Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review ~ From the Start by Melissa Tagg

Bethany House 2015

 Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?

 My Thoughts

Where to start? I read this book in two days. I couldn’t put it down. It’s more than just about two people. There’s a myriad of fascinating characters, so this means there are more books coming. Yay!

Kate and Colton are a great pair. They’re team players. It was easy to watch from the sidelines as they played offense and defense in their verbal play. The chemistry between them is palpable From the Start. See how I got that in there? ;-)  

Seriously, there is usually some glaring flaw that a character has and can often make me not like them until I’m further into the story. Not so with this one. I found the problems they are dealing with to be down to earth and how they handle them seems pretty normal to me.

Melissa’s writing style reminds me of Susan May Warren.  The details are balanced. It’s not overly descriptive, making me sigh in disinterest. It’s written with sparkling dialogue and well-crafted prose. There are fascinating references to football, but then I am a huge professional football fan. Okay, maybe not huge like folks in MN, but I am a staunch Carolina Panther fan. So if you haven’t read Melissa’s books, but do like SMW, then I think you will be satisfied with From the Start and be a new MT fan.

I was provided a copy of this book from the author and publisher for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book. No compensation has been received. 

Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings. Melissa blogs regularly at

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Gorgeous Spring Day

Weather-wise, it's been a beautiful spring as far as temperatures are concerned. Some years it seems like winter just runs right in to summer but not this year. Cool breezes and lazy days tooling around the yard. With the windows open, I wake every morning to the sound of the frogs, crickets, chickens and birds rejoicing in the sun coming up.

On May 9th, my son discovered these two eggs in a flower basket that I took out of the chicken coop and hung on the edge of our deck swing. I had every intention of planting something in it but it looks like it has made a safe nest for a Mockingbird family.

Then on Monday May 11th, they hatched! 

Aren't they the cutest?!
And boy does that one have a big mouth. Must be super hungry. :)

Moma bird was watching me from a telephone wire as I made the picture of her babies. As soon as I was done, she flew right down there to give them a tasty worm, as evidenced in the bottom left photo. 

Well, sort of. She had it in her mouth but it didn't show up well in the photo.

And as I was out strolling through the yard, I took some pictures of the different flowers and vines blooming. Above Moma bird is some sweet smelling Honeysuckle. On the top right are my Sweet Williams. I just love these flowers. They're so colorful and greet me first thing when I open the front door. The top left is some kind of flowering shrub that has a sickeningly sweet smell and I am highly allergic to it. It's pretty but oh my! It causes horrendous sneezing and itching. The only reason they are still there is because more birds nested in them and I hated to whack down their home. But come autumn, when they are all gone....

How is Spring in your area? 

I hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather!

~Have a great day in the Lord~

Sharing with
The Enchanting Rose

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

3rd Anniversary...

Today, May 13th, marks the third anniversary of my oldest daughter, my firstborn, being ushered into her eternal home. I wrote this poem during the Writing Through the Heartache grief workshop by author Alice Wisler, a grieving mom herself. Writing has been instrumental in the grief process and I haven't shared much of it, but today I wanted to share this poem. Amy had delicate hands and she loved to have them held. And I loved to hold them. I miss that. 
I miss her.


tiny and weak

your newborn hands,

cradled protectively

within my own,

sweet kisses from my lips

cover them in prayer.

slender and cool

your delicate hands,

entwined  gently

within my own,

hot tears and desperate kisses

blanket them in prayer.

warm and strong

your beautiful hands,

reaching out

enfolded safely,

for all eternity

held by Another.

creased and worn,

my cold hands

rest empty,

wet with tears


silent prayers.

Written by Anne Payne
April 24th 2013

The following are Scriptures that show how much the Lord loves us and comforts us in our grief.

Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Isaiah 41:10  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 18:28  “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Isaiah 43:2  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Truly, without the love and compassion of the Lord and his constant heart, my humanness would fail to uphold me during these last three years.

Praying that each of you who are walking this road of grief feel His presence today and everyday.

~Have a blessed day in the Lord~

Sharing with

The Enchanting Rose