In our home, we’ve been having discussions about this topic numerous times over the past several weeks. We’ve never ‘celebrated’ it as such. But the older I get, the more I see wisdom in just staying away from it.
I was out and about today, getting groceries, shopping, etc., and was asked a few different times if I’m doing anything for Halloween. I usually err on the side of shyness, and not wanting to force my beliefs on anyone. I didn’t take the time to tell anyone I talked to about my beliefs. Which is one reason I felt prompted to share here.
As a child, I was taught very little about Halloween. I remember making a costume that I wore to a party when I was in kindergarten (attending public school). Because we lived in town, I remember trick-or-treaters coming to our front door. Some years, we’d have candy on hand to pass out to them, other years we’d keep that front light off. I do remember that one time I was so horribly frightened by a person with a grotesque mask that I ran crying to another room.
Now, I think there is a lot more teaching available, and because of the internet, it is a lot easier to do research on topics. Doing any studying at all on the subject of Halloween helped me to quickly realize that this is NOT something I want to be involved in, or have our kids involved in, at all.
Yes, I think it can be done in an innocent manner, strictly for fun. I mean, really…is there a harm in dressing up in a fun costume?! But WHY do it on Halloween?
I was directed to this article through a link shared on facebook. If you have a minute, take the time to read it–I think there are a lot of good points shared here. I’m not sharing this to start a debate, I realize there are many varied opinions on this subject, and we’re all in different places in life. If you have questions, I think a good answer is “to search the Scriptures” or discuss it with someone you trust. May God bless you as you live for Him today!
Edited to add: This giveaway closed on November 10. The winner has been notified. Thank you for your participation.
Yes! I’m doing another giveaway–this time it’s along a completely different line.
This is what I’ve been staying busy with the past few weeks–my stencil business! (I don’t intend to make this blog a place to advertise, I don’t really want this to be about our stencils…but I decided to make an exception and do a giveaway.) This stencil company is a small business, something that I can do from home, stuff the girls can also help with, which I love…and I hope to eventually be able to turn it over to them.
Our stencils are designs that have been in use for many years. (I, personally have been doing them for just over two years now) We have transitioned these designs from the original process of being cut by hand, to now being computerized, and cut by machine. Most of our stencils are shipped to quilt shops, and then individual customers, too. The majority are sold here in the US, but we also have some being sold at shops in Ontario, and even as far away as Germany!
In the past, I’ve mostly been doing quilt stencils. But I received a request for a custom stencil, one that is not a quilt stencil, and I wouldn’t mind at all getting in to more of this line of stencils.
What we have available is a laurel leaf wreath stencil. The one we are giving away is the 10″ size. However, we can resize this design in any size you like, up to 24″.
The winner of the giveaway will win one of these! Or…if this particular design is not your thing, I am also willing to do another new, custom design, also in a 10″ size, created from your idea! (I do require that it has to be something similar in complexity level to this design, subject to my interpretation of that. 😉 )
Giveaway is open to US residents only. To enter, all you need to do is leave me a comment, can be here or on FB. Tell me what stencil design you would like to see!
You can also visit our stencil website, which is still a work in progress, but it gives you some ideas of (quilt) stencils we have available.
This giveaway will remain open through November 10th.
We have had a lot of cat drama going on here at our place lately…
I guess I could say, since my girls are older and more grown up, they don’t provide the entertainment like they used to, so now I can depend on the cats for it! 🙂
I could tell you many cat stories, and might share a few of the interesting ones another time…this morning I just have to tell about our latest one, that has had a sad ending.
Almost two weeks ago, M went out to feed the cats and came back in to tell us excitedly that there was a little black kitten out there.
We have two mother cats here, the first litter had just all left for their new homes, and we still didn’t know where the other cat’s litter was hidden. (Our two mother cats don’t really appreciate each other, so they like to have their kittens elsewhere, but that’s a whole other story…)
Rio, the black cat, is the mom of the kittens we hadn’t seen. So, upon seeing the little black kitty, we put two & two together and assumed that she had for reasons unknown to us, decided to bring this one little one home.
