Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes Review & Giveaway - Updated with Winner!

UPDATE: Wednesday, 2/3/10 at 9:30 p.m.

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Congrats to Melissa! Email me your address, Melissa, and I'll have your book sent straight from Amazon!

Thanks to everyone for your interest in this book and your support of Lisa!

* * * * * *

I am beside myself with excitement about the opportunity to tell you about a darling book by Lisa McKay, who many in blogland know affectionately as The Preacher's Wife. And rest assured, if darling were the only word to describe it, I wouldn't be so effusive in my praise. Fortunately, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes is not just a superficial book of fluff.

Lisa McKay is not a woman who grew up dreaming of serving alongside her preacher man. Quite the contrary! She and her husband, Luke, were just a day or two short of finalizing their divorce when God not only rescued their marriage but saved their souls. Now fifteen years later, she shares what she's learned along their journey through days at Bible college, seminary, and serving several churches, all while nurturing their marriage and raising a family.

If you are a woman who is "Married to the Ministry", as Lisa calls it, you will be refreshed and renewed as Lisa discusses a number of issues common to staff wives. What is your role as a pastor's wife? How do you deal with expectations of others? Should your close friends be members of your church or should you be a "Lone Ranger"? Is it possible to raise your PKs (preacher's kids) without feeling like you live in a glass house? How do you survive church conflict and what do you do if you leave a church under less than ideal circumstances? And of course, do you really have to wear frumpy clothes and shoes and learn to play the piano?

Lisa addresses these questions and more in her down-to-earth, witty style. I felt as though I were sitting across the table from her at a coffee shop - or a covered dish fellowship! Her personable style of writing will assure you that her cute shoes have a few miles on them as she's walked alongside Luke in ministry. This is not just an idealistic book for your bookshelf; Lisa provides practical and specific counsel for real-life situations. And while she shares plenty of wisdom from her own experiences, the feet inside her adorable footwear are firmly grounded in Scripture for guidance and perspective. Included at the end of each chapter are comments from preachers' wives and laypersons (gleaned from discussions on Lisa's blog) who provide support and insight which are applicable whether you are a brand-new or experienced PW. Additionally, questions to ponder and practical advice in each chapter enable the reader to move from the page to action.

This book is not just for PWs, though. Church members will learn much about both the joys and aggravations that church staff families experience and will benefit from her suggestions on how best to support your pastor and his family, and the chapter-ending pointers include tips for the layperson as well. There is even an appendix for preachers themselves, providing specific suggestions for loving and encouraging their wives.

I urge you to grab a copy of this charming book and one for the preacher's wife in your life. It will be a great fit for both of you!

I just can't resist giving away a copy of this book! Leave a comment on this post by Wednesday (2/3/10) at 6:00 pm CST to qualify and I'll draw a name and send the winner a book straight from Amazon. US Residents only, please.

And you can enter your pastor's wife in Lifeway's contest; just tell them why she should be a shoe-in to win the "You Deserve to Pamper Yourself" grand prize! Details can be found here or by clicking on the link in my sidebar.

Many thanks to The B&B Media Group and David C. Cook Publishers for providing a copy of this book for my review.


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Saturday, January 30, 2010

TSMSS: George Beverly Shea - 101 Years Young!

Monday (February 1) is the 101st birthday of George Beverly Shea. He is surely one of the most beloved singers of all time. I remember watching the Billy Graham Crusades on our black & white TV (that was also in the days before remote controls!) when I was a child; I generally went off to play when Billy Graham started preaching, but I always loved watching George Beverly Shea sing just before Mr. Graham's sermon. And one of my sweetest memories from childhood is sitting with my dad by the Christmas tree listening to this Christmas Hymns album.

About twenty years ago, when he was just a "youngster" of 81 or so, he came to our church and gave a concert on a Sunday night. While he was singing and then shaking his hand afterwards, I was awed by his demeanor and his sweet spirit. He absolutely radiated the presence of God. Sometimes I think he's going to be like Enoch - I can see the headlines saying that George Beverly Shea walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

So many songs can be considered classics of his that it was difficult to choose which to feature today: In the Garden, The Wonder of it All (which he wrote), Singing I Go, In Times Like These and I'd Rather Have Jesus (another song he wrote) are just a few of the songs he is well-known for.

And this one, Until Then speaks of the theme of his life.

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that's winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I'll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they're borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.

This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it's released, it's destined for the skies.

He has sung to more than 200 million people in his career, yet you can tell as he sings Acres of Diamonds that fame and wealth are not where he finds his contentment:

Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold,
Rivers of silver, jewels untold;
All these together, wouldn't buy you or me
Peace when we're sleeping or a conscience that's free.

A heart that's contented, a satisfied mind,
These are the treasures, money can't buy;
If you have Jesus, there's more wealth in your soul,
Than Acres of Diamonds, mountains of gold.

Of course, he's probably most well-known for this beautiful hymn!

Okay, I have to stop! Have a blessed birthday, Mr. Shea, and thank you for blessing us through your music!

Head over to Amy's for more songs!


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Friday, January 29, 2010

Nose Rings, Crickets, and Death in the Pot!

As I've mentioned before, I'm endeavoring to read through The Bible in 90Days. Once I got going, it has been easier to keep up with than I expected. (I hesitate to write that, fearing that will be the beginning of my downfall!) Having a more short-term goal is better for me, and reading multiple chapters a day makes it much easier to see the overall "big picture" - it's like reading a novel.

I'm awed by how one can discover new things that pop out of a familiar passage. Some prick my heart with conviction, some make my eyebrows go up in surprise, and some just make me laugh at the detail provided. For example. . .

