Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Familiar Stranger
by Christina Berry

An amazing debut novel! I can't wait to see what Christina Berry writes in the future!

Meanwhile read the first chapter by clicking on the link below. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise . . . if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?

But what will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Familiar Stranger, go HERE




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Saint's Roost

by Terry Burns



A sweet fiction story told by some good ol’ folks headed west on the Santa Fe Trail on the in 1879.

Janie and her overly zealous husband seek to convert savages. Naively, they leave their wagon train and her husband is killed by the first American Indians they see. Totally unprepared, Janie gathers her resolve and faith to continue the journey.

Two cowboys discover her trail and track her to offer assistance. As the two travel together, Janie collects a variety of living things from a baby skunk to a 14 year old boy to an outcast squaw. Once they find a settlement to join, Janie discovers love again.

Don’t expect a romance novel as this story is more about heavenly love than human. In fact, it mostly portrays human love as misguided, especially as it comes to sharing the good news. Janie must continually face her own stereotypes and expectations. As Janie learns about life and love, the reader gleans important lessons.

Full of colorful colloquialisms, the reader will find a bunch of “reckons” “gonnas” and “rights” as in “I’m right thirsty.” The land is described as so barren that, “…they don’t figure how many cows per acre, they figure acres per cows.” (P. 50) One man’s skin is said to be, “…blacker than the inside of a panther’s belly in the middle of a coal mine.” (p. 53)

If the reader can see past the thick colloquialisms, you will find a light hearted story with deep messages.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fit To Be Tied

Robin Lee Hatcher is a versatile author of many Christian fiction novels. The review by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance below tells a good bit about the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book but the story line is not surprising. Fit To Be Tied is a relaxing read written by an expert author. Enjoy!


Fit to Be Tied


By Robin Lee Hatcher


ABOUT THE BOOK

Cleo Arlington dresses like a cowboy, is fearless and fun-loving, and can ride, rope, and wrangle a horse as well as any man. In 1916, however, those talents aren’t what most young women aspire to. But Cleo isn’t most women. Twenty-nine years old and single, Cleo loves life on her father’s Idaho ranch. Still, she hopes someday to marry and have children.

Enter Sherwood Statham, an English aristocrat whose father has sentenced him to a year of work in America to “straighten him out.” Sherwood, who expected a desk job at a posh spa, isn’t happy to be stuck on an Idaho ranch. And he has no idea how to handle Cleo, who’s been challenged with transforming this uptight playboy into a down-home cowboy, because he has never encountered a woman succeeding in a “man’s world.”

Just about everything either of them says or does leaves the other, well, fit to be tied. Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. And though Cleo believes God’s plan for her includes a husband, it couldn’t possibly be Sherwood Statham. Could it?

Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.





Friday, October 30, 2009

eye of the god

by Ariel Allison



Contemporary/Historical Fiction


The mysterious Hope Diamond has attracted interest and tempted thieves ever since it was excavated. Today is no exception.


While the prologue of eye of the god opens in 1653 India, retracing the folklore of the Hope Diamond, the first chapter transports the reader to contemporary Rio de Janeiro. Alex, a museum curator from the Smithsonian, witnesses the theft of priceless paintings by artists such as Picasso and Monet. During the terrifying robbery, one of the thieves sets his eyes on Alex for the first time, a meeting that comes to haunt them both.


Back at the Smithsonian, Alex is responsible to oversee the showing of the Hope Diamond. Fascination with its bloody history has made it “…the most viewed museum object in the world, boasting more visitors each year than the Mona Lisa.” (p. 29)


The villainous plans of the thieves carry suspense while the story ventures into past legends. Alternating chapters parallel the past with the present. I found the involvement of King Louis XIV particularly intersting in light of having just read A Prisoner of Versailles. (see review below)


This story creates suspense and an unlikely romance. A good read even if I found the font a detriment to easy reading.


If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of eye of the god, go HERE

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Prisoner of Versailles (Darkness to Light Series #2)

By Golden Keyes Parsons

Great sequel to a fascinating fiction series! Bring on #3!



Initially, I avoided the first book, In the Shadow of the Sun King, because I didn't think seventeenth century France would interest me. I was wrong.

Not only did I enjoy the storylines and subplots of both books, I found myself enlightened as to some of the history of Christians fighting Christians; specifically, Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants who follow the teachings of John Calvin).

Examining it from my view as a modern U. S. citizen, this story seems surreal and the logic warped. Examining it from the view of a long ago culture, one can see that perhaps the logic has some basis, however misguided, in the desire to be religious.

This intriguing series exposes a need to scrutinize one's own faith and consider how Christians treat each other today. Perhaps, we have much to learn from history.

Synopsis/Plot: King Louis XIV has taken vengeance on the husband of Madeleine, a woman known to be the king's first love. Madeleine's husband has been sent to work on a ship, work which is intended to bring a slow and painful death. Madeleine and her firstborn are kidnapped and taken to Versailles. In spite of the hardship, Madeleine sees her need to reach out for God. What is God saying to her as she must make painful decisions to protect her family?


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Prisoner of Versaille , go HERE

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fearless

By Max Lucado

Max’s words, as always, are compelling and challenging. After at lest 25 books, his words still stir my soul and bring hope.

At the time I started this book, I thought I had few fears. Reading down the list of chapters in the table of contents nixed that illusion. Fear comes in many forms. Most are based on circumstances such as loss of income, being alone, terrorist attack and, most of all, death.

