Sunday, June 13, 2010

Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth

I was so excited to get an advanced copy from the publisher of Mary DeMuth’s book Life in Defiance. It is the third book in a trilogy about a crime that happens in the town of Defiance, Texas. But between the dog having her puppies, gearing up for lifeguarding at the local pool and doing some much needed spring cleaning I was afraid my reading would have to wait.

Once I found a slot of time to begin reading the well woven tale by DeMuth, I found I couldn’t put it down. She weaves a tale with unforgettable characters who bring the reader along on an incredible journey of self discovery, repentance and forgiveness.

Oussie Pepper cringes at the sound of her hot tempered husband’s voice. Her only hope to save her life from the cruelty of his quick fisted anger is in the form of a book on becoming a Godly wife. Can a book help to repair the damage done, or the fear that hides behind the eyes of her two children? Does she have enough strength to save them from Hap’s rages or from the person responsible for the unsolved murder of Daisy Chance?

When a wandering man who calls himself a modern day prophet appears, Oussie is hesitant to respond to his words of counsel and truth. Who is the older man who seems to appear out of nowhere and know the very thoughts she is feeling, and the fear she tries to swallow. Between this stranger and some of the most unlikely women in the town Oussie learns that the best advice and friendship usually come from the most unlikely sources.

This a great book for those who enjoy suspense and well written woman’s fiction.

For those who haven’t checked out Mary’s blogs and website visit her at

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Matter Of Character

The other day my mother in law asked me, "Do you read anything just for pleasure?"

I have stacks of newspapers and magazines. Piles of books and volumes of research material. I read all the time, but when she asked me that simple question I felt like someone who had just received a mild concussion and could remember their name.

"Umm...the last fiction book I read strictly for pleasure..."I realized my coffee was gettting cold as I just stood there and stammered something inarticulate. "Probably not as often as I would like too."

Thankfully there are writers who write with an easy to read flow and with a freshness that captivates readers.

Robin Lee Hatcher is one of those writers.

A Matter Of Character is the third book in "The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs " series. While this is the first book I have read of Robins, it will not be my last. I enjoyed reading about what Idaho would have been like in 1918 and was thankful to have received an advance copy.

A Matter Of Character left me thinking about my own life and the questions that we find ourselves asking when we find ourselves at a crossroad.

What do we really want in life and am I really honoring the Lord with the gifts He has given me?

Check out Robin's website to learn more about this series and the other novels Robin has written and while you are there make sure to check out the contest she and Zondervan have going until June 11th 2010. You many even win a Kindle!

And the next time I see my mother-in-law, I am going to tell her I just read a great book for pleasure and loan her my copy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"O Me Of Little Faith"

I have been reading quite a few books lately, one of which is recently published and a preview copy from Zondervan, "O Me of Little Faith" by Jason Boyett.

Boyett discusses a topic rarely uttered within a church parking lot, let alone a small group Bible study or church service. He candidly talks about doubt.

Boyett describes being in second grade and saying "the Prayer". Which as he put it made him feel great about his eternal destiny-for about five months.

"I was going to heaven," Boyett wrote in his memoir. "Finally I could ride in the car without worry that an errant driver might sideswipe my soul into eternal fiery damnation."

But fear isn't enough to sustain a growing relationship with the Lord. Boyett writes about his journey of discovering he is not alone in his doubts. He is in good company, starting with some of the disciples, namely Peter and Thomas.

His candid look at what it is to doubt our faith in the face of trials helps readers who also struggle with wondering if God really exists.

In the end, this conversational book about the "True confessions of a spiritual weakling" encourages readers that they are not alone in their journey, especially when they find themselves feeling skeptical about their faith and offers hope that they are not alone in their doubts.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

The best part of Christmas for me, was just having all six kids home. Nathan is still in the Marines, Emma is living with our niece in Fresno and busy with wedding plans, Mark is in San Luis Obispo. I miss hearing the laughter and screams of anguish over Sorry cards being drawn, sending an opponent back to start,. Or the positioning of who is going to get to sit in the back of the Suburban or next at the opposite end of the dinner table from their Dad.

They love to say that I made their favorite foods, because they are the favorite, but they know the truth- they are all my favorite. Spending a few days together was a treat I will remember long after the Christmas decorations have been taken down and cookies consumed.

Hope your family spent time together and remembered to think about the baby born in a Bethleham under the glow of starlight, visited by wisemen and shepards and eventually changed the world.

From our family to yours.....Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tis the gift...

We just finished our holiday baking! Dipped apricots, fudge, gingerbread men and sugar cookies. Flour and sugar were everywhere while Christmas tunes played in the background. The funnest thing we made was something the kids saw in a Family Fun magazine. A cute pretzel snowmen. They decided we should make them for teachers and friends.
I am sure that the recipients will be delighted at the whimsical snacks, but the real joy was in spending the day in the kitchen together. Long after the cookies are gone, the laughter will linger.

Take time to make a memory.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

yo-yos and a good attitude

Last month was a blur.
It seems like tons of little things and a few big things crowded onto my calender. I can chose which of two ways to react. The first and most tempting is to freak out, stess out and reach for the nearest morsel of chocolate I can get my hands on. The second reponse is to re-balance and ask what really matters in life.
Is the stress really worth it and will it really matter in five years?
Take my favorite brown dress for example. I love that Land's End article and could have screamed at myself when I realized I had dripped a few spots of wax down the front. I did the standard iron it out attempt which worked , for some of it, but seriously it looked like I had just dribbled something down the front of me. So I did what any desparate woman on a tight budget would do. I made yo-yos. I had the fabric and the buttons.And bought a package of garage sale ric-rac.
I did something to improve my situation instead of complain about it. The result was that the dress is even better than before!
Somethings aren't as easy to fix as wax spots on a dress, but we can choose the attitude with which we view the problem. And who knows, maybe with a fresh perspective, a positive attitude and a handful of fabric scraps, things will look a little brighter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


November is "National Novel Writing Month". Every year people take up the challenge to write up to 50,000 words during the month. There is even a chart to see how you are dong on your goal and you can sign up "Writing Buddies". This year I took the challenge , which is huge for an article writer who has a 750 word attention span.

But it isn't about what I can is about what I am willing to persevere toward. I have heard it said that you don't fail until you quit. I may not be writing the next great American novel. I may not even come near the next great Placer County novel. BUT I am excited to take up the challenge and see what can happen when I put my mind to it.

How about you? Is there a goal or a discipline you have been putting off?
Take up a 30 day challenge of your own, I am sure that you will be glad you did!