Tuesday, December 27, 2016


THE MORTIFICATIONS by Derek Palacio is a novel about a Cuban family in the 1980's.  Page one starts in full of drama and action as things come to a head in their little family forcing the mother to make extreme choices for her and her children.  A new life in the United States with all it's differences and advantages detailed in the mix. Mortifications is a term identified with the Catholic religion that often included people hurting themselves physically for punishment.  There is a lot of Catholicism in the novel.  The term Mortifications in Palacio's novel refers more to the mental mortifications and punishments people often put themselves through for what they perceive as their failures. The novel has a little of the mystic in it as well as down and dirty gritty details of life.  It is a story of what can take place in the mind during life due to what has been programmed into your mind or what has happened to you in life. It is amazing to think of how someone may be gone from your life for several decades, yet you think of them in some kind of way every day.
I enjoyed reading this book and gave a copy to a family friend at Christmas.  Having been written by a man it is not too much of a chick flick to be limited to reading by women only. THE MORTIFICATIONS would be a great movie with the contrast of the beautiful exotic scenery of the island of Cuba with the practical, organized coziness of New England.  In fact it most likely will be a movie.  It has all the qualities of the new hit TV show "THIS IS US".   
Find out more about the author at derekpalacio.com
*I received this book at no charge in exchange for a review of the book from Blogging for Books.  They provided the image of the book cover as well.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I adored everything about the book THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE by Dinah Jefferies.  I was drawn to the cover, I liked it's big size, and the story itself reminded me of something the masters themselves, Victoria Holt or Phyllis A. Whitney may have written. An old fashioned historical novel with more of a modern attitude to it.  The story speaks to married love and sex, family life, culture differences, race relations, and the advance of technology that was changing lives in the 1920's and 30's.

A very young bride leaves England to join her new husband on the island formerly known as Ceylon.  The natives are somewhat exotic and mysterious to her, as is her new husband that she hasn't spent much time with yet.  She has servants of a different race, her sister in law seems a little off kilter, and who is that American woman who always acts too familiar with her husband?  Secrets swirl around the death of the former mistress of the house and soon secrets are swirling in her own day to day life as well.

Secrets are what I wondered about after I read this book.  How much hurt has been done in this world and how much confusion has been caused simply because people felt the need to keep secrets!

This book is a best seller in England and has now been released recently in other countries.  Score!
I received this book free of charge in exchange for reviewing it.  I am reviewing this book for Blogging for Books and obtained the book cover photo from there. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

40 DAYS TO A JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD: Devotions and Coloring Book to Nourish Mom by Sarah Humphrey

40 DAYS TO A JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD by Sarah Humphrey is a book that could make all the difference for the better in a reader's life.  It combines a series of daily devotions that pertain to motherhood with adult coloring pages for relaxation and inspiration.  In 40 DAYS TO A JOYFUL MOTHERHOOD Humphrey addresses such subjects as
acceptance, caring for one's self, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  Traditional Christian values are expressed in the book as well as verses and scripture from the Bible.  The devotions are well organized and to the point. This is a book that would make a great gift for a mother anytime of year. 

I was excited to see that the author, Sarah Humphrey resides in Nashville, TN and that the publisher of the book Abingdon Press has headquarters in Nashville as well.  Not to mention the book is manufactured in The United States of America! I plan to pass this copy on to a family member for their enjoyment.  Find out more about the book and the author at http://litfusegroup.com/author/shumphrey

*book jacket image credit to litfuse publicity group.
**I received this book free of charge to review.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

LIFE CREATIVE: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom by Wendy Speake & Kelli Stuart

I was so excited to get the inspirational book LIFE CREATIVE:  Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom by Wendy Speake & Kelli Stuart!
The technology of today has brought a new wave of learning and creativity to the world. How can that creativity be fitted into the daily life of a mom and/or wife with lots of other things to juggle?  Not to mention that wives and mothers are creative often out of necessity.  Homemaking and hospitality are arts all on their own.  It is good to have some reinforcement from LIFE CREATIVE that taking care of children and homes is so very important. What is important as well may be for a woman to use her creativity as an outlet to take care of herself emotionally and physically. 

