Narnia Studies {Homeschool Review Crew}

Narnia Studies

Homeschool Review Crew

As part of school year we are reading(again) all of The Chronicles of Narnia.  We’ve read them several times as a family but this year I want us to do more in-depth Narnia studies of the books.  Our first study is thanks to Progeny Press and their The Silver Chair E-Guide which we are reviewing through the Homeschool Review Crew.

 

Narnia Studies

About The Curriculum

This is an E-Guide so it is downloadable. You can use it as an interactive study or print it off and use that way.  We like to print them off just because we don’t do a lot of school on the computer in our homeschool.  When you have ten kids and limited computers it’s just easier.  Plus I’m a bit anti-technology in the homeschool.  I like for us to experience things and pen and paper seem to allow that to happen more.

For our study, The Silver Chair, students should be in grades 5-7 for the best understanding.  I had two students working through this.  I classify both at a sixth grade level for reading and comprehension so this is a good fit for them.  My students directly next in line are working at more of a fourth grade level and I definitely do not think this would have worked for them.  This is one study that I did not try to tweak to make it work for all my children.  Did we read the books together?  Yes.  Did all my children have discussions and talk about the concepts in the book and what was going on?  Yes.  But the in-depth study would have been way above most of the others heads.

This study guide is relatively new to their line up and is 61 pages long.  It currently retails on their site for $18.99.  I found it to work with both our newer copies and our older copies of The Silver Chair.  They are both full versions though and not abridged.

 

Progeny Press

How We Used

I printed off two copies of this our first in a series of Narnia studies and put each in a three ring binder.  I will add the other studies to the binder as well so all the studies for all the books in the series are contained together.  And because I have OCD tendencies I do feel that I will place them in order, whether if that is order in which they were written or chronological I haven’t decided yet.

My kids have read these books on their own and have had them read to them.  Being very familiar with the written words of this book allows us to move quickly through the study.  I’m really challenging them to dig deeper though.  Dig into the meaning behind the words.  That’s our primary focus.  What is the meaning?  Is there something being conveyed here that we haven’t seen?  Where are the Biblical parallels?  I’m really enjoying helping my kids work through this.

Our Thoughts

We loved it!  Our little homeschool has used Progeny Press studies in the past and adored them so I knew that we would like this one as well.  Because it pertained to one of our favorite books it made it that much more enjoyable.  My kids couldn’t wait until daddy got home so they could tell him new things they learned about this book that we are reading again in school.  Or to quiz him to see if he’d ever made this or that connection.  I love watching them learn and be excited about what they’re learning.  

We love this book and have read it multiple times before which means we’re working through this study at a faster pace.  You can choose to go slower if wanted/needed or take it at a fast pace like us.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about Progeny Press and all their literature studies?  I’m pleased to say that they have other Narnia studies as well.  Some previous reviews we share on the blog include The Sword in The Tree, Sarah Plain and Tall, The Courage of Sarah Noble and The Little House in the Big Woods.  Classify us as BIG fans of this company!!

While you’re checking them out head over to the main Homeschool Review Blog post to read all the reviews.  You can also find Progeny Press on facebook, twitter, pinterest, YouTube, and instagram.  There were a total of four literature study guides being reviewed by the Crew this round.  Make sure to check out the other titles as well over on the blog.

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Feeling Feminine

Feeling Feminine

I have to be honest.  I love to feel feminine.  Feeling feminine is one of the main reasons that I wear dresses or skirts 95% of the time.  It’s the reason I have a strand of pearls and wear earrings on a daily basis.

 

feeling feminine

 

Recently I received a wooden watch to review in the mail from Tempus Wood Watches to add to my list of things that make me feel feminine.  I love the design and over all feel of the watch.  It’s definitely a watch that accentuates femininity.  So many watches these days that women wear just look like men’s watches.  I wanted to stay away from those.

A wooden watch has been on my wishlist for quite some time but the price tag was a bit more than I could handle. Enter Tempus Wood Watches. This company makes affordable and gorgeous watches that are also wooden.

