Monday, 28 November 2011

There's Something About A Boy-review

My Thoughts:

I will NEVER forget the day my husband & I were watching the Sonogram screen and saw our precious baby! It didn't take long to figure out we were having a BOY! We had 2 girls, so you could say we were VERY excited !!! I honestly can't tell you how many times I heard the words... "there is just something about a boy!" these words are sooo very true!!

When I saw this book & learned it was for review, I jumped on it!!!! This book is soooo wonderful & precious! Our children are grown & now we have grandchildren to enjoy!!! This is a book I'm certain wil be read over & over!!!

Thus book would MaKe an excellent gift! Or a perfect way to congratulate that new soon-to-be Momma!! You will definitely want this book in your home library!!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

There's Just Something About a Boy

Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)

***Special thanks to Jenny Lee Sulpizio for sending me a review copy.***


Jenny Lee Sulpizio, M.S. is a wife, business owner, and mother of three residing in Boise, Idaho. She is an active member within her church and community, and enjoys tapping into her creative side whenever she gets the chance. There’s Just Something About a Boy is the second picture book released in a series that also includes Mommy Whispers, an ode to mothers and daughters everywhere.

Visit the author's website.


Peg Lozier is an award winning portrait painter and illustrator whose work is known for color, whimsy, and a sense of fun. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, she now lives with a plethora of pets in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Visit the illustrator's website.


There’s Just Something about a Boy is a children’s keepsake picture book celebrating the special bond between a mother and her newborn son as she anticipates the love, laughter, and unparalleled adventure that will surely come from raising a little boy.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.95
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: Isaac Publishing, Inc. (September 23, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609200365
ISBN-13: 978-1609200367

AND NOW...THE FIRST PAGES (click illustrations to enlarge):

Recalling the moment, that special day
Your tiny image took my breath away.
A precious baby with nothing to hide,
My sweet, little son nestled inside.
There’s just something about a boy…

I prepared your nursery
since around month five,
Waiting for the day
you’d finally arrive.
Stuffed animals, blankies,
your daddy’s first glove--
They sat in your room,
awaiting your love.
There’s just something
about a boy…

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Marriage Carol

NOTE: I haven't yet received this book so once I do I will share my review. In the meantime, I wanted to make sure to share it with you all! With these two Authors, you JUST KNOW it's going to be AWESOME!!! Hope everyone has had a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Marriage Carol
Moody Publishers (September 1, 2011)
Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman


CHRIS FABRY is a graduate of W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and Moody bible Institute's Advanced Studies Program. Chris can be heard daily on Love Worth Finding, featuring the teaching of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers. He received the 2008 "Talk Personality of the Year" Award from the National Religious Broadcasters. He has published more than 60 books since 1995, many of them fiction for younger readers. Chris collaborated with Jerry B. Jenkins and Dr. Tim LaHaye on the children's series Left Behind: The Kids. His two novels for adults, Dogwood and June Bug, are published by Tyndale House Publishers. Chris is married to his wife Andrea and they have five daughters and four sons.

GARY CHAPMAN is the author of the bestselling Five Love Languages series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 400 stations.


On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm.   This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Paul is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs—and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Marriage Carol, go HERE.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee ~ Review


Forbidden is unlike any book I have ever read! I was so excited to see Tosca Lee join with Ted Dekker and KNEW immediately it was going to be an amazing book! Guess what.... IT WAS!

Imagine a world where everyone is dead. There is only one feeling they experience, and wouldn't you's FEAR. No anger, No greed, and No LOVE, UNTIL.... Rom Sebastian is entrusted with a vial of blood and a cryptic message that will change EVERYTHING for him, and the world He knows. The blood brings LIFE and with that life comes all the emotions he has been dead

Of course, with Rom being the chosen one to receive the life-giving blood, he must figure out how to handle these emotions he never even knew were missing. He needs his small circle of friends to help him and Rom finds himself an unlikely hero. Unfortunately, having a hero also means somewhere lurks a Villain. Saric, for me was the most jaw dropping villains I have ever read.

Forbidden is an amazing read. I am waiting anxiously for book 2 in this trilogy, "Mortals." Ted and Tosca are incredible Authors but when they join their great minds together ~ WATCH OUT! You may not be able to put the book down AT ALL!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:


Center Street (September 13, 2011)

***Special thanks to Sarah Reck, Web Publicist | FaithWords & Center Street | Hachette Book Group, for sending me a review copy.***


TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels with a total of more than 5 million books in print. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil.

Visit the author's website.