But the poor kitty…he just lay there. All curled up in a bundle of black fur. Rio ignored him. He’d meow, and crawl around a bit, and she would walk away. I told the girls, “he’s too little, if she doesn’t take care of him, I don’t think we can do anything for him.”
The next day I went out and he was meowing, and one of the other cats was batting him around. That did it. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I went and checked my freezer, and sure enough, we still had a bit of leftover kitten formula from an earlier time when we had to feed kittens…so…I found a box and brought him in. Yes, you heard right–in! In my kitchen, no less. He was so tiny, we think about 2 weeks old, but a little on the small size for that age, only one eye was open. And I tried to give him the bottle. He did pretty good with it, almost right away. He wouldn’t drink a lot, but enough. Our youngest daughter K also took turns, and fed him and cared for him, whenever she could, when she was home from school. Of course there are many reasons why little kittens need their mommies to take care of them. Humans cannot do a proper job of cleaning them (or maybe that’s just me! :/)
We had plans to go camping over the weekend, so we had no choice but to take little kitty along. (K wanted to call him Tokyo, another wanted to call him Bobo, I just kept calling him little kitty.) The girls helped out with his feeding over the weekend, I mixed bottles, we took turns feeding, he got held some, he’d meow when put back in our pet taxi, he slept, he seemed to be doing ok.
Then we came home. He’d made enough messes on himself that I had to put my foot down and say, not back in the house! So out to the lean-to (our cat haven) he went.
But the nights were cold. And the other cats ignored him.
And I, myself, was the sole, one-and-only kitten-bottle-feeding person left in the house.
His eating began slowing down…
Yesterday morning, he was too weak to drink hardly anything.
I told K sadly that I just didn’t think he was going to be able to make it through the day. She had many tears, and I cried with her.
What was heartbreaking was the fact that he’d keep waddling around and doing his pitiful little meow.
This morning when we out to check on him, he was completely still.
We laid him in his final resting place this afternoon.
Sometimes I just wish we could get rid of all our cats and FORGET about having pets. It hurts the girls (and yes, me too, more than I’d like to admit) too much when something happens to one of them.
I think God gave us little creatures to remind us of many things, not the least is how BIG His love is!! He very much loves ME! And YOU! All of us!!
Just a reminder–My giveaway for Dani Pettrey’s newest book, Blind Spot, is still open!! All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment on my giveaway post!
I have two copies of this book, and just finished reading my copy. I had to hold off on reading it for a bit, because of work projects that had to be completed first. But yesterday, I finally had time to finish it! And, just like all her other books, I loved it! If you are a fan of Christian fiction suspense, I think you will too!
I dislike doing selfies, (I’m old fashioned, I guess… 😉 ) but as an extra promotional boost, I thought I’d give in and post one for this. 🙂
Here’s my brief review:
Another awesome, suspense-filled ride from Dani Pettrey! The only thing I disliked about this book is that it left me hanging off the edge at the end. Oh, and that it is such a long time before the next book is available!!
I am struggling a bit to find the right words to use to write a suitable review for this book—it is SO good that any words I can think of feel like I’m not doing it justice. A few words that come to my mind are intriguing, action-packed, intense, exciting, hang-on-for-the-ride. You don’t want to start this book if you’ve got other things that you need to do–no, wait until you have time to sit down and read it from start to finish!!
This book is the story of Declan & Tanner. It’s the third book in Dani Pettrey’s Chesapeake Valor series, it could be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the others first, (if you haven’t already done so) the story will make a lot more sense that way.
The action takes off right from the first page. I love reading books or watching shows about FBI agents, and with this book, I felt as though I was there, taking part in the investigation, involved in the action. Dani has a way of making her characters come to life–this is another thing that really draws me to her books. (along with the action, of course!) And I especially like meeting up with main characters from an earlier book, it’s like another visit with old friends.
