Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunflower Serenade

Sunflower Serenade by Tricia Goyer is the latest installment in the Home to Heather Creek series by Guideposts.

The days are long and lazy, the corn is high, the sunflowers are in bloom, and everyone in Bedford is gearing up for the biggest event of the summer: the annual county fair. Sam is skeptical about it, especially since his friend Jordan is visiting from San Diego. What if Jordan tells everyone back in California that Nebraska is boring? As Sam struggles to impress his old friend, Christopher is hard at work getting Toby ready for the fair's dog show, and Emily finds herself wrapped up in winning a blue ribbon with a new hobby. But when a Nashville music producer approaches Bob about using heather Creek to film a country star's new music video, he and Charlotte are faced with a dilemma. Will they allow the glamour and enticements of big-city life to encroach upon their peaceful home? Will the excitement of celebrity drown out the simple joys of summer?

You don't have to have read the previous books in the series to fall in love with Sunflower Serenade. Tricia's compelling storytelling and skillful prose brings these characters to life.

For more information on Guideposts Home to Heather Creek series you can visit their website here.

Menu for Romance

Kaye Dacus does it again! With Menu for Romance she brings us another sweet love story, this time between Meredith Guidry, a party planner and Major O'Hara, a chef. These characters grow separately and towards each other through the story.

After eight years of unrequited love, Meredith Guidry makes a New Year’s resolution to find someone new and end her single status before the year’s over. Executive Chef Major O’Hara has foresworn relationships, knowing he could never saddle the woman he loves with a family situation like his. But when it seems he’s about to lose Meredith Guidry to another man, he realizes he must concoct a MENU FOR ROMANCE to win her back.

You can purchase this book at Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to school reading


The Sweetgum Ladies are back and this time, love is in the air. Beth Pattillo combines her love of knitting with some romance in this second installment of her latest series.

The small town of Sweetgum, Tennesee is buzzing about Eugenie’s marriage to the Reverend Paul Carson. Hazel Emerson, president of the ladies auxiliary at Sweetgum Christian Church seems the most “interested” and jumps at every chance she gets to harass and confront Eugenie.Meanwhile, Camille, the owner of Maxine’s Dress Shop, has her own nemesis who drops by just to spread the word that Camille’s old boyfriend Dante is back in town………for good. Maria, the newest member of the Knit Lit Society, is sorting through her feelings of grief over losing her father and trying to manage a business all alone.

Esther, newly widowed, finds herself left unexpectedly destitute and finds herself slipping from her accustomed social status. The ladies get together once a month, to discuss works like Romeo and Juliet,Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice – and each has her own idea about love. The ladies find themselves relying on each other as the town’s economy changes and they face personal changes as well – financial struggles, new babies, heartaches and new love. Unexpected life changes and challenges draw these ladies into a tight “knit” group, who learns that love is sometimes painful. A classic “feel good” story for those who love small towns, Southern roots and a good old fashioned love story!

RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program. Her Heavens to Betsy series is one of my favorites!

You can buy this book here.


The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s
Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth.

The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

Grab a copy of this one for yourself here.


A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope. Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the
Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail,
Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma, she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming, where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.

Buy this one here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey is one of the most insightful and yet hysterical things I've ever read. The self-proclaimed "two sexiest fat men in America" include in this book, top ten lists written by their wives on things that their husbands to that get on their nerves (soooo funny!) They dissect the marriage vows in a way I'd never thought of eg: In sickness and in health:
In sickness: He gets a mullet haircut.
In health: He publicly repents for the existing mullet and burns all photos.
In sickness: She has a credit card addiction.
In health: He uses the credit cards for target practice.

I'm telling you, there is some funny stuff in this book. The best part though is the bonus CD that's included inside the back cover. Apparently these two have a radio show (which I've now found online) and this CD includes eleven segments from it.

While not all humorous, this book has some serious sides too. It encourages couples to respect each other, continue to go on dates (even has some ideas about that) and to generally care for each other. This book will go on my bookshelf as one of my favorites.

This book is from Thomas Nelson and you can purchase it at Amazon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall

I know I've said in the past that I'm tired of Amish fiction. But Cindy Woodsmall does Amish fiction unlike anyone else. And she's done it again! The Hope of Refuge has taken everything I thought I knew about this genre and turned it all upside down. This is one great book. It has kept me on the edge of my seat (I know, Amish and on-the-edge-of-my-seat seems like an oxymoron....LOL) and keeps me coming back for more.

Raised in foster care and now the widowed mother of a little girl, Cara Moore struggles against poverty, fear, and a relentless stalker. When a trail of memories leads Cara and Lori out of New York City toward an Amish community, she follows every lead, eager for answers and a fresh start. She discovers that long-held secrets about her family history ripple beneath the surface of Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and it’s no place for an outsider. But one Amish man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life.

Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?

About the author:

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Cindy was recently on ABC's Nightline and you can watch her interview here.

You can purchase this book here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Woodhouse Family Welcome Home!

Woodhouse Family Welcome Home! by Kimberley Woodhouse follows the Woodhouse family through several years of their children's illnesses and diagnoses. It also follows their ministry through several states and shows how God works through all situations and how He brings true joy to those who trust in Him.

This is an amazing little book and had me crying in both heartache and joy throughout.

It also chronicles how God took care of them when it seemed as though they had lost everything through Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Very encouraging read, one that I highly recommend.

You can purchase it here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognize the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

You can read an excerpt of the book here.

About Tricia:
Using her own experiences as a teen mother, and leader of today’s generation, Tricia’s vision is to be a voice of hope and possibility for teenage girls, pregnant teen girls, mothers and wives through her educational and inspirational speaking, workshops and books. Her intention is to serve ordinary women by encouraging extraordinary things with God’s help. Tricia expresses real life, real hope, for real women.

Tricia is the author of 20+ books and has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Guideposts for Kids, Focus on the Family, Christian Parenting Today, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005.

In her fiction novels, Tricia writes contemporary and historical stories that feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research.

Each of her World War II and Spanish Civil War novels tell the inspiring stories of engaging characters—and a God whose hand is evident in the landscape of history and the obstacles of ordinary lives.

Tricia speaks to groups interested in these eras, with the intention of preserving and honoring the memory of the men and women who served.

She also speaks and conducts workshops for teens around the nation, and offers programs to assist teens and teen moms through Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, which she founded. Tricia is a frequent workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Convention.

You can purchase the book on Tricia's website here.