Ps 91 (NKJV)

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: "Twice A Bride" by Mona Hodgson

Twice a Bride is book 4 in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek, but is fine as a stand alone. I hadn't read the first three books and didn't feel like I was missing anything.

I enjoyed this story, but it took me a bit to get into it. Having not lost a spouse, I had a hard time connecting with Willow's grief.  Despite these things, I felt compelled to keep reading because the story pulled me in. I wanted to find out how Willow and Trenton reached their happily-ever-after.

Back cover:
Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever. 
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?
Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.  
With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?     
Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns.
Rating: 4 stars

Available from Amazon and other fine retailers.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Q is for Quotes

Q is for Quotes and Questions

I decided today would be a good day for some quotes.

“Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that the thorns have roses. ”

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808-1890);Critic, Journalist, Novelist.
--I have this one posted at the top of this blog. It has been one of my favorite for a long time. It reminds me to be thankful for the good in the midst of the bad.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)US Author

"For I hold you by your right hand--I, the Lord your God. I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you.'"
 Isaiah 41:13(NLT)
--I have this one posted as a sticky note on my monitor. It helps me to remember that even though I doubt my ability to write, he has given me the stories. My only job is to obey.

...And so I'm seriously late getting this out. Tuesday came and went in a heartbeat, I think. I didn't even remember until last night in church. 

Why is it that I always remember stuff while in the middle of listening to my pastor preach? I know I can't be the only one.

Occasionally questions occur to me that I'd like to ask God and get a verbal answer. Of course, now that I'm sitting here writing this I can't remember one. Sometimes, though, I wonder why God continues to love us. We continually throw that love back in his face, not just as a world, or nation, or even a church, but as individuals. I can see in my past where I've done it a number of times. So my one question of the day is...God, why do you still love me?

If you had one question you'd like to ask God, what would it be?


Monday, November 26, 2012

"Lord, Enlarge My Territory" by Sherri Wilson Johnson

Today A Bed of Roses welcomes Sherri Wilson Johnson. 

Sherri is an Inspirational Romance novelist, a speaker, social media junkie, and a former homeschooling mom who loves to share God with others, while sharing her life experiences with them.

She lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general–good, clean romance, that is. She is passionate about purity and sexual integrity.

Please help me welcome her as she shares.

Lord, Enlarge My Territory
Sherri Wilson Johnson

I love to read.

I love to read the Bible, Bible studies, books of many kinds, blogs, emails, Facebook messages, my Twitter feed, texts on my phone, the back of cereal boxes…you get the picture. I spend most of my day writing and then reading what I’ve written as I edit. And then I read books from my favorite authors when I go to bed at night. I love to know what is inside the heart and mind of God and I love to know the same thing about His children. I love to know what makes this world tick. I love for others to know what is inside my mind and heart, as well. I think that’s why I enjoy this calling of being a writer so much.

The book The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson is one of my favorite books. Who is Jabez and what was his prayer? Jabez was just an ordinary man who is mentioned in a tiny section of the Bible. In the long list of names in I Chronicles 4, suddenly there is a break and Jabez and his prayer are mentioned. In verses 9-10, it says: “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”

Jabez is not anyone of great significance. From the beginning of his life he was kind of marked because the mere mention of his name reminded folks that he caused his mother great pain while she was in childbirth. He was, however, more honorable than his brothers and I suppose it made God want to grant him his request. This prayer inspired the book written by Dr. Wilkinson and it inspires me.

I started praying this prayer at the beginning of September 2011 because I wanted God to do amazing things in my life and in the lives of my family members and friends. I didn’t start praying it because I wanted God to give me wealth or popularity. I wanted God to bless me with whatever He wanted to bless me with. I wanted Him to enlarge my territory because that would enlarge His territory. My thoughts were that the more people that found out about me, the more I would be able to spread the Good News about Him to the world. I wanted His hand to be with me because I couldn’t imagine walking through this life without Him. And I truly wanted Him to keep me far from evil and to guide me along the right path so I would not sin against Him and not cause my friends and family to follow me down the wrong path.

