I never go over to Ireland, not having myself much of a fancy for
the country.  We have been good friends, Jane; have we not?"

"Yes, sir."
"And when friends are on the eve of separation, they like to spend
the little time that remains to them close to each other.  Come!
we'll talk over the voyage and the parting quietly half-an-hour or
so, while the stars enter into their shining life up in heaven
yonder:  here is the chestnut tree:  here is the bench at its old
roots.  Come, we will sit there in peace to-night, though we should
never more be destined to sit there together."  He seated me and

"It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my
little friend on such weary travels:  but if I can't do better, how
is it to be helped?  Are you anything akin to me, do you think,

I could risk no sort of answer by this time:  my heart was still.
"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to
you--especially when you are near me, as now:  it is as if I had a
string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably
knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of
your little frame.  And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred
miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of
communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should
take to bleeding inwardly.  As for you,--you'd forget me."

"That I NEVER should, sir:  you know--"  Impossible to proceed.
"Jane, do you hear that nightingale singing in the wood?  Listen!"
In listening, I sobbed convulsively; for I could repress what I
endured no longer; I was obliged to yield, and I was shaken from
head to foot with acute distress.  When I did speak, it was only to
express an impetuous wish that I had never been born, or never come
to Thornfield.

"Because you are sorry to leave it?"
The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was
claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway, and asserting a
right to predominate, to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last:
yes,--and to speak.

"I grieve to leave Thornfield:  I love Thornfield:- I love it,
because I have lived in it a full and delightful life,--momentarily
at least.  I have not been trampled on.  I have not been petrified.
I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every
glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic and high.  I
have talked, face to face, with what I reverence, with what I
delight in,--with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind.  I have
known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish
to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever.  I see the
necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of

"Where do you see the necessity?" he asked suddenly.
"Where?  You, sir, have placed it before me."
"In what shape?"
"In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman,--your

"My bride!  What bride?  I have no bride!"
"But you will have."
"Yes;--I will!--I will!"  He set his teeth.
"Then I must go:- you have said it yourself."
"No:  you must stay!  I swear it--and the oath shall be kept."
"I tell you I must go!" I retorted, roused to something like
passion.  "Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you?  Do you
think I am an automaton?--a machine without feelings? and can bear
to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of
living water dashed from my cup?  Do you think, because I am poor,
obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?  You think
wrong!--I have as much soul as you,--and full as much heart!  And if
God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have
made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave
you.  I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom,
conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh;--it is my spirit that
addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave,
and we stood at God's feet, equal,--as we are!"

"As we are!" repeated Mr. Rochester--"so," he added, enclosing me in
his arms.  Gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips:
"so, Jane!"

"Yes, so, sir," I rejoined:  "and yet not so; for you are a married
man--or as good as a married man, and wed to one inferior to you--to
one with whom you have no sympathy--whom I do not believe you truly
love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her.  I would scorn
such a union:  therefore I am better than you--let me go!"

"Where, Jane?  To Ireland?"
"Yes--to Ireland.  I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now."
"Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild frantic bird that is
rending its own plumage in its desperation."

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with
an independent will, which I now exert to leave you."

Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him.
"And your will shall decide your destiny," he said:  "I offer you my
hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions."

"You play a farce, which I merely laugh at."
"I ask you to pass through life at my side--to be my second self,
and best earthly companion."

"For that fate you have already made your choice, and must abide by

"Jane, be still a few moments:  you are over-excited:  I will be
still too."

A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk, and trembled
through the boughs of the chestnut:  it wandered away--away--to an
indefinite distance--it died.  The nightingale's song was then the
only voice of the hour:  in listening to it, I again wept.  Mr.
Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously.  Some time
passed before he spoke; he at last said -

"Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one

"I will never again come to your side:  I am torn away now, and
cannot return."

"But, Jane, I summon you as my wife:  it is you only I intend to

I was silent:  I thought he mocked me.
"Come, Jane--come hither."
"Your bride stands between us."
He rose, and with a stride reached me.
"My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my
equal is here, and my likeness.  Jane, will you marry me?"

Still I did not answer, and still I writhed myself from his grasp:
for I was still incredulous.

"Do you doubt me, Jane?"
"You have no faith in me?"
"Not a whit."
"Am I a liar in your eyes?" he asked passionately.  "Little sceptic,
you SHALL be convinced.  What love have I for Miss Ingram?  None:
and that you know.  What love has she for me?  None:  as I have
taken pains to prove:  I caused a rumour to reach her that my
fortune was not a third of what was supposed, and after that I
presented myself to see the result; it was coldness both from her
and her mother.  I would not--I could not--marry Miss Ingram.  You--
you strange, you almost unearthly thing!--I love as my own flesh.
You--poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are--I entreat to
accept me as a husband."

 Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester - This is by far my favorite version of ...

Here is a short film clip for this scene: 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Poem of the Week

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Friday, September 4, 2015


Here is a lovely poem from one of my favorite authors, Shakespeare.  You might remember Marianne Dashwood quoting it from the 1995 release of Sense and Sensibility. 


