Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Wonderland Creek

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

In this somewhat humorous story we meet Alice Grace Ripley, a young lady who always has her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. After losing her boyfriend and her job, she decides a little time away from home might do her good.

Since she'd been collecting some books for a small, needy library in Kentucky, she thought it might be nice to deliver them in person. Upon arriving at the library to help out for a couple weeks, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a backwoods, mining community full of distrusting people and plenty of secrets. Alice quickly learns that there is more to life than what she's been living.

I love just about anything written by Lynn Austin, and she didn't disappoint me in Wonderland Creek. If you're an Austin fan, you should enjoy this one. I love her characters because sometimes they're sassy and make me laugh, and I can feel what they're feeling.

The story grabbed me from the very beginning. It had humor, mystery, nutty people, suspense, and books. What's not to love about this book? I'm rating it 5 stars and highly recommend it!

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Book Review: House of Secrets

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

Have you ever kept a heavy secret (or maybe several) from a loved one simply because you believed you were protecting them for their own good? What happened when the truth came out? Did it feel like your whole reality was coming apart at the seams? Is there healing for someone with such painful wounds?

House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson is just such a story. It is a page-turner and a heart-breaker. As I started the book I was immediately pressed to keep reading because I wanted to know the family's secrets. What could be so terrible about these sisters' pasts? Why didn't they want to return to their family's summer home of 15 years ago?

This is a story about family, forgiveness, and victims becoming victors over their past. I give it 4 stars and highly recommend it.

I appreciate Bethany House Publishers providing me with a copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

 Read the first chapter....

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons
4 of 5 stars

I was drawn to this book first of all for the setting. It takes place in the south during the Civil War. I also was intrigued by the plot. Amanda Belle, a young southern woman, is caught between her love and loyalty to her brother, a Confederate soldier, and a developing interest in Captain Littlefield, a Union officer.

As both men go off to war, Amanda struggles at home with her father and young sisters, waiting for the day this bloody war will be over and their brother returns to them. Her father is a pastor, and although she has been a woman of faith, she's uncertain that God is hearing her prayers anymore as the Civil War rages on.

I loved the characters in the story, the plot, and the interaction between the Belle family and their slaves. I could feel for Amanda's plight as her heart was torn between honoring her father and brother and following her desire to remain in communication with Captain Littlefield.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories set in the Civil War period. This is my first reading of anything by Golden Keyes Parsons, but I plan to read more of her books in the future.

I received a review copy in e-book form from Booksneeze.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buckle Up!

So yesterday I was driving to work. I was listening to my new favorite song and singing along. All of a sudden I felt a THUD, as if I had run over something. I was sure I hadn't seen anything in the road, so I couldn't understand why it sounded as if I had run over something.

I slowed down and looked in my rear view mirror, and much to my horror, I saw a cat darting across the street. It didn't look injured, but I must have hit it. There was nothing else in the road behind me, except the cat.

It made me gasp and clasp my hand over my mouth in unbelief. Where did the kitty come from?!? I love cats. I've owned five. I cannot believe I hit one, but I never saw it. He must've been a fast runner to get under my van and back out without major harm. As I said, it ran off and didn't appear injured. I'm hoping it simply got off with a scrape.

It's an obstacle course out there on the roads these days. Between the few dreaded intersections near my home and cats running out from nowhere, it's a wonder I can venture out there.

Buckle up, people. It's dicey out there.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been 'asked' to report for jury duty? Were you chosen to serve? If not, were you happy or disappointed?

Yes, I have had to report for jury duty several times. Only once did I get called to the jury box and was questioned. They didn't like my answers, so they let me go home. I was relieved.
2. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very), how mechanically inclined are you? Give an example to back up your answer.

I'm about a 3, I suppose. I become very familiar with my office equipment, particularly. Up until a couple weeks ago we had this very large digital duplicator for about 10 years. I knew by the sounds it made if it was malfunctioning. I knew what to do if the masters wouldn't spit out of the machine. On more than one occasion I had a pair of tweezers in there trying to get the bands positioned back on the rollers. Of course, my hands were always covered with ink when I was finished.

That's about the extent of my mechanical abilities, though.
3. Beets-cabbage-cauliflower-butternut squash....of the four, which is your favorite fall vegetable?

