Showing posts from December, 2006

Book Review: "Leave it to Claire" by Tracey Bateman

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a copy of Afton of Margate Castle. Click here to enter. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Tuesday.

You can't do it all

Claire is a romance author and a single mom. She has four kids ranging from a teenager to a 6 year old. She has to put up with her ex-husband who cheated on her and his new young wife (not the one he cheated with). Her mom, who's been her backbone for the past few years, decides to leave to be with her brother's family in Texas. The cute neighbor who moves in next door also happens to be Claire's son's teacher plus the worship pastor at church. Plus he seems to like Claire..a lot. Add all these in with unruly kids, carpal tunnel surgery and panic attacks, and Claire's got a lot to learn that she can't do everything all on her own.

I really enjoyed this read. It was fun hip mom lit. Almost anyone can identify also with trying to lose a couple of extra pounds, who can turn down h…

Book Review: "Tying the Knot" by Susan May Warren

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a copy of Afton of Margate Castle. Click here to enter. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Tuesday.

Learning to trust

Anne is a former EMT who's now a candidate to be a nurse. She's relocated to Deep Haven, MN to escape the gang violence she experienced first hand in Minneapolis. Anne is hoping to settle down and start a new quiet life in the town. However she keeps running into Noah Standing Bear, who is trying to start up a summer camp for troubled teens from the city. The two have many disputes and arguments as they both try to struggle with their former lives from the past. Also someone is stealing drugs from the hospital and attacking nurses. Fear from those who can help enters the little town.

I enjoyed returning to Deep Haven again. I wish I could visit this quiet town to go away to relax. I definitely make a stop at the bookstore for a read and cup of coffee. The characters in the town are all friendly and…

Book Review: "Allah's Fire" by Chuck Holton and Gayle Roper

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a copy of Afton of Margate Castle. Click here to enter. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Tuesday.

Straight from the evening news

Liz and her sister Julie are two Americans that live in Lebanon. When the building that Julie was attending a party at is destroyed by a bomb, Liz goes on a mission to find her after finding evidence that she may still be alive. Meanwhile John is a member of a special ops team sent to Beruit to find Palestinian extremists who have discovered a new way to threaten terror in the region. John and Liz's lives intertwine as they try to find Julie and prevent the terrorists from instigating more fear into the lives of the people there. The story is non stop action throughout, an edge of your seat reality read.

While reading this book, I felt like I was watching the evening news. Everything seemed so real and action packed. The situations the characters got themselves in could be ripped right out o…

Book Review: "The Nativity Story- A Novel" by Angela Hunt and Book Giveaway

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Yesterday I wrote my review on the movie "The Nativity Story." Today is my book review on the novelization by Angela Hunt.I read the book before watching the movie so I went to the film knowing a lot of what was going to happen. If I thought the movie made the familiar characters more human and real, the book does even more so. The book adds to the movie script and includes more scenes that help to develop the characters. Mary is seen as caught between childhood and becoming a married women. We feel her struggle as she has to leave her old life behind. The reader is taken to understand what she went through after the angel told her what was going to happen to her. Since in the Bible, we don't hear a lot about Joseph what is written here shows him as an understanding and devout man. He loves Mary and wants to take care of her and the baby even though it will not be his completely.

I enjoyed the research that went on towards the writing of this …

Movie Review: "The Nativity Story"

Merry Christmas!

How many times have we gone so accustomed to hearing the Christmas story, putting on live nativity plays, singing Christmas carols, that we forget what the Christmas story really is about? I know that we also become so immune to hearing that we have become too materialistic about Christmas, that all people think about is getting presents and nothing else. Many people have told me that they didn't plan on seeing "The Nativity Story" because they already knew the story, so what was the point? Well, they may think they know the story but they neither live nor show the respect for what the story truly is about.

One of my favorite movies when I was younger was Jesus of Nazareth. To me that was the definitive version of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. However even that movie doesn't really take you into their lives and what they had to go through.

The Nativity Story however makes you feel for these characters. Did you ever think about what Mary had to go through…

Movie Review: "The Da Vinci Code"

(off topic but I went to see Casino Royale again yesterday, even better the second time around *VBG*)

I'm sure everyone knows the controversy surrounding The Da Vinci Code. I won't go into detail here about it. I read the book more out of curiosity due to the buzz surrounding it. I think it had been Newsweek or Time that had said if you were one of the last 3 people that hadn't the book yet, you'd only need 3 days top to finish it. I finished it in 2. This isn't a book review so I won't go into the book, but I'll just say from a literature perspective, fascinating read, suspenseful, easily addictive.

