Giveaway Winner!

My apologies for the delay in announcing the winner of the Heart Mender giveaway.

Joyce Griffith is our winner! Please contact me at admin(at)grace-and-glory(dot)net and I’ll get you set up with your new book.

Thanks for entering, everyone.

Review and Giveaway! Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

In the spring of 2010, I received a package from BookSneeze containing not one, but two copies of Andy Andrews book The Heart Mender. How exciting – I had a book to give away on my blog! It was terrific timing for reading the book (as I enjoyed my first few days with newborn Andrew), but lousy timing for getting a review written and a giveaway done. At last, I am posting the review that has been written in my head for far too long. And you have the opportunity to win a hardcover copy of the book!

The Heart Mender begins with the finding of a can of mementos on the Alabama coast. The uprooting of eight buttons, a badge, a ring, a medal, and three unmarked pictures, one of which contains an infamous visage, triggers a journey of discovery into decades-old secrets. The reader alternates between following the storyteller as he seeks the history behind the mementos and stepping back in time to view the story from the perspective of those who lived it. Weaving a tale of friendships, betrayal, submarines, warfare, and southern secrecy and hospitality, The Heart Mender is a powerful story about forgiveness.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Heart Mender. Andy Andrews is an adept storyteller, and he effectively draws you into the South of both yesterday and today. Helen, Josef, and the surrounding characters are vibrant and real, and he weaves the plot with suspense, romance, and friendship. I found the changes of perspective/time an interesting and effective technique for this story.

My only disappointment with the book was one I felt keenly. I’m not necessarily a fan of books whose intent is to preach. But for an author who writes for a Christian publishing house to write such an engaging book about forgiveness and not even mention the One Whose blood makes forgiveness a possibility? Bummer.

My disappointment with the incompleteness of the message of The Heart Mender does not negate the fact that it was a great read that made me laugh, cry, and contemplate. If you’d like to enter to win a copy, just leave me a comment below. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thoughts on the New Year

I started to wax contemplative regarding the new year in my FB status, then realized a blog post was in order.

The word that has consistently come to mind as I’ve considered another year –


What do I want most this year –
To enjoy my Savior more fully; to become more like Jesus.
Really, that’s what really matters. I pray that any other goals just “put skin on” those goals.

My friend Lynn posted this hymn a few years ago at the beginning of a new year. Ever since, I think of it at the new year, and it beautifully states my heart’s desires. I enjoyed this rendition by a young ladies trio:

I’m beginning to work through forming some “skin on” goals for this year. I don’t always do this, but I have seen the benefit in my health journey of setting goals, and I’d like to do some more thorough thinking about other goal categories. I suppose seeing the benefit of health related goals makes goals for this year come quickly to mind – to reach and maintain my goal weight; to gain strength/tone; to try running again and, shins permitting, run a 5k by the time I turn 39.

Beyond that, I’m thinking and praying. What are some of your goals for 2012?