Bethany House is also hosting a giveaway in honor of the release of this book, you can visit it here
Series: The Nosy Parker Mysteries Genre: Journey Fiction, Historical, Mystery Publisher: Indie Publication date: August 1, 2017
Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…
Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to believe in.
Debra E. Marvin is a member of ACFW, Sisters in Crime, a Grace Awards Judge, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She’s one of the founders of Inkwell Inspirations Blog, and is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, Journey Fiction and contracted with Barbour Publishing. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University in upstate NY, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.
1. Who or what inspired you to be a writer? I started making illustrated books as a child, then became a student who wrote two thousand words for a five hundred word essay. Hanging around with readers and authors just feels right, because we are all compelled to step into a story. I love beautiful words and images and there’s not quite so satisfying as finding just the right word. There may have been a time when I read a story and thought… I can do that! (Oh how naïve! I can do it but it’s darn hard work!)
2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did being an author ever cross your mind?
Despite the fact I tend to be a bit driven by all I want to get done now, I wasn’t a particularly focused child. I recall a few years of wanting to be an astronomer, but basically I just liked to make things and spend time daydreaming. I was an art major (and we know how difficult that is as a career!) and then all of a sudden I was a housewife and mother who obsessively made things. Finally, I took a creative writing class in my thirties and it all just took off. Writing satisfies like nothing else!
3. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
Currently, I’m working on my second contemporary romance novella. Somewhere along the way this project became a difficult emotional journey and was put aside while I finished this mystery and a colonial era novella. The first contemporary romance was a breeze—I wrote 17,000 words in three days. This one is like picking up egg whites, but I’m determined to see it through! It takes place on Cape Hatteras and will be out later this year from Forget Me Not Romances.
What inspired the idea for The Case of the Clobbered Cad? Oh I wish I knew how to explain the tangled lines that became this story. Ideas just seem to pop up and then explode into a puzzle that needs to be solved. When my setting changed from Sturbridge Village to Edinburgh, Scotland, research pulled me into the University’s archeology department. I had that lovely lightbulb moment upon seeing some reference to an artifact. I’d contacted the secretary of the History and Archeology departments and it happened that a retired archeology professor gave me all sorts of information on the very vibrant archeology department of the 1950s.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Case of the Clobbered Cad?
This story doesn’t quite fit into a nice, neat genre and so I hope readers find it unexpected, fresh, enjoyable, entertaining and creates nostalgia for the days when a girl detective story kept them up late on a school night!
5. When you are not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to make things that involve color, texture and handwork. It might be decorative painting, knitting, gardening and the occasional fairy house. But mostly I’m like to design and sew—quilting or making costumes. (I have a little problem with buying fabric.)
We reference “The Girl Detective” but we never actually use her name! You know who I’m talking about though, don’t you?
The book is set in 1956. Can you guess why I chose that particular year? Go ahead. You won’t offend me!
Heather’s first trip abroad is to the U.K. Sixty years later, Debra made her first trip abroad and was greeted in the Edinburgh airport by a lovely customs agent with a broad Scottish accent. (Debra grinned like an eejit!)
The Case of the Clobbered Cad was originally set in Old Sturbridge Village because I wanted to visit there. The heroine was a history major doing an internship. When I made the last minute decision to buy a ticket to Scotland, I asked my publisher if she minded if I changed the setting! She loved the idea!
Like Heather, my grandfather was Scottish. (though mine was born in the U.S. to a Scottish immigrant family). He insisted I was “Scots t’ the backbone and prood of it.” What a thrill to be able to visit the village where his my great-grandparents called home.
I visited the Archeology Department at the University of Edinburgh and went inside the archives room. If you read the book, you’ll understand why that was so important! (Though in 1956, the setting was completely different!)
I actually stayed on both of the Edinburgh streets used as ‘home addresses’ for two of my characters.
