Monday, November 5, 2007

The Parting

The Parting
Beverly Lewis
Bethany House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0310-7.

Teenage years are a struggle for both boys and girls. Add to the equation, the strict Old Order Amish ways and you really have a host of challenges on your hands. Nellie Mae Fisher is also trying to come to terms with her younger Suzy's death. How and why did Suzy have to die?

Nellie Mae has been going to singings and other young people's activties for some time now. She has captured the interest of young Caleb Yoder. He brings her home from the activities in his courting buggy which he got for his 16th birthday. Surely they will soon make their baptismal vows and become full-fledged members of the Old Order community. Or will they?

Why is that the Yoders are discouraging Caleb and his growing interest in the Fisher girl. Certainly he can find a good Amish girl, get married and settle down in the lifestyle of so many ancestors. There is much speculation surrounding the Fisher family. Nellie Mae is holding a secret in her heart which may bring some answers to why young Suzy Fisher has died. How far will Nellie Mae go in keeping her sister Suzy's diary a secret from the other members of the family.

Why doesn't Reuben Fisher keep his family in the way of the Old Order. His sudden interest in studying the "forbidden" parts of Holy Scripture seems to be creating a division of the community. Another matter of division is that some of the farmers believe that using tractors is permissible while others think that tractors are too worldly.

"The Parting" is based on actual events which ripped an Amish community apart. Will Nellie and Caleb's love for each other survive even if every thing and every one seems to be against the young couple? "The Parting" is the first book in Beverly Lewis' newest series 'The Courtship of Nellie Mae Fisher. Beverly Lewis has created another book series which has me anxious to read the next book in this series. She is so talented and uses her knowledge of the Old Order Amish to intrigue readers about this unique people.

What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You

What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You
Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler
Bethany House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0375-6

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a little while, but hold their hearts forever." Surely you have heard this saying before, or seen a plaque with these words on it. That precious little girl you held in your arms on the day of her birth is growing up. Or perhaps you became her mother when you adopted her or married her father. You have been blessed with a duty to help her grow up into the unique woman God has designed her to be. The pre-teen years are the start of the hair-raising years. First boyfriend, first kiss, first date and the hose of temptations that along with these challenging years. You can only shelter her for so long. Before you know it, she is going to her friends for answers rather you, her mother. Perhaps she does not want to talk to you about "important stuff" anymore. Maybe she has got questions but is so afraid to ask you because she fears your reaction.

Don't you wish your daughter would have come with a guidebook? A guidebook is just what Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler are trying to give in "What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You." This book will teach you to communicate with your daughter. Ms Shellenberger and Ms Gowler did not create this book all their own. They have asked hundreds of girls questions about their lives and incorporated the questions and answers in this book.

This is a must read for all mothers of pre-teen and teenage daughters. It doesn't matter if you are her mother by birth, adoption or step-parenting, there is a wealth of information to help you. It is written in an easy to understand manner with honesty and Christian principles applied. Children are a blessing from God. With Ms Shellenberger and Ms Gowler along with your daughter's creator, you can too have a terrific relationship with your daughter. As a mother of a pre-teen daughter myself, I found this book to be very educational and tips to increase and maintain communication through these challenging years.

Welcome to the world of mothering a pre-teen daughter!

What's the Big Deal About Jesus?

What's the Big Deal About Jesus?
John Ankerberg & Dillon Burroughs
Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon 97402
ISBN: 978-0-7369-2120-6, $12.99, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 11/07.

Have you ever seen the blockbuster hit "Passion of Christ?" Did you want to get a glimpse into what Christ endured for all of us? Did you want to build your faith or was it just Mel Gibson that made you interested in seeing the film? Perhaps you have seen "The Nativity Story." In recent years, Hollywood has certainly been bringing the name of Jesus to the silver screen. Why the sudden interest? For many years the stories of the Bible have been made into movies . Who hasn't heard about Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in the classic "The Ten Commandments."

"Jesus was just an ordinary man, wasn't he? Jesus was a magician because he healed people." Maybe you have had someone make comments like these about Jesus. How do you answer comments like this? Maybe you have a few questions of your own about this incredible man. There were hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah. Only one man could fulfill them all. Jesus is more than just a man. He was both true God and true man.

If you are constantly being asked questions about Jesus or are looking for answers to your many questions. Look no farther than "What's the Big Deal About Jesus?" John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs have created an amazing resource for those who thirst for the knowledge of the truth. With Scriptural references to back up their statements, your answers are here. Some of the questions answered within the pages of this book are "Did he really believe He was God's Son?," Did His life really fulfill the predictions?," "What does the Medical Evidence Suggest? and "Did People Really See Him Alive after His Death?"

Is this Jesus just a story told over and over again through the generations? This is truth backed with Holy Scripture. This is a terrific book which could be used for personal Bible study and Bible study groups. This is a priceless book for all people to read and understand the man who changed our destinys on Earth and beyond. This is a MUST read for Christians and those who have many questions about Jesus. After reading this book, you will not have questions in your mind only confidence in Christ Jesus, His life, His death and His resurrection.

Ready to Wed

Ready to Wed
Melody Carlson
Guideposts Books, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-8249-4724-8.

Have you ever had a dream which seemed so real that it has been hard to believe it is only a dream? Belle Bannister has had just one of those dreams. Her dream was so realistic that it draws her to some drastic measures.

Belle leaves her home and the life she knows to see if her dream will become a reality. She travels to Acorn Hill, Pennsylvania and takes up residence at the Grace Chapel Inn. The Grace Chapel Inn is a bed and breakfast which offers small town friendliness and the most helpful owners. The owners are 3 sisters and their Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel makes it her personal goal to help Belle find "Mr Right."

Belle's dream was that she was to meet and marry the man of her dreams in this small town within a few short weeks. Acorn Hill has many eligible bachelors including the town's unsuspecting pastor. Belle catches the town by storm making plans for her wedding which she believes is to be the first Saturday in June. Everyone but Aunt Ethel thinks Belle is crazy to be planning a wedding when the groom is yet to be named. Can she rely on her time schedule or is there someone else who has plans according to His time schedule. One of the innkeeper-sisters Jane Howard has received a letter from her ex-husband Justin. Just why has he picked now to contact her after many years of no contact? Why is he being so insistent on having the oppotunity to talk to her again.

Melody Carlson has written a delightful novel. You are sure to fall in love with this quaint small Pennsylvanian town., its residents and its one very unique visitor. Was this dream of Belle's really God calling her to Acorn Hill for such a time as time. God's timing is always best even if we often think otherwise.

Visit Acorn Hill and Grace Chapel Inn today for an experience you won't soon forget!

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Experts Needed

No Experts Needed
Louise Lewis
iUniverse, Inc., 2007.
Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views (10/07

Losing a job has probably happened to everyone at least once in their lifetimes. Do you see losing your job as devastating or an opportunity to discover something different in your life? It all depends on how you lok at it. Louise Lewis had lost her job of eleven years. There were all the emotional and financial concerns to get through. She had a mortgage which required paying and needed to get back on her feet again. Where do you go for comfort when a blow likes one gets delivered to you.

Louise decides to embrace life and find out just what life means. Through many interviews with people and getting their definitions of life, a book is born. Sometimes people are brought into our life for just a time and for a specific purpose. There is comfort in the Scriptures as noted many times throughout the text of this book.

"No Experts Needed" is more than just a book in dealing with job loss. It is a book of self-discovery, insights into what life is and how to make the most of every opportunity as it is presented. The book doesn't bring out the expert's advice but rather everyday people who share what they believe and how they face the bumps along the road of life. If you catch yourself wondering just what life means, you can come to your own decisions. There are truly "no experts needed" when making life what you want it to be.

A New Promise

A New Promise
Julie Eller
Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 2007.
Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views 10/07.

Promises, promises. Everybody knows what a promise is and has probably made hundreds of them throughout their lifetime. When you get married in a Christian ceremony you are promising your spouse a lifetime commitment. The notorious words "till death do us part" are a part of this oath taken at the wedding. Scott Parnell has made his wife Rachel a lifelong commitment. They had fallen in love when in high school. They have been blessed with 2 children, teenage Tyler and 12 year old daughter Tawnya. How were they to know that Rachel would be stricken with Huntington's disease. Would he be able to remember his promise of "no tubes or wires to sustain life" that they had talked about years ago. Would he be able to let go when the time came?

Letting go is never easy, Its not an easy thing for Rachel's mother either letting go of her daughter. She is a well meaning grandmother who tries to help Scott with the kids but is out of touch in raising children in these troubled times in the 21st century. Tyler is in a rebellious state he doesn't want to lose his mother but doesn't want to show that her health condition bothers him. His best friend Dwight is dealing with some family problems of his own but will Tyler go that far to escape from reality. Tawnya is at a difficult time in her life. She is dealing with her adolescent problems and a grandmother who insists that she is too fat. She turns to a destructive lifestyle. Celeste is Rachel's younger sister who always wanted to trail along with Rachel and Scott during their courtship. Celeste has a successful career in Seattle and agrees to give Tawnya a female role model yet she has never been a parent much less in a serious relationship. As Tawnya and Celeste become closer, will Scott be able to keep from growing closer to Celeste too. They have both made promises to Rachel, will those promises be broken even as Rachel's life is deteriorating. Just how far will these promises keep the Parnell family from telling all the issues of their life.

