Showing posts from May, 2007

Book Review: "Blade Silver" by Melody Carlson

Razor Sharp Pain

To say that Ruth doesn't have issues in an understatement. Her family is having problems. Her brother keeps running away from home. Her mother is depressed all the time. Her father is verbally abusive towards everyone in the family. Ruth is tired of putting up with all this, but feels that nothing she does can change it. The only thing that makes her feel better is when she cuts herself. The pain that comes from seeing her blood flow gives her a sense of calmness. But even Ruth knows that this wrong, but she can't seem to stop. She tries to hide it from others but someone wearing long sleeves in summer looks suspicious. It finally takes Ruth's admittance that cutting is an addiction that needs to be stopped for her to realize that she can do something to break the cycle that she's been living in.

This was one of the most difficult and painful teen fiction books I have ever read. It was so real, like I was reading an actual account of a teenage…

The Spirit of Sweetgrass by Nicole Seitz

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingSPIRIT OF SWEETGRASSIntegrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)by Nicole Seitz

NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children.

Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim.

Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them …

Book Review: "Amanda" by Debra White Smith

Emma Retold

Amanda, the fifth book in the Austen series, is a retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. Amanda decides that it is her duty to save her friend Haley from a doomed relationship with Roger and to set her up with someone more suitable. This leads her to introducing Haley to the new pastor in town Pastor Eldridge. Meanwhile Amanda's best friend Nate begins to think more of Amanda than just a friend, but Amanda's too busy with her matchmaking to notice this plus she's also interested in the new guy in town Franklyn. But when the pastor beings to notice Amanda and Haley with Nate, it looks like Amanda's plans need some retouching!

I've always enjoyed Jane Austen's stories and so far have enjoyed Debra White Smith's modern retelling of them especially the Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility remakes. Emma is one of Austen's most well known stories and it ranks as my 3rd favorite. So I was looking forward to reading this book to compare it…

Book Review: "Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels" by Mindy Starns Clark

Wooden Nickel = Be Cautious

Callie Webber has come back to her Chesapeake Bay home to relax after working hard for the J.O.S.H.U.A. foundation. However , she ends up investigating another charity, one that helps out troubled women with clothes and accessories to start a new job. Callie is drawn to one of the young women, Shayna and is eager to get her started with her new career. But then Shayna's boyfriend goes missing. Eddie Ray then ends up dead in the trunk of her car. Not believing the rumors that Shayna is a murderer Callie goes to investigate who it really is. The clues she discovers all lead up to finding out that Eddie Ray might have stumbled onto something that he shouldn't have.

This is another wonderful work from Mindy Starns Clark. Callie continues to be a likable heroine, who shows that she can remain calm and cool in heated situations. I also liked that the detective working with Callie was female as well showing that women can do men's jobs. The suspens…

Movie Review: "The Queen"

I don't know about you but I have always found the British Royal family to be fascinating. In fact British history as a whole is one of my favorite subjects to study. But the British monarchy is a topic I can pour over for days and never be bored. The queen was even in my neck of the wood a few weeks ago, for the Jamestown celebration. My mother actually got to see Queen Elizabeth and even shake Princess Anne's hand when they visited Malaysia in the 70s. That's why my sister got her middle name as Anne after the princess. I also used to have a huge crush on Prince William, now it's switched to Harry. Maybe it's a redhead thing? But that's going off tangent...

The Queen is a terrific character study of one of the most famous people in the world. To the majority of the world, Queen Elizabeth II is a figurehead, the symbol of Great Britain. She's more of a icon, rather than a real person to most of us. In this movie, she is brought to life and we …

Another Book Meme

actually I'm glad Rel tagged me on this one as I haven't finished my review for tonight, LOST season finale was on (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! want season 4 now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

The Rules Are:

Post your responses.
Tag anywhere from 1-5 friends.
Leave comments to let them know they've been tagged.
Come back and leave a comment when your post is up.

Ok, here goes:

Next 5 books on your to be read shelf:

Slightly Single by Wendy Markham
What the Cat Dragged In by Gilbert Morris
As I Loved You by Nikki Arana
Without a Trace by Colleen Coble
Moon Over Tokyo by Siri Mitchell

Last 4 books you've read:

These Boots Weren't Made for Walking by Melody Carlson
Memories by Peggy Darty
The Buck Stops Here by Mindy Starns Clark
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling

Last 3 books you've borrowed (library or friend):

The Journey of Eleven Moons by Bonnie Leon
A Case of Bad Taste by Lori Copeland
The Miracle by Gilbert Morris

Last 2 non-fiction books you'…

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing

(The Occupational Hazards)
(WaterBrook Press May 15, 2007)
Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1:Scoop (WaterBrook Press). She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in colle…

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing

Defiant Heart(Avon Inspire May 8, 2007)

Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer'simagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.

