Among the Fair Magnolias

Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair Magnolias. Don’t miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.

Did you ever feel so into a book that you feel like every time you open it you are snuggling down with a pice of your heart.

This book, Among The Fair Magnolias did just that for me. This compilation of 4 novellas by Tamera Alexander, Shelly Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser did just that.

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I mean look at that cover.  Isn’t that like a fairy tell setting?  Just somewhere to take your mind off everything.  You walk into each novella with your heart a little heavy and end up with your heart lightened and full of love

The stories involve you from the beginning and never leave you hanging.  Having strong main characters and having led you back to the 1800’s is just great for those that want a book that you can meet these characters in their stories as if you were right there with them.  Never was I bored during reading these 4 novellas.

I am finding that I love this historical period.  While I am still not “in love” with love stories.  The need to sometimes drown out the world and get lost in a book very quickly!

My Favorite An Outlaws Heart is just that.  A book that keeps  you involved from the very first words to the end  Russell comes home after being gone for 7 years and finds his mother very ill.  While hanging around trying to help her, he runs into his old girlfriend who had run him off the last time she saw him.  Was it all because she didn’t love him anymore or because of love that’s why she asked him to leave.  Read An Outlaws Heart in Among The Fair Magnolias and you can get it here

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander – Savannah is so angry about the war  It killed her parent’s.  Left her with a family to raise even at her young age.  They also lost the family farm “Darby Farms” in the process.  Only to have it purchased by a Union Soldier.  Savannah is hired to be the seamstress on the Darby Farms remodel. she is ecstatic because that gets her back in the home.  Where she is in a race against the clock that will end her reasons to be in the home.  Does she keep looking for the mistake.

Dorothy Love – Abigail must marry her distant cousin Charles.  She knows that she doesn’t want to and her heart belongs to another man.  Should she listen to her parents or realize she is destined to a life of unhappiness

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser – Emily is in love.  With a freedman.  He is taunted by the KKK.  The person that loves Emily is part of that KKK she soon find out.  What other secrets are there to be found.

Check out each of these Novellas, in Among The Fair Magnolias by these 4 authors.  You can get this book at the following links

http://litfusegroup.com/books/among-the-fair-magnolias

Among the Fair Magnolias Authors

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including “A Lasting Impression” and “The Inheritance.” Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. A native of west Tennessee,

Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), “The Protector,” recently made the New York Times best seller list.

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams.

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Colleen Coble’s Take it to the Beach Giveaway #BookReview #Book 5

Will the promise Emmie makes to her friend mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac? Find out in book five, A Heart’s Promise, will the promise Emmie makes to her friend mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac? Find out in book five, A Het’s Promise, of Colleen Coble’s A Journey of the Heart series. Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Can she live happily without Isaac?

Take a day off and head to the beach with a new giveaway from Colleen: five books (books one–five in Colleen’s A Journey of the Heart series) and a beach bag to tote your new books in!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Heart’s Promise

  • A Lands’ End beach tote

  • A copy of A Heart’s Betrayal

  • A copy of A Heart’s Disguise

  • A copy of A Heart’s Obsession

  • A copy of A Heart’s Danger

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced August 3rd on Colleen’s website.

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My Review

A Heart’s Promise (Book #5) picks up with Emmie, Amelia and Sarah all living at the Fort Laramie and getting along with their lives as soon to be moms.

I must say upfront, this is NOT a stand-alone book.

That being said, I loved this installment of the series.  Author, Colleen Coble, takes us on the journey of daily life at the post.

While Emmie is dealing with the struggles of her past, she gets to see glimpses of her future in some different ways.  In doing so her faith deepens and she understands how valued she really is.

It’s like the old cliché “don’t judge a book by its cover”

In the end you find that God’s healing is of course, the things that brings this small, tight-knit Post back to His mercy and Grace.

This part of the series is a clean, safe read.  It moves fast and from the beginning and keeps you interested through this small Novella.

I am going to be very sad to leave these characters with the last part of the series coming soon!

http://litfusegroup.com/author/ccoble

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When Church Hurts – What Do You Do?

(this is a reblog of something I  Published on: May 8, 2014 @ 6:03 of last year) it seems very fitting again

Psalm 15 depicts the marks of an authentic Christian. It says,

“He casts no slur on his fellowman…. but honors those who fear the Lord In any given troubling situation we need to honestly ask ourselves, “Am I making choices that allow God to be in control here or am I taking control?”

I know I am trying my best to allow God to take control… what do you do when church members do not do the same.  How do you react?  how do you minister to them?  DO you minister to them?

