Second Chances: A Five-Star Review of The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

Have you ever wanted to rewrite your past?

Many times in our lives, we have made mistakes. Regrets follow us everywhere we go, and at one point or another we may have said to ourselves,  “If only I could turn back time…”

In this novel, three beautiful women will be granted an opportunity for a second chance no one wanted to miss.

Three women who have reached the age of forty, decided to meet each other for the second time in their lives- the first acquaintance being stuck in line in the Department of Motor Vehicles. Each women have their lives so crooked, they all wanted a reprieve. Staying in a summerhouse in Maine together was their chosen solution.

Ellie, once an art student, a pretty and petite lady, became a writer who was now unable to write for three years, who became as fat as a cow, and a wife whom her ex-husband has stolen everything from. Now, Ellie was so anxious of seeing the two ladies for when last she saw them, they were so beautiful, no words can describe them. And yet seeing them in the summerhouse gave her deep comfort. For when she saw them, they were even worse than she was.

Leslie, once a sexy, vibrant, ballerina, did not pursue her dreams and went back instead to Alan, her then boyfriend, now her husband. She was now a mother of two, one being a spoiled brat, the other much more like her- gentle and laid back. Obviously, she was not the beautiful woman they once saw at the Department of Motor Vehicles. (Oh but her story, the choices she made, and the things that happened thereafter will surely made you cry tears of joy!)

Madison, ah Madison. I think she had gotten the worst of all. Once a model, the most beautiful of three, she became a cigarette smoker, skin and bones, her eyes that of a zombie’s, and her lips as pale as chalk. And what made my heart ache was that due to an accident, she would not be able to bear a child.

Now, what made my heart reach out so blamelessly to both the writer and the characters was that the story is as true as it can get. Many times,we thought that beauty is long-lasting. We thought that cheerleader in your college (who was a bitch) would be even more popular when she gets old and yet, voila! Where is she now? We thought that nerdy-nerd in our class will not get anywhere and yet, why is she the most famous scientist of her day and age? We thought the beauty will last. Only love does!

No one knows what will happen, five to ten years from now. No one.

And the chance these three girls have for a lifetime, will not be surely missed.

Jude Deveraux, oh Jude is just plain amazing. Believe it or not, I have read almost all of her books and each one made me believe in second chances, good people, faith, and love. And this story, was- and will be always- a breath of fresh air from romances who have rakes for heroes, and fire-breathing dragons for heroines. Her characters are real! As real as they can get! And the story she weaves are the words of a genius!

A good read. A really great read indeed!

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: The Dream

Dear Readers,

Through the short course of time that I have been sharing my secrets with you, I have felt in my heart that we have come to know more about each other and that we have a lot in common. I have known for sure that you are a seeker of life, that you have a lot of questions that needed to be answered, and that you are seeking for a companion to walk with you through the various challenges that you are facing at this very moment. I also have come to know that you appreciate art, literature, poetry, and that you are a person with a soft heart. I know all these things as you read through your screens with a great patience and a great desire to understand.

Now, I want to share an experience with you that I have only shared with only one person in my life- my best friend, Abigail. I felt that it was too personal an experience for me to share, so I kept quiet for quite some time. But now, I am certain that the right time of God has come.

I was browsing through Facebook one night when my eyes happened to chance upon a video uploaded by, “I’m So Blessed Daily,” entitled, “Little Child Prophesying Jesus (The King) is coming.”

It was most unlikely. I have never heard of it. But I know it was not impossible. And so I clicked the video and played it.

“He’s coming,” the child- little more than a toddler- said, raising her index finger up as she looked up at the ceiling.

“He’s coming! He’s coming! He’s coming on the way,” then and there, I had goosebumps frolicking all over my arms.

“Abba up. Push you up! He said, the King, bring me a present,” the child continued giddily without a hint of any jest in the child’s part.

Tell me, what were you saying?” The mother said, asking the child what she was talking about, from which the child answered, “On the air, He’s coming!” She said, looking now at her mother as she pointed up again.

The King’s Abba up,” she continued, “The King’s showing Abba up!

Who’s coming?” Her mother asked once again and the child’s reply was still the same, “He’s coming!” only now, she followed it with a hearty laughter and put her head down on the carpet three times as if the little child was bowing down.