When I finally watched the movie on DVD, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect. I know many people had protested the movie, but I know the TRUTH so I knew I wouldn't be in any danger of being deceived. Plus Ron Howard always puts out a good movie, and Tom Hanks is one of today's great actors.

After watching the movie, my reaction was......meh. …

Fall Into Reading Challenge Wrapup

Well the Fall Reading Challenge finally came to an end yesterday. These were the 18 books I originally set forth to read back in September:

Terminal 9 by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James
Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante by Sharon Dunn
Under the Northern Lights by Tracie Peterson
Maggie's Story by Dandi Daley MacKall
Sadie-in-Waiting by Annie Jones
The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren
Impasse by Laurel Oke Logan
Caught in the Middle by Gayle Roper
Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker
Allah's Fire by Gayle Roper
The Potluck Club by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
Interior Motives by Ginny Aiken
The Prophet by Francine Rivers
Savannah Comes Undone by Denise Hildreth
Pitch Black by Melody Carlson
Entangled by Tracie Peterson
Sahm I am by Meredith Efken
The Trouble With Tulips by Mindy Starns Clark

However I ended up reading....44 books from September 24 until yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that's not even including books I had to read for school!! Check out all the…

Book Review: "Under the Northern Lights" by Tracie Peterson

Cold yet heartwarming

Tracie Peterson's Alaskan Quest series reintroduces us to Jacob and Leah Barringer, first seen as children in her Yukon Quest series. Now grown up and independent adults, the two still live up in Alaska and have come to adore their new home. In Under the Northern Lights, the second book in the series, Leah has just married Jayce Kincaid and is ready to settle down and have a quiet life with him. Unfortunately for her, Jayce's evil twin brother Chase kidnaps her and Helaina Beecher, the Pinkerton agent searching for Chase. While the two women have to fight for survival against Chase, Jayce and Jacob go out to search for the women they love in hopes of rescuing them. When something happens that nearly destroys Leah, the four have to to depend on faith in order to move on.

I love seeing characters reappear in books. I wanted to know what happened to Jacob and Leah at the close of the Yukon Quest series when they were children. Now as their adults, the pa…

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

Swap chocolate for a baby

Theo and Kevin have just gotten married and now are expecting a baby! Being pregnant isn't all fun and games for the couple. It means Theo can't stand the sight of chocolate! The couple are going through their first days of marriage and already they are having issues. From Kevin not wanting Theo to write in her diary to Theo leaving for a few days because Kevin wouldn't fix the bathroom, the newlyweds sound like their having lots of fun in their new life. With Theo's pregnancy comes cravings for weird food, having to wear Charity-like maternity clothing (gasp!), trying to find a job that will take her in her "condition" and her sister-in-law getting pregnant at the same time. Plus Declan keeps showing up. Thank goodness Kevin lets Theo have her diary back. She'd be lost without it.

Theodora is one of my favorite characters as of lately. I love everything that she goes through and how she handles situations.I thought it was pret…

Book Review: "The Brushtroke Legacy" by Lauraine Snelling

Paintbrush Connection

Ragni is fed up with her advertising job in Chicago. She's also frustrated that her dad has Alzheimer's making life for her mother extremely difficult. She also has to put up with her older sister complaining about her teenage niece going through a rebellious period. When her spa vacation is cut short due her mother wanting her to look at some old family property in North Dakota, Ragni and her niece Erika set out on a road trip. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start due their differences as they grew apart. When they get to the house, it's in shambles and they have to work together to try to fix out. Out of their normal elements, the two soon find remnants of their ancestor Nilda who left her artistic touch around the house and in both of them. The story flips between Ragni's story and Nilda's, who was a housekeeper who came with her daughter to work for a man out west.

This was good compelling story. I love all of Lauraine Snel…

Book Review: "The Trouble With Tulip" by Mindy Starns Clark

Martha Stewart meets Nancy Drew

Jo Tulip has just been jilted at the altar and been involved in murder investigation, all in the same day. Her best friend Danny (who's secretly in love with her) gets Jo to come to the crime scene of an elderly woman who turns up mysteriously dead in her own home. The police rule it as an accident but with Jo's knack for household tips, she discovers it to be a murder. Theft, fraud, the deceiving of old ladies, and alchemy all come into play to as Jo and Danny try to discover the truth about really happened.

