"Once upon a time, many years ago, when true love walked hand in hand with kisses and promises, and decisions were made to last forever, two girls received a summons to appear before the governor. . . . " So begins the story of two sisters in a long-ago land who are presented with a precious gift. The governor wants the young women to protect and care for this gift until the return of his son, the prince of the land. Upon the prince's return, one sister will be chosen to serve the prince according to how the gift was cared for-and both sisters will be surprised by what the prince wants to offer the one who best cherishes the gift. The young women have dreams of being happy and loved. But how they see the gift-and themselves-will determine how that gift is treasured and what will remain of their dreams. Apples of Gold is a powerful parable about the beauty of sexual purity and the prize that awaits those who are committed to the keeping of such a gift.
If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans.For Jose the cook and Nina the beautiful waitress life has not turned out the way either had planned. Living with the weight of guilt and lost dreams, each struggles to survive and to make sense of what life now holds. But the events of one ordinary day in New York City turn into an unforgettable experience that changes both of their lives forever.Based on the #1 top-rated movie of 2007 and one of the most honored films of the year--winning the highly coveted People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, Best Picture and Best Actor at the 2008 MovieGuide Awards--Bella is a story about redemption, family and finding love unexpectedly.
Competition for church members in Mount Oak has reached a furious peak. When tragedy strikes one of their hometown sons, the church women are drawn together through compassion. The Church Ladies is a contemporary tale illustrating how women can have a major impact on the church. Through friendships that reach beneath surface level -- and trials more severe than simple -- they unite with common purpose: to pray, share, and comfort. Slowly, the community of believers learns that the church grows when it is rooted in love. Characters you'll laugh and cry with, in situations every woman will instantly relate to, light up this page-turner about a miracle that could happen anywhere.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hey, Friend- Do you know what it's like give to 100 percent and still feel like it's not-and you're not-enough for anybody? To be caught between caring for an aging parent and raising young children? I lived in that place for four years. Ivy Schneider lives in this place, too, and she isn't at all happy about it. Her husband Rusty spends ten months a year on the road singing in a gospel quartet, and her mom gets sicker every day, requiring increasingly more care and time. Ivy's dad took off years ago but still comes around-for free meals. Her brother and sister are more than happy to let responsibility rest on Ivy's shoulders. Maybe she could handle it all if only her darling three-year old terror, Trixie, would just "go" on the potty. Who will take care of Ivy while she takes care of the world? No one, it seems. Then Ivy runs an ad in the paper to find folks like herself: women of the "sandwich generation," squeezed between the demands of raising young children and caring for an aging parent. Soon she and the other women of Club Sandwich are building uncommonly deep friendships, witnessing the reality that in fact no woman can be everything to everybody, and discovering firsthand that they can do more than they imagined possible with the help of each another and with a strong dose of faith. If your life is about caring for others, I dedicate this book to you. Welcome to the club. You are most definitely not alone. Grace, Lisa
Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful . . . a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattoed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster . . . and improbably close to grace.
One Last Goodbye. One Last Adventure. Pearly Laurel is devastated by the death of her beloved husband of thirty-five years. The two had always said they couldn't live without one another, and Pearly has no desire to even try. Then, in the midst of her grief, Pearly finds a tattered list in Joey's pocket, entitled, While I Live, I Want toa. o His ultimate to-do list sends her off on a mission to accomplish Joey's last unfulfilled goalsualong with a few of her ownubefore arranging her own death. But the people she meets along the way have something else in mind. Can their unexpected gifts, secrets long hidden in Joey's journal, and memories from the rich life they shared convince Pearly that, despite her pain and grief, life is still worth living?
