Finding Me

A Book Review

Finding Me

Who knew a photo could unravel everything. A single photo, proving the life you’ve always known was nothing but a sham. What would you do?

I honestly don’t know how I would respond.

Kelli (the main character in this story) has just lost her father – who she loved dearly – and her step-mother. But, in the process of cleaning out their house, she discovers that her father had secrets – secrets that destroy everything she thought she knew about her life.

This discovery leads her on a quest for truth. But can she handle how ugly the truth seems to be?

Sand in My Sandwich

A Book Review

Sand in my Sandwich

I don’t know about you, but motherhood isn’t exactly what I envisioned it to be. Growing up, I thought I had it all figured out. I was always good with kids, getting them to comply and do what I wanted them to do. As a teacher, I was able to motive my students and encourage them to great heights. I thought I had this parenting thing in the bag.

Boy was I wrong.


A Book Review


What can one young woman do to protect an entire village of children from the wrath of the king?

Merry Ellison isn’t your typical baron’s daughter. Not only is she a skilled warrior, but she has a gift for tumbling and acrobatics. These skills serve her well as she avoids capture and cares for the children of her decimated village. Until she robs the wrong carriage and brings the king’s attention back to the forest. It will take all her skill and an uneasy trust in her former betrothed to survive.

I love the strength that Merry shows.

You’re Loved No Matter What

A Book Review

You're Loved

Stop trying to be perfect.


Stop it right now!

I’ve lived my life trying to be perfect – always doing the right thing, anticipating what others want me to be and do before they can ask. Let me tell you, it is exhausting and very wrong. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He loves us as we are – even the messy parts.

We believe those things in principle, but practice is harder. After all, how can God not expect the best from us? How can He not want us to do everything in our power to be the very best person and Christian we can be?

The Fringe Hours

A Book Review

The Fringe Hours

Life if busy! We, as women, jump from one activity to another. We run, run, run – always caring for those around us, solving their problems, and keeping the world running. But at the end of the day, it’s easy to realize we’ve done nothing for ourselves.

I’m often guilty of this very thing. I neglect the interests and activities that make me unique, and focus on always doing for others. While there is nothing wrong with doing for others – in fact, it is very right to take care of our families, work hard for our employers, and minister to those around us. But if we don’t spend time recharging our creative batteries, we will find that our lives are flat and unfulfilled.

But how can busy women like us make time for those fun extras?

Buried Under Spot 23

John Knox Buried Under Spot 23
Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks

The dark spires of St. Giles stood etched on the gray Edinburgh sky as our mission team walked toward the ornate Cathedral. Already we had been in the United Kingdom for almost two weeks, ministering in England and now Scotland. This was our first “free” day without any services or ministry commitments. Still, my hands were full of tracts as we shouldered our way through the throng of people, most of whom we could not understand because of their heavy brogue.

Tourist shops lined the street selling tartan plaids, bag pipes, picture postcards, and souvenir badges. A couple of the girls from my group stopped to inspect a stand of woollen shawls. My eyes lingered on a woman in her late twenties with two children in tow.

“Excuse me Ma’am,” I said, “could I give you this?” I handed out a tract.

Introverts Aren’t Broken – Stop Trying to Fix Us


In a world of open offices and collaborative projects, introversion is often considered a liability. But those who believe that don’t understand the true strengths of introverts.

I grew up believing the most popular kids – those who were gregarious and made friends easily – were the best. I also knew I would never be one. I preferred the company of my imagination to the interference of other children. I had a few very close friends and was happy in my world.

Then sixth grade came and my entire class was shipped off to a new school, divided up, and mixed in with their students. None of my friends were in my class, so I spent a lot of time happily alone. My teacher saw this as a problem. To help me “adjust” I was placed in a special class to learn how to make friends. I didn’t realize it then, but they were trying to reprogram introversion out of me.

The Trouble With Patience

The Trouble With Patience by Maggie Brendan

Some of the first novels I read were set in the old west. I love the time period and the rugged adventures the setting promises. It’s expected that we will find daring heroes, outlaws, and women with spunk and grit.

The Trouble With Patience takes us to Montana territory in 1866 and drops us right in the middle of a mining town. Though most books about towns like this focus on the rough element, this novel almost makes the place seem civilized. Though the marshal confronts a thief in the first pages, it is easy to forget the characters are in the middle of a boomtown while reading the story.

The number of available women in this town took me by surprise. I would think a unattached woman would be snatched up quickly in the wilds of Montana, yet almost every female in the novel is of age and on her own. This does create grounds for a lot of romantic tension.

Personally, I question the use of “java” as slang for coffee in that time period. Little anachronisms, such as this, kept pulling me out of the fictional dream.

Though I can’t pin down the overarching theme of this book, Maggie Brendan explores many vices and virtues found in an old west mining town. It was enjoyable seeing how she brought together the main characters. These two started out irritating each other to becoming part of a gentle love story.

If you are interested in a sweet, feel good romance set in the west this may be the book for you.

Back Cover

The Trouble With Patience by Maggie BrendanPatience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye–and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Melli’s Melody

Bee and Flower
Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks

Melli rushed from flower to flower. The reds, pinks, purples, blues, and yellows of the garden called to her, giving her a sense of purpose as she did the work that she was created to do. She hummed merrily as she went about her task, a song for the Creator pouring from her heart.

This was her favorite time of year. As spring buds bloomed in brilliant displays. Like the other members of the Apis Colony, Melli flitted from bloom to bloom, tasting each flower’s sweet nectar. Yellow pollen clung to her hairy legs.

A patch of purple Asters swayed in the gentle breeze, the scent floating across the garden. Melli could not resist the lure of the fragrance. She stepped off the yellow petal of the Black-eyed Susan and zoomed across the open space of the garden. In her haste to reach the Asters, she veered into Tella’s flight path.