Sometimes relationships at church can be some of the most hurtful ever.

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Satan has a way of doing that.  Hitting us where it hurts the most.  Our families, our jobs, our church….

When things are going bad and they sometimes will… when you put a lot of different personalities in a setting where they make decisions, and they decide things based on emotion, feelings, reactions, etc.

How do you react.

Turn the other cheek

 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  Matthew 5:39 ESV

Do unto others,

For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law)

But seriously:

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(quote by Anthony Robbins)

Whatever happens, YOU must pray, first, you must pray.  You must change your heart.  You must witness to that person.  The best way you can.  IF you can, sometimes that is not going to be an opportunity.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother  Matthew 18:15

Whatever happens, YOU must pray, first, you must pray.  You must change YOUR heart.  You must witness to that person.  The best way you can.  IF you can  Sometimes that is not going to be an opportunity.

So you seek forgiveness within yourself, from yourself and for that person.  You talk to God.

However I MUST ask , how many times do you turn the other cheek.  How many times do you let someone run over you in the name Of Jesus.

Because church hurts, even though desires for church to be a safe place and a sanctuary, sometimes that is not going to happen and you MUST deal with the situation, not brush it under the carpet.

If you do that, resentment builds, distrust builds, and lack of “love” for God’s people happens…

So forgive yourself, love yourself, love the other person, the best way you can, and know that while it’s probably going to happen… You are the one that must be the change.

 

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When The Game Stands Tall – Review

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Unwrapping the box, I discovered to my surprise, the copy of the movie contained a DVD and Blu-Ray copy of this movie, with a free code from Sony Entertainments to download a copy of the movie for your personal library.

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Family Christian has been a fantastic place for me to buy things and when I received this copy to review I was really thoroughly surprised that it had both in it!

The Synopsis

Inspired by a true story, in 2003, high-school football coach Bob Ladouceur (played by Jim Caviezel) and his De La Salle Spartans have just completed an incredible 151 consecutive victories and 12-straight state championships. While the team’s seniors receive offers from colleges all over the country, the advancing juniors look forward to making their mark.

However, beloved “Coach Lad” has a brush with calamity, while the Spartans face their most-challenging, most-unpredictable season yet.

 After this Coach Lad must teach his players –   and the entire town – that it’s not about how you fall, but how you get back up

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His approach to the game, one that he has given most of his life to, is perhaps best summed up in this quotation from Matthew 23:13 that is recited onscreen: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. And whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” In other words, it is not about you, it is about others.

My review:

I loved this movie for the plain and simple fact, I love high school football!  When I first unwrapped it and just looked at the cover, I thought to myself another movie about Texas Football!!!  Boy was I surprised!!  Which was a great surprise.  When the game stands tall, was a really great movie about a fantastic coach named Bob Ladouceur.  “Coach Lad” was not only a magnificent coach, but an amazing man.  His philosophy on how to talk to teens was amazing,   I would have loved to have had a “Coach Lad” as a coach in anything I took.

The main thing about this movie is that the kids respected him.  I mean really respected him,  Not only did they listen, they trusted.

There was a lot of football in this movie and that in and of itself had me thoroughly enjoying it.  Also the back story of “Coach Lad” and his health as well as the interactions between each player and their friends, was really great.  I do not want to say too much, but let me just say that the back story was fantastic, sad, happy and very inspiring!

There are some things to be concerned with as a parent.  An abusive father, a couple of curse words, and some other things  I’ve added the review from Plugged in Movie Review and they go through each situation that could be considered scary or derogatory.

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I would allow any preteen from 8 and up to watch the movie, although your younger kids, this would give you the perfect opportunity for some very good conversations about some of the things in the movie.

and here is a great free resource that is downloadable to help you with this discussion from Plugged in Movie Review

 

 here is the official trailer of the movie

 

Here is the Plugged In Movie Review of When the Game Stands Tall  http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2014/q4/when-the-game-stands-tall.aspx

 

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I pray that you enjoy this movie as much as I did and that your family takes the opportunity to watch it together and use it as a jumping off point for a lot of great conversations between you and your kids.  Enjoy a great family night with the movie, some great popcorn and a warm fire!

