Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Angel Eyes

Angel Eyes Shannon Dittemore Thomas Nelson May 2012 Never did Brielle imagine she would be heading back to her hometown. But as tragedy hits in Portland, she finds herself on a bus headed back to the small town she left behind not even two years ago. Upon her arrival, she has a run in with a very strange guy, one who's touch is fire hot. Despite her first impressions of him, she finds she is inexplicably drawn to him. On a very stormy night, after an unwise walk through the fields, they find their selves thrown together in an obscure barn. And then when it happens, she witnesses something she has never seen before. Without full comprehension, she knows this guy, Jake, is definitely different. As things heat up, she winds up right in the middle of something much larger than she could have ever prepared for. Coming from a home that believed nothing of God, let alone the super natural, she is forced to open her eyes to a world of Angels and demons and decide for herself whether they are real or not. After time, it becomes clear that there are certain things she simply cannot deny. Especially after putting on the 'bracelet'. When her eyes are finally opened to a realm she never dream existed, she and Jake discover the battle they are fighting, is one of good and evil. Light verses dark. I really liked this book. I read it in two days. I always enjoy reading a new perspective. I was especially excited to find that it will have two more in the series. I will be anxious for the next installment! I think this was really well done, especially considering it was this author's first novel! I received this book from the publisher for review.

Where Lilacs Still Bloom

Where Lilacs Still Bloom Jane Kirkpatrick Water Brook Publishers April 2012 It started with an apple and the desire to see it larger and crisper. Hulda Klager dreamed of an apple that would better suit the needs of her family. When her father told her to follow her dreams, and that she was smart enough to hybridize an apple, she decided to listen. At first hiding her hybridizing from her husband, she realizes she cannot withhold her excitement as she bites into her first apple. Finding she has her whole families support, she begins to dabble in her flower garden and comes alive! Flowers are her passion. With her children at her side, she begins to construct a garden that craves admiration. After creating many new varieties of her flowers, she feels drawn to focus on her lilacs, more specifically creating a creamy white, 12 petaled lilac. Paying children from the community to help her, she soon has everything she needs to follow her heart. However, after tragedy strikes her family, she begins to wonder if her priorities are in the right place. Has she spent too much time tending her flowers and not enough with her children? But whenever she tries to give up her passion, her steadfast husband is there, encouraging, even sacrificing for her to continue. Making contacts in the horticulture world and gaining a following is something she never imagined, but she still worries. With the floods constantly threatening to ruin her work and what about the tragedy that seems to follow her, she wonders if God is telling her to change her course? In a garden full of love and dreams, this is true story of an amazing woman who changed history. This would be a really great book for anyone who is passionate about gardening. This was not one of my personal favorite's by this author. As I do not yet have a garden, I was a little bored at some points in this book. However,I really enjoyed the story of Hulda, and would love to see her gardens. Some of the fictional characters, I didn't feel the need for in this story. But overall, true to this author's style, she did an excellent job with her history research, and I especially enjoyed the relationship she painted between Hulda and her husband. I recieved this book from the publisher for review.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Flame of Resistance

Flame of Resistance Tracy Groot Tyndale House May 2012 It's occupied France, the year of 1944 when Tom Jaeger, a downed American pilot finds himself being taken into the custody of French resistance conspirators. Upon recovering from his wounds, he finds he is to aid the resistance, known as the Flame, in a plan to retrieve details about the various guarded bridges. Posing as a German officer, he is sent to meet Brigitte Durand. Brigitte, also resistance, runs a Germans-only brothel. Certainly when Tom signed up for this war he could never have known his job would include spending time with a prostitute. But as their relationship heats up, so does the trail leading to Flame itself. With spies everywhere, suddenly they find their situation has been compromised. And the Millice, the French equivalent to the German Gestapo, will stop at nothing until they uncover all those involved. Racing to cover their tracks, they can only stand back helpless as those they love are being captured. Can they put a stop to what they have started before everyone has to pay a price? Suddenly a very unlikely group of friends, begins to grasp not only at saving their lives, but hopes also for the promise of love. I really liked this book! Always a fan of historical fiction, I especially enjoyed this one as I love anything old French. The author has a very easy reading style, that weaves an exciting story mingled with ever interesting war history. I loved all the characters and all the details she included. I will definitely be acquiring more of this author's books! I recieved this book from the publisher for review.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cellar Doors