. . .I was surprised to realize that when Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for Isaac, when the servant met Rebekah and knew she was the one God had led him to, he gave her a nose ring! (Gen. 24:22, 47) I'm thinking there are some teens who do not need to hear that story!

. . .I did not remember that God specifically tells the Israelites they may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.(Lev. 11:21-22) Uh, I'll pass on that one!

But this one totally made me laugh out loud:
Elisha returned to Gilgal and there was a famine in that region. While the company of the prophets was meeting with him, he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot and cook some stew for these men."

One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine. He gathered some of its gourds and filled the fold of his cloak. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. The stew was poured out for the men, but as they began to eat it, they cried out, "O man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it.

Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it into the pot and said, "Serve it to the people to eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
(2 Kings 4:38-41)

My kids don't like every meal I cook, but at least no one has ever said, "O Mom, there is death in the pot!"

I think I would have remembered if I had heard that story in Sunday School! Now there's even a children's book you can download about it!

So tell me. . . do you remember ever reading - or hearing a sermon! - on Death in the Pot?!

BTW, Spurgeon did! And he shows that this passage actually has a great application for our lives! I time I review a book that has faulty theology, should I title the review "Death in the Pot"?!

Picture courtesy of Christian Clipart.


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Courteous Cad

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Courteous Cad

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 3, 2009)

***Special thanks to Christy Wong of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


On her tour of the English countryside, a chance encounter in the streets alerts Miss Prudence Watson to the inhumane working conditions at the worsted mill. She learns that the owner is William Sherbourne, a Royal Naval officer just returned from sea. Following in his wake is his reputation as a cad and a secret so ghastly he’ll do anything to protect it. Even worse, he’s handsome and charming and not at all the villain Prudence expected him to be.


I discovered Catherine Palmer several years ago while perusing the shelves of my public library, and I quickly checked out every book of hers that they had. Her latest book, The Courteous Cad, weaves together history, romance, secrets, and forgiveness into delightful tale. Although it is a stand-alone book, it merges characters from several of her previous novels, which just adds to its charm.


Catherine Palmer lives in Atlanta with her husband, Tim, where they serve as missionaries in a refugee community. They have two grown sons. She is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and holds a master's degree in English from Baylor University. Her first book was published in 1988. Since then, she has published more than 50 novels, many of them national best sellers. Catherine has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Christy Award—the highest honor in Christian fiction—and the Romantic Times BookClub Career Achievement Award for inspirational fiction. Total sales of her novels number more than 2 million copies.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0842375554
ISBN-13: 978-0842375559


Otley, Yorkshire


“I shall never marry,” Prudence Watson declared to her sister as they crossed a busy Yorkshire street. “Men are cads, all of them. They toy with our hearts. Then they brush us aside as if we were no more than a crumb of cake at teatime. A passing fancy. A sweet morsel enjoyed for a moment and soon forgotten.”

“Enough, Prudence,” her sister pleaded. “You make me quite hungry, and you know we are late to tea.”

“Hungry?” A glance revealed the twitch of mirth on Mary's lips. Prudence frowned. “You think me silly.”

“Dearest Pru, you are silly.” Mary raised her wool collar against the cold, misty drizzle. “One look at you announces it to all the world. You're far too curly-haired, pink-cheeked, and blue-eyed to be taken seriously.”

“I cannot help my cheeks and curls, nor have they anything to do with my resolve to remain unmarried.”

“But they have everything to do with the throng of eligible men clamoring to fill your dance card at every ball. Your suitors send flowers and ask you to walk in the gardens. On the days you take callers, they stand elbow to elbow in the foyer. It is really too much. Surely one of them must be rewarded with your hand.”

“No,” Prudence vowed. “I shall not marry. I intend to follow the example of my friend Betsy.”

“Elizabeth Fry is long wed and the mother of too many children to count.”

“But she obeys a calling far higher than matrimony.”

“Rushing in and out of prisons with blankets and porridge? Is that your friend's high calling?”

“Indeed it is, Mary. Betsy is a crusader. With God's help, she intends to better the lives of the poor women in Newgate.”

“Better the lives of soiled doves, pickpockets, and tavern maids?” Mary scoffed. “I should like to see that.”

“And so you will, for I have no doubt of Betsy's success. I shall succeed, too, when God reveals my mission. I mean to be an advocate for the downtrodden. I shall champion those less fortunate than I.”

“You are hardly fortunate yourself, Pru. You would do better to marry a rich man and redeem the world by bringing up moral, godly, well-behaved children.”

“Do not continue to press me on that issue, Mary, I beg you. My mind is set. I have loved and lost. I cannot bear another agony so great.”

“Do you refer to that man more than twice your age? the Tiverton blacksmith? Mr. . . . Mr. Walker?”

Prudence tried to ignore the disdain in Mary's voice. They were nearing the inn at which they had taken lodging in the town of Otley. Their eldest sister, Sarah, had prescribed a tour of the north country, declaring Yorkshire's wild beauty the perfect antidote to downtrodden spirits. Thus far, Prudence reflected, the journey had not achieved its aim.

Now, Mary had raised again the subject of great torment to Prudence. It was almost as though she enjoyed mocking her younger sister's passion for a man she could never wed. Whatever anyone thought of him, Prudence decided, she would defend her love with valor and tenacity.

“Mr. Walker is a gentleman,” she insisted. “A gentleman of the first order.”

“Nonsense,” Mary retorted. “He has no title, no land, no home, no education, nothing. How can you call him a gentleman?”

“Of course he has no title--he is an American!” Annoyed, Prudence lifted her skirts as she approached a large puddle in the street. “Americans have no peerage. By law, they are all equal.”

