Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice

This week, January 28, 2016, marked two hundred and three years since the publication of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.  This is one of my favorite books, because Austen portrays such witty and fabulous characters who are true to life.  I am sure everyone has been introduced to an awkward person like Mr. Collins or has run into the fiery nature of a Lady Catherine de Bourg.  It is always nice to meet a Mr. Bingley, yet it would be much nicer to meet a Mr. Darcy--many would agree with that statement.  :)  

In light of this lovely anniversary, here is a clip from one of the best adaptations of Pride and Prejudice.  I love the music from this film!  This scene is where we begin to meet and know Austen's written characters--characters we will come to love and treasure--all portrayed in a novel that we will never grow tired of reading.   

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Check Out My New Post!

Check out my new post on the Daily Megaphone to find out what I have learned recently, and why I love this new song by Lauren Daigle so much.  Happy reading!  

 I Will Trust
by Heather Snyder 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Patchwork Christmas Collection - My Review

... : Novel Inspirations from History: A Patchwork Christmas Collection 

Despite the busyness of the holiday, every December I try to read at least one Christmas novel.  This Christmas I decided to read the novella collection entitled A Patchwork Christmas Collection.  Tucked inside this lovely book are three short stories that focus on the message of Christmas as it relates to family and friends.  Set in the late 19th century, the reader will follow the lives of three very different women, and will learn alongside them as they discover what truly matters during the Christmas season.  

"Seems Like Love" by Judith Miller

            Set in Amana, Iowa, Karla Stuke finds herself alone this Christmas.  Well not technically alone, because she has her family, but she has been rejected by the man she was promised to.  In the midst of her heartbreak, she decides there will never be anyone for her.  Karla only considers her appearance in this matter for she knows she was never as beautiful as the other girls.  Therefore, she decides to spend all her time focusing on her sister's engagement and working on the preparations that must be made.  Yet she will soon discover that a mystery man from her past will walk into her life and change it forever.

            Her childhood friend, Frank, comes back from college to visit her, but he has more on his mind than just rekindling an old friendship.  He sees more beauty in Karla than Karla sees in herself.  Will Karla come to understand Frank's intentions and believe that she is worth his attention?

            Judith Miller's story reminds us that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and there is always hope for the future.  What we may consider to be a tragedy could be the beginning of a marvelous adventure.  Hopefully Karla will discover these truths and be able to apply them to her own life.

"A Patchwork Love" by Stephanie Grace Whitson

            This Christmas story is set in Nebraska in the year 1875.  Jane McClure and her daughter Molly settle in for an adventurous Christmas Eve that proves to be both terrifying and humbling.  Jane is recently widowed and has had to find a way to care for her daughter and herself.  With little to live on, she soon realizes her husband's memory is tangled in debts with only Jane left to pick up the pieces.  Suddenly, her world consists of going hungry at times in order to feed her daughter while promising to marry a man she barely knows--all for the purpose of financial stability.

            Even though he owns a prominent department store in Denver, Molly does not care for Mr. Huggins.  Yet Jane believes Mr. Huggins is the only answer to their survival.  So she tries her best to calm Molly's fears, and with the last of their money, she and Molly board a train for Denver.  Of course, nothing goes according to plan, and instead of arriving safely in Denver, Jane and Molly get snowed in on the train.  The train gets stuck and Molly becomes ill. 

            The kindness of a stranger helps the ailing child, but what will be the outcome for them and their future plans?  Will Molly get better?  And what will Jane decide to write in her telegrams to Mr. Huggins?  How long will they be stranded in the freezing cold?

            Stephanie Grace Whitson reminds us of the perfect word--grace.  Just when we think there is nowhere else to turn, and it seems improbable that there could be any other way, grace shows up to prove us wrong.  This story is a lovely teachable message of the power of forgiveness and mercy.  Proving that when we allow it, love will come in to change and improve our future one miraculous step at a time.

"The Bridal Quilt" by Nancy Moser

            This story, set in New York City in 1889, continually makes a surprising twist with each turn of the page.  The reader will find that each scene is a revelation as it becomes difficult to determine if all will turn out well in the end.  With her her assumed path changing, Ada finds herself questioning the will of God.  She thought she always knew where He was leading her.  Yet when turmoil strikes, it leaves Ada on the brink of despair.

