“Blue Like Play Dough” Blog Book Tour

blue like play dough

Blue Like Play Dough is a great book for mothers, because it really meets you where you’re at.  The author, Tricia Goyer, shares her experiences from the time she was a pregnant teen, to now, a more settled, yet still occasionally struggling, adult.

As she shared her joys and sorrows in parenting, I found that I could relate to much of what she was saying. Being a mother can be a lonely, demanding job. There are times when you feel like you are drowning, even though there are also times when you feel like you’re on top of the world. You often wonder if you’re doing things right, or if you’re screwing your kids up for life. I think every mother has dealt with these doubts, questions, and feelings of inadequacy at one time or another.

And yet, in the midst of all that, God is always there, guiding you, preparing you for great things. And even if you do make a mess of things, He is there to help you clean it up. And, if you finally let go of *your* plans, you can be open to the wonderful plans God has in store for you!

I found this to be a very uplifting, encouraging book that takes a real, honest look at motherhood, and how God can give us so much more joy in our job than we ever imagined!

“Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes” Blog Book Tour


Although the Sisterchicks series of books by Robin Jones Gunn has been around for a while now, I had never read one before Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes, and I quickly realized how little I knew about the books, so I have to address the series in general before I can talk about this book in particular.

First of all, I was worried that because I hadn’t read the first seven books, I wouldn’t be able to get into them, that I wouldn’t be familiar with the history.  As it turns out, that isn’t a problem.  After a little research, I came to realize that each book is about a different pair of friends, and the books aren’t dependant on each other at all.  That makes this the perfect series to pick up partway (or a long way, like me!) in, because you don’t have to worry about not knowing the characters or their stories–it’s all new with each new book.

Second of all, I totally didn’t get that the books are centered around traveling.  Now that I’ve look at all the titles, it’s glaringly obvious, but I didn’t realize it when I saw the books individually here and there.  The unique settings in each book help to reassure the reader that she’s not missing pieces of information.

I was also a little concerned about reading them because, let’s face it, the main characters are old enough to be my mother.  But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story, and really feeling for the characters.

Enough about the series in general, though–on to Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes!

Summer Finely and her pastor-husband Wayne have always taught their children “we do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do.” But when she receives an abnormal reading on a mammogram, Summer decides to throw caution to the wind and fly to Holland to visit her life-long pen pal, Noelle, whom she’s never actually met, but who she feels as close to as a sister.

Summer asks her husband to allow her to stay in denial about the potential medical crisis looming over her head, and he reluctantly agrees, so she sets off, travel book in hand, eager to get to know Noelle, worried about embarrassing herself in a strange land, and anxious to see the fields of tulips in bloom.

As she and Noelle explore Holland, they share secrets and heartaches, and form a closer bond from their shared experiences.  Uncertain of what the future holds, one thing is certain–Summer and Noelle have their faith, their families, and their friendship to hold onto.

I really enjoyed this book–it’s interesting to read about life in other countries, the characters were instantly likable, and they were dealing with real problems and experiences.  I barely even noticed the age difference between myself and the main characters (although, I imagine if I revisit the book in 15 years or so, I may find it even more meaningful).  Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes has made me want to read the rest of the Sisterchicks novels, and now I know I don’t even have to worry about reading them in any particular order!

“Saints in Limbo”/”Stealing Home” Blog Book Tour


I really wanted to like Saints in Limbo by River Jordan, but to be honest, I just couldn’t get into it.  The prologue (which I’m generally not a fan of in books, anyway–just get right to the point!), didn’t draw me in, and the characters did not gain my sympathy from the beginning (or at all, for that matter).  That best I can do is share a short summary of the book–perhaps it will be more appealing to other audiences than it was to me.

Ever since her husband Joe died, Velma True’s world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her home outside Echo, Florida.

When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again.


Stealing Home by Allison Pittman is a pretty unique book in terms of setting and plot.

It’s 1905 and the Chicago Cubs are banking on superstar Donald “Duke” Dennison’s golden arm to help them win the pennant.

I don’t think I’ve seen too many books about a baseball player that take place around the turn of the 20th century. Maybe I’m just overlooking a genre of book, but I really enjoyed this, both because of the characters, and because of the unique subject matter.  I especially enjoyed the small town of Picksville–it really seemed like the kind of place you’d want to visit and take in a ball game.

Only one thing stands between Duke and an unprecedented ten thousand dollar contract: alcohol.