TOSCA LEE left her position working with Fortune 500 Companies as a Senior Consultant for the Gallup Organization to pursue her first love: writing. She is the critically-acclaimed author of Demon and Havah and is best known for her humanizing portraits of maligned characters. She makes her home in the Midwest.

Visit the author's website.

Check out the Forbidden Facebook!


Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Center Street (September 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599953544
ISBN-13: 978-1599953540


Happy Reading

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Remembering Christmas~ Review

About the Book:
Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He's never liked Art and resents the man's presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. When what was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keep hanging about, Rick's attitude sours even more.
Still, slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons--as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day--work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

My Review:

Remembering Christmas is such a Wonderful Book! The characters will steal your heart and the Book Nook will make you wish you could go and spend an afternoon, listening to the music or choosing just the right book to read. Rick Denton is a young man whose focus is completely on climbing that corporate ladder. When Rick was just a young boy, his father left him and his mother. Rick never knew why but he always hoped one day he would see him again. In the meantime, he lived on the memories he and his Father had when Rick was just a young boy. Rick's mother, Leanne, remarried Art. Art tried very hard to have a relationship with Rick but to no avail. Rick didn't have much of a relationship with his mother either. He did his obligatory phone call each Christmas and a birthday card, of course.

Just as Rick is getting ready for his vacation, a much anticipated ski trip, he receives a phone call from his mother. Art has had a stroke and she needs Ricks help to run their store- The Book Nook..... Rick accepts the call to help, however, he doesn't necessarily do it with a willing heart. Turns out, things are worse than just a stroke for Art, and Rick is asked to stay even longer.

As I finished this book, the Scripture from Romans 8:28 came to me.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them

Seeing the Hand of God work in each and everyone of the characters in this book is absolutely Precious! Seeing Rick's heart being transformed throughout the book is just awesome. The Faith in which Leanne and Art share with all of those who visit their store is just sooo beautiful.

If you love to read a Christmas book during the Christmas season, I would highly recommend you choose "REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS" by Dan Walsh. You will laugh and even cry, but no matter what emotions you experience my guess is that in
the end, you will love "Remembering Christmas!"

I know I sure did!

Happy Reading

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

40 Days to Better Living~ Depression

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

40 Days to Better Living: Depression

Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings – The B&B Media Group – for sending me a review copy.***


From the time Scott Morris was just a teenager, he knew he would do two things with his future—serve God and work with people. Growing up in Atlanta, he felt drawn to the Church and at the same time drawn to help others, even from a very young age. It was naturally intrinsic, then, that after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia he went on to receive his M.Div. from Yale University and finally his M.D. at Emory University in 1983.

After completing his residency in family practice, Morris arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1986 without knowing a soul, but determined to begin a health care ministry for the working poor. He promptly knocked on the doors of St. John’s Methodist Church and Methodist Hospital in Memphis inviting them to help, and then found an old house to refurbish and renovate. By the next year, the Church Health Center opened with one doctor—Dr. Scott Morris—and one nurse. They saw twelve patients the first day and Morris began living his mission to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and spirits.

From the beginning, Morris saw each and every patient as a whole person, knowing that without giving careful attention to both the body and soul the person would not be truly well. So nine years after opening the Church Health Center, he opened its Hope & Healing Wellness Center. Today the Church Health Center has grown to become the largest faith-based clinic in the country of its type having cared for 60,000 patients of record without relying on government funding. The clinic handles more than 36,000 patient visits a year while the wellness center, which moved to its current 80,000-square-foot location on Union Avenue in 2000, serves more than 120,000 member visits each year. Fees are charged on a sliding scale based on income.

Visit the author's website.


Depression is a serious condition—and 40 Days to Better Living: Depression provides clear, manageable steps for people to manage it, through life-changing attitudes and actions. Readers can select one or more elements of the 7-step Model for Healthy Living—Faith, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends, and Nutrition—and follow the 40-day plan to improve their lives, just a bit, day by day. With plenty of practical advice, biblical encouragement, and stories of real people who’ve taken the same journey, this book—from the Church Health Center in Memphis, the largest faith-based clinic of its type in the U.S.—may be one of the most important books your customers will read this year.

