I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Memories of Christmases Long Ago

Do you find this time of year nostalgic?  I do.  I think back on the years gone by, all the memories of happy family times and traditions.  There is one that I would love to share with you today.

When I was in grade one, I coloured a Santa, which my parents placed in a focal point on our tree.  Daddy was so proud of me, since I "stayed between the lines."  I coloured that picture in 1955, and it was placed lovingly by my mother on their tree every year until 1988, her last Christmas on earth.  The picture was passed on to me, a precious memory.

In 1983, our daughter Heather was in grade one, so I thought it would be great if she would colour a picture of Mrs. Claus to join Santa on her grandparents' tree.  Needless to say, they were thrilled.

Then in 1985, Leanne turned 6, and I wondered what she could colour to go along with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  Why, of course, their children!  I found the perfect picture for Leanne.  Once again, her grandparents were ecstatic, and the three pictures were placed front row, centre stage on their tree.

We still find a treasured place for those three pictures, all coloured with love.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BOOK REVIEW - "The Mystery of the Cross"

The Mystery of the Cross
Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life
by Judith Couchman

As a Christ-follower and a lover of both ancient history and art history, I was delighted to discover this treasure of a book. In forty short chapters, Judith includes a wealth of knowledge gleaned through intensive study. Each chapter includes photos and/or line drawings, helping the reader to visualize what is being described.

Judith invites the reader "to read intriguing stories about the sign of the cross, ponder their meaning and consider how these anecdotes speak to (us). She also suggests various ways in which the book can be used, such as" for art appreciation, historical information, personal meditation, spiritual formation, small group discussion, Lenten observation and worship insights. Reading this book will help the reader understand and appreciate the cross's spiritual work in the world and its power for everyday life."

This book is not meant for a quick read, but is one to which I will be returning again and again. Each chapter concludes with personal insight, relating the topic to our daily life experience. Beautifully written and illustrated, Judith has given us a treasure in this book!

Judith Couchman is the author or compiler of more than 40 books, and she teaches art history part-time for the University of Colorado. Her books include Art of Faith, The Shadow of His Hand and Designing a Woman's Life.

Published by Formatio, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, the book is available through the InterVarsity Press website at www.ivpress.com. It is also available through other on-line retailers, such as www.amazon.com and www.christianbooks.com , as well as through local bookstores.

Note:  I wish to thank Judith for providing a copy of her book for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review - Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana

From the back cover: "Julia Cavanaugh has never left New York.  But in 1889, the young woman rides the orphan train west to deliver the girls in her care to new families.  After Julia's final stop in Montana, she plans to...head straight back east.  But upon arriving in the remote town of Lonesome Prairie, she learns to her horror that she is also supposed to be delivered into the hands of an uncouth miner who carries a bill of purchase for his new "bride."  Julia turns to a respected circuit preacher to protect her from the marriage, but with no return fare, no home, and few friends, her options are bleak.  What is God's plan for a lonely woman stranded in the middle of the vast Montana prairie?"

This book is wonderful!  Co-authors Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss have produced a story that goes straight to the heart.  The characters are well-developed, and we are led to feel with Julia as she faces leaving the girls she has come to love.  We also feel with her in her personal plight.  This is a 'must-have' to add to the collection of anyone who loves historical fiction set in the prairies.

Love Finds You is a series based in actual towns.  Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana?  As described in the book, it can be "purty lonely", and if a local describes it in those terms, imagine how it must have been for Julia, coming all the way from New York by train!

Love Finds You in Lonsesome Prairie, Montana, is published by Summerside Press, and is due to be released on December 1, 2009.  It is available at local Christian bookstores as well as through http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.christianbooks.com/.
For further information about Tricia, see http://www.triciagoyer.com/ .  You may contact Ocieanna via Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/

I wish to thank litFUSE for providing a copy of this book for me to review.  The opinions expressed in the blog are my own.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Ron Hall and Denver Moore have written a follow-up to their New York Times best-seller, Same Kind Of Different As Me. 
The back cover copy reads in part:
     "What Difference Do It Make? continues the hard-to-believe story of hope and reconciliation...Ron Hall and Denver Moore, unlikely friends and even unliklier coauthors-a wealthy fine-art dealer and an illiterate homeless African American-share the hard-to-stop story of how a remarkable woman's love brought them together."

This book, written along with Lynn Vincent, offers more of the story.  Many people's lives have been impacted and changed as a result of reading the first book, and a number of anedotes are shared in the second book.  The challenge for each of us is that WE can make a difference in our world.

