Saturday, June 30, 2012


Title: Short-Straw Bride

Author: Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (June 1, 2012)
Pages: 368

I could barely hold in the excitement when I heard the title of KAREN WITEMEYER next book, SHORT-STRAW BRIDE. When I first laid eyes on the cover it only fueled my enthusiasm. This is her fourth book, and each one has proven to be equally as well written with a storyline that will keep you turning the pages faster than a humming birds wings.

Travis Archer is committed to defending the land his father asked him to when he was just a young man himself, along with protecting his three brothers. Travis spent over a decade doing exactly that, allowing few to enter their land. Neither he nor his brothers had ventured off Archer land, except the one time Travis was forced to in order to save a damsel in distress.

Meredith Hayes hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the Archer boy who saved her from the jaws of a trap years ago. Unlike she’d heard all her life, he was gentle and kind, setting her free and carrying her home to safety. Years later when she hears his land and his family may be in danger; she sets off to warn him without a thought to her own safety or reputation.

I loved the prolog, setting the scene of what was to come. It was fun to get a glimpse into Travis and Meredith’s first encounter, as well as what they were like as kids.

Travis is rugged, honest, loyal, hard working, and will defend his own in a heartbeat. Meredith is strong, determined and willing to make sacrifices for those she loves. I loved both of the main characters. The interaction between the two was just the right dose of feistiness and attraction.

I believe SHORT-STRAW BRIDE to be a unique twist on the “marriage of convenience” story. Not only are you treated to this wonderful story about Travis and Meredith, but given a glimpse into what I hope to be the next book in the Archer series, about Jim and Cassie. I’m filled with excitement and anticipation in discovering Crockett and Neill’s story as well.

As always, I wait with bated breath for the next KAREN WITEMEYER novel to hit the shelves.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Title: A Cowboy’s Heart

Author: Brenda Minton
Publisher: Steeple Hill (February 1, 2009)
Pages: 224

A COWBOY’S HEART by BRENDA MINTON, is not the first book that I’ve read by her, and it certainly won’t be the last. I have read several, and have yet to be disappointed. When picking up a BRENDA MINTON book, I’m certain to be taken on a journey with a cowboy I’ll fall in love with.

Willow Michaels is a strong and independent woman that has a past that has caused her to become that way. She guards her heart, and plunges into making her dreams come true. Dreams that don’t include a certain cowboy.

Clint Cameron is used to taking care of everyone in his life. You might say he’s a fixer, always there for those he loves, making things right. Only problem is, not everyone wants to be fixed.

Willow and Clint both have a life long history of character traits they need to work on. Can they do it together, is the question at hand.

Once again BRENDA MINTON has created characters that walk off the pages and into your heart. I smile at many of her original lines. She’s at the top of my list of authors I strive to one day write half as well, creating remarkable characters with unique stories, and brilliantly written.

As with any BRENDA MINTON books, A COWBOY’S HEART will immediately draw you in, keep your interest throughout, and hold you tight in the end. One you won’t want it to end. One with no room for improvement or alterations. Something my aspiring writers mind wants to do in many novels I read.

After discovering BRENDA MINTON’S writing, I devoured each new book that came out. I’m now going back in time, reading all that I had not read. Next on the list…THE COWBOY NEXT DOOR.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Title: My Battle With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author: Beckie Butcher
Publisher: iUniverse (March 12, 2012)
Pages: 52

MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME by BECKIE BUTCHER is an honest account of her battle with this horrific disease. She’s brutally honest of family, friends, and acquaintances ignorance to the debilitating disease.

MY BATTLE WITH CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME is a quick read, yet will open your eyes to a disease many are experiencing and others know little about. I thought it to be simply about “being tired” when in fact it’s so much more.

MS. BUTCHER gives some eye opening advice for those of us not dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as how to approach others that are going through their own trials and tribulations.

The message is clear. Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Don’t judge others unless you’ve walked in their shoes. Never give up hope. Keep the faith. A little kindness, compassion and love can go a long way.

I invite you to take a look at this video I came across on Youtube.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Title: Chameleon (The Ravensmoore Chronicles)
Author: Jillian Kent
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)
Pages: 304

If you love a good murder mystery set in the early 1800’s, CHAMELEON by JILLIAN KENT is the novel for you. It’s well written with well thought-out characters, and descriptive details. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

Lady Victoria Grayson is swept into a new and exciting world. After being isolated with a childhood illness for most of her life, she is finally living what she had only read and dreamt of.

Lord Witt‘s wartime profession as a spy, taught him that all are not who they claim to be. When the Regent request Lord Witt to investigate Lady Victoria’s physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore, Witt could not have guessed he’d be taken with his sister.

It’s not long before Lady Vitoria and Lord Witt find themselves in the middle of a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Together their feelings for one another will be tested, as well as their faith.
CHAMELEON is heavy on mystery, intrigue, and scandal with a light sprinkling of romance.

CHAMELEON is as much about Lady Victoria and Lord Witt, as it is about Victoria’s brother, Lord Ravensmoore. As soon as Mercy came into the picture, I sense the next book in this series would be hers. What a great introduction to the next book.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Title: Out of the Far Country
Author: Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)
Pages: 240

I came across OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY by CHRISTOPHER YUAN AND ANGELA YUAN on Amazon. I was intrigued, and wanted to get a better understanding of what a gay man goes through, as well as his parents. Discovering Christianity was involved, sealed the deal.

OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY sat on my bookshelf for months. While at a meeting at church, a man that joined our group mention a book a friend of his wrote that may be of interest, seeing we were involved in the prison and jail ministry. The title he mentioned sounded familiar, along with the author. When I returned home I rushed to my bookshelf to see if it were indeed the same book, and to my delight it was.

The very next day I began to read OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY. Each morning I read a chapter out of my Bible, a chapter of non-fiction, and fiction throughout the day. OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY is like no other non-fiction I can recall reading. I couldn’t put it down. It’s probably the faster I’ve read a non-fiction book.

Christopher Yuan had a secret, one he’d been carrying around for some time. When he decided to reveal that secret, that he’s gay, his mother shows him the door.

Angela Yuan loves her son, but being gay… Her first instinct is to give him an ultimatum. Be straight or get out. Angela was consumed with depression, disappointment, and sense of hopelessness. With every intention of ending her life, she sets out to say her good-byes to her son.

OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY is a quick, easy read that is well written. One you will have a hard time putting down. I loved going from Christopher’s point-of-view to Angela’s. I even learned something new about an old song.

This book is several stories in one:
A gay mans journey in life.
A mother’s journey with a gay son.
A journey through addictions.
A journey through imprisonment.
A redemption of a marriage.
The journey of faithless to faithfulness.

I highly recommend OUT OF A FAR COUNTRY to everyone, whether you know someone who is gay, you are, or aren’t a Christian, you know someone that’s incarcerated, you know someone that has little hope in their marriage, or someone with an addiction. This is a true story of hope and redemption.

My hope is that people will pickup and read this book despite…or maybe because of, the gay aspect.