Cellar Doors Lance LaCoax Morehouse Media Group April 2012 It's small town Willow, where everybody knows everybody.... Or so they think. But suddenly when strange deaths begin to occur, the towns people find they have to question everything and everyone they have ever known. When the investigation dots just aren't lining up, they are forced to open their eyes to a realm they would never have believed or wished to be real. People they never thought could be involved in something so atrocious are ending up on their suspect list, all while the victim list is growing. Shocking secrets about certain townspeople become unearthed while those making the discoveries are forced to hide or run for their lives. Will they be able to get to the bottom of the mystery before its too late? How many lives will be taken before they can stop the unseen predator that was sent to steal, kill and destroy?! I read this book in one sitting. I think it was very well written, especially being this authors first book. His writing style made it very easy to glide through the pages, as did the short chapters. I was excited to learn upon finishing the book that there is to be a sequel. He did a great job setting up the readers anticipation for this next installment. Intertwining the very real spiritual realm with an empowering message, this book is a must read! I received this book from the author for review. I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hawaiian Crosswinds

Hawaiian Crosswinds Linda Lee Chaikin Moody Publishers June 2011 It's 1892 ,Hawaii. And the winds of change are blowing. Groups rooting for annexation crowd into secret meeting places, discussing plans to overthrow the Hawaiian hierarchy. Rafe Easton is among them, but he has more than the nations problems troubling him. The man who killed his father is on the move again, threatening to harm those closest to him. And the woman he is engaged to, Eden Derrington, is choosing to put her dreams over their relationship. Molokai is the island where all Hawaii's lepers are sent. And it also the very island Eden has set her sights on visiting, in hopes of finding the mother she always believed to be dead. After following her fathers footsteps in the medical field, it only seems natural to now follow him to the leper community with the cure he thinks he has found for his wife. With families intertwined and steeped in secrets, it seems Hawaii's tropical paradise is only a hiding place for the dangers that lurk beyond every corner. Will Rafe be able to convince Eden a more timely marriage is what's best for them? Will Eden have to choose between her fathers life long dreams and the man she loves? And will all the families secrets come to the surface, exposing things that have long been buried? I usually love this author's books, but I have to be honest and say, I had to make myself finish this one. Though she is a historical christian fiction author, I have never felt her books to be religious, I cannot say the same for this book. When I read this genre, I always hope it will be appealing to my christian and non-christian friends alike. And while usually her stories feel like page turners to me, I felt this one was very slow. However, true to form, she did a wonderful job with her historical research, I just felt the story left much to be desired. This would not keep me from reading anymore series she came out with, but I am not very eager to read the third installment of this series.

Cottonwood Summer'45

Cottonwood SUMMER '45 Gary Slaughter Fletcher House June 2012 Jase Addison and Danny Tucker are best friends, or heroes, as most of the town calls them. Having spent most of their 11 years on earth sniffing out and conquering adventures, they have gained quite a name for themselves. And the summer of '45 is no exception. Living in Riverton Michigan, home of one of the wars POW camps, this young sleuthing pair found it almost impossible to stay away from detective work were so obviously destined for. Being taken hostage by a disgruntled POW and forced to co-pilot a stolen plane, discovering a soldier gone AWOL, and joining the police force in a seemingly dead-end robbery case, are only a few of the exciting feats this pair finds their selves mixed up in this summer. And that's just in Michigan. When a friend invites them for a 10 day stay in Nashville Tennessee, their only plans were to have fun, they were not expecting their detective skills and illustrious names to follow them on vacation. They had barely left on the train station when their new adventures began and they follow them into Nashville, they suddenly find they now have to balance their time between site-seeing and visiting the new southern friends they have made, due to their heroic acts upon their first days of arrival. Banding together and taking in every experience with relish and excitement, these boys, yet again, find themselves right where they love most to be, in the heart of the action! This was the first book I have read in the Cottonwood series. I feel the author did a great job making this book read as a stand-alone book. He also does a great job in including lots of interesting history. I especially enjoyed it in this one, as I currently live in Nashville, and learned quite a few new things. I had a little bit of a hard time with how the history was placed in the book, as I am used to reading the history weaved into the fiction story. In this book, it seemed a little disconnected at times, but as I have never read his other books, I may just not be familiar with his writing style. I also wasn't aware that this was really written in the style of a youth or young adult book. And so at first I was a little bored with the urealistic adventures in the story. I think now, understanding both of those things, I would be able to enjoy the rest of his books. And while I think these books are enjoyable to adults, I think a younger crowd would really love this. I know my children will, once they are old enough to read.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Daughters Walk Jane Kirkpatrick Water Brook Press April 2011 It's 1896 when Clara Estby and her mother, Helga begin their journey on foot from Spokane,Washington to New York City. Having been promised a large sum of money from the fashion industry to complete this walk, Helga takes a chance in accepting the wager, knowing she will have to leave her family behind. But to save the family farm, this Norwegian native will do most anything. Having had no say in the matter, Clara is anything but happy as they begin the seven month sojourn. Adding to her frustration, they run into mishaps, sickness and danger. And Clara learns things about herself that change everything she ever known, and who she is to become. Following the railroad tracks, they move from town to town, staying only long enough to earn a bed and add food to their packs. But despite their determination and cunning, they begin to get behind the time line for completion. How will they ever get to New York on time? Upon returning home, they are met with tragedy and hostility. Feeling betrayed Clara decides it's time she sets out to find who she really is, and walks right into the chance of a lifetime. Will this new life and her name afford her the peace and independence she has fought so hard for? Or will she discover that one of the things she needed most, she had all along? I have always enjoyed this author's books. And so, was anxious to read this one. Out of all her books I've read so far, this one is my favorite. I always know I can expect great attention to historical detail and an intriguing story when reading her novels, but this one especially I didn't want to put down. Wonderfully interweaving raw human emotions with the ups and downs of life, this is one book I whole heartily recommend. I received this book from the publisher for review, I also post all my reviews on bookgateway.com and amazon.

