Showing posts from October, 2006

Book Review: "The Secret Life of Becky Miller" by Sharon Hinck

It's Supermom to the Rescue!

When I'm facing a tough situation, I often use my overactive imagination to pretend I'm someone else. Maybe I'm Princess Leia taking on Darth Vader (what if??) or I'm a medieval princess disguised as a boy fighting in a battle. Then I worry that I'm too old to pretend these things. So to my delight, I was happy to read about a mom who does the exact same thing.

Becky Miller is SAHM (stay at home mom) with 3 kids and a loving husband. She wants to be the perfect wife and mother but things don't always turn out that way, causing her to picture herself in dire situations as a astronaut, gymnast or the next Mother Teresa. She's also juggling finishing up her degree and being in charge of the women's program at church, while meeting with her small group once a week. Then her life turns upside down when her husband loses his job, the church wants someone else to run HER program and a magazine wants to feature her as thei…

Book Review: "Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante" by Sharon Dunn

A red haired Jessica Fletcher

In Sassy Cinderella, the 2nd book in the Ruby Taylor Mystery series, we find Ruby teaching at a local college due to the recent death of a professor. There are questions surrounding his death, whether it was a suicide or not, and why would he kill himself. Meanwhile, Ruby also has to deal with her long lost brother reappearing and disappearing in her house, affecting her relationship with her mother. On top of that, her relationship with Wesley is getting complicated, with him being a police officer and continually catching Ruby in awkward positions.

I really admired Ruby in this story. For example when she went into the professor's study, she wasn't scared or nervous or freaked out. If I had known there had once been a dead body in the room i was in, I'd run out immediately. Ruby, on the other hand, examines the fan the body was hanging from!

I also liked Ruby's reactions to Wesley. Guys are absolutely clueless when it comes to women and …

Book Review: "Maggie's Story" by Dandi Daley Mackall

WWJD? What would you do?

If Jesus had come during our time, what would our reaction have been? We scoff at the Jewish leaders in the New Testament for not seeing Jesus as the Messiah, when clearly all the signs point at him. Yet if someone now comes and says the same things, we label them as a lunatic, insane, unstable.

Maggie's Story takes a modern day view of the story of Mary Magdalene. The book takes her story from the Bible and puts it into a 21st century setting. Maggie is a bartender living a sex, drug filled life. Pete and Andy own a garage shop. Matt is her drug dealer. Jude is a reporter. The setting is set in Ohio. Jesus is portrayed by a former construction worker named Joshua Davidson. (get it? son of David?) The reader is taken through the life of Jesus/Josh through Maggie's eyes and how she feels about him and his ministry. And there is no Da Vinci Code in this story; no sexual relationship between Josh and Maggie here.

I found this book interesting. The…

The Election by Jerome Teel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is reviewing Jerome Teel's latest book, The Election..


Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.

He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children-Brittney, Trey, and Matthew-and reside in Tennessee, where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.


They seek ultimate power.

Nothing can stand in their way.

Ed Burke has waited a lifetime to become president of the United States. He's not about to let his nemesis, Mac Foster, stop him now...especially when he's sold his soul for the Oval Office.

Claudia Duval has lived a rough life. And finally, things have turned around for her after meeting the wealthy Hudson Kinney. But is all what is seems?

When a prominent citizen is murde…

Book Review: "Pitch Black" by Melody Carlson

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."
- Phil Donahue

I hope no one has ever experienced the death of someone close to them. Unfortunately the majority of people have. It's even more sad when you know someone who's committed suicide. As the 2nd most common form of death among teenagers, it's very rare to go to a high school that has not experienced the effects of it. Even more scarier are the number of teens who have considered the thought of taking their own lives.

Pitch Black, book 4 in the True Colors series, takes a look at teen suicide, a sensitive yet important issue. Morgan's best friend has taken his life and she and two friends are struggling to figure out why. They come up with the solution that it is best to join him and they make a suicide pact. As Morgan finds out what really happen, she decides to rethink her stance and help others realize that it's not worth it to end your life.

