Patrick Barrett grew up on the back of a donkey. In the small village of Liscarroll, the young boy helped his family run a sanctuary for abandoned and abused donkeys.
Struggling in school, Patrick only felt truly accepted in the presence of these funny, fuzzy, touching animals. It was like magic, how he and the donkeys understood each other. He became a true “donkey whisperer”—reading their body language, communicating with them in ways they could understand, and teaching himself how to “speak” in their distinctive calls.
But when Patrick was of age, he shipped out with the Irish Army and encountered unimaginable wartime horrors in Lebanon and Kosovo. In the aftermath, he returned home a broken man, sinking into the depths of PTSD and addictions. He believed nothing could save him. But he hadn’t counted on the donkeys.
Sanctuary is the remarkable true story of how faith turned one lost man’s life around with the help of the rescue animals who loved him. It’s an antidote to despair and a call to hope, revealing the beauty and wonder of Ireland as you’ve never seen it before.
This true story of an Irish village, a man who lost his way and the rescue donkeys that led him home should be recommended reading for all those in recovery programs of every kind.
Patrick shares his raw, honest emotions at every stage in his journey, from childhood alcoholism to humble submission to God’s call on his wayward heart. His open sharing of his experience evoked a range of emotions within me from sorrow to joy, frustration to clarity.
Woven within the story by analogy is his love for rescuing and relating to donkeys and their personality traits. Animal lovers will enjoy this read as Patrick truly has a soft heart for his four-legged friends and should be known as the ‘donkey whisperer.’
Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory, co-authors of Sanctuary.
Sanctuary will encourage and uplift an addicted heart to seek help, reminding the reader that God’s love is unconditional. I enjoyed this true story of rebellion and redemption and highly recommend it.
Moving is not fun. I’ve had to let go of things I love…
… The colored walls in my house are now painted a neutral white.
… The huge succulent plants that won’t survive in Tennessee have been sold or given away to neighbors and friends.
But most of all, I had to let go of the TARDIS lending library. The realtor insisted it go before we showed the house. I emptied it of five boxes of books ranging in age from baby to more experienced readers.
As the TARDIS fell, we considered taking it apart (GASP! – something Doctor Who would never allow) and packing it in the moving truck.
As we stood considering what to do with it, and as I was about to push the publish button on Facebook Marketplace for free pick up, a neighbor stopped.
“What are you doing with the TARDIS?” she asked.
Turns out she’s a huge Doctor Who fan and loves the color blue. So, the TARDIS came back to life and was transported three houses down the street to live another day. (Actually, it was a little elbow grease and our pickup truck, but where’s the fun in that?)
It has landed in the perfect spot on the corner for all to see. One day, it might return to being a lending library once again. Until then, it is the perfect lawn ornament for a Doctor Who lover and her dark blue-trimmed house.
Francine Rivers’ latest novel, The Lady’s Mine, is true to Rivers’ writing form.
You’ll be in California Gold Rush days from page one to the end, feeling like you’re living it. Rivers’ detailed style draws the reader into that era with flair as you feel every bump on the washboard, dusty gravel roads, to slipping around on mud-slathered streets. Calvada, though fictional, is true to western settlements of those early California-Nevada days.
Then, just for fun, Rivers builds an unlikely romance between the main characters. Like the back cover reads, she’s new to the lawless mining town and he’s one of its most prominent citizens. Neither wants anything to do with the other. It will tug at your heart strings and have you laughing one minute and crying the next.
Yet another Francine Rivers novel you can’t put down.
Solomon’s Porch is an excellent read and has come at a timely place in my life.
My mom is in her last moments on this earth with dementia. Solomon’s struggle gives me fictional insight into what a person with dementia might feel and has helped me understand my mother’s struggle.
You will laugh. You will cry. Your emotions will ride a roller coaster, but you will love every minute of this craftily written novel. Janet Morris Grimes is a gifted writer and I look forward to reading more from her.