Crazy Dangerous

Crazy Dangerous Andrew Klavan Thomas Nelson May 2012 Sam Hopkins is running. Running through the woods, hoping it will qualify him for the track team in the coming year. Being a part of that team would give him the popularity status he so eagerly hungers for. But today isn't his day. Bumping into thugs was not in his plans. Neither was standing up to them and then being accepted into their group. Sam is a pastor's kid. The minute he makes allegiance with Jeff Winger and his crew, he knows he is in for trouble. But rather than finding himself scared he finds he is actually excited about the possibilities of danger. With two parents involved in church work and a brother absorbed by college applications, he needed a hobby, and just in time. Suddenly he fits in, and is going to be careful not to botch these relationships, even it if it means stealing cars and seeking out trouble. But things change one afternoon as he heads to the gangs hideout. He sees Jennifer Sales, the school weirdo, wandering the woods. Concerned for her safety, he approaches her. And that's when his gang appears. Things didn't look so good, and they weren't. When Sam realizes his gang is about to harm Jennifer, he has to choose sides. Suddenly he finds himself with a new friend. And Jennifer was just as weird as people believed her. Especially when she begins to tell him her dreams that are actually coming true. Scared, Sam has to decide if her dreams are just lunacy or possibly prophesy, and before its too late. With time running out, Sam finds himself racing to save the lives of almost everyone he knows. Will he find this was just all a bad dream or that Jennifer has been seeing the truth? I enjoyed this book. It was my first by this author and I read it in one day. I think he did a great job writing it from the perspective of a teenager. There were no dry spots that made me want to put the book down for a spell. In fact I felt I couldn't stop turning the pages in excitement to see what would happen next! The author and I may believe differently about a few things, but this would not stop me from recommending this book and acquiring more of his titles. This book was given to me for review by the publisher. I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


(Come. And live forever)
Tom Pawlik
Tyndale House Publishers
March 2012

Having left college behind for the summer, and convincing his best friend to come along, Jack Kendrick sets out on a journey, a search for information about his father's mysterious disappearance years ago. Following his anthropologist father's trail, they find themselves in small town, Beckon Wyoming.
With the help of a couple locals, they discover the caves his father was likely to be exploring when he was last seen. Ignoring the dangers rumored about the caves, they precede into the darkness, unprepared for what they are about to find. But meeting with the unknown species and fright of the underground is nothing compared to the secrets the city is sitting on.
Elina Gutierrez and George Wilcox, are also drawn to this small town. Both for reasons completely separate from each other and from Jack. Yet somehow, when their paths cross, they discover they all have something in common- they are all in danger. Upon trying to discover the truth they are faced with two options, get free, or stay and lose your life. Will they be able to outwit their predator before its too late?