I feel that this was a very good book that teens sh…

Book Review: "Dying to Decorate" by Cyndy Salzmann

Books + food= YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've said before, I love reading books about food. Reading a novel that has the recipes it mentions is even better. As soon as I'm done with the book, I want to start making the food. What's even better is when the recipes are super easy for non cooks like me.

Dying to Decorate has all this and more. I really want to be able to find friends like the ladies in the Friday Afternoon Club when I reach that age. The friends meet every Friday (hence the name) for a time of fellowship, fun and food. Each woman has a very different personality that meshes well and doesn't clash with other. One of the members inherits a Civil War era house from her great aunt and the FAC goes to help her renovate it. During their stay, they discover the history of the house and how it will eventually change their own outlook of life. I enjoyed the book tremendously. My favorite scene was when John and Liz go out to dinner and stop by a coffeehouse. They ord…

Book Review: "Caught in the Middle" by Gayle Roper

Don't look the ending!

Mystery authors will hate me. I am the type of reader that will look at the end of the book. But take it as a compliment! It means I am enjoying the book so much that I want to know the ending now! And I did enjoy Caught in the Middle, the 1st book the Amhearst Mysteries series. Merry Kramer is an ideal heroine who wants independence and to become a reporter for the local paper. However that's all interrupted when she opens her car trunk and finds a dead body on top of her Oreos and soda. When the mayor turns up dead the next day, Merry soon finds her life being threatened. The book gives readers a ride of twists and turns as you try to figure out who's behind everything. And yes I was surprised with the ending. This was a very well written mystery with a strong female character. The end of the book leaves you hanging. Recommended for any grown up Nancy Drew fan.

Caught in the Middle (revised edition) by Gayle Roper is published by Steeple Hill (2007)

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Karen Kingsbury's latest book, Like Dandelion Dust.

About the Author: USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 5 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 30 novels, nine of which have hit #1 on national lists, including award-winning Oceans Apart, One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, the Redemption Series and Firstborn Series, and several other bestsellers, one of which was the basis for a CBS Movie-of-the-Week and Gideon's Gift, which is currently in production as a major theatrical release for Christmas 2007.Karen lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

About the Book:


Jack and…

Book Review: "The Prophet" by Francine Rivers

Bible Stories Made Interesting

I'll admit it. When I read my Bible, I tend to skip the minor prophets. Except for Jonah, I don't think the majority of people can even remember their names. Luckily Francine Rivers has made Amos into a novel (Book 4 in her Sons of Encouragement series) so we can learn about his story. Amos is a shepherd who is appalled at the way God's people have become in the days after the nation has split. God gives Amos visions of what will happen to the enemies of his people and to his people themselves. When Amos goes to Bethel to tell them, they first rejoice at hearing of the destruction of their enemies but then after hearing what will happen to them, they turn against Amos. Even though near death at times, Amos stays true to his word warning the people to repent and leave the ways of the false gods and priests. The people don't listen and God sends down his punishments.

I liked how the story could be related to people in today's world. If we…

Movie Review: "Jet Li's Fearless"

My parents and I don't go out ot the movies much together. In fact in all my 23 years we've only gone to see 5 movies together. We're more stay at home rent DVDs (mostly from the library b/c they're free) people. So us going to see "Jet Li's Fearless" on Saturday was considered an event in our household.

I wanted to see this movie because lately I've been on an Asian movie kick and I've seen pretty much all the major Asian movies that have come out in theaters. Also it's a Chinese movie and since I'm half Chinese, why not support my ethnic heritage? I really enjoyed Jet Li's last Chinese movie Hero (which was excellent and has the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen in a movie) and since this is also his last martial arts film.