The 40 Days to Better Living series offers clear, manageable steps to life-changing attitudes and actions in a context of understanding and grace for all people at all points on the journey to optimal health. With plenty of practical advice, spiritual encouragement, and real stories of those who have found a better life, this simple and skillfully crafted book inspires readers to customize their own path to wellness by using the 7-Step Model for Healthy Living as a guide:

· Nutrition: pursuing smarter food choices and eating habits

· Friends and family: giving and receiving support through relationships

· Emotional life: understanding feelings and managing stress to better care for yourself

· Work: appreciating your skills, talents, and gifts

· Movement: discovering ways to enjoy physical activity

· Medical care: partnering with health care providers to optimize medical care

· Faith life: building a relationship with God, neighbors, and self

Along with tips from the Model for Healthy Living, the easy-to-read format features a Morning Reflection and an Evening Wrap-Up as well as a place for documenting plans, progress, and perspectives. Targeted scriptures and prayers that undergird the focus of each day’s message make this compact book an excellent choice for a daily devotional.

Subsequent titles in the Better Living series will be released bi-monthly and address key health topics including hypertension, diabetes, depression, weight management, stress management, aging, and addiction. All promise substantial support to those who are ready for a newer, better way of living—body and spirit.

Product Details:

List Price: $7.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616262664
ISBN-13: 978-1616262662

AND NOW...THE FIRST FEW PAGES: Click on the images to see them larger:

Depression is very real and comes in many different ways. If you are struggling with Depression this book would be a wonderful help. I have had Post Partum depression, as well as just being depressed from my circumstances. If you apply what is instructed in this book, It would help to break free from the depression for sure!

I agree wholeheartedly with the suggestions to help defeat depression and one of my favorite besides seeking the Lord and establishing your Faith is the "become active." Taking a walk, even if it is just to the end of the block, is a HUGE help.

If you or someone you know might be suffering from Depression this would be a great book to read or to share. It would be a HUGE benefit to those who work with the Youth, or maybe to a new mom, or just someone who is going through a rough time in their lives!

It truly is a great book!

Happy Reading :)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fall Fiction Fling announces

I am happy to share three books with you this week Cladach Publishing is offering these 3 books together at a great price! Below you will find info. on all 3 books as well as a little bit about each book! They look wonderful and I can just imagine sitting around a warm fire as a family and reading them!


About White As Snow:


Young Charlie is alone on the ranch that sits between the empty prairie and the Rocky Mountains. As he cares for his dying grandpa and tries to figure out how to survive the winter, he keeps remembering the old man's words: "Failure is not an option, son."
As the first storm of the season hits, a mysterious mountain man shows up at the isolated ranch and good things start to happen. But can Charlie learn to trust the giant stranger with his one terrible secret? On Christmas day he learns what trust really means.

An entertaining and heartwarming story for the entire family to enjoy during the holiday season and all year.

About Rock of Refuge:


Charlie is a young man now with much to learn about himself, the world in which he lives, and the God in whom he has placed his trust. The little ranch at the foot of the Rockies seems to be closing in on him. Seized by restlessness, he sets out to join a cattle drive north across the foothills and prairie to the rip-roaring new town of Denver. On the trail and in the city, Charlie finds the awakenings of love and learns about honor, trust, and the need on the frontier for men who are both tough and tender, who know where to find their strength.

About In Green Pastures:


When Charlie gets the amazing and unexpected news that he's now a millionaire, he once again leaves the cozy Colorado ranch at the foot of the Rockies - this time to take the train to Missouri. He encounters Jesse James outlaws, rogue relatives, new romance, and skeletons in the family closet. These adventures test Charlie's budding manhood, skills, and faith in ways that will entertain and inspire readers of all ages.

For Purchasing INFO:

Available through stores, online retailers, and direct from the publisher Here

where the Fall Fiction Fling Special Price

for the set of three books is $22.00

Kindle e-books also available on

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Woman's Walk in Truth

My thoughts:
Vonette Bright is a Powerful woman in the Christian realm. She and her late husband Bill Bright are the cofounders of Campus Crusade for Christ. She is a speaker, an author, a radio host, and so much more. I didn't know much about Mrs. Bright before but after reading various posts in this devotional, I felt like I got a glimpse into her heart. A heart that is full of Love for the Lord!
A heart the longs to share Christ with all who will listen!

A Woman's Walk in Truth is a WONDERFUL Devotional. The stories will inspire you, teach you, and encourage your faith walk each day! I LOVE the "This I Believe" at the end of each devotion. For me, they were words that just confirmed that day's message and came back to my mind throughout the day.

This devotional would make an awesome gift for any woman! Great teacher gifts or even a stocking stuffer!!

Thank you Mrs. Bright for all you have done for the Kingdom!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

A Woman's Walk in Truth: Devotions for Living a Confident Faith

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karri James of Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***



Vonette Bright is an award-winning communicator, founder of Women Today, and cofounder of Campus Crusade for Christ International with her late husband, Dr. Bill Bright. A respected leader, sought after speaker, popular author, and well-known radio host, Vonette is committed to sharing God’s powerful truth with women all over the world.

