October 28, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Scoundrel in Disguise by Shaela Kay {Book Review}

I remember when my friend Shaela first announced she was working on a book. She and I promised that I would review it for her someday. That someday happened last year when her inaugural book A Heart Made of Indigo was published! Needless to say, I was on the list again when the second book of the series came out--and I am happy to share my review of her book Scoundrel In Disguise with you!

Scoundrel In Disguise by Shaela Kay, Book Review
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About Scoundrel In Disguise

Scoundrel in Disguise is the second book in the Journeys of the Heart series by Shaela Kay. This book picks up immediately after the first book, with the character of Sarah Mendenhall--the sister of the lead male character in the first book. Sarah is now in London for a season and she has decided to enjoy it with the vow not to accept a single proposal, no matter what the gentleman's offering might be. She quickly becomes the most sought-after debutante! 

Enter Jameson Rex. Dashing. Debonair. Disinherited. He's in London in search of a wealthy wife, not by choice, but of necessity for the care of his 5 year old daughter. Problem is, it's been discovered that he was disinherited because of the knowledge of this daughter, and he's in disgrace--marked by society as a scoundrel, a rake...and unfortunately, an ineligible bachelor.

Out of necessity, Rex accepts a wager to woo Miss Mendenhall--the same much sought after debutante who has declared she will not wed anyone! Can he do it? Will he win her heart? Will he reveal to her the secret he's been harboring for 5 years in relation to his daughter?

My Thoughts

I was so happy to hear that Sarah was going to have her own story. She was probably my most favorite of all the characters in the first book. I even mentioned in my review of A Heart Made of Indigo, that I hoped she would get her own story! Sarah's character blossomed and grew just as I hoped it would. Her love of adventure and vivaciousness just jumps off the page. I also love all the interaction between she and Rex.

Jameson Rex is an intriguing character and appreciated how the author had him dealing with the balance between protecting his daughter's reputation, and taking the hit on his own. He was always having to weigh it out and decide where to make the sacrifice. I like him with Sarah and think the author did a great job of giving them balancing personalities.

I really had to remind myself that this wasn't one of my other favorite authors. Why do I say that? Well it was so well written, you would never know Shaela's a rookie still! This book definitely flowed much better than the first, and it was a good one too.
This book definitely earns one more star than the previous one, because it really was very well done. If you enjoy a good historical romance--and this one ISN'T an Christian Fiction--so don't let that stop you if you prefer to avoid CF, make sure you give Scoundrel In Disguise a read!
by Shaela Kay
Available in Kindle and Paperback

I really enjoyed reading this book, and am eager to see what else Shaela has in mind for characters from this series. I know I would enjoy getting a peek at Sarah and Rex again someday!

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October 27, 2016

CrossTimber: Your Source for Beautiful Name Meaning Gifts {Product Review}

I recently had the pleasure of learning about the personalized gift company CrossTimber. They specialize in creating beautiful products like the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, Personalized Mugs, Music Boxes and more. It was perfect timing to review this company, as my mother-in-law recently had a birthday and I needed the "perfect" gift.
CrossTimber Name Meaning Gifts ~ A Review

About CrossTimber

CrossTimber is a family run company started by John Dehnart, in an effort to help hundreds of people learn more about their worth, value and purpose before God, through the meaning of their name. Next year marks their 20th anniversary of their very first name meaning gifts! The family works hard to research the various meanings of every name they are given, and to match them with a unique Bible verse.

Their products include:
*Personalized framed plaque with name meaning and bible verse
*Name meaning mugs
*Name Meaning music boxes
*Name Meaning bookmarks
*and more!

CrossTimber loves sharing name meanings, so go ahead and ask them what your name means, no matter how unique!

Got a long list of people you might want to get items for? There is a great quantity discount chart which will provide great savings for big families or long gift lists!

We were given a credit to use on the personalized framed plaque with name meaning and bible verse, or on whatever else caught our eye--I loved the plaque, but decided to order a special music box!

My Thoughts about CrossTimber

I was impressed by the selections that CrossTimber offers when picking out your product. When I was looking at their personalized framed plaque with name meaning and bible verse, I liked that I could change up the background image to customize what I thought would be good for my recipient. Sunsets, oceans, nature, animals. A lot of options. Not only that, but there was a different collection of frames that could be picked as well.