“Equally common. Equally ordinary. Equally low.” Mary rolled her eyes. “Honestly, Pru, you can do far better than Mr. Walker. Sarah and I hold the opinion that her nephew, Henry Carlyle, Lord Delacroix, would suit you very well indeed. She writes that he is returned from India much improved from their last acquaintance. Delacroix owns a fine home in London and another in the country. He is wealthy, handsome, and titled. In short, the perfect catch. Leave everything to your sisters, Pru. We shall make it all come about.”

“You will do nothing of the sort! Delacroix is a foolish, reckless cad. I would not marry him if he were the last man in England.”

Annoyed, Prudence stepped onto a narrow plank, a makeshift bridge someone had laid across the puddle. Attempting to steady herself, she did not notice a ragged boy dart from an alleyway. He splashed into the muddy water, snatched the velvet reticule at her waist, and fled.

“Oh!” she cried out.

The plank tilted. Prudence tipped. Her balance shifted.

In a pouf of white petticoats, she tottered backward until she could do nothing but unceremoniously seat herself in the center of the dirty pool. Mud splattered across her blue cape and pink skirt as she sprawled out, legs askew and one slipper floating in the muck.

“Dear lady!” A man knelt beside her. “Are you injured? Please allow me to assist you.”

She looked into eyes the color of warm treacle. A tumble of dark curls fell over his brow. Angled cheekbones were echoed in the squared jut of his jaw. It was the face of an angel. Her guardian angel.

“My bag,” she sputtered. “The boy took it.”

“My man has gone after him. Have no fear on that account. But what of you? Can you stand? May I not help you?”

He held out a hand sheathed in a brown kid glove. Prudence reached for it, but Mary intervened.

“You are mud from head to toe, Pru!” She blocked the stranger's hand. “You must try to get up on your own. We are near the inn, and we shall find you a clean gown at once.”

“Hang my gown!” Prudence retorted. “Give me your hand, sister, or allow this gentleman to aid me. My entire . . . undercarriage is wet.”

At this, the man's lips curved into a grin. “Do accept my offer of assistance, dear lady, and I shall wrap my cloak about you . . . you and your damp undercarriage.”

The motley crowd gathered on the street were laughing and elbowing one another at the sight of a fine lady seated in a puddle. Prudence had endured quite enough derision and mockery for one day. She set her muddy hand in the gentleman's palm. He slipped his free hand under her arm and helped her rise. Before she could bemoan her disheveled state, he swept the thick wool cloak from his shoulders and laid it across her own.

“My name is Sherbourne,” he said as he led her toward the inn. “William Sherbourne of Otley.”

“I am Prudence Watson. Of London.”

Utterly miserable, she realized a truth far worse than a muddy gown, a missing slipper, and a tender undercarriage. She was crying. Crying first because she had been assaulted. Second because her bag was stolen away. Third because she was covered in cold, sticky mud. Fourth and every other number because Mr. Walker had abandoned her.

He had declared he loved Prudence too much to make her his wife. He kissed her hand. He bade her farewell. And she had neither seen nor heard from him since.

“You will catch pneumonia,” Mary cried as she hastened ahead of them to open the inn's door. “Oh, Pru, you will have a fever by sunset and we shall bleed you and care for you and you will die anyway, just like my dear Mr. Heathhill, who left me a widow.”

“Upon my word, madam,” William spoke up. “I would never lay out such a fate for a woman so young and lovely. Miss Watson is hardly bound for an early grave. Do refrain from such predictions, I beg you.”

“Oh, Mary, his rose was in my reticule,” Prudence moaned. “The rose Mr. Walker gave me. I pressed it and vowed to keep it forever. And now it is lost.”

“Your husband?” William asked. He helped her ascend the stairs and escorted her into the inn. “Give me his name, and I shall alert him to your distress.”

“She has no husband,” Mary informed him. “We are both unmarried, for I am recently a widow.”

“Do accept my sincere condolences.”

“Thank you, sir. But we have not been properly introduced. I am Mrs. John Heathhill of Cranleigh Crescent in London.”

“William Sherbourne of Otley, at your service.” He made a crisp bow. “You are Miss Watson's sister?”

“Yes,” Prudence cut in, “and if she will stop chattering for once, I shall welcome her attention. Mary, come with me, for I am shivering.”

“Heavens! That is exactly how the influenza began with my dear late husband!” Mary took her sister's arm and stepped toward the narrow staircase. “Thank you, Mr. Sherbourne. We are in your debt.”

“Think nothing of it,” he replied. “I wish you a speedy recovery and excellent health, Miss Watson. Good afternoon, ladies.”

“Such a gentleman!” Mary exclaimed as she accompanied her sister up the stairs and into their suite. “So very chivalrous. I wager he is married. Even so, I should be happy to see him again. You have his cloak still, and on that account we are compelled to call on him. What good fortune! He is well mannered indeed. And you must agree he is terribly handsome.”

Prudence was in no humor to discuss anyone's merits. “Find my blue gown, Mary. The one with roses. And ask the maids to bring hot water. Hot, mind you. I cannot bear another drop of cold water. I am quite chilled to the bone.”

While Mary gave instructions to the inn's staff, Prudence began removing her sodden gown. She shuddered at the memory of that boy snatching her reticule. Thank heaven for Mr. Sherbourne's kindness. But Mr. Walker's rose was gone now, just as the man himself had disappeared from her life.

“Did you like him?” Mary asked as she sorted through the gowns in her sister's trunk. “I thought he had nice eyes. Very brown. His smile delighted me, too. He was uncommonly tall, yet his bearing could not have been more regal. If he is yet unmarried, I think him just the sort of man to make you a good husband.”

“A husband?” Prudence could hardly believe it. “You were matchmaking while I sat in the mud? Honestly, Mary, you should wed Mr. Sherbourne yourself.”

