Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Holly Lane Christian Jewelry Review & Giveaway

Are you the kind of person who has jewelry that holds meaning? I would say if I looked through my jewelry case I'd be able to tell you who gave it to me and why it's meaningfully to me! When I learned about the opportunity to share about a new-to-me company that promotes the Christian faith, I couldn't say, "No." When I visited the Holly Lane website I knew I'd made the right decision!


Holly Lane has been around for 16 yrs and was actually named from the street founder, Tiffany Scott, lived on when she started it. Here's a bit more about the company:

Our line of sterling silver Christian jewelry is intentionally designed to create opportunities to share Christ with others, and to be worn as a personal reflection of faith. Each piece is designed in central Virginia by jewelry artist Tiffany Scott who has based her designs on verses from the Bible in order to bring comfort to the wearer and be a representation of God's promises. These unique designs are meant to catch the attention of others and spark conversation about the verses they are based on. 


When I went to the website initially, all I did was spend a LOT of time clicking through all of the options because I didn't realize everything that's available. It's one of those things where you can find a piece for every reason and occasion! If you wonder if every piece can have a biblical connection, let me assure you they do. From feather earrings to a cactus ring to a camper slide you will find that they each direct you back to your faith! For me, that's shows each piece has been thoughtfully considered and they're placed in the collections for a purpose.


Do you ever visit a website and wonder what the actual size is? Sometimes you can see each part of the item, but how will it look on you? How can you compare the size in real life? Thankfully Holly Lane takes care of that giving you a photo of the piece on someone or even in comparison to say, a stamp! Actual measurements can be so obscure when only seeing numbers.


Here's a great description of their jewelry:

Each piece of verse-based Holly Lane jewelry comes with a Story Card that features the verse reference on the front, and an explanation of the design's significance on the back. Tiffany's love for semiprecious gemstones shows through in her use of many different gems throughout the line. The Holly Lane line is designed so that the customer can put together their own personal combination of pendants, chains and bead drops based on the promises they are holding on to and how God is currently speaking to them in their lives.


After looking through all of the necklaces, I had my choices narrowed down to 2. I mean, I want 1 of every single of their pieces, but to be realistic I looked at the God's Timing and the Compass necklaces. I've been out of a job since March so that's weighed heavily on me and has been the focus of nearly everything up to this point of the year. That's why both of those necklaces have such meaning for me. I need to remember God's timing and his direction.

I ended up going with the God's Timing necklace. With the number of months that have gone by, it's clear that any job I finally get will come in His time. I'm an incredibly impatient person so necklace has plenty of meaning and when I wear it, I remember what God is doing in my life right now in the "wait". The scripture that comes with this necklace is also written on the back. Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"


I have to tell you've this has become my go-to necklace. I've worn it for church, for an event we went to, and for an interview I went to. I noticed I've gotten into the habit of playing with my necklace as well as I wear it. I think God keeps using it to remind me that He's got this.



With Christmas around the corner I've added the Heart for God necklace. It's absolutely stunning. I also love the length of it. There's also the Be Still line. They have a necklace, earrings, bracelet, ring, and even a slide in case you wanted to add it to a bracelet that doesn't have a charm already. Of course, you know my love for butterflies and there's also a beautiful line that would be a perfect gift for me! Hint hint to my husband who I know is reading this! ☺


And now what you've been waiting for! You have the chance to win a $100 e-gift card to Holly Lane. I also have a 20% off code you can use for any purchase you make: 20FORYOU. Winner will be chosen 11/20/19.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Stitches In Time By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Stitches In Time
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800727529

Same song and dance here. Guess who's starting ANOTHER series with the 2nd book? lol Yea, this gal. Who knows, maybe I can start a trend thanks to Revell and them allowing me to review their books. This was my first time reading Suzanne Woods Fisher thanks to them sending this book.

Summary:

Keeping people at arm's length had worked well as a life strategy for Sam Schrock. 
Until he met Mollie Graber.