Wooden watches are both pretty and practical which is what I’m looking for in a watch.  Something that’s going to leave me feeling feminine instead of self conscious about the huge thing on my wrist.

The watch I received as part of this review is the Tempus Callista Women’s Bamboo Watch.  It retails for $79.99 in the United States.  I chose this watch as I loved the rose gold coloring and the leather band.  The other two watches highlighted in the women’s collection are the all wooden Tempus Elinor and the Tempus Willoughby.  The Elinor has gorgeous wooden links as a band while the Willoughby has a fabric band which reminds me of a watch you’d wear while playing sports or being very active.

 

Feeling Feminine

 

It’s gorgeous! I love that it has a leather band instead of plastic. Most watches that I’ve been seeing lately have a plastic band. In fact, I have one. I really don’t appreciate it as it’s extra hot and does not breathe. The leather band breathes and is also a great place to put a drop of essential oils for diffusing.

I love that the watch face is large enough to easily read. It’s also a gorgeous color with a rose gold frame. I’m not a fan of typical yellow gold as it’s not a good color for me. White gold and rose gold are much better for my skin tone but they’re harder to find.

 

feeling feminine

 

I love that this watch can be dressed up or down.  If I’m feeling a need to look my best I can put on a “going out” dress or skirt and it still looks completely natural.  Same with just wearing a denim skirt and blouse.  This gorgeous watch goes with everything!  I’m so pleased with it and can’t wait to purchase a second one just so I have a variety of colors in my life.  They say you can’t have too many shoes but what about eco-friendly wooden watches?  I’m thinking you can’t have too many of those.  What do you think??

Because Tempus Wood Watches is a fairly new company they don’t have a huge selection yet.  But the watches they do have are gorgeous and well made.  I highly recommend them.  Feel free to check out their social media accounts as well.  You can find them on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and youtube.

Kindred Spirit

Kindred Spirit

Do you have a kindred spirit?  Someone that you would describe as the Diana to your Anne?  I do!  And I feel so blessed to call her mine.

Maybe you’re not sure what makes a kindred spirit or where the term even comes from.  Have I blindsided you?  Well let me explain.

Kindred Spirit

Growing up Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite series of books.  I loved them.  I read them many times over.  And now, I’m reading them to my children.  And my children are loving them!  I also loved to watch the Anne of Green Gables movie and still do.  There’s just something special about the romance and relationship between Anne and Gilbert, but there is something equally as special in the friendship of Anne and Diana.  Maybe even more important than Anne and Gilbert is Anne and Diana

Our friendships are what shape us.  Having a kindred spirit is having someone who understands you.  Having one of those friendships where you don’t have to finish a sentence because they know what you’re going to say.  It is those times when you burst out laughing without saying a word because you know what they’re thinking.

It’s special.

Plain and simple.

Having a kindred spirit is like having yourself completed.  I’m not saying you can’t be complete without a friend like this, because you can, but it enriches and makes my life so much better to have mine.  I really feel blessed to have such a kindred spirit.

But what happens when you’re apart? What happens when life gets in the way?  When one person moves away things can get sad of course but guess what?!  Because you’re kindred spirits you can go weeks or months without talking and then get together and boom.  It’s like you were never apart.  The kindred spirits can start back up right where they were because that’s who you are.  You’re a part of each other.  You complete each other.

I have very few people that I call close friends.  The ones that I do consider my close friends I feel I can tell anything.  And the best part is that they are always there for me.  If I reach out even after years of not talking it’s like we have still been together.  Enrich your life by reaching out to your friends and finding your kindred spirit.  It’s worth it.

Mother’s Day Reflections

Mother’s Day Reflections

As another Mother’s Day has come and gone let me share some of my Mother’s Day reflections with you.

 

Mother's Day Reflections

What makes someone a mother?

Contrary to popular opinion, just allowing a child to live in your body and then somehow getting them out of the womb does not make you a mother.  You are a mother when you care deeply for a child, when you nurture and love that child.  I know so many women who are wonderful mother’s who have never had a child grace their womb.

