Sunday, August 18, 2019

Musing #81 - "The Torch Keepers" by Hosanna Emily

Guys, breaking news! A while back, I read Hosanna Emily's first-ever published book, The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser, and you can find the review I wrote for that on my Book Reviews page. Then, about a month ago . . . *pauses to dance in circles around the room and throw confetti in the air* *sits back down and clears throat* Where was I? Oh, yes! Then, about a month ago . . . 

I was asked to be an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) reader for Hosanna's newest novel

THE TORCH KEEPERS


This means I got to read another one of her absolutely amazing stories, then put on my thinking cap, open the laptop, and sit down before it to try and type up a review that accurately describes the excellence of the book. So, let's hope I managed to do just this, and begin!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Musing #80 - God is Good

I kiss Mom good-bye and slip into my family's garage, my heart light with the prospect of enjoying another long, pleasant walk through the neighborhood. In one easy motion I slide my feet into a pair of flip-flops and start out.
Ah, yes. As I exit the garage, thrill shoots through me. I might take my walks daily, in the same areas each time, but somehow it just never grows old. The beauty of God's creation is always there.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Musing #79 - Our First Peek at Baby

Hi friends! Mom went in for her first ultrasound last Wednesday and returned with pictures of our sweet new baby, almost 12 weeks old and securely snuggled in the comb. Our Creator is so amazing - this baby is living proof of this fact. In only a short 11-and-a-half-week's time, the baby has developed fingers, toes, intestinal and reproductive systems, teeth buds, and eyelids, and at 12 weeks (where Mom is now) both the toe and finger nails arrive. His or her skeleton is hardening, and at this time the baby is kicking up a storm (although, of course, the kicks are so teeny Mom can't yet feel them . . . but it won't be long before she does!). There's no doubt about it: although no bigger than a lime, Ruby Jane or Benjamin Noah Senechal is already known by God, and he or she is being created in His Image!
I love it that, with an ultrasound, we're able to catch a glimpse as to what God is doing in the dark womb, and Mom's narration of her experience gets me all excited, for, over the screen of this wonderful machine, both she and Dad got to watch the baby's heart beat at its rapid pace and see this little child jump and roll about, healthy and active. Thank You, Jesus!





Isn't he or she absolutely adorable? If you look closely, you can see the beautiful features of the little face, as well as catch a glimpse of the tiny fingers lifted just above the baby's head. :-)

"For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." PSALM 139:13-16

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . ." JEREMIAH 1:5

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them." GENESIS 1:27

Friday, August 2, 2019

Musing #78 - "The Ten Questions Book Tag"

Hi everyone! So, my blogger friend Lilly from Lilly's Tidbit did this fun post on her blog a while back called: "The Ten Questions Book Tag." She said anyone could do the tag, and, since all her questions looked super fun, I decided to join in on the challenge. ;-) However, for me, it should be called "The Seven Questions Book Tag," as I could come up with only 7 questions for others to answer. But that's all right, being as it is that I nominated 3 bloggers to also do this tag, and, well, 3 plus 7 equals 10.  *wink, wink*

Anyway, h
ere are Lilly's questions and my answers:

1. What is your favorite series? Oh, my, really? Well . . . I love each and every one of Mrs. Susan K. Marlow's series of books - from the Circle C Beginnings to the Goldtown Adventures to the Circle C Milestones. You can tell because . . . well . . . look at my Andi Carter shelf! (LOL)


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Musing #77 - Chapter 17

Andrea Carter Prescott and the Return of the Outlaws
CHAPTER 17. Go HERE to start this story from the beginning.


“Let me go! Oh, Riley, save me! Save me!”

          Vega came closer. “You are mine now, missy.”

          “No! Riley, Riley, where are—”

          Andi jerked awake from the terrifying nightmare. She flew to a sitting position, her heart beating fast. Her head throbbed.

          “Riley!” she shrieked, thrashing wildly. “Riley!”

          “Shh.” Hands closed around Andi’s shoulders. “It’s all right. You’re safe.”

          Andi didn’t know who was speaking, but the voice was soothing…and familiar. She allowed the unknown person to push her back down onto the pillows. Then, reaching up, she latched onto one of his hands and held it firmly.
          “Shh.” Fingers brushed across her forehead, moving aside the sweaty strands of hair clinging to her face. “You have influenza. But you’re safe. I’m here.” The hand holding hers squeezed gently. “And I’m never letting you leave my sight again.”
          Andi wanted to know more, wanted to say more, but the fever enveloped again, and she dropped into a delirious sleep.

