Sunday, March 31, 2019

Glory Road by Lauren K Denton

This novel is a satisfying one of southern life. The narrative weaves around the lives of three generations of women. Middle aged Jessie runs a garden store. Her elderly mother is a widow and lives next door. She's known for her amazing cobblers, pies and other baked goods. Evan is Jessie's fourteen year old daughter, making her way as she will soon enter high school.

This is a touching story of family and friendships and love. We get to know these women well as Denton has done a good job of developing their characters. The story is told in three points of view so we are privy to the opinions and dreams of each of the women. There is potential romance but many pitfalls along the way. The bonds of family love are strong.

This is a good novel for readers who like women's fiction. It would be best if one has an interest in plants and gardening as there is much of it in the story.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Lauren K Denton is the author of two previous USA Today bestselling novels. Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, she now lives with her husband and their two daughters in Homewood. You can find out more at .

Thomas Nelson, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

In a similar vein to The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews or Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, The Baggage Handler is a contemporary story that explores one question: What baggage are you carrying?

Three people take a flight that will change their lives forever. Fresh off a run-in with his wife, harried businessman David disembarks the plane angry and impatient. Gillian thought she would be more excited about coming to her niece’s wedding, but she is just hoping to survive. Malcolm has gambled everything on this trip to start his fledgling artistic career. To him, failure means working in hardware in what his father calls “a real job.” After each picks up the wrong suitcase, they make their way to a mysterious baggage depot in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed. A simple baggage mix-up at the airport is more than an inconvenience when it forces three people to face the baggage they are unknowingly carrying around.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This is a good book. The plot is well designed. Like an allegory, we gain insights through the actions of the characters. And those characters are well developed. We cheer them on, wondering if they will break through the barriers to be free.

The lessons included in the plot structure are thought provoking. We find we all carry baggage whether we recognize it or not. We learn how we've accumulated it and what it takes to let it go. Perhaps lugging it around is easier than the fight to be free of it. Perhaps the baggage has sentimental attachment. We cling to it even though it might be killing us.

I highly recommend this book. It's a quick read yet is full of valuable information. The truth included is universal. There are no Christian overtones in the book although there certainly could have been and I wish there had been. I'll be thinking about this book for a while and looking for more from this author.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father-of-three who loves humor and a clever turn-of-phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

More from David

Watch the trailer: 
 Check out David's Padlet page to follow The Baggage Handler: 

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, March 31
Remembrancy, April 2
The Becca Files, April 5
Bigreadersite, April 11
Artistic Nobody, April 12


To celebrate his tour, David is giving away a finished copy of the book to three winners!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

One Way Out by Lill Kohler

This novel got off to a rough start for me although I did like it in the end. Readers are introduced to a number of people at the beginning and it was difficult for me to understand how they knew each other and the purpose of their camping adventure. The information eventually came out but I would have liked more background material woven into the first few chapters.

Kohler has written a good story of the end times. Once the story got going a bit and the role of various characters became clear, the story moved well. It was interesting to see how Kohler imagines the events predicted in Revelation. It seemed very possible to me. And the best part of the novel is that there is no rapture at the beginning of the tribulation to whisk Christians out of possible trouble.

Other than the lack of explanatory information, this is a good novel about the end days. Christians familiar with Revelation will understand the events. Those not familiar with Revelation may not find enough information included to truly understand all that goes on. There is a message of salvation near the end that could have been a little clearer.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Lill Kohler works as a school nurse while expanding her writing career. One Way Out is her first novel. She lives in Texas.

Franklin Scribes Publishers, 346 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Shadowed by a Spy by Marilyn Turk

The reason I read historical fiction is to be introduced to and learn about an event from the past. In this novel we go back to 1942 when Nazi spies landed on Long Island. Called Operation Pastorius, their plan was to attack bridges, water supply, etc.

Turk has done a good job of creating the setting for us. Lexie, who we met in the first novel in the series, unknowingly meets and sort of befriends one of the spies. We readers catch snatches of their devious plans.

The focus of the novel, however, is on Lexie. She was being trained to be a nurse at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York. It was very interesting to read about the patients there and the innovative (and no longer used) techniques practiced in an attempt to help them. We also follow Russell, Lexie's fiancee. He is an assistant manager at the Martinique Hotel but music is his passion. He's a piano player and signs on with a dance band going overseas to play for the USO. That was another interesting part of the novel.

The strength of Turk's writing is the descriptions of New York during the war years. I can tell she has done a great deal of research. The characters are well developed too. There is a little bit of action included. The romance is tempered as Lexie and Russell are already engaged. I do recommend this historical novel to readers who would enjoy being transported to New York in 1942 and learning about the time and place.