In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book.

Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off.

She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres. Tracey Bateman believes completely that …

Book Review: "The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling" by Neta Jackson

Keep On Rollin, Baby

Jodi and Co. are back again in the 6th book in the series. This time the gals are facing what happens when those you love become old and die, HIV scares, kids in jail, teenage heartbreak, devastating fires, surprise engagements, and rollerskating boycotts. Everyone, from their kids to the women themselves, seems to do a bit of growing up in this book from the experiences they face. Once again laughter and tears will accompany the latest edition in this series where the women will make you feel as if you are part of their group.

Each Yada Yada Prayer Group book just gets better and better. I think that this one, the 6th book in the series, is now my personal favorite. For once, I did not find a single character annoying or any situation to be too outrageous. The women once again face real, true to life issues that affect many women today. I felt the HIV crisis was handled really well and I hope that nothing more devastating will come from it. I also really lik…

Christian Fiction Challenge- May ( Law enforcement/Military/Mom-lit)

Title: The Buck Stops HereAuthor: Mindy Starns ClarkCopyright: 2004How long was the book languishing in your TBR pile? About 3 months
What made you buy/borrow the book in the first place? It's the last book in the Million Dollar Mystery Series and I had read all the others. What were your thoughts on the story? Excellent book, great way to end the series. I wish there was more. I also wish I could give more details but I will when I write out my full review for the book, so look for it in a month or so :) Let's just say I learned tons about government jobs and what the NSA really does. Something interesting I did notice about the cover of the book, I read the large print version because the regular edition was checked out. My copy had the Sacajawea dollar coin on the front while the regular version has the older Susan B. Anthony dollar on it. Just a casual observance.
Now do you wish you read the book sooner? Definitely, I wish I had discovered Mindy Starns Clark when her boo…

Movie Review: "Night at the Museum"

I have always loved museums growing up. I loved visiting art museums and the children's museum. My absolute favorite museum is the Smithsonian Institution especially the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum. When I visited them in middle school on a field trip, I never felt like I could see everything because of the time restraint. Even when going back this past February I still felt like I hadn't seen everything yet. This is probably why I really want to get a job in a museum now. I really enjoy learning about things while having fun at the same time. Museums are interactive and not boring anymore. You no longer have to be quiet, you can touch exhibits and even take pictures inside.

So when I saw the trailer for Night at the Museum, I was anxiously waiting for its release. First off any movie with Ben Stiller is bound to be funny (Zoolander, Meet the Parents, Dodgeball). Second I loved the idea of a museum coming to life at night. That would be inc…

Book Review: "The Dream" by Gilbert Morris

This is definitely a Gilbert Morris book!

Not quite grown up Lanie Freeman is still taking care of her siblings while her father sits his sentence in jail. Along to help her is feisty over ninety Aunt Keiza who's lived so long she knows everything. Lanie's siblings are starting to grow up and she's put to the test of trying to keep them in stride. Cody becomes a zealous Christian while Maeva keeps testing Lanie's limit by being a teenager. Meanwhile Louise Langley is jealous of Lanie while her brother is taking an interest in her. The town doctor seems to be vying for her attention as well even though he's engaged to Louse. A pregnant girl is taken in by the family because she has no where else to go. Then to top it off there's a new preacher in town, one who wears jeans and rides a motorcycle. Fairhope is shaken up with his arrival, changing the lives of everyone who lives in the town.

Since I'm an avid Gilbert Morris reader, I picked up this book. I…

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing
(Revell March 1, 2007)
Ann Gabhart


Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.

ABOUT THE BOOK:Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.

Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move he…

Book Review: "Miss Match" by Erynn Mangum

Best Chick Lit Book of the Year

Lauren Holbrook has an uncanny knack for finding the perfect match for others. After all it was her that found the perfect guy for her sister. As a photographer working for her best guy friend Brandon, Lauren is now on the hunt to match her coworker Ruby with her singles pastor. Meanwhile the new (blond) secretary seems to have caught have caught Brandon's eye, while Ruby's brother Ryan seems to be interested in Lauren. Since she has sworn off marriage, this presents an interesting problem. Throw in a hypochondriac overprotective father, chocolate and coffee galore, uncooked Mexican food and numerous Pride and Prejudice quotes and you'll be having a blast as Lauren tries to successfully (and unsuccessfully) find the perfect mate for everyone except her own self.