The ordering page with examples of each choice
After looking around and thinking about it for awhile, I decided to use my credit towards the cost of a name meaning music box. My mother-in-law is always making little treasure boxes for others, so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her. The options for the name meaning top was the same as for the plaques, so I opted to get her an ocean scene as she loves the ocean. There were four different box options, but I went with the ornate wood option. Lastly, there were four options for the music the box played: Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, On Eagle's Wings, and "Surprise me". Because I know she loves the song, I picked How Great Thou Art. It would be easy to add on an extra item like a bookmark, pocket card, or mug--even the option to put a message on the inside of the box. I decided to just leave the order as is, and submitted it!

CrossTimber sent me a confirmation shortly thereafter. I found the shipping to be a reasonable cost considering the size of the item and eagerly waited for it to arrive!

When it arrived, I was very happy to see that it was packaged up VERY well and was very protected. There was also a bookmark included with my mother-in-law's name on it, which was a nice bonus! I loved the scripture that was chosen--one of my favorites and felt the box was very beautiful.

The boys really loved watching the music player, as it was encased in a see-thru piece. They enjoyed watching it spin as it made the music--they finally figured out how it was done!

My mother-in-law was surprised, but very pleased with her box and I am glad that we were able to find something unique to give her. She especially liked her name meaning.

All in all, I found the music box to be a very nice gift, although I admit that I was expecting it to be a bit more...sturdy? It didn't have the weight I was expecting in a music/jewelry box (I have a couple of my own that were a bit more heavy wood). I don't think it looked shoddy or anything, just that I guess I was expecting it to be...heavier? LOL. I don't even know if that makes sense. Anyways, I'm very glad I went with the box style that I did, because I think the others might have looked...um...cheap for what I was going for in this gift (as in more elegance and quality). That and I just didn't like the look of the others as much.

If I ever purchase anything again, I think I will go for the framed name meaning or name meaning mugs!

Oh and lest I forget, their customer service is fabulous! As I was leaving for my trip, I still didn't have this product in hand. I was worried it would come while I was gone and it would be hard for me to write a review on it. Fortunately, John responded right away to my concerns and made sure it arrived the day before I was going to leave! This was awesome and I appreciated his quick response.

Want to Know More?

I enjoyed looking at the full selection of products that CrossTimber offers, including the personalized framed plaque with name meaning and bible verse, and reviewing the name meaning music box I picked out. There were so many different options for us to choose from, I hope that you will check out what others in our crew picked for their own families!
Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews
You can stay up with CrossTimber on Facebook and Pinterest to learn more about their products, promotions, and giveaways!
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October 22, 2016

Park yourself {Five Minute Friday}

I almost forgot about Five Minute Friday, because we are down here in Panama City Beach, FL keeping the Feast of Tabernacles with about 1100 other brethren. I'm busy with worship services, music practice, and family adventures--so I can hardly recall what day of the week it is! LOL. But here we go. 


When I think of park, I come up with three concepts.
1. A place to relax outside--with a playground maybe. A nature escape. (a noun)
2. The act of putting my car between two lines in a parking lot or on a road (a verb)
3. To put yourself in a place to stand still or sit. "park yourself here in the chair!" (a verb)

It's funny, but the first one of these that really hit me, was the third one. Park yourself. I always think about that in regards to going somewhere and STAYING there. Park...stay...Go there and stay there. 

When it comes to God and His way/truth/life, I want to PARK myself in His word. I want to go there and stay there. I did a search to see if the words park or stay are used in that sense in my Bible translation. They aren't. But I can find cases where I can read "remain" or "keep" in the same sense.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. ~John 15:4

Do you park yourself in God's word?
Do you do a focused attention to it and STAY in it every day?
I know I need to work on it. That's something that I am learning while down here listening to the messages. Over and over they are reminding us that we need to OWN our faith. To STAY in the faith. To PARK ourselves in God's word.

May God help me to do so.

Want to Join in?

We have a few more days left, and a lot more worship and adventures to do! I hope you and yours have a beautiful Sabbath day, gorgeous weekend, and blessed week!
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