I can happily say that I eat all of those vegetables, but as for a favorite... I suppose I'd choose butternut squash, simply because I eat all the others year-round. I eat butternut squash a couple times in the fall. It's very good with butter and brown sugar.
4. What do you recommend to overcome self-pity?

Reading the Bible helps, and meditating on what Christ did for us on the cross and His great love and mercy lavished on us.

5. Do you enjoy classical music?

I will listen to it, but I have to work to enjoy it. 
6. October is National Book Month...what's on your reading list this month?

Okay... how did I miss that this is National Book Month? I'm hopelessly in love with books. I am currently reading His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons and The Essentials of Prayer by E.M. Bounds. I'm expecting several other books in the mail for me to review in a few weeks, like The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund, House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson, and Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin. I can't wait!
7. What is your idea of 'cute'?

 My little Dixie girl, my Sheltie

 8. Insert your own random thought here. 
 My favorite season is summer, but I do enjoy the fall colors. We've been enjoying temperatures in the 70's and 80's through the last week, so I've got to enjoy a little mix of summer and fall. I like it!

If you're interested in seeing how other bloggers answered these questions, pay From This Side of the Pond a visit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It Always Takes Me By Surprise

Yesterday while I was on my walk, I had to stop and gaze. Then I had to get a picture of these beautiful trees on the hill.

Every year the fall colors surprise me. I know that sounds crazy because seasons change like clockwork. It may be that I'm not expecting them in early October, but all of a sudden I look around and there's yellows, oranges and reds everywhere.

Are you enjoying the changing of the season and all the fall colors?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Musings Monday: Non-Fiction

The Musings Monday question for today is...What types of nonfiction do you read? Can do multiple choices.
 - e-books
- Mythology/Folklore
- Travel/Locations
- Humor
- History
- Art, including art history
- Science including forensics
- Gardening/Nature
- Political
- Financial/Economical
- Religious
- Self-help
- How-to books
- Books on writing
- Audio books
- Biography
- Autobiography
- Sports
- Architecture
- Fitness/Exercise/Nutrition/Beauty
- Other
- None of the Above

I read Religious and Biography.  Specifically, I read books on Bible doctrine and Christian living. I try to be in a biblical book all the time in addition to my fiction selections. I've never really been a fan of biographies, but after being required last spring to read Shadow of the Almighty (about the life of missionary Jim Elliot),  I realized how beneficial Christian biographies are. 

What kind of non-fiction do you read?
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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday Scripture

"For who has known the mind of the Lord, 
Or who has been his counselor?"  
"Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"  
For from him and through him and to him are all things.  
To him be glory forever. Amen. 

Romans 11:34-36 ESV

Saturday, October 08, 2011

So This is What 39 Looks Like

Well... my birthday was on Thursday. I'm now the big 3-9! Thirty nine years old. How did that happen? I really don't feel 39, although, I'm not sure exactly how 39 is supposed to feel.

I remember being in my 6th grade classroom and daydreaming about getting older... like being 30. Honestly, I never thought I'd see 30. I have been expecting the imminent return of Christ. I truly thought that He would rapture me out of here before I ever experienced age 30.

Yet here I am at 39.

So as I was saying, it was my birthday. The funny thing about it was I woke up at 5:30 AM. I had the opportunity to sleep in, but my body seemed to think I had sufficient sleep.

I walked into the bathroom, turned on the dimmer of the two lights, and looked in the mirror. I never look in the mirror the minute I get up. I was shocked at what I saw. Right between my eyebrows were two crease lines. They're the ones that crease whenever I scrunch up my forehead when I'm worried or upset. And there they were, as if I had been scrunching my forehead ALL NIGHT.

Seriously? This is how I look first thing in the morning? I had no idea! And if I look like this at 39, what will I look like in 10 years?

So... this is 39. It looks to be an "interesting" year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock

Shadow in SerenityShadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Carny Sullivan has seen plenty of cons, having been raised by parents who were carnival people and taught her all the tricks. When Logan Brisco blows into her small, close-knit town she knows his promises to the locals of making money in his investment opportunity are nothing but a scam. Carny does everything she can to convince her town that he's a con and refuses to tear down her personal walls of defense. But just when she believes she's got Brisco all figured out, he surprises her.