"A New Promise" is an excellent book by a very talented new author Julie Eller. "A New Promise" encompasses many issues of the 21st century. The book is a must read for anyone who enjoys a great storyline and seeing how God works in people's lives for his purpose. Sometimes when faced with adversity, its easiest to blame God rather than see His blessings throughout your trials. Julie Eller has certainly used her God-given talents in order to show Christ's providence. I hope she writes more books in the near future. Pick up "A New Promise" soon, you certainly will enjoy it.

A Big Apple Christmas

A Big Apple Christmas
Vashti Reyes Acosta, Gail Sattler, Lynette Sowell, Carrie Turansky
Barbour Publishing, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-59789-5
Reviewed for Reader Views, 10/07.

Every year about about a million people cram into Times Square in New York City on New Years' Eve, while another billion TV viewers tune in to watch the ball drop and a new year to begin. There are bound to be plenty of stories of people who venture to New York City to take in all the lights, sounds and activities of the holiday season. "A Big Apple Christmas" gives you four stories of people who ventured to New York not for love but find themselves enjoying being in one of the United States busiest cities.

In "Moonlight and Mistletoe"" Sarah Montgomery has made friends with her neighbor in her apartment building. Lillian is an elderly lady with a big heart and way too much stuff. After Lillian's accident, Justin comes to help with Grandma's things. He hires Sarah to organize Grandma's belongings. How can he take this much time off in order to help Grandma, doesn't he even work? Why is he offended when Sarah tries to rid Grandma's home from children's poetry books?

In "Shopping for Love," Emily Jones just wants to forget Brian. She has been burned in a relationship and just needs some rest and relaxation so she takes off to New York City. The farthest thing from her mind is literally falling into the arms of another Bryan. Why won't this Bryan just leave her be, but every chance he gets he invites her to go shopping and seeing the sights?

"Where the Love Light Gleams" is a heartwarming story of Gwynn Michaud's trip to New York to see a tree from her land be the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center. As chance would have it, her daughter's roomate Maline is from New York and offers to house Gwynn during her stay in the Big Apple. Theophilius Stellaki is Maline's father and is a cranky professor but being a proper gentleman offers to accompany Gwynn to the lighting ceremony. Will he end up escorting her to more than just a tree lighting?

"Gifts from the Magi" is by far one of the most romantic stories I have ever read. Elias Perez is youth pastor at the church where he grew up. Cecilla was one of the few girls who didn't make fun of Elias and his being sickly when they were kids. Throughout the Christmas season, the two work together on many projects. He's a friend to her so she asks who would possibly be giving her all these anonymous gifts like 2 dove candy bars and 4 cell phone pictures of pigeons.

Once reading "A Big Apple Christmas" you won't be watching the ball drop on New Years quite the same way. Maybe there are stories like this one developing out there on Times Square. Even if you can't make it to New York to celebrate Christmas this year, you still can enjoy "A Big Apple Christmas!"

God Is In the Small Stuff at Christmas

God Is In the Small Stuff at Christmas
Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz
Barbour Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-59789-671-9, $12.97, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader Views 10/07.

Do you feel that there is no more Christ in the celebration of Christmas? People already have Christmas lights lit around their house the night after Halloween. The stores are already pushing Christmas materialism in late summer. It seems like the big push for Christmas comes earlier each year. Many houses do not even have a nativity set outside with all their other outdoor decorations.

There are 41 different sections in "God is in the Small Stuff at Christmas." Such topics as Advent, Prepare Him Room, Christmas Carols, Lights and Peace and many more are explored. Each chapter is only a few pages long which makes it ideal to keep handy during the hustle and bustle of the season. At the end of each chapter is about 5 statements or suggestions in keeping Christ in Christmas. Just taking a break and reading a chapter will certainly life your sprits and remind you that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

"God is in the Small Stuff at Christmas" would make an excellent gift for a close friend, loved one or someone who needs to reflect to reflect on what is truly important in a non-threatening way. Portions of this book could easily be shared at Christmas parties and church get-togethers. God is truly in the small stuff at Christmas. May your celebration of Christmas center around the baby in the manger this year and always.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

After the Leaves Fall

Surely you have seen the T-shirts that say "If all else fails, ask Grandma." Julia Bakker has only person who in her life who truly loves her with a Christ-like love, unconditionally. Her Grandma Bakker has been there for her through all her losses in her life. Her mother left her father and her at a very young age. She doesn't even refer to her mother as "Mom" but Janice. Her father dies when she is just 16 and she stays with her grandma. Her best friend Thomas breaks her heart when he announces that his future is now with Francesca. He promises to always be her friend even though she was hoping that someday she could be much to him.

Julia is a hard worker and a scholarship recipient. She has her chance to escape for the conservative and "everyone knows everyone else's business" town. She elects to go to Brighton University as an engineering major. She has to try and deal with her exact opposite of a roomate Becca who would rather sleep than work hard. Julia finds a friend in one of her first engineering classes. Only thing is Parker is a "teacher's assistant" who always has advice, be it good or bad for her. She tries hard but is engineering the field she really should be trying to get into or did she just pick that major so she could get the scholarship.

Julia and Parker become friends and start spending alot of time together. He gives her help in her classes and she tries to make him out to be the good quality friend that she has in Thomas. The unexpected happens and Julia's life comes crashing down. Who is there to pick up the pieces but Grandma. Grandma finds her strength in the Lord and encourages Julia but is not pushy. She leaves the Holy Spirit to do the work of changing Julia's outlook. Its time for Julia to start her life over again. Will her life be just one disappointment after another, or is there light at the end of the tunnel? Grandma has the answer but is Grandma up to date with the times?

"After the Leaves Fall" is an awesome book for readers who enjoy a young heroine who is a survivor despite the circumstances she finds herself involved. This is an excellent book by Nicole Baart, a first time novel writer. I sincerely hope Nicole writes more books as this one really kept your interest from cover to cover. It touches your heart and leaves your heart feeling that refreshed.


Title: Beginnings
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published by Barbour Publishing, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-59789-4-5-0.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 8/07.

Bloom where you are planted! There are plenty of Scripture passages which speak of being content in whatever circumstance you are in. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are told to "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Oh hard that can be at times. Sometimes we just feel so challenged that we don't feel like giving thanks for our place in life.

Beth Quinn is trying to be content with her life in Summerfield. She has her cell phone and other modern conveniences. She and her mother came to Summerfield because this is where her mother's family were. Despite not being raised in the Mennonite faith like her mother was, she has come to call Summerfield her home. And her mother's people have become her people. She has not joined their church but does attend it with her family. She has a firmly rooted faith in God and His promises.

She owns Quinn's Stained Glass Art Studio. She makes suncatchers and travels to various craft shows. She has dreams of opening her own showroom someday. Her cousin Andrew helps in her store since he has no desire to be a farmer like all his brothers and father. He would rather use his artistic talents even though his father doesn't agree with his pursuits. One day a suncatcher from the art studio gets sold and catches the eye of McCauley Church Construction.

Sean is the son of the owner of the church construction company who has to find this talented young lady. He proposes that she design and make a stained glass window in order to showcase her talents. If the company likes what they see and she meets the deadline imposed, she will be granted a contract to work with them. If for any reason, she doesn't make the deadline or McCauley's dislike the work all the work and expense are for nothing and Beth loses out. This could be Beth's big break into expanding her business and becoming a bigger success.

In order to put up a safety net for her business, she wants to keep on producing suncatchers and doing craft shows. Only creation of this large stained glass window will take an incredible amount of time and talent. Andrew is always willing to lend a hand. He also happens to enjoy being in Beth's company. Would it ever be possible for Beth to think of him as something other than a cousin or an employee?

Beth's mother Marie has found true love in the first book of this trilogy "Bygones." Henry and Marie Koeppler are happy to be expecting twins. With Marie's age, this is a high risk pregnancy. Never did Beth think that she would become a big sister at her age. Beth doesn't know what it is like to even have a father much less a brother and sister.

An emergency. forces Beth to make a choice between her family and her dreams of being a successful business woman. Her choices will not only impact her but also Andrew and the rest of the small town of Summerfield. Through her struggles, she holds steady to the verse in Philippians which states "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

This is an excellent book about a couragous Christian woman who lays it all on the line in hopes of following God's plan for her life. All things work together for the good of those who love Him. I simply loved this book and couldn't lay it down once I started reading it. I am anxiously awaiting the last book in this trilogy called "Blessings" which will be coming in Spring 2008!

Forever Christmas

Title: Forever Christmas
Author: Christine Lynxwiler
Published by Barbour Publishing, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-59789-821-8.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 8/07.

Wouldn't it be great to celebrate Christmas every day? No, you don't have to visit the North Pole in order to celebrate Christmas every day of the year. Welcome to the small town of Jingle Bells, Arkansas. Augustus Harding is the mayor of this small town who is affectionately known by Uncle Gus by all of the town's residents. Life had been quite content in this small town with its Blizzard Barbecue restaurant, Forever Christmas gift store, Reindeer Games and Toy Store and Snow Place Like Home Pet Boarding. Recently the town has experienced the closing of its biggest employer, Benning Distribution Center.

The economy could get a boost if Summer Valley Outdoors would come to town and acquire the empty Benning building. There is a glitch to it however, the corporation would like to rename the small town of Jingle Bells to Summer Valley. While it would give people jobs and traffic to the small town. But who would want visit the Forever Christmas store in a town called Summer Valley.