As soon as I began praying this prayer, God started answering it. It’s not a magic prayer. What it is though is a prayer that opens your eyes to the blessings of God that are already there in your life. It makes you watch out for opportunities in which you can tell others about Him. It makes you be more conscious of the traps that Satan tries to set up for you. It makes you see that as a child of the Father, you have an inheritance that compares with no other and blessings that are right there at your fingertips.

James 4:3 says: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

We can ask God to bless us and to protect us and to enlarge our territories and to be with us always and when we ask with pure motives and with a desire to make Him be glorified, He will answer according to His will.

In this past year, I have had my territory enlarged so much that I can only give God credit for it. He has opened more doors for me to be a minister to others and for me to get my writing out in front of people that normally it would have been impossible to reach. It is amazing how God desires to give everything to His children and sometimes we forget the most important part of it—asking and believing!

Thank you for a wonderful post, Sherri.

If you're a frequent reader here at ABOR, you know I reviewed this book last week. If you didn't get a chance to read it yet, you can see it here.

You can find out more about Sherri at her website and you can purchase Song of the Meadowlark by clicking the title.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Song of the Meadowlark by Sherri Wilson Johnson

Having read and loved To Dance Once More, I was sort of expecting another historical. Of course, if I had read the back cover I would have realized it wasn't. Shame on me. However, after I got over my initial shock, I enjoyed this story a great deal. What's not to love about a rugged cowboy and his young daughter? Song of the Meadowlark was a well-written, wonderful story of second chance love. I read it in ONE day and only stopped long enough to feed my hungry crew.

Back cover:

When trusting others only leads to pain and rejection, and loving ends only in loss, what will it take to restore hope again?
Shunned by the uncovered truth about her missing husband’s secret life, Cora Buchanan sets out on a road trip for home to mend her broken relationship with her parents. When her car breaks down, she’s stranded in a small Georgia town.
While staying at the struggling Southern Hope Ranch, she meets little Susie O’Reilly, who unexpectedly fills a void in Cora’s heart. But Rex, Susie’s rugged cowboy father who lost his wife a year earlier, seems to go out of his way to either confront or avoid Cora. It doesn’t help her comfort level that the news continues to report missing and murdered women in the area. 
Cora has no idea just how close to home the crimes will hit…or how much the sweet sound of the meadowlark’s song at the ranch will impact her future.

Rating: 5 stars

Click here to purchase and support this blog.

Please come back for Sherri's guest post on Monday.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

P is for Progress

P is for Progress

As I stated several weeks ago, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. You can see that blog here.

Here are a few things I've learned from this process:

*I don't like plotting before writing.
*It's stressful.
*Getting 2,000 words a day is hard, but doable.
*I have the best husband, who is willing to give up some of his time with me to allow me to write.

Okay, so now the progress part. As of right now, I have 44,796 words complete toward my goal of 50,000. My new goal is to complete the book, which for me usually runs in the 60,000 word range before edits.

I've set December aside to edit my last MS to send to the editor and agent who requested it at ACFW conference.

Have you made progress toward a goal you've set for yourself? It doesn't have to be writing could be losing weight, finding a job, or any other goal you've set for yourself.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Spring Meadow Sanctuary by Lynnette Bonner

A little danger, a little intrigue and a lot of romance, Lynnette Bonner's Spring Meadow Sanctuary met this reader's expectations for a thrilling read. Even though I hadn't read the first three in The Shepherd's Heart series, I didn't feel like I had missed anything pertinent to this story.