About the Author
Janet Morris Grimes may not have realized she was a writer at the time, but her earliest childhood memories were spent creating fairy-tale stories of the father she never knew. That desire to connect with the mysterious man in a treasured photograph gave her a deep love for the endless possibilities of a healing and everlasting story.
A wife of one, mother of three, and Tootsie to four, she currently writes from her quiet two-acre corner near Louisville, Kentucky. She’s spent the last few years preparing to introduce her novels and children’s stories to the world.
More from Janet
I’d have to say my inspiration for the character of Solomon Thomas came from my precious father-in-law. When we lost him almost ten years ago, we were inundated with countless stories of simple, behind-the-scenes acts of kindness he offered over many decades. I’m not sure he realized what a difference he made in the lives of others.
The same is true for my main character, Solomon Thomas. He comes from such a place of deep tragedy. Once he lost everything, he had nothing left to offer but himself. So he did.
There are many themes running throughout this story. A lost sense of home. Running out of time. Redemption and second chances. But more than this, connection and community. Sometimes, we are so trapped by our own brokenness, we don’t know how to let others in. But what if we did?
Solomon learned to do just that. Show up for people, and let them into his world as well. And over time, it was enough to breathe new life into his beloved town of Ginger Ridge.
What happens next? Solomon deserves a sequel, so I’ll be working on that very soon.
When a hurricane rips through Hooper Island, a tidal wave of TV crews follows and upsets the locals.
Brooks Crawforth agreed to volunteer crews helping to clean up and repair things on the island, not a whole home and garden series on the total renovation of several houses and a bit of cleanup on the side. He’s furious, and the show host is spitting nails at the person who blew it in the first place.
His and his father’s jobs are in jeopardy, the islanders are about to kill him, and that crazy show host blames him for her assistant’s last-minute, “you’ve-got-to-sign-this-now-or-we-can’t-come” contract.
One more thing. Did she have to be so cute?
He’s got even more trouble, though. Islanders are starting to blame Mallory Barrows for the invasion. Not only that, there are rumors of dismantling the association and allowing tourism on the islands. How’s he supposed to fix this mess?
They can’t stand each other, but if they can manage to flip off the enemy switch and flip on some cooperation, maybe their hearts’ll get flipped, too.
This “enemies to romance” novel introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
About the Narrator
Speaking Life into Story
Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *
Are you cherishing a marriage that’s off the charts? Or co-existing in a fragile one?
What we all really want is intimacy and tingling excitement. Is true love just a fairy tale? Or can life-long companionship be a reality? You bet it can! Author Cathy Krafve shares the personal stories and conversations she first created to help inspire success for her own kids’ marriages.
Marriage entails serious communication. So, we turn to the Master Communicator for strategies to soften hearts and strengthen resolve. Cathy will help you…
Initiate practical, foundational truths.
Replace magical thinking with rock solid miraculous biblical truths.
Understand why we get married in the first place.
Invigorate your closest relationship.
For instance, learn the no-fail trick for changing an argument back into a conversation.
Inspire the delightful results your heart is craving.
Cathy Krafve is the queen of conversation, so it makes sense for her to title her book Marriage Conversations.
The stories and scriptures are encouraging and uplifting, addressing practical and deep issues that are hard to talk about. Krafve writes with sincerity and humor in a balanced mix.
This book should be read by both husbands and wives alike. It is not a book about fixing your marriage, but it will definitely help to get hard conversations started.
I’ve been following Krafve since meeting her at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference a few years back and if you like her book, I recommend contacting her to start up a heart-to-heart dialogue. She’s a gifted listener.
About the Author
Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy Primer Krafve delivers creativity and encouragement on every page.
She understands companionship begins with authentic conversation. With journalistic fervor and a knack for laughter and story-telling, Cathy puts a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths.