Before the three-minute video ended, an explanation was provided by the mother. The explanation went as follows:

“Lily’s mother, Chelsea Explained! At midnight, hours before this video was taken, Lily woke up, knocking and talking at her door. She was saying with urgency, ‘Something’s coming! Something’s coming!’ She elaborated on her dream vision later in the day. I managed to catch this video. At 18 seconds after I take out her paci (pacifier), and I say, ‘What?’ she says, ‘The King.’ It also sounds like she says, ‘Abba up, push you up,’ and ‘Join Abba up,’ several times. You can’t make this stuff up! I didn’t teach her this. Excuse the poor angle. I was attempting to sneakily turn on and hide the camera. At the end, she bows 3 times… the number God uses for confirmation. The next day, she brought it up again (while I was getting her breakfast). She said to me, ‘Mama, open up, because God is coming.’ And then proceeded to knock on the wall 3 times. No, I couldn’t teach her this. She just turned 2 and is just starting to really come up with diverse words and sentences clearly. Her best understanding of God prior to this was nightly bedtime prayers, and we had yet to discuss the rapture or His second coming with her (being that she is of course so young).

Before the video officially end, Bible passages appeared on the screen saying,

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams. Your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)

“At midnight, they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!'” (Matthew 25:6)

After watching the video, I immediately shared it through my Facebook account as I revel at the thought of the King coming.

And then another thought occurred to me which had made me stare up in space, dumbfounded.

I have experienced the same thing before. I have dreamt a dream I could never ever forget and I think it also has the same message with the child- Lily’s- prophesy, although the dream was entirely different from hers.

I dreamt of it on July 29, 2015. The date was noted July 31, 2015 on my phone, but I knew it happened on a Wednesday probably July 29. I knew it because I was writing a paper requirement early in the morning for Philosophy of Language scheduled every Wednesdays, and I fell asleep with that paper in mind, only to wake up with a dream that never left my heart.

The dream started as if I was running. I felt my chest rising up and down in my sleep as I run and run, searching for something in my dreams. I was crying, gasping for breath, searching of what, I do not know.

Until I came about a huge, white tent with its flaps firmly closed. It loomed in front of me. I halted in front of it and knew that inside this tent was what I was looking for. I quickly opened it and was astonished with what I saw.

An angel. An angel with golden hair and a full suit of armor filled with flecks of gold. His white, huge wings covered his face as he was hanging on a ceiling of the tent with ropes so as to not let him fall.

And what bothered me was that below him were angels encircling him, kneeling with heads bowed down. (I assumed they were angels because they were wearing the same suit of armor like his). And that was when I found out that the angel hanging on the ceiling of the tent was not moving. He was so still. Because he was dead.

That was when I came out of the dream with a quick opening of my eyes and the quick pounding of my heart. I was oblivious to the thought back then. I did not know what it meant and prior to this, I had had my share of dreams I do not know the meaning of. Besides, back then, I thought it was too short a dream to give mind to.

But I was completely boggled. I was curious and agitated, imagining constantly that, maybe, the dead angel in that dream is my own guardian angel who was killed by the sins that I committed. Or worse, that it symbolizes me.

And so I Googled it and Mr. Google gave me a lot of answers one of which greatly struck me.

Repent was at the center of the dream. I am not certain really what God wants to tell me, but after reading one article from about Angels, I was reminded of my shortcomings and my bad habits and my need to repent. The article says:

“If you dream of angels, it represents the dislocation in your soul. Usually angels represents chastity, innocence, and purity. Make sure you heard what the angels were trying to say to you in your dream, as this could be the main notification and key to your happy life and what you should do to reach that happiness.

The other meaning of seeing angels in your dream could be that you are behaving irresponsibly without thinking of important things. 

…it is a demand to repent.”

After reading those, and after I have watched Lily’s prophesy of the King on Facebook, I knew for sure what God wanted to tell me and what God wanted me to share to you.

Repent. For He is coming!

No one knows for sure when, but He is coming and we should be ready. These visions say something. I am glad that God talked to me through that dream. I praise Him! Truly, I felt honored that our Father talked to me though that simple gesture of His to talk to me through the dream. That partnered with two-year-old Lily’s dream and the dreams of a lot of the servants of God, are all saying something to us. Let us listen to it- to Abba, our Father- and keep it on our minds and in our hearts.

Abba up!


With love,

The Little Bonnie Lass



The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: The Battle

Dear Readers,

Hi! Let me start this blog post by mentioning that I am a Communications student specializing in, well…. communications. And I will not start by ranting about how people degrade this course by saying things like, “There are no job opportunities related to that course! Why take it in the first place?” Besides, this is not what it’s all about, although, maybe (and hopefully) you can get glimpses of how important and substantial and significant this course is.

Now, then, to get to the point, this blog post is all about how “media” (social media, newspapers, magazines, films, etc.) can influence a Christian’s way of life and how a Christian should utilize and tread upon it carefully.