Visit the author's website.

Vonette Bright, award-winning radio host and founder of Women Today ministries, shares this beautiful padded hardcover filled with refreshing devotions, biblical guidance, “This I Believe” statements, and stories of women modeling remarkable faith to encourage all women to walk in the truth, power, and joy of God’s Word.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939296
ISBN-13: 978-0736939294


75 Candles

Have you taken an inventory of what’s important in your life? Birthdays are a great time to reflect and look forward. Imagine you were blowing out 75 candles on your birthday cake. What would you want to have accomplished by then?

Before Bill and I were married, I never would have imagined the Lord would use my husband and me so dramatically. God guided us to start Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization that has become a worldwide ministry with more than half a million workers.

Our goal from the beginning was to put God first in our lives and do all we planned for His honor and glory.

So, dear one, let me ask: Have you let God be the center of your life goals? Are you willing to let Him use you? Ask God today to take over every area of what you do. He will do a marvelous work with your life too.

Whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

This I Believe

You can never go wrong putting
God first in everything.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mercy Come Morning ~ Review

Anytime I am given an opportunity to read and review a Lisa Tawn Bergren book, you can guarantee I will JUMP ON IT! She is absolutely one of my FAVORITE Authors!! Mercy Come Morning is one of the best books I have read to date! Lisa can write a story that speaks straight to your heart and will cause you to reflect on your own life. In Mercy Come Morning the lesson of Forgiveness and the journey that Krista takes to find it, is precious!

WARNING: Tissues are a MUST!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Mercy Come Morning

WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (August 16, 2011)

***Special thanks to Laura Tucker of WaterBrook Press for sending me a review copy.***


LISA BERGREN is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty books, with more than two million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and writer while parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of the family’s next visit to Taos.

Visit the author's website.


There are no second chances. Or are there?

Krista Mueller is in a good place. She’s got a successful career as a professor of history; she’s respected and well-liked; and she lives hundreds of miles from her hometown and the distant mother she could never please. It’s been more than a decade since Alzheimer’s disease first claimed Charlotte Mueller’s mind, but Krista has dutifully kept her mother in a first-class nursing home.

Now Charlotte is dying of heart failure and, surprised by her own emotions, Krista rushes to Taos, New Mexico, to sit at her estranged mother’s side as she slips away. Battling feelings of loss, abandonment, and relief, Krista is also unsettled by her proximity to Dane McConnell, director of the nursing home—and, once upon a time, her first love. Dane’s kind and gentle spirit—and a surprising discovery about her mother—make Krista wonder if she can at last close the distance between her and her mother … and open the part of her heart she thought was lost forever.

“A timeless tale, to be kept every day in the heart as a reminder
that forgiveness is a gift to self.”
—PATRICIA HICKMAN, author of The Pirate Queen

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (August 16, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307730107
ISBN-13: 978-0307730107


“She’s dying, Krista.”

I took a long, slow breath. “She died a long time ago, Dane.”

He paused, and I could picture him formulating his next words, something that would move me. Why was my relationship with my mother so important to him? I mean, other than the fact that she was a patient in his care. “There’s still time, Kristabelle.”

I sighed. Dane knew that his old nickname for me always got to me. “For what? For long, deep conversations?” I winced at the harsh slice of sarcasm in my tone.

“You never know,” he said quietly. “An aide found something you should see.”


“Come. I’ll keep it here in my office until you arrive. Consider it a Christmas present.”

“It’s December ninth.”

“Okay, consider it an early present.”

It was typical of him to hold out a mysterious hook like that. “I don’t know, Dane. The school term isn’t over yet. It’s a hard time to get someone to cover for me.” It wasn’t the whole truth. I had an assistant professor who could handle things on her own. And I could get back for finals. Maybe. Unless Dane wasn’t overstating the facts.

“Krista. She’s dying. Her doctor tells me she has a few weeks, tops. Tell your department chair. He’ll let you go. This is the end.” I stared out my cottage window to the old pines that covered my yard in shadows. The end. The end had always seemed so far away. Too far away. In some ways I wanted an end to my relationship with my mother, the mother who had never loved me as I longed to be loved. When she started disappearing, with her went so many
of my hopes for what could have been. The road to this place had been long and lonely. Except for Dane. He had always been there, had always waited. I owed it to him to show. “I’ll be there on Saturday.”

“I’ll be here. Come and find me.”

