Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley {book review}

Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley {book review}  An Artist’s Adventure:  Drawing Every Town in New Hampshire

Colorful Journey

Library book. Loved it!

This book began as project DRAW-NH.

“Upon moving back to New Hampshire after 40 years away, I started to draw my surroundings, both our town and those nearby…”,

quoting the author. She proceeded to draw all 234 towns (and cities) within two year’s time.

The book is divided into the seven New Hampshire regions, and has an index of towns in the back. There is no map of towns, the reader either needs to know his geography or bring his own map.

Each drawing is unique. Some focus on a particular building. The artist lends more detail to certain styles than others. Some focus on a mountain or lake. Some show a vignette of the town with mountains peeking in the background. The drawings include all four seasons, as the artist was on a tight schedule, drawing in all manner of weather.

Accompanying each drawing is brief narrative, tastefully divided into a group of three per page. often included are the artist’s childhood memories, when the town was settled and incorporated, what activities or industry it was known for, and an explanation of what she drew, sometimes including the weather.

Having recently moved back to New Hampshire myself this book was a delight to read. The drawings and text are a delightful way of seeing New Hampshire through the artist’s eye. her sketches are not comprehensive, but rather representative of what is important to the artist. in sharing her beloved New Hampshire she has also shared a piece of herself.

I highly recommend this book to all readers, young and old, artists and non-artists, those who love New Hampshire as well as those who have never seen it. New Hampshire is a place everyone should visit. It will not disappoint, and neither will this book, Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley.

To see more of Sue Anne Bottomley’s drawings check out her blog.

You may purchase Colorful Journey on her website or on, Barnes & Noble, and at local independent bookstores such as Main Street Bookends in Warner, New Hampshire.

And if you are trying not to add to your book collection, you may borrow Colorful Journey from your local public library.

My Goodreads review.



Vessels for the Master’s Use {316/612}


January 21

Daily Proverb

 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger,

and take a pledge of him for a foreign woman.

Proverbs 20:16


Daily Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 12

Psalm 9



Inspiring Hymns #316

All For Jesus

All for Jesus, all for Jesus!  All my being’s ransomed pow’r:  All my tho’t and words and doings, all my days and all my hours.  All for Jesus! all for Jesus!  All my days and all my hours.

Let my hands perform His bidding, let my feet run in His ways;  Let my eyes see Jesus only, let my lips speak forth His praise.  All for Jesus! all for Jesus!  Let my lips speak forth His praise.

Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus, I’ve lost sight of all beside;  So enchained my spirit’s vision, looking at the Crucified.  All for Jesus! all for Jesus!  Looking at the Crucified.

Oh, what wonder! how amazing!  Jesus, glorious King of kings, deigns to call me His beloved, lets me rest beneath His wings.  All for Jesus! all for Jesus!  Resting now beneath HIs wings.

Words:  Mary D. James

Music:  Arranged

Copyright 1951

Singspiration, Inc.

Lynn Austin/Stephanie Grace Whitson {author spotlight}

READ {author spotlight}  

Putting our favorite authors in the spotlight, highlighting the authors and their works.


My favorite genre is Historical Fiction.  I read all kinds of authors, from any era, but by favorite subject is 18th century colonial New England.

I have read and enjoyed works by James Michener, Herman Wouk, and David McCullough, to name a few.

Not so long ago I made a conscious choice to read only authors whose books are squeaky clean in language and not earthy or base.  Since that time I have met more new-to-me authors than I can keep up with.  Some write in a historical setting, some contemporary.  Some write books in a series about a particular era or a particular place.  Some mix it up.  I enjoy them all.

There are four Author Spotlights scheduled per year.  This is the first.

Here is a list of my favorite 2015 Authors.  You might enjoy reading more about them by clicking on the link.