Host of Fireside Talk Radio, her weekly blogs and podcasts reach over 2 million listeners and readers annually. Her audiences learn to leverage compassion and courage in order to engage in two-way conversational adventures.
Join the Fireside Tribe as we create life so beautiful in its imperfection generations after us will be retelling our stories with joy and laughter.
Truth with a Texas twang spoken here!
More from Cathy
From Blah to Breathtaking!
Why does conversation at home have to be so hard? What makes it hard? How do you keep hanging in there when it’s tough?
“So, Dave and I slogged ahead. Yuck. Like trudging through a chilly winter night in clumsy snow boots, we were determined to survive,” reports Author Cathy Krafve.
Then, they began to talk a little more openly to their closest friends. Yep, they were desperate. Interestingly, they discovered marriage conversations were a problem for a bunch of their friends, too.
“We picked up tons of new communication skills,” she adds, laughing, “Good thing, too, since we really NEEDED new skills!”
What can we change at home to train ourselves and our kiddos to have terrific conversations? Each chapter of Marriage Conversations offers great ideas you can try out at your house. Here are a few chapters:
Negotiating like an Oil Tycoon
Creating a Personal Etiquette
Only Keeping What We Give Away
Asking Power Questions
Understanding Fellowship as the Best Foreplay
Queen of Fun and Coffee Cup Philosopher, Cathy delivers creativity and encouragement on every page of Marriage Conversations: from co-existing to cherished.
While it’s the perfect book for your book club, Bible Study, or Sunday school class, Cathy has a more, ahem, intimate suggestion. Read it out loud with your spouse.
“What’s really great is the number of men who tell me they read it with their wife! Passing it back and forth. Wow! That’s genius,” she reports. “Truthfully, though, when guys tell me it’s the funniest book they’ve ever read, I assume it’s the only marriage book they’ve ever read!”
Each chapter ends with thought-provoking questions, personal applications, and prayer.
So, how things are with Dave and Cathy now?
“We still have arguments occasionally, maybe once a year. In some ways maybe it’s worse because it doesn’t happen very often. I get real panicky, like, Oh no! We’re falling back into our bad habits,” she confesses.
But she adds they now know how to get into a better conversation place quickly. Also, they intentionally cherish each other. So that’s really made a difference.
“But one thing I want people to know; this book is not about how to do it yourself. This book is about how I messed up. And here’s what I learned from my mistakes. If you want some good ideas, here are the things that worked for us,” says Cathy.
Tons and tons of good ideas. Anything she could get her hands on.
“Because I was originally writing for my children,” she explains. “So, I didn’t hold anything back. I don’t think anyone will feel preached at. I’m pretty sure reading friends will think, Okay this woman has been in the trenches. She gets it.”
Cathy is known for putting a snappy spin on deeply spiritual truths. She writes with journalistic fervor and a knack for laughter and story-telling.
Companionship begins with authentic conversations. How do we go from co-existing to cherished? Cathy understands good communication tools can change everything! Order two copies today; one for yourself and one to share with a friend!
Memories of New Year’s Eve celebrations from childhood do not bring pictures of noisy airhorns, blasting fireworks or couples kissing as the clock strikes twelve.
In fact, my family celebrated by going to church for what was called a “Watchnight” service. It involved a potluck dinner, worship and sermon, dessert and games. I never understood why it was called a “watchnight.” How does one watch a night anyway?
When it got close to midnight, everyone would get on their knees and pray the new year in.
Since then, I have celebrated New Year’s Eve in many fun ways. After graduating high school, I moved to Southern California where I enjoyed going to Knott’s Berry Farm, listening to Christian bands until midnight, and then watching the numbers of the new year light up on its tallest tower.
One time I spent all night on the streets of Pasadena in a sleeping bag so I could get a great spot on the curb to see the Rose Parade in person (something I had only seen on TV growing up).
I used to stay up until the clock ticked 12:01 and listen to the fireworks go off in our neighborhood as I made resolutions (which I usually broke in a few days).