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Blessings

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My Own Mr Darcy – Karey White – Book Review

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in My Own Mr. Darcy, Karey White writes a very enjoyable, stand a lone book that has a tie in to Pride and Prejudice. One of my favorite books. 16-year-old Elizabeth goes to see a movie that she doesn’t want to see. She becomes obsessed with Mr. Darcy in the movie, Pride and Prejudice that she vows that her “friend’ will only be a Mr. Darcy.
Of which, she bases her entire dating career around. She must find “Her Own Mr. Darcy”

After years of trying to find her Own Mr. Darcy and coming up empty, Elizabeth’s roommate, challenges her to the next person she dates, to give him ten dates That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. She meets and dates a few times the person that is right for her, Chad. However, she just hasn’t figured it out yet. In the meantime, she meets “her Mr. Darcy” handsome, rich, Bookstore ownder Matt. She follows her dream of what she thinks a man should be, and ends up disillusioned, because Matt isn’t Mr. Darcy after the chips fall. he is not nice, arrogant, and all in all, nothing like Mr. Darcy.
While Elizabeth has this dream, does she throw it all away to find true love, or does she continue on her path with finding “her own Mr.Darcy”My Own Mr. Darcy

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1117235892

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2AUROGUGB2C66

 

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A Christmas Gift For Rose and a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Through adversity, Rose finds love.

Rose finds Family

Rose finds Rose.

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When an Amish woman learns the truth about her heritage, her life shattered. She had already lost the love of her life when he went off to war.

Amish men just didn’t do that. Rose couldn’t get past the point that he was at war, regardless of whether he was on the front-line or a medic. Her reasons for turning her back on Jonathan end up being her heritage. Rose tries to deal with her identity and the loss of the life she always thought had.

When faced with adversity Rose learns that family is more than the people you are born too. She also learns that family is more than blood.

Rose learns life lessons

In those lessons Rose finds adversity, Rose finds friendship, Rose finds true family and Rose…

Finds Rose.

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What a sweet story this is of community, faith, love, family and living God’s command of love your neighbor!

The faith that Rose finds in herself, her family and Jonathan, the love of her life, are all renewed with the spirit of Christmas.

The Christmas gift she finds is herself.

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My thoughts

I loved how the story intertwined among the War and lets you know how hard it was for people to live during that time. Really gut wrenching honest. A young woman questions her entire existence and you cannot help but start “cheering for the home team” Rose’s emotions are all over the place in this book and when I read it the first time, (when it first came out) I was in love with this book and the feelings of family and home, and community.

The next time I read it, I couldn’t connect with the book. Then I realized that it was my own doing because of my issues in my family. This is a book that makes you think and think hard about your family

It makes you want to have that ideal family life!!! Does that life ever really exist? For the young woman in this book, you find that it —  read the book to find out what Rose does and how she handles her emotions and feelings and how she comes to terms with her life during this time!!!”

Go here for the giveaway –  A Christmas Gift For Rose

 

 

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Grandparents Change

I have had the privilege of caring for 4 of my grandchildren this week since Thursday morning, and we have been in VBS this week so we have had a LOT of time together.  I asked for this pleasure, I begged for it, (because I had been sick) and my son was (rightly so) scared of leaving the kids with me, and me getting sicker..,.  I LOVE my children with all my heart.  They are the most amazing children in the world.  They have the most amazing children in the world.  My SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren.

Knowing that I was 100% responsible for their well-being for this period of a time, and with their parents so far away, terrified me in a way, I was never terrified as a parent.  I was confident as a parent, I was strict, I was over strict (with one) and too lazy with the other, and just down right, flat-out wrong

I found myself, very “un”confident, very second guessing, very “guilty” about every word, every action, every reaction, and every choice that was made.  Was it right, was it wrong, did I screw them up forever, did I do something special that they would always remember, or could they just have fun…  (they didn’t 100% of the time) and ya know what… That was OKAY.

I don’t have to make everything perfect for my grandchildren all the time, I don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time, 100% of everything being, going, doing, planning, playing, talking and or that Disneyland grandparent (without the benefit of Disneyland)

i CAN BE OFF AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.  I can apologize and let them realize that I am not perfect (trust me, they knew it anyway, but I was clueless) and that life sometimes with grandparents will be NOT fun and games, and NOT about doing something “fun” or “planned” or whatever…..

It will be rules, and it will be discipline and it could be hard… But it can still be fun…  and that’s okay….

I hurt each one of them’s feelings in some way this weekend, somehow.  I made them obey (oh my gosh) and they even had to help at home, and  shocker, I know, they even back talked (Brian and Amilia, please don’t freak out, because that’s NORMAL for children to do, and while it’s not necessarily the norm for parents) it’s okay as their grandparent to let it happen.  Because that’s how they stand up for themselves, become independent, have a voice…sometimes, it’s okay for them to be wrong, and it be okay… (with me) I need to remember that they aren’t little adults, they are KIDS, with KID feelings, KID emotions and KID hearts. (even the teenagers)   (Just please know these kids aren’t disobedient) they are KIDS!!!)  It may seem like they are being just unruly and whatever else, but please know that it is JUST the opposite!!

