Friday, August 07, 2009

NOT FAR FROM THE TREE, by Ruth Smith Meyer

The Christian Fiction Review Blog is proud to tour NOT FAR FROM THE TREE, by Ruth Smith Meyer. What's it about? Well, perhaps the best way of explaining this would be to those who have read the book or seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. In that story a woman shares her past with a younger woman that happens to be visiting. The story becomes part what is going on between the aging woman and they younger woman and part what had made the older such an extraordinary person. The difference between Fried Green Tomatoes and Not Far From the Tree is that Ruth Smith Meyer's story is much better.

What does that title mean? I'm always interested in titles. Well, in this one we find Ellie Kurt, Rina's mother, telling her daughter some things about herself she really doesn't want to admit. She shares with her how she was a rebellious and independent young lady in her time. Now God has "blessed" her with a daughter who is so much like her that she exclaims, "The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree." And this is where we get the title from. Meyer expands on that, however, and we find that Rina's children, even grand children, haven't fallen far from the tree either. In this case it's good, because Rina has provided them with a good strong example of having a relationship with the Living God, just as her mother had done for her.

God plants us in His garden and looks for us to bear fruit unto Him. All too often we are just as rebellious as young Rina, and many times this follows us well into adulthood. Yet God is patient. He knows that without Him we are nothing, so He keeps working with us, prodding us, working the soil. He sends people to speak the Word to us so that faith may come alive in us and we might come to Him and bear fruit. However long it takes God is patient. For it's the process and how we handle it that He is more concerned with rather than what we do or do not do. Yes He wants us to learn to be obedient, to be disciplined. He wants us to walk in love, to show patience and gentleness, kindness, mercy and self-control, but He also knows what struggles we have to deal with. He knows all about us and has know that since before He made the world. So rather than get all bent out of shape when we don't "snap to it" when we hear the Truth the first time, He remains patient. He leads us through green pastures, by still waters, through dark places too. It is the process, the journey that is most important to Him. Some, Jesus tells us, will play the game and make believe we have gone on this journey only to hear Him say, "Sorry, I never knew you." Others will get it right the first time and bear much fruit. Still others will take a long time to work out their salvation. Yet they still bear fruit, and that fruit is precious, but not as precious as the time we spent with Him on our journey home. It never was about being perfect, but about letting His perfection work in us. What a wonderful God we serve. He wants us to have a legacy like Rina, to be able to look back and see all the good things He has brought into our lives, then handed them down to our children too. That is what pleases Him.

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Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Tangerine (Revell, January 2007) by Marilynn Griffith (fellow CFBA member, blogger, writer, and mother of *GULP* seven!)


Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email:


Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.

Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?

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THE 3RD COVENANT - a Comparison

The following table shows where THE 3RD COVENANT stands against 7 top authors and 14 other books.



Times out

times per month

Judge and Jury

Cold Moon

Death Dance

Promise Me

The 3rd Covenant

The Camel Club

Violet Dawn

3rd Degree

The Collectors

Web of Lies

The 12th Card

Words of Silk

Above and Beyond


No Second Chance

James Patterson

Jeffery Deaver

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben

David Brollier

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

James Patterson

David Baldacci

Brandilyn Collins

Jeffery Deaver

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown

Linda Fairstein

Harlan Coben


CHO 17

CHO 17

CHO 16

CHO 11

CHO 21


CHO 34



CHO 17

CHO 29

CHO 30

CHO 19

CHO 31