Included in LIFE CREATIVE are stories from different women who are successfully combining their creativity and side hustles into their every day lives as mothers.  LIFE CREATIVE  features traditional Christian values and invites you to become a better self. I plan to pass this book on to other people to read. 

Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart are authors who together started a creative retreat for women which led to this book being written.  The book is published by Kregal Publications in 2016.

This book was provided to me free of charge for review by Litfuse Publicity Group. Find out more about the book at http://litfusegroup.com/author/SpeakesStuart

Also enter a giveaway through 10/27/16 at http://bit.ly/2934NhP

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tracie Peterson's A LOVE TRANSFORMED

The new novel by Tracie Peterson A LOVE TRANSFORMED takes us back to a time in history when women did not always have the chance to make their own choices.  Clara is a young wife, and mother, living the upscale life in New York.  Tragedy strikes and she finds herself yearning for a certain place in Montana with people she loves.  Fate, in the form of a domineering mother, had conspired to force her away from Montana well over a decade ago.  Clara initially feels her way is clear to return to Montana but mystery and danger soon start to interfere with her bid for a new life with the people she loves.  A LOVE TRANSFORMED also addresses traditional family values, prayer, regret, gossip, and forgiveness.

Ms. Peterson has written over one hundred novels which may be the reason this story rolls out smooth as silk.  I hadn't read a Christian historical romance in awhile so it was refreshing to see characters express their faith, as well as their down to earth common sense.  A LOVE TRANSFORMED is published by BethanyHouse and the author has a email list to sign up for at traciepeterson.com.

This book was provided to me free of charge by BethanyHouse for review.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

UNION WITH CHRIST by Rankin Wilbourne

UNION WITH CHRIST by Rankin Wilbourne is a new book published in 2016 that seeks to help believers utilize all the resources available to the believer in order to strengthen relationships with God (and Christ). Having a union with Christ is not a new concept but it is a concept the author feels Christians don't often practice anymore or that Christians do not even understand it.  If someone feels stuck in their Christian walk or life then this book may give them the knowledge needed to get unstuck and proceed until they know how to abide in Christ. Every page is packed with scripture to back up what the author is saying. 

I feel this book is for believers and not seekers because already having some knowledge of basic scripture is needed to be able to understand what the author means.  The book is published by David C Cook.  More information on the book can be found at 

*this book was provided to me free of charge for review by litfuse publicity group.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: Saffire by Sigmund Brouwer

Daniel Brouwer's newest novel SAFFIRE
is a colorful, historical story of the Panama Canal 
during it's construction era in the early 1900's.
Technology was starting to rock right around then and the feats of new inventions were awe inspiring to all.  There were so many issues surrounding the construction of the Panama Canal and the story speaks to disease, race relations, customs of the time, as well as international intrigue.  The title character of Saffire is a little girl who is multi-racial.
The main character, James Holt, is a soldier turned rancher who knows the President of the United States from his military days. The President then sends him on a mission to Panama on behalf of America's concerns as well as the little girl Saffire.  There is danger for all involved as well as mystery for where the real danger is coming from.  Is the danger coming from people from Panama or the local government? Or is the danger from another country that wants to take over Panama in order to have control of the Canal for their country's benefit?
The story is full of colorful characters that could be played in a movie in a serious vein like Masterpiece Theater usually does or the characters could be flipped to a more comical version.  I would compare the style of writing Brouwer uses in this novel to Charles Dickens.  This book would also make a good movie because of the scenic background of Panama and the massive scope of work that had to be taken to build the canal.  It is a good steady read with nothing too objectionable in it.
1.  There are often things going on behind the scenes in the world that we don't know about.
2.  Do what good you can in the world but be sure and get back to take care of your own home and hearth.
3.  The success is in the details.
One thing the novel SAFFIRE made me wonder about was how different American lives might be today if America hadn't built the Panama Canal in order to have more control of ocean travel speeds for economical concerns and military reasons.  We will never know!
The novel SAFFIRE is published by Waterbrook which is a division of Crown Publishing Group.  Sigmund Brouwer is also the author of nineteen other novels which includes THIEF OF GLORY THAT won the Christy Award. 
*This book was given to me free for review from Blogging for Books. Book Cover provided by Blogging for Books and the publisher.