            Ada is engaged to a wonderful man, Samuel, and both of them are a part of the prestigious New York society where manners are considered and events must progress in a certain time frame.  Samuel even has the perfect society job.  He works at the bank his grandfather owns; however, as time moves forward, Samuel begins to wonder about the life he has led thus far, and he starts to make drastic changes--without the accompaniment of Ada.
           Will Ada be able to handle the stark choices Samuel makes?  And will Samuel ever find his way back to Ada?  As the ties of society begin to fall apart for the McClure family, every character must seek and answer certain questions.  In the end, will they do what is right or what society tells them to do?

            Nancy Moser keeps the reader guessing throughout the story.  Only the final pages will reveal what is truly important in Ada'a heart.  She must answer one of life's difficult dilemmas--how much will she sacrifice for love? 


Let me know what you think if you get the chance to read this book.  I have already started my reading list for the year.  Remember, I want to have read 75 books by the end of this year.  What are your reading goals for 2016?  As always, happy reading!   

About The Book 

*Join three of today’s bestselling inspirational fiction authors in a collection of Christmas stories from Victorian-era America that are full of second-chance romances. Jilted by her fiancĂ©, Karla packs away her wedding quilts and her plans for marriage. Widow Jane travels to marry a prosperous man she barely knows in order to give her daughter a better life—then is stranded in a winter storm. Ada, a wealthy ingĂ©nue, inadvertently causes grave injury to a poor man she once considered quite a catch. Each must search her heart, change her plans. . .and patch together a tender, unexpected life filled with love.

*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.  

About The Authors

Judith McCoy Miller is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas.  
Visit her website at:

Nancy Moser is the author of over twenty-five novels, including "Love of the Summerfields", "The Journey of Josephine Cain", "Mozart's Sister", "Washington's Lady", A Basket Brigade Christmas Collection", "An Unlikely Suitor", The Sister Circle Series, and "Time Lottery", a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, as well as giving a first-person dramatizations in costume as Martha Washington. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest. Read more about her books at:

A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year. Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities. Visit her website at:


Friday, January 15, 2016


Have you ever had one of those weeks that was terribly exhausting?  Unfortunately, that is how my week has been thus far.  Is it Friday yet?  Sometimes life catches up with us, and we find ourselves needing to recover from its everyday challenges.   

Thankfully, as I take each step, I know that I am not alone.  There is Someone walking right there beside me, which is such an incredible thought and so important to remember.  For some reason though, it is an easy fact to forget.  Throughout life's craziness, we fail to remember such a simple truth--God is always there to take our heavy burdens (Psalm 55:22).  We do not have to deal with everything on our own.

I faced such a situation this week.  I found myself needing the peace that only God can bring, and I began to pray that the Lord would calm my heart--He did.  Once again, I realized that I do not have walk into the storm alone.  He will go there with me and help me get through it.

As always, a song from years ago came to mind this week.  Andy Chrisman's words reminded me that the Lord wants to take part in all we do.  He delights in talking to us and helping us, and His grace and mercy are never ending.  He is our "Atmosphere." 


Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Goals for the New Year

I hope that everyone is having a great start to the new year!  Can you believe it is 2016?!  I must confess that 2015 was the fastest year I have ever experienced.  It just flew by!

One of my best friends from college got married last January, and it is so hard to believe that she and her husband will be celebrating their first anniversary this month.  I have to echo the statement I made on my Instagram--oh how the years go by.  Remember that song by Amy Grant?  I never truly understood those words until now.  If only time could slow down a bit.

With every January comes the list of new goals.  What are your goals this year?  I was watching a YouTube video the other day--a fellow book lover who lives in England--and she was talking about her book goal for the year.  She wants to read 100 books this year!  But let me first start by saying that she read 131 books in 2015!  That is so amazingly brilliant to me!  And I definitely want to set my own reading goal.  I usually try to read 2-3 books a month, but that is nothing compared to her goal.  I remember when I was younger, I used to read 50 books each summer, so hopefully I can achieve the same goal as an adult.  Therefore, I want to read 75 books this year, and I will keep you up to date on my progress.  If you have any book suggestions, please let me know.  Also, if you head over to her blog--Books and Things--you will see her list of books she read last year.  I will link her blog below:


What books do you want to read this year?  Do you have any book goals?  Let me know in the comments below, and then let's both try to achieve each and every goal we have for this year!