Perennials by Julie Cantrell


Lovey and her sister Bitsey were very close until another girl comments on how they look. After that Bitsey no longer plays with Lovey. Instead she lies about Lovey and blames her for things she does not do. When Lovey turned 18 she left Mississippi and Fisher, the boy who asked her to marry him and moved to Arizona. She now has a successful career and could possibly be making the deal of a lifetime. She gets a call from her parents that she needs to come home to help prepare for their 50th anniversary. They have made travel arrangements for her for the next day.

When Lovey gets to Mississippi, nothing has changed with her sister. Her sister still lies about Lovey and falsely accuses her. But her father has a surprise for her mother for their anniversary. He has hired Lovey’s Fisher to make a memory garden. Lovey helps with the garden and gets reacquainted with Fisher.

I really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed reading about the different plants as well as the different places the family visited. I really liked when the parents talked about their wedding. Especially the part of the preacher story. Eve was not formed from Adam’s feet to be below him or from his head to be above him, but from his rib to walk beside him, to be equal partners. The rib came from by his heart to be loved by him, and from below his arm to be protected by him.

I got frustrated at Lovey’s family when they commented on her not being home for so long. I was relieved when Lovey commented they could have come to see her as she seems to not speak up for herself. This is an awesome story of family relationships.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Blogger. This is my honest review.

349 pages

ISBN: 9780718037642

Publisher Thomas Nelson

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An Amish Christmas Love – Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kelly Irvin


An Amish Christmas Love is a book containing four novellas. Each of the stories is just under 90 pages long and contain the theme of love at Christmas.

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman is a story of a family of ladies spanning three generations. Naomi has not allowed herself to get into a relationship due to the loss her mother and grandmother had when losing their husbands. The women have rented their daadi haus to three men .

The Christmas Cat, by Amy Clipston, is a story of Emma, who lost her husband in July after 45 years of marriage. A cat has chosen her home to go to and has taken over her husband’s chair. When Emma is not able to go to a neighbor’s home for dinner, the younger members take dinner to her.

In Snow Angel, by Kelly Irvin, David and Molly have been seeing each other for a year. David has not been able to move forward with the relationship, until his Englisch ex-girlfriend comes back to town and wants him back.

And Home for Christmas, by Ruth Reid, beings Englischer Ellie back home when she inherits her aunts home. She intends to get the home sold so she can go back to her Englisch life.

These are four very good short stories. The characters are remembering past loves. The stories are the perfect length to read in an evening. I enjoyed reading them all. I think anyone who enjoys Amish stories will enjoy this book.

A couple of things that stand out to me are:

In The Christmas Cat, one of the young ladies asked Emma how she made it through their struggles. Her response was “We just kept our faith in God and believed He would get us through somehow.” Emma’s husband had a feed store that went through financial struggles. And even though they wanted children, they were not able to have them.

In Home for Christmas, Ellie is looking through her aunt’s belongings and find a letter her aunt left Ellie in her journals. Her aunt wants her to find wealth of faith and the power of God in the pages of the journal. The journal contains not only things about her aunt but also the people she was praying for.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. This is my honest review.

378 pages

ISBN: 9780529118707

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl


There is no love like a mother’s love. It is life’s greatest song. We are all indebted to the women who have given us life. For without them, there would be no music.” – David Grohl

From Cradle to Stage is written by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, the mother of David Grohl. Virginia has interviewed mothers and step-mothers who have raised rock stars to give us their stories. A large portion of the book is Virginia telling the reader the story of their family and David from his birth, through his time with Nirvana and then with Foo Fighters.

With this book, we are able to see the difference of how some of the rock stars got their start. We see a lot of variety. With Miranda Lambert, it was a family business. Her family was there with her. Her father selling merchandise and setting up the stage, her mother booking her gigs and her brother working on the business side. For Gary Clark Jr., he received a guitar at the age of 12 and shortly after started performing. Due to his age his parents had to take him to the clubs where he would play and one would have to stay there since liquor was served. When his mom lost her job, she made his CDs, press kits and web site. She was his manager and accountant. Kelly Clarkson’s mother took an advance on her salary to fund Kelly’s way to be on American Idol.