This book was very different from what I normally read, but the author drew me in right away. Never did I feel bored while reading this. I will say though, it is weird. Which I think the author intends. But I was impressed that 'his' version of weird didn't have to be twisted or dark. He still exposed the light and brought hope. Even with the vivid imagination I own that usually keeps me from reading material like this, I'd definitely read more of his books and enjoy them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sixty Acres and a Bride

Sixty Acres and a Bride
Regina Jennings
Bethany House Publishers
February 2012

Still grieving their loss, widows, Rosa and Louise Garner journey north from their Mexican abode, back to the home Louise had left behind in Texas ten years ago.Not sure what to expect upon their arrival, they are horrified when they are told they owe four years in back taxes, and they have just three months to pay it. With nothing to their names, they put everything they have into earning the money they will need to save the farm they have come to love.
Meanwhile, as Rosa soaks up the love of a new found family, and delights in her new home, her beauty begins attracting unwanted attentions and precarious offers of help. Trying to understand the Texan customs and forms of communication, she further complicates things by befriending a man, Weston, who is also shouldering a heartache.
While she knows nothing can come of their friendship, she discovers her feelings are much deeper for him that she had ever intended. She begins cherishing every moment she has with him. But after her mother-in-law Louise, causes her to put herself in a most unbecoming position before him, she feels sure there will be nothing she can do to regain his trust.
Now the women not only face losing their farm, but also some of the people they love most. Will they be able to save everything they worked so hard for? And will either of them find love again? In a race against time and circumstances, two women band together to hold on to all they find dear.

This was good for an author's first work of fiction. It was not, however a book I loved. The story was interesting enough, but I got a little bored with the emotional tug-o-war between the two main characters. I did like the era and the setting. And I liked that the main character was from Mexico, as I have always been drawn to their culture. Overall, knowing readers differ in what makes a book to their taste, I do think others will enjoy this book.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Marriage Carol

A Marriage Carol
Chris Fabry&Gary Chapman
Moody Publishers
September 2011

It's Christmas Eve, and a snow storm is blowing in. But that doesn't stop Marlee and Jacob from leaving the comfort of their home in hopes of finally signing the papers waiting for them at their divorce lawyers office.
Having already spent an uncomfortably silent ride in the car with her husband, Marlee's tension rises when Jacob refuses to take the freeway, opting for the lesser known roads to reach their destination.
Upon hitting a snow bank, everything becomes blurred. She suddenly finds herself out of the wrecked car, searching for a husband who seems to have gone missing. Cold and confused, she draws towards the lights of a home she sees in the near distance.
Sitting in the warmth of an unfamiliar fireplace, contemplating a marriage she thought was over, she finds and elderly man, three pots hanging over a stove, and a few scoops of snow, may be exactly what she needs to get her life back in order.

I thought this book was cute. For being such a short quick read, it was still able to hold many unexpected twists and turns. I did like the imagination behind the story line, however I can't say there was anything profound about the book. I do think it was an enjoyable little story.
I recieved this book free for review from the publisher. I also post all my reviews on Amazon.com and bookgateway.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Farm Fresh Southern Cooking
Tammy Algood
Thomas Nelson Publishers
April 2012

It's 70 degrees with an early evening summer breeze. The trees in the garden are dancing with glowing lanterns. Large picnic tables, simply dressed, rest in the shade of the branches. On the patio, family and friends eagerly await the cuisine that has yet to grace the tables. Suddenly senses come alive as platters of food float past the hungry crowd in the hands of the preparers.
A cacophony of smells waft from the tables as craw fish-stuffed mushrooms, fruit salsa, roasted eggplant dip, golden brown goat cheese medallions and roasted bacon pecans begin to clutter the once simple cloth. Guests begin to 'mmm' and 'ahh' as the food slowly disappears from the dishes. But don't get full yet, these are just the appetizers.
Replacing the now empty wares, the second course has made its way past the delighted and expectant faces. Cold summer peach soup, coconut corn fritters, mashed potato patties and garlic spinach saute are just a few of the sumptuous dishes inviting more bellies to growl. Just wait till the breads come out! Fresh chive spoon bread, dried pear bacon bread, revival strawberry bread and blue cheese biscuits.
By now the Sun's rays paired with a delectable feast, have caused mouths to long for refreshment. And just in time, beads of sweat drip from the chilled Southern breeze cantaloupe limeades and the Just peachy frozen cocktails, as they float around the circle on laden platters.
No detail is overlooked as the entrees finally make their appearance. There will be none left wanting for more after this veritable feast. The table begins to groan under the weight of the Skillet fried chicken, sassy pecan and beet sandwiches, spiced lentil chili, nut-crusted catfish and spiced pork pot pie.
Dig into the bucket of local chilled wines, because this magical evening of feasting is yet to be over. No one can have a this kind of spread without topping it off with decadent desserts. And here they come! Caramel-drizzled apple pie, sweet on you persimmon fudge, hot apricots foster, plum-centered picnic bars and bourbon pecan clusters.
Sit back, get comfortable, let the breeze whisper in your ear and enjoy your company, because a night like this, is meant to be repeated.