Let us remember the mothers that never met their baby alive on this earth as well.  Miscarriage and stillbirth are so much more common than anyone wants to admit.  They create such a loss and an ache that only one who has experienced them can truly feel.  Make sure to tell those mama’s just how much they are loved on and around Mother’s Day when they particularly feel the loss.

Adoptive mamas.  Let me be honest.  I’ve got kids from my body and kids from my heart.  They are ALL my kids.  They’re all my babies and I love them all more than I can express.  Sometimes though I think adoptive mamas go above and beyond all the others.  They chose that child with special needs.  Some chose a child who was dying just so that they would have someone to love them through it.  What love.  What an immense powerful and painful journey that is.  I know several adoptive mamas with three or four children with Down Syndrome who were sitting somewhere unwanted and alone. My mother’s day reflections made me send them a little note saying “thank you.”  Thank you for loving these special children.

Sister Moms

I’ve heard of a show called Sister Wives.  Never watched it but it came to mind when I was thinking about all the non moms who influence my children every day.  Let’s call them sister moms.  They’re normally our best friends and our close sisters.

Lastly, let’s chat about the mother’s who aren’t really mothers.  The friends and relatives who step up and become like a mom to our kids.  The ones that we write down in our will are going to take on the job of being the parents if something might ever happen to us.  Those lovely women need some recognition on this day too.  They fill such a special role in our children’s lives.  So do their aunts.

I’m not opposed to Mother’s Day.  In fact, I think it’s a great day to step back and thank all the moms out there.  But I also think we need to be doing this everyday.  So maybe it should be thank someone who has made you a better mom.  Thank someone who challenges you day.  Because after all, it’s not just about making sure we as the mom gets a day off, but rather BEING a good mom.

Just some thoughts on the subject.  Yes, I had a great Mother’s Day.  I made food.  My husband grilled out for lunch.  We spent time together.  Church was enjoyed.  Family time was spent.  It was a good day.  But it was actually pretty much a normal Sunday except I had an extra bouquet of flowers to smell and look at.

Our Large Family Laundry Routine

Our Large Family Laundry Routine

I know lots of large families.  And they all have different laundry routines.  I finally settled on our large family laundry routine and wanted to share it with you.  After all, I didn’t have it all together and I know some of you don’t as well.  You’re looking around trying to find what will work for you.  If you’re like me you’ve tried so many different things you’re ready to settle for mediocre while wanting fabulous.

I found fabulous ladies!

 

large family laundry routine

 

So what do I do?

First, I found a laundry detergent that works for our hard well water, washing my husbands dirty oily greasy work jeans(he’s an electrician and you don’t want to know some of the places he’s crawled through), as well as my sweet little ones diapers.  Let’s face it, very few laundry detergents can do all of these things.  I though Charlie’s Soap was going to be my go to, but alas it couldn’t handle our well water.  My clothes started to smell, and the stains wouldn’t come out of my husbands jeans. 

So I turned to my essential oil company.  I love their products.  But I’d never tried the laundry detergent.  It was worth a try.  I told myself it couldn’t hurt.  So I went for it.  And now I will never go back!

If you haven’t found “the one” laundry detergent yet make sure to give this one a go.  You’ll love it.  Trust me.

What next?

Okay, so after I found the perfect laundry detergent I needed the perfect routine.  I already has a quasi routine.  Each of the kids bedrooms plus the bathroom has a hamper.  There is a child assigned to bring each hamper to the laundry room and my oldest sorts the clothes.  Clothes are sorted out by jeans, towels, whites, coloreds, and delicates.  Simple.  

I do at least one load of coloreds daily.  Jeans and towels are done every other day on a rotating basis.  So say Monday I do jeans, Tuesday I’ll do towels, etc.  Whites are done once a week or whenever I can get a full load.  How often that is depends on how many breast pads I go through and how many blankets and burp rags the babe spits up on.  Delicates are done whenever needed or every other week.  That’s about the most amount of time I can let them sit on the shelf where they collect without it driving me nuts.