This movie was different from Hero or Crouching Tiger as it is more martial arts and male centered. The fight sences are intense and painful yet not over graphic. If you are familiar with other martial …

Book Review: "Entangled" by Tracie Peterson

"The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world." -Jimmy Carter

Entangled is another entry in Bethany House's old Portraits series. Tracie Peterson is also one of my favorite authors. I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Cara Kellser is forced to join politician Bob Kerns as his running mate for governor of Kansas. During the road to election and after, Cara finds out what type of man Kerns really is. She wants to get out but she fears for her life and the lives of those connected to her, specifically her daughter and state trooper Harry Oberlin. The characters of the bad guys in the story are deliciously evil as they are men who think only of themselves, and how they can keep profiting not thinking about their family or those close to them. If all politicians are like this: Beware!

I enjoyed this book for the most part. My only main complaint is the character of Cara's daughter. She is supposed to be 11 years old in th…

Book Review: "SAHM I Am" by Meredith Efken

Quite possibly the best book I've read this year...

I have the tendency when I find a really good book to drop everything and just read it. Sometimes this means staying up til 2am finishing a (non school related) book. For example, when the last Harry Potter book came out, all I did for 2 days straight minus 2 hours for church was read. (It was well worth it btw). Why am I talking about reading times? Well today at 2:00pm I started reading "SAHM I Am". I finished it at 5:07pm. I read a 325 page book in 3 hours. Even THAT is a record for me. It shows how good a book it was.

SAHMs are Stay At Home Moms. Of course I am not one, but I will prally be one in the future (check back with me in about 8 years). However, even with that I totally enjoyed this book. It is written in email format, with a group of women who are members of a email mailing list for SAHMs. The book focuses on 5 women who bond together, in a chat outside of the email list, and the moderator of the li…

Book Review: "Theodora's Wedding" by Penny Culliford

Time to break out the fake accent again

When I finished Theodora's Diary, my first thought was "Great book, I want more." Lucky for me, I had already placed my interlibrary loan and this book reached me in two weeks. I finished it in two days. This book deals mainly with Theodora's relationships with her new vicar, her new boss at her job, and of course her upcoming wedding with Kevin. I liked the introduction of the new characters especially the vicar, who does not fit into the typical ideal of a priest and gets into conflict with the uptight Jeremiah. Theodora's adventures, no matter what she does, are always exciting. Just having the deal with the people she meets and how she reacts to them is worth reading about. The scene she has with Declan, and the events that follow afterwards, are so typical of guys. And then they think they've done nothing wrong and it's all the girl's fault!

I loved reading this book. The characters were hilarious and total…

Movie Review: The Joy Luck Club

I don't know about you but there are certain movies that I will watch that I am 100% sure will make me cry. For example I know that if I watch Return of the Jedi (laugh it up.....fuzzball) I will cry especially if I've just had a Star Wars marathon (and no not because I'm crying of happiness because it's over). There's just something about Anakin's children reedeeming him from the dark side that's so compelling. I'll go into my Star Wars mania in some other post. Back to the subject on hand.
About once a year, my mother and my 2 sisters and I will sit down and watch The Joy Luck Club together. This movie is based on the wonderful novel by Amy Tan. It tells the stories of 4 women who immigrated to the US from China and also the stories of their American born daughters. This movie has particulary a strong force in my family as both of my parents are immigrants and my mother especially is Chinese. Therefore whenever we watch this movie, it's like watchi…

Violette Between by Alison Strobel

It's that time of the week! Time to do a blog tour! This week's tour is Violette Between.

Between Here and the PAST,

a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be!


Alison Strobel graduated with a degree in elementary education, and in the summer of 2000 she moved from Chicago to southern California where she taught elementary school for three years. It was in Orange County that she met her husband, Daniel Morrow, and the story developed for her first novel, Worlds Collide.

Violette Between is a poignant story of a true artist. When the love of Violette's life, Saul suddenly died, she died too. Then she meets Christian, who also is morning the loss of a loved one.

