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Courting Trouble (Brides) [Paperback]

By Deeanne Gist (Author)
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Item description for Courting Trouble (Brides) by Deeanne Gist...

Essie Spreckelmeyer, a single woman in 1890s Texas, casts her sights on her town's remaining bachelors and widowers to find a match made in heaven while leaving God out of it. Original.

Publishers Description
Tired of Waiting for a Match-Made-in-Heaven,
She'll Settle for One Made in Texas

Whether it's riding bikes, catching snakes, or sliding down banisters, Essie Spreckelmeyer just can't quite make herself into the ideal woman her hometown--and her mother--expect her to be. It's going to take an extraordinary man to appreciate her joy and spontaneity--or so says her doting oil-man father.
Unfortunately such a man doesn't appear to reside in Corsicana, Texas.
It's 1894, the year of Essie's thirtieth birthday, and she decides the Lord has more important things to do than provide her a husband. If she wants one, she needs to catch him herself. So, she writes down the names of all the eligible bachelors in her small Texas town, makes a list of their attributes and drawbacks, closes her eyes, twirls her finger, and ... picks one.
But convincing the lucky "husband-to-be" is going to a bit more of a problem.
Join Deeanne Gist for another unforgettable tale and find out whether Essie's plan to catch a husband succeeds or if she's just Courting Trouble.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Bethany House
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.46" Width: 7.1" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2007
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
Edition  Reprinted  
Series  Brides  
ISBN  0764202251  
ISBN13  9780764202254  

Availability  0 units.

More About Deeanne Gist

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Deeanne Gist--known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee--has rocketed up the bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very original, very fun historical & contemporary romances. Add to this four RITA nominations, two Christy Awards, rave reviews, and a growing loyal fan base, and you've got one recipe for success. She has a very active online community on her website at and at

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Religions > Fiction > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Women > Single Women
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Romance

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Historical

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Reviews - What do customers think about Courting Trouble?

Trouble  May 2, 2010
Loved this book! Our leading lady has a plan, to marry with in the year. Only the mysterious, smooth talking cowboy/oildriller who saunters into town lands our lady into trouble.
Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist  Apr 29, 2010
The year is 1894 and Essie Spreckelmeyer is the epitome of a tomboy. She loves to hunt, fish, catch snakes, and ride her bicycle. The problem is that Essie is thirty years old with no prospects of a husband in sight. Sure, everybody in the town of Corsicana, Texas loves Essie, but no man in his right mind would marry a woman who makes a spectacle of herself, wearing low cut skirts that show ankle and calf just so she can ride a bicycle. Essie has prayed and prayed that the Lord bring her a husband, but she doesn't have much more time to waste. Before Essie resides herself to being the town spinster, she takes the matter into her own hands and makes a list of the available men in town, making note of their attributes and drawbacks. Picking a name off of the list was the easy part; the hard part is going to be convincing the man that she is the right girl for him.
It was so easy to love Essie and just get mesmerized in her story. I was almost upset about the ending until I learned that there was a sequel. I am excited to be able to keep following Essie on her journey. Deanne Gist created characters in town that really make you wish you could transport though time to that setting. I loved the way the Mrs. Gist tried to stay accurate with her timeline and the events that she wrote about in her book while keeping the story alive and interesting.
Courting Trouble  Dec 15, 2009
This was a nice book with a lovely Christian story that is sweetly told. The main character, Essie, is an alive, spunky, vivacious young woman who can't resist being herself inspite of all propriety. She is a little older and often a bit overly zealous in her search for a husband. There are not many choices in her small Texas town and her flaws are obvious yet Gist does a wonderful job of creating a character that we rout for from the beginning. I was surprised that she did fall victim to the false words a silver tongued potential beau and sleep with him. However, I did appreciate the outcome of this situation and while this story was not the happily ever after that I love it did have a kind, if not bitter-sweet end. If you are looking for the happy ending with a pretty bow then maybe all is well because the follow up story Deep in the Heart of Trouble sounds like it will be just the thing!
A Woman Without A Man Is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle  Dec 8, 2009


. A Woman Without A Man Is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle----attributed to Gloria Steinem

This is the third book by Deeanne Gist that I have examined and read. I would like to preface my remarks by indicating that I genuinely wanted to rate this book higher. The author does engage some complex social themes which impact upon all people in the manner of moral paradoxes. However, it is the implicit conclusion of the story by the author, which definitely excludes this story from being regarded as "Christian" in any context. It is not Christian at all, but is in fact, euphemistic in every sense, for an unChristian doctrine more commonly associated with the Feminist meme, A Woman Without A Man Is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle. The author alludes to this concept with great subtlety in her book.

