Sea Rose Lane

Sea Rose Lane CoverSometimes life gets punctured by loss. Dreams evaporate. Love life disappears in a mist of deception. Aging body ransacked of usefulness and energy. Precious loved ones taken, leaving a gaping void.

The characters Irene Hannon brought to life in Sea Rose Lane know all about that kind of pain and loneliness; heartbreak and disappointment. Yet, the shattered pieces of their lives, like multifaceted rare and radiant gems, come together to become a mosaic resplendent of something beautiful, strong, and resilient. In Hope Harbor. The place where “hearts heal…and love blooms.”

Book Two of the Hope Harbor series was enchanting as it was inspiring and thought-provoking. It’s the perfect beach read where you can easily lose yourself in the storyline unraveled by characters I immediately fell in love with and had compassion for.

The first people we meet are the recently relationship-scorched architect BJ, the new face in Hope Habour, and Eric, the lawyer knocked off the fast-track to the partnership he longed for with the wave of a pink slip. Sparks fly as they literally run into each other on the road…by accident.

Transforming the house Eric grew up into the bed and breakfast his widowed father dreamed of shaped the framework for a restorative romance with BJ. It also introduced Luis, the Cuban refugee struggling with the death of his wife and career as a physician swept to the wayside by bureaucracy and impossible hurdles.

BJ’s desire to help others, combined with her gift for home repair, draws the window into the life and heart of elderly Eleanor whose ailing health makes her question “Why I’m still here God?” Serving no useful purpose – no worthwhile role to play.

Then there’s Charley, the professional artist who sporadically opens up his fish taco stand on the side. He stole the show for me with his loveable, quirky personality that doubles as Hope Harbor’s resident sage with uncanny sixth sense.

Sea Rose Lane is a heart-warming story laced with faith, hope, and wisdom. The people and setting captured my heart and imagination and left me refreshed, inspired and happy. I loved and appreciated Charley’s reminder that brightening someone’s day, adding a touch of joy when they might need it most, has great merit and is something anyone can do. Also these encouraging words from Eric’s father, “No one ever said life was easy. Besides, taking the easy route doesn’t always lead to the best views.” I also liked how he pointed out when things don’t go as hoped it may be an opportunity, not a disaster at all.

Turning the last page was bittersweet.The ending brought tears of joy to my eyes for the way things worked out. But was sad to leave Hope Harbor, the town and the people that were true-to-life and unforgettable.

Many thanks to Revell Publishing for the opportunity to be part of the Sea Rose Lane Blog Tour and the complimentary copy of the  book.

I am a hope writer


Did you know you’re already amazing?

You're Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide Cover - Holley Gerth.jpgDid you know you’re already amazing? Any doubt will swiftly vanish after going through You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth. Step by step, in six practical, doable sessions, she accompanies you on the journey where you come to behold your wonderful, amazing self while discovering the purpose meant for that unique masterpiece God created you to be.

In her warm, “best friend” style that makes you feel like you were having coffee together, Holley expands on her best selling You’re Already Amazing with clarity and compassion. The tools and format are simple, yet powerfully effective and useful. The guide is brilliantly pieced together to perfectly suit individuals, study groups, or on-line communities and matches everyone’s pace and lifestyle.

You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide is a wildly valuable, interactive resource that offers Get Creative ideas, Go Deeper Guide for more in-depth individual reflection or group discussion, and Your Life Coach components for each session. It also includes a generous measure of blank pages for notes, journaling and Get Creative activities in addition to a detailed resource, with everything you can possibly imagine, for group facilitators.

And, oh yes, my very favourite part!  Holley comes on board in the companion video for each session (available free on-line and conveniently as a DVD) that ties everything together. This is what really made it for me. With encouragement and relevant stories she presents a meaningful, personal dimension to the table, making the experience a shared adventure. A lot like having a supportive cheering section with you all the way.

What’s ultimately indispensable about this workbook is how it’s designed to have an everlasting shelf-life, serving as a starting point and launching pad. Holley helps you find your “sweet spot” where you best love and serve, drawing the blueprints you can go back to review regularly. And thrive. For a lifetime.

As a bonus, the book is enhanced with lovely printables as beautiful reminders that you’re already amazing. No doubt about it.