***

          The next time Andi awoke, she felt somewhat better. Her head still ached, but it didn’t pound. Where am I? What happened?
          Forcing her eyes open, Andi looked around her.
          I’m…it couldn’t be! Am I really—?
          She was. She was really and truly home. She recognized the bedroom as her and Riley’s own at Memory Creek Ranch.
          This bed is so soft! And Riley—
          Her gaze landed upon him. He sat at her side, head buried in his hands. A basin of water and a cloth sat nearby. A lamp was the only light in the room.
          “Riley?” Andi whispered hoarsely.
          His head jerked up. He looked at her face and let out a breath. “You’re awake.” He laid a hand against her forehead. “Your fever’s down.”
          Andi’s tears rose, choking her. “You look all worn out.”
          Riley smiled and clasped her hand tightly in between both of his own. “I’m fine now. Completely fine.”
          “Oh, Riley…” The tears Andi was holding back spilled. A sob ripped from her throat. It sent her into a sudden coughing fit.
          Riley reached quickly for a cup of water, which he held to Andi’s lips. Weakly, she batted it away. The fit was passed, and she had important things to say and ask.
          “I thought I’d never come home again,” she whispered. “The days were so long—and so hard.”
          “Hush, Andi. Dr. Weaver told me that you mustn’t overexert yourself, but rather rest and regain your health. Besides, your brothers and I have been figuring out most of it. From Molasses’s sudden disappearance, to the messy kitchen…to the note we found.”
          “What note?”
          “One signed ‘Mateo Vega.’ That was all, and it was so clumsily scribbled I think it was quite accidental that it was there at all. It must’ve fallen, unnoticed. However, it still gave us some sort of a lead. At least we knew what’d happened. But I’m talking too much. Dr. Weaver and your mother will have my hide. Go back to sleep.”
          “But—”
          “No buts.” Riley pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You’ll have plenty of time to tell me later. Sleep now.”
          But Andi couldn’t sleep. She had more to ask. “Where’s the baby? Is he all right?”
          Riley beamed. “Your mother has our little son. He’s in better shape than you are.”
          “He seemed so miserable,” Andi rasped, then coughed.
          “Dr. Weaver inspected him, too. A slight cold, but nothing serious. Your mother has him taken care of.
          “Now…” Riley dipped the cloth in the basin, wrung it out, and draped it across Andi’s brow. “Go back to sleep. I’ll stay right here.”
***

          Several days more, and the fever finally left Andi. At last, she was able to crawl from bed and enjoy a hot, lengthy time in the bathtub. Afterwards Mother brushed out her hair and tied it back neatly.
          “There,” she said, adjusting the ribbon, “you’re all clean and fresh, sweetheart.”
          Andi stared at the Andi in the mirror. What a big change! The old skirt and blouse weren’t even fit for rags. They’d been tossed in the trash and burned, never to be seen again. Instead, she wore a new dress. That hideous weeks’ worth of tangles her hair had used to be now lay against her back in soft, silky curls, all held back by one big bow. Her hands were clean. So was her face.
          And I’m home.
          Andi sighed with contentment. God never left me. Thanks, Lord, for always being there. For being my rock. Helping me trust. And never letting me go.
          She smiled at her mother. “How well did Dr. Weaver say I am?”
          “Well enough to come to the Circle C tonight for supper,” Mother answered, beaming.
          “And well enough to make me a loaf of cinnamon bread for breakfast someday soon,” said a voice from the doorway. “Believe it or not, I’ve missed your cooking.”
          Riley strode into the room, all smiles. He pulled Andi into a heartfelt embrace. “It’s good to see you up and around, looking well,” he said. “We’ve been very worried about you.”
          Andi relaxed in his arms. “It’s good to be well. And to be…here.
          “I sure did miss you, Andi,” Riley said.
          “I know. I missed you, too.” Andi let out a breath and smiled.
          I’m safe. Jared is safe. Riley is here. And we’re all home.
          Andi looked up at Riley. “You know what?”
          “What?”
          “It’s good to be home.”


The End

Well, this makes for the final chapter of Andrea Carter Prescott and the Return of the Outlaws, so now I'd love to hear your thoughts on this story! What did you enjoy most? In what areas were you surprised or shocked at the plot twists? Tell me in the comments below!

This story has finished posting, but thankfully I still have more musings to share with you all! A fun post titled "The Ten Questions Book Tag" goes up tomorrow, and Saturday features a special musing called "Our First Peek at Baby." Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Musing #76 - Chapter 16

Andrea Carter Prescott and the Return of the Outlaws
CHAPTER 16. Go HERE to start this story from the beginning. 


The days and nights whizzed together. Three train rides and several days later, Andi opened her bleary eyes as she felt the car pull to a stop.

          “Out! Out! Everyone out! Fresno! Fresno!”
          Fresno? The word clicked. Fresno!
          Andi pulled herself to her feet, collected her meager belongings and Jared, and, laboriously pushing back the car door, stepped onto the station platform.
          She looked about her, tears flowing. I’m here! I’m here! Finally! Thanks, Lord.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Musing #75 - Chapter 15

Andrea Carter Prescott and the Return of the Outlaws
CHAPTER 15. Go HERE to start this story from the beginning. 


Slowly one day dawdled by. Then two.

          Andi was weary and cold, but she concentrated only on putting one foot in front of the other.

          It’d been a miserable journey, short as it may seem. Both nights she’d barely slept a wink. Worse, the first night into the second day it poured torrents of rain, sending Andi to seek shelter beneath trees. Still, she became thoroughly drenched, and her baby was little better.

Press onward. Press onward.