You can read my review of the first novel in the series, The Gilded Curse, here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Marilyn Turk has written a number of historical novels. The Gilded Curse was published in 2016 and Shadowed by a Spy in June, 2018. She lives in Florida and you can find out more at

Heritage Beacon Fiction, 272 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Power of Christian Contentment by Andrew M Davis

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs was first published in 1648. It is an amazing book but very hard to get through. I know. I've tried. Davis has essentially taken Burroughs' thoughts and interpreted them for our generation. He has done an excellent job, producing a very readable and very convicting book.

Davis's thesis for this book, he writes, is that Christian contentment “is finding delight in God's wise plan for my life and humbly allowing him to direct me in it.” (153/2754) Contentment is the mark of a fully mature Christian, he says. Why strive toward contentment? First of all, we are commanded to do so. (Heb. 13:5) And, says Davis, we will be more joyful, God will receive more glory, and we will be an inspiration to others.

Davis helps us understand how we learn contentment - and it is something that can be learned. It is not a spiritual gift that comes with salvation. Paul learned the secret of it and so can we. (Phil. 4:12) It is a work of grace through faith, Davis says. There is a mystery to it though, having complete satisfaction in the world while having dissatisfaction with the world.

I really like how Davis explains contentment as a mindset, a way of looking at everything, recognizing God's sovereignty over all of our lives. It includes the good times and the painful ones. Maintaining contentment in painful times is difficult and Davis provides a practical strategy for doing so. Part of that strategy: “We must conquer the natural desire for a painless life if we are going to grow in contentment ...” (1217/2754) Davis adds an area of contentment Burroughs did not consider, being content in prosperity.

I found this book to be a very practical and convicting one. Davis's comments on gratitude and complaining cut to the heart. Perhaps that is because contentment is a heart issue. And it is hard. “Christian contentment will not come easily. You will need to focus your soul on it, moment after moment, for the rest of your life.” (2218/2754)

I high recommend this book to Christians ready to obey the command to be content and follow the examples of Paul and Christ. You will receive very good teaching and practical strategy for doing so. As Davis says, it is worth pursuing this rarest of jewels.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Andrew M Davis is pastor of First Baptist Church of Durham, North Carolina, and a visiting professor of church history at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is chairman of the governance committee of The Gospel Coalition and has written articles for its website. He is the author of two previous books.

Baker Books, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dead in a Week by Andrea Kane Blog Tour

Dead In A Week

by Andrea Kane

on Tour March 18 – April 19, 2019

What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and given only a week to live?

Lauren Pennington is celebrating her junior year abroad when life comes to a screeching halt. At Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, she engages in an innocent flirtation with a charming stranger for the length of a drink. Drink finished, Lauren leaves—only to be snatched from the streets and thrown into an unmarked van.

Officially, Aidan Deveraux is a communications expert for one of the largest financial firms in the world. In his secret life, the former Marine heads the Zermatt Group, a covert team of military and spy agency operatives that search the data stream for troubling events in an increasingly troubled world. When his artificial intelligence system detects Lauren’s kidnapping, Aidan immediately sees the bigger picture.

Silicon Valley: Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is about to launch a ground-breaking technology with his company NanoUSA—a technology that the Chinese are desperate for. No sooner does Aidan arrive on Vance’s doorstep to explain the situation than the father receives a chilling text message: hand over the technology or Lauren will be dead in a week.

In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save Lauren from a brutal death.

My Review:

I like a novel that has a good plot and plenty of action. This one has both. A tech company facing corporate espionage and an international kidnapping make for a compelling story. Aidan and his team are up to the challenge, with unlimited finances and the latest technology.

Kane has introduced a new covert group in this novel and I like it. I have enjoyed the Forensic Instincts novels and was glad to see some of those characters in this one. Kane manages to provide a good balance of character development, scene description and thrilling action. I like Aidan, brother to one of the FI operatives. I look forward to reading more novels centered on him, his talented group, and his pistol of a young daughter. She is something else!