"What Difference Do It Make? beautifully showcases God's ability to work through even the most awkward and painful circumstances to bring forth amazing and redemptive changes.  Deeply moving but never sappy or sentimental, it answers its own question with a simple and emphatic answer.  What difference can one person (or two) make in the world?  A lot!"

I was deeply moved by this book.  We are part of a church-planting team, working in an area densely populated with refugees and new immigrants, and our inner city is filled with homeless people.  After reading this book, I have a new perspective and a renewed compassion to show them the love of Jesus in practical ways.  I have discovered through the words of Denver Moore the difference between helping and being a blessing.  This is a book that I am recommending for our ministry staff to read and take to heart.  I look forward to hearing more from Ron and Denver as they continue to make a difference in the name of Jesus.

Published by Thomas Nelson, this book is available through http://www.christianbooks.com/ and http://www.amazon.com/  and at book retailers everywhere.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We are the grateful recipients of our neighbour's bountiful apple harvest.  I have made a lot of applesauce today, and the aroma is filling our home.  I want to share a favourite recipe, which is not only delicious, but so easy.


Place applesauce in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg, as desired.  Cover with crumble topping, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until topping is brown.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


One measure flour
2 measures brown sugar, lightly packed
3 measures oatmeal
Stir together, then add 1 measure margarine or butter.  Mix until crumbly.

This topping can be made in any amount, and whatever isn't used may be frozen in freezer bags or containers.  Great to have on hand for an extra-quick dessert.

Note:  You may use sliced fresh apples, peaches, blueberries, or any fruit you desire in place of the applesauce.  Adjust baking time accordingly.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

FIT TO BE TIED - newest book by Robin Lee Hatcher just released!

Fit To Be Tied is the second book in Robin Lee Hatcher's Sisters Of Bethlehem Springs series.  It is now available through http://www.christianbooks.com/

Robin's website is www.robinleehatcher.com. Be sure and check out Robin's other novels, including the first in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, A Vote Of Confidence.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey releases today!


List of Participants in Mary DeMuth's Blogtour for "A Slow Burn" - Check out these reviews of Mary's newest release!

Admissions of a Suburban Philosopher

All are welcome here

A Musing Mom Speaks

A Sandy Path Book Reviews

A Writer’s Journey

Adventures of the Duncan Six

AP Free Writing 101

Arkansas Dreams

Aspire2 Blog

Awesome God…Ordinary Girl

Be Your Best Mom

Beams of Light Ministries

Bell Whistle Moon

Blog Tour Spot

Bluebonnet in the Snow

Book Nook Club

Caregiving and Beyond

Carla’s Writing Cafe

Carly Bird’s Home

Carma’s Window

Cheaper by the Half Dozen

Cindy’s Stamping and Reviews

Communicating the Vision


Critty Joy

Declaring His Marvelous Work

Drive Home Productions


Elizabeth Bussey


Fiction for the Restless Reader


First Impressions

Five Bazillion and One

Fresh Brewed Writer

Gatorskunz and Mudcats

Heading Home

His Reading List

i don’t believe in grammar

J’s Spot

Joy in the Journey

Karen R. Evans

Kristin Early


Latte with Me

Lit Fuse

Literary Fangirl Book Reviews

Luxury Reading

Merrie Destefano

Mocha with Linda

Moments with MarLo

Musings by Lynn

Musings of Edwina

My Alabaster Box

My Life Message

Net’s Book Notes

Niki Nowell

One Desert Rose

Paper Bridges

Passionate for the Glory of God

Pollywog Creek

Ranunculus Turtle

Real Hurts, Real Hope

Rebecca Barlow Jordan

Refresh My Soul


Scraps and Snippets

Sheila Deeth

Sherri Woodbridge

Sky-High View

Snapshot’s Photoblog

Surviving the Chaos

The 160-acre Woods

The Gospel Writer

The Harrison Kaleidoscope

The Heart of Writing

The Stubborn Servant

The View from Here

This That and The Other

To Be Beautiful

Unreasonable Grace

Walking Daily


Where Romance Meets Therapy

Word Vessel

Write 2 Ignite

Write on the Knows

Writer’s Wanderings

Writing to the heart of the matter

A SLOW BURN by Mary DeMuth releases today!

