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