Diaper Laundry too

Cloth diapers get done daily or every other day depending on the weather.  I always line dry my diapers.  When we bring them in at night I like to give them an air fluff in the vented integrated tumble dryer.  This just takes some of the line dried stiffness out so that they’re super soft on the bitty baby bum.  Check out my post on cloth diapers to learn what kinds I use and why I love them.

Speaking of the dryer.  The only things that get dried in the dryer are my coloreds and whites.  I hang dry the jeans and towels.  Previously I’d hang dry the coloreds and whites as well, but I only have one clothesline.  We use the fence that surrounds our yard to hang out the jeans and towels.  There just is not enough room on it to hang out all the coloreds and whites. Plus some of my kids are old enough they don’t want their unmentionables on the fence for the whole world to see.

Anyway, back to the dryer!  I like to use dryer balls in my dryer instead of dryer sheets.  Artificial smells are not good for you or your clothes.  Instead of those stinky dryer sheets I put a few drops of essential oils on my dryer balls.  Our clothes come out smelling clean and fresh without any harsh chemicals.  Win win for all!  I particularly like using citrus scents or lavender on my dryer balls.  Occasionally I spice it up with peppermint or cinnamon bark.

Where does it all go?

Now I feel that I should tell you about my laundry set up.  First, I have never had a brand new washer or dryer.  We buy used.  Mostly from auctions or friends who decide they want to upgrade.  My husband is a handy man and has rigged up my washing area to allow me to have 2-3 washing machines!  Yeap you heard that right.  I normally have at least two washing machines in running order.  Having two makes it so easy to do laundry.

I used to be overwhelmed with laundry.  Creating a routine really helped but I’d often forget to go switch out loads.  Or I’d go hang up the first load and forget to start a second load.  The biggest problem though was the cloth diapers.  They take a while to wash because you have the first wash cycle with an extra rinse cycle(the first wash I use detergent) and then a second wash and rinse where it’s detergent free.  That’s two full wash cycles with extra rinses.  It takes a while and by the time they’re done and on the line the next load doesn’t have time to get dried on the line.

I’m so lucky.

Enter my amazing husband and his mad plumbing skills.  It’s not pretty but it’s functional guys.  He rigged it up for a second and even a third washing machine to help make my life simpler and to ensure he had clothes to wear to work.  There may have been some times earlier in our marriage where laundry got put on a back burner but that’s a story for another day.  Our large family laundry routine has come a long way from six kids ages 3 and under with four in diapers let me tell you!  Those were the rough days.

Dryers.  I have one dryer.  With two washing machines this might not sound like a good fit in our large family laundry routine, but it is.  It doesn’t get used as much as it could because I do hang out over half of our loads of laundry.  But it does still see some use.  In the winter I don’t use it except for a fluff cycle on cloth diapers because we hang our clothes up from the unfinished ceiling in the basement near our wood stove.  But during the summer when clothes don’t dry as well inside the house and unmentionables on the fence cause tween angst, my dryer gets some miles put on it.

Let me know if you want to know more about our large family laundry routine!

Pursuing Gold {Litfuse Review}

Pursuing Gold 

 
pursuing gold

 

About the book:

Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)

With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.

With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue goldon behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gCb1pb

 
About the author:
 

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She’s a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.

 
 
 
 
 
My thoughts:
 
I love historical fiction and so I knew I wanted to read Pursuing Gold.  It’s a great book about a “border” area during the war.  The journeys of one man and one woman are chronicled as they try to maintain true to what they believe without landing themselves in loads of trouble.  Plus add in the fact that her father makes him vow to marry her and it just gets better.  Oh and there might be a Confederate officer trying to get Peter to invest in a scheme while also trying to court Mary Beth.  It just gets better and better.
 