"A Slow Burn" by Mary DeMuth is the second book in her Defiance, Texas series.  It picks up where "Daisy Chain" left off.  Daisy Chance, a young teen, has been missing, and is found dead.  "A Slow Burn" centres on the tragic circumstances of Daisy's mother, Emory Chance.  The book deals with the harsh realities of life.  Emory blames herself and her poor choices for the tragedy of her daughter's disappearance and death.  She is weighted down with guilt, feelings of rejection and not being good enough.  But God is pursuing Emory with His relentless love and boundless grace.  Will Emory accept that love and grace, finding redemption and healing in the midst of her brokenness?
This is not light reading, but is at times disturbing, as Mary probes deeply into the characters' lives.  This is a story to be read slowly and thoughtfully.  I look forward to the continuation of this story of hope as it unfolds, leaving us with the message that no one is beyond the reach of our Redeeming God.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Kyria.com is a new webzine that takes the place of Today's Christian Woman, which is no longer being published.  Kyria is full of useful information, downloads, etc.  Do go to thier website and check it out!  The article below is written by Lisa Harper, well-known speaker and writer.

Great Question: When is it okay to leave a church? | Kyria.com

Great Question: When is it okay to leave a church? | Kyria.com

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


A Perfect Mess is a new book by well-known writer and speaker, Lisa Harper.  Lisa speaks openly of struggles to which we can all relate, and she does it in a humorous way.  She is gifted in bringing God's Word to bear on real-life circumstances.  For further information, and to read an excerpt, go to Lisa's website, http://www.lisaharper.net/.  You will be encouraged!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Do you remember plucking daisy petals?  I do!  "He loves me, he loves me not.." and so on.  If the end result was not to my liking, I tossed that daisy aside and picked another one.  This continued until at last, I had the one remaining petal that told me what I wanted to hear.

It is the desire of the human heart to be loved.  There was a cross-stitched picture which hung in our living room once which said, "To love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth."  If only someone would really love us, we would be happy, we muse.  But hopes are often dashed, and our 'love tank' is running on empty.We toss that 'daisy' aside, and reach for another.

But there is good news - GREAT news!  There is One Whose love for us is like no other, an unconditional, unfailing, stubborn love.  His name is Jesus.

When we think of daisy petals, and begin to pluck them from the flower, we can say from the bottom of our grateful hearts, "He loves me, He loves me, He loves me", and when we come to the end of the petals, we find that He loves us still.  And that is what I really needed to hear all along!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


For those of you who enjoy historical fiction, do check out the following site, which showcases some of the books by well-known author, Tricia Goyer. Her new book, The Swiss Courier, is soon to be released, and promises to be an intriguing read.

Historical Fiction by Author Tricia Goyer

Historical Fiction by Author Tricia Goyer

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Monday, September 7, 2009


Fear. We all can relate. Max Lucado writes on the subject from his heart, with compassion and sensitivity. Not preachy, Max's writing hits the mark and addresses issues where we often ask "Am I the only one?"

Max asks us to imagine our life without fear, and goes on to say how such a life is indeed possible. "Can you imagine your life without fear? Imagine the day when you can trust more and fear less."

In this well-written book, Max addresses various issues, such as:

Why Are We Afraid?
The Fear of Not Mattering
Fear of Disappointing God
Fear of Running Out
Fear of Not Protecting My Kids
Fear of Overwhelming Circumstances
Fear of Worst-Case Scenarios
Fear of Violence
Fear of the Coming Winter(Financial Issues)
Fear of Life's Final Moments
Fear of What's Next
Fear That God Is Not Real
Fear of Global Calamity
Fear of God Getting Out of My Box

Each chapter is full of Scriptural illustrations and texts, and there is a study guide included, suitable for personal or group use.

"Fearless" is a book which I highly recommend for everyone. Published by Thomas Nelson, it is available from www.amazon.com and www.christianbooks.com, and through your local Christian bookstore.

For further information, see www.thefearlessbook.com, and www.maxlucado.com. Follow Max on Twitter at Twitter.com/MaxLucado.

Fearless by Max Lucado | The Fearless Times

Fearless by Max Lucado | The Fearless Times

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Having just finished reading this wonderful book by best-selling author, Robin Jones Gunn, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Many girls have followed Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen and Katie Weldon over the years, and now Robin has written the third book in the Katie Weldon series.

This book does not give simplistic answers, but delves deeply into the emotional challenges faced by college-age youth. The characters are all well-developed and we can relate to their struggles as they determine to make wise choices. Throughout the book, we see the power of true friendship, and what it means to be a 'victim of grace'.