“Okay. I teach a Saturday morning class. I can get out of here after lunch and down there by five or six.”

“I’ll make you dinner.”

“Dane, I—”

“Dinner. At seven.”

I slowly let my mouth close and paused. I was in no mood to argue with him now. “I’ll meet you at Cimarron,” I said.
“Great. It will be good to see you, Kristabelle.” I closed my eyes, imagining him in his office at Cimarron Care Center. Brushing his too-long hair out of his eyes as he looked through his own window.

“It will be good to see you, too, Dane. Good-bye.”

He hung up then without another word, and it left me feeling slightly bereft. I hung on to the telephone receiver as if I could catch one more word, one more breath, one more connection with the man who had stolen my heart at sixteen.

Dane McConnell remained on my mind as I wrapped up things at the college, prepped my assistant, Alissa, to handle my history classes for the following week, and then drove the scenic route down to Taos from Colorado Springs, about a five-hour trip. My old Honda Prelude hugged the roads along the magnificent San Luis Valley. The valley’s shoulders were still covered in late spring snow, her belly carpeted in a rich, verdant green. It was here that in 1862 Maggie O’Neil single-handedly led a wagon train to settle a town in western Colorado, and nearby Cecilia Gaines went so
crazy one winter they named a waterway in her honor—“Woman Hollering Creek.”

I drove too fast but liked the way the speed made my scalp tingle when I rounded a corner and dipped, sending my stomach flying. Dane had never driven too fast. He was methodical in everything he did, quietly moving ever forward. He had done much in his years since grad school, establishing Cimarron and making it a national think tank for those involved in gerontology. After high school we had essentially ceased communication for years before Cimarron came about. Then when Mother finally got to the point in her descent into Alzheimer’s that she needed fulltime institutionalized care, I gave him a call. I hadn’t been able to find a facility that I was satisfied with for more than a year, when a college friend had shown me the magazine article on the opening of Cimarron and its patron saint, Dane McConnell.

“Good looking and nice to old people,” she had moaned. “Why can’t I meet a guy like that?”

“I know him,” I said, staring at the black-and-white photograph.

“Get out.”

“I do. Or did. We used to be…together.”

“What happened?” she asked, her eyes dripping disbelief.

“I’m not sure.”

I still wasn’t sure. Things between us had simply faded over the years. But when I saw him again, it all seemed to come back. Or at least a part of what we had once had. There always seemed to be a submerged wall between us, something we couldn’t quite bridge or blast through. So we had simply gone swimming toward different shores.

Mother’s care had brought us back together over the last five years. With the congestive heart failure that was taking her body, I supposed the link between us would finally be severed. I would retreat to Colorado, and he would remain in our beloved Taos, the place of our youth, of our beginnings, of our hearts. And any lingering dream of living happily ever after with Dane McConnell could be buried forever with my unhappy memories of Mother.

I loosened my hands on the wheel, realizing that I was gripping

it so hard my knuckles were white. I glanced in the rearview mirror, knowing that my reverie was distracting me from paying attention to the road. It was just that Dane was a hard man to get over. His unique ancestry had gifted him with the looks of a Scottish Highlander and the sultry, earthy ways of the Taos Indians. A curious, inspiring mix that left him with both a leader’s stance and a wise man’s knowing eyes. Grounded but visionary. A driving force, yet empathetic at the same time. His employees loved working for him. Women routinely fell in love with him.

I didn’t know why I could never get my act together so we could finally fall in love and stay in love. He’d certainly done his part. For some reason I’d always sensed that Dane was waiting for me, of all people. Why messed-up, confused me? Yet there he was. I’d found my reluctance easy to blame on my mother. She didn’t love me as a mother should, yada-yada, but I’d had enough time with my counselor to know that there are reasons beyond her. Reasons that circle back to myself.

I’d always felt as if I was chasing after parental love, but the longer I chased it, the further it receded from my reach. It left a hole in my heart that I was hard-pressed to fill. God had come close to doing the job. Close. But there was still something there, another blockade I had yet to blast away. I would probably be working on my “issues” my whole life. But as my friend Michaela says, “Everyone’s got issues.” Supposedly I need to embrace them. I just want them to go away.

“Yeah,” I muttered. Dane McConnell was better off without me. Who needed a woman still foundering in her past?

I had to focus on Mother. If this was indeed the end, I needed to wrap things up with her. Find closure. Some measure of peace. Even if she couldn’t say the words I longed to hear.

I love you, Krista.

Why was it that she had never been able to force those four words from her lips?

Excerpted from Mercy Come Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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