Back cover:

He broke her heart.
Now he’s back to ask for a second chance.
Heart pounding in shock, Sharyah Jordan gapes at the outlaw staring down the barrel of his gun at her. Cascade Bennett shattered her dreams only last summer, and now he plans to kidnap her and haul her into the wilderness with a bunch of outlaws…for her own protection? She’d rather be locked in her classroom for a whole week with Brandon McBride and his arsenal of tricks, and that was saying something.
Cade Bennett’s heart nearly drops to his toes when he sees Sharyah standing by the desk. Sharyah Jordan was not supposed to be here. Blast if he didn’t hate complications, and Sharyah with her alluring brown eyes and silky blond hair was a walking, talking personification of complication.
Now was probably not the time to tell her he’d made a huge mistake last summer….
Two broken hearts. Dangerous Outlaws. One last chance at love.
Step into a day when outlaws ran free, the land was wild, and guns blazed at the drop of a hat.

Rating: 4 stars

 To purchase, click here and help support this blog. To find out more about Lynnette Bonner, please visit her website. She was also my guest this past Friday. You can find that post here.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodness and Mercy by Lynnette Bonner

Today I am pleased to give the reins to Lynnette Bonner. Please help me in welcoming her to A Bed of Roses...Thorns Included.

Welcome Lynnette.

Goodness and Mercy

I love the title of this blog, “A Bed of Roses...Thorns Included.” It fits perfectly with a theme I explored in my recent release, Spring Meadow Sanctuary. The Shepherd’s Heart series has taken a couple verses from Psalm 23 as the focus of each book. Spring Meadow Sanctuary’s verse was number 6: “Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” But as I wrote the book I got to thinking that we don’t always FEEL like goodness and mercy are following us. So how do tragedies and trials translate into goodness and mercy?

Sometimes, like the quote at the top of the page, we find the goodness and mercy in the fact that thorns have roses. But other times we can see how, even through seemingly difficult circumstances, God brought about that perfect goodness and mercy in our lives.

Here is a description of the story:
He broke her heart.Now he’s back to ask for a second chance.

Heart pounding in shock, Sharyah Jordan gapes at the outlaw staring down the barrel of his gun at her. Cascade Bennett shattered her dreams only last summer, and now he plans to kidnap her and haul her into the wilderness with a bunch of outlaws…for her own protection? She’d rather be locked in her classroom for a whole week with Brandon McBride and his arsenal of tricks, and that was saying something.
Cade Bennett’s heart nearly drops to his toes when he sees Sharyah standing by the desk. Sharyah Jordan was not supposed to be here. Blast if he didn’t hate complications, and Sharyah with her alluring brown eyes and silky blond hair was a walking, talking personification of complication.
Now was probably not the time to tell her he’d made a huge mistake last summer….
Two broken hearts. Dangerous Outlaws. One last chance at love.Step into a day when outlaws ran free, the land was wild, and guns blazed at the drop of a hat.

Born and raised in Malawi, Africa. Lynnette Bonner spent the first years of her life reveling in warm equatorial sunshine and the late evening duets of cicadas and hyenas. The year she turned eight she was off to Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya where she spent many joy-filled years, and graduated in 1990.

That fall, she traded to a new duet--one of traffic and rain--when she moved to Kirkland, Washington to attend Northwest University. It was there that she met her husband and a few years later they moved to the small town of Pierce, Idaho.

During the time they lived in Idaho, while studying the history of their little town, Lynnette was inspired to begin the Shepherd's Heart Series with Rocky Mountain Oasis.

Marty and Lynnette have four children, and currently live in Washington where Marty pastors a church. 

Me again: Thank you for the compliment on my blog. I invite you all to come back on Monday to read my review of Spring Meadow Sanctuary.

How has God changed your trials and tragedies into goodness and mercy?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

O is for Opportunity

O is for Opportunity

Everyone has the opportunity to make the most of whatever situation they've been placed in.

Opportunity to smile.
Opportunity to give with sincerity.
Opportunity to receive with thankfulness.

How often do we forget how blessed we are, being grateful for the things we have instead of bemoaning the things we don't have?

I know I often forget how blessed I am. I bemoan the work my large family requires and forget the blessings they give in return. Someone is always available if I need a hug.  :)  I have lots of helpers with cleaning, dinner and dishes. Even if I'm in a bad mood, someone else is smiling.