Robin's writing is such that she can address the issues faced by youth with a heart full of warmth and understanding. Those already acquainted with her writing will be eager to pick up a copy of this latest book, and many new readers are in for a treat as they have the joy of discovering these books by a beloved author.


4 the Love of Books
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Blog Tour Spot
Book Nook Club
Carlybird’s Home
Christy’s Book Blog
Come Meet AusJenny
Deus e Fiel
Drive Home Productions
Great Christian Reads
Karen R. Evans
Life is one daily adventure
Lighthouse Academy
Mama Kenz Studio
My Christian Fiction Blog
My Spot
Red Said Paisley
Sherry Kyle
The 160-acre Woods
The Friendly Book Nook
The Gospel Writer
The Writing Road
WORD up!
About the Author:

Robin Jones Gunn
Robin Jones Gunn is the much-loved author of Peculiar Treasures, On a Whim, and the Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, College Years, Glenbrooke, and Sisterchicks® series, with over 4 million books sold worldwide. Robin loves to travel and often speaks locally and internationally. She and her husband live near Portland, Oregon, where the view outside her window is green all year round.

Learn more about Robin at http://robingunn.com/.

Coming Attractions
By Robin Jones Gunn
ISBN – 0310276586
304 Pages
PUB DATE: July 2009
Coming Attractions by Robin Jones Gunn.

In this third book in the Katie Weldon Series, Katie is rolling into her final semester at Rancho Corona with one major question for her boyfriend: “Are you serious?” She’s come to the conclusion that she really, truly loves Rick and it’s time for him to make a declaration about his future intentions. The biggest obstacle to such a conversation is the craziness of their schedules. Katie’s close friend, Nicole, is spending more time with Rick than Katie is, and the once mysterious Eli is now the person to whom Katie is opening her heart. What is happening to her should-be-predictable world?

Soon Katie finds she’s the one who is asking herself, “Are you serious?” Katie ponders what that means in her life-from her relationship with Rick to what she plans to do after graduation. Could it be that God is asking her the same question about her relationship with Him?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Reviews

Work In Progress


Writing can be a slow process, but it is rewarding to see the story unfolding, and to experience some 'aha' moments now and then. Writing historical fiction requires a lot of research. Although not all the details can or should be included in the book, it is necessary for the author to become familiar with the details so that the story will flow and the characters will come alive. I have watched a number of documentaries, read countless memoirs and other first-person accounts of the events, and looked at hundreds of photos. The photos of the children have etched themselves in my mind. I feel with them, cry with them, laugh with them as we walk together through their story. This coming week, I will interview a man who lived in London during the war, and look forward to his story. One can read about certain events, but hearing them first-hand brings it all to life. I am enjoying the experience of researching and writing my first novel, and it is my hope that the readers will also enjoy it. It is a labour of love on behalf of the 'kids' and their descendants.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Work In Progress


Let me introduce you to my work in progress. I am writing a historical fictionalized account based on the Kindertransport. The Kindertransport was a program arranged by a group of individuals in Britian. The purpose was to rescue children, mainly Jewish, from almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis. The transports took place in 1938-39, and had to stop when war was declared. In all, approximately 10,000 children were rescued from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia, all of whom survived the atrocities of war. They came to be know as "The 10,000 That Hitler Missed."

The book focuses on the story of an 8 year old Jewish girl from Berlin, who is taken to live with a family in London. Many emotions surface as life goes on against the background of war and separation. What will happen to family left behind? How will she be treated by her foster family? And will she again face evacuation and be sent away from her new 'family'? What will happen in the post-war years? Is there hope in the midst of heartbreak? Stay tuned as this dramatic story unfolds.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sisterchicks Down Under


Robin Jones Gunn has written a delightful story of two women who meet in New Zealand. Kathy, whose husband, Tony, is on assignment with a film studio, meets Jill, a widow. Little did they expect to become close friends in a short time. As the story unfolds, the two sisterchicks have adventures in both New Zealand and Australia. The story is both heartwarming and side-splitting. One moment Robin has us laughing, and the next, we are reaching for the nearest tissue! Join the sisterchicks as they discover the power of God's love and the blessing of friendship.

Robin has written a series of sisterchick books. Don't miss a single one! And do check out her website, fan page, Facebook page and on-line store. You will be glad you did!