Sunday, May 26, 2013

Flowers, a Plane Trip, and a Wonderful United Employee

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Recent travel to help at a conference had me away from my family on my birthday. And not just any birthday, but my 40th – which apparently should be a big deal. The kids and Rick wanted to do something special for me, so a gorgeous flower arrangement arrived at my hotel.

flowers from Rick

The only problem - I had a flight back home just two days later. Getting the bouquet  through security without checking a bag seemed like it would be a feat. Too may carry-ons and such.

It may seem silly, but I prayed that I wouldn’t have to leave them at the airport.

Flowers in hand, I checked in at the United ticket counter in Orlando and a sweet lady, Dee, immediately offered to help. She was also a wedding coordinator and quickly whisked the flowers from me, wrapped them in paper towels and took them into the back to put plastic wrap around the base as well.

And that small offering almost made me cry. It may have been a little thing that I prayed for, but God was in the little details – why do we ever doubt this?

It’s moments like these that remind me of the kindness of others and thankful for employees that go the extra mile to assist in making a trip for a customer that much better. {Thanks, United and Dee!}.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ring of Secrets by Roseanna White {Book Review}

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There are very few authors whose books I want to have on my shelf in both paperback and Kindle format. Roseanna White is one of those authors. Her books always pull me in with her detailed storytelling and a depth of writing that assures I will be pulling the books out in the future to read again {and again}.

I received a copy of Ring of Secrets from Harvest House to review on my blog, but purchased a Kindle copy on my own. All thoughts in this post are solely mine.

Ring of Secrets Roseanna White

The first time I heard about the Culpeper Ring series, I was intrigued. The first book in the series, Ring of Secrets,  is set in the late 1700’s during a period wrought with espionage. Patriots are forced to hide among British Loyalists, but information is secreted via a spy ring to help supply the Patriots with the latest movements and plans of the British.

Winter Reeves may be a female, but she is in the perfect spot socially to be a key information provider for the Patriots. She is courted by a British officer who continually tells her of upcoming plans, unaware that she isn’t the dimwitted girl many believe her to be.

Surrounding Winter are several individuals who are trying to discover the identity of the spies helping George Washington. Bennet Lane is one of those men, and he is immediately drawn to Winter. He sees beyond her demeanor and believes her to be an intelligent girl, and is determined to figure her out.

While Winter continues to share information with the spy ring, Bennet works on uncovering the identity of the spies – but feelings deeper than friendship begin to develop between the two. Neither is aware of the other’s true mission, but the closer they become, the harder the secrets are to keep.

My Thoughts on Ring of Secrets

There were so many different plot twists in Ring of Secrets that I wasn’t sure how this story was going to end. I knew how I wanted it to resolve, but honestly couldn’t tell if the book would or wouldn’t go in that direction!

Roseanna White pens characters that have are deep and more complicated than they first appear, with different layers and nuances that play into the storyline at the most surprising points. Her other novels have never disappointed me, and Ring of Secrets was no different.

With Ring of Secrets the first book in a new series, you will have to wait a bit to read more, but it is a book that can stand alone and also includes an epilogue so readers get a short peek into the lives of different character many years down the road {very fun!}.

Find Out More

I would highly recommend any of Roseanna White’s books, including Ring of Secrets. You can purchase it in paperback format or Kindle {as well as other formats via various vendors}. Be sure to stop by Roseanna White’s website as well for the latest book updates and blog posts.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If I Had a Sister

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There have been days that I wished I had a sister. Especially those days that my two brothers would get a little ornery. Truthfully, they still get a little lot ornery.

{And to my parents who may be reading this, you know how difficult they could be.}

Not that life is always perfect between two sisters – because I happen to have two little girls and know that there are fights. And tears. But there are also conversations at night. And times now and in the future that they will be each other’s encouragement and confidants.

mariska and me

For the past week and a half, one of my cousins from the Netherlands visited us along with her son. It’s never awkward when she visits – just a fun time that we sit and talk, shop together {and for me who dislikes shopping this is saying a LOT}, drink coffee and milkshakes, and just enjoy the time that we have together. 

If I could pick a sister, I would definitely pick her.

Today she left our home to head back to her family. Since she left, there have been tears flowing every now and then. The plane ride to visit her family may not be too long, but it isn’t a quick ride in the car.

There’s this ocean that literally separates us.

But – there is also Skype. And the phone. And if we can ever figure it out, we might actually be able to text each other too {those silly phone apps can be so iffy}.

I may not have a sister, but I do have an amazing cousin that I am so thankful to call a friend as well. And that is just as wonderful.

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