That’s when sportswriter David Voyant whisks Duke to the one-horse town of Picksville, Missouri, so he can sober up in anonymity. He bides his time flirting with Ellie Jane Voyant, his unofficial chaperone, who would rather hide herself in the railway station ticket booth than face the echoes of childhood taunts.

Ned Clovis, the feed store clerk, has secretly loved Ellie Jane since childhood, but he loves baseball and the Duke almost as much–until he notices Ellie Jane may be succumbing to the star’s charm.

Then there’s Morris, a twelve-year-old Negro boy, whose only dream is to break away from Picksville. When Duke discovers his innate talent for throwing a baseball, Morris might just have found his way out.

Four individuals, each living in haunted isolation, each harboring a secret passion. Providence brings them together. Tragedy threatens to tear them apart. Will love be enough to bring them home?

It wasn’t necessarily the happiest book I ever read, but it is enjoyable and thought-provoking!

“The Night Watchman” Blog Book Tour


I loved The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir!  It’s a great mystery/suspense story that takes place in and around Orlando, FL, and deals with corruption in government as well as the local police department.  It’s an extremely well-written story, with an ending that’s almost impossible to figure out ahead of time.

The Night Watchman is former detective Ray Quinn, who has a new life as a security guard/P.I. (and part-time alcoholic)–a life he certainly didn’t choose voluntarily, but was forced into after a mysterious shooting that crippled him and killed his partner.

After the murder/suicide of an exotic dancer and pastor that occurred at the condo on Ray’s new beat, he gets sucked back into police work, trying to discover who the real killer is, and how this attack might relate to his accident, as well as the death of another exotic dancer he interviewed. He learns secrets about the people he used to work with, breaks several laws, is beaten, and even had an attempt made on his own life while trying to untangle the mystery of the killings, and how they relate to several powerful men in the Orlando area, and the local nightclub scene.

Along the way, he befriends a young man with whom he works–Crevis, a somewhat bumbling red-head who dreams to one day become a police officer himself. It’s an unlikely friendship, and one that Ray avoided for as long as possible.  Ray also allows himself to become closer to Pam, the sister of the pastor found dead in the condo.  Only time will tell if that will become a romantic relationship in future books.

This book kept me furiously turning the pages until I had it finished.  I wasn’t  sure who Ray could really trust until the very end, when all of the truth finally came out. Until that point, I had a trust no one attitude, which seemed to be shared by Ray, as he discovered just how deeply the investigation ran.

I can’t wait to see what kind of cases The Night Watchman Detective Agency tackles next!

Mother’s Day Blog Book Tour


I recently finished the third book in Amy Wallace’s “Defenders of Hope Series”: Enduring Justice.  I haven’t read the first two books, so it took me a few chapters to get the characters figured out, and try to guess about events that were referred to that must have occurred in the first two books.

Despite the fact that it was a slow start for me, I loved the book.  There were two main plots that were woven together–Hanna Kessler dealing with the childhood abuse that she had never shared with anyone, not even her family, and the FBI (including Hanna’s brother and her boyfriend) searching for a racially motivated killer.

This was a pretty gritty book, because of the flashbacks to Hanna’s abuse, and the details regarding the white supremacists as the FBI is desperately trying to find and apprehend them. It was a very real book, with characters dealing with real emotions and real flaws.  I didn’t find this to be the stereotypical Christian novel, filled with syrupy characters who always make the right decisions.  The characters in this book made mistakes, some big ones, and had to deal with the consequences just like they would in the real world.

The style of this book very much reminded my of Dee Henderson’s “O’Malley” series, which is high praise from me, as that was the first mystery/suspense series I ever enjoyed reading.  I am looking forward to going back and reading the first two books, Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, and I’ll be curious to see if Amy Wallace writes any more books in the series–if she does, I’ll definitely be looking for those, too!


I also had the chance to read Dear Mom by Melody Carlson, which is a book written for mothers of teenage daughters, in a style as though it is written by the teenager herself.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find this book to be nearly as appealing as Enduring Justice was.

I understand the purpose of the book, and think it’s a good one–to help mothers see how their actions, from the way they dress to the way they interact with their daughter’s friends to the words they choose, affect their children.  But something about the tone of the book was disturbing to me.  Maybe that’s just the natural tone of teenagers, and that’s why it rubbed me the wrong way, but it came across like mothers are just stupid, and need to be talked to like children in order to understand how they can make communication with their daughters easier.

I am all for encouraging parents and teens in their interactions, and helping them understand each other better. But I would think that there is a better, more respectful way to accomplish this goal.