“Now you tease me. You know my mourning is not complete. Even if it were, I am certain I shall never find another man as good to me as my dear late Mr. Heathhill.”

“If you will not marry, why must you make such valiant efforts to force me into that state? I have declared my intention never to wed. You and Sarah must respect that decision.”

“Our duty to you supersedes all your ridiculous notions, Pru. You have no home and no money. Society accepts you only because of your excellent connections.”

“You refer to yourself, of course. And Sarah. With such superior sisters to guide me, I can never go wrong.”

When the maids entered the room with pitchers of steaming water, Prudence gladly escaped her hovering sister. She loved Mary well enough, but the death of Mr. Heathhill had cast the poor woman into a misery that nothing could erase. Mary's baby daughter resided in the eager arms of doting grandparents while she was away, but she missed the child dreadfully. With both sisters mourning lost love, their holiday in the north had proven as melancholy as the misty moors, glassy lakes, and windswept dells of Yorkshire.

Not even a warm bath and clean, dry garments could stop Prudence from shivering. Mary had gone to the inn's gathering room with the hope of ordering tea. The thought of a cup of tea and a crackling blaze on the hearth sent Prudence hurrying down after her sister.

Amid clusters of chatting guests, she spotted Mary at a table near the fire. Two maids were laying out a hearty tea--a spread of currant cake, warm scones, cold meats, jams, and marmalade. A round-bellied brown teapot sent up a curl of steam.

Prudence chose a chair while Mary gloomily cut the cake and served it. “Not enough currants,” she decreed. “And very crumbly.”

“I have been thinking about your observations on my situation in life,” Prudence said. “I see you cannot help but compare my lot to that of my siblings. Thanks to our late father, Sarah has more money than she wants. You inherited your husband's estate and thus have no worry about the future. But I? I am to be pitied. You think me poor.”

“You are poor,” Mary corrected her. “Sarah is not only rich, but her place in society was secured forever by her marriage into the Delacroix family. She is terribly well connected. Surely you read Miss Pickworth's column in last week's issue of The Tattler. She reported that Sarah's new husband is likely to be awarded a title.”

“Miss Pickworth, Miss Pickworth. Do you read The Tattler day and night, Mary? One might suppose Miss Pickworth to be your dearest friend--and not some anonymous gossip whose reports keep society in a flutter.”

“Miss Pickworth keeps society abreast of important news.” Mary poured two cups of tea. “I value her advice, and I welcome her information.”

“Unfounded rumors and hints of scandal,” Prudence retorted. “Nothing but tittle-tattle.”

“Oh, stir your tea, Pru.”

For a moment, both sisters tended to their cups. But Prudence at last broached a subject she had been considering for some time.

“I am ready to go home,” she told her sister. “I want to see Sarah. I miss my friends, Betsy most of all. Anne, you know, is dearer still to me, but she is rarely at home. I do not mind, really, for the thought of Anne only reminds me of Mr. Walker.”

“Please forgive my interruption.”

A man's deep voice startled Prudence. She looked up to find William Sherbourne standing at their table. He was all she had remembered, and more. His shoulders were impossibly broad, his hair the exact color of strong tea, his hands so large they would circle a woman's waist without difficulty. She had not noticed how fine he looked in his tall black riding boots and coat. But now she did, and she sat up straighter.

“May I trouble you ladies for a moment?” he asked.

“Mr. Sherbourne, how delightful to see you again.” Mary's words dripped honey. “Do join us for tea, won't you?”

“Thank you, but I fear I cannot. Duty calls.” He turned his deep brown eyes on Prudence. “Miss Watson, my man retrieved your bag. I trust nothing is amiss.”

He held out the velvet reticule she had been carrying. So delighted she could not speak, Prudence took it and loosened the silk drawstrings. After a moment's search, she located her small leather-bound journal and opened it. From its pages, the dried blossom fluttered onto her lap.

“Sister, have you nothing to say to Mr. Sherbourne?” Mary asked. “Perhaps you would like to thank him for his kindness?”

“Yes, of course,” Prudence said, tucking the rose and notebook back into her reticule and rising from her chair. “I am grateful to you, Mr. Sherbourne. First you rescued me from the street, and now you have returned my bag. You are very gallant.”

He laughed. “Gallant, am I? I fear there are many who would disagree with you. But perhaps you would honor me with the favor of your company for a moment. There is someone I wish you to meet.”

Prudence glanced at her sister, who was pretending not to notice anything but the few currants in her tea cake.

“Do run along, Pru,” Mary said. “I am quite content to take my tea and await your return.”

William held out his arm, and Prudence slipped her hand around it. “I hope you do not think me forward in my request,” he remarked. “You know nothing of my character, yet you accompany me willingly.”

“I have called you gallant,” she replied. “Was I mistaken?”

“Greatly.” His brown eyes twinkled as he escorted her toward the door of the inn. “I am so far from gallant that you would do well never to speak to me again. But it is too late, for I have taken you captive. You are under my spell, and I may do with you as I wish.”

Uncertain, Prudence studied his face. “What is it you wish, sir?”

“Ah, but if I reveal my dark schemes, the spell will be broken. I would have you think me courteous. Noble. Kind.”

“You tease me now. Are you not a gentleman?”

“Quite the opposite. I am, in fact, a rogue. A rogue of the worst sort, and never to be trusted. I rescue ladies from puddles only on Tuesdays. The remainder of the week, I am contemptible. But look, here is my man with the scalawag who stole your bag. And with them stands a true gentleman, one who wishes to know you.”

Feeling slightly off-kilter, Prudence turned her attention to a liveried footman just inside the inn, near the door. In his right hand, he clasped the ragged collar of a young boy whose dirty face wore a sneer. Beside them stood a man so like William Sherbourne in appearance that she thought they must be twins.