Now I can barely keep my eyes open till ten. Resolutions are made year-round instead of on one night. When the fireworks go off, I hold my dog tight and comfort him instead.
A new year can mark new beginnings, and this year will bring many changes. But as new adventures begin, I hope I will take a lesson from my childhood memories of New Year’s Eve and begin it on my knees in prayer.
How about you?
Do you have any fun or unusual New Year’s Eve traditions? Please share in the comments!
Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.
Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.
Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.
This historical romance takes us back to simpler-yet-harder times. Simpler times when men and women respected romance and didn’t jump into relationships but gave them careful thought and consideration. Harder times because the story is set in WWII where segregation is a problem despite minority patriotism and participation in war efforts.
As a reader, you’ll be swept into a time of struggle and triumph while being wrapped up in a conspiracy to kill the president’s wife and other dastardly deeds that happen during war.
Candice Sue Patterson writes us directly into that era so perfectly that you’ll be transported in time to follow the newly appointed company of single women called the SPARS (a division of the Coast Guard), and feel like you are walking in their shoes and boots through all kinds of weather.
You’ll also feel the spark of forbidden romance and you can bet the officer is a gentleman.
All in all, this is an awesome read that I couldn’t put down and after reading it on my Kindle, I bought the hard copy as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law, who enjoys a good read and lived through that era.
Candice Sue Patterson is a gifted writer, drawing me into the read from page one to the end.
I’m looking forward to reading more from the Heroines of World War II.
About the Author
Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story.
Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel, How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.
More from Candice
The idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt literally came overnight. I had just finished writing a contemporary romance set in Maine, centered around a harbor town where lobstering is prevalent. My agent called me and told me about the Heroines of WWII series and asked if I’d be interested in writing a WWII novel. If so, I needed to come up with a story and proposal fast because spots were limited and filling quickly.
My mind was so consumed with research of the lobster industry that I felt I couldn’t clear my brain fast enough to come up with another story on such short notice. That’s when I started wondering how I could take the knowledge I already had and make it work for a WWII novel. I googled Maine during WWII, came across an article that mentioned the SPARs, and the idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt was born.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the Nancy Drew deep inside me figured out a unique way to merge lobstering with espionage.
Though the plot is purely fiction, there are some characters and events that are historically accurate that were fun to include as well. I love Maine, but I’m Hoosier born and raised, and in my SPAR research, I discovered that Dorothy C. Stratton–the woman the Coast Guard asked to direct the SPARs–was the Dean of Women at Purdue University in Indiana. She was a woman of true character, grace, and strength. I knew right away she needed a cameo in my story.
Within twenty-four hours of receiving my agent’s call, I had plotted the entire story and sent a proposal. Weeks went by, and as fall ushered in its beautiful colors, my husband surprised me with a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine. We walked the trails, ate amazing seafood, and took in the gorgeous view.
While on the island, my agent called again, this time to let me know that Barbour had contracted Saving Mrs. Roosevelt. What a special moment it was to be standing on the very shoreline where the book is set when I received the good news.
Since the book is set in Maine where the heroine works on a lobster boat with her father, I wanted to share my favorite recipe for Maine blueberry pie.
Maine Blueberry Pie
2 pie crusts
1 quart of fresh Maine blueberries
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
Freshly grated nutmeg
¼ c light brown sugar
¼ c white sugar
¼ c flour
2 tbsp tapioca for thickening (if the berries are juicy)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the berries into a large bowl, add lemon juice, and toss.
Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the berries are well coated with the flour and sugars mixture.
Line the pie plate with one crust. Put the berries into the pie plate and top with a solid or lattice-top crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
There are only a few days until Christmas and I feel nostalgic. I’m especially so this year as I think back to my childhood memories. I loved it when Daddy would bring home a real Christmas tree and our tiny 900-foot square house on Tindolph Avenue would smell of pine needles in every room.