Schoolteacher Mollie Graber has come to Stoney Ridge for a fresh start. Aware of how fleeting and fragile life is, she wants to live it boldly and bravely. When Luke Schrock, new to his role as deacon, asks the church to take in foster girls from a group home, she's the first to raise her hand. The power of love, she believes, can pick up the dropped stitches in a child's heart and knit them back together. Mollie envisions sleepovers and pillow fights. What she gets are sleepless nights and police at the door. 

There's only one thing that breaks through the girls' hard shells--an interest in horses. Reluctantly and skeptically, horse trainer Sam Schrock gets drawn into Mollie's chaotic life. What he didn't expect was for love to knit together the dropped stitches in his own heart . . . just in time.

My Review:

Ever read a book and you get to a part that has you chuckling in anticipation of what's about to happen? That's what happened to me when it came time for Mollie to take in her foster girls. Oh my goodness, I was amused before the paperwork was even signed!

While there are a lot of characters in this story, it's not hard to keep track of who's who. I felt like I was really getting to know the community as I read further into the story. The story also doesn't focus only on the girls who live with Mollie, but also with Luke and his wife Izzy. You have Mollie on one had who has visions of grandeur with the girls and Izzy who came out of the foster system and wants nothing to do with them.

A couple of my favorite pieces centers around Psalm 23 and the growing faith of Luke and Izzy. The author weaves such a strong faith component into her story that I want to go back and reread it, not for the storyline, but to understand better the way scripture is explained and applied. Whereas many stories have an underlying element of Christianity, Stitches in Time has it at the forefront throughout.

As I've thought about us becoming a foster family in the past, I know that not all kids react the same way being brought into a home after having such a hard start in life. I honestly can't imagine, but Mollie's experience seems like what I'd expect it to be. The poor girl was constantly being tested until there was a catalyst for change.

Poor Luke, the man is a year into his marriage and becoming a deacon was NOT on his to-do list. lol It's so interesting to read about the role of deacon in the Amish community because we've recently been talking about it in our church. I can't imagine the stress they're under. Watching it all unfold in Luke & Izzy's lives it's mind boggling they would let a newly married couple be eligible.

The ending actually WASN'T what I was expecting although there is a twist that I wasn't surprised about. HA! I guess it's time to go back and read book 1 and prepare for book 3.

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop's Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

The Tuesday 10 & Book Birthday Natalie Walters

I'm so excited to bring you a new-to-me author, Natalie Walters! During our email exchange, after she answered all of my questions, I realized once again how being sisters in Christ, having never met someone in real life, is such an incredible gift! She and I would probably get along really well IRL!



That being said (and not wanting things to get awkward) let's welcome Natalie and get to know her. Also, I'll be doing a review of her book that releases today, Deadly Deceit, in the next couple of weeks. Have I mentioned this is book 2 in a series. Look at me being consistent!


Q1: When you were growing up, what stories did you enjoy reading? Do you remember books you loved reading to your children?

Natalie: My first book set was Ramona Quimby and then I matured into The Babysitter’s Club. I could read those books over and over again to this day, they’ll always be my favorite childhood series. I also used to read the Childcraft Encyclopedia set for fun. ☺

Mimi: Encyclopedia...for fun. hmmmm I liked to look at the pictures, does that count?

Q2: You literally look like you could be a sister to your kids, not a mom. That's a compliment... HA! What do they think of their mom being a published author?

Natalie: Aww, you’re so sweet, thank you!! Their feelings swing from excitement at seeing my book on the shelves inside of a book store, to eye-rolling when I tell them the characters are talking to me, to a mix of emotions when I tell them it’s “cereal for dinner night!” LOL But mostly, I think they’re proud of me and the best compliment they’ve ever given to me—and all three of them have said this—is that they realize how hard writing book actually is. (*and now I’m all teary eyed*)

Mimi: When they're older, they'll learn to appreciate cereal for dinner! I know I have.

Q3: Thank you for your family’s service to our country! Where is one of your
favorite places you and your husband have served? How long did you live there?

