Friday, February 8, 2013

Safe In His Arms

Book Review

Set in 19th century Texas, Safe in His Arms by Colleen Coble is Book 2 in the Under Texas Stars series. It is a romance but also has enough adventure and excitement to keep the reader interested. The protagonist, Margaret O’Brien, is a skilled and talented rancher who can do anything the men do with competence and excellence.

However, her father fails to appreciate her help and leadership on the ranch. He wants her to attract a man, marry and have children, and her husband can supervise the ranch. I realize that Margaret’s father probably was blinded by deeply ingrained prejudices toward a woman’s place that were prevalent during this time period. At the same time, I was amazed that he could not see the value in what Margaret was doing. With a dead brother and ageing father, she was a young woman who took over running the family ranch out of necessity, and she learned to do it well. It was frustrating that Margaret’s father wanted her to use her feminine wiles to attract a husband. He did not appreciate the wonderful young woman that was his daughter.

Then Margaret’s father hired Daniel Cutler, a new foreman. Margaret sees no need for a foreman because she knows everything about running a ranch. She and Cutler clash like a cold front and humidity on a summer day. But in spite of Margaret’s obvious antagonism, both she and Daniel have an irresistible attraction.  It was rewarding to see that finally a male came into Margaret’s life who fully appreciated her competency and intelligence, while noticing her beauty even though she did not wear hoop-skirts.

Margaret believes that Daniel is not being upfront about his past and has a suspicion that Daniel is not what he says. A bank robbery, a hostage situation, a tornado and a trusted relative who is a cold-hearted criminal keep the story fast-paced. I loved how the author developed Margaret’s character. I loved watching Margaret’s confidence grow and it was evident that Margaret’s faith grew as she lived through a difficult time.

This is an exciting book. It is the story of a young girl’s maturity process and a couple getting to know each other. The icing on the cake is that the story is told through many plot turns, twists and surprises that kept me involved in the story. I appreciated the account of Margaret’s faith journey. I could understand how happenings in her life could have made her hard and bitter toward God. She allowed God to turn her problems and difficulties into qualities that made her an even stronger woman – a woman able to reach out to others but also able to accept herself. Coble took me on a journey from pitying Margaret as she coped with her insensitive father to inwardly cheering for the woman Margaret became. Coble created a character that is appealing and shows how kindness and love cause Margaret to flourish.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

About Safe in His Arms

Sometimes it takes a stranger to see you as you really are.

Under Texas Stars, Book 2

Born and raised on sprawling Texas land, Margaret O'Brien prides herself on her competence as a rancher. But her father believes she's made for more than just dawn-to-dusk work. He wants her to have the love of a good man, to raise children, to build a life. But Margaret gave up such dreams years ago. She's convinced no man would have her, that the ranch is her life now.

So when Margaret's father hires Daniel Cutler as a new foreman, she's frustrated and suspicious. Then an overheard conversation links him with a gang of bank robbers, and she's downright worried. Daniel swears he's not involved, but Margaret's not convinced. She knows the man still has secrets. But would a criminal be so kind and talk so convincingly of his faith? As a series of tragic "accidents" threatens all she holds dear, Margaret must decide what to trust: her own ears, her best judgment . . . or what her heart keeps telling her.

Meet Colleen: 
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

Find out more about Colleen at

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay

Book Review

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss is a parallel love story of contemporary Ginny Marshall and Ellie a young woman living in the 1920’s.

Ginny is a singer/songwriter who is just about to cross over the line to become a top performer with a lucrative recording contract. She is also dating a celebrity music producer. But rather than feeling excited about her prospects, Ginny feels lonely and at loose ends. Her thoughts keep returning to Brett, her former fiancé. Ginny had called the engagement off but on the verge of “making it big” in the music business she finally decides she must see Brett again.

Against the wishes of her producer, Ginny flies up to rural Glacier Bay, Alaska. She stays with Brett’s grandmother who gives her a file box of old letters to read. They tell the story of Ellie, a young woman from California who goes up to Alaska in the earlier 20th century to be a governess for a widowed missionary’s children. Ellie falls in love with the missionary and the letters relate the challenges Ellie faces.

As the two stories unfold, there is an obvious connection between Ginny and Ellie. As Ginny relates to Ellie and enjoys the beautiful wilderness of Glacier Bay she begins to put her painful past behind her and asks God to lead and direct her. She is able to make decisions that free her from the shallowness and insecurities of her life.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions are my own.

About Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska: 

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams-a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But Ginny needs advice from the one person who will look out for her best interests-her former fiancé, Brett Miller. She travels to the remote town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, where the town's colorful characters and stunning scenery provide respite from LA's pressures.

In Glacier Bay, Ginny discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between Clay, an early missionary to Alaska Territory, and Ellie, the woman who traveled there to be his children's governess. When Ginny is reunited with Brett in Glacier Bay, will she discover-as Ellie did-that healing and love are sometimes found in the most unexpected places?

Meet the Authors: 
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Find out more about Tricia at

Ocieanna Fleiss is a published author and editor. She lives with her husband and their four children in the Seattle area.

Find out more about Ocieanna at


Celebrate with Tricia and Ocieanna by entering their "Glacier Bay" Giveaway and RSVPing for their Facebook Party on Feb. 12th!


One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A gorgeous handmade “Glacier Bay” bracelet
  • A handmade cowl in "Glacier Bay" blues and greens
  • A bottle of custom-made "Glacier Bay" sparkle polish in blue
  • Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss and their two other “Love Finds You” titles {Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana, and Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 11th. Winner will be announced at the "Glacier Bay" Author Chat Party on February 12th. Connect with authors Tricia and Ocieanna, get a sneak peek of their new book projects, try your hand at the Alaska trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be great giveaways—gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska, and join Tricia and Ocieanna on the evening of February 12th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!

Call of a Coward

When I chose “Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife” by Marcia Moston, I chose it for the title. I love books that connect our every day lives to the greater Story that God is writing.

I enjoyed the transparency and vulnerability that Moston offers in her autobiographical story. Her husband answers God’s call to leave a cushy suburban life and serve as a missionary administrator of an orphanage in Guatemala.

The adventure to Guatemala is a page-turner, and it was interesting to read about the people they meet. Her insights about God’s personal leading in their lives were practical and authentic. If you enjoy a good missionary story, or just reading about other places in the world, this was a good read.

However, the end of the book was less satisfying. It felt as though the author was struggling to “wrap up” the story and make sense of why they left Guatemala to lead a rural church in the U.S. I felt that the author was more interested in the Guatemalan story—it took tens of pages to tell of one adventurous day in Mexico on the way to Guatemala, and it took half a page to describe ten years when they returned.

Altogether, it was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend the book to those who enjoy the missionary story genre.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Clay Linen (Design Post)

Well, it's been awhile since I posted a design post, but I am still hard at work in the Christian design field.  In fact, the Christian rapper I've been working with a lot lately is preparing to launch a line of Christian clothing, and I've been designing t-shirts for it.

The clothing line is called Clay Linen, and for the next 30 days, there's a kickstarter raising funds for it. I'd love it if you would all check it out and support the ministry of this young man trying to reach a generation for Christ.

You can find all the details here: Clay Linen Kickstarter.


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