You can't find city hall or can you? Kristianna Harrington is the young lady owner of Forever Christmas and is a town council member. She is dealing with a broken engagement as she caught her fiancee' kissing another woman the night before the wedding. It is fortunate for her that she has good friends like Ami Manchester and Garrett Mitchell. It has always been the 3 of them as best friends. They have grown up together and made Jingle Bells their home. They seem to all have preserving the Jingle Bells name at heart.

Kristianna is like any young girl who dreams of someday having a wedding, but she wants to someday have a Christmas wedding. Ami will be getting married soon and Kristianna is in the wedding. Will the young lawyer Shawn working for Summer Valley Outdoors be her knight in shining armor or will he be just a wolf in sheep's clothing to her ? Can Shawn woo the residents of Jingle Bells over to his side of things. Just what is his interest in Kristianna personally? Kristianna's parents who are both lawyers don't understand why their daughter has so much passion for this small town. But they think that Shawn's the perfect man for their daughter. She isn't about to let anyone take away her beautiful quaint town with quirky characters and will let no man stand in her way. Perhaps Kristianna will need Garrett's input on keeping her feet solidly on the ground rather than in a whirlwind romance.

"Forever Christmas" is a wonderful book for those who enjoy holiday sentiments, a touch of mystery and a delightful romantic story. Once you visit Jingle Bells, Arkansas through the pages of this book you will Christmas in a different light. Her desire for God's will for her life reigns true and love comes in the most unexpected places. Come dashing through the snow and be warmed with the love of "Forever Christmas."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Race to the Altar

Title: Race to the Altar
Authors: Ron Benrey; Gloria Clover; Becky Melby & Cathy Wienke; and Gail Sattler
Published by Barbour Publishing, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-59789-847-8.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 08/07.

"Gentlemen, start your engines!" Of course, if you follow NASCAR racing at all, you know these familiar words are spoken right before the big event. If you like NASCAR and romances, you are definitely in for a treat when you pick up the book "Race to the Altar."

The first of the four stories in this volume is called "Clear! Clear! Dear!" Faith Wright doesn't think she ever wants to go back to the race track. She had been involved in an accident a few years ago. However, Emmett Grant wants her to be Tony Griffith's spotter. Its a very important job but Tony is not an easy one to deal with. By giving Faith a job on the racing team, Emmett Grant has an idea of finding just what the two of them have been searching for. All Emmett is doing is putting the wheels in motion.

"The Remaking of Moe McKenna" is about a young lady who enjoys fast car and the amazing men who race these cars. Moe has her eye on going after the prize and living the summer she always dreamed of . The Sutherlands are a family whose lives revolve around racing. They adopt Moe and gives her the chance to experience racing and family life on the inside track. She has been missing out on some key elements in her life. The Sutherlands intend on showing her just what her life had been missing. The Sutherland family introduces her to God and shows her just how she fits into God's family and maybe their own.

"Over the Wall" is the story of Camela Eastman. She and her long-time boyfriend Joe both have signed on to be a part of a racing crew. She is a nurse while Joe is a fireman. Tommy Garrett has a very good relationship with God but he too is missing something very important. Around the race track and around the hospital, two people find their way to each other.

Talladega is known for its two races each year on the NASCAR circuit. So what better place for Rob to try to sell his computer racing game. He has found just the place where he can get in contact with other racing enthusiasts. His timing is off because the owner of the store has been called away for a family emergency. Kathleen has left her store in the capable hands of her assistant Lynda. This opens the door for Rob to to set up his demo in the store under Lynda's watchful eye. She feels like she alone is responsible for the business. The two Christian singles are thrown into spending many hours together. Will they realize that they are in for the race of a lifetime.

Each story is beautifully written and you won't want to set "Race to the Altar" down until the checkered flag is flown!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Going Home

Title: Going Home
Author: Wanda E Brunstetter
Published by Barbour Publishing, 2007.
ISBN: 478-1-59789-609-2.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 08/07.

Faith Stutzman Andrews has it all. Or does she? She is a successful singer and comedienne. She has a delightful daughter named Melinda. Her agent and often abusive husband Greg has recently died and Faith must now make some choices that will change Melinda's and her lives forever.

Feeling she has no place else to go, she returns to Webster County, Missouri and her Amish family. Greg's parents are too busy with their life in Los Angeles to be saddled with Faith and Melinda. Faith's plans are to familarize young Melinda to the stability of Amish community. After all, Faith was raised Amish until she left for the lights of stardom. She then hopes to return to the exciting life of being an entertainer. She so loves to be accepted and appreciated for her talents. She has never felt accepted by her people especially her parents who are very strong in their Amish faith and don't like her "goofing around" with her jokes and having fun.

Noah Hertzler is a familiar face from the past. He was friends with one of her brothers when she was growing up in Webster County. Noah is not your ordinary Amish gentleman. He does not have any desire to be a hog farmer like his father. He is perfectly happy being a Christmas tree farmer with his "English" friends. He has an unusual hobby for an Amish man too, he often bakes desserts for his friends, family and others who could use some cheering up. He very often shares a Scripture verse he finds fitting on a tag along with the baked goods. Noah has a strong relationship with God where Faith's has deteriorated. He soon forms a bond with young Melinda who finds his humor and personality much to her liking.

The Stutzman family has grown while Faith has been gone. Faith now has a new little sister who is virtually the same age as Melinda. The two become fast friends in addition to being aunt and niece. Just as Faith is preparing to leave Melinda and her Amish roots, an accident occurs which will alter their lives.

Will Noah and Faith find out that "going home" is God's leading both to happiness and acceptance for their unique talents? Wanda Brunstatter has done it again by weaving a tale which will have you waiting for more chapters. "Going Home" is the first in her new series called "Brides of Webster County." I can't wait to visit Webster County again soon. Home is where the heart is with this kind people who appreciate the simple things in life.

Coach Mom

Motherhood is the world's oldest profession. Yet there is no where to get an education on how to be a better mother. You could say it motherhood is definitely on the job training. That is until "Coach Mom" arrived on the scene. Families need teamwork in order to be a success. "Coach Mom" by Brenna Stull is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to organize their family into an an all-star team. Mothers have so many roles to fill. There must be motivation and communication amongst the team members. Part of being a team is all working together for a common goal.

"Coach Mom" is organized into 7 chapeters each dealing with a definitive strategy. Such areas as organizing your house, preparing for the next day the night before, and grocery tips are included. This book is very easy to read and understand. When you find that you need a "pick me up" in the middle of chaos just read a few paragraphs. No matter if your family works together like a well-oiled machine or it seems like your family is always breaking down, help is on the way.

Brenna Stull brings her wealth of knowledge and experience of raising 5 children to help you every step of the way. Brenna uses frequent Scripture verses to promote here key points in the text. Often times, Brenna shares humorous stories from her own family's daily life. She gently reminds all mothers to keep Christ Jesus as the center of your family's daily life. He is by far the best instructor and friend there ever was. I loved this book and hope Brenna Stull writes many more books for mothers to enjoy. Your All-Star team is right around the corner or the next chapter whatever the case may be!

Monday, July 30, 2007


Title: Cassidy
Author: Lori WickPublished by Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN 978-0-7369-1618-9.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 7/07.

What is a young lady to do when she wants to make a break from the family which she was born into? Cassidy Norton has moved to Token Creek to begin her new life. She is an accomplished seamstress who has opened her own sewing business in the village. She has made a success of herself. She has even hired an employee to help her with her abundance of orders. She has a terrific friendship with Meg and her husband Brad. She and Meg are as close as two best friends could ever be, they are as close as sisters. There are plenty of suitors for young Cassidy, including Pastor Rylan.

Brad owns a ranch with his brother Trace. Trace lives on the ranch with Brad and Meg and is very excited about becoming an uncle within a few months. Trace and Cassidy have gotten to be very close friends. They fear losing their friendship if they should ever become a courting couple. Token Creek is becoming a bigger town and Saturday nights have become dangerous so she starts spending her Saturday nights at the ranch. Besides that way she can worship her Lord and Savior with her friends on Sunday mornings.

Now as long as nothing happens to ruin Cassidy's chance at true happiness and success. Her mother knows where she is living and her alias however, secrets sometimes can be found out. As long as Cassidy remains faithful to her Lord, there is nothing that can destroy her. Her debt and our debts have been paid and we can experience true happiness. Lori Wick has done it again with a fantastic book which will have you entranced in the adventure and romance in Montana in 1880. From cover to cover, you will love visiting Token Creek and meeting its residents. This is book one in the Big Sky Dreams series, and I can hardly wait until book two comes out. Take me back to Token Creek, Montana, its a place I would love to visit again and again.

Crimson Tide Madness

Title: Crimson Tide Madness
Author: Wilton Sharpe
Published by Cumberland House, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-58182-580-0.
Reviewed for Reader Views, 7/07.

Are you a National Football League fan? If you are, chances are your favorite team has at least one member who has graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. The mascot for the University of Alabama is known as the Crimson Tide. The university's football team has a tradition of greatness. The Crimson Tide boasts 12 national championships, 3 times they have won in back to back years.

"The Crimson Tide Madness" is a tribute to the many legends who have once worn the red and white. It is separated into key sections which focus on traditions, legends, coaches, quarterbacks and the great rivalries. This book is packed with quotes from former players, coaches both NFL and Crimson Tide; and famous NFL players who are Alabama alumni. There are stories which will enlighten football fans of all ages."The Crimson Tide Madness" is part of a series of Golden Ages of College Sports.

College football is very much a part of Saturdays in the fall both in person and television coverage. After reading this awesome tribute to the Crimson Tide you will soon be sporting red and white. Cheering for the 'Bama team each time they take the field for a Southeastern Conference game or one of the many bowls that they have been invited to play in.