I wanted to comment on the cover as I’ve read some negative reviews about it turning people off on the book.  I’m here to say that if you like history you’re drawn to this cover.  Civil War buff here and this cover drew me in.  It’s a period piece and the way the cover is done reminds me of other works that are biographies or letters from the war.  i immediately knew I had to read this one!
 
blog disclosure
 

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year {Litfuse Review}

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

About the book:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.

For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.

From December to New Year‘s Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.

With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

 
About the author:
 
 
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
 
 
My thoughts:
 
I really liked how positive this book was.  It’s full of positive uplifting stories to help us celebrate and remember the true meaning of this most glorious time of year.  I’ve enjoyed reading this book outloud as a family.  My youngest children don’t understand or glean a lot from some of the stories, but the older ones do.  It’s a great thing to read aloud during a meal and then encourage discussion about. 
 
I highly recommend using this as an alternative to Advent or alongside Advent for a new tradition.  Growing up I did not do Advent but I’ve enjoyed learning about it with my children and watching them learn and grow during this season.  This book shall remain on my shelf to be used over and over again.
 
blog disclosure
 

Content or Contention

Content or Contention

It’s just a hard thing to decipher sometimes.  Are we content?  Or are we filled with contention?  Content or contention.  What’s it going to be?

To start off we need to define both the words.

Content: a state of peaceful happiness, a state of satisfaction

Contention: a striving to win in an argument or a heated state

These two words don’t sound anything alike.  In fact, they sound like opposites.  And yet sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.  It’s hard to know if we’re living in a state of content or contention.  What is your home life like?  Are you content?  Or do you live in contention with your family?

Content or Contention

Taking a moment to find beauty in the hectic everyday life.

 

I think all of us would have to truthfully say at some point that we were living in contention.  It’s so hard sometimes to stay out of that pit.  It seems to just suck us in and want to mire us down in the mud.

Personally, I can confess that there have been more times than I want to recall where I have been filling my house with contention.  Contention with my husband, contention with my kids, even contention within myself and with God.  I’ve wanted what I wanted and I was going to fight for it.  I wasn’t content.  Deep within myself I wasn’t content.  

How can we become content when deep within our beings we’re not happy?  Where can we find contentment when turmoil rolls?

I had to do this.  I had to find contentment.  Life was rough.  It felt like I was out to sea being tossed to and fro by merciless waves.  What I needed was some contentment and to let go of the contention.  I wasn’t happy with myself.  Because I wasn’t happy with myself, I wasn’t happy with my husband or my kids and it showed.  Because I wasn’t content I was making everyone else around me live in a state of contention instead of contentment.  More about how we as moms rub off on and set the tone for our houses in another post.

So what did I do?

I made my mornings count.  I started getting up earlier which was a huge issue for me. I’m not much of a morning person.  Not really because I don’t like mornings, but more because I’m up half the night feeding a baby.  Adrenal fatigue is also a culprit for me not sleeping well at night and not wanting to get up in the morning.  But I made myself.  I made myself get up and spend time in the Word.  I started a good Bible study.  Just by myself.  I have a need to do a Bible study with others, but so far my life hasn’t given me that opportunity so I do them alone.  Even though I don’t have the input of others, it’s still good for me and my life so I highly recommend this.

 

Content or Contention

Never alone, not even to go to the bathroom.

 

So, make the mornings count.  Step one for me was to dig into God’s word just by reading.  Step two was adding a Bible study on my own.  The next step, step 3, was to set a better tone for the day.  Instead of waking up kids with come on it’s morning get up, I started playing praise music.  I diffuse happy oils in the mornings.  I’ll elaborate more on that as well in another post, but think mood oils that uplift and invigorate you.  Basically, I set the atmosphere of my home into a peaceful one.  I set us up to be content.

Contention can sneak up on us and steal our joy.  It makes us feel bad about ourselves and it makes others feel bad about themselves and our relationships.  We can ruin friendships and damage growing emotions of our children.  This didn’t hit me until one day I heard my words coming out of my children’s mouths.  Wow.  Talk about face-planting into a brick wall.  I didn’t want my children to feel that way.  I wanted them to be filled with satisfaction and happiness and peace.  Content.  I wanted them to be content.