Many thanks to Revell Publishing for the invitation to take part in the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide Blog Tour and the complimentary copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

I am a hope writer

Oh, and speaking of Holley, we get to link-up with her today for more inspiration and encouraging Coffee for Your Heart. 



There’s Always Hope

Can you believe a day or two before this picture was taken the poinsettia you see here was barren and lifeless?


Just when we thought it was time to toss a dying plant – new life emerged. Continuing to water what appeared to be a hopeless case brought revival and growth. It is now flourishing  Strong and healthy.

That miracle refreshed me a little while ago when so many things had screeched to a halting dead end. “Will things ever come together for me?” was a question glooming over my heart.

In one of those discouraging moments, when the the mounting trials and disappointments made me feel like a hopeless case, I remembered that plant. And God’s faithfulness. Yes, I may be barely hanging on, tip-toeing shakily on a tight-rope over scary  territory, but I have myself a mighty umbrella. God’s got me covered and keeps me steady. And if I should stumble and fall? I’ll land squarely in His everlasting arms.

So I grabbed onto hope, knowing He holds what presents itself today, and all my tomorrows, in the palm of His hands. He has a purpose and a good outcome to everything life throws at me. 100% of the time. Trust replaced apprehension and I was ready to bloom where I’m planted.

Are you, or someone you love, going through a tough time? Let’s not lose heart. The God who restores plants is watching over us.

No matter what is going down, He can lift us up. He is bigger than the hole we’re hemmed in. Higher than the mountain of challenges we face.

There is nothing He can’t redeem or turn into something beautiful, beneficial, and wonderful.

And always, always there is hope!

I am a hope writer

Linking with Holley Gerth and friends for hope-filled, encouraging Coffee for your Heart.  Hope you’ll join me!




Lullaby for the Soul

and Sky Cover - Christie Purifoy

It’s a lullaby for the soul. Soft and soothing, Roots and Sky is a memoir that washes in tranquility through sunshine-draped celebrations and turbulent, sometimes unsettling storms. In lyrical, poetic style, Christie Purifoy shares the riches of her experience through the first year in their new home. Maplehurst, the farmhouse situated in the hills of Pennsylvania, served as the vantage point for unearthing grounds of joys and sadness, hope and fears, laughter and tears, refuge and daunting challenge. The perfect quiet landing that beckons to slow down, relax and take in the sacredness of ordinary moments in our everyday lives.

It’s a book about “roots and sky” – solidly down earth; dipped in a taste of heaven. It brings to life “pie in the sky” dreams that nourish a burning desire to plant something and appreciate, in a huge way, the gifts and beauty that come up from the earth. And those that sprout roots in our heart and soul.

“We must plant our dreams in real earth. We must dirty our hands. It’s the only way. Whether we dream of planting flower gardens or churches, every dream needs a place in which to take root and grow. Ever dream needs a home.”

Ultimately, it’s about making a home on earth built by love and care and hearing the whispers of our eternal home. Like a mother bird, Christine’s words intertwined into the nest that cradled her vision of “growing roots, cultivating beauty and opening up doors to neighbours, wanderers and pilgrims – near and far. It was a vision of home.”

As you walk alongside the author through the seasonal transitions of life on the farm and the liturgical calendar, be prepared to see life differently as she ties ribbons of faith from page to page. You may even be swept away with a passion to raise livestock or tend to a garden of earthly delights. With God as the source of every good thing that grows. Good things with roots in the earth and eternal blessings that scrape the sky and lift us heavenward to our Maker. That happens when a book like this wraps itself around your heart.

Thank you to Revell Publishing for the invitation to take part in the Roots and Sky Blog Tour and the complimentary copy of the book in exchange for this unbiased review.

I am a hope writer

For the Joy of the Cross

Jesus was born on Christmas Day to bring joy to the world.

For the Joy Cross

On Good Friday He died to make that joy complete. And that gave Him joy, knowing His mission for the people on earth was nailed by way of the cross. He would soon be returning to our heavenly Father with a place reserved for us. The road through Calvary leading us home.