Go Crimson Tide!

The Entrepreneurial Mom: Managing for Success in your Home and Your Business

Title: The Entrepreneurial Mom: Managing for Success in Your Home and Your Business
Author: Mary E Davis
Published by Cumberland House, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-58182-591-6
Reviewed for Reader Views, 7/07.

Do you feel the need to expand your horizons? Do you desire to be more than "just a stay-at-home mom?" Do you want to combine the best profession of being a mother with being your own boss and earning an income? Do you want the flexibility of earning an income uet being available for your children? If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps you have just the right qualities of being an entrepreneurial mom.

Mary E Davis has developed a book to help you every step of the way to becoming an entrepreneurial. She uses her own personal experience in owning her own flooring business for 15 years. She gives you insights you wouldn't get if it weren't for the voice of experience.Often times she adds humor to her display of experience in starting a business from an idea to a success.

"The Entrepreneurial Mom" gives you an opportunity to explore just how you can combine being your own boss and being the quality mother that your family needs. One particular chapter that I found to be very useful is not just for entrepreneurial moms but for all moms, no matter if they are stay-at-home or working moms. It is entitled "101 Time Savers, Stress Reducers, and Inspirations for Moms."

This is a sure-fire book for mothers who have the dream of opening their own business either now or somewhere down the road!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Strategic Prayer

Title: Strategic Prayer

Author: Eddie Smith and Michael L Hennen

Published by Bethany House Publishers, 2007.

ISBN: 0-7642-0342-8.

Reviewed for Reader Views, July 2007.

"This then is how you should pray, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." In Matthew Chapter 6:9, Jesus teaches us to pray. People have been praying since the world was created. In fact, In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ himself prayed the night before he died. So are you one of those who just repeat the same prayers time after time without really thinking about what you are saying? "Why is it that my prayer is ineffective and never seems to be answered in quite the way I want it to be?" Perhaps you feel that praying doesn't even help, that God doesn't answer your prayers. If this is you, "Strategic Prayer" is for you.

Strategic Prayer" is just that. Through this book, you are applying strategy to your prayers. Is it you are focusing on the Lord's answers instead of altering your requests. The enemy has his own goals and strategies that are in direct competition with your goals. Eddie Smith and Michael Hennen have developed 27 principles of strategic prayer for you to follow. There are ways to proactive in prayer. You can be praying the promises of God, for the prophecies of God, for the gifts of God, for the Power of God, for the Presence of God and for the Glory of God.

"Strategic Prayer Apply the Power of Targeted Prayer" is an excellent book which is well organized by giving each principle its own chapter. There are many Scripture references pertaining to the principles included. Each chapter also gives you key points, spiritual reconnaissance with questions that will help you evaluate which specific areas you need to address in your own life, and also questions which make the reader think about personalizing their prayers.

When you desire to pray for a particular desire or need, "Strategic Prayer" is there to help. This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to target their prayers according to their specific circumstances. So rather than giving up on prayer thinking that prayer is useless or that God isn't answering your prayers, think again and take a copy of "Strategic Prayer" in your hands and it will help you through.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak," Matthew 26:41.

Doesn't She Look Natural?

Title: Doesn't She Look Natural?
Author: Angela Hunt
Published by Tyndale House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-1169-2.

Thomas Graham has left his wife Jennifer with their two young sons for the nanny. Thomas and Jennifer have recently divorced and she and the boys have moved into her mother's house. She needs to rebuild her life and fast. The $40,000 that she received from the sale of the home will not last long. Having given up her job on Capitol Hill because of her husband's infidelity leaves her without a job but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Uncle Ned has recently died and left his property to his niece Jennifer. Jennifer, her mother Joella, and the boys leave for Mt Dora, Florida to check out this inheritance. Fairlawn is a beautiful property but wait. Fairlawn is a funeral home and it comes complete with an on-site caretaker named Gerald. Gerald was Ned's right hand man and is very knowledgable in funeral directoring and all that goes with it. Mt Dora also has some unique residents. The attorney handling the estate is Daniel Sladen who always seems to show up when Jennifer is feeling lost and lonely. There is an active Red Hat Society in the town led by Mavis who has her own ideas of how things should be.

Jennifer plans on only staying in Mt Dora long enough to sell the property. But the best laid plans sometimes do not turn out quite as anticipated. Jennifer is afraid to even think of dealing with the dead so why should she want to stay in the funeral home business. She is bitter that Thomas doesn't want to spend any time with his young sons? Can Jennifer's heart be softened and will she see that God has His hand in placing her in this place at this time?

Angela Hunt is a very talented author whose books allow the reader to expect the unexpected. It is very easy to fall in love with the characters in this small town in Florida. It is very easy to feel like you are right there in Mt Dora as you read this delightful book. I am happy to see that this book is the first in a three book series because I certainly would love to visit this picturesque town again. Will Jennifer look like a natural in her new surroundings? Hurry to Mt Dora and find out!

The Road Home

Title: The Road Home
Author: Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen
Published by Bethany House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0030-5.

There's no place like home, right? What if you have never really had a place to call home? Ruth has had a very difficult life from living in foster homes, certainly a less than stellar childhood to being a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. Just when she gets settled into her marriage to Lonnie and being a member of his family, tragedy strikes him and his brother just 3 years after their father's death.

Naomi is Ruth's mother-in-law who is dealing with the death of her sons death. She encourages her daughters-in-law to go back to their home. Naomi decides it is time for her to go back to "her people" in Pennsylvania. She has a homestead in Lancaster County in which to live once she gets there. Oprah and Ruth are ready to part ways with her but at the very last moment, Ruth jumps off the bus and catches up with Naomi with nothing but the clothes on her back. Ruth is determined to drive Naomi home to Pennsylvania. Will the 1976 Impala make it the whole way from Nevada to Pennsylvania? With a prayer, perhaps the car will make it. Neither woman has much money but if they pool their resources perhaps they will have enough to make it back there?

This is one road trip where an unlikely pair have very trying and often times humorous adventures. The mother-in-law and daughter-in-law have no real family ties now but they get to know each other on a different basis than in years gone by. They each share parts of their past and become best friends. What awaits them should they reach Lancaster County?

A great deal of time has gone by since Naomi Kaufmann Yoder has lived in the area. Will the land she plans to rebuild her life on still be hers? Like the book of Ruth in the Bible, will there be a kinsman redeemer who can help the women with the monetary problems that are presented? "The Road Home" is a delightful story written about the gentle people who enjoy simplicity in their lives.

"The Road Home" combines adventure, a beautiful friendship between two women who were once inlaws, humor, and a heartwarming love story all in one. "The Road Home" is a winding one with twists and turns along the way. This is excellent reading for all people who enjoy a story which combines adventure, a beautiful friendship between two women who were once inlaws, humor, and a heartwarming love story all in one. The twosome never gives up hope that God is directing their paths. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

Take "The Road Home", it is one trip that will not be soon forgotten!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dealing With the Crazymakers in Your Life

Title: Dealing with the CrazyMakers in Your Life
Author: Dr David Hawkins
Published by Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7369-1841-1.
Reviewed for Reader Views (07/07)

"Its YOU that has the problem NOT me!"
"You're the one who is crazy NOT me!"
How many times have you ever heard that? Maybe those aren't the exact words you hear but surely you deal with these type of people in your daily life. These people are referred to as crazymakers. Crazymakers come is a wide array of personalities. There are the aggressors who will stop at nothing to get you over to following their will. There are the egotists who are so full of themselves that there is no room for anyone else to even have a place. There are those walking "time bombs" you know the type, they can blow at any given moment. There is those with the "poor me" attitude who always feel like have been given a bum rap and that everything they experience is absolutely the worst. There are also the "authorities" whose attitude is its their way or no way. There is help on the way to help you take control of your unhealthy relationships.

Perhaps these crazymakers are your co-workers, members of your family or even your spouse. There is help on the way to help you take control of your unhealthy relationships. Dr David Hawkins, the relationship doctor is here for you. With over 30 years of counseling experience, he brings his knowledge and applicable verses from Holy Scripture to give you hope. You are important and its time for you to step up and let your thoughts and feelings be known. Your first step is to get out of their trap. They don't need to have reigns on you any longer. You can break free and live a different way than the way you have been. You can change from enduring to being happy in your relationships.

Since crazymakers are all over, this easy to use guide book is excellent reading for anyone. I found it very easy to read and is a wealth of valuable information and insights to apply to my daily life. After reading this book, I am very interested in reading more books written by this relationship doctor. I feel empowered by this book and can now set boundaries in relationships and go from enduring to enjoying the time of grace on this earth. Dealing with crazymakers is a fact of life but its not an end but a beginning!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sassy Girl's Checklist for Living, Loving & Overcoming

Title: The Sassy Girl's Checklist for Living, Loving & Overcoming
Author: Michelle McKinney Hammond
Published by Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7369-1827-5.
Written for (7/07)

Are you enjoying every aspect of your life? How can you make an impact on all those people around you? "The Sassy Girl's Checklist for Living, Loving & Overcoming" is a must read for all women.

Throughout this marvelous book by Michelle McKinney Hammond there are many tips to help you along your way to becoming the woman who God has created you to be. Michelle takes each few verses of Proverbs into a chapter of its own. At the end of each small section is a place with thought-provoking questions to check yourself. You can check yourself to see if you are on the correct track. There is also white space on some pages for you to record your own personal thoughts and meditations.

There are many inspiring stories and personal reflections which Michelle McKinney Hammond brings to add more impact to her book. Throughout the book, you will be reassured that God is there for you every step of your way in this life. This is written for all women, it makes no difference if you are young or old, married or single. You can become the woman which God has designed you to be. One particular Scripture verse kept surfacing as I was reading this book: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalms 139:14)

You are an unique person and God has created you to be a blessing to others!

Copper Star

Title: Copper Star
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Published by Vintage Romance Publishing, 2006.

Copper Springs, Arizona welcomes you! Come visit the town of Copper Springs meet some of the most interesting people you have ever met. Pastor Robert Gordon is man whose wife left him with his young son William. The people of the town think that William is an idiot but the fact is that he is unable to hear. Aunt Martha runs an one-woman kitchen in the parsonage. Due to his seminary friend Dietrich's urging, the Gordons open their house to Louisa Schmetterling. Louisa is a young German lady who has left Germany during wartime and Adolf Hitler's dictatorship.

Louisa has clear cut plans to return to her native land after the war. However, the best laid plans can be broken when God is directing what happens. There are many advances in dealing with the deaf and mute children at this time. Louisa does research and decides to make the most of her time in Copper Springs. She takes on teaching William how to talk and use sign language since he is too young to attend the boarding school for deaf children. As she works with the young son of Reverend Robert, they begin to realize that they have a friendship developing. But Reverend Robert is afraid to let go of his feelings of abandonment of his first wife and Louisa has plans to leave anyway.

"Copper Star" offers a beautiful budding romance. There is mystery involved in what is happening to the money of the residents of Copper Springs. This is a very inspirational story of God's guiding hand and how He can direct paths according to His purpose. Once you have visited this booming copper mining town you will discover an old-fashioned romance and mystery rolled into one!

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

Title: How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

Author: Zoey Dean

Published by Warner Books, 2007.

ISBN: 0-446-69718-4.

What if your first position out of Yale University is nothing like you anticipated it being? Megan Smith has just graduated from Yale University. She thought she had already secured a position with a publishing company. She had graduated magna cum laude with a double major in English and American History. Her hopes are soon dashed by the editor in chief at the publisher, who tells her they just can't use her but she knows someone who can. How will she be using her talents, education and abilities?

Surely being a tutor to the very spoiled Baker girls has to some sort of a joke. Laurel Limoges has a plush estate in Palm Beach Florida. The only requirements has for Megan is to prepare her twin granddaughters for their SATs during her 2 months. Megan can use whatever vehicle she wants and has an unlimited expense account not to mention having the opportunity to live the life of a rich person. This presents a huge problem as neither Sage or Rose has any interest in studying but rather partying, shopping, and spending loads of money on their selfish selves.

Megan has a terrible sense of style and Rose and Sage decide to help her along in becoming up to date with styles. Megan's lack of style shows through in many humorous situations along the way. Rose, Sage and Megan must come to an agreement and somehow find a way to work together. The twins have an education to gain and Megan has a $75,000 bonus to pay off her college loans to attain.

From cover to cover you will find yourself laughing and being hooked to the entertaining storyline. The story is written much like Cinderella facing incredible odds of achieving success, financial gain and a handsome prince. To have a job teaching filthy rich girls and a plush place to live for 2 months may sound like a breeze but for Megan this is definitely more work than it is pleasure. "How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls" is a great book for anyone who likes a rags to riches story.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gone With The Groom

Title: Gone With the Groom
Author: Janice A Thompson
Published by Barbour Publishing 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59789-642-9

You are cordially invited to the wedding of Brandi Peterson and Scott Cunningham on February 14. That's only 2 weeks away and the Peterson house is very chaotic. Rather than just the regular preparations for the wedding, the family is also involived in a missing person search. The missing person is none other than Scott Cunningham, groom to be.

Brandi's parents, Annie and Warren are playing host to Brad and Nadine, Scott's mother and step father. Having the future inlaws staying with the other inlaws can create interesting memories. Its a full house when Annie's parents arrive from the deep South for the big event. If there is still to be a wedding.

Annie is known to be quite a sleuth. Well, she's going to have to use all her skills and Sasa, her dachshund, to smell out clues and find Scott before the big day. Annie is nicknamed Agatha Annie. She is not a professional detective and finds her some strange and some very hilarious situations along the way.

Janice A Thompson has created a wonderful book. "Gone With the Groom" combines mystery, humor, a fantastic storyline and unforgetttable characters. With its many twists and turns, "Gone With the Groom" will keep you involved from cover to cover. The Peterson family's faith in God is tested throughout the book but with the help of their church family and faith in God they will get through this time of their life. Perhaps they will even be blessed through this trial.

Plan now to check in with the Peterson for the biggest event in Brandi's lifetime!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Keeping It Real

Title: Keeping It Real
Author: Heather Jamison with Henry J Rogers
Published by Kregel Publications, 2007
ISBN 978-0-8254-2932-3

Are you looking for a high quality Christian book for your teenage girl? Just how should a girl know how she should act during this important time in her life. Heather Jamison has written a book for teenage girls using her personal experience and applicable Scripture references. Henry J Rogers gives his input from a male perspective at the end of each chapter. Just what do guys think when they see the way girls are acting, Henry tries to help the girls understand.

"Keeping It Real" talks of the basics addressing girls of today. Sometimes there are little trivial things that become major setbacks to the young girls of today. Maybe it is that awful thing called peer pressure. "Everyone else is doing it, why can't I?" In the 21st century, it is sometimes difficult for parents to gently lead their daughter into truly being a "Daughter of the King," that is a Christian young lady who God has a intended plan.

There are three major areas explored in this useful book. The issue of gabbing is explored first. Just as God says we should never let unwholesome talk flow from their mouths, gabbing is more than just gossip. What limitations should young girls have on their tongues? Heather Jamison uses an acronym for this area, it gives solid advice. Think, always thinking before speaking is recommended. Goal setting is given a rather significant portion in itself. Her acronym for this section is Smart. Keeping the goodies is a fantastic section on maintaining purity. Heather uses her personal experience and regrets to urge girls to resist temptations and situations that would put them at risk.

There is a study guide at the end of the book which will definitely help small groups to study the valuable information within its pages. As a mother of a girl, I'm thankful that there are high quality books like this one being printed to help us with our highest calling, being a Christian parent and training in the way they should go, so they do not depart from it. Being a youth girls leader, I would definitely love to share this book with the precious sheep in my care as they mature into Christian ladies. AHeather's central theme of driving a car to your ultimate destination is very attractive as driving is an important part of a girls growing up years. This is a must read for any teenage girl that wants to know just how she can be what God wants her to be. The language is very easy to read and understand. I look forward to more books by Heather Jamison in helping the youth of today as they grow to be the adults of tomorrow!

Audio Book: Renegade Husband

Title: Renegade Husband
Author: Diann Mills
Publsihed Heartsong Presents, 2007.
ISBN: 1-59789-498-2
Reviewed for ReaderViews.

How would you feel if you left your family and friends and went to a different land only to be deceived? This is what happens to young Audra as she travels to Iowa to be a mail order bride for a young pastor. Mail order brides were common to the time period which this story is set. What adds a twist to a mail order bride situation is that there are identical twins living in the town when she arrives there.

One of the twins has sent for a bride for his brother. Caleb Windsor has been blamed for the crimes which his brother has committed. One of the brothers is definitely more suited for young Audra but where does the sharing between brothers end? Will the fact that the young pastor is married be enough for him to leave his crime behind? Will Caleb be able to clear his name and still have a chance at happiness with the woman he loves?

This book has been out in print for months. It now is out in an audio book type format. The complete story is told on 4 CDs with voice changes in order to keep the characters straight. Audio books are awesome for those who find that they don't have time to read a book. They are also great for mothers to listen to while they are taking kids from their many activities. "Renegade Husband" is sure to keep the romantic and adventure lover hooked. I loved this book and found that "reading" a book this way is very enjoyable. Its a great storyline and can capture your attention. You won't want to stop listening until the delightful ending.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Title: Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Author: Jenn Doucette

Published by Harvest House Publishers, 2007.

ISBN 978-0-7369-1939-5.

Reviewed for Reader Views 06/07.

"Just wait till you have kids of your own!" How many mothers have ever said that when they are reaching their limit. When children are little, they think their mother knows everything. When they get older, they think their moms are totally out of touch. But as the years go by and you become a parent yourself, you start to realize that your mother was right all along. Your mother might have told you that 'someday your time will come." Well, if you are faced with the trials and tribulations of motherhood and just need to take a break, you have just the place to lose yourself. Its time to sit back and enjoy a book so you don't feel so alone.

In fact, your mother's knowledge has even been sung about in a popular old song written by Van Morrison and is the title song of his 1995 album. You probably have the chorus ringing in your head upon reading the title of the book. Jenn Doucette has created a wonderful book which will give exhausted and worn out mothers a much needed rest. Through her many stories about her own experiences, Jenn offers you a friend to laugh with. Her book is laid out in a road trip type fashion. Each chapter offers a rest stop and explores reclaiming contentment, wonder, repairing relationships and rekindling romance just to name a few. Each chapter ends with what she calls "Tank Toppers" which are ideas which you can use to put the information into action. She encourages the readers to "Take a Break" which is a prayer and "Getting Directions" which gives the readers a place to write down areas which you want to address.

