Happy Valentine’s Day! Patsy has a valentine for all of us in the way of  her book  suggestion. Enjoy!


Orchid House written by Cindy Martinusen and published by Thomas Nelson (2008) will keep your imagination hopping. It is the story of a young woman named Julia Bently who travels to the Philippines to bury her grandfather, Captain Morrison. She is looking for a change from her daily routine and a distraction from her predictable life. She had always been especially close to Grandpa Morrison, who once asked her when in her life she had been the most at peace. He had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and always prayed his children and grandchildren would discover the same hope. Now Julia is seeking to discover that reality of faith in her own life.

Leaving California, she flies to the Philippines and discovers a place filled with lovely scenery, adventure, intrigue and new friends. Staying at the Hacienda Esperanza, Plantation of Hope, she finds new challenges in the different culture. This is a troubled, yet beautiful, land filled with political unrest. Yet somehow, it draws her into it’s charming lifestyle.

As Julia settles into life in this new and amazing land, she becomes romantically involved with a handsome Filipino attorney named Marcus Santos. Her mother becomes upset when Julia decides to stay in the land that captured Captain Morrison’s American heart so many years ago when he met and fell in love with the beautiful Julianna of Hacienda Esperanza. Julia’s mother is afraid her daughter has chosen the Philippines over her own country.

When she does finally arrive to visit Julia, she sees it is for the best. Julia has found peace in this land and commits to marry Markus.  The story ends with a summary from Lola Gloria, a key worker at the Hacienda Esperanza, “. . . Dona Julia came from a country far away, a wealthy nation full of power and prestige.  She made the long journey across the great ocean on the back of a giant bird until she reached Hacienda Esperanza to bury her grandfather, as was his request. It is important to know that she did not plan to stay. But no one knows the great changes that come when a person walks bravely into her destiny.”

The story is very special to me because I know the author as a friend and I find her writing hopeful, lovely and heartwarming. It is also special because she had an experience similar to the heroine of this book. She traveled to the Philippines to do research and found her future husband Nieldon Coloma there. High school students would particularly enjoy this book.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience, Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister