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.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs - Book Review

Mine is the Night, the latest historical fiction by beloved author, Liz Curtis Higgs, is the continuation (and conclusion), of the story which began in Here Burns My Candle.
Set in Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders in 1746, it is a superb retelling of the biblical story of the Book of Ruth. Liz is a master storyteller, and her descriptions engage all our senses. From the first page till the last, the reader becomes a part of life in Selkirk and surrounding countryside. Liz has also developed characters so real that they seem like friends. I want to join them for tea! We are involved in the whole gamut of emotions, and I found myself laughing with them, or shedding tears as the story unfolded. (Be sure to keep a box of tissues at hand!)

Liz has brought the story alive through the use of Scottish dialogue, and has included a glossary at the back of the book. Her love for all things Scottish, as well as her attention to historical details, add a rich dimension.

I love how Liz uses the thoughts of the characters to take us behind the scenes. We are left in no doubt as to what they are thinking. Her use of Scripture flows, and is always appropriate for the situation. An epigraph (quote at the beginning of each chapter) is perfectly suited to what follows.

Although the story is set in 1746 Scotland, and based on the ancient Book of Ruth, the truths are timeless - betrayal, deception, regret, hope, redemption, forgiveness, restoration, love, and joy. These are elements to which we can relate.

In this tender story, we see evidence of God at work, bringing about change and transformation in the human heart. Even as the love story unfolds in Mine is the Night, we can see that behind it all is  the portrayal of our Kinsman-Redeemer, the One who alone can transform our hearts.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For those familiar with Liz's writing, I believe you will find this book her best fiction to date! I look forward to all that is to follow!

Published by WaterBrook Press, this book is available through http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.christianbook/ distributors.com. http://www.barnes&noble.com/ and your favourite bookseller.

Follow Liz on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to visit her website at http://www.lizcurtishiggs.com/

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Is In My "To Be Read" Pile

At the moment, we are busy with the sale of Ivy Cottage. I look forward to having this behind us, and to getting back into my 'work in progress'. In the meantime, I am continuing with book reviews, but on a limited basis.

Here is what I am currently reading.


  • Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver. This is a wonderful book. I am reading it slowly, absorbing the truth that is revealed, as well as the personal challenges presented by the author. Joanna's writing is amazing and unforgettable, and I will be giving a full review later this month, as part of a bloggers' book tour. Stay tuned!

  • I am looking forward to Mine is the Night, by renowned author, Liz Curtis Higgs. This continuation (and conclusion) of the story begun in Here Burns My Candle releases tomorrow! It is much anticipated by thousands of her fans. I can't wait to see how the story of Ruth and Boaz plays out in the Scottish Borders in 1746. Liz is already well known for her Scottish historical fiction through her Lowlands of Scotland series (Thorn in my Heart, Fair is the Rose, Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes). In that series, Liz retells the stories of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, and Dinah, set in 18th century Galloway and Dumfries, as well as the Isle of Arran. A full review of Liz's latest will follow once I have read the book.

  • I am also anxious to read No Safe Haven by Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse. This mother/daughter writing team base their book in Alaska.  This is the first of three in the series. The Woodhouse family is known to many through the program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Kim has written about her family and their struggles with Kayla's very rare disease. It is called Welcome Home, Woodhouse Family. It is both heart-breaking and heart-warming, and will challenge you in your own struggles. A review will follow, of course!

I would love to hear what YOU are reading! Please leave a comment. Thanks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz - Book Review

 Taken from back cover:

Beauty, like truth, is enduring. But only one can set you free. Maggie Black came of age in the lush, fragrant lowcountry of South Caroline-spending her days with her beloved brother and the boy she would grow up to marry. But when a stranger arrived one summer, Maggie couldn't imagine the evil he would bring with him. And though she escaped with her life, the ramifications of that fateful summer would alter all of their lives forever.

Now some eighty years later, Maggie and her husband George are spending their remaining days in a nursing home, helpless as age slowly robs Maggie of her ability to communicate. When a mysterious package arrives, followed closely by a stranger whose identity haunts them, Maggie and George are hemmed in by a history they'd rather forget.

As the truth reveals itself, George knows he must face the past and its lifetime of repercussions. It's the only way to free himself and his precious wife-if it's not too late.