“Randolph Sherbourne, eldest of three brothers,” William announced. “Randolph, may I introduce Miss Prudence Watson?”

“I am delighted to make your acquaintance, madam.” He made her a genteel bow.

She returned a somewhat wobbly curtsy. It was one thing to meet one man of stature, elegance, and wit, but quite another to find herself in the presence of two such men.

“Miss Watson, you are as lovely as my brother reported,” Randolph said. “His accounts are so often exaggerated that I give them little notice. But in your case, he perhaps did not do you justice.”

“I believe I called her an angel, Randolph. There can be no superlative more flattering. Yet I confess I did struggle to give an adequate account of Miss Watson's charms.”

“Please, gentlemen,” Prudence spoke up at last. She had heard too much already. These brothers were men like all the rest, stumbling over themselves to impress and flatter. “My tea awaits, and I must hasten to thank your footman for retrieving my reticule.”

“But of course,” William agreed. “Harris, do relate to Miss Watson your adventures of the afternoon.”

The footman bowed. “I pursued this boy down an alley and over a fence, madam. In short order, I captured him and retrieved your bag.”

“Thank you, Harris.” Prudence favored him with a smile. “I am most grateful.”

“What shall we do with the vile offender?” William asked her. “I have considered the gallows, but his neck is too thin to serve that purpose. The rack might be useful, but he has already surrendered your reticule, and we need no further information from him. Gaol, do you think? Or should we feed him to wild hogs?”

Prudence pursed her lips to keep her expression stern. “I favor bears,” she declared. “They are larger than hogs and make quick work of their prey.”

The boy let out a strangled squawk. “Please, ma'am, I'm sorry for what I done. I'll never do it again, I swear.”

She bent to study his face and noted freckles beneath the dirt. “What is your name, young man? And how old are you?”

“I'm ten,” he said. “My name is Tom Smith.”

“Tom Smith,” she repeated. “Does your father own a smithy?”

“No, ma'am. My father be dead these three years together.”

“I am sorry to hear it. Tell me, Tom, do you believe your father would be pleased that you have taken to stealing?”

“He would know why I done it, for he would see Davy's sufferin' and wish to ease it--same as all of us.”

“And who is Davy?” she asked.

“My brother. We're piecers, ma'am. And all our sisters be scavengers. Davy was crippled in the mill.” Tom's large gray eyes fastened on William Sherbourne as he pointed a thin finger. “His mill.”

“Impossible,” William said. “My family built our mill, in fact, with the express purpose of providing honest and humane labor for the villagers of Otley.”

“Take this, Tom.” Prudence pressed a coin into the boy's grimy hand. “Please use it for your brother's care.”

“A shillin'?” He gaped at her.

“Yes. But you must promise to turn from crime and always be a good boy.”

“I promise, ma'am. With all my heart.”

“Run along, then.” She smiled as he pushed the shilling deep into the pocket of his trousers.

“You are an angel,” Tom said. “Truly, you are.”

With a final look back at her, he slipped out of the footman's grasp and flew through the doorway and down the street.

“Now that is an interesting approach to deterring misbehavior,” William addressed his brother. “Catch a thief, then pay him. What do you think, Randolph? Shall you recommend it to Parliament on your next appointment in the House of Lords? Perhaps it might be made a law.”

Prudence bristled. “I gave the shilling to aid Tom Smith's injured brother. Perhaps you should recommend that to Parliament. I have heard much about the abhorrent treatment of children who work in the mills.”

Randolph Sherbourne spoke up. “My family's worsted mill, Miss Watson, is nothing like those factories of ill repute.”

“I believe young Davy Smith might argue the point. His brother blames your mill for the injury.”

“Do you take the word of a pickpocket over that of a gentleman?” William asked her.

“I see you call yourself a gentleman when the situation requires one, Mr. Sherbourne. Only moments ago, you were a rogue.”

“I fear William's first account of his character was accurate,” Randolph told her. “We have done our best to redeem him, but alas, our efforts always come to naught. He is bad through and through, a villain with a black heart and no soul whatever.”

“As wicked as that, is he?” Prudence suddenly found it difficult to fan her flame of moral outrage. “Then I am glad our acquaintance will be of short duration. My sister and I soon end our tour of the north country. Perhaps as early as tomorrow morning we shall set off for London.”

“But I have hardly begun to abuse William,” Randolph protested. “My brother deserves much worse, and you must know the whole truth about him. My wife and I should enjoy the honor of your company at dinner today. You and your sister are welcome at Thorne Lodge.”

“You will never persuade Miss Watson to linger in Yorkshire,” William assured his brother. “Her heart hastens her toward a gentleman who has been so fortunate as to win the love of an angel.”

“Ah, you are engaged, Miss Watson,” Randolph said. “I should very much like to congratulate the man who prevailed over all other suitors.”

“His name is Walker,” William informed him. “With a single red rose, he secured his triumph.”

“You assume too much, sir. I am not engaged.” Prudence looked away, afraid the men might see her distress and mock it. “Marriage is not the object of my heart's desire.”

“Yet your pain upon losing Mr. Walker's rose was great indeed,” William observed. “What can have parted you from him?”

“Upon my honor, Mr. Sherbourne,” Prudence snapped, “I think you very rude to intrude on my privacy with such a question.”

“Yes, but rudeness is the hallmark of my character. I give offense wherever I go.”

“Indeed,” Randolph agreed. “William is always impolite and discourteous. I should urge you to ignore him, Miss Watson. But in this case, I am as curious as he. How dare anyone object to a gentleman of whom you approve so heartily?”