Mary-Margaret yearned to dedicate her life to the Lord. Jesus had another idea.When Mary-Margaret Fischer met Jude Keller, the lighthouse keeper's son, she was studying at a convent school on a small island off Chesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude--gorgeous, rebellious, promiscuous Jude. But Jude, driven by demons no one really understood, disappeared into Baltimore's seamy red-light district. Mary-Margaret moved on with her life, preparing to serve God with her sisters as a teacher and artist.Then Jude comes home--but now he's bitter, dissolute, and diseased. And Mary-Margaret receives a divine call that shakes her to the core, a call to give up her dreams for the troubled man who befriended her so long ago. For Jesus' sake, can she forsake the only life she ever wanted for a love that could literally cost her life?
Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to discover the life you were meant to live. Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside? When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads. Life turns upside down for Heather in a Quaker Summer."One of the most powerful voices in Christian fiction, Samson delivers ...a staggering examination of the Christian conscience." -Publishers Weekly
A strange and wonderous friendship ignites the fire of love in May Seymour's life.Lovely and winsome May Seymour graduated from college with the world at her feet...and no idea what to do with it. A spontaneous mission trip to Africa brought great surprise--love--and a strong sense of purpose. But in loving others there, she encountered a severe tragedy that left her deeply wounded.She comes to heal at the farm of Claudius Borne--a sweet, kind old man who understands plants and animals far better than people. And his farm becomes May's home.There on the farm, May renews a friendship with an old college flame named Eli whose path has taken unexpected turns too. As May tries to convince Eli to grab hold of life once again, he begins to pull May from her sheltered existence. Like old Claudius's farm in Spring, May begins to blossom back into life. But no resurrection ever comes without sacrifice--and this sacrifice will forever transform May.
When her aunt shows up homeless on her doorstep, Sara suspects anything but a miracle.Sara's an artist with a supportive husband and a house that folks on her block admire outright. But she's restless and bored with life.Then her legendary Aunt Bel shows up, wearing a smile after years without a word.Twenty years ago, fresh out of college, Bel left for a summer missions trip and never returned. Now she's on Sara's doorstep, looking for a place to crash. Sara can't say no to family, even if she hasn't seen Bel since she was a nine-year-old girl. But saying yes to Bel turns Sara's whole precariously-balanced life upside down.The enigmatic Bel gives Sara's family and their community a jolt of fresh thinking and clarity.But Bel is hiding something. Though she won't talk about it, Sara soon learns that Bel has been through a hellish ordeal. And she has the burn marks to prove it."[Samson's] gift for creating unique, flawed character elevates this book above others. Each line has so much truth, and readers will likely ponder different passages long after finishing." --Romantic Times Review, TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars"Samson's quirky characters will have readers laughing, crying, and shaking their heads in disbelief, sometimes all at the same time. This uplifting read . . . will attract fans of women's fiction and especially works by authors Sarah Jio, Anne Tyler, and Alice Hoffman." --Library Journal
Being married to a saint isn't what it's cracked up to be. Beth's husband won't be joining the family on vacation at the beach this year. He's not even joining them in the house. Instead, Rick has holed up alone in the backyard shed. Nobody knows exactly what he's up to. Maybe he's immersing himself in prayer. Maybe he's lost his mind. Maybe he's even the modern-day prophet or the saint the neighborhood artist imagines him to be. But while "St. Rick" waits for an epiphany, Beth will have to figure out what to do with herself and their teenage sons, possibly for the rest of her life. What happens next is both uproarious and bittersweet: a peace march turns violent, her son is caught with drugs, and she embarks on an ambitious road trip that turns into something nearly surreal. Will Beth rediscover the idealistic woman she used to be, once upon a time? Can her marriage survive Rick's backyard vigil? Will anything ever be the same? And should it be? Truthful, comic, heartbreaking, and magical in the very best sense of the word, The Sky Beneath My Feet gently tears the veil off our egos and expectations to reveal the throbbing, redemptive, and achingly beautiful life beyond and within us."The Sky Beneath My Feet is bright but unassuming. The protagonist totally enchants both one's spirit and one's mind with her shrewd insights and gentle humility. This is Samson at her best!" --Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity
In Lisa Samson's latest Christian fiction, the wife of a popular televangelist discovers a family secret that threatens to destroy her marriage--and her husband's ministry. Gospel singer Charmaine Hopewell has been searching for her mother since she was 11 years old, abandoned, and thrown into the foster care system. Now she is married to Harlan Hopewell, a beloved televangelist who has risen to popularity due to his disdain for psychology and psychiatry. Charmaine, despite their loving relationship, hides her own depression and search for meaning. Upon finding her mother in a mental institution, Charmaine realizes she must force Harlan into a decision: publicly support his wife and her needs or hide their new-found cross to ensure his rising popularity. Either way, Charmaine fears his ministry, and her own--both born through hardship and sacrifice--will be destroyed.