I found myself laughing throughout this book and yet gaining all kinds of valuable information. Jenn Doucette is an excellent author and I hope to find more books by her. There'd Be Days Like This" and its very true but there is now need to crumple under the pressures of parenthood. Jenn is here with her book who will help you in your travels in every stage of parenthood and put a smile on your face in the process

Thursday, June 14, 2007

White Chocolate Moments

Title: White Chocolate Moments
Author: Lori Wick
Published by Harvest House Publishers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-7369-1780-3
Reviewed for Reader Views 5/07.

Why is it that chocolate is comforting to a woman? Just the very thought of indulging in chocolate brings wonderful thoughts to women. Lori Wick presents "White Chocolate Moments" in a sweet love of famiy and reconciliation. Lori Wick is a very accomplished with many novels to her credit. I've never been disappointed in reading any of her novels and this one is no exception. Lori is gifted and I await her next book.
What begins as a family joining together for Grandpa Bryant's birthday turns to sadness. Arcineh Bryant is an only child. Her parents die in a car accident and Grandpa has her live with him. Grandpa is a very wealthy man and she gets whatever she wants. A young girl might think that would be just perfect, never having to worry about being in want. However, Arcineh loses her best friend and cousin, Quinn, to the evil thing called envy. Quinn lives farther away and feels that Arcineh is being spoiled and has more of Grandpa's love. Arcineh goes on a few business trips with Grandpa and he surprises her with chocolates in order to ease the loneliness she feels. She feels alone in the world and resentment towards what has happened sets in.
"White Chocolate Moments" covers the span of many years. We find Arcineh feeling alone and lost in grief. When she leaves her grandfather's house she finds a new friend who takes her in. But that only lasts so long since her friend ends up getting married. Arcineh is faced with having to fend for herself. She experiences having to take a physical labor job. She keeps it a secret that she is the granddaughter of the wealthy tycoon. She doesn't know how she will ever manage to cross paths with Grandpa Bryant again. She has failed relationships but eventually one love leads her to another. But how can she trust that this love will last? Is there a possibility of finding someone who will love her forever? Arcie has so man questions but no answers. All she has to do is return to the one who has all the answers: God.

"White Chocolate Moments" is like eating a piece of chocolate in places. Just like while eating some pieces of chocolate you just can't wait until the next piece, when reading this book, you just can't wait until the next satsifying chapter. Indulge yourself in "White Chocolate Moments," its a sweet indulgence with no calories!

Crazy House, Sane House

Title: Crazy House Sane House
Author: George & Jeannie Bloomer
Published by Whitaker House,2001
ISBN: 0-88368-726-7

Do you feel like you live in a crazy house? Do you feel like you don't know who you are married to anymore? As the years of marriage add up do you sometimes feel that you don't even know your spouse anymore? "Crazy House Sane House" is just the manual that will help you with your marriage. If you want to have a stronger marriage, and a foundation that withstand the storms of life, this book is for you.

Just as a brick building is built brick by brick, so must your marriage. It makes little difference if wedding bells are in your future or you just want to strengthen the bonds of marriage."Crazy House Sane House" can help you step by step. There are 3 main parts in this book, the first talks about laying the foundation and the three building blocks that support everything else. Effective communication, comfort and conflict resolution are explored. The fight for control in the house is often times the reason for failed marriages.

With Scripture references and references to what has worked in their own marriage, George and Jeannine Bloomer are there to help you build your marriage. You don't have to live in a crazy house anymore. I really enjoyed reading this book! My husband and I have been married almost 12 years and there were many points in this book where we can make adjustments and have our marriage be everything God intended it to be. Just as houses need updates and improvements as the years go by, your marriage needs attention and this book will help you in some way.

Am I Bad? Recovering from Abuse

Title: Am I Bad? Recovering from Abuse
Author Heyward Bruce Ewart III
Published by Loving Healing Press, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-93269035-4

"It's all your fault! You brought this on yourself! If you would have done something different, this wouldn't have happened to you!" Ah yes, these are things an abuse victim may hear. Or they may simply believe. Do you know someone who has been abused? Perhaps it was a close friend or family member. Or maybe it was you yourself who was abused a year or many years ago and you are still dealing with the effects of it all. Your natural reactions when something like this happens to you is to blame yourself. Traumatized people often find themselft abusing alcohol, drugs or others but there is something much less destructive.

Heyward Bruce Ewart has created the book "Am I Bad" to help victimes, parents and therapists. There are various tests included in this book which can help determine whether the victim is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is a test for concealed child abuse and a domestic violence inventory questionnaire throughout its pages, descriptions of what effects the abuse has taken and how you can break free. This book is not meant to take over the work of a qualified therapists but to help therapists and those dealing with abused people.

No two cases are exactly alike. What happened in one case didn't happen quite the same in another. Just like each victim may react differently in dealing with what happened to them. This is an excellent resource!

Wisconsin Weddings

Title: Wisconsin Weddings
Author Andrea Boeshaar
Published by Barbour Publishing, 2006.
ISBN: 978-1-59789-631-3.

When you least expect it, it can happen. Just what is "it?" For Jena, Lara and Melody it is an opportunity for love. Not just "puppy" love but the real thing. None of the three young Wisconsin women are expecting to find their soulmate but that is what happens.

Jena needs a summer job. Travis is a busy lawyer whose wife died leaving him to raise his young daughters Mandi and Carly on his own. He advertises for a "summer girl." A summer girl is someone who will take care of his daughters, do some light housekeeping and take the girls to their activities. Travis sister Glenda was living in the attached apartment and taking care of the girls until a man interested her and she ran off with him. Travis is expecting someone much younger than 26. But 26 year old Jena comes to interview and Travis is impressed so he hires her. Jena fills the void that the girls feel since losing their mother and love starts to grow not only for the girls but also for Travis. When summer is over, will Jena be gone from the girls lives?

Aren't the older sisters always supposed to marry before the younger ones? Melody always thought that she would get married before her younger sister Bonnie. Bonnie's new fiancee' is coming to dinner at their parents and wedding plans are set into motion. Oh no, Bonnie's fiancee' is someone who Melody used to date. Melody's parents are all pleased and the house soon becomes Wedding Central. Melody just wants someone to talk to so she starts spending more and more time with Luke the neighbor guy who has always loved Melody. Will Melody and Luke discover that they are more than just neighbors and friends? Will Bonnie still marry Scott when she finds out what happened to her sister's dealings with her intended?

Kevin is a rodeo star but he has taken a terrible fall from a horse and is flown to the hospital by Flight for Life. Lara is a social worker who works in the hospital with case studies. Lara has always had an interest in horses and helps out at the Regeneration Ranch where handicapped people work with horses as part of their therapy. To make matters worse, Lara has been assigned Kevin's case and she had a crush on him in their younger years. It will be a "Long Ride Home" for Kevin as he recovers but can they find love now that they are given another chance? Will they find a lariat around their hearts?

Andrea Boeshaar is from Wisconsin and invites you to come to Wisconsin through this book. Her descriptions of this great state and familarity with places and landscapes of Wisconsin shine through. This is a must read for those who love tender romances with men and women finding true love The three stories in this excellent book will capture your heart and give you a much needed retreat. God's plan is always the right one as illustrated in this beautiful stories of love, romance and sweet surprises. Come to Wisconsin for the weddings, you will be glad you did!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don't Hate Your Enemies Just Step on Them : The Art of Loving People

Title: Don't Hate Your Enemies Just Step On Them: The Art of Loving People
Author: E.E. Jenkins
Published by Milestones International Publishers, 2006
ISBN: 0-924748-70-2

How many times have you been tempted to complain about other people? How many times have you ridiculed, complained at or been hurt by another person's actions. Surely we all have dealt with these types of situations. What is the best way to handle these situations in a God pleasing manner?

E.E. Jenkins has written a book that will help you deal with some of these destructive circumstances that you find yourself in. "Don't Hate Your Enemies Just Step on Them" will have you looking at these situations differently. Is it really the person who you hate or is it their words and actions. Its not really the individuals that are treating you this poorly. There is only one to blame: Satan. Blaming certainly has been around since the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God has his reasons for putting these type of people in our lives for His purpose. In Romans 8:28 it is written "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

It sounds like a strange idea to actually love your enemies, doesn't it? But do you realize that God tells us to do exactly that. It is written in I John 4:7-8: " Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn't loving and kind, it shows that he doesn't know God - for God is love."

"Don't Hate Your Enemies Just Step on Them" takes a look at not judging others. It talks about making checks on yourself on how you handle these things. Complaining and its destructive damage is looked at in two chapters. The power of anger is given a chapter of its own. Looking at forgiveness and how forgiving you really are and what should motivate you to forgive others, this book has many great points.

One of the most helpful parts of this book that I found is the chapter entitled "The Power of Agreement." E.E Jenkins gives the reader suggestions as to how to agree. "Disagreement is one of the key stumbling blocks that the enemy uses to perpetuate division." E.E. Jenkins shares his acronym for AGREE which is definitely something that is worth remembering when involved in a relational dispute. He also gives you a chart of different oppositions and solutions which will help you look to the Word to help you develop a God-pleasing solution to dealing with angry and complaining people.

When being faced with destructive criticism or wondering why I must endure these type of people, I will certainly remember this book. I enjoy the way that E.E. Jenkins uses approriate Scripture verses to get his point across. would have to say this is a must read for every Christian, from young to old. You too can love others rather than hating your enemies or circumstance.

reviewed for Readerview

Saturday, April 7, 2007

31 Girl

Title: 31 Girl
Author: Mary Simpson
Publisher: Whitaker House,2005
ISBN: 0-88368-808-5
Reviewed by Lori Plach for Christian Review of Books 4/07

Are you looking for a manual for a young lady that will teach all that she needs to know about being the type of girl that God has designed her to be? If so, look no further than "31 Girl" by Mary Simpson.