This cookbook is fantastic! As someone who cooks on a daily basis, it's always great to get fresh ideas. Not only are the recipes exquisite, they are fairly simple. I love the added hints, and the vibrant colors of the book. It is very well laid out, and even gives information on local markets. Everything about this book is pleasing. Much more than I was expecting when I ordered this. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who even remotely cooks. My only fear is the few I know who will be trying to steal this from my kitchen!
I received this book from the publisher for review. I also publish all my reviews on bookgateway.com and amazon.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Three Hearts (dvd)
Samaritan's Purse
Starring Cissie Graham
February 2012

Following in the footsteps of two inspirational greats, Billy and Franklin Graham, Cissie Lynch (granddaughter and daughter), embarks on an exciting journey in hopes of saving lives. Signing on as an intern with the Children's Heart Project, she is given the opportunity to bring three children to the United States,from Mongolia, for much needed heart surgeries.
Cissie is also newly married. Trying to learn the part of being a new wife, while juggling a new internship that's very close to her heart proves to be challenging, as she finds her trip to Mongolia coinciding with her NFL husband's draft and relocation.
Having made a tough decision on which road she will take, a very fortunate family will get the chance of a lifetime to fill her shoes.
Stuffed with hope and new beginnings, watch as three children and their families are given much more than new life here on Earth. And see how it's not just those given a new heart who's lives are radically changed in the process.

Great DVD! This will tug at your heart strings and build your faith. Witnessing the miraculous surgeries that provide a better life for these children will make you want to applaud. Seeing mothers, who have never known Jesus, choose Him, will make you cry. I believe I liked everything about this, except the music. ( Just doesn't happen to be my favorite genre... Which of course will vary for everyone watching) Definitely recommend.
I als post all my reviews on Amaon.com and Bookgateway.com
This book was provided free by the publisher, for review.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Spoils of Eden

The Spoils of Eden
Linda Lee Chaikin
Moody Publishers
May 2010

Birds of Paradise bend towards the sunlight, pungent coffee beans grow wild up the mountain side and pineapples, heavy with juice, beg to be plucked. It's Hawaii, 1891: tropical paradise. But amidst the balmy weather and crashing waves, secrets lurk in undiscovered corners.
Eden Derrington, fresh out of nursing school, is passionate about her call to help the lepers quarantined on the island Molokai. A work her father, Dr. Jerome, started many years earlier. Eden is also in love. Rafe Easton has had her heart since childhood. Sharing her heart with two men, she realizes a heart cannot be divided. So deciding she must follow her father to Molokai, she puts her engagement on hold with the only man she ever hopes to marry.
When an epidemic breaks out in Rat Alley, Eden is forced to lay her heavy heart on a shelf while she protects the people from the disastrous outbreak that threatens to wipe out the whole island. But while they investigate the source of the outbreak, a lot more than disease is turned up .Kip, Rafe's 'nephew' goes missing, family secrets become unburied, and hidden motives become exposed.
Feeling torn with whom to believe as sides begin to be formed, Eden starts to feel caught in the middle of something much bigger than herself. With a constant longing to be in Rafe's arm, she knows some difficult decisions lay ahead of her. Will she be able to quiet her own thoughts long enough to let the Lord speak His plans into her life?