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Friday, August 28, 2015


I wanted to write about protection today.  Protection that the Lord gives to each one of us.  There are two different types of protection.  The protection we visually see and understand, and that protection that occurs when we don’t even realize what is going on.  I must say that I have experienced protection in both of these forms.  Sometimes it is radically clear when the Lord comes to you, in order to protect you from a situation that otherwise might have turned out harmful.  And then there are times you can only look back on various occasions—mostly because you did not always realize it in the moment—and later you see how the Lord laid out a specific path for you.  A path that led to His protecting you.  Both of these avenues leave me speechless. 

They leave me speechless, because why would the God of the universe care about protecting me?  I am nobody.  And yet, that is not how He feels.  He love me.  He loves me?  He loves me!  What an incredible statement! 

Realizing that the Lord loves you, and the He wants to protect you every day is such an incredible thought.  There is nothing too great or too small for Him.  He knows every moment before it happens anyway.  Therefore, nothing ever takes Him by surprise.  Our job is to put our complete trust in Him.  Put our trust in the One Who knows our comings and goings—the One Who knows when we rise and when we sleep—the One Who knows our goals and aspirations—the One Who knows every part of us.  He is our best friend, because He wants to be.  He chose us before we chose Him (John 15:16a).

You always think I'm (God) somewhere on a mountain top
But never think behind bars
You'd be amazed at places that I'd go to be with you
Where you are

So forget what you've heard
What you think that you know
There's a lot about me that's never been told

I'm more than you dream
More than you understand
Good days and good times
We're destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on my arm
Be still and trust my plan
I'm more than you think I am

Rumor has it there's a gavel in my hand
I'm only here to condemn
But let me tell you secrets you would never have known
I think of you as my best friend
So much has been said
Even guarded My aim
But I'm showing you now who I really am

I'm more than you dream
More than you understand
Good days and good times
We're destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on my heart
Be still and trust my plan
I'm more than you think I am, am
More than you think I am

Let me open your eyes to see the heart of me, differently
Come closer than you've ever been
Let me in like never before
Bring me every broken part,
The wounds and scars of who you are
And hide in me and you will see

I'm more than you dream
More than you understand
Good days and good times
We're destined for our dance
I'll catch all your tears
Burn your name on my heart
Be still And trust my plan
I'm more than you think I am

Song:  More Than You Think I Am by Danny Gokey 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Summer Days

As the summer begins to come to a close, which is always sad for me because it is my favorite time of the year, there comes another time for reflecting back over the passing season.  What filled your days over the last few months?  Can you look back over that time with gladness knowing that you lived those days to their fullest?  Or do you look back with regret knowing the days could have been spent wiser?  

We all find ourselves considering these things at one time or another in our lives.  For me, I know that sometimes I wonder if I accomplished enough in a week, month, or even a year.  Did I do enough for others?  Did I work hard enough?  Did I accomplish my goals?  

For most, these types of questions may only come with the celebration of a new year.  Yet, I think it is important to take the time throughout the year to ponder these ideas.  I want to make sure that I am making every moment count and living my life to the fullest potential.  It doesn't mean that there won't be days that I fail at this, but I want to always remember that with failure comes knowledge--the knowledge to know how I can do better the next time.   

Thankfully, with the Lord's help I can do better over time.  His strength in me makes that possible.  Otherwise, I would never reach any of my goals.  His love, grace, and mercy can help each of us to live to our fullest potential, because He gave us certain gifts--gifts to use for His glory.  

Here are the words from another favorite song of mine:  More of You by Colton Dixon.  It is such a beautiful song, and I pray it encourages your heart as much as it has mine. 

I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want You and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that's left is

More of You
Less of me
Make me who I'm meant to be
You're all I want all I need
You're everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You
Less of me
More of You

This life I hold so close
Oh, God I let it go
I refuse to gain the world and lose my soul
So take it all I abandon everything I am You can have it
The only thing I need is

More of You
Less of me
Make me who I'm meant to be
You're all I want all I need
You're everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You
Less of me
More of You

What gifts can you use for Him today?   

Friday, August 21, 2015

An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Romance Collection - My Review

I am reading several of the short stories from An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Romance Collection, which of course is a compilation of several stories from various authors.  

                                                   Flip to back Flip to front

I know it's not Christmas, but I love reading Christmas stories any time of the year, and this book has been an excellent read--I highly recommend it.  The story Eyes of the Heart by Rosey Dow is so sweet and will make you cry.  And Bittersweet by Rebecca Germany will cause you to reflect on your own mistakes as you begin to sympathize with the mistakes of the main character.  

If you are looking for a heart warming read, this is the perfect book for you.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Happy reading!    