Some retired policemen and professors answered my questions, including a gentleman with an OBE. You do know what that means, don’t you?
Lisa Richardson, author of The Counterfeit Clue designed the covers!
While my earlier published works have been sweet romances, mysteries are my first love and I hope to take Heather elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland
A charming, cozy murder mystery set in 1950s Scotland. Although it is referred to as in honor of the ‘girl detective’, I have to say that this book was much more intriguing and enjoyable than any Nancy Drew mystery I’ve read…and believe me, I’ve read most of those originals…!
No, This book is more reminiscent of a Miss Marple mystery (which I’ve also read and enjoyed)…and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading of it!
It has action from the first chapter to the end! It’s an intriguing story, full of twists and turns, and I found the ending to be completely surprising!
And the characters-fun and completely relate-able! Heather is down-to-earth, just what you’d expect of a girl in her position–an American in Scotland, going to university, doing a job on the side to pay her way. She’s just newly arrived via a voyage aboard ship. On said voyage, she had the unfortunate experience of getting a teeny crush on a professor, Jack Winters. She tried to steer clear of him upon learning of his marriage.
And then, he happens to be killed so close to her office, on her very first day of work? What a strange coincidence! Or was it? Was someone framing her?
A few other characters- her landlady Mrs. K. Just the kind of person you’d want for a landlady when you’re so far away from your family. A kind, motherly type of lady, looking at for Heather, sharing advice, and such. Then there are those two professors vying for her attention, Sean and Tom. Both seem to be good men. And yet, they could have had a motive to want him gone…
They work together to solve the clues and find the culprit.
It’s Wednesday, and I think it’s time to kick off my October giveaway
This time, I’m giving away a copy of Dani Pettrey’s brand new–just released–Blind Spot, in paperback!
This book is the third book in her latest series, Chesapeake Valor.
Dani Pettrey’s books are some of my all-time-favorite in the line of Christian fiction suspense.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below, on this post.
Tell me your favorite thing about fall.
My favorite thing – I love the colorful leaves on the trees. And…I won’t deny it…I enjoy cooler temps. Now, the past few weeks, you wouldn’t have known that it is officially fall here in central Ohio…we’ve had highs in the upper 80s!! It’s been an Indian summer, I guess…but we have hopes of cooler weather coming! And, the one huge difference from regular summer is that, even when it’s warm during the day, our nights have been nice and cool! So it’s been lovely!
This giveaway will remain open for two weeks, which takes us to October 18th. Then we’ll draw a name from your comments. (As before, this giveaway is only open to people living in the US)
I can’t wait to see who will be the lucky winner of this great book!
Thirteen years ago, pediatrician Hope Michaels was the fool-hearted girl who came home from college to learn the man she loved was engaged to her twin. But now to move on with her life and accept a proposal of marriage, she must confront the one man who holds the key to the wounds of her past.Fire Captain Carl McGuire can put out any flame, except for the one Hope sparks within him. As she stirs up his life and heart, Carl knows some things never change. Even a past he’d rather keep hidden.
When a new neighbor moves in across the street who would be a perfect fit for their family, Mary and Brody form a plan to bring their dad and Hope together. But how will it work if Hope keeps pushing him away?
My thoughts about this book:
This is a short, sweet novella. This story has so much packed into its pages.
This is a story about moving on, and forgiving someone you love, even when they have hurt you tremendously in the past.
It’s about redemption and forgiving yourself in spite of mistakes you’ve made in the past.
It’s about looking for the good God can bring out of bad situations, and most of all, trusting Him for the future.
Meet Carl and his two adorable kids. He’s lost his wife, and they’ve lost their mom.
Next, meet Hope, who moves in across the street. Carl & Hope have so much baggage from the past you have to wonder how they’ll ever be able to move on.
But, with the help of his sweet kiddos (and of course God’s!)…well, I don’t want to give the story away here in this review. I recommend you just read it yourself!