This was my first Mindy Starns Clark book and I really got a kick out of it. I loved all the household advice spread throughout the novel. Very interesting techniques given how to combat any home problem. I have yet to try out any but I may do so in the future. The murder investigation was really gutsy of Jo to do it mostly by herself. There were a lot of twists I wasn't expecting. I really Jo's character. I do hope we get a …

Movie Review: "Eat Drink Man Woman"

Ok, who doesn't like Chinese food? The only thing better than take out Chinese food is real authentic, freshly prepared Chinese food. I've been lucky to have this when my family visited Malaysia and my grandmother and aunt cooked a feast for us.

A chef has three grown daughters. Once a week, everyone comes home to a huge meal the dad has cooked. They don't talk much while they eat, it's just something they do every week. The daughters are each trying to live their own lives, and the dad can see the family is growing apart. He focuses his time on a family friend and her daughter, who do appreciate his cooking. Meanwhile the daughters are all trying to figure out what they want in life and discover love along the way. Mix all of this with tasty Chinese dishes in almost every scene.

Ang Lee is one my favorite directors. I absolutely loved Crouching Tiger, adored Sense and Sensibility, I even liked The Hulk. Minus one certain movie, his movies are always enjoyable to…

Book Review: "Consider Lily" by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

Good girl lit gone right!

Lily Traywick is the daughter of the owners of huge and famous department store in San Francisco. She is poised to inherit it in the future. However, Lily does not want to continue life working with clothes. She spends time with her two best friends and tries to figure out why she's not able to get a boyfriend. After a makeover she meets Sam, another employee at the store. Soon they begin to date, and Lily starts to really enjoy life. Then Sam's friend Delia comes to town, wrecking havoc into their relationship. Lily jots all these events in her blog, writing about everything that's happened with Sam, her friends, her parents, anyone she's come into contact with. When her blog's secrets become public to those who are in it, it'll take a miracle for her to recover.

I thought this was a fun and cool read. I really like this new Chick-lit genre and this book definitely fits in it. My favorite scene in the book would have to be the…

Book Review: "Freefall" by Kristen Heitzmann

More than meets the eye

First I want to say that I think that this book has one of the most beautiful covers I've seen in a while. I just love the waterfall and all the shades of blue in the scenery.And you notice how everyone always looks better when their hair is blowing in the breeze?

A mysterious girl who can't remember anything about herself is found on the island of Kauai. Mysterious circumstances surround her and those who try to help her including Cameron, a lawyer who takes it into his hands to protect the girl. Bits and pieces of her memory begin to come back, and it is found that the girl is a famous award wining actress Gentry Fox. Gentry, had left her Hollywood life due to scandal, soon finds herself facing someone who is threatening her life and those around her.

I always think that Hawaii is always a great place to have a book setting. It's exotic yet familiar at the same time. The descriptions of the places in the book are lovely and make you feel like …

Book Review: "The Begotten" by Lisa T. Bergren

Middle Ages Version of X-Men

A lot of times we like to play the what if question. This can lead to long drawn out debates on what could have happen if something had taken place. Sometimes we worry that things would have been radically different if things had changed. Other times times we speculate on the possibilities that could have taken place if only such and such had taken place. That is the premise of The Begotten. Paul had written many letters to churches. What if there had been another letter sent to a special group of people called The Gifted?

Set during the time of the Inquisition, the secret of Paul's extra letter is trying to be kept hidden by the holy leaders. They are against females holding high authority and wish to keep any knowledge about it in secret. Years later however, individuals with secret powers find each other as they strive to help out those in need. They are Christians, strong in their faith, battling those who have turned to the dark side.

This bo…

Book Review: "The Brethren" by Beverly Lewis

It's not always happy in Paradise

In the third book of the Annie's People series, The Brethren continues the story of Annie Zook and the people of the Amish community of Paradise. Annie has put away her paintings and is living with her friend Esther, who has been shunned for accepting Jesus and is worried about her husband Zeke who has accepted the responsibility of the death of his brother from long ago. Meanwhile Ben, the Englisher that stole Annie's heart, finds a secret about his past and goes back to Paradise to find answers. His discovery shakes up the entire community and brings new meaning to his and Annie's relationship.

I really liked this book yet I felt the book was a little rushed at the end. I want to know what will happen to Louisa and Sam in the future. Her story didn't move that much in this book.It was interesting to find out about Ben's past, yet it felt somewhat predictable once you found out he was adopted. I did finding out more about th…

Movie Review: "Stranger than Fiction"

I had just seen Elf prior to seeing this movie. So the image of Will Ferrell I had was one of him in green tights screaming because he had just squirted perfume in his mouth. The previews however looked like Will Ferrell was making his "serious" movie turn a la Jim Carrey in The Truman show. I saw this movie mainly because I wanted to see if Ferrell could really act (and not just be Ricky Bobby).