Content or contention.

This is going to be a two part-er.  Or maybe you can just keep reading.

Another area of contention in my home was the fact that I was home all day everyday.  My life was and is spent with little people.  All day everyday. Normally this is a wonderful blessing and I love it.  But I’m an introvert.  I need to at the bare minimum get to go to the bathroom by myself, completely and utterly alone, at least once a day.  This was not happening.  I was to put it nicely going crazy for want of a few seconds where there weren’t ten sets of eyes on me or ten sets of hands reaching out to me.  I needed a bit of alone mommy time.  It didn’t have to be much just some.

 

Content or Contention

Stealing a moment alone. On the floor in my room on the far side of the bed.

 

But the big area here was that in needing that me time, I didn’t know how to tell my husband.  He is self employed and gone during the days working.  When he got home he wanted peace.  He wanted(and wants) a bit of quiet time of his own to do his paperwork and decompress from his day.  But I wasn’t giving him that.  I wanted him to put my needs first and give me that five minutes to lock myself in the bathroom and go potty in peace. 

Again I didn’t know how to tell him I just needed that five minutes.  So we got into a time on contention.  We fought.  We weren’t happy with ourselves or each other.  I was struggling with anxiety and depression and was not content with myself.  I had feelings of my body failing me.  And I had feelings, in all honesty, of my husband failing me because he couldn’t see what I needed.  He couldn’t see because I couldn’t tell him.  

We’ve since begun to communicate better.  But to get to this point there were some major blow ups.  I cried.  I’m not ashamed to admit I cried a lot.  But it was a cleansing crying.  It allowed me to voice my feelings and needs.  In return my husband felt able to voice his as well.  We grew as a couple in ways we hadn’t before.  And that’s saying something because we’ve been married for 12 years now and have 10 kids guys!

Content or Contention?

What are you going to choose?  I had to take a long hard look at myself and what I was portraying to my children.  I had to set my day up and go into it with an attitude of content. When I made my mind up that yes I was content.  That yes I was at peace and satisfied, then my attitude followed.  And when my attitude was set it was easier for my children to adopt this new attitude.

Life is still rough sometimes.  But I’ve learned to express myself better.  I’m not bottling(oh whole lot could be said about bottling ladies) as much and I’m learning to help my children express themselves better as well.

What about you?  Are you in a season of content or contention in your home?  In your life? Or how about with yourself?

Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack

In honor of the launch of Fetching Sweetness I’m participating in bringing you a great giveaway!  The sweetness unleashed prize pack is a great win for some lucky guy or gal!  Especially if you love pets.  And the book is wonderful.  Make sure to check out my review of the book as well as enter to win in the giveaway. 

A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author’s canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

fetching sweetness - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

fetching sweetness - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana’s blog.

fetching sweetness - enterbanner

A Beauty Refined {Litfuse}

 A Beauty Refined {Litfuse}
 
 

About the book A Beauty Refined:

A Beauty Refined (Bethany House, July 2016)

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions—both for her and the gemstones—are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/29Sh70o

 

About the author of A Beauty Refined:

 

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

 

My thoughts:

 
I love Tracie Peterson as an author and greatly loved A Beauty Refined as a book.  There was mystery and intrique, danger and daring.  Yet within it as well we see a girl come to know herself and understand her strengths.  She learns to stand up for what she wants and what is right.  Her past confronts her and she can’t escape it.  Can she embrace it?
 
When you’ve been raised by a man you thought to be gentle yet firm but who never raised a hand to you, you don’t easily believe him bad.  But when evidence supports this and he turns on you when you refuse the marriage he’s arranged, it definitely becomes easier.  
 
Can Phoebe find true love and acceptance?  Will she even survive?  And who is this woman claiming to be such a big part of her past?  
 
I loved this book and highly recommend it as well as the rest of the series.  Definitely one to add to your home library or request that the local library add.
 
 
 
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This entry was posted in my life.