The book synopsis calls this a modern day "Music Man". It is that type of story, and I hadn't expected that when I planned to read it. I think I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. Carny's constant nagging about Logan Brisco's con for the first half started getting on my nerves, but somewhere in the middle of the book I got over it.

I give the book 3 stars because it just didn't "wow" me. I was looking forward to suspense because it was Terri Blackstock, but the suspense just wasn't there. I would've enjoyed it more if it had been. Overall it's a fun read, and I found the background of the life of the con men and the "carnys" interesting.

*I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes from Shelton Interactive. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

 Read the first chapter

View the trailer... (If you are reading this by email, click over to the blog to see the video.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I'm uncertain as to how to sum up the last few months. I've basically written book reviews but nothing personal. The blog took a backseat to book reading, summer pursuits, and my physical problems.

I have been struggling since the first week of July with a motion feeling, akin to floating on a boat. It comes and goes, but it's mostly on all the time to one degree or another. Along with the floating sensation are constant headaches, which are an absolute puzzle to me. I have a headache all the time. Some of the time it's just a mild ache, and I hardly notice it's there. Other times it's a hard throbbing.

I've been getting adjustments at the chiropractor. I've seen my family doctor. Neither one knows exactly why I'm feeling this way. Oh, there are some medical test options I can choose from, but I don't love the options. I currently have an appointment with a specialist, but it's a month out and I'm not sure that it's the right direction for me. So I wait.

It's always been near impossible for me to proclaim God is good when I'm suffering. I believe in the sovereignty of God, but when it came down to saying those words while I'm grappling with feeling horrible and wanting my circumstance to change, I stop short of saying it.

I know the Lord is working something in me, though. He's changing me. He knows my great need to learn how to trust Him, to surrender to whatever He gives me. In my daily prayers I've been giving this physical problem over to Him, asking Him to help me be surrendered to His will. If I believe God's will is always for my good and His glory, then I should be able to say that having headaches and a floating-on-a-boat feeling is good for me. I don't want to bring shame to His name by responding with despair.

I've recently learned the song written by Laura Story called Blessings. It's currently my favorite song because it speaks of asking God to remove suffering or making circumstances better, but we don't realize that the hard things God brings are really His mercies toward us. Sometimes when I'm awake at 3:30 AM because my head is spinning, I will turn on this song and sing softly. And it's in those moments I know that God is changing me because I'm drawing nearer to Him.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Book Review: Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last.Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last. by Joshua Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading the testimony of Joshua Harris as he talked about his teenage years in a mega church youth group and his lack of being grounded in correct doctrine. The premise of his book is to help the reader understand that we need doctrine, and we need right doctrine in order to live in a way that's pleasing to God. If our doctrine is wrong, we'll live wrong.

Harris writes about some of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, but he does it in a simple way so the average reader can grasp it. He doesn't use big words, and if he does, he explains what they mean. He covers the doctrines of salvation, sanctification, scripture and more. My favorite chapters were on the doctrine of Jesus and the doctrine of the church.

When I requested the book for review I was anticipating it would be a very good resource for the teens at my church. I would recommend it for older teens, but there is one chapter that hits briefly on a subject that's of a sensitive nature, and I would recommend a parent read the book first to determine if it's appropriate for their teen.

I have already recommended the book to friends because it's excellent. I think if you read it with other people, it would generate some good discussion. It would especially help someone who is a new Christian or someone who needs to have a better understanding of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. It does include an in-depth study guide at the back of the book for small groups.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont

Stained Glass HeartsStained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book is about how God makes the broken pieces of our lives into something we can use to change us. We are broken people, but we need God's perspective on what He's doing and how He's working in our lives.

Patsy encourages us to focus on gratitude to God for where we are and what He has given us, looking for God in our circumstances, and thinking Biblical thoughts. She shares personal stories of troubling seasons in her life and how God gave her His perspective through them.
Although Patsy is quite a humorous speaker, this book did not use humor as you might expect from her, except for one chapter where she talks about aging. I enjoyed that one the most because that's the Patsy I am familiar with. Beyond the humor, though, Patsy does have a way with words and describing beauty around her. You can tell she loves words and puts them well to use.

As for the spiritual impact of the book, I was left feeling like something was missing. It doesn't delve deeply into spiritual truths as much as I would like, and I probably won't remember much from the book in days to come. It was a bit on the "fluffy" side, in my opinion. I also don't go in for "self-esteem talk", which was mentioned a couple times.