As Violette and Christian begin to feel something that they both thought was impossible. Tragedy strikes again. Christian finds Violette on the floor of his waiting room, that she had been painting to look like a New York rooftop restaurant.

As Christian …

Book Winners

The winners of Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett are

Erin and Jason.


Look forward to maybe another giveway in the future. Keep checking!

Book Review: "The Potluck Club" by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson

Don't forget to enter to win the contest for Dark Hour by Ginger Garrett. Leave a comment with an email address at the CFBA post or the FIRST post by Sunday night and I'll announce the winners on Monday, October 9. Good luck!

Books about food are always good

I've always been the type of person that enjoys a good book when eating. Somehow reading a book about food always makes the meal tastier even if what I'm reading isn't what I'm eating. "The Potluck Club" is another one of those great eating/reading books. It even comes complete with recipes from the dishes mentioned in the story in case you get a hankering for beef brisket, cinnamon rolls or broccoli casserole. I really enjoyed this book. It gave the story from many different angles, with the characters all have different personalities. The premise of the story deals with a group of women meeting together for prayer and potluck. The women are real, experiencing funny and heartbreaking events …

Movie Review: Macgyver The Complete Fifth Season

so i don't think there's anyone in this country (and apparently large parts of SE Asia) who doesn't know who Macgyver is. I mean everyone knows that to stop a bomb all you need is gum, a paperclip and a rubberband. Locked in room with a burning fire? Toothpaste and a knitting needles will put it out AND open the door. A sewage plant is overspilling? Acid in a chocolate bar will plug that leak right up. (ok so the first two i made up, but the third one was definately in the show).

I was too young to watch Macgyver in its original run, but thanks to TV on DVD and the library, I've been able to enjoy the first five season almost every night with my parents. See my dad's an engineer, and engineers are crazy over Macgyver. When I took my Engineering Fundamentals class first year we had a Macgyver box where we could only use those items to build things. But again i digress....(and am no longer an engineering major)

The first four seasons are great. Fun, inventive, and y…

Dark Hour Blog Tour and CONTEST x 2!!!!

It is time for another Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Tour! This week's feature author is GINGER GARRETT and her novel, Dark Hour!

Guess what? The publicists for Ginger have agreed to a book contest for each CFBA member's blog post on Dark Hour! It is up to the member on how they judge which commenter wins the free, comment and you might become a winner!

Yes so this means, I'll be giving away TWO! copies of this book. Leave a comment with your email address on either this post or the FIRST post and I'll pick two names at random and announce the winners on Monday, Oct. 9. Good luck!

Movie Review: Little House on the Prairie Season One

Don't forget to enter the contest for Dark Hour. Post a comment on the blog post above. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Monday.

(ok so technically this is a TV on DVD review and not an actually movie but this WAS the latest DVD that i've watched)

I grew up reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the whole series about once every two years. And reading the cookbook is the best book to read while eating. So people find it hard to believe that I never watched the TV series growing up. (or at least the reruns since the show ended right before I was born). Now I've gotten the chance to since the libraries around here have the complete series on DVD.

My first reaction to watching season one was, why does Pa not have a beard???? Pa's beard in the book is essential to his character, and Michael Landon is completely clean-shaven. Not even scruff! I mean you think about how hard it would have been back then to shave every morning and what a h…

Dark Hour by Ginger Grant and CONTEST!

Leave a comment in today's blog to enter to win a copy of this book! Please leave an email address where I can contact you. I'll pick a name at random and post the winner on Monday, October 9. Good luck!
It is October 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter! This month's feature author is: GINGER GARRETT About the author:Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed novelist and expert in ancient women's history.

Her first novel, Chosen, was recognized as one of the best five novels of the year by the Christian publishing industry. Ginger enjoys a diverse reader base and creates conversation between cultures. In addition to her 2006 and 2007 novels about the most evil women in biblical history, she will release Beauty Secrets of the Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) in Summer 2007.Ginger Garrett's Dark Hour delves into the biblical account of Jezeb…