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Saturday, July 31, 2010


By Kim Vogel Sawyer

Bethany House Publishers
ISBN 978-0-7642-0509-5

Think the “Mail Order Bride” theme has already been overdone? Think again. Kim Vogel Sawyer’s A HOPEFUL HEART puts a fresh new twist on what might otherwise be a predictable story. But A HOPEFUL HEART is anything but predictable.

When you open the pages of this book, you step into the unique setting of the Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas in 1888. Six young women from the east, all from different backgrounds, sit under the tutelage of Hattie Wyatt to learn the skills necessary to become a rancher's wife. Rancher, Abel Samms, has no intention of paying Aunt Hattie's girls any mind. Women are nothing but trouble, and he has his hands full with other distractions, like cattle rustlers, broken fences, and threatening neighbors. Kim Sawyer has crafted another heart-warming story with an unexpected twist that reaches into the depth of the heart to connect the reader with her characters. While most readers may have never learned to milk a cow or brand a calf, all will be able to identify with Tressa's feelings of inadequacy and rejection. The hope infused in this story will encourage all who read it to persevere to overcome obstacles and become the person God wants them to be. I highly recommend A HOPEFUL HEART. You won't be disappointed

Saturday, July 17, 2010

WHITE ROSES -- Shannon Taylor Vannatter

ISBN 978-1-60260-755-2
© 2010 Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Heartsong Presents, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

Pastor Grayson Sterling is still grieving the loss of his wife, killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver two years ago. When his church takes on a new Associate Pastor to relieve him of some of his load, Grayson is attracted to the new Associate’s sister, Adrea Welch. Adrea, an area florist, has been providing Grayson with white roses for his wife for years, even after she died. Grayson now carries the roses to the cemetery. So how can Adrea be attracted to a man who is still mourning for his wife?

When pieces of the past begin to fall into place, the resulting revelation threatens to tear apart the budding attraction between Grayson and Adrea, and destroy lives in the process. Between Grayson’s fears and Adrea’s guilt, it appears the deck is stacked against this couple.

As I read this story, I couldn’t help but call to mind issues and hurts from my own past. Readers will find an invitation to take a second look at their own circumstances from a point of view they might have overlooked. Everyone makes mistakes. Anyone who has lived for any length of time has a certain number of regrets or misplaced guilt. This story portrays the path many people travel in dealing with hurtful issues. Your issues may not be the same as Grayson’s and Adrea’s, but as you read this story you will find yourself filling in the blanks with your own circumstances, and hopefully discovering a portal of forgiveness, releasing the burden of guilt that isn’t yours to carry.