Mary Simpson takes each verse of Proverbs 31 and develops a chapter around it. Each chapter has a quote found in a secular book or film. She includes the scripture verse in New International Version format. She then tells a story about her personal life that relates to that scripture verse. Each chapter has a prayer which can be used for the girl's individual prayer time. There are treasure tips included in each section which deal with everything from nail care, face care, letting others know how much they mean to you, and pedicures along with alot of other helpful advice. At the end of each chapter is a story written about one of her "31 girls" with their own experiences being their guide.

There are chapters about humility, serving the Lord with gladness and true beauty coming from within ourselves. This one book that I feel is very important for every Christian girl to have. There are pictures throughout the book which show girls having fun. There are wide variety of poems and quotations that apply to every girl no matter if she is in her teens or twenties.

Mary Simpson is very knowledgable in the Scriptures and has created a real treasury. I had a difficult laying this book down until I was finished with it. However, it could be taken one chapter a day just as easily. I am hoping to use this book as part of my curriculum for my young girls group at our church this fall. The rose theme is carried out throughout this book making this is a beautiful book in its content which outweighs its physical appearance. "31 Girl" is a must read for every girl in their walk with their Lord!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Horse with the Golden Mane

Title: The Horse With the Golden Mane
Author: Russell A Vassallo
Published by Krazy Duck, 2997
ISBN: 978-0-9776739-1-9

Are you looking for a book with adventure, mystery and romance all in one volume? If that is what you are looking for, your search is over. "The Horse With the Golden Mane" has it all. There are 3 short stories in this book which encompass all three of them: adventure, mystery and romance. This is a very delightful read by a great story teller. Russell A Vassallo brings his love of animals and being a gifted storyteller to life in this book. Even you don't initially favor horses, there is a dog as a major character in the first story.

The story "Eric" deals with a man who was freed from a Nazi death camp and exiled to America. He develops an unusual friendship between him and a Doberman pinscher. It is very exciting to see how this story comes to an end as there are many twists and turns throughout. I had a difficulty laying this book down while engaged in this story.

The next is the story of "Taj." Taj is a horse who hasn't lived up to his full potential as a race horse. Grant Larsen feels a connection between him and the horse and saves his life. Perhaps the real reason for Taj's existence isn't really racing but a different purpose. He chases all over looking for where this horse could have been taken. He is amazed and surprised when he sees what Taj's purpose really is. It's a heartwarming story with a tear-jerking ending.

The title story "The Horse with the Golden Mane," is a wonderful story of undying love of a man named Pierce Bernard. He frantically searches for his wife with a self-sacrificing love. Pierce develops a bond with an abused horse. The lack of trust in humans that this animal after abuse is very well brought out. Pierce finds himself talking with the horse and it becomes evident that the horse ends up being a very close friend to Pierce. In the process of getting the horse to trust him, Pierce learns very much about himself. Will Pierce ever find his wife Maya?

I would highly recommend this book to animal lovers and short story lovers. The stories are very engaging and addictive. My wish is that Russell A Vassallo writes more books like this one. "The Horse With the Golden Mane" is an awesome book that I will long remember reading.

Written for Readerview 4/07

The 365 Day Clean Joke Book

Title: The 365 Day Clean Joke Book
Compiled by Sandy Troyer
Barbour Publishing, 2006
ISBN: 978-1-59789-650-4

Are you sick of hearing jokes that aren't funny or are poking fun of a person's nationality or hair color? Are you looking for some quality clean jokes to share around the water cooler at work? You know, ones that will not embarass you or be considered unwholesome. As it is written in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths." Do you find yourself having to explain punch lines to the kids? If you have a speech to write and want to start off on a humorous note, "The 365 Day Clean Joke Book" is definitely a treasury you would want for your home library.

The jokes in this book are hilarious! There is no need to be ashamed of the content of "The 365 Day Clean Joke Book." This book could easily be enjoyed by all members of the family, except those who are too young to understand jokes yet. Each page represents one day so you can get 3 good laughs every day of the year. The content varies from "Knock knocks" to short humorous stories to delighful one liners. Its been said that laughter is good for the soul. This book is great for your soul because there are tons of laughs inside its pages.

You too can show that you have a sense of humor but the laughs don't have to come from poking fun at other people, references to sex and body parts. There are riddles and jokes on a wide variety of topics from church to animals, education to family, travel and much more. I love this book since it will definitely make my mouth filled with laughter and still be honoring my Lord and Savior while still enjoying a good laugh.

Make every day special and laughter filled, by indulging in "The 365 Day Clean Joke Book" just because its funny doesn't mean it has to be dirty!

Written for Reader Views 4/07

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Heart's at Home

Title: My Heart's at Home
Author: Jill Savage
Harvest House Publishers, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7369-1826-8

Have you ever tried to be everything to everyone? If you are a mother, you are everything from a nurse to a counselor to a tutor. As mothers, our families are of utmost importance to us. Jill Savage has written a book which would make a terrific addition to a family library. As she states in her book, "healthy relationships set us on our relationship track for the rest of their lives. The relationships we have with our parents and our siblings serve as the foundation for all future relationships in life."

Separated into individual chapters, you can learn all the different areas that a home should be. Our homes should be a safe house, rest area, trauma unit, church, pep rally, research lab, school, museum, playground, business office, hospitality house and cultural center. At the end of the book are specific questions to ask yourself or discussion questions for reading groups to share.

There are so many great tips in this book to try and briefly describe each part would definitely be an injustice. This is a such a great source book when dealing with our job in which we have the most impact, that being a mother.

Just as your home needs to be many different places all at the same time, mothers have so many different hats to wear. Each part of a family has their specific roles and responsibilities to maintain in order for the family to be the type of family that God wants us to be. When reading this book, I found myself making many notes in a notebook, so I could use them for quick reference when a specific circumstance would arise in my life.

"My Heart's At Home" is a terrific book by a very knowledgable author. Jill Savage is the founder of Hearts at Home which is an organization commited to helping moms love their life. I would definitely love to see Jill Savage write more books as useful as this one.

written for Reader Views, April 2007

Caught Off Guard

Title: Caught Off Guard Encounters With the Unexpected God
Author: William P Smith
Published by New Growth Press, 2007

Do you ever find yourself having a question about just which way to turn when a problem or find yourself in an unusual circumstance? If you wish you had a Christian counselor to talk to when this happens. Turn to "Caught Off Guard: Encounters With the Unexpected God." William P Smith is a counselor and faculty member in the School of Biblical Counseling in Glenside, PA has written a book which will help you through some of the rough times.

Each chapter starts off with a "Case study", that is a story about a particular family who is dealing with some particular trouble at the time. William P Smith uses actual Scripture exercepts to point out how a similar situation was faced in biblical times. All Scripture references are in the New International Version. The end of each chapter gives you a list of questions to make you think of yourself in the particular circumstance.

While reading this book, I found myself realizing that I'm not alone in alot of areas. Many others have experienced much of the same as I have. The stories in this book are very encouraging and at the same time are very wonderfully written and refreshing.The stories are true and show many things about our loving God which we might not have realized by simply reading or hearing the Scripture.

I would definitely like to read more books by William P Smith. He has a very easy to read and understand style of writing. This book definitely caught me off guard, as it is rare for me to find a book that brings out the attributes of our Savior and His amazing grace for everyone

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Becoming Soul Mates


Recently I wrote a review on the book entitled "Becoming Soul Mates: How To Create The Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of for Reader Views. This is an excellent book for any of you who are marrried. It doesn't matter how long you have been married, you can always learn something new that will help you create the marriage that God intends it to be.

Here is the review:
Is your marriage everything you want it to be? Could you use a little help? You can have that lifetime relationship you always wanted. "Becoming Soul Mates: How to Create the Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of" is the perfect resource book for all married couples. If you are just married, married a few years, or many years, you could learn alot from this book no matter how many years you have with your spouse.

Elva Anson brings her 40 plus years of married life to help others. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist who has helped many couples deal with their deteriorating marriages and strengthen others. Her own husband Everett says that the principles in the book have helped he and Elva become intimate friends and closer companions by using the principles in this book.

All the different aspects of marriage are explored in "Becoming Soul Mates." There are chapters on explaining the definition of intimacy, safety through love, listening, talking with your spouse and meshing your differences. There are very helpful tips on how to have fun getting closer to your spouse. Talking about your feelings is not always easy but there is help for that. Listening is paramount to your relationship. Anyone can talk, but can you communicate effectively?

My husband and I have been married for over 11 years and are still learning. Do you ever really know your spouse? We have been having fun trying to implement the many tips in this book. This book is written with a Christian perspective on how God has given us all differences and how to make the most of them. Since reading this book, I have often heard "where did you ever learn that?" Our whole concept of communication is changed after reading this book. We have learned to appreciate our differences and work on areas of relationship which needed help. One of my favorite parts of this book are the 20 reminders of how to get closer to your spouse.

With a valuable resource like "Becoming Soul Mates: How to Create the Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of" you too can make your relationship all that it is intended to be. Elva Anson's easy to read style makes me anxious to see if she will write more terrific books like this one. Becoming your spouse's soul mate is possible!

I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

DVD: Akeela and the Bee

Two unlikely people can learn to work with each other towards a common goal.