Having read previous book series by this author, this one so far, isn't my favorite of them. But that's not to say I do not like it. Only having read book one, it took very few pages to remind me that she is still one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. Not only is her historical research impeccable, she also has a way of grabbing the reader, bringing them into the world she is creating. Her story is always intriguing and full of interesting characters. I am always surprised at the twists and turns she weaves through out the book. I am much excited to read the rest of this series!
This book was provided by the publisher for review.
I also post all my reviews on bookgateway.com and amazon.com

The Missionary

The Missionary
William Carmichael & David Lambert
Moody Publishers
March 2009

Caracas Venezuela is home for the Ellers. Saving the orphaned children from the streets is their mission. Having left their families and familiar homes behind, they have followed God into a foreign land in hopes they might make a difference. And while they are faced with sadness and an oppressive government everyday, they are happy. At least on the outside. But David Eller finds himself wanting more. A chance to really feel important, to live up to assumed expectations.
So when an opportunity arises for Eller to take part in a secret mission to over-throw the Venezuelan president, he takes it. Despite the still quiet voice trying to speak to him. Desperately wanting to believe he hasn't endangered his family, friends and all he has worked for, he ignores the first signs of trouble t his new opportunity presents. But as events unfold, he realizes he has made a grave mistake. Everything he knew to be his life is at stake. Fervently he hopes he can rewind the hands of time before its too late.
When a manhunt is declared with his name on it, David suddenly finds himself running for his life. Not knowing how to clear his name, he tries frantically to get he and his family to safety by fleeing the country. Will he survive long enough to lay aside his desire to prove his worth, and if he does, will his wife ever forgive him for the mess he has made?

This book to me was just OK. While the authors did a good job writing the story, I found I just wasn't very interested in it. I wouldn't rule out reading another book of theirs, I just wouldn't recommend it to my friends with extra zeal. I would however like to get my husband's take on it, as a male may identify more with the story line.
This book was provided free for review by the publisher. I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Eye of the Sword

Having to leave Princess Melaia, the woman he loves behind, Trevin embarks on his King's mission to find the missing
Camrithian comains. Knowing the princess will be left in the company of a seedy Dregmoorian prince, he hopes to make this
mission a short one. But he has acquired another quest. Procure the stolen harps Melaia needs in order to restore the stairway to heaven.
Trevin's journey isn't without it's dangers. With increased uneasiness, he traverses unfamiliar territory, and right into the arms of a murder
that may determine the rest of his future. Struggling with doubts about his colorful past, he tries desperately to clear his name and
finds himself faced with questions he doesn't know the answer to. Who was he? And who is he to become?
In a world full of angels and mystical creatures, malevolents lurk in the shadows,maintaining the unquestionable battle of good verses evil.
Caught in it's crossfires, Trevin experiences a level of grace he never imagined himself to be worthy of. And just in time, as his whole future depends
on it.

I very much enjoyed this book! It was so wonderful to be transported into another world. I stopped several times to marvel at the
imagination of the writer. It was very easy to read pages upon pages without knowing I'd read so many. This being the second in the series,I
was glad I'd read the first one; but only for the want of gleaning more of the story, as the author did a great job making this book understandable for
those who haven't yet had the pleasure of reading the other. I already have a list of those I know I will be lending this to. And I am very excited to
read the next installment.
I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com
This book was provided for me by the publisher for review.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Secret life of a Fool

The Secret Life of a Fool
Andrew Palau
Worthy Publishers
April 2012

He is in a club downtown Boston. Music and lights overwhelming his senses. With his family and past on the other coast, it's not possible somebody would know him here. So then who was this guy asking him if he was a believer?
Feeling strangely comforted that another was insinuating they may be spiritual brothers, he decides to tell him yes, he is a believer. Instantly the man grows excited, " I knew it, you're a follower of Satan, right?"
Trying to scream "No!" to the man who is now laughing as he walks away, Andrew Palau races through his memory, trying to find what is was this man saw that would have caused him to believe he followed Satan.
But if given time to reflect, he knows, it won't be hard to see what events may have led up to this mystifying encounter. Blowing up cars in his fraternity days, taking liberties with women, harassing helpless bums, and hitchhiking through Europe are only a few of the antics that color his past most unflattering.
It wasn't until he ventured into Jamaica's Blue mountains, that he began to see what is was he was missing. That the very thing he longed for, was the very thing he had spent most of his life running from. Making amends with his past, he moves into his future. One full of grace, and an everlasting love.

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, but full of insight. I believe his story will be one many can relate to. It will show those, who have a past laden with mischief, that they are still very worthy of being loved and pursued by a merciful God. He proves that you don't have to have a clean slate in order to move forward, and become the person you were truly called to be. I definitely recommend this book!