Yesterday, my bestest friend shared with me a story. It was all about a video she watched once in YouTube by John Ramirez who was a Satanist turned into God’s own man. In his testimony, he said that he was a devil worshiper for 25 years. John Ramirez’ father was a Satanist; thus, he was brought up to be one as well. He was taught different kinds of black magic, witchcraft, tarot card reading and even worse, was taught how to kill people to completely turn back to God. In the video, he described “Satan’s Tactics” to take you away from God and to turn back. “To paralyze” was his term for his neighbors to deceive them into thinking that God is just a “fantasy”, a “product of one’s own imagination.” Ramirez went to describe the different media Satan and his disciples use to deceive people, to gain followers whom they will lead and will lead other people into destruction.  And what caught my attention was the part on how Satan uses the different types of media to destroy the lives of everyone.

Say for example the different films people love to watch. There are certain features in there Satan uses to take our mind away from the truth God instilled in us. Witchcraft, prostitution, murder, pornography, lies, darkness, infidelity, hopelessness, so on and so forth. Even in an “innocent” cartoon or game applications children love to play, there are certain features like murder, thievery, and curses that are hidden from our sight but are secretly deceiving our minds. Social media has its evils as well, taking our minds away from God, making us vain, and making us selfish.

But then, John Ramirez heard God’s voice. And he listened to Him, taking him back from the darkness and finally, into the light. Of course, I am sure it did not happen in a whiplash. But it did happen. Through God’s will, time, and help. His miracles are true!

In this, we see the power of media. How media is used for evil in ways we did not know exist. And so as “media practitioners,” we need to be aware and to be careful on how to utilize these kinds of media. Be observant. Be fierce in the battle of which we are fighting. Know that God does not want to see us wallow in the pits of fire and darkness. He wants us in His realm, with His angels, with Him.

Do not be deceived.

I know. It is difficult. But have no doubt. God can help us. And I, as a servant of God, endeavors to be sensitive and to fight the good fight of this battle against evil. Let us use the talents God gave us as an instrument in fighting for God and with God and to win more souls for the citizens of heaven to prevail.

With love, 

The Little Bonnie Lass

P.S. Let us help each other.

Painting by Christine Wu

An Excerpt

An Excerpt from The Little Bonnie Lass by Maria Marie Maksimov, A Novel: Starlight

They stayed on top of the glen a little while longer, staring at the stars that made up most of the dark skies. He never stared at those little flecks of gold dusts before. For him, they were nothing but exactly that: dusts. And it was a waste of time wondering why they were stranded there, just staring down at them, during the dead of the night.

But, he figured, they were much more than dusts splattered up on a blanket of satiny sky now that he was with the little bonny lass. The stars became much more than creatures that blinked down upon them to mock them. Aye, he thought, those creatures mocked them, for the people could not reach them. It was not physically possible for a lowly creature to reach such a beauty, and yet such a beauty kept on appearing every night, humbling themselves to try and reach down further until they kissed the ground.

In between the songs the owls make when they awoke and the whisper of the wind, he prayed, thanking God for the stars each night, for another chance to see them twinkling, blinking down at him, not to mock him this time, but to remind him how blessed he was just to be alive. Just to be breathing. Just to have the little lass beside him.

Aye. He missed her, alright.

Even when she annoyed him with her questions.



“Why do people kiss?”

He snorted and choked in his own breath. Why do children have to ask the oddest questions?

“Well,” he cleared his throat, “because they like it? Why do you ask?”

She twisted clumsily to peer at his face, “I saw Big Ben kiss Oona yesterday. Oh! I hate him too! He’s taking my only friend away! And then I saw Mama kissing Papa in the hallway a while ago. And then Anne. You know what I think?”

“What?” He asked.

“That they don’t really like kissing, but they should because that’s what Old McNally said, and they do it even if they don’t like it because they love each other.”

An Excerpt from The Little Bonnie Lass by Maria Marie Maksimov. A Scottish Highland Novel in the making.

Illustration entitled Let’s Go See The Stars print from original by JessicaIllustration. Retrieved from Pinterest

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass

The Secrets of the Little Bonnie Lass: I Don’t Know What Love Is.

Dear Reader,

Every single time a friend asks me for an advice when it comes to romantic relationships, I do not know what to do. I do not even know what to say. It was as if a big chunk of apple was stuck in my throat, and I was just waiting for it to choke me. And yet my friends approach me as if I was their fairy godmother who had every answer to their questions, without knowing that, really, I am as stuck as they are. Besides, I cannot really give an advice if I have not even experienced it, can I?

One thing I know about love- at least the one that resides in this world and the one that people know so well- is that no one can really fully grasp what it means. “Love,” as the world and our society describes, is like a maze- you do not know which way to go, really. It was all trial and error. Go this way and if there is no path on which to walk through, then go the other way. Sometimes, when one is completely lost, he or she stays on one place, waiting for someone to just rescue her and lead the way to the nearest exit. As simple as that. Or not. It is a mesh of beauty and ugly, honesty and lies, laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, vows and more vows, lies and more lies. And yet the world craves it like a drug for which they wanted to drown themselves in. People even kill for love, literally. And this part, I cannot understand.