Natalie: I think the consensus on this one would be our assignment in Cairo, Egypt. We moved there three weeks before the revolution and were evacuated for a few months back to the U.S. before returning to finish our two year assignment. We really enjoyed the history, culture, and traveling we got to do while there but the best part was the lifelong friendships we made while being stationed there.

Mimi: Wow - Egypt! That's amazing. I think the best place about anywhere we live is the people!

Q4: You can take your family on a week long vacation to somewhere in the US you haven't been. Where would you go and at what time of the year?

Natalie: Northern California—to the Redwood forest! I’d probably go in the fall so I’d get the benefit of cooler weather but the beauty of the leaves changing colors.

Mimi: Ooooo yes, the forest! When I lived in WA I loved going over to Olympic National Forest because it was SO stunning! I would love meandering along with all of those massive trees!

Q5: The movie you could watch over and over without ever tiring of it?

Natalie: The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins.

Mimi: Yes and Yes! "The Hills Are Alive" or "A Spoon Full of Sugar"? Which would we sing at the top of our lungs to embarrass the children?

Q6: You’re asked to write your next novel during a holiday. Which one would you pick and why?

Natalie: Definitely Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday and I’m a nostalgic person at heart so I think there’s a lot of memories I could incorporate into the story.

Mimi: I'm down with Christmas! The memories of those special days we share with friends and family are etched into my heart.

Q7: “Living Lies” is going to be turned into a movie. Who do you choose play the roles of Lane Kent and Charlie Lynch?

Natalie: Ooh, this is a good question. I used Lily Collins as inspiration for Lane Kent’s character and Sean Maguire (from Once Upon A Time) for Charlie’s character but I wouldn’t turn down Chris Hemsworth’s interest in the role!!

Mimi: Ok, I have to be honest, I had no idea who Sean Maguire was. *cringe* Lily...great choice! And you can't go wrong with Chris Hemsworth!

Q8: Your husband has surprised you with tickets to a concert with 3 of your favorite performers. Who are you seeing?

Natalie: New Kids on the Block-not even a little bit ashamed! LOL Taylor Swift-maybe, only slightly embarrassed about this one! Jack Johnson

Mimi: Here I am being honest again. No idea who Jack Johnson is. HA! Listen, I'm lucky to get my kids names right. 🤷 

Q9: When do you start decorating for Christmas? Before Halloween or after
Thanksgiving? Do you go all out?

Natalie: I’m forbidden to decorate a single day before Thanksgiving BUT I do manage to sneak a few little decorations out before then and I do go pretty big when I’m finally allowed to decorate!

Mimi: I think your family and I would get along VERY well. hahahaha No Christmas decorating until the day AFTER Thanksgiving! Whew, I'm glad I got that out. My daughter on the other hand literally celebrates half Christmas with her husband and it's all downhill from there!

Q10: I haven't been to Hawaii for 20 yrs. We're hanging out for the day. Where would you take us to hike, see the places locals hangout, and eat?

Natalie: We’d definitely hike Diamond Head because it gives you the best views. Then we’d drive over the H3 to Kailua because that’s my favorite drive and makes me feel like I’m on Jurassic Park. We’d go all the way around the island to the North Shore so you could stand up paddle board with the turtles and have the best shaved ice on the island at Aoki’s. Breakfast would be malasadas from Zippy’s, plate lunch from Yummy’s, and family style dinner at Side Street Café.

Mimi: Don't mind me as I rush to see how many Southwest points it would take me to get to Hawaii! 😉

More about Natalie: Natalie Walters is a military wife of 23 years and currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier and family. She writes full time and is the author of the Harbored Secrets Series. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and traveling. Her dream is to figure out how to convince Chip and Joanna Gaines to build her the forever home she’s been dreaming of and settle down with GIJOE in Texas. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Always Look Twice By Elizabeth Goddard

Always Look Twice
by Elizabeth Goddard
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800729851

Ok, so here's what's sad about me. I've had a nasty little habit lately of being a bit too lax when the first book in a series comes available for review. Then I see all of the excitement of the first book and I can't let the second book go by without wanting to review it. That's how we ended up here with me reviewing Always Look Twice thanks to Revell.