This book was given to me by the author for review. It is also posted on bookgateway.com and amazon.com

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Summer My life began

The Summer My Life Began
Shannon Greenland
May 2012

For Elizabeth Margaret, graduating high school would not mean a summer full of parties and the possibility of a short lived summer romance. No, it would mean an internship at her dad's law firm. What else could be expected of the senior class valedictorian, whose every step of her life has been meticulously laid out for her, just like her wardrobe.
But a letter arrives in the mail from an unknown aunt, begging Elizabeth to come summer with her in the Outer Banks, NC. Elizabeth- 'Em', begins to feel that this may be the ticket out of the mundane that she has been desperately longing for! She only needs to convince her parents to feel the same way.
Leaving her sister behind and making a promise to spend the last half of her summer in the law firm, Em finds herself right in the middle of paradise. Surely she had no idea it would be this grand! Finally, she has been given the chance to be herself. Em starts to see her dreams become possibilities and new worlds open up to her, ones she had only dreamed about. But she also stumbles upon some buried family secrets, will they threaten to ruin her newfound happiness and put her back on the path she just left?
Surrounded by sunsets, exquisite cuisine, new friends made and boys that make her heart flutter, this is sure to be 'The summer her life begins.

I thought this book was really cute. As a teenager, I would have loved everything about it. It was a quick read, but perfect in length, I think, for the age demographic it is set to reach. I really enjoyed the light hearted feel of the writing. I think the author did a great job! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any teenage girl, or any woman for that matter, who wants to go back in time and remember the youthfulness of setting out, following dreams, and falling in love.
I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com
This book was provided from the publisher for review.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Sausage Maker's Daughters
Ags Johnson
Bibliofile Press
February 2012

Leaving the sunny shores of California behind, Kip Czermanski steps off the plane into bitter cold and is accosted with all the reasons she vowed she would never come back to small-town Wisconsin, her hometown. But somehow in her sister's pleadings, she had agreed to come home for a family emergency. As her sister trudges towards her holding her old, ratty coat from college, she begins to question whether this was a good idea.
Not even a week later, she is confused and angry as she finds herself contained in the local jailhouse. Spending her recent years as a front row voice for numerous counter-culture movements, she had thought she left her years as a scapegoat behind. Never could she have imagined when she gave her ex-lover up for dead that she would become the prime suspect in his untimely death years later. In her attempt to solidify her innocence, she makes very startling discoveries about her family- discoveries that could make or break her case.
Trapped by a family steeped in dysfunction, surrounded by a town that won't let memories die, Kip finds herself having to put her trust in those who have never given her a chance. Will this time be different for her? Will the revelations she makes about herself be enough to clear her name? Kip is in the fight of her life, and there's only one thing that can free her. The truth.

I decided to read this book in an attempt to broaden my reading horizons, as I wouldn't generally pick one like this off the shelf. I still believe it isn't my favorite genre, but I can say that it was very well written. The author does a great job with character development, and has a writing style that will easily suck you in. When you are not absorbed in the intricacies of the well-thought-out story line, you will be racking your brain trying to solve the case. She paints a very vivid picture of some very real life events which will draw you in with emotion. I know this will be a much read book!
his book was provided free from the publisher for review. I also post all my reviews on bookgateway.com and amazon.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Last Plea Bargain

The Last Plea Bargain
Randy Singer
Tyndale House
March 2012

Jamie Brock, assistant DA for Milton County, ex-work out junkie, and victim of a crime that ripped her family apart is seeking justice and means to avenge her mother's killer. She follows her father's footsteps into the court room, shows no mercy, and never plea bargains!
Already hard at work trying to keep Antoine Marshall (her mother's killer) behind bars and on death row, Jamie is shocked when Caleb Tate, the lawyer responsible for much of her families grief during the proceedings, is now himself being accused of murder in the first degree. When Jamie finds out that her boss, DA William Masterson, will be taking the case, she begs to be his second hand. How sweet would her revenge be if she could see two of her most hated nemeses undergo the needle.
But things aren't going as planned. Shortly after Tate serves a few days in jail, the courtroom proceedings begin to take a mysterious turn. Prisoners begin rejecting deals- deals they would have jumped on, not even a week ago. The prisons are becoming crowded, the judges are having to rule with a relaxed gavel, and the only inmates brave enough to try for a plea bargain end up in danger.
Overwhelmed, Brock and her comrades are against the clock as they try to uncover the problem that is clogging up the court systems. But in her search, she finds out some very unsettling information about her family. Meanwhile, she begins to have cryptic messages delivered to her that cause her to question everyone she trusts.
It's now up to Jamie to decide what and how much information she has learned in order to set free those who are innocent. Will she have to go against everything she ever thought she stood for? And who can she rely on to help her?
As the tables turn from friend to foe, everyone must choose whose side they are on and how far they will go to seek justice.

I liked this book. I can't say I loved it. The story was well written, as his books usually are, but for me it didn't seem quite as exciting as I was expecting. I was surprised at the ending, which to me says a lot about the writer's skills, as he didn't make the conclusion too obvious. He does a good job with character development and made it easy for someone who doesn't generally read courtroom thrillers to understand what was happening in the court proceedings. All in all, it's worth a read.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beyond Molasses Creek

Beyond Molasses Creek
Nicole Seitz
Thomas Nelson Publishers
January 2012

Almost peeking into the cockpit as she boards the plane, Ally Green has to remind herself that she won't be serving drinks on this flight. She is a passenger today. Her stewardess days are well behind her, as are the chances she might have recognized the pilot. No, today she is headed home. Leaving her exotic locations behind to pick up the pieces after her father's death.
But being home makes her restless. She has never been known to stay put. She's a wanderer. And now here of all places, where she can stare across the river at Vessey Washington's house. Oh, Vessey. Her heart flips just thinking his name. What happened back then? Will she be able to pick up those pieces as well? Will her father's mysterious notes left behind force them to tell each other the truth?
On the other side of the world, Sunila Kunari pounds her chisel into her latest statue. His latest statue- her boss, 'the cruel man'. Working day after day, she and her parents obediently callousing their hands in order to pay off an illusive debt owed him, until the day Sunila gets her chance. Her big break. And she takes it. Throwing aside Caste, her position in this world, she wanders the streets of Nepal, in search of the man who once offered her hope.
Does she have the strength to leave behind what she must to finish her task? What surprises will she learn about herself and the only world she has ever known?
Stretching over miles and ocean, two women, forced to face their pasts, come to terms with their future.

I LOVED this book. This is my first book read by this author, but it will not be my last. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. I've come to expect a certain writing style from a good portion of the Christian fiction I read. Hers, however, was very different. It very much reminds me of some of my favorite European modern fiction writers. It's that writing which got me hooked on the first page. And then the story developed. What a story teller she is. She did a fantastic job weaving real situations, and real emotions, all into one beautiful tapestry full of hope. Very down to earth and comfortable. I think it should go without saying, but, I highly recommend this book! And quite honestly, I'm thankful it's a boo I could also recommend to a non-christian fiction reader.
This book was provided by the publisher, free for review. I also post all my reviews on amazon.com and bookgateway.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nearing Home

Nearing Home
Life, Faith and Finishing Well
Billy Graham
Thomas Nelson Publishers
December 2011

Spoken in Billy Graham's beloved simplicity, here is a book full of hope, advice, experience and insight into a life long lived. Having lived into his 92nd year, much longer than he anticipated, Graham Offers wisdom to the young, and reaches out to the elderly in a sense of kinship. He graces these pages with much wisdom to be gleaned by all generations.
What must it be like to have seen the world 90 years ago, and see what it has come to be today. How has technology changed things? Cars? Are relationships different? Has society rejected or embraced God's teachings? Graham has extracted much insight and shares the blessings and aches of this time, and more specifically, his current time here on earth.
What are we living for? Do we have our hearts set on eternity, or are we living for the moment, never caring what our future holds? These are questions he addresses in his attempt to secure your place in front of the pearly gates. True to form, Graham speaks with gentleness, simplicity and peace, but not without urgency.
In this semi-autobiographical work, he shares about the loss of his much loved wife, his rigorous Evangelistic work schedule and cherished friends he met along the way. He encourages the old to love the young,and the young to treasure the old. He shares what it's like to grow in age. But most of all, he shares his passion and love for Jesus Christ. And his zeal doesn't stop in his own relationship, he extends and invitation to share what he has spent his life teaching about.

I thought this book was simple and peaceful. An easy read to provoke thought. And while I, as a young person, I don't particularly like the idea of growing old, much less reading about it, he did well in presenting the idea of growing old gracefully. I will say, this book did not wow me, but I can't say that's what I was looking for in it either. Billy Graham is like and old favorite sweater, always cozy and warm. I I can think of many people who would really enjoy this book.