Akeela Anderson is a 7th grade African American girl who has been dealt a rough life. Losing her father at age 6 is tough. She feels like she just doesn't fit in at Crenshaw Middle School.

Akeelah has unique hobbies. One is playing Scrabble on her computer and her other is talking to her father's picture. One night she sees the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition on television. At school she takes a spelling test and it is discovered that she has a hidden talent. Crenshaw Middle School has never had an entrant at the district spelling bee. Mr. Welch, her school principal, encourages and hires a coach for her. Dr Joshua Larrabee has taken a sabbatical from his professorship at the UCLA due to some family issues.

Akeelah starts on her track to the national bee but is faced with many challenges. Her mother is far from supportive in Akeelah's quest for an achievement. Her coach, Dr Larrabee, is facing some haunting memories, is very strict with her and threatens to quit. She strikes up an unexpected friendship. Her biggest fear is being afraid of herself. Her biggest competition is Dylan Chu, who is a 3 time entrant in the national bee and is coached by his rigid father.

Akeelah's main encouragement is her brother who is a serviceman. He promises her that if she makes it to the national level in Washington DC he will be there for her. She discovers that if she just breaks apart the large words there is no word that she won't be able to spell. She also learns that if she just looks around her there are plenty of coaches. The sense of community and lots of people joining together to help her gives this movie a heartwarming feel.

Giving out the final ending of the movie would not be helpful. This is a movie which can be enjoyed by all members of the family. Every time we have seen this movie we always see something that we haven't seen previously. Heartwarming and entertaining!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Earth to Betsy by Beth Patillo

Beth Patillo has done it again. After reading "Heavens to Betsy," I had hopes that the sequel would be equally entertaining. "Earth to Betsy" kept my interest all the way through the book. You never knew what kind of humorous situation the heroine would get into.

The story begins where "Heavens to Betsy" leaves off. She now is dating her long-time best friend David. On their first official date, he has a surprise for her. He proposes for her and the couple is instantly thrown into an engagement party. That in itself would be nerve-racking enough, but then David's mother has an announcement of her own. She wants to save her dying magazine "Budget Bride" by organizing the complete wedding using thrifty ideas.

Having two mothers competing for their children's wedding is enough. David and Betsy really don't have time to plan a wedding anyway. The results are far from what anyone would expect. From the good china being a mismatched set of china from a thrift store to having a staged bridal shower without the bride even present are just some of the humor around the wedding.

Reverend Becky is being faced with trials with her church as is David. Betsy's church has dwindling attendance and offerings, they have an offer to sell the church and relocate. David is spending more time with the fire marshall than he is with his fiancee'. There are quite some colorful characters in both churches especially Betsy's who you can't help falling in love with. Will the churches be saved?

Is there hope for the wedding to come off with the 2 mothers being happy and the couple? Or is it impossible? This book will have you laughing page after delightful page. Who can't identify with wedding plans and all the trials and tribulations of that.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt

Did you ever wonder what it would have been like to live in the time of Jesus' birth? "The Nativity Story" by Angela Hunt gives the read clues as to what life would have been like for Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary.

The story is familiar to anyone who has or spends any time in the Bible. However, more insight is given to how others could have reacted to these unusual happenings in these people's lives. Elizabeth is in her old age when suddenly she is told that she will be having a baby. Her husband Zechariah doesn't believe it, so he cannot talk until their son is given the name of John. At that time, sons were named after their fathers or another relative. Mary is there to help Elizabeth in her time of need.

How Mary's parents must have reacted when they realize that their young daughter is pregnant even though she is not yet married. What sheer determination it took Joseph to take Mary as his wife even though he's not the father of the baby. She could have been stoned for what she had allegedly done.

There are also chapters of the book which talk of the three Magi. Their sighting of a strange star and their journey to see what has happened. The chapters about them are interspersed with the story of Mary.

This book is very enlightening and makes me even more anxious to see the movie which is currently in the theatres with the same name.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Facing the Giants

Are you ready to see a movie that will change your life? If so, Facing the Giants is the one to see. You will find yourself laughing, crying and contemplating aspects of your life when viewing this film. Your faith will be built up while watching this video. The message of this film is very powerful and overwhelming at times.

Grant Taylor is a high school football coach with many problems. In his 6 years of coaching, the team has never had a winning season. He and his wife Brooke are unable to conceive a child. Their car is constantly breaking down. He is unable to provide the kind of house for his wife as he wants to. After 3 straight losses in the new season, some of the player's fathers want to have Grant lose his head coaching job. What makes it even worse, is one of his assistants and a man who Grant considers a friend has teamed up with the fathers. One of the best players on the team transfers to another team. It seems to him and Brooke that things can't get much worse?

Grant meets with an individual in one of the school's hallways who gives him some advice. He turns to the place with all the answers: the Bible and his God. He prays for strength and how he can build up faith in himself, his team and his God. He starts applying these principles to his football team through a wide variety of means. He uses Brock, one of the team leaders, to build up endurance and the courage to give it all he's got. Direct scripture references are throughout
this film. The Shiloh Christian Academy Eagles are building more than just their physical strength but also they mental strength. The team is joined by a young student named David who has never played football only soccer. David's wheel-chair bound father is his main inspiration as he never gives up trying to stand.

With alot of prayer and hard work, the season starts turning around for both Grant and the team. They start winning games. Grant's life starts turning around. The Giants are the 3 time defending state champs but they have yet to face their toughest opponent. Nothing is impossible with God.

This is a must see family film! Even those people who aren't especially fond of football will find this film an inspiration. Its action packed with a great story line and heartwarming characters.
We all face Giants each day, but we are never alone.

Be My Valentine by Debbie Macomber

Are you looking for a couple of nice Valentine stories to inspire your romantic side on this upcoming holiday? If so, Debbie Macomber has placed two of her stories in one volume and published them under the title "Be My Valentine."

The first story is "My Funny Valentine." Dianne and her children Jason and Jill were abandoned by her husband and father of the children. Dianne has an overbearing mother whose only fault is that she doesn't want to see her daughter lonely and have to raise the children herself. So like any mother, she tries to arrange "dates" for Dianne. With less than stellar results, the children try to find a man for their mother too. Its just days before the big community center dinner, and Dianne has locked her keys in her car. Does this just turn the key to unlock her bad luck with men.

She meets Steve Creighton, a tow truck driver. She knows that her back is to the wall to find a date for the dinner. She makes a preposterous offer to him. She will pay him $100 to attend this dinner with her. With her mother and children asking questions as to how they met, she invites Steve to her house for dinner. Of course, he brings the tow truck over and a stuffed animal for the children in order to look good in their eyes. Her demands on him for this one dinner get more and more ridiclous as the story progresses. Will this date just end costing her money or does it open the door to romance and a better future?

They attend the dinner and some startling discoveries are made on the part of Dianne. Some of the things that happen in the context of this book are downright laughable. Surely you have found yourself in some pretty strange circumstances. Telling the ending of the story would make you not want to read it for yourself. But you certainly won't be disappointed in the story.

The second story in this book is called "My Hero." Bailey York is an aspriring romance writer. No matter how many times she revised her manuscript, she just can't seem to get the hero right. So she is in search of finding a real-life hero in order to model for the Michael in her book. It seems as if this man she knows from the subway would have some of the same desired characteristics that she wants for Michael. So she tries chasing him down in order to get to know him.

What she doesn't realize is that their lives, Bailey's and Parker's have definite similarities to Janice and Michael's. They begin to date but they always claim that they are doing "research."
Research takes on many more meanings and they share their deepest secrets. Bailey has rewritten the whole Michael in her story "Forever Yours," but realizes that Janice has some faults now. Or are these faults just Bailey's herself?

This story captivates the romance reader's imagination and it is very difficult to put this book down until you complete it. Flowers and research opportunities will challenge this twice left at the altar female and burned in love man to be saying "Be My Valentine."

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Its time to snuggle up with a good book!

I plan on going to snuggle up with a good book right now. This whole weekend is going to be pretty cold here. Tomorrow's high temperature is 2 and maybe 5 on Sunday. Sure wish I lived somewhere it was warm. Perhaps, I will be able to add another entry onto this blog sometime tomorrow. I do pretty fast or so I have been told. Let me know what kind of books you like too.

Blog Readers?

Has anybody reading my blog? Let me know if you are checking this blog out.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Heavens to Betsy by Beth Patillo

Have you ever discovered that you want something that has been right under your nose the whole time? This is what happens to Betsy. Will she realize it before it is too late?

Betsy is an associate pastor of the Church of the Shepherd in Nashville, TN. She has developed great friendships with two of her fellow divinity school students, LaRonda and David. Both of them are pastors in nearby churches. She has known each of them for over 8 years. They are the type of friends that you can pour your heart out to. So she has everything right?

Not quite. She has gotten talked into doing a "Holy to Hottie" segment on her cousin's show. This is a makeover with less than perfect results. This whole concept gives the readers laughs. The senior pastor of the church announces his retirement and the interim senior pastor is none other than Betsy. She has a nemesis on the church council who would like her to be terminated because the offerings have been dwindling. Is Betsy at fault?

Betsy cooks the perfect dinner for her and David. Only she mistakes what he says as "bringing along a surprise" as a good thing. He totes Cali, his girlfriend along. Oh no, you can almost imagine how this goes over. Will she get up the nerve to tell David what she really wants?

This book will keep you laughing and sometimes crying through the trials and tribulations of being a single female pastor.