I probably would not recommend this book to a friend, simply because I believe there are better resources available for women who need encouragement in their spiritual growth.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow

Water's Edge

Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow

Rating: 5 stars

Attorney Tom Crane travels to his small hometown in Georgia to close down his deceased father's law practice. In the process of working to get his father's clients hooked up with other attorneys who can take their cases, he finds a large sum of money in a secret bank account and must investigate who the money belongs to. He runs into unexpected trouble, and what he believed would be a simple task, lands him in a web of mystery and uncertainty over who he can trust.

I loved this book. I think it took off a little slow, but once it got going I was glued to the pages. If you enjoy legal thrillers, you will enjoy this book. There were some exciting twists and turns at the end.

What I really loved about the story was that it was written from a Biblical worldview, meaning the characters who were believers in Christ worked to handle their problems in relation to their faith. This is exactly what I am looking for in a Christian novel.

The main character, who didn't have faith, was challenged to seek God by other characters in the story. The Christian characters were concerned with prayer and church attendance and actually had meaningful relationships with the Lord. These are elements that are missing far too often in Christian fiction as well, and I am thrilled that Robert Whitlow included these in this book. I will read more of his work because of it.

Ready to read it? Download Water's Edge to your Kindle right now!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Church Camp Adventures 2011

I've been home from camp for seven days, and I don't think I'm quite back into a routine. Of course, summer changes my routine anyway.

One thing that's been wonderful this week is the weather. Nothing but sun and pleasant temps. Wish we could've had two weeks at camp just like this, but for whatever reason God didn't see fit to give it to us. We still had a good time, in spite of the rain and several days of cool temps.

So let's talk about camp a little. I woke up with a stuffy nose the first day we were heading out. I have frequently been sniffly in the mornings but not stuffy. Thinking the congestion would just clear up as the day wore on, I didn't worry much about it. I popped a Claritin and went on with my day. Only it didn't just go away. It made me miserable. And I was staying in a cabin among a lot of trees and grass and growing things that... you know... create pollen.

I woke up in the middle of that first night with my sinuses miserably congested and couldn't breathe. That warranted a trip up to Walmart first thing Wednesday morning before the kids even were up. Thank goodness that the state park is only about 25 minutes from the Walmart. I grabbed a couple packages of sinus meds and some throat drops and headed back to camp. Let's just say I sneezed a lot and used up almost an entire box of Kleenex all by myself over the next five days.

I just want you to know that although I never would've anticipated having an allergy issue during camp, God's grace carried me through it. It's not what I would've chosen for myself, but I managed and still had fun in spite of the discomfort.

So what do you want to hear about next? The volleyball games, the snake, or the nicknames the kids gave me?

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Busy Busy!

Hello. I'll bet you've been wondering where I have been. Or not... and that's okay.

I haven't been doing any book reviews of late. I needed to back away from any review commitments because I'm going to help at our church camp for two weeks in June.

Otherwise, I haven't written anything else simply because I haven't felt inspired. I guess this is a dry writing spell.

On the flip side of that, though, I started a prayer journal in January, and I have been keeping up with journaling almost every day. You might say I was challenged after reading A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller and also reading Jim Elliot's biography The Shadow of the Almighty. My desire to journal over spiritual things got kicked into high gear.

So as I mentioned, these next two weeks are going to be full and challenging. Next week I leave for teen camp, in which I will strive to keep up with a handful of teenagers (and their fearless leader) for 4 days.

Thank goodness, the girls get to stay in a cabin. With a toilet. And beds. What we're all praying for is that we get to keep our power this year, otherwise that toilet will only be a pipe dream. Last year we lost power during both weeks of camp. None of us camp veterans want a repeat of that.

Then I'll return on Saturday to do laundry, go to church, repack my things, and turn around to do it all again with the junior campers. They cut that week down by a day. I'm still not certain whether they do that for the young campers or for the adults.

But lest I forget to tell you... before all the camp fun begins I will be attending my 20-year high school reunion this Saturday. Did I just say 20 years?!? How did I grow old enough to even get here? I've been reading on Facebook of late about some of my classmates having children graduating from high school this year. One gal's daughter is going to make her a grandmother very soon. Yipes!!! How did this happen?