Romances are written to be "nice" and entertaining. In that spirit, I would prefer to be generous to the author of a romance, and in fact, I have been generous to a number of authors, exempting them from an exacting standard, such as I would apply to a Non-Fiction. However, if one is a careful reader, one can discover in fictional works, attempts to counterfeit ideas, and pass them off as Christian, when they are not even religious. One of the ways this is accomplished in modern media, is to present Christian Characters in the manner of a negative stereotype.

This is done with great subtlety by this author, whose soft pornography themes are evident in her other works, in which women are frequently pushed down onto the ground and straddled by men and basically, handled roughly, and generally regarded as the proper object of sexual assault. However, "Courting Trouble" is elevated above that level of sensuality. So I will not be critical of "Courting Trouble" from the standpoint of a prudish disposition. Her descriptions of seduction are rather mild and inoffensive, in and of themselves, even if they do not demonstrate "spiritual" behavior. In fact, "Essie" as presented by Gist, is guilty of little more than bluntly LYING to her family about where she goes and what she does. LYING is a violation of an explicit enumerative of the Ten Commandments; but Gist seems not to have known this. Gist presents a LYING character as a normative demonstration of personality.

In "Courting Trouble" Gist presents 30 year old "Essie" as a woman caught up in social conflicts with moral conventions, while at the same time, bound by no moral conventions, as she strives to attract a husband.

Moreover, she reflects a kind of dysfunctionality, in which she can become physically familiar in every sense with another character, which is described in sufficient detail by the author, when in point of fact, she asks no questions about a man's background, his family, his values, his goals, or his ideas about life in general, until long after she has begun engaging in physical intimacy. Knowing a man, for Essie, is explicitly a CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, and never a spiritual or ideological action.

Even for "Essie" the man is nothing but a physical and sensual object to be attracted, manipulated, and ultimately possessed in physical intimacy. Man is never regarded as the embodiment of ideas, or as a person either "walking" WITH or WITHOUT Jesus Christ. Man for Gist is a leanly muscled, olfactory object of pleasant smells, whose touch is the teleological purpose of her existence. For Gist, woman does not KNOW a man in any other context. The man "touches" the woman with his gaze, his hands, and his sensual intentions. The man never engages the woman on the basis of ideas, a common approach to life, or the value spiritual purposes, and neither does Essie or her Male objects ever engage in common prayer.

It is almost like a reductionist dialogue.

The man implies: "Hey Babe! Wanna fool around?"

The woman responds: "Well Duh, you big hunk. Whaddya think, Sport?"






Also, there are several instances when the author engages in massive errors regarding technical information. I recall one instance where Essie is working in the general store, the "Slap Out" and she is selling some product to a customer identified as "Powder Shot".
Apparently, the author is entirely ignorant as to the distinction between POWDER and SHOT, and in an age of instant information on the internet, Deeanne Gist is incapable of looking up the distinction between POWDER and SHOT.



There is another instance, in regard to Mr. Baumgartner, the Jewish peddlar, where Essie prepares a meal for the man. She is astute enough to understand that in Keeping KOSHER (Kashrut) according to Jewish custom, Pots & Pans used for preparing MEAT dishes, should be kept separate from pans used in the preparation of dishes using MILK. What the author does not know, is that keeping Kashrut does not merely mean preparing food in separate dishes. It means that the Entire kitchen must be cleansed, and that any dish that has ever been used for foods with MILK, cannot thereafter be used for preparing MEAT dishes. In other words, Essie's entire kitchen would have been regarded by the Jew, as UNCLEAN. None of the food would have been "Kosher". Since it is likely that Essie's family probably prepared PORK dishes or BACON in the kitchen, the entire kitchen is most definitely UNCLEAN, and there is no way the Jewish man would have eaten there. Again, this is exemplary of shoddy research by the author.





I can credit the author with revealing social conflicts which show some of the abuses to which women are engaged by peer pressure, family, and social moral attitudes. Gist is actually brilliant in this context. The author shows both the father and mother to adhere to an insanely Black and White moral standard, in which familial love is presumed, but violence rules the roost in actuality.

The author does a fine job of showing the destructive force of gossip in society, in which women vicitimize each other, going about "wounding" with words at every convenient opportunity.

The author shows that in familial relationships, physical violence such as slapping and shaking is sometimes an imminent and ready threat to accomplish persuasion and compliance.

