Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reading Recommendations By Moms - For Moms

This coming Sunday, across the nation we’ll celebrate mothers. I’ll admit I’m partial to this day, being I am a mother of three and a stay-at-home-mom for 19 years. It’s not an easy job, but it’s one that can be completely rewarding. I’ve watched my daughter grow into a lovely young woman who’s now a best friend. Our two sons our both respectful young men, a trait that is sorely lacking in much of today’s teens. I’m blessed that God has given them to me and my husband to raise. What an awesome privilege!

To honor our mothers I’ve asked five writer friends, all mothers, to talk briefly about a book they would recommend for other mothers, one that would make a meaningful gift. These friends have responded with a diversity of ideas! Love it!

So thank you Sharon, Laura, Nicole, Cathy, and Jerri! I pray God richly blesses your mother’s day!

Sharon Hinck - A book I recently gave my daughter-in-law (who is soon to become a mother) that has a beautiful depiction of motherhood is actually a children’s book.

THE RUNAWAY BUNNY by Margaret Wise Brown. As the baby bunny tests his limits and grapples with independence, the mother bunny patiently becomes what he needs to be a reassuring presence in his life. Whenever I read this book, I also think of God stepping into our humanity to find us and call us home.

For a terrific Mother’s Day Gift, I highly recommend Sharon’s Restorer series! It’s combination soccer-mom/fantasy. Every mom can relate to the main character, Susan. Two new editions are now out: The Restorer-Expanded Edition and The Restorer’s Son-Expanded Edition, both of which have interactive elements within the book that heighten the reading experience.

THE RESTORER’S SON – Expanded Edition (Marcher Lord Press) - Plunged again into the gray world of Lyric and Hazor, Susan and Mark search frantically for their teenage son, Jake, as all signs hint that a trusted ally has betrayed them. Assassins, political intrigue, false leads, and near misses beset their path, which will lead them into the dark prisons of Hazor before the One’s purpose is revealed.

Cast out by those he trusts and preferring to cross swords with the One rather than yield to His will, Kieran flees to enemy Hazor, only to find that the One knows no borders. Pursued by his calling, Kieran finds a boy without a home, a king with burning questions, and a nation torn by darkness. As he embraces the tasks the One has set before him, this new Restorer learns that the One requires his all—perhaps even his life.

This Carol Award-winning novel is now in a new edition that includes a devotion guide, bonus scenes, and other great extras to immerse the reader in the world on the other side of the portal.


Laura Frantz - My Mom gave me this book when I was a busy mom of two young boys. The only problem was I never had time to read it! But once I did, it became a keeper. Beth Moore's Feathers From My Nest is a collection of personal vignettes about mothering, being a wife, and the riches children bring to our lives whether they're little or grown. More personal and reflective than her Bible Studies, Beth talks about authenticity in the Christian home, communication, encouragement, and also makes some memorable spiritual parallels.

Interestingly, the book begins with twin forwards by her two daughters and Beth herself ends with a chapter entitled, "One Slightly Gray, Well-Seasoned Man" in which she talks about her husband, Keith. This is a book for women of any age and stage. It's timeless and moving and beautifully done!

I love authors whose prose and descriptions create a musical tapestry. Laura is one of those gifted few. I’ve savored all her previous novels, Courting Morrow Little, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, and The Colonel’s Lady, and cannot wait to read her upcoming release, Love’s Reckoning! If you go to Amazon.com now you can pre-order this book for a very low price.

LOVE’S RECKONING (Revell) - On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?


Nicole Petrino-Salter - Mother's Day was very special to me until my mother passed away at the young age of 62. I miss her to this day as tears come to my eyes even writing this. My husband just asked me last night what I wanted for Mother's Day. Immediately I thought of which novel to request. (Oh, and some perfume I'm out of.) But really, Mother's Day almost ceased to exist for me when I lost mine even though I'm the mom to two wonderful adult sons.

If I were to recommend giving a book for Mother's Day, it would probably be Dr. Emerson Eggrich's Love and Respect because there's nothing better a mom can do than reassure her children that their parents are solid, love each other, and respect each other. In spite of my life choices, I always had that with my parents. I know it's strange for this almost exclusive novel reader to recommend non-fiction, but I think this particular book is that important. However, in keeping with my "first love" of novels, I would also recommend the classic Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, which demonstrates love and respect on a whole other level.

One of the greatest pleasures of writing has been meeting new friends. In Nicole, I’ve discovered a friend who shares much the same literary taste, but more importantly, I’ve found a friend completely in love with God. If your mother likes books that deal with broken lives and gritty reality, then I highly recommend Nicole’s Breath of Life.