I felt the premise of the movie was very creative, entertaining, and educational. I learned quite a bit about literature from the movie. Many authors have written how they liked the movie because of its authenticity as to how the process of writing a book happens. Since I have never attempted to write a book, I will take their word for it. If this movie shows how hard it is to write a book, I'm not sure if I will attempt to write one. (Well as long as none of my characters ever show up on my doorstep)

I liked the indie feel this film had. Even with all the big names and sp…

Book Review: "Sadie-in-Waiting" by Annie Jones

Sisterly Road Trip

Sadie is feeling kinda glum. She's living in a small town, just got appointed graveyard superintendent (who really wants that job?), and she's having trouble raising her two teens. Plus she's suspecting her husband of an affair and her eccentric dad is driving her and her sisters, April and Hannah, absolutely nuts. The sisters are close but Sadie is given the most responsibility over their father, who took care of them after their mother left them when they were little. Since they are never allowed to discuss their mother, the sisters are kept in the dark as to why she left them long ago. One day when their dad leaves to go find their mother, Sadie and her sisters go to track him down. On their road trip they discover things about themselves they didn't know and learn to strengthen their relationship with each other and with their families back home.

I liked that there were 3 sisters in this book, just like in my family. You see how each sister f…

Never Ceese by Sue Dent

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is doing a tour for Never Ceese by Sue Dent. It is notable that Sue is one of our CFBA members!

ABOUT THE AUTHORSue Dent was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and currently resides in Ridgeland. When not writing, Sue designs websites and works with digital photograpy.

Sue loves to hear from her fans through her Website in fact, the push from eager readers has already set the ball rolling, and she's hard at work on Forever Richard, the sequel.

In Never Ceese, Sue sets out to prove that faith and fun can live happily in the same story, and that vampire/werewolf fantasy can have a spiritual message too.


Never Ceese takes religious fantasy to a new level, bringing an entirely new Light to a very dark side of fiction, doing a very admirable job to prove that vampire/werewolf fantasy does not have to be evil to be enjoyed.The story starts with the classic tale of an English manor owned by Richard, the vampire who righteously…

Book Review: "@Home for the Holidays" by Meredith Efken

Meredith Efken has done it again!

She has put out another book that I proceeded to finish in just a few hours. I was actually in the process of reading two other books, but I dropped them both to read this one. It was definitely worth it. I declare it tied for best book of the year!

In @Home, the sequel to SAHM I AM, we again are meeting up with members of the SAHM (stay at home moms) email group. Rosalyn is now on better terms with her sister Veronica but the two are still at it with their sibling rivalry. They propose to hold a contest as to who can have more readership with their posts, while each facing their own personal situations. Dulice finds herself in the position as a working mom while her husband has become a SAHD. Zelia is in the process of adopting two children from Zimbabwe while Brenna is trying her luck with egg donation adoption. Then there's also Jocelyn who's slowly busying herself to death, Paige who has to take over for her pastor husband who's fa…

Book Review: "Cow Crimes and the Mustang Menace" by Sharon Dunn

Father Knows Best? Maybe not.

Ruby Taylor is at it again. In her third book, as she and Wesley are trying to figure out their relationship, Ruby stumbles across a string of robberies targeting her work. This leads to her finding out a town's shady history involving a murder. Amid a missing bull and a county fair involving potato recipes, Ruby tries to find out who is committing all the robberies and how it somehow connect to that story from yesteryear. Her attempts at sleuthing lead to comical and scary situations.

This was such a great book. I like Ruby more and more with each book in the series. I liked her friendship with Starlight and I was glad that Ruby kept trying to point out to Wes that he needed to stop suspecting them just because they were new in town. The whole scentless hairspray made me curious as well as to how it works. I don't want to spoil the ending but the reasons for all the "activities" happening in the area had a sad story behind it. Yo…

Eye of the Oracle by Bryan Davis

It is December1st, 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:

BRYAN DAVIS and his latest book:Eye of the Oracle
Bryan Davis is the author of the four book Dragons in Our Midst series, a contemporary/fantasy blend for young people. The first book, Raising Dragons, was released in July of 2004. The second book, The Candlestone, followed in October. Circles of Seven debuted in April of 2005, followed in November by Tears of a Dragon.

Bryan is the author of several other works including The Image of a Father (AMG) and Spit and Polish for Husbands (AMG), and four books in the Arch Books series: The Story of Jesus' Baptism and Temptation, The Day Jesus Died, The Story of the Empty Tomb (over 100,000 sold), and Jacob's Dream. Bryan lives in Winter Park, Florida with his wife, Susie, and their children. Bryan and Susie have ho…