I love all things chocolate, and especially enjoyed all the chocolately details in the last chapter!
I received a complimentary copy of this book; all opinions expressed here are my own entirely!
About the Author
Tanya Eavenson is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book.
Guest Post from Tanya Eavenson
I’d like to thank Celebrate Lit for featuring my first novella in my Gaining Love Series, To Gain a Mommy, for this tour. I’m looking forward to visiting with you along the way!
Recently I was asked to share what inspired me to write To Gain a Mommy. Believe it or not, my inspiration came from a prayer.
Last year my employer offered me a great promotion, but the catch was I’d have little time to spend with my family. So I prayed, asking God for direction for my family, my job, and my writing.
God knows us so well. He knew I had a desire to work with other authors and to write my first novella. He also knew that without a push, I wouldn’t do it.
It all began with a simple post on my Facebook timeline. Another writer posted that she had messaged me but wanted to let me know since FB has a couple of message boxes (I had no idea!). I clicked on my messages, and there it was—the extra message box, filled. As I read through the messages, I found one asking if I’d be interested in joining a novella boxed set. Right away I knew God had answered my prayer.
Needless to say, I didn’t take the position at work and joined the boxed set. Since then, To Gain a Mommy has become an international bestseller and has been a finalist in two contests. My Gaining Love series continues to grow, with the third novella, To Gain a Bodyguard, releasing in time for Christmas. Isn’t God good!
The Lord tells us to trust in Him and that if we do, He will direct our paths. It still amazes me how the Lord works behind the scenes in our lives to give us hope and a future.
Yes, God gives us hope. He gives us a future. This is why I named my heroine in To Gain a Mommy Hope. Romans 5:5 says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (NKJV). Although my heroine can’t see her future or what it might hold, she is reminded that God will not disappoint.
I’ve had to force my way through and finish this because the copy I’m currently reading belongs to our local library, and I’ve (ahem) had it longer than what they prefer. 😉 I really want (NEED!) to get my own copy, just to keep and re-read, because this book has been so profound for me.
I’m not trying to share this as a ‘fix-all’ or ‘do-this-and-your-marriage-will-be-perfect’ book. What I am wanting to do is just share a bit of how it spoke to me and challenged me in ways that I need to grow in, to do my part to better my own marriage.
Cherishing. It’s not really what comes natural. Or maybe that’s just me. Way too often I find myself being selfish. I want him to cherish me, but am I cherishing him? Am I doing things that are having the opposite effect? How can I learn to better cherish my husband?!
These are just a few questions I’m asking myself.
And I’d like to share just a few quotes that jumped at me:
“Cherish is a chosen mental attitude; once set in motion, it can eventually become our default mode of action, but there are things we can do to set that up.”
“We need to accept the fact that our spouses will stumble and stop resenting that they happen to stumble in any particular way.”
“The goal of a cherishing marriage is to know the dark corners and the weak links of each other’s personalities, yet still cherish, respect, adore, and move toward each other.”
“Responding with gentleness to common marital moments—like a spouse misplacing keys—can be the seedbed of a cherishing marriage.”
“If we want to be cherished, one of the most effective ways is to humbly admit we need to grow in areas that make it easier for our spouses to cherish us.”
There would be so many, many more I could share.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to the Golden Rule, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31
I can’t expect this to just happen. But with God’s help, I can do my part to create a cherishing marriage.
And here’s my review as I posted on goodreads:
I find it difficult to find the words to describe this book in a short review!
It is an excellent book with exceptional teaching, many helpful tips and advice on having a better marriage.
It’s about the act of cherishing your spouse; learning to appreciate him or her for who they have been created to be; helping them become the best they can be.
It’s about building them up, encouraging, and of course, cherishing.
Another crucial part of being in a cherishing marriage is being a person that is easy to be cherished. And allowing your spouse to cherish you.
This is one of those books that needs to be re-read, just to better comprehend everything that is shared in its pages.