We read about the struggles mothers had when their rock star children struggled. Such as Amy Winehouse, first her drug addiction and eventual death from alcohol poisoning. And the tragic death of Kurt Cobain.

The author ends the book with a chapter on “What’s A Mother to Do?”. In this chapter she points out that the explosive energy the child has isn’t going to subside, the maddening energy will probably send the child down new paths. That the child will bring joy to your life. She states there are actions to take: establish trust early, keep talking and listening, and buy the instrument (and music lessons). She also makes a good point of saying, this doesn’t guarantee you’ll raise a rock star, just a more fulfilled person.

This was a very interesting book to read. I have to admit, I am not really into rock music, I did not know many of the musicians mentioned in the book prior to reading it. The stories in the book did open my eyes to the artists and the affect their music had on them, their education and their family. Some of the artists were born talented, while others had to really work at it to achieve their dream. I feel this is a good book for music artists and their families to read.

240 pages

ISBN: 9781580056441

Publisher: Seal Press

Virginia Grohl is a longtime educator and writer. She is also the mother of Dave Grohl, frontman for the Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana.

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This book was a Mother’s Day gift from my musically talented child. While he is not yet a rock star, who knows what his future holds.

With Good Intentions by Jo Huddleston


With Good Intentions, written by Jo Huddleston, is book one in the Secret Identity series. It is a short romance story based in 1959

Wainworth Development has purchased all but one business on the block they want for development. Oscar Wainworth has sent many men to try to make the purchase but none have been able to. Now Oscar is sending his William.

William visits the ice cream shop and spends time getting to know the owner, Jean Stewart. He finds out the reason behind them wanting to hold onto the shop and the dreams she has. William works with his father to make a deal that will allow them to make the purchase yet still allow Jean to have her ice cream shop and fulfill her dreams. The only thing is he has lied to the owner, giving a false name and occupation. During their meetings they have developed a friendship and now he has to tell her the truth of who he is.

This is a cute little romance story that can be read basically in one sitting. Perfect for the rainy afternoon. The part in the story that stands out to me is that the men who were originally sent, did not treat the women like they would men. And when William went, he spent the time to get to know the women and know the reason behind their attachment to the ice cream shop.

One thing the author points out with the story is that once you tell a lie, it changes things. Either you need to keep telling the lie or you need to confess the lie and pray that others will forgive you for lying to them.

This is a good clean story set in Alabama in 1959. Anyone who is looking for a short story to read for the evening or afternoon would enjoy this story. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

I received a copy of this book from the author through BookClub network. I have freely chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Secret Identity

120 pages

ISBN: 9781944203986

Publisher: Winged Publications

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For the Love of Lilies

1011947_4423173355771_1562491765_n.jpgWhat are my favorite flowers? ….. I guess close to the top of my favorites are lilies! With our move a few years ago, we gained a family of deer that just love lilies and nothing will stop them from having a late night snack! Believe me I have tried everything short of a fence. And my yard has a lot of shade so finding a site where the lilies get enough sun was tricky. I am really hoping for them to all bloom this year, since I didn’t see them last year.

My first lilies were the old fashioned orange ones. An orange daylily from my mother. And orange tiger lily and orange stargazers I found on our second property. I do not have photos of the day lily or tiger lily so will need to add those. When they bloom.


When we moved to the county and had more room for gardens I started collecting. One of the first was given to me by my sister-in-law. This was the Stella-de-Oro. That plant has grown and spread so much that I have given to many people over the years.


Also at our county home I added a pink star gazer, a yellow tiger lily, a yellow day lily (Hyperion), and a spider lily (Fireup).


Then 2009 came. That was a year that has forever changed my life. After months of being told by doctors nothing was wrong with me, I was told I had a precancerous liver condition. I had 8 surgical procedures between May and September. During one of my 3  “good weeks” of the summer,  we made a trip to our son’s.  While the guys were working on the deck, the rest of us made a trip to Bachmans.  I picked up a few more day lilies. And guess what hubby had to say when I showed him – “Is that all you could find”. Yup, he must have seen it as a good sign that I was looking toward the future instead of trying to get through each day. The next day he even asked if I wanted to go back and look for more plants. What a guy! I did not go back, but because of this, those plants are some of my favorite.  My Sweet Rose, Darling Deception, Baha, and Grape Ette.