  1. Lynn Austin
  2. Stephanie Grace Whitson
  3. Ann Tatlock
  4. Ann H. Gabhart
  5. Patricia Bradley
  6. Jan Karon
  7. Anne Mateer
  8. Eugenia Price
  9. Miss Read
  10. Rayanne Sinclair
  11. Sarah Sundin

Lynn Austin and Stephanie Grace Whitson are tied in first place on my list.  They both write Christian historical fiction.  They have each written 23 or 24 books, of which I have read 9 or 10 each.   Lynn Austin’s books have received one 5-star and five 4-star reviews from me.  Stephanie Grace Whitson’s books have received three 5-star reviews.

Lynn Austin


From Lynn Austin’s About page on her website:

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write ..  Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction…

Lynn’s books are available on and Barnes and Noble.  Lynn is also on Facebook and Goodreads.


My favorite book so far of Lynn Austin’s is Until We Reach Home.  You may read my review by clicking on the title.

This book, and its characters, has really stuck with me.  Lynn Austin is an example of an author who writes both in series and stand alone books, in varying backgrounds and settings.  Until We Reach Home is a story of three sisters who came through Ellis Island in search of a better life in America.

Here’s an excerpt from my review:

It is a compelling story masterfully told in such a way that the reader lives the story along with the characters. The story does not disappear when the book is finished. The characters and their events are that real.

You may also wish to read other reviews of Lynn Austin’s books here.

Stephanie Grace Whitson

SGWhitson photo

From Stephanie Grace Whitson’s About page on her website:

Award-winning, best-selling novelist Stephanie Grace Whitson began playing with imaginary friends (i.e., writing fiction) when an abandoned pioneer cemetery near the Whitson’s country home provided not only a hands-on history lesson for her four home schooled children, but also a topic of personal study. In 2014, Whitson celebrated her twentieth year as a published novelist. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading, quilting, spoiling her grandchildren and/or Kona Kai (the golden retriever), and riding her motorcycle named Kitty.

Stephanie Grace Whitson’s books are available on her website.

Stephanie is on Goodreads, Pinterest, and Facebook.  She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, whose history is the source for many of her stories.

WalkstheFire Whitsonbook Whtsonbook My favorite books by Stephanie Grace Whitson are Walks the Fire, Soaring Eagle, and Red Bird, which comprise the Prairie Winds series.

While these books are in a series, they do stand alone, as the characters are in different generations.  While they do not have to be read in order, it is to the reader’s benefit to read all of them, as they do build on each other.

The stories, the history, the characters, their faith … all so intricately woven together in beautiful writing.

From my review of Red Bird:

This book is fabulous! I couldn’t put it down. Little Carrie Brown aka Red Bird, is the main character. She was introduced in Soaring Eagle, who is also a main character of this book. There are many other characters as well, all of whom play an important part in history and in Carrie’s and Soaring Eagle’s life.

Red Bird takes place mostly in Nebraska. It portrays the city of Lincoln in its early growth, the ‘Indian Problem’ relating directly to the Sioux, there relocation and learning to live like the White man, and missionary efforts to educate the’savages’.

I would say, after reading up on the author, that it is her theology which attracts me to her books. Not to minimize her handling of the historical facts and the fictional plot and the characters. Perhaps what I mean is that her writing is so well balanced between all of these areas, including the tightness of the writing, which is amazing for an author with no formal training.

I literally feel as though I have been where Carrie was, and experienced what she went through. I didn’t remember the story from the first reading. Each twist and turn was a surprise to me.

The thing that impresses me about this book is that, while there are abundant mishaps and deviations from the characters’ dreams and plans, the story is never dark or hopeless. The characters are flawed, and yet there is a strong portrayal of our flawless Holy God Who is lovingly in control of all things. I find this to be closer to reality than fiction, so that I also learn and grow with the story.

Again, I love the Scripture at the beginning of each chapter. Thank you, Stephanie, for such a fine series.

To read reviews of Walks the Fire, Soaring Eagle, and Red Bird {to be published soon} click on the titles.  You may wish to read more articles about Stephanie Grace Whitson and her books in these articles.

READ {author spotlight}