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.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


From back cover copy: "Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher-or the wife of one. But will Tressa have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands?

Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the passel of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once-and got his heart broken. But there's something about quiet Tressa's bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When trouble strikes, will Abel risk his life-and his heart-to help this eastern girl?"

"In A Hopeful Heart, Kim Vogel Sawyer gives her readers a warm and endearing story. It is a different slant on prairie romances. Characters are so well depicted, as is the setting in rural Kansas in the 1880's. I could easily slip right into the story and be at home, feeling with the girls and the ranchers in their struggles.Kim adds elements of mystery, suspense and heart-searching, which all blend together to make this a very satisfying read. She not only addresses the emotions involved as the girls begin to court their prospective husbands, but she also depicts the struggles which Tressa faces in coming to terms with issues of forgiveness and seeing that what she thought was just a second-best chance might indeed be God's best for her.This is a story which will stay in my heart for a long time. I highly recommend this heartwarming historical fiction, and look forward to the next book by this wonderful author."

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of fifteen novels, including several bestsellers.  Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational ReadersChoice Award. Kim is active in her church, and in her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy.  Kim and her husband live in Kansas.  They have three daughters and six grandchildren.  For further information, please see Kim's website at http://www.kimvogelsawyer.com/.

A Hopeful Heart is available now at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Thanks to the publisher and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. for providing a copy for review purposes.
This book is available at www.amazon.com.

Monday, June 21, 2010


For the last ten years, Jonathan Acuff has written advertising for clients ranging from the Home Depot to Chick-fil-A. In addition to his many day jobs, he also writes a blog called www.stuffchristianslike.net. He and his wife live with their two daughters outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Learn more about Jonathan at http://stuffchristianslike.net/.
From a media release:
Sometimes, we fall in love on mission trips even though we know we’ll break up when we get back. Sometimes, you have to shot block a friend’s prayer because she’s asking God to bless an obviously bad dating relationship. Sometimes, you think, “I wish I had a t-shirt that said ‘I direct deposit my tithe’ so people wouldn’t judge me.”

Sometimes, the stuff that comes with faith is funny.
This is that stuff.

Jonathan Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like is your field guide to all things Christian. In it you’ll learn the culinary magic of the crock-pot. Think you’ve got a Metro worship leader-Use Acuff’s checklist. Want to avoid a prayer handholding faux pas? Acuff has you covered.

Like a satirical grenade, Acuff brings us the humor and honesty that galvanized more than a million online readers from more than 200 countries in a new portable version. Welcome to the funny side of faith.

Abundantly illustrated with pen and ink sketches, this book is a quick read, but the points which the author makes will stay with you and cause you to think. Acuff takes a 'tongue in cheek' approach, but there is much that is recognizable in the situations he describes. Nothing escapes this author's notice, and everything is fair game.  He covers such topics as "Guide to Food Prayers", disguising gossip as prayer, styles of hand-raising, worship leaders score chart, confessing 'safe' sins, and on it goes.  Jonathan's wit and insights help us to ask the hard questions, and perhaps to see our Christian behavior in a new light.  This is a book to share with your church friends.  They will thank you for it, and after reading it, will know how to give you an appropriate hug!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan, for review purposes.  It is available through http://www.amazon.com/.

Following is a list of blog tour participants.  Be sure and read their reviews.

About dreams and broken glass

Arms of a Sister

Aspire2 Blog

Be Your Best Mom

Bell Whistle Moon

Blame it on the Loud Mouth Gene

Blog Tour Spot

Book Hooked

Book Junkie Confessions

Cafe Lily Book Reviews

Carly Bird’s Home


Critty Joy

Deus E Fiel

Emerging Mummy

God Restores


J’s Spot


life outside my window

Lighthouse Academy

Literary Fan Girl

Marc Whitman’s Blog

Musings by Lynn

Musings on This, That and the Other Thing

Paper Bridges

Readin’ N Writin’ with Patricia

Refresh My Soul

Sky-High View

Sunflower Faith

The Hahn Hunting Lodge

The Master’s Artist

The View From Here

The Writing Road

Uma Pirralha Na Universidade

Unretouched Photo

Monday, June 14, 2010

MAID to MATCH by DEANNE GIST - Book Review

Maid to Match is the first of Deeanne's books that I have read.  And what a beautiful book it is!  From exquisite cover through to its satisfying conclusion, this story is a delight.