This is a great novel for readers who enjoy thrilling suspense with well crafted characters and tons of the latest technology.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing
Publication Date: March 19th 2019
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 1682320294 (ISBN13: 9781682320297)
Series: Forensic Instincts, Zermatt Group
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Munich, Germany
20 February
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. local time
Normally, Lauren Pennington loved the sound of her combat boots clomping across the cobblestone apron. But right now, all she could think about was the growling of her empty stomach, urging her to move faster. She was oblivious to everything else—the couple on the corner sharing a passionate, open-mouthed kiss, the guy puking up his over-consumption of beer into the storm sewer grating, and the man watching her every move as he talked into his cell phone in a language that Lauren wouldn’t have recognized had she been paying attention.
She walked into Hofbräuhaus’ main hall, took a seat at one of the wooden tables, and placed her order. Minutes later, the waitress came over and brought Lauren’s food and drink. Barely uttering a perfunctory “Danke,” Lauren bit into a pretzel the size of her head and took a healthy gulp of Hofbräu.
The semester had ended, and she was entitled to some carbs and a dose of people-watching at the historic Munich brewery. Pretzels and beer were addicting, but people-watching had always fascinated her. Despite a whole winter semester of her junior year abroad studying art history at the Ludwig Maximilian University at Munich, she still enjoyed playing the tourist. Not at school, but every time she strolled the streets, studied the architecture, chatted with the locals.
Hofbräuhaus was less than a mile from campus, but the brewery’s main hall had a reputation all its own. With its old-world atmosphere of wooden tables, terra cotta floors, painted arches, and hanging lanterns, how could anyone not feel a sense of history just being within these walls?
Maybe that’s why Europe called out to her, not just here, but from a million different places. Museums. Theaters. Cathedrals. She wanted to experience them all, and then some. She’d be going home to San Francisco in July, and she hadn’t been to Paris or London or Brussels. She’d gotten a mere taste of Munich and had yet to visit Berlin.
When would she get another chance to do all that?
Not for ages. And certainly not with the sense of freedom she had as a college student, with little or no responsibilities outside her schoolwork to claim her attention. On the flip side, she felt terribly guilty. Every February, her entire family traveled to Lake Tahoe together. It was a ritual and a very big deal, since her father rarely got a day, much less a week, off as a high-powered executive. Her mother usually began making arrangements for the trip right after the holidays. In her mind, it was like a second Christmas, with the whole family reuniting and sharing time and laughter together.
This year was no different. Lauren’s brother, Andrew, and her sister, Jessica, were both taking time off from their busy careers to join their parents at Tahoe—no easy feat considering Andrew was an intellectual property attorney in Atlanta, and Jess was a corporate buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Lauren was the only holdout. Lauren. The college kid. The baby. The free spirit who always came home from Pomona College to nest, especially for family gatherings and rituals.
Her parents had been very quiet when she’d told them about her plans. Lauren knew what that silence meant. After the phone call ended, her mother would have cried that she was losing her baby, and her father would have scowled and written off her decision as college rebellion. Neither was true. But no matter how she explained it, her parents didn’t understand. They’d traveled extensively in Europe, and to them, it was no big deal. But it was Lauren’s first time here, and to her, it was like discovering a whole new world—a world she felt an instant rapport with. It was like discovering a part of her soul she’d never known existed. And she had to immerse herself in it.
She’d entertained the idea of flying to Lake Tahoe for the week and then returning to fulfill her dream. Her parents would definitely pay for that. But given the long international travel, the flight changes, the time differences, and the jet lag, Tahoe would put too much of a crimp in the many plans she had for her break between semesters. She’d had invitations from school friends who said she could stay with them during her travels—friends from Germany and so many other countries.
The world was at her feet.
No, despite how much she loved her family, she had to do things her way this time. There’d be other Februarys, other trips to Tahoe. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
She was still drinking her beer and lamenting her situation when a masculine voice from behind her said, “Hallo. Kann ich mitmachen?”
Turning, Lauren saw a handsome, rugged-featured guy, gazing at her with raised brows. He was asking if he could join her.
“Sind Sie allein?” he asked, glancing to her right and to her left.
“Yes, I’m alone,” she answered in German. “And, yes, please join me.”
The man came around and slid onto the bench seat. He propped his elbow on the table, signalling to the waitress that he’d have the same as the lady. The waitress nodded, hurrying off to get his refreshment.