Take the OPPORTUNITY today, right here in the comments section, to be thankful for something you've been blessed with. And remember throughout today to be thankful for even the little things.


Monday, November 12, 2012

"I will be sure--always" guest blog by Jodie Bailey

Today I have the awesome privilege of welcoming Jodie Bailey, author of Freefall, to my blog. She has come to tell us a little about her findings while researching for her novel.

About Jodie:

Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After fifteen years as a military spouse, she's proud to be a retired military spouse settled back in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to Edie Melson's devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle schoolers to love writing as much as she does (if she's lucky that day and they're actually listening...). Jodie loves to bake, ride the Harley with her husband, and fish the Outer Banks with their daughter. You can find her on the web at

Please help me welcome Jodie.

I Will Be Sure--Always

“I will be sure--always.”  -The Rigger’s Pledge

Freefall takes place on Fort Bragg among the parachute riggers who keep the 82nd Airborne Division’s paratroopers safe under canopy.  My husband was Airborne qualified his entire Army career and later became a military freefall jumpmaster.  Trust me.  Properly working parachutes meant the world to him. 

Until I researched Freefall, though, I’d never really thought about what a rigger actually takes on every day.   These men and women hold a life in their hands every time they inspect and pack a chute.  That’s major.  It’s part of the reason the Rigger’s Pledge ends with the words, “I will be sure—always.”  They can’t take chances or shortcuts.  They can’t skip a step or leave any little thing undone.  After all, they hold lives in their hands.  Not many of us can say that about the work we do every day.

Or can we? 

What would the world look like if we lived by the same creed as a parachute rigger?  If we lived our faith as though we were always sure of our God instead of getting all wishy-washy?  If we never walked away from a person until we were sure we’d left their lives better than we found it?

We encounter dozens of people a day.  Some of us, depending on our jobs, interact with many, many more.  What if we were to look at each encounter—no matter how short—as a God encounter?  If we looked at the face of God and asked, “What do you want me to do here?” and then we did it?  Being sure to step in His footsteps and do exactly what He would do?  Leaving not one thing to chance or undone?

Think the world would change?

Think, maybe, in some small way, we’d “save a life”? 

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Book blurb:
With one accusation, army officer Cassidy Matthews's name, reputation—and life—are on the line. A Special Forces soldier insists that Cassy's Fort Bragg-based unit is smuggling drugs. And the accuser? It's Cassy's handsome, stubborn ex-husband, Major Shane Logan. Shane knows Cassy is innocent, which is why he's sure she's being set up to take the fall. Proving it, though, means working together…and trying to ignore the feelings they still share. The closer they get—to the truth and each other—the more the danger grows from a ruthless criminal who'll stop at nothing to destroy them both. 

Me again: Thank you, Jodie, for encouraging us to be sure about what God would want us to do.

Now, my precious readers, Jodie is offering to give away a copy of Freefall to one lucky commenter, but you have to say something to be eligible. So...answer one of Jodie's questions above (drawing will be 11/18) and be entered to win.

To find out what I thought about Freefall, check here.

For more about Jodie, go to

To purchase Freefall, click here.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Can I just say, "OH MY GOODNESS!"? This is Jen Turano's debut novel and I suggest you run, NOT WALK, to your nearest retailer to grab this book. Add her to your favorite author list. I certainly will.

Ms. Turano imparted to us a wonderful story of misfortune, disappointment, and distrust turned into love, contentment, and trust, not only in man, but in God.

I enjoyed every page and I believe you will too.  :)

Back cover:

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. Her fortune was the last thing she had left after losing her father, her fiance, and her faith. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London. 
Mr. Hamilton Beckett, much to his chagrin, is the catch of the season, and all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. He has no plans to marry again, especially since his hands are full keeping his business afloat while raising his two children alone.
Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune unexpectedly put her right in Hamilton's path. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces and, before she knows it, Eliza has a whole retinue of people helping her. Eliza's determination not to trust anyone weakens when everyone's antics and bumbling efforts to assist her make her wonder if there might be more important things than her fortune and independence. 
When all of Hamilton's and Eliza's best-laid plans fall by the wayside, it will take a riot of complications for them to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

To purchase this book click the link below and help support this blog.