Set in the early days of the 20th century, in and around Asheville, N.C. and Biltmore Estate, Gist takes us back to the Gilded Age and gives us a peek at the daily life of the Vanderbilts and their household staff.  The historical details are fascinating, as are the characters.  Gist draws the reader into the dilemma of the main characters. We share their pain and struggles, as well as their happiness, and laugh at their antics. I loved this book and look forward to picking up Gist's other books-A Bride Most Begrudging, The Measure of a Lady, Courting Trouble, Deep in the Heart of Trouble, A Bride in the Bargain, and Beguiled. I highly recommend this most enjoyable book.

Back cover copy: "From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled-by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs. But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations...and their hearts."

Deeanne Gist has a background in education and journalism, and she has a degree from Texas A&M. She and her husband live in Houston, Texas, and have four grown children.  Dee loves to hear from her readers at her website, http://www.iwantherbook.com/.  To learn more about Dee, go to http://www.deeannegist.com/.

"This fall, join bestselling author Deeanne Gist for a luxurious weekend at the beautiful Biltmore mansion in Asheville, North Caroline.  Let us whisk you away to the Gilded Age in a special readers getaway! Experience the romance of history up close as you relax with Dee and go behind the scenes of the Maid to Match world."  For more information, visit http://www.getawaywithdee.com/.

Follow Dee on Facebook!

Maid to Match is available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I wish to thank Graf-Martin Communications inc. and Bethany House for providing a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life In Defiance by Mary DeMuth - Book Review

In a town she personifies, Ouisie Pepper wrestles with her own defiance. Desperate to become the wife and mother her husband Hap demands, Ouisie pours over a simple book about womanhood, constantly falling short, but determined to improve.
Through all that self-improvement, Ouisie carries a terrible secret: she knows who killed Daisy Chance. As her children inch closer to uncovering the killer’s identity and Hap’s rages roar louder and become increasingly violent, Ouisie has to make a decision. Will she protect her children by telling her secret? Or will Hap’s violence silence them all?
Set on the backdrop of Defiance, Texas, Ouisie’s journey typifies the choices we all face—whether to tell the truth about secrets and fight for the truth or bury them forever and live with the violent consequences.
About the Author:
Mary DeMuth
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.
National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.
Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.
Learn more about Mary at http://marydemuth.com/.

My review:  Life In Defiance is the third book in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. It is told in the first person, from the point of view of Ouisie Pepper.The story is set against the background of a rural Texas community, where there are secrets. Some are kept hidden in Ouisie's home, while others are tucked away in her heart.  Ouisie personifies the struggles that many women face. Mary tells the story poignantly, as one who has experienced first-hand the plight of hurting women, as she and her husband have reached out to many of them. She writes transparently, from a heart filled with compassion and sensitivity. Life in Defiance is not a pretty story, but it exudes  truth and grace. The book is filled with emotion from beginning to end.  Mary dedicates the book to "drowning wives who want to fly", and shows that in spite of all the pain and ugliness, there is hope. It is Mary's desire and prayer that women be touched, and begin to find healing in the midst of their brokenness.

This book was provided by the publisher, Zondervan, for the purpose of review.  It may be purchased through http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.christianbooks.com/ and your favourite retailer.

This review is a part of the blogtourspot.com blog tour.  Check reviews by these other participants:
Latte Just 4 Me
Life in Review
Life on the Wild Side
Marci Seither
Mocha with Linda
Musings by Lynn
My Alabaster Box
My Book Addiction and More
Net’s Book Notes
One Desert Rose
Pix N Pens
Ponderings by Andrea
Refresh My Soul
Rose McCauley
Scraps and Snippets
Sherri Woodbridge
Sisterhood of Beautiful Warriors
Sprightly Amy Anne
Tasra Mar
The 160-acre Woods
The Christian Naturalist
The Hahn Hunting Lodge
This Mom’s Delight
This That and The Other
Unfinished Work
Walking Daily
Word Vessel
Writer for a Reader


Set in small town Georgia in the 1960's, This Fine Life is rich with details of that era.  For me, it was a trip down "Memory Lane."  I loved how the author wove so many aspects of the '60s into the story, giving me the feeling that I was actually living in that time and place.  There are many references to the music of the era, as well as dress, decor and daily life.  The story could have taken place in another location and time, but the setting and time chosen by the author gives a refreshing perspective.

The characters are well developed, and the depth of their emotions and struggles comes across clearly. 
This is a story of young love, happiness, disappointments and failures, longings and perseverance in spite of opposition.

What is a truly fine life?  The main characters, Mariette and Thayne, discover that the answer to that question is not as it seems at first.  This is a story that will have you laughing at times, and at other times crying and agnonizing right along with them, as they make choices that will change their lives forever. 

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker, a popular radio personality, and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken.  She is co-auther of the Potluck Club series and the Potluck Catering Club series.  She lives in Florida.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The book is available through http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.christianbooks.com/.