Parenting and Self-Help
The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past To Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller. Eller and mom share their mother/daughter story. It is a story of abuse and neglect, mental illness and healing, and courageous love and forgiveness. In Eller’s words, “I hope that this book will help all of us to scrape away ‘churchianity’ to discover answers to questions [like] ‘Do I know how to trust God when life is unfair?’”
Harvest House, 2006.
The Latest in Inspirational Fiction
The Spirit of Sweetgrass by Nicole Seitz. Reminiscent of Eudora Welty’s voice and characterization in The Worn Path, and Why I live at the P.O., Seitz’s first novel, The Spirit of Sweetgrass, is delightful.
Thomas Nelson, 2007.
Lightning and Lace by DiAnn Mills. This is a thriller/romance novel set in the late 1890s. Lace concludes Mills Texas Legacy series. A young pastor fresh from losing his last parish over a scandal relocates to a small Texas town to replace the retiring pastor. His introduction begins with breaking up a fistfight between two grade-school boys, one of whom is the troubled grandson of the retiring pastor and the manipulative son of a young widow.
The Scarlet Trefoil by L. A. Kelly. Best known to her historical fiction fans as Leisha Kelly, Trefoil concludes the Tahn Dorn series in a beautifully written love story set in the middle ages.
Wishing On Dandelions by Mary E. DeMuth. This is a beautifully written novel about the taboo subject of childhood sexual abuse. DeMuth draws on her own experience of childhood abuse to demonstrate the victim’s internalized sense of shame and need for penance, and that if it is not dealt with in love and by God’s grace, it can lead to a life of endless, self-inflicted abuse. Wishing on Dandelions follows Watching the Tree Limbs, the novel that introduces nine-year-old Mara, who is afraid to tell about “the biggest criminal of all.” In Dandelions, Mara is now 17-years-old and has changed her name to Maranatha to leave behind bitter childhood memories.
Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury. This is the first novel in her new Sunrise Series. It is a story of secrecy, alcoholism, and new beginnings and takes place in a present day, exotic beach setting. Kingsbury is a New York Times bestselling author of Inspirational Fiction. Summer Sunrise, the second novel in this series, will be released July 2007.
Tyndale House, 2007.
Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney. This is based on the question “What if you could leave the past behind and begin your life all over again?” Maggie Anderson’s car has been hijacked with her in it. She is left alive and unharmed. She takes the opportunity to leave behind her unhappy life in an abusive relationship to begin again.
Balancing Act by Kimberly Stuart. High school teacher and new mom, Heidi Elliott finds that despite the capable women pictured in National Geographic articles touting that “women had done it (pregnancy, childbirth and life management) for centuries, the whole experience nearly killed” her. Now, juggling the demands of work and caring for a baby along with her suspicions that her husband is spending too much time with an attractive, wealthy client, Heidi discovers how to handle life with love and laughter.
A Sister’s Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter. A prodigal daughter returns to her Amish community in this beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and forgetfulness. Brunstetter has been told her romance novels are passed “from buggy to buggy” in the Amish community. My mother-in-law and her friends also enjoy passing Brunstetter’s novels to each other.
Orchard of Hope by Ann H. Gabhart. The sequel to The Scent of Lilacs, Gabhart’s newest novel traces the tangled lines of friendship and racism, and love and forgiveness in small town Kentucky in the 1960s.
Fleming H. Revell, 2007.
Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz:An Amanda Bell Brown Mystery by Claudia Mair Burney, 2007. Amanda Bell Brown’s biological clock is winding down. She has broken up with Rocky, her pastor. “Don’t judge me for that,” says Bell, “I’ve got plenty of real issues for you to choose from.” She meets a new man, but unfortunately he may have murdered his ex-wife. Burney’s brand of mystery/romance is sheer reading enjoyment.
Scimitar’s Edge by Marvin Olasky. A riveting plot combines international intrigue with the “realities of sex, violence, and religious challenge in today’s world.”
The Heir by Paul Robertson. Jason Boyer just inherited his father’s crooked money and corrupt political power. Boyer simply wants to be a ‘better man” than his father, but it may cost him his life.
Germ by Robert Liparulo. Liparulo is also the author of my favorite thriller, Comes A Horseman. Germ is a fast-paced, plot driven novel about a German scientist turned terrorist who is out for revenge through his unique ability to wage germ warfare. Liparulo’s plots are well developed and his characters are believable and likeable. Movies for both novels are in the works. Liparulo is currently writing his third thriller.