Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The First Gardener

Jeremiah Williams has been tending the gardens of the Tennessee governor’s mansion for over twenty-five years. And like most first families who have come and gone, this one has stolen his heart.
Mackenzie and her husband, Governor Gray London, have struggled for ten years to have a child and are now enjoying a sweet season of life—anticipating the coming reelection and sending their precious daughter, Maddie, off to kindergarten—when a tragedy tears their world apart. As the entire state mourns, Mackenzie falls into a grief that threatens to swallow her whole.
Though his heart is also broken, Jeremiah realizes that his gift of gardening is about far more than pulling weeds and planting flowers. It’s about tending hearts as well. As he uses the tools that have been placed in his hands, he gently begins to cultivate the hard soil of Mackenzie’s heart, hoping to help her realize what it took him years to discover.
A Southern tale of loss, love, and living, The First Gardner reminds us that all of life is a gift, but our heart is the most valuable gift of all.

My Review:

The First Gardner is such a heart-wrenching story of loss. Mackenzie and her husband, Gray, who is the Governor of Tennessee,
are enjoying such a wonderful season in their life. After years of trying to have children, finally, they were blessed with their daughter, Maddie. Mackenzie and Gray are so happy and little Maddie is just the light of their lives! Just as she is about to start Kindergarten, tragedy strikes the London family.

Jeremiah, tends the Governor's Mansion garden, and has for the last 25 years. He has a very special place in his heart for this family. He has learned many lessons while gardening and longs to help the London family deal with their loss. He shares the one thing he know best ~ flowers.

I have to share about a very special woman in this story ~ Eugenia, Mackenzie's Mother! She comes to tend to Mackenzie and is just one of the brightest spots in this book! She brings laughter in what might be just a very sad book. She loves and cares for Mackeznie even though she is grieving as well. Like most Mothers do, give to their children before themselves right??!!

First Gardner although it is heart-wrenching, it is a book I will recommend to all! Truly, it is a must read along with must have kleenex's! You just may find yourself so involved with these characters and be inspired by them as well!

Thank you Tyndale Media for allowing me this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review!

Here's To Friends ~ Review

This is the final book in Melody Carlson's very successful series of the four Linda's! These four women, Abby, Caroline, Marley, and Janie, all in their 50's, share a special bond and regardless what each Linda may be dealing with they are there for one another!

This is a wonderful book! A precious example of the gift of friendship!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Here’s to Friends
David C. Cook (September 1, 2011)
Melody Carlson


Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults--with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards. And her "Diary of a Teenage Girl" series has received great reviews and a large box of fan mail.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.


Once upon a time in a little town on the Oregon coast lived four Lindas—all in the same first-grade classroom. So they decided to go by their middle names. And form a club. And be friends forever.

Decades later, they're all back home in Clifden and reinventing their lives, but the holidays bring a whole new set of challenges. Abby’s new B&B is getting bad reviews and husband Paul is acting strange. Still grieving for her mom, Caroline is remodeling the family home, but boyfriend Mitch keeps pressuring her to go away with him. Artist Marley, distracted by a friend's family drama (and a touch of jealousy), can't find her creative groove. And Janie’s drug-addicted daughter has just appeared up on her doorstep! When a long-planned New Year's cruise turns into a bumpy ride, they learn once again that, in your fifties, friends aren’t just for fun—they're a necessity!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Here’s to Friends, go HERE.