Where Lilacs Still Bloom- A Review

What a progressive thinking couple!  Think about it, in the late nineteenth cetury and well into the early twentieith century, one lady ignores the conventional stigma that says women must  forget their interests and be content keeping house. Hulda Klager is the main character in the novel by Jane Kirkpatrck, an intelligent, loving woman, with an eigth grade education whose family immigrated to the United States when she was rather young.  The idea of her pursuing an interest in plants, specifically lilacs, really starts with wanting to produce a better quality apple. And throughout her ninety-seven years, you also get a glimpse of how the world changes too, both in attitude and coping skills.

Against the criticism from the likes of naysaysers such as Barney Reed, Hula Klager manages to create more than two hundred varieties of lilacs in addition to a few other flowers and becomes known all over the country due to articles written about her magnificent garden in popular magazines.  Frank, Hulda’s husband is  her main encourager along with her children who never allow her to give up on the garden even when tragedies strike. Her garden becomes  her healing ground and a way for her to give happiness to the many visitors who come to see her handywork. She offers a little bit of herself with each “start” that she  gives each person that leaves the garden. Ms. Kirkpatrick has paid great respect to  a most generous, loving, creative, individual who has made the world a much happier and prettier place to live in. The Klager family must be proud.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it from Waterbrook Press.

For more information:

http://www.jkbooks.com/Books/WhereLilacsStillBloom.html

Author Bio: http://www.jkbooks.com/Pages/bio.html

Waterbrook Press –Publisher: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781400074303

Excerpt from book:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781400074303&view=excerpt

Something Simple and prettty

Something Simple and prettty

Puma t shirt
$35 – puma.com

J.Crew pants
$118 – jcrew.com

Flat
$60 – swell.com

Tote bag
$1,628 – jildorshoes.com

Cynthia Vincent clutch
$70 – cusp.com

Disney Couture necklace
£1.95 – truffleshuffle.co.uk

Talk About “Fearless”

There’s a new book, writtern by author Eric Blehm, about a Navy Seal who risked his life for the safety of millions in the middle east back in 2010. His faith was incredibly strong and that faith helped through all the nightmares that war can bring upon a person. The first chapter gives a glimpse of the person he was prior to becoming a soldier and eventually a family man. Mr. Blehm does a good job of allowing us to see the real Adam Brown, in a respectful manner that I am certain makes his family proud.

There’s an eerie thought behind the title though and the feeling that Adam’s son wakes up with one morning. His son senses something is going to happen and it won’t be good. Adam is unaware but isn’t afraid, he is one of those who’d say, “Is that all you got?” Unfortunately, Adam does lose his life in Afghanistan in the Hindu Kush mountains in 2010. All serviceman and women know that sometimes there’s a chance that death will be the ultimate end even though they try not think about it.

I could tell from the individuals intereviewed that seemed a mandatory request to publish Adam’s story to let the world know how brave this man was, how  he wanted to help, and how he sacrificed his own life for the safety of others, so that some peace could be put back in their lives. How does that verse go, “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for another.” Now that’s fearless.

The book is published by Waterbrook Press.

Here are some links should you want to see more.

www.FearlessNavySeal.com

Video is on You tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_L8ca7AKEA

Chapter 1:

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/04/03/sneak-peek-fearless-by-eric-blehm/

My, How They Change!

Nearly twenty years ago, you were a preemie in the NICU waiting to go home with Mom and Dad. All you had to do was gain some weight and you would be freed from the enclosed bed you slept in. Through the years, we have watched you grow, and from that little fragile, infant you grow you did. You learned how to do so many things. Walking, talking, feeding yourself, eventually learning to ride the bus that would take you this new and exciting place called school.

All the birthday parties that we had for you, at school and at home, with various themes, ranging from cartoon characters to the Olympics, as your interests changed. You have grown so much and learned so much over the years. You have become what we always knew you would be: a smart, capable, handsome gentleman, who can do anything he sets his mind on. We believe in you.

That little baby who came into the world fighting is now a confident individual, one who has shown his momma that yes, you can do what you want and not be afraid to try. Standing firm for what you believe in is something that took me longer to learn than for you. I can tell you will succeed in life in whatever you choose to pursue.

Tonight you are at the Prom, taking that first step to being independent. You have been aiming for this prize ever since you were born. Each year has brings you closer to being on your own. And when the time comes in May, when the diploma is placed in your hand, you will have begun a new journey that leads you to a new life, with new opportunities to go for. We may grab the tissues, or may pretend that we aren’t sad, but we will always let you know that we are proud of you, now and always. The door is waiting for you for turn the knob…Are you ready??

 

All dressed up for Senior Prom!

Wildflowers in Winter- A Book Review

Bethany Quinn is a young lady with a lot of anger in her heart and a lot of questions to ask. She is also very defiant as we learn in the Prologue of book, when asked why she tried to commit suicide at the tender age of twelve. She never reveals that secret to Dr. Nowels nor her mother and especially not the pastor, Mr. Fenton. As she puts it, “my decision was much less about escaping this world and much more about joining another.” (See first page of Prologue) I knew from the title that there was life lost and a new beginning was going emerge somewhere from the gray of winter. While winter lets the earth rest Spring lets the earth get dressed up again with brightly colored everything from flowers to trees to green grass.

Reading the novel, I understood the reasoning behind Bethany’s defiance and why she tried too hard to remain that throughout her stay in her small Iowa town. Chicago was her safety net, a way to forget her roots, the trauma she experienced and somehow to escape her idea of who God was. Bethany resembles many of us, who may have questions but just don’t who to ask. Or may be afraid to ask thinking we may viewed as weak and dependent.

 

The author, Katie Ganshert, gives some background through the main character’s narration from her past experiences as a child in Peaks, IA where she is now ten years divorced from and four years into a successful career as an architect. Seems fitting that architect would the career path for Bethany, as she is trying to build a new life for herself, one with better memories than what she endured as a little girl. Her new life is kinda of protective shield, keeping her from facing the hurt and moving on with the future.

I think with issue of either selling the farm or not selling farm and helping her friend Robin really helped to bring Bethany back down to earth. This is a real test of faith for her, as she constantly questions how important God is and why should anyone need Him. She finally realizes that it’s okay to ask for help, that God is real and He’s not evil, He just has His own of way getting through to us. And boy did He work to break through to Bethany. God used those various situations to crack open that protective shield that Ms. Quinn had been hiding behind all those years, to show her human side, her real self.

My congratulations go out to Ms. Ganshert, who has written very engaging novel. This is one that any reader can relate to, who have ever been in conflicting situations. Ms. Ganshert demonstrates God’s love throughout the novel with the help of the supporting characters. They help lift Bethany up just as the wildflowers were beginning to bloom in spring. Like Ms. Quinn, we realize we too are worthy, and yes, we are valuable to Him. The wildflowers helped spread the word.

I received this free copy from Waterbrook Press to review.

Author’s website: http://katieganshert.com/

For a sneak peak read Chapter One: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2011/12/09/sneak-peek-wildflowers-from-winter-by-katie-ganshert/

More information: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307730381

For the author’s biography:  http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=145407