“Mr. Walker is an American,” she told the brothers. “He is a blacksmith. And poor. With so many disadvantages, society decreed a match between us unconscionable. We were parted, and I do not know where he has gone.”

“An American, did you say?” William asked. “Is he an older man? rather tall with a stocky build? black hair?”

“Mr. Walker's ancestors were native to America,” Prudence said. “Of the Osage tribe. He is more than twice my age. Sir, do you know him?”

“I hired the man three months ago. He is the blacksmith at my mill.”

Prudence gasped. “Mr. Walker is here? in Otley?”

“Perhaps she will not be leaving Yorkshire quite so soon,” Randolph commented. “I believe Miss Watson has found a reason to stay.”

“She may find reason to go when she learns that Mr. Walker is soon to be married.” William's brown eyes softened. “I am sorry to bear unhappy tidings. Dear lady, you look quite pale. May I bring you a chair?”

“No,” she said, holding up a hand. “I am unmoved by your news. It is right and proper that Mr. Walker has found a wife. I am very happy for him. And now if you will both excuse me, my sister has long been wishing for my company.”

After giving the briefest of curtsies, she turned away and made for the fire as swiftly as her feet would fly. She would not cry. She would not reveal the slightest emotion. No one must guess she felt anything but contentment and perfect ease.

“Whatever is the matter with you?” Mary asked as Prudence sank into her chair. “You look as if you might faint dead away!”

“Mr. Walker is here,” Prudence choked out. “In Yorkshire. In this very town. And he is engaged to be married.”

Mary offered her handkerchief. “Shocking,” she whispered. “Shocking and sad. But dry your eyes before you make a scene, Pru, for I have just had the most wonderful news from the lady at the next table. Do you not wish to hear it?”

Prudence could barely form words. “No, Mary. I am quite undone.”

“You must hear it anyway, for this news concerns you.” Mary leaned across the table and lowered her voice. “Mr. William Sherbourne, who rescued you from the puddle and has paid you such extraordinary attention, is a proper gentleman with excellent connections. His eldest brother is a baron and owns a great estate in Yorkshire. His second brother is a clergyman who lives in India. He himself is a most distinguished officer in the Royal Navy, and he has just returned from sea after many months fighting the Americans . . . or was it the French? I can never recall.”

“Nor can I,” Prudence murmured.

“Never mind, because he has quit the Navy and is now settled in Otley for good. He owns a large worsted mill and is worth five thousand pounds a year. Think of it--five thousand a year! And best of all--he is unmarried. Quite unattached. How wonderful for you!”

Prudence swallowed against the growing lump in her throat. “I do not care if he is worth ten thousand a year and owns five worsted mills, Mary. I do not want him. I do not want him at all.”

“Quick, dry your eyes, Pru, for here he comes. And his brother. You may win his heart yet, and what happiness awaits you then. Oh, heavens, why did I not wear my good bonnet?”


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Becca by the Book

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Becca By The Book

Zondervan (January 1, 2010)


Laura Jensen Walker

Laura Jensen Walker is an award-winning writer, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor who loves to touch readers and audiences with the healing power of laughter.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin (home of Western Printing and Johnson’s Wax—maker of your favorite floor care products) Laura moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was in high school. But not being a fan of blazing heat and knowing that Uncle Sam was looking for a few good women, she enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduation and spent the next five years flying a typewriter through Europe.

Her lifelong dream of writing fiction came true in Spring 2005 with the release of her first chick lit novel, Dreaming in Black & White which won the Contemporary Fiction Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her sophomore novel, Dreaming in Technicolor was published in Fall 2005.

Laura’s third novel, Reconstructing Natalie, chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006, is the funny and poignant story of a young, single woman who gets breast cancer and how her life is reconstructed as a result. This book was born out of Laura’s cancer speaking engagements where she started meeting younger and younger women stricken with this disease—some whose husbands had left them, and others who wondered what breast cancer would do to their dating life. She wanted to write a novel that would give voice to those women. Something real. And honest. And funny.

Because although cancer isn’t funny, humor is healing.

To learn more about Laura’s latest novels, please check out her Books page.

A popular speaker and teacher at writing conferences, Laura has also been a guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows around the country including the ABC Weekend News, The 700 Club, and The Jay Thomas Morning Show.

She lives in Northern California with her Renaissance-man husband Michael, and Gracie, their piano playing dog.

Sales clerk, barista, telemarketer, sign waver...

At twenty-five, free-spirited Becca Daniels is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. What Becca doesn’t want to be is bored. She craves the rush of a new experience, whether it’s an extreme sport, a shocking hair color, or a new guy. That’s why she quit her bookstore job, used her last bit of credit to go skydiving, and broke her leg.

And that’s why, grounded and grumpy, Becca bristles when teased by friends for being commitment-phobic. In response, Becca issues an outrageous wager—that she can sustain a three-month or twenty-five date relationship with the next guy who asks her out. When the guy turns out to be “churchy” Ben—definitely not Becca’s type—she gamely embarks on a hilarious series of dates that plunge her purple-haired, free-speaking, commitment-phobic self into the alien world of church potlucks and prayer meetings.

This irrepressible Getaway Girl will have you cheering her on as she “suffers” through her dates, gains perspective on her life’s purpose, and ultimately begins her greatest adventure of all.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Becca By The Book, go HERE

Reviewing books brings the wonderful opportunity to discover new authors, as well as the chance to enjoy books by authors I'm already familiar with. I thoroughly enjoyed two of Laura Jensen Walker's earlier books, Reconstructing Natalie and Turning the Paige, so I was happy to see this one released. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I am not a "prude"; in fact, I am annoyed with Christian novels which are overly saccharine and sappy. I have also defended some books that have a few "bad words" when I felt like it was in character for the non-believer that was speaking them. However, this book went over the top. I was dumbfounded when the first three words of the book took God's name in vain. (I guess I should give the author credit for not trying to pull a fast one and slip it in somewhere!) What's more, Becca used this language several more times throughout the book.