 And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. – Hebrews 12:1-2 

Hebrews 12:1-2 was always a moving passage for me. With joy being my one word for 2016, it means even more. When I think of what my redemption cost Him and how much love was poured out in His suffering, it blows me away that as my savior hung on that cross, gasping for breath, He actually felt joy. For me.  And for you.

So today, at the foot of the cross, I commit anew to run with endurance the race God has set before me. For the joy that ransomed me. His joy rooted in sacrifical love. The joy that set me free. For the joy that awaits when we see Jesus face to face. Home at last in heaven with Him forever.

I never make it through Good Friday without crying. This year, those tears will be mingled with joy as I ponder the joy of the Lord who lived and died for me.

I am a hope writer


With joy, I invite you to link-up  with Holley Gerth for a Good Friday and every day cup of encouraging Coffee for your Heart. 



God Will Fight for Us

The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith - Cover

Woohoo! Double blessing. A book about one of my favourite bible characters and by a new writer for me to discover and tell you about. The Prophetess delivered an inspiring story crowned with biblical truth accentuated with brilliant jewels sparkling of contemporary relevance.

Deborah was a judge, prophetess, and warrior. A courageous heroine for her time. Wise and strong. A woman used mightily by God to bring victory to her nation. A captivating icon larger than life beckoning to know more about who she was and what it must have been like to be a female leader through troubled times.

Yet the Bible provides few details about the life and times of this influential woman who changed the course of history. Questions like how did she become a judge? What made her stand out as a prophetess? Did she become a mom at some point? What circumstances brought together the supporting actors, like Jael, the woman who cleverly dealt the final fatal blow, into the drama that would restore peace and holy reverence to God’s chosen people? Questions this book rises up to address.

At first, I wrestled with how much the novel leaned towards the author’s imagination. By the time I turned the last page I felt satisfied and came out with a richer understanding of that period in history and the God who never gave up on the very people who turned away from Him.

Main characters, such as Deborah’s children, were completely fictitious, yet purely believable. They may not have truly existed but were fleshed out true to life. Their lives embodied the hopes and dreams, challenges and fears typical of their generation. In fact, Deborah’s made-up daughter, Talya, was my favouite character.

Maybe things didn’t play out exactly as penned by Jill Eilleen Smith but no doubt she painted an accurate, colourful portrayal of the situation under Canaanite oppression and idolatry. I found she did her homeowork and presented a credible storyline that evoked faith and compassion.

When I went back to the biblical text to compare, I got so much more out of it. What happened became real and alive in powerful ways. Jill’s persuasive narrative in sync with the bible account unveiled a clearer vision of Deborah’s role, of what being a judge in those days entailed, the horror of terrorism, and the jealous God who commands our allegiance and is forever faithful.

Ultimately, this book pointed to the God who forgives, redeems and restores. Back then and now. It spoke to my heart reminding me that victory came to Israel after 20 long years of oppression. It may take years for God to work things out for you and me too. In the meantime, He goes before us preparing the way, equipping us with everything we need for success according to His will.

Like the people in Deborah’s time, even in our darkest hour, we can recall how God has never let us down in the past. We can trust Him to keep His word today. No matter what we are up against or the challenges we face, God will fight for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Never.

Disclosure: Many thanks to Revell Publishing for the invitation to be part of The Prophetess Blog Tour and the complimentary book in exchange for this unbiased review.

I am a hope writer

It’s going to be a joy-full year!

Oh joy! Can you guess what My One Word for 2016 is?

As you can see, I’m already having fun with it!🙂 For some reason I’m plum giddy about focusing on joy this year. In the eye of a stormy, challenging season, this girl is choosing to be swept away by the many things that bring joy. Even more, so looking forward to seeking and finding more ways to bring joy to others. Committed to touching hearts with joy every chance I get.

One of the things that has sparked a surge of such joy so far this year is joining the hope*writers community. It’s a brand new adventure initiated by  Emily P. Freeman, Myquillyn Smith, Gary Morland and Brian Dixon– two sisters, their dad and a marketing genius. I have learned so much already and have been over-the-moon overjoyed with all the wondferful people I have come to know and treasure.

The words

I am a hope writer

has joy written all over it!

As always, it is my joy to connect you to Holley Gerth’s weekly link-up where a unique blend of Coffee for Your Heart awaits for your enJOYment and encouragement. See you there!