Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home to Heather Creek

Ya'll, I TOTALLY forgot that Tricia Goyer is giving away a set of these books on her blog as well! Here's the info...
Oh...and the best part is the EVERY FOODIE contest!

Okay...this book is loaded with yummy food: strawberry cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, baked chicken with cornbread, chocolate cake, pancakes with homemade syrup, French onion soup, parmesan crusted chicken…well you get the idea!

So the contest for this tour will be the EVERY FOODIE contest! Leave a comment on this post with your favorite meal and a recipe (feel free to post more than one recipe for additional entries in the contest!)! I’ll choose the one that most tantalizes my taste buds to receive an entire set of the Home to Heather Creek series (books 1-7)!

Five runner’s up will win a copy of Every Sunrise (or another Tricia Goyer book of their choice).

Let the mouth-watering commence!
So, if you want to go and enter over there as well, you can do that here! You can also find links to the other blogs reviewing this book and check out whether or not they are hosting giveaways as well!

I'm not quite sure where the last 11 days went...

I posted two whole days IN A ROW, and then...nothing. I remember why I didn't post last was a crazy day that started early in the morning and lasted well into the night. Then Thursday and Friday were spent baking and decorating wedding and baby shower cakes. Saturday and Sunday were motorcycle competitions in Houston for my man and my boys. This week I guess I've just been trying to catch my breath!

But, I'm back now, and I have something good to share with you! As you know (if you've hung out with me for awhile), I have gotten the chance to review quite a few books on this blog. That is my most favorite yet unexpected perk of starting this little thing 2 years ago. And you know by now that fiction is my first love when it comes to books, but Christian fiction tops the list. I like reading a book that will help me learn to live my life more like Christ, so I love reading about Christian characters that have struggles and issues and watch how they work through them and I learn from them. I figure, if I learn right along with them, then perhaps I just might be able to skip that particular lesson in my own life! :) So, whenever I read a book, I'm looking for myself in the characters and trying to discover what I can learn through them. Ya'll, this book threw me for a loop!

Charlotte Stevenson's world is turned upside down by the death of her daughter Denise. Denise ran away from home when she was a teenager, and Charlotte has never forgiven herself. Now, Denise's three children have come to live on Heather Creek Farm: Sam, fiercely protective of his younger siblings; Emily desperately missing her friends; and young Christopher, a sweet soul who only wants to fit in. Is this Charlotte's chance to make things right?
That is the premise for a series of books titled "Home to Heather Creek". I believe there are 9 books in this far. The book I was asked to review was written by my Twitter friend, Tricia Goyer. I reviewed one of Tricia's non-fiction books, "Generation NeXt Marriage" some time ago, and I've been following her on Twitter for awhile as well, so naturally I was anxious to read some of her fiction. But this particular book caught my interest for another reason.

Tricia Goyer didn't write the entire series. The series has been written by 5 different authors! Each of the first 5 books in the series were written by a different author and the following 4 books have had some of those authors write another book in the series. (That is why I think the series might not be finished, Kristin Eckhardt hasn't written a second book for the series yet. :)) I believe having different authors writing the series helps each book stand alone as well as fit into the series. Although I was diving into Every Sunrise, book 7 of the series, I didn't feel lost at all. Each book stands alone as it's own story even though it is linked to 8 other stories about the same family.

In Every Sunrise, the bleak, biting cold makes February on Heather Creek Farm a test of endurance for the Slater kids, trying to make it through their first winter in Nebraska. As winter wears on, Sam becomes more and more withdrawn and unhappy, and when he sets out from the farm one night, searching for the father who abandoned them all, Charlotte has to face the memory of Denise's own disappearance all over again. The family tries to discover where Sam may have gone, and as Bob and Charlotte set off on a cross-country journey to track him down, they need all the help--and prayer--they can get to bring him home safely. This broken family needs God's help like never before, but their trials remind them all that every sunrise brings a new beginning.

Now, here's where I got thrown for a loop with this book. I fully expected to identify with Charlotte when I read this book. I expected to find myself in her as she's trying to raise 3 kids and keep a house together. And I do see myself in Charlotte...although she's much better at the whole "keeping the house together" thing. But the one I really identified with in this book was Sam...the runaway, and not just because some days I feel like running away. ;) I identified with Sam for one main reason. Sam saw events happening around him as signs that what he was doing was the right thing to do, and when things didn't go according to his plan, he took that as a sign that something was trying to keep him from doing the right thing. In reality, I believe it was the opposite.

For example, when Sam's uncle was able to figure out what was wrong with his car, and get it running again, Sam believed it was a sign that he should get in that car and go find his father. And when Charlotte gave him permission to spend the night with his friend, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to leave without being missed, so it must be a sign that he should go, right? But when he runs into trouble with the car that can't be repaired in time, he believes that he should press on toward his goal because the good things that happened to him, must have meant he was doing the right thing.

Looking at it from the outside, I saw Sam's uncle fixing his car, and his grandmother allowing him to spend the night with a friend as blessings from God. These were blessings that made his life more pleasant and easier....right there in Nebraska... on Heather Creek Farm. And when he ran into trouble with the car later, I saw that as a sign that God was trying to stop him from making a mistake.

Isn't it interesting how the same circumstances can be read two different ways? This is why I related to Sam in this book. I have been struggling lately with knowing what it is God wants me to do. There are times I've thought I heard Him clearly, but when I acted on what I heard, everything came crashing down around me. Then I was faced with trying to figure out if Satan was trying to keep me from obeying God, or if I hadn't heard right in the first place! In other words, I am Sam.

Do you ever feel that way? Do you struggle with knowing what the will of God is, or what you should do in your day-to-day life? Do you want to know how Sam dealt with his setbacks, and whether or not he ever found his father and gained that relationship he longed for so much? Or how his family dealt with his leaving and whether or not they were able to bring him back home? Well, then you're going to need to read this book! And if you get curious about what might have happened in the other 8 books in this series, then you need to get the whole series!!! And guess what? I'm going to be giving away BOTH right here on the blog! That's right, I'm going to give away one copy of Every Sunrise and one copy of The entire Home to Heather Creek series!

Now I could ask you all to leave a comment telling me just exactly how you know when God is speaking to you....but that seems a bit too deep, and I'd feel really badly if you all had it all figured out and I was the only dope in the bunch! So, to keep my fragile ego in tact, I'm just going to ask you to go to the Guidepost's Home to Heather Creek website and check out the other authors in this series. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me if you've ever read anything from any of those authors and how you liked it! In other words, I'm always looking for new authors to read, and I want recommendations! :)

I'll leave the comments open until Friday, March 20. Then I'll use Mr. Random Integer Generator to select a winner or, just write every one's name down and put it in a hat and draw out a name...whatever works! So go, check it out, and come back and comment. I'll just wait right here for you to come back.....


Mocha with Linda said...

What fun! I've read some of Tricia Goyer and also Carolyn Aarsen - I believe they both have written for Steeple Hill's Love Inspired and/or Love Inspired Suspense series.

Cheri said...

I don't recognize any of the names. Then again - that's not surprising since my memory is so bad! I can be halfway through a book before I even realize I've read it before!

I spend a lot of my time these days trying to keep up with what The Boy is reading/interested in, just to make sure it's appropriate. I haven't been to the library in MONTHS. MONTHS. Hmmmm - maybe I'll try to squeeze in a trip this week!

Tricia Goyer said...

Thank you SO much for your comments! I'm glad God spoke to your heart. He always speaks to me as I write. He's amazing like that!

Tricia Goyer