Thursday, July 22, 2010


I recently began participating in the Tyndale House bloggers tour. They send you a book, you read it and write a blog about it. Easy enough? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Once in a while you get a book you find difficult to finish and write something constructive about. HOWEVER, and I want to strongly stress that word, HURRICANES IN PARADISE is one of my all-time top-ten summer reads!
DENISE HILDRETH shares the tale of four women from different walks of life but with something in common: deep, dark secrets that keep them from being the women they ought to be. In the midst of the book one of the characters is sitting in a little church and the congregation begins to sing the old hymn, Amazing Grace. Up to that point I'd had a hard time warming up to a couple of the characters, but suddenly I realized that God's amazing grace isn't just the saving kind of grace, although I'm very thankful for that grace, but it's also the kind of grace that helps us through the deepest, darkest valleys in our lives. For Riley, Winnie, Laine, and Tamyra it is especially true. HURRICANES IN PARADISE is also a story of friendship, built around a storm in the Atlantic Ocean, certainly, but more importantly a friendship built around the love they all share for the Lord, even though a few of them had forgetten about that love.
Normally I donate any book I read for review to our new church library, we're struggling so to get it off to a good start. HURRICANES IN PARADISE is firmly at home on my keeper shelf, it's a book I'll want to read again and again, anytime I need reminding that God's Grace is all-sufficient for any problem, any trial, any situation.
This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishing Company and is available for purchase at as well as your local bookseller.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church—they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness.

Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome—and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned. As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?

I was prepared to enjoy SHADES OF MORNING, and I really dislike writing negative things about books, simply because an author works so hard to produce a novel for people to enjoy. However, I can honestly say there were a few parts of SHADES OF MORNING I didn't enjoy at all, from the confusing and disorienting beginning to the disturbing surprise ending. The middle, I DID enjoy! It was a heartwarming story of coming to grips with what is in life and learning that God allows us hurdles to overcome in order to learn to lean more on Him. It's also a story of learning to love who you are, who God made you, and of letting go of the past; a story of healing and miracles.
SHADES OF MORNING is available at and is a worthwhile summer read. This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.