Playing by Heart - eBook  -     By: Anne Mateer
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Playing by Heart - eBook

Bethany House / 2014 / ePub

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Product Description

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781441264718
ISBN-13: 9781441264718
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

"Mateer's turn-of-the-century story is full of characters who will touch your heart."--RT Book Reviews



Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

Author Bio

Anne Mateer has a passion for history and historical fiction, and her vacations often revolve around research trips in different parts of the country. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults. Learn more at Anne's website and blog at www.annemateer.com.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 15
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  1. Victoria Bylin
    Lexington, KY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Deep and Delightful!
    September 21, 2014
    Victoria Bylin
    Lexington, KY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    This review was written for Playing By Heart.
    Playing by Heart is a wonderful mix of strong characters, a fresh historical setting, and real life challenges. When Eula Banks, a women studying for her Ph.D. in mathematics, is forced to come home to Oklahoma to help her widowed sister, she comes face to face with the life and identity she wanted to leave behind. Instead of being a mathematician, she teaches English and coaches basketball. Not her forte! She also meets Chet, a fellow teacher and man coping with troubled students, his own family concerns, and his thwarted desire to flight in World War I.

    This story struck me as unique, largely because of the middle-America, turn-of-the-century setting. It's very much a romance, but the author weaves in history and faith with a gentle hand. I especially enjoyed the unfolding of Eula's character as she fell in love with Chet. Highly recommended!
  2. Deanna
    NE
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Playing By Heart
    September 19, 2014
    Deanna
    NE
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Playing By Heart.
    Playing By Heart by Anne Mateer

    When Lula gets a call to come home to help her sister, she is expected to give up her dreams of continuing college & the scholarship she won. Lula's brother-in-law dies from blood poisoning leaving Lula's sister Jewel alone with 4 children & one on the way. Lula is the logical choice of all the siblings to step up & help. Lula comes back & takes a job at the high school teaching music & basketball. Knowing nothing about basketball or even having seen a game, she gets help from the boys basketball coach. Then it's a story that will lead you in one direction, then another with ups & downs right up to the end. I enjoyed seeing into these characters lives & where their faith took them.

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
  3. Lini536
    Cambridge, MA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Absorbing romance
    September 18, 2014
    Lini536
    Cambridge, MA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This review was written for Playing By Heart.
    When tragedy strikes her sister Jewel, spirited mathematician Lula Bowman heads to her old home town of Dunn, Oklahoma. But it's with a heavy heart. She finally made her dream come true - a teaching position and a scholarship to carry on her college education in maths.

    Now she has to leave it all behind - but for how long?

    When she arrives, childhood memories come rushing back that she'd rather forget; like her 'mama' dying and her nickname 'Fruity Lu'. She cringes at the thought that the townsfolk may still think of her like that.

    When she arrives, she discovers that things are worse than she thought and the only way to support her sister is to get a job. And the only opening is that of a combined music teacher and basketball coach. Both subjects fill her with dread. Can she do this? But she has to prove that she has gumption and staying power.

    With a need to prove herself she asks for help from the boys coach, Chet Vaughn. But that's a problem as he's handsome and single. Lula doesn't want to fall for 'a local boy'. She's only in Dunn for a short time anyway.

    Yet the more time she spends with her Jewel and the children, the girls basketball team and Chet she is beginning to realize that God's plan for her is very different from her single-minded thinking. What is the future for Lula and will she stick with it?

    Mateer's story is filled with engaging characters that help create a compulsive read. Lula is a young intelligent woman who is determined to make something of herself if only to please her father. But in doing so is she ignoring all she learnt from her mother? With Chet taking on a more pivotal role in her life and can she ignore the tug at her heart that he causes?

    A thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read a in a few days or less story. There was drama, humor and a deeper meaning of what God's purpose is for each person. Mateer's style of writing isn't over complicated and she manages to give great depth to just met characters as well as providing food for thought subject matters. A highly recommended read.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House publishers as part of their blogger program. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.
  4. Maria
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Couldn't put it down
    September 16, 2014
    Maria
    This review was written for Playing By Heart.
    Playing by Heart by Anne Mateer is a page turner set in 1917. I loved learning more about this time frame and how things were done. It doesn't seem that long ago, but once you start reading, you realize how different things really were.