The author shows contradiction and societal hypocrisy and double standards to great effect. In this sense, Gist has tremendous power as a writer. And yet, when human hypocrisy is exposed in characters, it is the Christians who are shown to be unrealistic, or condemning, whereas the general population of the town, especially the rougher parts of town where the Burlesque shows are held, are regarded as cheery, fun-loving folks who are out to have an evening out.




One area in which Gist entirely collapses, is in the construction CONSISTENT characters. In this context, the author cultivates characters that are not only occasionally in contradiction, but entire contradictions to themselves. In other words, if a character tends to violent emotional reactions, and is greedy in monetary and business pursuits, it is not consistent to show the person as thoughtful, considerate, or profoundly wise in the dispensing of sage wisdom as regards the virtues of the Soul.

This is part of the great myth in storytelling. Unrealistic novels show characters as mythical creatures who embody not some, but ALL human virtues. Most of humanity are fortunate to display "some" human virtues by degree, let alone show a VIRTUE as a fully developed, all-encompassing character trait.

The primary example of the character contradiction of which I write in Gist's "Courting Trouble" may be seen in the emobodiment of Essie's father, the Judge and Businessman. At various points, he is violently assaultive, not only with a cowboy, but also with Essie herself. He is autocratic in his rule of the family, and abusive to a 7 year old child who is put on trial in his courtroom. Subsequent to his development as a well-heeled, political climber, who is also an emotionally imbalanced social primitive, Essie's Father is portrayed as some kind of New Age Wisdom adept, informing Essie of cosmic principles of spiritual development.

One should take particular note of the teachings revealed by Essie's father, to understand that his ideas not consistent with common sense and Christian Doctrine. Far worse, the wisdom teachings (sound familiar?) of Essie's father reveal some arch-altruism and perfectionist doctrine, in which the feminine gender is regarded as COMPLETE or WHOLE within itself.

I could devote pages upon pages to explain not only how un-Christian this idea is, and how akin it is to the Gnostic Heresy of the First Century A.D.; but my essential point is more related to novel writing itself. Essie's father is absolutely a contradiction to the materialistic, legalistically-minded man that is presented in the first half of the book. After one passes the half-way mark, Essie's father becomes a sage, a saint, and a gentle speaking, tenderly minded dispenser of cosmic platitudes that endorse an unrealistic PERFECTIONISM which make the reader just want to vomit.

It is fundamental in writing a novel, that characters be "consistent" within themselves, and not regarded as some kind of platform for a universalist humanity, in which the character is not one individual, but a synthesis for a collective of social stereotypes which refer to the proverbial GREAT WHITE FATHER.





So is it really surprising that the author proposes in her work, that a woman does not "need" a man, nor a "marriage". In that sense, Gist conveys all the ideology of both Gnosticism and Feminism, and most certainly, homosexuality. For the author, the role of a woman is best expressed this way.

(1) Get money from "Daddy"

(2) Open a Bicycle Shop

(3) Hire attractive women as instructors (along with all that implies)

(4) Use orchestras, public speaking, group rides and other public events, as a public platform to disseminate an ideology which is in direct contradiction to Christianity, in the pretense that the counterfeit ideology IS so elevated a spirituality that it dispenses with the physical world and sexuality altogether as impurities. It presumes to be representative of Christianity, in which woman espouses the values of some kind of pure spirit, abandoning physical existence altogether.

Insofar as woman has physical existence, Gist seems to propose that Woman devote herself to RIDING BICYCLES, whizzing around the streets of every small town, adorned in the finery of exotic hats and other specialty clothing and bicycling gear, displaying a kind of Feminist SUPERIORITY and lighting the world for humanity.

The only thing the author left out of her book, was a direct reference to PARTNERS, and I might merely have missed that reference.






As Essie proceeds through the abuses of her mother and father, who appear cold, controlling, violent and dysfunctional in every sense, only to appear magically transformed afterward, into a couple of modest old loving fuddy-duddys doting on their daughter, she is presented by the author as a person in a deep spiritual crisis. She fasts, secluded in her room, only reading the Bible.

In later pages however, she throws her Bible across the room, so that it impacts the wall. It is a very symbolic gesture, notable not only for what the character is showing by the gesture, but for the fact that this occurs weeks after Essie begain studying the Bible. It is representative of both a casting away of that which is "holy"; but explicitly a casting away of Christ.





Warning: Sexually explicit, inappropriate for a "christian" book  Dec 5, 2009

I loved reading Deeanne Gist's books 'Deep in the Heart of Trouble', 'Bride in the Bargain' and Bride Most Brudging', but this book is very disappointing and is inappropriate reading for a Christian book. I had to skip over several pages.

It upsets me that this book found it's way into the Christian category.

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