Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9


Damaged in both heart and body, Deena Livingston finds the  mountain cabin recently inherited from her grandfather a welcome place to lick her wounds. To her surprise and dismay, she immediately finds that hiding from the world is not an option. Her grandfather’s stipulations and the good people of Bryson City make it impossible for her to remain isolated. Deena quickly gets to know an assorted and sometimes quirky group of citizens, each of whom makes a profound impression. Among these individuals are a mentally challenged man who spouts nuggets of wisdom from various sources such as Dr. Seuss, The Eagles, and the scriptures; a social worker whose devotion to the kids at the center softens Deena’s heart; and her Aunt Regena Lorraine, a loving but plain spoken woman.

How Sweet It Is is a real treat. The details about cooking and baking made the story that much more interesting. I loved the quirky characters who imparted wisdom and hope, usually without realizing it. One example is the scripture above that was a favorite of  Jonas and influenced the way he lived.   How Sweet It Is is a story of hope, faith, and interdependence.  As Deena listened and experienced and learned and grew, I also gained some new insights for myself. All this and recipes too!

I would give How Sweet It Is at least five stars. Why don’t you pick up a copy for yourself and see what you think.


howsweetWhen Deena Livingston moves into her grandfather’s cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, she plans to keep to herself, start a cake-decorating business, and recover from the heartbreak she left behind in Atlanta. But a special request from Grandpa Ernest compels her to interact with the Bryson City locals, who have some surprising stories to share with the new girl in town.

Can a Dr. Seuss-quoting plumber who shows up at the most unexpected times, a handsome social worker who seems to know exactly what Deena is thinking, and a classroom full of mischievous middle-school students teach Deena to once again embrace the sweet things in life?

“Atlanta chef Deena Livingston returns home to the North Carolina cabin she inherited from her grandfather to start a new life far from the heartbreak she suffered in Georgia. But instead of becoming isolated in self-pity, Deena finds her grandfather’s will also stipulates that she work with local middle-school children. Written with a seasoning of Southern charm and populated with richly drawn characters, Wisler’s second novel (after Rain Song) mixes romance, humor, and drama and tackles such issues such as child abuse and self-image. Sure to appeal to fans of Susan May Warren, Lisa Wingate, Angela Hunt, and Rene Gutteridge.” —Library Journal

“Wisler’s delicious novel will hit the spot for readers looking for a poignant story about a woman trying to find her place in the world.” — Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Reviews


awislerAlice J. Wisler is an author, public speaker, advocate, and fundraiser. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She graduated  from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the country in jobs that minister to people. Alice was raised in Japan and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina. Visit