So wow! A lot happening around here, for sure. Hopefully I'll get a chance to fill you in on all the details later. Whenever that is.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan, #1)Leaving by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bailey Flanigan has dreams of performing on Broadway, so she is thrilled when she is given an opportunity to audition for her favorite show Hairspray. At the same time she's nursing a broken heart because her family friend-turned-boyfriend, Cody Coleman, walked out of her life without explanation. She still misses him after months of no phone calls or texts, but at the encouragement of her mother she tries to move on.

The characters in this story are connected to the Baxter Family series, none of which I've read. As I started into the book it was a little hard to discern who belonged to whom, and it seemed like there were so many characters to keep track of. After a few chapters it started falling together for me, and it wasn't a problem.

I liked the characters Bailey and Cody. I felt like they had depth and were relatable. I felt drawn into Bailey's life, particularly, and was left at the end of the book wanting to find out what happens next.

The one thing I especially appreciate about Kingsbury's writing is that she includes characters who have a genuine relationship with God, and they have regular conversations with Him when they face adversity and in their decision making. I wish more Christian writers would include this element in their books.

I have enjoyed a few of Karen Kingsbury's other books more than this one. Unlocked is by far my favorite of the few I have read. Having invested time into this story and getting caught up in Bailey's character, I will probably have to read the next in the series to find out what's next for Bailey, as well as a few of the other characters.

If you're a fan of Karen Kingsbury, I'm sure you will enjoy the book.

I would like to thank Zondervan for providing me with a free copy of the book for review. I was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Book Review: Promises To Keep by Ann Tatlock

Promises to KeepPromises to Keep by Ann Tatlock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this story about 11-year-old Roz, whose mom relocates her, her brother, and her baby sister to a small town to get away from her drunken, abusive father in the 1960's. Although she knows her dad was frightening at times, Roz wants to remember all the good things he did for her and hopes one day her family can be together and whole again.

Tillie is an eccentric, elderly woman who makes herself at home with Roz and her family shortly after they arrive in town, and even though she's a little odd, they soon find she's just who they need in their lives.

Then there's Mara Nightingale, a friend from school who befriends Roz. As their friendship grows they share everything with each other, including their deepest secrets. They make a pinky-swear promise to one another that they will pray for each other, that God will make both of their greatest desires come to pass one day.

Ann Tatlock is a new author to me, but I will enjoy reading more of her books. This story held my attention and had my interest from the first page. It was a fast-paced read and hard to put down.

I would've enjoyed the book even more if the faith aspect had been stronger. It was rather weak for my personal taste, but I still highly recommend it for the plot and storytelling.

I appreciate Bethany House Publishers for sending me a free copy for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Courting Miss AmselCourting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edythe Amsel is single, pretty, independent, and the new schoolmarm at a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Although the single men in town would like an opportunity to court her, she has only one goal in mind. She wants to teach her students, not be a wife and mother.

Miss Amsel's students love her, but the school board is quite irritated with her discipline, teaching methods, and broad subjects, since the children will simply become farmers when they graduate. Miss Amsel believes the children should know of the opportunities beyond Nebraska farming, though.

When she pushes the school board's limits by proposing the students travel to see Susan B. Anthony and a suffrage speech, Miss Amsel may be out of a job.

I enjoyed this story, even more than other books by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Although there are plenty of stories written about schoolteachers of this time period, this one held my interest.

I enjoyed the characters like Edythe, Luthenia, and Joel and his boys. I also liked the conversations between Edythe and Luthenia about God and faith. The crisis that brings Edythe to a moment of decision had me turning pages quickly.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in the 1880's. It's a lighter read but a good story about family, choices, relationships and faith.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

Monday, April 04, 2011

Book Review: The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

The Daughter's Walk: A NovelThe Daughter's Walk: A Novel by Jane Kirkpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a daring effort to save their family farm in 1896, Norwegian American Helga Estby takes her adult daughter Clara on a walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City to win $10,000.

Leaving their family behind and neighbors scoffing at her decision, Helga is willing to take a risk if it means she can help her family. But the journey is much more than she bargained for. It is harsh, secrets are revealed, and she returns home to loss and consequences that will be far reaching.

Upon returning to Washington, Clara goes in search of something that she can't find at home. She makes the decision to continue her own journey, leaving her family once again.

I found the story fascinating, particularly because it is based on real people and true historical events. The research Jane Kirkpatrick did to put this book together was extensive and intriguing, and she shares that process at the end of the book.