We’d decorate the tree with old-fashioned large lights and glass Christmas ornaments. The tree took up at least one quarter of the living room, but that didn’t matter to a kid. Things are always bigger when you’re young.
My Christmas pageant dress
Mom would sew me a new dress for the church Christmas pageant. One year it was orange, brown and red flowers, not your typical Christmas garb.
On Christmas Eve after Daddy read the Christmas story from the Bible, my sister and I would act out the story to entertain our parents. The dog was a sheep and I played Mary (that’s me on the floor). Our stuffies became the three wise men and my doll was the baby Jesus.
We always took turns opening our presents; that way the excitement lasted longer. I always seemed to get a Barbie-related toy and no one could go wrong giving me a panda bear.
I know my Daddy loved Christmas because after all the presents were opened, he would leave the room and come back with a present for my sister and I that he “forgot” to put under the tree.
One year we got a unique gift called the Flatsie doll. When I pull them out today, I remember the joy it brought my Daddy to see his girls thrilled by a surprise gift. We posed for pictures with our gifts surrounding us and Mom made sure we wrote thank you cards to everyone.
Celebrating… in Heaven
This year with my Daddy celebrating in Heaven, I think I’ll continue his tradition and bring out a gift after all are opened for my adult children. I hope they are as surprised as I was and cherish the memory.
Are you in a battle with type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Did you know that over 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes (90 percent of them with type 2) and the ill effects it can cause their bodies?
This disease has become a plague in our anxiety-filled and often overweight society. Thankfully, God created the human body, and He has a unique and loving plan for your health. You can discover principles for moving from your illness to His pathway of healing.
Exposing the Spiritual Roots of Diabetes reveals the unseen forces that trigger disease from within and how we can overcome them. Dr. Henry Wright’s teachings, based on medical findings and powerful biblical truths, affirm that it is God’s will for you to be healthy and whole—in your spirit, soul, and body.
If you think you’ve read all you need to know about healing and disease prevention, it’s time to take another look!
Living with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes for 32 years, this title caught my eye. As a Christian, I am always hungry for spiritual growth books and this was a natural choice for me, connecting on a personal level.
This book was published after Dr. Wright’s passing in November 2019 to continue his ministry to those who struggle with medical issues and help lead them to better health. Dr. Wright examines how our health stems from within at the spirit, soul, and body level, arguing that chronic diseases have a ‘root’ cause in our spirits. He takes it all the way back to original sin.
This book is not a cure-all for chronic diseases but gives insight into the possible causes leading back to our thought patterns and how the brain relates to them.
Is it possible to repent and train our brains to better health?
That is a personal determination you will have to make for yourself. I found this book helpful in only one way, identifying what I had already determined, that my body attacked itself, destroying my pancreas.
Good health is a personal choice made wholly in body, mind, and soul.
I received a pdf copy of the book in exchange for my review.
About the Author
Dr. Henry W. Wright (1944–2019) was the president and founder of Be in Health Global. He was exposed to the power of God’s healing at an early age when his mother was miraculously cured of terminal cancer and a fatal tumor that was wrapped around her jugular vein.
Wright was committed to the belief that human problems are fundamentally spiritual, with associated physical and psychological manifestations. With his insights into the medical as well as the spiritual aspects of disease, he brought a fresh perspective to the process of ministering to the sick.
He presented conferences worldwide and across broad denominational lines for over twenty-five years and was a frequent guest on many well-known television and radio programs. Be in Health continues to carry on Dr. Wright’s vision and ministry, hosting the world-renowned For My Life Retreats in Thomaston, Georgia.
More from Whitaker House
This book reveals the unseen forces that trigger disease from within and how we can overcome them. Dr. Henry Wright’s teachings, based on medical findings and powerful biblical truths, affirm that it is God’s will for you to be healthy and whole—in your spirit, soul, and body. If you think you’ve read all you need to know about healing, it’s time to take another look!