    Lula Bowman's dream is finally coming to pass. She won a scholarship to finish her graduate degree and a teaching position at the college. Finally, she could put her old nickname "Fruity Lu" to rest and make her father proud of her at the same time. But when she gets a call from her sister, Jewel, everything changes. Forced to leave her dream position to help her sister, Lula reluctantly goes back to Dunn, Oklahoma and finds a job as the high school music teacher and girl's basketball coach. She has no idea how to play basketball and is in way over her head, but her sister's family needs the extra income. All her old insecurities and fears come flooding back as each new responsibility seems to bring certain failure. Will she always be looked at as Fruity Lu or can she prove them wrong once and for all?

    Chet is a math teacher and the boy's basketball coach at the high school. He's never been attracted to any woman before until he meets Lula. But the school has a strict policy for their women teachers not to date, and he doesn't want her to lose her job. How can they get to know each other better especially since Lula has no interest in him?

    I really enjoyed this book. I flew through it and can't wait to read more from this author. I especially enjoyed the facts about basketball! It's not the same game anymore, and I was kind of confused at first. haha The characters were the best part of the story, of course. They were realistic and had lots of depth. Plus, there were a lot of side lines going on in the story just like in real life. Such a wonderful take on life in the States during WWI. I like how the author kept it real and didn't try to make an unrealistic happy ending.

    I was given this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Kathleen
    Missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    ~* Playing by Heart *~ by Anne Mateer, 2014
    September 16, 2014
    Kathleen
    Missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Playing By Heart.
    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    ~* Playing by Heart *~ by Anne Mateer, 2014

    Lula Bowman's world changes as she leaves the university behind to come home to help her newly widowed sister, Jewel Wyatt, and her five, soon six children.

    More is changing than she would suspect. Applying for a job at the high school, Lula finds she is not able to exchange places with the math teacher, as she'd hoped, but is hired as the music teacher and the girls' basketball coach ~ although she has never seen a game played. The switch between horse and buggy and Tin Lizzie creates other new beginnings in Dunn, Oklahoma, her hometown.

    Tutoring students in math becomes a doorway to learning about basketball. She arranges to have the math/boys' basketball coach, Chet Vaughn, give her pointers in the game. I like how the camaraderie begins with the high school students in being a help to each other. Respect is earned as Lula continues ahead and doesn't falter in her newly-acquired teaching skills. Her love of music pulls her through as she realizes the giftings she has been given that fulfill her and others ~ especially a silent listener who scoots out before being recognized. Music of the soul.

    Chet finds his worth isn't in what he does or doesn't do, but in who he is. His character overrides any doubts he might have. His integrity bears repeating as he encourages a student in his last year of high school to look to the future and not his circumstances to determine his outcome. I like how the ending served both he and his family in coming together in a new way without judgment.

    Chet's gentle spirit shapes the heart-healing of Jewel Wyatt's ten-year-old son, JC, as he overcomes the loss of his father; a coming alongside to bear him up as Chet identifies with his own earlier needs. I especially would commend the owner of the livery stables in allowing JC to continue to come and tend the horses; a giving that helped with his mourning.

    The story brings together forgiveness and healing, as going forward requires tenacity and forthrightness. Lula has left behind her teaching at the university and her scholarship in math to attend to the needs of her sister; a self-giving and sacrifice that turns out to be a betterment all around. Reliving moments of her growing up and the stigma others projected about her, Lula continues to be better than any drawback could be by not focusing on the past but enriching her life and those around her in the present.

    I would recommend this novel for high school students as an encouragement to grow in their relationship with their peers and looking to what can be as they trust the Lord's path for them. An excellent story of hope and grace.

    Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults. Visit author Anne Mateer's website for more information; Twitter and Facebook.

    ***Thank you to author Anne Mateer for this review copy of her novel, Playing by Heart. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Displaying items 1-5 of 15
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