I appreciate the message the author was trying to communicate in the story. As believers, we often use "church speak" or "Christianese" in our converasations, which is indeed very confusing for the non-believer in our midst. We do need to speak plainly when we are ministering to folks who don't know Christ. I also recognize that showing Christ-love to the hurting world will result in our encountering sarcasm, ridicule, and yes, even cursing. However, in this book the characters were more than mere acquaintances with Becca, and I hoped that one of them would at least take a stand and explain how offensive her using God's name in vain is. If Becca were truly searching and exploring what being a Christian entails, she would be open to considering a friend's request. Instead, she was flippant and the others allowed her to say whatever she wanted in the name of "loving her." (I can love and minister to a prostitute, but I don't have to let her entertain clients in my home to prove my love.) Finally, after enduring the frustrations of the story, the ending also left me dissatisfied. Humanitarianism, while it is noble and good, is not equivalent to faith-based deeds. Overall, this story had much potential but fell short of demonstrating how a life can be transformed by Christ.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wait! It's Time for Random Dozen!

1. How good are you at delaying gratification?

Moderately. It depends on what it is. I always wanted to open the last present under the Christmas tree. I'd rather celebrate a birthday or Christmas a day or two late than early.

But spiritually it's a whole 'nother story: I want to have the gain without the pain, and sooner rather than later!
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. ~Margaret Thatcher

2. Maybe a marshmallow wouldn't be too difficult a temptation for you. What food (or anything else) would be most tempting?

Warm homemade chocolate chip & pecan cookies. A new novel by one of my favorite artists.
What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don't want to discourage it completely. ~Franklin P. Jones

3. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being saintly) how patient are you?

It depends on the day. Sometimes I'm an 8 or nine, and on other days a negative 23. It helps that I no longer have small children!
The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old. ~Joan Kerr, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, 1957

4. Have you ever waited for something in life only to be disappointed upon realization of the goal/object/etc.?

Lots of times. Pregnancy was one--well, two!--of those times. As in the actual pregnancy, not the baby (which was way more wonderful than I could dream!). I eagerly anticipated that time in my life, but that so-called first trimester morning sickness lasted 20 and 24 weeks and involved much heaving at all times of the day. Then I had marathon labors - 27 & 26 hours. It was definitely worth it, but those 9x2=18 months weren't at all what I had hoped for.
Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone. Jim Fiebig

5. Are you a person who takes shortcuts?

I prefer to call it being efficient! Except when baking, which has to be from scratch.
How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young? ~Paul Sweeney

6. Which line is hardest to wait in?

The slowest one! Especially when there's some idiot poor soul that is clueless and can't get their act together. Why do people wait until the total is announced before digging out their checkbook and starting to make out their check?! Or sit through three changes of a light when in traffic, and then they aren't paying attention when it finally turns green?

Hmm, this appears to be one of those "negative 23" days!
Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ~Mac McCleary

7. Did you wait to discover the gender of your unborn child until its birth?

No. I always said I would, but when some nieces and nephews had some issues, I had to have specialty sonograms (and an amnio with my girl); I did NOT want surprises in the delivery room! And my man, whose picture is in the dictionary next to the word engineer, had to have a concrete gender to discuss names.
An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be. ~Anonymous

8. Are you more patient with children or the elderly?

Whichever one I'm not related to! Actually, I adore old people.
When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age. ~Victor Hugo

9. Did you ever sneak a peek at a present?

Not intentionally. I LOVE surprises (well, except for #7!) and I am kinda hard to surprise. Between my mom frequently (but inadvertently) leaving out a receipt or a bag labeled with a particular store, and the fact that I'm just sometimes intuitive and pick up on subtle things, I haven't had a whole lot of wide-eyed moments! One Christmas when I was a kid, I was looking to see who the gifts under the tree were for that my mom had wrapped while we were at school that day, and I accidentally saw through the paper of one and knew I was getting my Holly Hobbie doll. I was so bummed.
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. ~Erma Bombeck

10. What is the longest you've ever waited for anything?

Marriage. I was 27 when I got married, and the years between college and meeting my man when I was 25, were torturous. They were the years of the "I could open up my own shop with all the bridesmaid dresses in my closet."
I never thought it was worth it, you know waiting for your love, and then I felt your kiss, I could wait forever for this.~Anonymous

11. Who has more patience, you or your significant other?

I have more patience with things, especially looking for misplaced things or when something doesn't work right. He generally has more patience with the kids, which I think is mostly because he's not around them as much as I am.
Patience is a virtue, Possess it if you can,
Seldom found in woman, Never found in man.


12. Which of the following songs about waiting is your pick for the best? (OK, you may substitute another, if you like.)

A) Anticipation by Carly Simon
B) The Waiting by Tom Petty
C) Right Here Waiting for You by Richard Marx
D) Wait for Me by Rebecca St. James

I'm not familiar with any of them except A, which of course always makes me think of this:

But my all-time favorite song about waiting?

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in His Word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5

I know you can't wait to join in this fun meme, so hurry over to 2nd Cup of Coffee!


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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CFBA - Kelly's Chance

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Kelly’s Chance
Barbour Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)


Wanda E. Brunstetter

A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million books in print. Many of the novels I've written are Amish-themed.

Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Kelly’s Chance , go HERE.


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Monday, January 25, 2010

Just Bubbling Over

Everything's bigger in Texas, so why should blogging be an exception?