On one of my trips to watch grandson, he and I made a trip to Bachman’s again! It was late August and plants that had already bloomed were drastically marked down. Who can resist a bargain – at just a dollar a pot I got more – this time Asiatic and tiger lilies. Fagitti (or fafifififi as my grandson called them at the time) in pink and yellow, Nappa Valley Tiger Lily, large yellow and large rose lily.



A couple years ago, I was looking through a gardening catalog and could not resist getting a white and a black stargazer .  Unfortunately when the Midnight Black arrived it was a bi-colored flower.


I have planted a couple lilies in the past couple years that grow but refuse to flower.  One is a tall double lily and the other is a pompom lily.  I keep hoping this will be my lucky year!


I Love Iris

What are my favorite flowers? I have many! I love iris!

I have the dwarf purple iris from my mother. I do not have a photo of this one so will include it when they bloom this spring. Some people call them flags by mistake. A flag iris is a semi-aquatic plant that grows in low, wetland conditions.They have narrower flower petal and sharper leaves.

I have old fashioned iris that I found in an abandoned flower garden at the second property my husband and I owned – over 20 years ago! I have no idea when they were planted as our neighbors who had lived there over 25 years at the time never knew there were gardens on the property.   I assume no one ever wanted to revive the gardens as they were full of poison ivy and all kinds of other weeds.  These are medium height. Despite purple being my favorite color, I just love the yellow one! It is so bright and beautiful!


I also have bearded iris that I have purchased over the years. 2 of my absolute favorite are the Edith Wallingford followed by Superstitian.13323542_10204901437934014_2502016974111980212_o13335590_10204901437894013_7043680751011800643_n

A couple years ago most of my iris developed root rot and I am still waiting to see if my Baby Blue will come back.

As you look through these photos you will see lupines. I like these for cutting and making bouquets for in the house. Another reason I like lupine is the shape of their leaves and the  look of the plant after they finish blooming.  They add a touch of whimsy to the garden. But I actually planted them because my husband has commented how pretty they are. My husband does not give any input into my gardens so when he says something is pretty I search until I find it.


This flower garden was  made for my husband to enjoy as he drives home from work. I had hoped to have the wild purple lupine but was not able to find the seeds so this is what we got. I have many cars stop along the side of our yard in the spring to just look at the garden and many have asked what they are. It gives me great joy to bring joy to others in this simple yet beautiful way.

I love gardening

When I first started this blog, it was not meant to be just about books.  But life got in the way.  So now that I am caught up on book reviews and done with the tax year,  I am going to take a few lazy days and blog about my love of gardening.

When I first started gardening on my own, the spring of 1978, it was just a veggie garden.  The first summer I borrowed a pressure canner.  With a spring birthday, my hubby gave me a pressure canner the following year.  And the year after that we got a deep freezer – yay for tax refunds right?  With the exception of one summer, I have grown the majority of the vegetables our family eats.

It was not until 1980 when my mother gave me a couple flower bulbs that I started flower gardening.  Since then I have had 5 different yards and have added and changed many gardens.  With the next few blogs entries I will cover the plants that I enjoy, the plants that work and those that just do not make the keeper list.

I hope you enjoy taking the journey down memory lane with me and even share some things that you enjoy as well.

Thank You, God, for Grandma by Amy Parker


Thank You, God, for Grandma-Now matter what I do, I know she’ll always love me, and …Grandma, I love you too!”

Thank You, God, for Grandma is a soft covered board book written by Amy Parker, Illustrated by Rosalinda Lightly. It follows a grandmother bear with her 2 cub grandchildren while they explore Grandma’s house, dress up in her clothes, play hide-and-seek, bake treats, play and sing. The story also shows how Grandma cares for the cubs and teaches the bear cubs about caring for others. Each set of pages has a short rhyming poem relating to Grandmother.