Because- and the question that lingers in my mind is this- isn’t love supposed to bring peace and hope for everyone involved- or not- in it? Yes, I understand. You may be shouting at your screens right now saying, “You do not know what love is! You have not experienced it! You do not know what you are saying!”

But let me tell you this. Maybe, I know a different kind of love than you do, darling. Maybe what I know of love is not of this world but far from it. Maybe what I know is this…

The Way of Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. 

As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 

(1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

Now I have to say this. I do not believe that love is crazy and that it makes one blind. The love I know of will not turn anyone crazy and insane and blind. It will give clarity. It will give peace and purity, humility and kindness. It is not a loud scream or a frightening roar; it is a gentle wind, soothing to the flesh. It dries up tears; it whispers songs of forgiveness and grace. This is the love I know of. This is how I know it comes from God.

This is maybe why I still cannot relate to the ways of the world. I cannot fathom how the world describes love as if it was just another word in the dictionary. And yet even though I cannot fully grasp the way the world uses it, I still give the people I know a few words that will linger in their minds as they think of love.

If this love is true, you will not be wanting to move on.

I know this for sure, because love cannot be only experienced romantically- as in a relationship with the opposite sex. Love can be experienced with your family who supports you, your friends who give you a good laugh, your best friend who stands by you no matter what, your teacher who inspires you to work harder, and the God who gave you all these and more.

And so my next advice would be this: Wait. 

Experience God first and then wait. Let Him teach you the way of love, and then, when you are ready in His time, experience this love growing and extending to the people around you.

And remember…

If this love is true, you will not be wanting to move on.

With love,

The Little Bonnie Lass

Flower crown girl original watercolor painting by OliveTwigStudio. Retrieved from Pinterest


Asymmetry: A Five-Star Review of Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan


Who said there was balance between the Dragon and the Witch? Everything was out of balance. Everything was out of place. From the time they met, there was no equilibrium. The world shifted on its axis and they claimed it for what it was- what it is: Love.

Grayson Hawthorn is a man of dark past. His mother gave him away; his father resented him; his stepmother was oblivious to his suffering, rage seeping through her veins. No one loved him. Or he thought no one did. Until he met the fiery Kira Dallaire, a sharp-tongued woman without a dollar to her name, well, except that of what her grandmother left her, which all started this love affair. These two people are both desperate to save themselves, all they have left, and the people who depend upon them for a living. And so when the only option left was to depend upon each other, one benefitting the other, they both shared in an experience neither of them could ever forget.

I loved how, like the Archer’s Voice, every word fell into place as if the full-length novel was written in one sitting. Every detail supported the other until it made a fantastic work of art. The author breathed life into the characters, enabling its readers to capture every emotion, every heart and soul of the story.

The characters were also woven beautifully. I cried with them, laughed with them, and even got angry and crazy with them. Even Walter and Charlotte has their own story to tell and a love they had for a sad boy who was stuck in a maze of life and hardship.

In all honesty, I found the story depressing in one point, which is somehow good in one way or the other, because only then will we know that a story written by someone far away from us, can touch us as if she was right beside us.

Unlike the Archer’s Voice, I also felt that the story was more fast paced. Seen on Archer Hale’s story, a standalone of the same author, was an evident build up which made the story all the more true in its content and logic. While Grayson’s Vow has the vibe of being straight to the point, it still gave out a certain truthness as if it may really happen in real life. Eitherway, if I am to choose, I would have to say that I loved how Archer’s story was written- a slower paced story with an evident buildup.

All in all, Grayson’s Vow did not lack in its beauty. And it’s asymmetry just proved how love works truthfully in everyone’s lives. This is Grayson’s Vow.

Etymon and Polaroid

The Baby and the Needle

I was in the hospital when a nurse took my arm and told me to breathe deeply as she placed a needle on the inside of my elbow and took a sample of my blood.

I felt nothing.

I found myself staring nowhere, staring at nothing, pondering everything.

As I was waiting for the result of the test, a mother entered the hospital carrying her daughter. The mother sat at the same spot I took earlier and placed the little girl on her lap. And when the needle entered the little girl’s gentle flesh, the child whimpered and wailed, flailing her tiny arms and legs wildly, setting everyone in distress.

But what I noticed was the play of emotions on the mother’s face. A mixture of both hope and love as she closed her eyes as if in prayer.

And just then, I know that my thoughts and hers were one and the same.

“If I could only take your pain as my own, I will. I will.”

Words by Maria

Illustration entitled “Mother and Child Bond” by Steve Hanks (1949, American). Retrieved from Pinterest