Those hearts, so big, so amazing, and they LOVE their grandparents (all of them, we discussed YOU ALL this weekend) and that all of their grandparents are super grandparents.

I get to be in their lives more than most and for us, it is a routine, Church, Library days, every week something fun (at least once) and they are part of a routine with me, and they are AMAZING!!!   They have learned to give my insulin shots (I can do it, they choose too) they help with my oxygen and my wheelchair and, oh my gosh, there is NOT enough words that I can say to say to them, thank you…. for being so amazing.

You 4 kids have helped me so much this weekend, not just “physically” but emotionally and spiritually and in ways, that you may never know.

I have realized, exactly HOW HARD it is for your parents and realize that they are incredible, awesome parents,  (even when I think they are too strict)  Because sometimes strict is what is necessary to teach.

I cannot express my love for these 4 kids (and the rest of them) in words.  There are no words.

But know, that you have taught Memaw so much in such a short little time, that I pray, and I am praying hard that each day with you from here on out will be incredibly different.  Not necessarily different in things we do, but different in expectations of your behaviors.

I expect you to back talk, I expect you to “have wiggles” and suck the water bottle in ’till it scrunches, and to fight with your brothers and sisters, and argue with me, because

that’s what kids do… 

doesn’t make it right, but it makes it okay…

and discipline (the right way) isn’t a bad thing, trusting you that your choices and your actions are okay…..  And knowing that because you have a life with God, you are going to still make bad choices, but that you already know when you have done something wrong.  You KNOW, because you have that conviction of God’s heart.

I have also learned that way too much, is WAY too much…. Down time, is a good thing… Just sitting around reading a book and not being “on” is okay… (well, I knew it was anyway) but the “entertainment factor” is changing.   I do NOT have to entertain you 100% of the time that I am with you…. YOU can entertain me, with your strength and your wisdom, and your choices (because you all make awesome choices most of the time) and your just being who you are.

Who you are, is, my SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren, this also goes for the rest that weren’t with me this weekend.  I think you all are so awesome and all the above too…

Just know that there are gonna be some changes.   You may not like some of the changes coming up, but just know that the changes in me are gonna be there.  Because you all deserve the best.

 

2 Timothy 1:13-14  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 

God has blessed me with these amazing grandchildren, and I am so honored to be their grandparent…   I pray that he can give me the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right by these amazing children.  (a couple that aren’t children, but teenagers)  They DESERVE the most amazing life ever!!!!  Don’t even think that there will be more things  more things happening and more “going”  (it will probably be less) and that there will be more discipline, just different discipline.  No more of the thinking you have to be perfect all the time, but more of the knowing that you will be kids and going to be some things happen that well, you probably need to be disciplined for.  But know now that the discipline, probably will not like any discipline you have ever received before.  I’ve tried, but I know I am very inconsistent, and I will promise you that God will bless our relationship 100% more than he has already has and because of that, things will change…

Yes you must have manners, yes you have to not hit your brothers and sisters, and yes, you even have to clean up after yourself, that doesn’t change.

You do get to have fun, you do get to know that when you mess us, that it’s going to be okay.  You do need to know that no matter what you do, I am never going to stop loving you.

No matter what you say, I will NEVER stop loving you.

I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more than I already have, but I do.

Thank you for this wakeup call….

Memaw needed it.

Thank you again, Brian and Amilia for being the BEST parents for these children.  I am so proud that you are the parents of my grandchildren and honored that you trust me enough.  I pray that you will see the change also, NOT in the kids, because they are and have done exactly what they should have done, being kids and learning about life.

They are awesome, and you both have done an incredible job raising them.

Isaiah 46:4  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

What a promise.  HE will rescue me.  I am so ready to be rescued!  Oh yes, God, please rescue me, please take me to a place that only you can.  I NEED to be rescued from myself.  From that grandparent that sees everything as “if you show them fun, they will love you” to the grandparent that if you show them love, they already love you… I don’t have to show them fun, I have to show them respect.  and love.  That’s IT, with those two things, then the rest will come.

God please give me the love, the understanding and thank you for the blessing to be the best grandparent I can for these children, because they deserve the very best.  I thank you every day for them and for the gift of their beautiful lives!  Thank you so much for gifting me with their parents also.

Here are some pictures from our week.  I didn’t get many, but here’s couple!

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