Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back-to-School Fiction Blog Tour

Every once in a while Waterbrook have a special blog tour that contains more than one book. This time it arrives just in time to celebrate the Back-to-School season! This blog tour contains three fictions: The Sweetgum Ladies Knit For Love, Rose House and The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper.


The Sweetgum Ladies Knit For Love
Written by Beth Pattillo

About the book
Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.

As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.

Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennessee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.

Who is Beth Pattillo?
RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program. She is the author of nine books including Heaven to Betsy and Jane Austen Ruined My Life. She learned to knit when she was in second grade.

My Thoughts
When I realized that this book was part of the Back-To-School Fiction Blog Tour, I told myself that I should finish reading the previous book in the series titled – The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society. Somehow, the book laid unfinished on my bookshelf – which is by the way not something I do often. So I picked up the book and was able to finish it before I received the sequel. Good thing I did because now I knew where the characters were standing before starting The Sweetgum Ladies Knit For Love…

But boy so much happens between book one and book two. One of the ladies left to be a missionary in Africa, three sudden deaths in the village, a marriage for one as well as becoming a foster parent of a teenager and a new baby for another of the ladies in the group. The group leader Eugenie recruits another woman to be part of the group and I sensed a good start in everything.

The main theme in this book is love. Love of a mother toward her children, love of newly wedded woman toward her husband, first love of a teenager, love when you least expected it, a returned love. Love is so present in this book that you will discover the various way of loving as you go through the story.

However, by the time you close the book, you wonder what else Beth Pattillo has under her sleeve for this group of women. Another one is leaving the town even though love is waiting for her there, a teenage love gets separated, and love is in the air for one lady who thought she would never marry – will there be a wedding or maybe two weddings in the next installment of the series? I wonder.

I can’t wait to read more about Sweetgum and the people who live there. It makes me want to visit Sweetgum, Tennessee one of these days…

The Sweetgum ladies Knit For Love is available everywhere even at and


Rose House
Written by Tina Ann Forkner

About the book
A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman’s search for hope. Still mourning the loss of her family in a tragic accident, Lillian Diamon finds herself drawn back to the Rose House, a quiet cottage where four years earlier she had poured out her anguish among its fragrant blossoms.

She returns to the rolling hills and lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley in search of something she can’t quite name. But then Lillian stumbles onto an unexpected discovery: displayed in the La Rosaleda Gallery is a painting that captures every detail of her most private moment of misery, from the sorrow etched across her face to the sandals on her feet.

What kind of artist would dare to intrude on such a personal scene, and how did he happen to witness Lillian’s pain? As the mystery surrounding the portrait becomes entangled with the accident that claimed the lives of her husband and children, Lillian is forced to rethink her assumptions about what really happened that day.

A captivating novel rich with detail, Rose House explores how the brushstrokes of pain can illuminate the true beauty of life.

Who is Tina Ann Forkner?
Tina Ann Forkner is the author of Ruby Among Us. Originally from Oklahoma, she now lives with her husband and three children in Wyoming, where she serves on the Laramie County Library Foundation’s board of directors.

My Thoughts
Roses, countryside and photography – all things that speak to me. I was mainly attracted to this book by it’s cover. A dried rose. So romantic I find. However, I got hooked on the story as I was reading it.

Imagine you are married and you have two children – twins. Sometimes dreadful happen to them. You are in pain and visit a special house surrounded with roses. You think you are followed and suddenly meet the owner of the Rose House. Fast track 4 years later, you are back at the Rose House and discover that someone has painted you with the Rose House. However, you don’t know who the artist is as the painting has been given anonymously. You decide to stay and find who invaded you…

This is the story of Lillian and you will discover with her who painted the Rose House with her, you will become friends with the people who tend the B&B as well as the owner of the Rose House, you will reconnect with the sister who betrayed you, and discover that love is possible for a widow.

The Rose House novel has mystery as well as reconciliation and love stories in it. It will transport you to a place where you wish you could visit. Sometimes, during my reading session, I closed my eyes and tried to picture the house surrounded by the flowers. It spoke to me somehow.

I enjoyed reading this book and would suggest it to anyone who would like to travel in a place where roses are growing without restrictions.

Rose House is available everywhere even at and


The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper
Written by Kathleen Y’Barbo

About the Book
The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man. As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.

Who is Kathleen Y’Barbo?
Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.

My Thoughts
Okay I must admit that I wasn’t very attracted with the book at first. The cover didn’t spoke to me apart from the fact that she seems to hide something. But I remembered that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

So I picked up the book and started reading it. I’m quite surprised by it actually. The main character, Gennie, loves to read dime novel (well I guess Harlequin type of book were existing back in the 1880s…) and she dreams of adventure. And when an opportunity opens its door for her to go to Denver instead of Boston, she embarks the train and goes on.

In the meantime, a man is expecting a young lady to arrive and care for his daughter. A man who love the outdoor and do not enjoy spending time in an office. A man who has a past in the Old World (ie Europe).

What is interesting is this novel is that each chapters starts as though we are reading the dime novel containing the adventures of Mae Winslow. Then the story of the adventure of Eugenia continues. This is different from the other novels I read in the past.

I am not too fond of “Harlequin” type of books. This one do sounds like one except for the fact that there are references of God and prayer in there. I have the feeling that the main character will end up marrying the father of the young lady.

However, I am enjoying the book. I’m not completely done yet but I like the story so far.

The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper can be found at any bookstore even at or



  1. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts about Rose house. I am so glad you enjoyed it. :-) The other two books really look good, as well. I am going to have to read them.


  2. I really want to read these 3 books- they all sound great.