Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Cherished Mercy: Review and Giveaway

It's been a while since we talked books - so let's do so today! It seems that during the school year, Christian historical fiction is my favorite and just the relaxing thing I need at the end of a busy day. I typically read a lot more non-fiction in the summer when my brain has more margin and capacity!

I've long admitted that the main way I choose books at the library is by looking at the spine and seeing who the publisher is. It is getting a little bit harder to do that with publishers changing their style a little but still - it is a real thing for me.

My number one favorite publisher for Christian fiction is Bethany House. If that spine has Bethany House on it, the chances are I'm going to enjoy reading it. I don't worry about a book I pick up from Bethany House and have never been disappointed. And I wrote and told them that!

In the process, I stumbled upon how to get on their email list for books available for review each month! It is hard to get a book as I've had several months come and go where I didn't get my request in quickly enough to be able to receive a book but this month I finally got my first one.

I received Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson. This is book three in the Heart of the Frontier series. I'd read Treasured Grace in March of this year so it was fun to come back to this series.

The book is set in the Pacific Northwest at a time when Native Americans are being pursued by the US government and either captured or killed in an effort to reclaim the land they are using and relocating many to reservations. It is hard to read about how we as Americans treated the native people who were here before we were.

Mercy is one of three sisters, with Grace and Hope being older. Each book of the series focuses on one of the three sisters. Mercy leaves the family farmland to help a friend in need who is on bedrest during her pregnancy. Her adventures include helping with their home and daughter Faith, teaching school in the mission for the local tribe of Native Americans and living out the meaning of her name with beauty and peace. And, yes, there is a bit of romance involved!

Many Christian historical fiction books may be pronounced "predictable" and perhaps they are but I find that reassuring and comforting in many ways. Enough of life around us is unpredictable and hard and it is great to read a story which includes a lot of hard truths yet some of the predictable qualities that we can count on. At the end of a busy day and as someone who struggles with bad dreams anyway, I can't really handle too much mystery or intensity in a before-bed read!

I like that this book is historical. It is a great way to continue to flesh out or enhance my learning on a certain time period but without being a heavy or heady text book. It is real life and the characters are immersed in living through the time period they are placed in.

I loved that the main characters in this book are ones who are filled with character and virtue.I'm especially partial to books where there is a really godly character that influences another for eternal good. I want to fill my mind and heart with good and true and pure things and seeing these character qualities fleshed out are good reminders to me.

Tracie Peterson has written many books that I've enjoyed before and I also enjoyed In the Shadow of Denali earlier this year.

I've finished the book and want to pass it on to one of you! If you would like to be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment with what you are reading right now! And please include a way to reach you if you win! I can only ship within the Continental US. Entries will be accepted until Friday, September 29, 2017 at noon EST.

A bonus recommendation is A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. She is also a Bethany House author and I've so enjoyed all of her books but I think this one is my favorite!

**Disclosure: I received this book in exchange for sharing an honest review. The giveaway is not sponsored by Bethany House.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Discover New Inspiration

One Sunday morning I saw a photo of an apple cider donut cake on Instagram Stories - I quickly followed a couple of links and discovered a lovely new feed full of the beauty of nature and gorgeous light and yummy food. I dug into her blog: honey and jam and Instagram and now want to make any and all of these things:

Carrot Cake with Honey and Cream Cheese Frosting
Whole Grain Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Maple Compote
Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Oh, and did I mention she has a cookbook?! Seriously beautiful cover! 

And for a feast for your eyes - when I did a Google search for apple cider donut cake, the images that popped up were a dreamy mix of inspiration and beauty. I mean. Really. It's like a Fall vacation without getting off your couch!

I haven't been able to find the book at our library yet but am eager to try a new recipe or two so you might just see some slow fun in the days ahead if I dive in to the above inspiration!

What is your favorite new inspiration lately?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Simple Weekend Beauty

Sweet little idea for your weekend - find a small pie pumpkin or faux pumpkin at the craft store and grab a Sharpie! Decorate your pumpkin for your fall decorating enjoyment!

Inspiration to draw on my pumpkin from this photo.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Annual Avonlea Picnic

Our family is big on tradition and it seems that Fall is especially full of special things we enjoy doing together! I've been eager to carry on the tradition of watching some Anne and having cozy food along with!

Typically we do this for lunch or dinner and I don't think we've ever done a breakfast before but it just worked this time! My sister sent me a link to a free pancake mix and that was just the push I needed!

We had watched Anne of Green Gables this summer at my parents house, so watching the second movie seemed like a great choice. And ever since I saw a photo in a cookbook this summer with a little bunting on pancakes - I've wanted to try it for myself!

Working hard the day before to clean up yard debris, unpack, get housework taken care of and more was a good choice and after declaring that Family Work Day I promised the next day would be Family Fun Day if we got a lot done and worked well. It was the perfect reward! We did not have school, stayed in our pj's until noon and just enjoyed the lingering, slower pace.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Slow Day

Technically this was not a Slow Day but rather a slow hour or two! We did evacuate for Hurricane Irma though the storm turned and ended up not being as troublesome as we had initially anticipated. Still thinking of our friends in Florida who have had a much harder time of it due to the storm.

One of our evacuation days, all of the families who were together announced quiet time and Emily wanted to take a nap. So I took the other two and escaped outside for a little nature walk and fun, it was peaceful and just lovely.

And then an evening walk in the park!

Fun math game
I'm reading Gracelaced book - love!
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