        Trisha Romance Christmas Eve

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lovely Stories

Today I wanted to talk about books.  Mostly, I wanted to see what books you were reading these days.  What genres do you prefer?  Do you have any favorite authors?  If so, please list them in the comments below.  I always love adding new books to my "to read list."  :) 

Right now, I have been reading some short stories by various authors, which is interesting for me, because I don't typically like short stories.  I confess--I would rather read the thick, heavy novel instead. 

Do you every find that short stories just don't seem to satisfy the literary mind?  It is not that the story isn't good.  It usually is.  It is just that I want more of the story!  :)  I want more than the ending can give me.  There never seems to be a satisfactory conclusion to a character or the events in his or her life.  Therefore, I want the short story to turn into a novel or at least a novella. 

As a reader, you want to see every possible place or choice a character can be in.  And at times, you want to rewrite a choice that the character may have made. 

Regarding this idea, Downton Abbey comes to mind.  (I have been thinking about this show, because they are filming their last season right now--super sad for this viewer).  For any of you avid viewers out there, you know that there were a couple of characters that left the show early on.  Characters that you didn't want to see go, and ones that if you could, you would have rewritten them back into the show somehow.  To me, this is the making of a good story.  When you, as the reader, become so connected to the characters, that the characters end up becoming real to you somehow.  So real, that you feel their pain and joy, which is exactly how I have felt watching this show.  Even though there will be six lovely seasons of Downton Abbey to watch, it will never be enough.  I will always wonder what Lady Mary's life will be like in the changing decades of Downton, or if Anna and Mr. Bates will ever lead a normal life. 

Are they any stories like that for you?  Stories that you wish would just continue or at least have a more satisfactory ending?  Be sure to let me know in the comments.  Happy reading!  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Being Grateful

Today I wanted to talk about blessings and gratefulness, which I suppose go hand in hand.  It is so imperative to remember the many blessings in your life, because they remind you of all the Lord has brought you through.  This is especially important when struggles come your way. 

At times, life seems to be going according to plan, but then you hit a road block.  Something that you never expected to be in the way is suddenly staring straight at you, and many times these events can be quite scary. 

I experienced something like this recently in my own life--a road block.  An event that I was not prepared for nor did I want to pursue.  Yet as with many incidents that come up in life, sometimes you just have to press on.  So that is exactly what I did. 

Amazingly, I am able to ask the Lord for His help in situations like these.  Otherwise, I don't know how I would endure or conquer the problem.  It is so humbling to know that the Lord is with me no matter the situation, and I can ask for His help at any moment.

I am so grateful that my road block turned out to be fine, and I know that this blessing of good news came directly from the Lord.  What would I do without the Lord's help and presence in my life when things get rocky?  I cannot even fathom that thought.  No matter what I have done, the Lord has and always will be with me. 

As usual, I am reminded of a song.  This one is by by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.  Here is the chorus to their song When God Ran:   

He (God) ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said "My son's come home again!"
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
"Son, do you know I still love You?"

He caught me By surprise, When God ran...

Have you ever found yourself in difficult situations where you just didn't know where to turn?  Situations that you never expected to find yourself in?  Remember, the Lord is always there for you.  All you have to do is ask for His help.  Run to Him in times of trouble--Psalm 18:6.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Living in the Moment

Do you ever take things for granted?  I know that I have on numerous occasions.  In fact, I am guilty of taking things for granted quite recently, and I am always puzzled by how easily it is to fall into this trap.  As I long for other parts of my life to come together, there are current blessings in my life, yet there are so many times I forget what I have been given.

Why can't I ever seem to relax and just live in the moment?  Is there something about our society that pushes us harder and faster into the future, so that we are never ever truly satisfied?  While it is important to work hard in order to succeed in life, it is also important the focus on what we do have in the present.

Pausing to consider this comes not only from my own life experiences but also from the wisdom of others.  Last night I was flipping through the channels on TV, and I came across a program on the weather channel.  It caught my eye because even though it was about the devastation of tornadoes, men and women were sharing their survivor stories.

It was incredible to hear individuals recount their horrifying experience during a time when they believed they were going to die.  Places that people went for cover during the storm and how amazing it was that they even made it through.  Scientific demonstrations were done later, as they recreated these hiding places, showing how miraculous their survival truly was.  One moment everything was fine, yet within seconds life changed.

Life does that too.  Everything seems to be going according to plan, but then something happens that alters where you initially wanted to go.  Suddenly, your plan dissipates into thin air, and you find yourself scrambling to pick up the pieces.  Fortunately, God is always there to help you put things back together, and somehow the end result is better than you ever imagined.  Even when things don't go according to plan, God makes it right in His own timing.

So how does all of this relate to taking things for granted?  Well, as human beings we tend to get rather impatient, because we want events in our lives to transpire according to plan rather quickly.  Yet, our timetable is usually not God's timetable.  So, we must remember to enjoy the blessings He has given us, and focus on that instead of always wanting to know what will happen in the future.

I find that when I can live in the moment, I am more happy, and it becomes easier to enjoy what the Lord has given to me now.  I am also reminded again to not take anything for granted, because I don't want to miss a single moment of my present blessings.