BREATH OF LIFE (WinePress) - Breath of Life tells the story of embittered, wounded, and divorced Michael Jamison, who, after a prolonged period as the casual observer of a lovely woman, discovers his attraction to her supercedes remaining a stranger. With a smarting ego and nothing to lose, he figures out a non-threatening way to introduce himself and is overwhelmed with her pristine beauty and challenged to change everything about the way he's lived his life so far.


Catherine Richmond - Mother’s Day brings to mind one of the great mothers in fiction: Marcy O’Connor of Julie Lessman’s Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. Marcy is the matriarch of a large family, a fount of strength and wisdom for her children and their spouses. And she’s passionately in love with her husband. What a great example!

Thanks to my Inkspirational Messages friends and my debut novel site, I was introduced to Catherine Richmond last year. Her lush descriptions of the Dakota territories and her sizzling romance in her book Spring for Susannah convinced me I need to read more from her. Through Rushing Water (Don’t you LOVE the cover?) comes out in July, but you can pre-order it and give your mother something fun to look forward to.

THROUGH RUSHING WATER (Thomas Nelson) - Elegant and educated, Sophia Makinoff is sure that 1876 is the year she'll wed congressman Rexford Montgomery. But he proposes to her roommate instead! Humiliated, Sophia signs on with a foreign missions society to go to China---but ends up with the Dakota Territory Indians. Can she find a purpose in God's plan?


Jerri Lynn Ledford - One book that I found on my own, but would have loved to receive for Mother's Day was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The book really challenged me to stretch my belief system and my faith in God. It's unconventional in some ways, but in others, it's just clarifying. I love the book so much that I think I'll pass it on to a couple of my favorite Moms for Mother's Day. Maybe it will help them to understand why they're so critical to His plan!

A few years back I was blessed to be assigned to a wonderful critique group (through ACFW). Jerri is one of those partners. She’s multi-published in non-fiction in topics like SEO and Google Analytics and things that are way beyond my pay grade. And she recently released her first work of fiction, Biloxi Sunrise. It was so much fun working with her on this book and I can’t wait until her next novel in the Biloxi Series, Biloxi Blue, to come out. She’s created captivating characters that I can’t wait to learn more about!

BILOXI BLUE (Deep South Press) – They can’t connect …
With Jack Roe promoted Captain of the Homicide Division of the Biloxi Police Department, his partner and girlfriend Kate Giveans is left behind to take on a new partner. Caleb Castille, an Abercrombie & Fitch model look-alike with a gun, is more than willing to pay attention to Kate while Jack is focused on other things.

And the race is on …
Kate and her new partner have little to go on when they begin investigating a murder at a local logistics company. Worse, their suspects keep turning up dead. When the killer’s sights land on Kate, the two detectives must rush to find the murderer before Kate becomes the next victim.

But who to trust ...?
While Kate's trying to stay alive, she and Jack grow further apart and his secrets drive a wedge between them. Frustrated with Jack, Kate finds herself drawn more and more to her new partner. But is Caleb who he seems to be? And can Kate figure out who to trust before she ends up on a cold, steel morgue table.


  1. Bren, thank you for including me in this rich tapestry of talented authors, mothers, and ladies. An honor for sure. This is beautifully done.

    1. Glad to include you, Nicole. It's a joy to honor mothers. :) I hope you can learn to treasure Mother's Day again. It sounds like your family treasures you!

  2. Wow - wonderful post and book reccs, Brenda. You always do such a stellar job of bringing readers and the written word together in fresh ways:) Like Nicole said so well, it's an honor to be included here. A happy Mother's Day to you and your loved ones!!

    1. Thank you, Laura. I'm thrilled to include you and all the other talented mothers! Thank you for telling us about Feathers From My Nest. I hadn't heard of that book before - it sounds wonderful!

      Hope you have a marvelous Mother's Day!

  3. Thanks for letting me visit your blog, Brenda, and hang out with all these wonderful authors! Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

    1. Cathy - Thank you for hanging out with all of us! And thank you for the wonderful Mother's Day suggestion. I've read a few of Julie's novels--now you've got me hungering for more.

      Hope you have a very blessed Mother's Day!

  4. WOW, Brenda, what a WONDERFUL idea for a post, especially with some of my favorite authors!!!

    Cathy, you sweetheart, you -- THANK YOU!! Marcy O'Connor is the mother I never had (my mother died when I was 16 and VERY rebellious, so we did not get along), so I wrote her to be the mother I always wanted and the mom I imagined my mom to be, had she lived and had we we mended our relationship. Anyway, thank you again for sharing Marcy on this blog.

    Happy Mother's Day, all!!


    Waving at good friends Laura Frantz and Sharon Hinck ... and dear Cathy, of course!!

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you for stopping by and thank you for sharing about your own mother.

      As I told Cathy above, I've read a few of your books (I love how real your characters and stories are!) and have to add more to my list.

      Have a blessed Mother's Day!