Although the characters stray from my own biblical view that a wife should honor and respect her husband as the head of the home, the Estbys were real people and this is their story. There were serious consequences which resulted from choices that were made, even though the choices were made with good intentions. I can't say that any of the Estbys responded to their hardships in a way that brought unity to their home, and unfortunately it wasn't an altogether happy story.

I highly recommend this book! The storytelling was terrific and engrossing. I found it hard to put the book down. It's amazing that Helga and Clara accomplished what they did, and it's worth reading the book to hear their story, a story that was almost lost forever.

If you would like to see a trailer of this book, check it out on Amazon

I wish to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and their Blogging For Books program for providing me with a free Advance Reading Copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I guess if I'm going to use the NaBloPoMo theme of the month, my word of the day is FAIL.

As I had suspected would happen, I got busy and didn't blog every day in March. Last week, in particular, was fast and furious because we had a missions conference at our church. march11

I totally blew NaBlo.... But that's okay with me. I blogged more this month than I have in the last several months, and that's what I had hoped to accomplish.

I wonder what April will bring?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (Mar. 30)


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading?

The Daughter's Walk is a book for me to review, and it's pretty interesting. It's based on true historical events.

King's Cross is something I'm going slowly through. Keller teaches from the book of Mark.

The Daughter's Walk: A Novel King's Cross

• What did you recently finish reading?

No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot was an interesting novel about a missionary going to the Quichua Indians of Ecuador. I liked it.

No Graven Image

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington is most likely my next read. It's part of my TBR Challenge 2011 and my Spring Reading Thing Challenge. The only thing that will keep me from it is if my next two books arrive in the mail that I need to review.

Thicker than Blood

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge (Mar. 23)

I'm linking up with From This Side of the Pond today.

1. Sunday was the first day of spring. So they say. Ahem. What is your favorite outdoor springtime activity?

I like to walk at the park for exercise. It's about the only form of exercise that I can stay motivated with. Once spring arrives I can tolerate the temperatures.

2. Who would you want to come into your kitchen to cook dinner for you?

It wouldn't be anybody famous. But my sweet friend, Judy, is a terrific cook. If she cooked dinner in my kitchen, it would probably be the one time we had a really good meal because I'm more of a sloppy joes, frozen pizza, and frozen meal kit kind of cook. Judy's homemade pizzeria style pizza is to die for.

3. When was the last time you flew a kite?

I can't remember, it was so long ago. I'm sure I had to have been 10 years old or younger. Would you even believe it if I told you that flying kites scared me? I think I was either afraid they would get tangled up in a tree or hit electrical lines.

4. What topic puts you to sleep faster than anything?

Anything having to do with math

5. What flowers do you associate with specific people, places, or events?

Sterling silverphoto © 2009 anam_uk | more info (via: Wylio)





My parents gave me Sterling Roses for my high school graduation because my school colors were purple and white. I had never seen purple roses before, and they were beautiful.

6. What significant historical events took place during your elementary school years?

President Reagan was shot when I was in the 6th grade. I remember getting home from school and watching the footage over and over and over again on the news.

7. Do you swear? Do you pseudo-swear? (you know- crap, shoot, friggin' ?)

I do not swear, but I have been known to say crap when I'm really annoyed and all worked up over some issue. Not that I'm proud of it. I don't want to be a poor testimony for the Lord.

8. Insert your own random thought here-

I saw this last week, and it's really cute, especially if you're a dog lover.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Reading Thing 2011

I'll be linking up with the Spring Reading Thing Challenge of 2011 hosted by Callapidder Days. That means I'm challenging myself to read these books between March 20 and June 20. I'm already in a year-long challenge, and a few of these will be filling double duty for me on this challenge.

Let's see how well I do this spring. I definitely need something to kick-start my reading since I'm sort of stalling out. I have been reading at a snail's pace these days.

So here are the books I'm either in the middle of or plan to begin:


Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer (for review)

The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke (currently reading)

Promises to Keep  by Ann Tatlock (for review)

The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick (for review)

Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot (required for Word of Life Club)

King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller (currently reading)

You can check out my Goodreads profile to see what I've already read and my ratings and/or reviews. I don't review every book on my blog, so you can get my complete list over there.