Author Bio: RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program.

Summary for The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love

Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.

As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennessee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

Author Bio:
Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

Summary for The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.

The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.

As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

By Kathleen Y’Barbo
Published by :Water Brook
344 Pages

REVIEW: Kathleen Y’Barbo has cleverly written two stories in one. In the beginning of each chapter I was captured by the character Mae Winslow, Woman of the West. I was delighted to read about of her wild adventures, going where no woman would normally goes. Then after a paragraph or so of Mae Winslow’s story, the author jumps into Gennie’s story, a woman secretly seeking the adventures Mae Winslow was having. It was great fun to read their Wild West adventures side by side. Gennie really cracked me up in parts when this refined woman tries to be all tough and brave like her hero Mae Winslow.

Gennie’s desperate for adventure and grabs an opportunity to throw social graces to the wind and follow her dreams. Mae Winslow, says in the beginning of the book “Sometimes what a person wishes for is neither what they really want nor what they need. Sometimes, it’s the wishing that’s the best part.” I liked that.

Gennie just had to find out what it would feel like to have an adventure. She couldn’t let anyone know or they would have her stopped immediately.

“I loved it when Gennie is trying to send a telegram home to explain what she has done, “Of course, she’d have to explain to Hester why she’d gone off, but that was easily accomplished. She’d plead temporary insanity by reason of dime novels.”

Mae Winslow’s character says, “A woman is either in want of a husband or wanting to rid herself of one. That had been Mae’s opinion until Henry crashed into her life.”

This story captivated me. I was totally taken with all the twists, turns and misunderstandings of society that Gennie and Mr. Beck find themselves in the middle of. I smiled all the way through this novel and laughed out loud in parts. This is a story about a Wild West Adventure and so much more. I have to say this book was fun, fun, fun from beginning until the end. So grab your copy and enjoy Wild West Adventures of the female kind.

Nora St. Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader

Author Bio: Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma, she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming, where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.

Summary for Rose House

A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope.
Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.
A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

By Tina Ann Forkner
Published by:WaterBrook Press
310 Pages

REVIEW: I was mesmerized from the very first page. “It seemed to be the cottage that was alive, but it was only the vines twining in on themselves and clinging to the structure that were living.” Tina Ann Forkner paints with her words what an artist does as he designs a masterpiece on a clear canvas. While reading this book I wondered if Tina was an artist with more than her words, as she made me appreciate art and the making of a master piece, through the artist’s eyes. It was quite fascinating to read about a master at work.

This is a story of woman named, Lillian, who’s lost all she held dear in a deadly car accident. How could she go on? As police investigate the accident unnerving facts about her husband come to light. The life she thought she had begins to unravel. Lillian catches people following her or so she thinks. Who was this man she had married and had two children with?

Lillian discovers a painting that has her stumped, “Whoever painted it had seen her hurting as nobody else ever had. But why had the artist put it on display for anyone who walked into the gallery to see?” She was the woman in the painting and someone really had been watching her. She wasn’t crazy!

There is a true love story, between adoptive parents and their children, a sister for her sibling and a man for a woman. Tina’s characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished the last page. You’ll want to visit the Rose House yourself. Good thing I can by re-reading this rich, fun, and memorable book.

Hope and healing come from God—but love can never be forced—it has to bloom and grow much like a beautiful rose. Rose House is a cozy mystery!! I wasn’t sure who-done-it until the last page. Thank you Tina for creating such an intriguing, loving, rich story!

Nora St.Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader

Learn more about or purchase these books at
The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper
The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love
Rose House

1 comment:

  1. Nora, such a lovely review of Rose House. Thank you so much for your kind words and all that you have done to spread the word about Rose House and so many other Christian books. :-)