Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Plight of Mattie Gordon

Jeanne Marie Leach crafts her historical western novel around a protective yet naïve mother, her outlaw son, and the handsome bounty hunter who captures her heart.

Mattie’s plight is clear throughout the story. She must find her son Will and help him make his peace with God. She will not rest until she accomplishes her goal. In her devotion to God and to her son, bounty hunter Cyrus Braydon finds much to admire in Mattie, an attractive widow who both intrigues and frustrates him.

Their journeys—apart and together—lead them to and away from Will, but ultimately closer to God.

Leach’s novel is well-crafted and easy to read. I especially liked the title character, Mattie Gordon. She is likeable and believable, not only for her faith in God and devotion to her son, but also in her naïveté, her wish to believe the best rather than the worst about all people.

I recommend this novel for fans of period western romances.

Author's website:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Oak Leaves

The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang

At first glance, Talie Ingrim is an enviable woman. Her husband is successful in his career, they have a lovely one-year-old son, and she finds out she is expecting another child. Life is so very good.

Talie is happy and content, until she begins reading a family heirloom journal written by one of her ancestors. She also begins to notice differences between her son’s development and other children of the same age in a playgroup. She unwillingly discovers a legacy she had no idea she’d passed on to her son, and perhaps her unborn child as well: Fragile X Syndrome.

In an artfully and lovingly crafted novel, Maureen Lang tells the stories of Talie and her several-greats grandmother, Cosima. Through journal entries in Cosima’s own voice, as well as skillfully-told narratives in both nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, Lang weaves a story that is at once difficult, sad, exciting, heartbreaking, and heartwarming.

The Oak Leaves is a novel that informs as well as entertains. It is both easy and difficult to read: easy in a captivating narrative style that is fast-paced and engaging; difficult in its subject matter of genetics, love, and most of all, God’s grace. The Oak Leaves will stay with me for a long time.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Can you imagine?

from today's Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor:

It's the birthday of novelist Iris Murdoch ( books by this author ), born in Dublin to Anglo-Irish parents (1919). Her novels include A Severed Head, The Sea, The Sea, and Jackson's Dilemma. She was a philosopher before she was a novelist. She wrote 26 novels over 40 years. She wrote them all in longhand, copied them out, sealed the two handwritten manuscripts in plastic bags, and carried them down to her publisher herself. She never let any editor change a word of what she had written.

What confidence!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I seem to lack focus lately. I know, I know, I have every excuse to be unfocused. But in playing catch-up on my writing loops and skimming through posts on various boards, I see that my interests and desires are widely varied. I'm not focused enough to make it work. I see writers like Mary E. De Muth, Lisa Samson, and Tricia Goyer, who all focus on one or two areas and write those areas most excellently.

In contrast, I am all over the place. And I'm not, to be truthful, even sure I have what it takes to make it work.

And blogging like this is accomplishing nothing but making me sound like a whiny girl.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Books Galore

I have been reading a LOT over my vacation (which I tend to point out that while it was a vacation, it wasn't the kind where you rest a lot!). In three weeks I read 5 1/2 books! What's my secret? Well, it's because I can't sleep at night. With my hubby gone halfway around the world, it's tough to get to sleep. Once I'm asleep, I do sleep, but getting to sleep is an issue. So I read. I was reading 1-1 1/2 hrs. a night. All to get sleepy enough to go to sleep without all that wakefulness alone in a single bed.

I'll save some of the reviews for later...and some of the books will be going up on Paperback Swap very soon!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Back from a long absence

I was away from my computer for three weeks. Isn't that crazy? But I'm back now. I'll get back to writing very soon! I've read quite a few books and have received many more in the mail while I was away.

So much to do and only 24 hours in a day. Perhaps I can keep better track of my time now that I've had time away.

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...