Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Keep
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Ann Tatlock


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.


Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.

Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.

Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Keep, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Julia's Take:

It can be difficult to pull off an adult level book with a child as a main character, but Ann Tatlock really pulls it off here. 

I have to mention I love the simplicity of this cover.  I used to wear my hair in two braids when I was a little girl and somehow looking at the cover I was "pulled" into Roz's world.

Tatlock's characters all come alive.  I will often avoid a book about abuse, especially involving children.  Tatlock pulls off a difficult topic sensitively, yet realistically.  My heart broke for Roz as her innocence was shattered about life, and her father. 

Yet, ultimately this is a book about love, human and divine and its power to break barriers.  Tillie brings heartwarming humor to the story and shows Roz the power of a father's love.

Mara and Roz's friendship brings in the topic of race at a time when the South is desegregated in name only.  Ultimately this entire book has a beautiful thread of what it means to desire the love of a human father.  In the end its real message about the love of a heavenly Father that can fill the void. 


I'm so glad to hear this was a worthwhile book. I've read almost all of Ann Tatlock's other books. (I enjoyed them all but especially loved A Room of My Own and All the Way Home.) Thanks for sharing your opinion.

I'm going to have to check this book out. Sounds very interesting.

I love chocolate and I love books so sounds like a great giveaway too!


Yea...great books! I'd love some Godiva Chocolates...My favorite dessert is anything ooey/gooey, rich and sweet!
I'dl ike to be intered into both drawings. Thanks for opportunity!
lgm52 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I thoroughly enjoyed Jody's book. I'm her critique partner and have been privileged to read The Doctor's Lady in manuscript form twice. Her readers are in for another treat.

Please don't enter me in the drawings. I have an autographed copy of The Preacher's Bride, and I no longer eat chocolate. Don't ask me how much shortbread I consume, though. =)

I have no dignity here and I will jump up and down for The Preacher's Bride. I have wanted this for awhile. I'm unable to eat chocolate so you must take pity on me.

Thanks for the great interview, Julia, and I'm so excited to see Jody's new cover as well.

Have a sweet V Day, ladies!

Great book review. I have just ordered The Preacher;s Bride and hope to love it as well!

I love the special way you celebrate Valentine's Day...the kids will remember this for the rest of their lives!
I really want to read this book...please include me!


Don't enter me....just wanted to say I have read the book and really loved it. I look forward to Jody's next book.
(can't eat chocolate).

love chocolate and love books so enter me for both and thanks.

the idea of the string attached and going to each spot is great. I love decorating the table also; I use red heartshaped paper doilies, pink red and white balloons with 'I love you' on them, etc.


Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


Contributor at The Writer's Alley:


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