Texas Blogging Gals

About ten days ago I stumbled across a brand-new group, the Texas Blogging Gals. Organized by Diana at To Everything A Season, this is a site simply to connect bloggers that are either located in Texas or were born in Texas (even if they live elsewhere now). As of last night there were almost 60 bloggers who had linked up on the main site! We are an eclectic bunch - you'll find city gals and rural gals, young bloggers and old wise experienced bloggers, gardeners, cooks, crafters, and lots and lots of bloggers who love the Lord! So if you're a native Texan or live in the Lone Star state, head on over, sign up, and grab the button for your blog! If you're NOT a Texan, go check 'em out anyway - I've met some great gals!

(And Texan or not, you can check out this giveaway!)

And just a little challenge. . . there's one blog called Traveling Longhorns - I can't believe I haven't seen any who claim that other school!

(Insert Aggie joke that they haven't figured out how to blog yet!)

(I crossed that out just for you, Xandra!)

Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Really. This month is the 50th birthday of the poppable wrap. To celebrate, you can even pop some virtual bubble wrap! And that's not all: check out the variety of methods that can be used to pop the real stuff (I can't believe how many people sent in suggestions!), send an ecard, or shop for shirts and other bubble-y things! Sealed Air, the company that makes Bubble Wrap, also has a site with fun activities.

So break out the bubbly (wrap, that is), grab a Pop Tart or some popcorn and your favorite soda pop, and pop away! It's guaranteed to pop a smile onto your face!

I'm sure my popularity index just went way up for keeping you informed of such breaking news! Just don't burst my bubble and tell me otherwise!

And of course, I can't resist posting this!

Who says Mondays aren't fun?!


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jenna's Cowboy

If you've been visiting my blog for awhile, you've probably read a time or 20 that I love me a book set in Texas! So I was tickled when the opportunity came to read Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater, even though I don't own a single pair of cowboy boots!

Can you ever get a second chance at your first love?

Jenna Callahan Colby thought she was content. A partner on her father's successful ranch, she is surrounded by family and friends. But she never expected to see Nate Langley back in town--the first guy she ever noticed, the one her father sent away all those years ago.

And she never thought the attraction they felt would be as strong as ever.

Jenna's cowboy has some healing of his own to do, though, after two tours of duty in the armed forces. With the help of good friends, strong faith, and a loving family, he hopes to put the horrors of the past behind him--and become the man Jenna deserves.

Sharon Gillenwater was born and raised in west Texas, and loves to write about her native state. The author of ten novels, she is a member of ACFW and Romance Writers of America. When she's not writing, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law, and adorable grandson. Visit her website to learn more - and to see some beautiful Texas bluebonnets!

This is a touching and timely story. Jenna and Nate both have scars; hers stem from being tossed aside and abandoned by her first husband, left to raise their son, Zach, alone. As for Nate, he's trying to resume a normal life after being in Iraq, but the flashbacks and dreams tormenting him seem bent on destroying his sanity. The depiction of Nate's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is touching and provides a much-needed perspective on the often unrealized sacrifices our soldiers make to ensure our freedom. I appreciated the balanced portrayal of the importance of spiritual counseling as well as the validation of the role of properly prescribed medications in the management of PTSD. This is a great book for anyone, but returning soldiers and their families will especially find hope and healing within its pages. I look forward to book #2 in this series, Emily's Chance which is due to be released in September.

You can find information on purchasing this heartwarming book here.

Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Many thanks to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


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Saturday, January 23, 2010

TSMSS - Into My Heart/Fairest Lord Jesus

Selah's new CD You Deliver Me is absolutely incredible. I love this beautiful arrangement of two classic songs.


Into my heart, into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come in today, come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus
Ruler of all nature
Oh thou of God and man the Son
Thee will I cherish
Thee will I honor
Thou my soul’s glory, joy, and crown

Fair is the sunshine
Fairer still the moonlight
And all the twinkling starry hosts
Jesus shines brighter
Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast

Beautiful Savior
Lord of all the nations
Son of God and Son of man
Glory and honor
Praise adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine
Now and forevermore be Thine

Words & Music by Harry D. Clarke, 1924

Words: M√ľnster Gesangbuch, 1677
Music: Schlesische Volkslieder, 1842

Join me over at Amy's to hear more great music for your weekend!


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Friday, January 22, 2010

They're Baack!

(The Addams Family movie, 1991)
Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?
Wednesday: Yes.
Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they're real lemons?
Pugsley: Yes.
Girl Scout: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?


Soooo, what's your downfall favorite cookie?!
And how do you like to eat it?

(These are the types here in Central Texas. I know they have different names - and even different cookies - in other parts of the country.)

My Favorite: Thin Mints, straight from the freezer.

(Although Shortbreads are awfully good with coffee!!)


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Lady Like Sarah

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

A Lady Like Sarah
Thomas Nelson; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
Margaret Brownley

Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this, except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

It turns out God was and Margaret did. She now has more than 20 novels to her credit. In addition, she's written many Christian articles and a non-fiction book. Still, it took a lot of prodding from God before Margaret tried her hand at writing inspirational fiction which led to her Rocky Creek series. "I love writing about characters at different stages of faith," she says of the new direction her writing career has taken, "and I'm here to stay."

Happily married to her real-life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California.

Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life; just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot straight.

Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying US Marshall at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.

His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and a sweet orphan in tow, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There justice will be meted out hopefully with a portion of grace.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Lady Like Sarah, go HERE

Watch the Book Trailer:

This is a fun read. Yet tucked between the humorous moments, tense moments, and hints of romance, this Women of Faith novel also contains a great spiritual message: Shackles of the soul imprison an individual to a far greater degree than any marshall's handcuffs can.


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