Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

Let me just say that the premise for this book was quite good. The back cover information and build up had me on my toes. After the second chapter, I was yawning; and it wasn't because I read after I go to bed.

The book is well-written, but the problem isn't with the writing; it is with the plot flow. There was a manipulative quality about this plot that made it not ring true. However, since this is based on a true story, I know that truth is stranger than fiction so I didn't have a problem with that. On the other hand, shouldn't stories based on truth have more believability and less manipulation? I think, perhaps, my problem was with the depressing subject matter at the very beginning. When we find out little Shelia made pick-ups for her bookie dad who turned out to be a complex strong man with a weak streak. A reader should be in the mood to read past that part into the good part.

The rest of the book is intriguing. I give this one three out of five stars.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rhythm of Secrets
Kregel Publications (December 22, 2010)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy, Baylor graduate, taught community college humanities until God called her to span seas and secrets in her novels, An Irishwoman's Tale and What the Bayou Saw. She has two grown children and a dog named Laura. She and her husband can be seen jog-walking the streets of Normal, Illinois, an amazing place to live for a woman born in a car. For more information, visit Patti's website at, her blog at, and her Facebook daily Artbites.


Sheila Franklin has masqueraded as the precocious daughter of avant-garde parents in colorful 1940s New Orleans, a teen desperate for love and acceptance, and an unwed mother sent North with her shame.

After marrying Edward, Sheila artfully masks her secrets, allowing Edward to gain prominence as a conservative pastor. When one phone call from a disillusioned Vietnam veteran destroys her cover, Sheila faces an impossible choice: save her son and his beloved…or imperil Edward’s ambitions.

Inspired by a true story, The Rhythm of Secrets intermingles jazz, classical, and sacred music in a symphony trumpeting God’s grace.

“A vibrant journey across time in search of the greatest truth of all: grace.”—Tosca Lee, author of Havah: The Story of Eve and Demon: A Memoir

“No longer a ‘well-kept secret,’ Patti Lacy is a master storyteller who speaks to the soul with a powerful and unique rhythm, weaving a tale so emotionally rich that story and reader become one.”—Julie Lessman, author of The Daughters of Boston series and A Hope Undaunted
“Patti Lacy pens another beautifully written story in The Rhythm of Secrets. I couldn’t put it down!”—Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of The Black Cloister
“The Rhythm of Secrets is a stirring story of faith and endurance that will keep readers turning the page until every last secret is revealed.”—Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House

If you would like to read an excerpt of Rhythm of Secrets, go HERE.


The Fence My Father Built by Linda S. Clare

This is an intriguing story of a women who lost her first love and her journey back to the Lord through settling the affairs of her father after he passed away. I cannot imagine not growing up without my father's faith guiding me and directing me. My dad left me with an incredibly wonderful legacy of Christian faith.

This story depicts how a Christian legacy can influence people even after the father... mother... or other loved one has gone on to be with the Lord. It is moving and so on target with what kinds of problems we face today. Greed is the same no matter if you face in across a board room table or in the desert. Loneliness, security or lack there of, children who are angry and spoiled or who are sweet and loving, we live with these because we live in a temporary home.

In The Fence My Father Built, when legally separated Muri Pond, a librarian, hauls her kids, teenage Nova and eleven year-old Truman, out to the tiny town of Murkee, Oregon, where her father, Joe Pond lived and died, she’s confronted by a neighbor’s harassment over water rights and Joe’s legacy: a fence made from old oven doors.

The fence and accompanying house trailer horrify rebellious Nova, who runs away to the drug-infested streets of Seattle. Muri searches for her daughter and for something to believe in, all the while trying to save her inheritance from the conniving neighbor who calls her dad Chief Joseph. Along with Joe’s sister, Aunt Lutie, and the Red Rock Tabernacle Ladies, Muri must rediscover the faith her alcoholic dad never abandoned in order to reclaim her own spiritual path.

Someone to Blame by C.S. Larkin

C.S. Larkin is a prolific writer. In this novel, she has studied how losing loved ones affect the rest of your life. Interestingly, forgiveness is crucial to healthy living, yet, so many people have overlooked this element.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Someone To Blame
Zondervan (September 21, 2010)
C. S. Lakin


C. S. Lakin is a novelist and professional copyeditor and writing coach. She is currently working on her eleventh novel, a contemporary family saga drawn from the biblical story of Jacob. Someone to Blame(Zondervan), an intense relational drama and winner of the 2009 First Novel contest, released in October 2010, and she is also the author of the allegorical adult fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, featuring The Wolf of Tebron and the upcoming release The Map Across Time (March 2011). She is currently completing her tenth novel and developing a dog memoir of epic proportion.


In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore move with their fourteen-year-old daughter, Casey, to a small town. Their goal is to get far away from the daily reminders that leave each of them raw and guilt-ridden. Their hope is to find redemption, repair, and renewal. Instead, the threads that hold them together unravel even more.

Breakers, a small community perched on the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest, is draped with cold isolation that seems to mirror the hearts. As they settle into their new life, old grief settles with them. Matt is always on edge and easily angered, Irene is sad and pensive, and Casey is confused and defiant. They've once more set the stage for calamity. Into this mix comes Billy Thurber, a young drifter with his own conflicts, whose life unexpectedly entangles with the Moores'.

His arrival in Breakers parallels a rash of hateful and senseless crimes, and soon the whole town -- eager for someone to blame -- goes after Thurber with murderous intent. Out of this dangerous chaos, however, the Moores find unexpected grace and healing in a most unlikely way.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Someone To Blame, go HERE.


The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

An absolutely charming novel. The hinting of some horrible behavior as the reason Miss Mariah Aubrey must live in seclusion, is something not quite Jane Austin, but close. The story unfolds in delightful Regency aplomb, and as each character is developed (and each one is carefully crafted in much more than two dimensions), the reader is able to let go of modern worries and submerge in olden days glory, fashion, and manners.

The storyline is excellent. The characters are well balanced in development, therefore they interact believably. Some of the twists are obvious and a little bit mechanical, but for the most part this is a smooth moving charmer.

This sits right on top of 4 out of 5 stars.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Julie Klassen


Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.

My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE


The Map Across Time by C.S. Lakin

This is the second in a series called The Gates of Heaven. You would do well to read the first in the series called The Wolf of Tebron because this one starts in a different place, but refers to the other characters without a lot of explanation. I really like sequels like this because rereading a book is tedious.

The storyline is good, the promises of what the book is about is also good. I have found that isn't always the case. An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse.

The author probes unfailing love, trust, and something much less obvious in how even the least and unworthy has purpose. It is an interesting study, but it is classified as "adult" and I believe it is more in line with young adult. The ten years old to sixteen year old age range would find this a fascinating adventure, I'm quite sure. Judging it from that perspective, I give it 4 stars out of 5.
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