A Change of Fortune


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: "Against the Tide" by Elizabeth Camden

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

It took me a few pages to get into this book, but once I was awesome. While I have never experienced any of the things these characters had to go through, Ms. Camden wrote so eloquently, I felt as if I was going through it with them. Life is full of heartache, disappointments, and's what you do with them that makes YOU who you are. Against the Tide illustrates this beautifully.

Back cover:
As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.
Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Click the title below to purchase and help support this blog.

Against the Tide


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

N is for NaNoWriMo

N is for NaNoWriMo

Six days into NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month). 

I should have close to 12,000 words done.  In order to reach the expected 50,000 words, I have set a personal goal of 2,000/day.

My actual word count is: 12,675 I'm hip-hoppin' happy.  ;)

Here are some things that I've done to prepare:

*write several blogs for November in advance, including this one (it was actually written over a week ago and I just plugged in the actual word count).
*research parts of my story in advance - a hard task for this die-hard pantser (I typically write without knowing where the story is going).
*enlisted accountability partners
*informed my family of this commitment, as it will take a lot of time

Things I should have done, but didn't:

*made meals in advance
*done more research

And I'm sure there will be more as the month continues.

So, if you're participating in this year's NaNoWriMo, what did you do to prepare? If you're not, what are some things you do to prepare for stressful/busy times in your life?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California by Erica Vetsch

A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California
by Erica Vetsch

I must admit that I've loved every Harvey Girl novel I've read and this one is no exception. I have had the feeling of never measuring up to someone else's expectation, no matter how hard I tried. I commiserated with Meghan. On the other hand, I also understand what it's like to have a secret that you don't want anyone to know about because of how it will change their perspective, just like Caleb. Ms. Vetsch's writing touched me in several different ways with this novel and I'm sure it'll touch you too.

Back cover:
When her brother is injured fighting in France, Meghan enlists her fellow Harvey Girl waitresses to sew a Red Cross signature quilt to raise money for wounded doughboys. Local horse breeder Caleb McBride longs to join the battle, but the army won’t take him. Because he has kept his shameful infirmity a secret, the townsfolk have labeled him a coward and war profiteer. When Meghan uncovers his malady, her poor opinion of Caleb unravels. Can this beautiful seamstress find a way to mend his heart?
Rating: 4 stars

Click link to order and support this blog.

A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California 


Friday, November 2, 2012

More reviews

I'm almost caught are the last two that I've read and need to be reviewed.  Enjoy.

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

This one is a little out of my usual preferred genre-romance. Though there is a touch of romance, it is not at the core of the book. I enjoyed the story despite this "flaw" (LOL).

As with all of Cindy's books, the characters are well thought-out. Her writing makes you look past the obvious and see into a person's hurts, fears, and insecurities.

I look forward to book 2 The Winnowing Season (schedule for Spring 2013). I need to find out what happens to Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob, which was left open-ended in this story.

Back cover:

Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business.   
Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable.   
Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions. Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?

Rating: 4 stars

Threads of Faith by Andrea Boeshaar

I LOVED this book. A strong heroine who takes control over her life only to lose it again. 

I did not read book one, so I don't know what I missed (though I think I will have to go back and read it because I enjoyed this one so much).

I highly recommend this book.

Back cover:
Can Julianna and Daniel start a new life in a new country?Julianna Wayland is running for her life! She hides in a crate on London’s dock, only to be loaded onto a ship bound for America. During the voyage she meets Captain Daniel Sundberg, and by the time they reach New York’s harbor, she is certain she’s in love with him. The only problem is, Daniel has plans for himself—plans that don’t include her.
As Julianna struggles to find her way in a new world, will trouble from her past derail the life she is looking for?
Rating: 5 stars

Available at Amazon:

A Season for Tending
Threads of Faith