He turned his gaze back to Lauren. “You’re American,” he noted, speaking English that was heavily accented.
“Guilty as charged,” she responded in English. “Is it that obvious?” She gave him a rueful look.
He smiled, idly playing with the gold chain around his neck. “Your German is quite good. But I picked up the American…what’s the word you use? Twang.”
Lauren had to laugh. “It’s my turn to take a stab at it, then. You’re French? Slavic? A combination of both?”
“The last.“ His smile widened. “You have a good ear, as well.”
“Your German and your English are excellent. I guess I just got lucky.”
“Speaking of getting lucky, what’s your name?” he asked.
His boldness took her aback, but she answered anyway. “Lauren. What’s yours?”
“Marko.” He held out his hand, which Lauren shook. “I’m in Munich on business. And you?”
“I’m an exchange student. I’m on break, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some time exploring Europe.”
Marko looked intrigued. “I can give you a few tips.” A mischievous glint lit his eyes. “Or I could travel with you for a few days and give you the best taste of Munich you’ll ever have.”
Lauren felt flushed. She was twenty years old. She knew very well what Marko meant by “the best taste.” She should be offended. But she couldn’t help being flattered. He was older, good-looking, and charming.
Nonetheless, she wasn’t stupid. And she wasn’t in the market for a hookup.
“Thanks, but I’m tackling this trip on my own,” she replied. “I’m meeting up with friends later, but I’m good as planned.”
“Pity.” The glint in his eyes faded with regret. “Then at least let me give you some pointers about the best sights to see and the best restaurants and places to visit.”
“That would be fantastic.” Lauren rummaged in her purse for a pen and paper. Having found them, she set her bag on the floor between them.
She spent the next twenty mesmerizing minutes listening to Marko detail the highlights of Munich and other parts of Bavaria, as she simultaneously scribbled down what he was saying.
“Thank you so much,” she said when he was finished. “This is like a guided tour.”
“Once again, I could do it in person.”
“And once again, I’m flattered, but no thank you.” Lauren signaled for her check, reaching into her bag and retrieving a twenty euro bill when the waitress approached the table. “The rest is for you,” she told her.
“I’ll take care of that,” Marko offered, stopping Lauren by catching her wrist and simultaneously fishing for his wallet. Evidently, he was still holding out hope that she would change her mind.
“That’s okay. I’ve got it.” Lauren wriggled out of his grasp, leaned forward, and completed the transaction.
“You’ve been a tremendous help,” she said to Marko as she rose. “I’m glad we met.”
This time it was she who extended her hand.
Reluctantly, he shook it. “I hope we meet again, Lauren. I’ll look for you the next time I’m in Munich.”
Still smiling, Lauren left the café and walked through the wide cobblestone apron outside. There were little tables with umbrellas scattered about, with patrons chatting and eating. Sated by the beer and pretzel, she inhaled happily, and then, walking over to the sidewalk, began what she expected to be a thoughtful stroll. Maybe she’d text her parents this time, try explaining her position without all the drama of a phone call.
She was halfway down the street when she heard a male voice call after her, “Lauren!”
She turned to see Marko hurrying in her direction. “Here.” He extended his arm, a familiar iPhone in his hand. “You left this on the table.”
“Oh, thank you.” How could she have been so careless? She protected her cell phone like a small child. “I’d be lost without that—“
As she spoke, a Mercedes van tore around the corner and came screeching up to them.
The near doors were flung open, and a stocky man jumped out, his face concealed by a black hood. Before Lauren could so much as blink, he grabbed her, yanking a burlap sack over her head and tossing her over his shoulder.
"Merr në makinë,” he said in a language Lauren didn’t understand.
By this time, Lauren had recovered enough to struggle for her freedom. Her legs flailed in the air, kicking furiously, and she pounded on the man’s back as he carried her and flung her into the back of the van.
Marko jumped in behind her, slamming the doors shut and barking out something in the same dialect as the other man—neither French nor Slavic—as the stocky barbarian held her down.
Finally finding her voice, Lauren let out a scream, which was quickly muffled by the pressure of Marko’s hand over her mouth. She could taste the wool of the sack, and she inclined her head so she could breathe through her nose.
A short-lived reprieve.
Marko fumbled around, then shoved a handkerchief under the sack, covering her nose and mouth. Lauren thrashed her head from side to side, struggling to avoid it. The odor was sickeningly sweet and citrusy.
Tears burned behind her eyes. Shock waves pulsed through her body.
Oh God, she didn’t want to die.
Marko clamped his other hand on the back of her head, holding it in place while he forced the handkerchief flush against her nose and mouth, making it impossible for her to escape.
Dizziness. Nausea. Black specks. Nothing.
“Shko,” Marko ordered his accomplice, shoving him toward the driver’s seat.
The van screeched off, headed to hell.
Excerpt from Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane. Copyright © 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.

Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including fifteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.

Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week, adds the Zermatt Group into the mix—a covert team of former military and spy agency operatives. With a week to save a young woman from ruthless kidnappers, this globe-spanning chase, from the beerhalls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia will keep readers guessing until the very end. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks, The Murder That Never Was, and A Face to Die For.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Author Hometown – Warren, New Jersey

Catch Up With Our Author On:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the Dead In A Week by Andrea Kane Participants.

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I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

None Greater by Matthew Barrett

This book is much more than just an exploration of the attributes of God. I am impressed with Barrett clarifying how the attributes are interrelated. He shows how we cannot latch on to the attributes we like and ignore the rest. Barrett will not let us create a comfortable God, a being like us. Nor will he let us have a God we can control.

Barrett has given us a view of God consistent with the Bible. He deals with some of God's attributes and actions that might not be popular with people who want God to just be love. We are reminded that God is not a glorified human. He is not like we are. Our finite minds cannot even begin to comprehend His infinite being. We are so limited in our understanding, there will always be mystery.

While this book is generally readable, it is theology. Sometimes I had to stop and reread passages to make sure I was grasping what Barrett was communicating. He has included a glossary to help readers with theological terms, such as aseity.

I highly recommend this book. I have read a number of recent books where the authors attempt to make God someone we can like and accept like a glorified human. Barrett portrays God as He is revealed in the Bible. I am glad Barrett has set the record straight.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Matthew Barrett (MDiv, PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the executive editor of Credo Magazine. He is the author of numerous books and is the host of the Credo podcast where he talks with fellow theologians about the most important doctrines of the faith. He lives in Kansas City.

Baker Books, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

An Unpresentable Glory by Ellie K Gustafson Blog Tour

About the Book:

Book: An Unpresentable Glory  
Author: Eleanor K. Gustafson  
Genre: Christian, contemporary, literary fiction  
Release Date: July, 2018

“I trusted you, and some day, you may know just how much you hold in your hands.” Linda Jensen leads a relatively quiet life in Westchester County, New York, as the owner of a highly acclaimed garden. Inherited from her parents, the garden is her pride and joy. It is not so joyful finding a strange man sprawled near her delphiniums! The mysterious man is sick, unable to do anything more than drink water—and beg for secrecy. Ignoring all alarm bells, Linda sees to his needs, but her caring act takes on unexpected significance, and unpresentable glory. Seeds of trust, and perhaps love, are planted in Linda’s garden haven. But as secrets are revealed and scandal hits the headlines, the act of caring for this man threatens to tarnish both of their reputations. Like weeds in Linda’s garden, circumstances threaten to choke out their fledgling relationship, and small moments prove to be the biggest influencers—on a national scale.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This is the most interesting novel I have read for a while. I liked learning about the complex structure and design of a show garden. I liked learning about Native Americans and the issues they face today. I liked reading about how an investigative reporter can nearly ruin a politician's career.

Gustafson incorporated many Christian lessons in this novel, such as how a male support and discipleship group may work. There was also a strong example of the damage that can be done when Christianity is presented to others in an unloving way. Permeating the novel was the idea of doing a kindness for another that cannot be made public. It is an act that brings glory to God yet must be kept secret, as unpresentable to others.

The romance aspect of the novel was complex and took a long time to resolve. Nonetheless, it was interesting how an immediate and intense love formed and then how the obstacles to it were overcome. This is a good novel for readers who enjoy gardening and like characters committed to pursuing romance God's way.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Ellie grew up in Branchville NJ, in a county with more cows than people. She attended Wheaton College in Illinois as a music major, then married a pastor/college professor/tree farmer/organist and writer. Together, they have three children and eight grandchildren. Music was Ellie’s first love until she tried on the cloak of writing and found it a comfortable fit. However, early writing attempts saw friends—and even her mother—advising her to stick to music as a career. She pushed manfully along, though, and An Unpresentable Glory is her sixth novel. “God first touched me through story,” Ellie says, “and made the bigger Story come alive. I love Him passionately!”

More from Ellie

What’s An Unpresentable Glory about? Here’s Linda’s point of view: Linda Jensen, a noted gardener, finds a stranger sprawled near her delphiniums, obviously ill. She gets him into her house and puts him to bed, deciding that water is the only safe thing to give him. Water in, however, must come out. He is helpless; she must serve him; but in doing this unpresentable task, she feels the presence of angels. [See the book Preface for my personal experience with this.]   Jay’s point of view: Jay finds himself ill and helpless on the lawn of a wealthy but caring gardener. He can’t even reveal his real name. When he leaves at week’s end, he sees the relationship as hopeless because of who he is and enormous repercussions if the hidden week comes to light. Tragedy and disaster haunt him, but a dual set of mentors leads him through churning waters. Will he ever get back to the garden? * * * Linda’s sun tea was “mostly Darjeeling with lemon and a sprig of mint.” After reading her description, I tried it and found it tasty, indeed!

Blog Stops

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.