This adorable little book is just 20 pages long. The story is very cute. It is the perfect length to read to a young child. The pages are so colorful and have a lot of details within them to make for a conversation between the reader and the child. This is a great book for describing the relationship between a grandma and her grandchildren. This book will help little ones realize the special gift God has given them – their grandma. The book is the perfect size for toddlers hands to hold. The cover and pages are easy to clean and very durable. This would be a cute book to have in the home to help teach the youngest of children about their grandmothers when they are not able to see them often.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and have written an honest review.

20 Pages

ISBN: 9780718089252

Thomas Nelson Publishing

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Life After by Katie Ganshert


Life After, written by Katie Ganshert, is a very powerful novel. Autumn Manning is the only survivor of a train explosion that took the lives of twenty – two other people. It has been a year since the explosion and Autumn is still struggling with getting on with her life. The story takes us through the different events that help her get her life back on track.

Paul Elliott’s wife was one of the victims. Right after the explosion, it is believed that Autumn is his wife and he is called to the hospital. When is become evident that she is not his wife, his daughter begins writing letters to her. Paul’s daughter, Reese, reaches out to Autumn without her father’s knowledge.

Reese is struggling with the lose of her mother. She makes a suggestion to do a memorial of the victims. Autumn gets involved with this along with her ex-boyfriend. As she works on the memorial, she starts getting pieces of her memory of that day back. She takes a job and is slowly starting to live again. When the memorial video does not turn out the way Autumn expects it to, she tries to change it, ruining it.

This is a very powerful story. It deals with the subjects of violent attacks, murder, dealing with the death of a loved on and survivors guilt. What we see in this story is that after the loss of Reese’s mother, Reese changes her memories to what she wishes they really are. We see Autumn wondering why she survived when no one else did.

I really enjoyed reading this story and would recommend it to  anyone who enjoys reading contemporary  fiction. There is just the right amount of suspense in it to keep the readers attention as well as some romance.  The Christian references within the story are very mild.  This is a really good story!

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books. I have chosen to write this honest review.

352 pages

ISBN: 9781601429025

Publisher: Watherbrook Publishing

You can read more about the author and the books she has written at:

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An Amish Home – Four Novellas


An Amish Home is a book containing four novellas.

In A Cup Half Full, written by Beth Wiseman, Abram and Sarah Lantz were in an accident. While Sarah was in the hospital, Abram remodeled their home to make it wheelchair friendly. To do this he worked less hours, maxed out their credit card and borrowed money. Shortly after Sarah goes home, Abram loses his job and the lender is calling to get his money back. Sarah is also struggling with adjusting to her new life.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston, is a story of an English couple that are evicted from their home and have no where to go. Chase’s Amish boss offered them to life in the daadihouse on his property. But when their daughter gets sick, Mia goes home to ask her parents for help. Once again they turn their backs on her.

A Flicker of Hope, written by Ruth Reid, introduces us to Thomas and Noreen King. They have been married for fifteen years and their marriage is struggling. Their house burns down, taking almost all their belongs. Their neighbors come together to help them out. They move into the bishop’s daadihaus. While there someone goes to their farms and steals what little they have left.

Building Faith, by Kathleen Fuller, is a story of a young couple who are engaged to be married. They are building their home and each of them talks to someone about building their cabinets, without the others knowledge. Faith enjoys working with her grandfather’s tools doing woodworking. Silas, has taken on his father’s woodworking business to allow his father time to spend with his mother. Faith and Silas were at one time engaged. Now they are thrown together to build their friends’ kitchen.

If you like Amish stories, you will love this book. Each of the stories are around 100 pages long. They start with a glossary of the meaning of the Amish words and contain discussion questions at the end. They are stories that can easily be read in one evening. The end of the book also included Amish recipes. These stories give us a look into what the Amish life is. As well as the traditions they follow. With A Cup Half Full and A Flicker of Hope, we see how family and neighbors come together to help out in times of crisis. My favorite story is Home Sweet Home. In this story we see a blending of the Amish and English lives and see the love of others despite their religious background. I enjoyed reading all these stories as they show us the strength each couple has and how they rely on God during their struggles.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and have written an honest review.


ISBN: 9780529118691

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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