They are living lives they were never meant to live.Georgia Bishop, a could-be jazz great, has thrown away her life, her marriage, and her talent for her drinking habit. Her cousin, Fairly Godfrey, is living the good life in New York but wonders if deeper meaning exists beyond the superficial world in which she finds herself.It takes a Congo refugee, a soul food chef, a persistent husband, and one desperate night on the brink of freedom for Georgia and Fairly to realize how far they have come from their God-given purposes. When they face the most difficult choices of their lives, only the power of grace can bring them to true healing.From the Trade Paperback edition.
It's a wonder tobehold what happens when love moves in . . .Former child starFiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago--right after she left rehab. Shelanded in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatcheddreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself.She would disappear from public view and live an artist's life.That was the plan.Ten years later,Fiona's huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled overat yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destinedfor an art project . . . but all she's got so far is a piece of twine with someantique buttons threaded down its length.She's thirty-twoyears old and still recognizable, but Fiona's money has finally run out. She'sgotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation she's willing to do almostanything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maid'squarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu.Josia is everything Fionaisn't: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short,happy. As the light from the maid's quarters begins to permeate the dank roomsof Fiona's world, something else begins to transform as well--something insideFiona. Something even she can see is beautiful."Samson is in top page-turner form . . . The end isthoroughly satisfying in that old-fashioned, can't-let-the-characters-go kindof way." --Publishers Weekly
Always the Wedding Coordinator, Never the Bride.Fifteen years after the mysterious disappearance of Ted, her childhood sweetheart, gutsy and daring Lillie Bauer-bungee-jumper, book addict, and delightfully offbeat coordinator of "extreme" high-concept weddings-is ready to find love again. Yet as she boldly but reluctantly braves a disastrous dating scene in her search for a husband, quirky Lillie is caught between two contrasting images of married life: the rich, lifelong partnership shared by her parents and the troubled marriage of her younger sister, Tacy. Faced with long-buried feelings, fears for Tacy, and concerns about her father's failing health, Lillie finds strength in an unlikely and peculiar community of loved ones, including Cristoff, her epileptic, florist business partner; Pleasance, a sassy African American clothing designer; and Lillie's strong Hungarian Grandma Erzsébet. But when Lillie stumbles across a danger that threatens those she loves most, she will need more than friends and family-she will need a miracle.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Lark Summerville's life has few surprises-and that's just how she likes it. All she wants is to live out her angst-riddled life in her blue-collar Baltimore neighborhood, punctuated by weekly trips to her local parish, where Lark is organist, and telephone conversations with desperate souls who dial her hotline at 1-777-IPRAY4U. Then one night, Lark's home is destroyed by a fire, forcing her out of her comfortable nest and back to the childhood home she has avoided for years. At Stoneleigh House, Lark is surrounded by three very different women: her grown daughter, Flannery; her barely tolerable socialite mother, Leslie; and Prisma Percy, housekeeper and family confidante, all of whom believe Lark was widowed years before. In this circle of women, Lark's carefully constructed existence begins to unravel, even as the promise of a new one unfolds. But when her contrite ex-husband shows up, longing to assume his role as Flannery's father, twenty years after his desertion, Lark finds that she must face her own lies-and her past-before a new life can unfold.
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