Summary:

Justice lies just on the other side of fear
At the advice of her therapist, Harper Reynolds has traded her job as a crime scene photographer for a more peaceful life taking photographs of the natural world. But her hopes for a life surrounded by the serenity of the outdoors are dashed when she inadvertently captures a murder being committed. She flees the scene in fear--and loses the camera.

Former Green Beret Heath McKade, a reserve deputy in an understaffed county, has been called in to protect Harper, a childhood friend he is surprised to see back in the area. When Harper learns that the sheriff's department can't find any evidence of the murder she witnessed, she is determined to do what she can to see that justice is done. What neither Harper nor Heath could know is how many explosive secrets from the past will be exposed--or how deeply they will fall for each other.

My Review:

Holy smokes! Always Look Twice starts off with a bang and doesn't stop until it all blows up! This book will have the reader on the edge of their seat until even the prologue.

Let's talk about Harper first since she's the first one we meet. Harper has been through a lot. Also, being a crime scene investigator carries its own stresses and nightmares. It's no wonder she's taking a year off to photograph wildlife. Seeing a murder happen while being on sabbatical only helps spins things even more out of control (if that's even possible for her)! She is a hot mess.

Then a Stetson wearing knight shows up in Harper's life in the form of Heath. He's one of those guys who is always trying to help, but it seems that when he does, something goes wrong.

Things continue to go wrong as Harper and Heath try to figure out what in the world is going on. I tell you what, if something could go wrong, it did with these two! Trying to stay safe from the killer, running from the past, insanity happening all around them, makes for a book that keeps you turning page after page. I think Always Look Twice is the fastest I've read a book in a long time. I couldn't put it down - the action had me glued to the page!

Of course, there are the secondary characters who add to the story along the way. Harper's sister, Emily, who is pulled along with the craziness. There's also the sheriff who is Mr. Skeptical, but I understand his position. I have to admit, I kept giving him the side eye. And not just him, the people who work for him, too.

At times the story seems to come together or gives the reader (and characters the chance to breath) and then BOOM! We're right back in the thick of things. Let me just tell you, I chewed my nails down reading this book. lol I think that's a good indication on how intense the whole story is.

Now to read book one and anticipate book three. Oooo that prologue already has me on edge.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling author of more than 40 books, including Never Let GoAlways Look Twice, and the Carol Award-winning The Camera Never Lies. Her Mountain Cove series books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Awards and the Carol Awards. Goddard is a seventh-generation Texan and can be found online at www.elizabethgoddard.com.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Precious Moments Fall Keepsakes

I'm finally willing to accept the fact that it's fall. It took a while as it's been in the 70s and 80s until the past week and a half or so. I actually broke out all of my fall decor and even purchased some new ones. Not only that, I added an absolutely adorable Precious Moments figurine to my new bookshelves since I was invited to review one!


I like to decorate for the seasons, but to be honest, I really haven't ever had many spots to put anything. Until the past year, I've only had 2 small tables to put decor on. Pretty sad state of affairs if you ask me! Well, be sad no more!


A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were given the gift of a full set of bookshelves thanks to my father-in-law. It's our Christmas present and something I've wanted for years. I've never had an area like this to decorate, and I've been loving every moment of it. This is where my new figurine comes into the picture! The "Make Someone Happy" figurine showed up just as my husband finished putting the shelves together.


Let's talk about the figurine specifically. It's bisque porcelain that stands 8 1/2" high. I love the textured look on the scarecrow's face and the girl's sweater. It's also hand painted! The scarecrow actually is standing on a little wooden dowel. Each element brings a sense of fall: the color of the sweater, the flannel looking jacket on the scarecrow, the pumpkin, and the sunflowers.


This would also make a delightful gift. Since the theme is "Make Someone Happy", maybe they're going through a tough time and you're trying to cheer them up, they have a fall birthday, it's a host/hostess gift for a party, etc. So many ideas you could come up with to give this as a gift.

 
Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.