"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year!

This year I hope to continue to be braver, stronger, kinder, and happier. 

I wish you the best year ever as well. 

May we all realize our fondest dreams and take time to recognize and enjoy each and every blessing. I pray we all have love, hope, and a fierce determination for accomplishing good.

I'll be back on January 2nd for the next IWSG post. Until then...


Thursday, December 27, 2018

December Reads

We enjoyed a wonderfully loving and relaxing holiday, and I hope you were able to do the same. I always take some extra time during the holidays to enjoy some reading. I wanted to suggest a few I just enjoyed.

Over a year ago, I enjoyed Devoted: A Girl’s 31-Day Guide to Good Living with a Great God which was written by a then nineteen year-old. You can read my review of it here. I recently received a copy of her The Devoted Life: a creative devotional journal. This might very well be the BEST creative journal I have enjoyed in years. It's a combination of devotions, prayers, free thought and response sections, as well as creative coloring pages. While it's target audience is teen girls, I found it quite enjoyable and would gift it to almost anyone.

Come Experience It for Yourself. . . Life Is Good with a God Who Is Great!

This topically guided creative journal offers inspiration and encouragement for those who desire to live their lives fully devoted to Christ. Amidst the loud, confusing voices of the world, trying to tell them which way is the right way to go, we need to stop, rest, refuel, and reflect in the presence of our truest Friend and most loyal heavenly Father. Whether it’s through creativity, meditating on scripture, prayer, or writing, readers will join young author and artist, Marjorie Jackson, for a time of life-giving fun, faith-strengthening encouragement, and God-glorifying growth. As we connect with our first love, Jesus, we will begin to understand that life is truly good with a God who is absolutely great! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

As a reviewer for Barbour Publishing, I've had the blessing of discovering some truly amazing authors. One I have fallen in love with has been Michelle Griep. I have reviewed several of her books over the past year and she only improves with each tale. As such, I couldn't wait to purchase my copy of this year's Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. This is a sequel to last year's first (you can read my review of it here.), but revolves around all new characters, and a third installment is already planned for next Christmas. 

Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees... then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost. Can two hearts survive such deception?

What about you? Did you have a great Christmas? Have you ready any great books lately?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas!

We actually had snow last year (this picture was taken in my front yard). However, it's been too warm for it so far this season. 

I'll be taking some time away to enjoy with my family. Wherever you are, whatever your situation, I pray you all enjoy a beautiful holiday season.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


The next post date for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is January 2. The administrators will be announcing the winners of the 2018 IWSG Anthology Contest on that day!

The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is Tuesday, January15.

The IWSG Goodreads Group is currently reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert 
The discussion will start January 23, 2019 and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able.

Sorry I've been incognito so much lately. Semesters at the high school and college are both wrapping up this week. If I don't make it around to visit your site again this year, I hope you have the Merriest of Christmases and a beautiful New Year!


Sunday, December 9, 2018

7 Christmas Freebies to Add to Your Traditions

1) FOR KIDS - If you have the Amazon app, you can download some children's Christmas books for FREE. To learn more: http://www.amazon.com/iMarvel-Christmas-Story-Books-Free/dp/B0062NFLBM

2) FOR KIDS - Interested in more free books for kids? This site offers both holiday and other popular reads for free: http://www.kcedventures.com/blog/free-kids-holiday-and-christmas-books-online

3) FOR MUSIC LOVERS - iHeartChristmas Classics offers a free variety of traditional and contemprary tunes to get you in the holiday spirit: https://www.iheart.com/live/iheartchristmas-classics-6137/

4) MOVIES FOR ALL AGES - 28 of the best Christmas movies on Youtube in time for the 2018 season:  https://www.lifewire.com/watch-christmas-movies-on-youtube-3486071

5) 10 SHORT CLASSICS - some of my favorites are in this list: https://ebookfriendly.com/christmas-stories-free-download/

6) 31 BEST CHRISTMAS READS - Classics most everyone will recognize and love:  https://www.bookbub.com/blog/2017/11/21/classic-christmas-books-to-read

7) CHRISTMAS RECIPES - nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit faster than some of my favorite holiday foods. Check out these free recipes: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/187/holidays-and-events/christmas/

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG: Your Writing Space

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

DECEMBER QUESTION: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

MY ANSWER: My writing space changes often, but five things that you will ALWAYS find in it are good books, my laptop, chocolate, diet coke, and me!

How about you? What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Happy Christmas Book Flood!

A few years ago, a friend shared this graphic with me.

While it sounds like the perfect way to spend the night (what could be better than snuggling in bed with a good book and chocolate) I was curious if this was true and wanted to learn more. I came across this interesting article: Literary Iceland Revels in its Annual Christmas Book Flood.

Do you give books as gifts? Do you enjoy receiving them? What's your favorite?