Secrets Over Sweet Tea
By Denise Hildreth Jones
Published by Tyndall
416 Pages

Back Cover: Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It’s a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well—a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way. As the lives of this boisterous pastor’s wife, polished news anchor, and beleaguered divorce attorney intersect in the tree-lined streets of Franklin, Tennessee, scandal threatens to topple their carefully constructed worlds. Grasping at survival, they embark on a journey of friendship and courage, desperate to find a way back to laughter, love, and life.

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy of a book that answers the question, “What does it mean when someone says; God has healed me from the inside out? How can I let God touch the hurts in my heart and be healed?”

Denise says, “You can only live with your heart shut down for so long. Eventually you will fight for your healing or you will die… Some even find God when their lives fall apart!....Sometimes a person has to die in order to really live. ..Hungry for something real?.. (tired of just going through the motions of life and feeling numb inside?) Want to feel alive? Seek whatever helps you rediscover that carefree childlike heart I know is in there somewhere – that is what you should be doing to Feel Alive!”

This is a walk Denise’s characters have gone on and/or just started down the path. I enjoyed this cast so much, they are fun, bold and each have been knocked around by life. Each has a different result and story to tell.

Scarlett Jo is a Pastor’s wife that’s fun and doesn’t care what people think about her. Denise writes, “Scarlett Jo hadn’t simply survived her life. She had learned how to live in spite of it- and not to worry too much about the perceptions of others.”

Scarlett Jo is fun loving, free spirited and an inspirational person! I loved her voice and her outlook on life she says, “Oh, child do you not know about couponing?...I’m feeding a pack of wolves at my house. If I didn’t know how to coupon, my children would have had to eat me by now. But if you ever want to learn how to do it, you just let me know. It is crazy girl! I can go to a store and leave and they’ve paid me money.” (I want to learn – teach me! Teach Me! Grin!)

The characters in this novel welcome you in as family. They’re situations will tug at your heart. What I love about Denise’s books are this, you’ll be having a good time reading then all of a sudden she cleverly interweaves spiritual truths that pierce your heart, make you stop and think. Denise will help you “See lies you believe.” You’ll laugh out loud and get teary eyed in parts of this story, a winning combination.

I really liked Scarlett Jo’s husband too he says, “I watch people. I take in people. And to be honest, I learn a great deal about them by what they don’t say.”

I highly recommend this novel and the non-fiction companion book called Reclaiming your Heart! It’s a win win combination. A book you’ll want to put on your summer reading list. Did I mention I just love the cover of this book too! It’s a keeper!

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


  1. Dear Nora,
    What can be better than sweet as sugar tea on a hot day.
    We have Denise's books in the Church Library.
    Thanks for a wonderful review of the book.
    Janet E.

  2. Sounds like a great book! I absolutely loved The First Gardener. :-)

  3. This was Julie!! It has a different feel than The First Gardner. When we heard Denise spoke to us where she called The First Gardener was her most beautiful book! I agree with her!

    Thanks for leaving me your comments her Julie and Janet!

    Nora :o)
    TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!