The Inheritance of Beauty is a rich and enchanting story about age and the ability of true beauty to transcend one's life.

My review:

The Inheritance of Beauty is a tenderly written story of beauty which never fades, the true beauty which comes from a person's character. The story line bounces back and forth between 1929 Levy, South Carolina, and the present day. It is told from the points of view of Magnolia (Maggie), George, her husband,  Ash, Maggie's brother, and Annie, their caretaker. This could be confusing, if the author had not clearly noted who was speaking, as well as if it was in the past or present.

Nicole Seitz intricately weaves this story, vivid in its dialogue, humour, and description. We see the respect which is shown for the elderly, and the undying devotion of a spouse who isn't sure if his wife understands. From Maggie's point of view, we feel with her as she struggles to express herself when a stroke robs her of speech. Just reading this book gave me a clearer understanding of and respect for the emotions of a stroke patient. 

This is the first book I have read by this author, but I would be interested in reading others A reading Group Guide is included, which makes it a good option for a Book Club.

About the Author:

Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and the author of five critically acclaimed novels. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. Nicole is a speaker on writing, art, and faith; she's an exhibiting painter and has illustrated the covers for several of her novels. She teaches art at a local private school in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where she lives with her husband and two children. Nicole is currently working on her next book.

For more information go to Nicole's website. http://www.nicoleseitz.com 

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, as part of their Bloggers' Booksneeze program, and is available through www.amazon.com and wherver fine books are sold.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Excerpt from the back cover: Do you wish that you had a blueprint for a rich, fulfilling life? Many of us mistakenly think that if we were prettier, smarter, had less obligations, or a fulfilling romantic relationship we would, at last, be joyful and content.

Chasing after false illusions of success can propel us to make unwise and detrimental choices. Often we remain stuck in our uncertain reality because we don't know how to move forward. Blinded by our insecurity, we forget that God has the potential and power to intervene and guide us toward wiser, fulfilling choices for our future. If God can take a tiny, insignificant grain of sand and turn it into a unique, gorgeous pearl, then He can certainly turn our insecurities, fears, and worst decisions into a magnificent new beginning!

Subtitled "Making BOLD Choices to Enrich Your Life", international speaker and author of Beauty Unleashed, Heidi McLaughlin, has given us a very practical book. Heidi addresses issues to which we can relate.as she shares with her readers from her heart. It is clear that this book is born out of Heidi's personal experience, as well as from the experiences of friends.

Heidi clearly speaks God's truth into our struggles as someone who has "been there". She deals with such topics as obligation, breaking the "nobody barrier", real and fake friendships, resentment, blended families, instant pleasures or expectant waiting, comparing or contentment, regrets or rejoicing, shamed or radiant, panic or prayer, career or calling.

:Sand to Pearls would be excellent for personal or small group Bible study, as well as for a Book Club discussion. In addition to many Scriptures and personal examples, Heidi quotes from well-known authors, such as Liz Curtis Higgs, John Maxwell, Dr. Henry Cloud, H. Norman Wright and others.  Each chapter gives the reader 10-15 practical choices to enrich our lives, as well as a section aptly called "Stop and ask God to help you change sand to pearls". This is broken down as follows:

  • Scripture
  • Thanksgiving
  • Observation
  • Prayer
I found this book challenged me at a personal level, and heartily recommend it. Thanks, Heidi, for sharing the passion of your heart in such an insightful and personal way. Your life is a genuine reflection of the beauty of Jesus, Whom you so faithfully serve.

About the Author:

For over two decades, Heidi has been teaching, mentoring, and inspiring women to discover their most valuable, unexpected gift: the endowment of their genuine, beautiful self. This passion emerged through her personal discovery of how God restores all our brokenness and then helps us to unleash our full potential and beauty.

Heidi's favorite activity is sitting across from a woman over a freshly brewed cup of coffee and exchanging heart connection stories.

Heidi and Pastor Jack McLaughlin live in the beautiful vineyards of West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Heidi enjoys her blended family, which includes nine grandchildren.

Heidi uses her passion and gifts of speaking and writing in her ministry called "HEART CONNECTIONS". You can contact her through her web-page:: www.heartconnection.ca

Published by Deep River Books, Sand to Pearls is available through Amazon.ca, Christian Book Distributors.com, Barnes & Noble.com.and your favorite Christian bookstore.