However, Max describes the basis of all fear. Early in the book, he uses the story of Jesus calming the sea in the midst of a raging storm (Mark 4), to reveal our greatest fear. (I won’t spoil it by giving away Max’s explanation. Read the book. ;-)

In these times plagued by fearful possibilities, this book is a guiding light back to faith and hope. (Besides, you gotta love the adorable cover!)

Check out the web site: http://thefearlesstimes.com/

Friday, August 14, 2009

Against All Odds

(Book One of the “Heroes of Quantico” series)

By Irene Hannon
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell 2009


Action in “The Burg”!!

How fun to read an action filled book set in Virginia, naming places in and near the Shenandoah Valley you might have recently visited! The action will be vivid to Virginians as they visualize scenes in Richmond, Charlottesville, and northern Virginia. Also Harrisonburg, known by the locals as “The Burg,” is the location of a climatic event in this fiction book.

In this story, a high-level, seasoned U. S. diplomat faces the kidnapping of three Americans in Afghanistan. David Callahan finds this assignment almost routine until the terrorists threaten to kidnap his estranged daughter in Richmond. Using his influence to have the best protection available, David asks the White House to call in the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT).

His daughter, Monica, sees her life in Richmond so far removed from terrorists that she takes the threat lightly. Soon, she faces chilling events that force her to recognize the danger. Meantime, one of the handsome HRT partners, Coop, finds challenges in this assignment that he has not encountered before in his job. This time he faces a look at his own life and relationships, something he senses could be dangerous under the circumstances.

A most impressive recommendation comes from popular Christian author Dee Henderson (O’Malley series). She writes, “I found someone who writes romantic suspense better than I do.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

by Burgess & Bussey



This tongue-in-cheek book expounds on a variety of gender differences, a trendy topic in psychology circles. Written by two married guys, the reader should expect hilarious, testosterone induced observations.

Not an "almost nearly perfect" book on marriage, but taken in perspective, this book may encourage lively discussions for married couples. Taken too seriously, the stereotypes could encourage a major fight ending with someone sleeping on the couch.

There are snippets of wisdom for both genders, such as the chapter labeled, "Three Sides To Every Story." This includes "his version," "her version" and "the truth." The chapter on respect holds many gems.

The lurking bits of truth are treasures worth the search but watch out for the pitfalls along the way. I found this book best taken in small doses at a time. The CD is an added bonus.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Is Your Brain on Joy: A Revolutionary Program for Balancing Mood, Restoring Brain Health, and Nurturing Spiritual Growth

By Dr. Earl Henslin


How do you picture joy?

Some may envision children with Jell-O-red smiles, rambunctious puppies, or Fourth of July parades. For others, joy may conjure up memories of time spent with someone you love or warm summer evenings.

However, in this book, the author takes a more scientific approach. Through the use of SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) imagery, brain scans are now able to expose emotions such as joy, anger, depression, fear, etc.

Why is this important to the average lay person? This imagery provides powerful information to identify disorders such as ADHD (attention concerns), fears, addictions, compulsions, obsessions, depression, grief, anger, etc. In other words, conditions common to the average person in today’s world.

Doctors, counselors and therapists use this information to prescribe personalized treatment. While treatment may include medication, usually there is a combination
of diet, supplements, music, cinematherapy (watching certain movies), laughter, aromatherapy, biofeedback, as well as physical and spiritual exercise (prayer, reading scripture, etc.).

The author, Dr. Henslin, is a licensed counselor and graduate school faculty member. According to the back cover, “Dr. Henslin has been integrating brain imaging into the treatment of psychological, physical and spiritual problems (at his) Christian counseling group in Brea, California.”

I found this book to be enjoyable, practical and easy to read.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Noticer

by Andy Andrews

Lunatic… or Angel? Perspective is everything.

Has someone ever impacted your life by saying what you needed to hear at just the right time? In The Noticer, a fictional story, a community is blessed to have a quirky man named Jones who turns up at just the right place, at just the right time. Jones takes words and sayings you may have heard before, applies it to your life until it seems new and suddenly, your perspective changes.

Couples about to divorce recognize a love worth saving. A man about to take his own life decides his life is not over. An old woman who believes her life is useless, realizes the best may be yet to come. Even teenagers ask for advice!

The situations you face don’t change, however, your perspective changes and you are changed.

The impact of the wisdom in this small book will not stay on the written pages. To fully understand, you must go a step further. First you must ask, who are the “Jones” in your life, and secondly, who needs you as “Jones” in theirs.

This small book holds great ideas that will spill forth and multiple.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Edge of Recall

by Kristen Heitzmann

Tessa is a landscape architect obsessed with labyrinths. She is drawn to the ruins of an intriguing labyrinth; however, to follow her passion, she must work with a man she once loved but who ultimately betrayed her.

The Edge of Recall may be of the genre contemporary romantic suspense, however, "thriller" seems a more appropriate label. Until the end, it's unclear as to who should be wearing the white hats and who deserves the black.

If you are looking for a great read, pick this one up. To fully explore the depth of the messages hidden within this book, consider more than one reading.


~ ~ ~ If you are interested in Prayer Labyrinths ~ ~ ~
You may wish to explore prayer labyrinths such as the one at
Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
For history and information on the EMU labyrinth, go to https://www.emu.edu/seminary/whylabyrinth.html