Well, it's happened. I have found a new favorite chick lit author. This is one of the best chick lit books I have ever read. And what makes this book even more amazing is th…

Book Review: "Death of a Garage Sale Newbie" by Sharon Dunn

Shopping for a Murder

Ginger, Kindra, Suzanne, and Mary Margaret all love garage sales. To them, there's nothing more satisfying in life than finding a really good bargain. Clearance racks and midnight sales are their best friends. When one of the group doesn't show up at her own house for a meeting and turns up dead, the other three turn their bargain hunting skills into crime solving ones. Their detective work introduces them to new friends and very suspicious characters. Combing for clues becomes as easy as searching for cheap prices. The Bargain Hunters Network soon uncovers past secrets that want to stay hidden by those that will kill to stop them.

I love going to garage sales. Those are some of the best places to get really good deals on clothes, old records and best of all, books! I also like shopping for a good bargain. So I immediately connected with the characters in this book with their bargain hunting masterminding. I loved Sharon's Ruby Taylor mysteries…

Tribulation House by Chris Well

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! An extra special post is coming out today, May 11th, for an extra special author. The man who started to ball rolling for FIRST, Chris Well, has a new book out and we have decided to give him an extra plug.

So, give all your attention to:

Chris Welland his book:TRIBULATION HOUSE (Harvest House 2007) ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Well is founder of FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.


I might as well just tell you right now, I killed Reverend Daniel Glory. Back there at the church, in his study.

But this is my story. Don't let anyone tell you different. My dad always sa…

Book Review: "Kissing Adrien" by Siri Mitchell

An American Girl in Paris

Claire is an accountant who lives a life that is straightforward and without surprises. Then one day she is whisked away to Paris to set things straight about an inheritance given to her French born father. While she is there she is reunited with Adrien, her former crush, and soon is introduced into a world where the unexpected happens everyday. Claire soon learns to live her life to the fullest and enjoy her surroundings. And what would a story in Paris be without romance? As Adrien teaches Claire about this new life, she soon finds herself wishing he would take part in in it too.

I'm a huge chick lit fan and I've really enjoyed Siri Mitchell's books so I was very excited to pick up Kissing Adrien. The premise sounded really good and I love reading stories that take place in Europe. Paris is a city I really want to visit one day. What could be more chick lit than an American girl finding love in Paris? Well, unfortunately this book didn…

Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallce

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

(Multnomah April 16, 2007)
Amy Wallace
Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid Blogger. A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers, God Allows U-Turns for Teens, Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters.

ABOUT THE BOOK:Drama.Tragedy.Thriller.Romance. Can these four actually go together? Amy Wallace's meaty first book of the Defenders of Hope Series, RANSOMED DREAMS, has successfully united these genres.It is one of those books that after you read a little and put it down, the desire to see what will happen next is so strong that it will occupy your thoug…

Book Review: "Hot Flashes and Cold Cream" by Diann Hunt

The Joys of Growing Older

Maggie is feeling old. Her kids are out of the house, she's getting hot flashes, and her husband seems to be looking at younger women. Her best friend also seems to be more concern with dating than hanging around Maggie. Maggie is all ready to accept the fate of a mid life crisis when she meets a young woman at a coffee house who seems to need a "motherly" type figure in her life. With true to life descriptions and humor that will make the reader giggle and groan, this grown up chick lit novel is perfect for those who can't wait to get older and those who wish they could stop.

So I'm not a baby boomer. In fact I'm pretty much the same age as the kids of the main characters in this book. You'd think I wouldn't enjoy it because of the generation gap. WRONG. I totally enjoyed this fun and humorous book that women of all ages will enjoy. What I found most interesting about the book was how insecure most women, even Christ…

Book Review: "Love Me If You Must" by Nicole Young

I see Dead People in My Basement

Tish Amble has moved to the small town of Rawlings with the intent of renovating an old Victorian house. Her plans are thwarted though when she sees a dead body buried in a cistern in her basement. However to her disbelief, no one believes her and worse no one will help her try to get started in the renovations. A cast of supporting characters help to fill out the story including the cute British neighbor who's getting over a divorce from his high profile wife and the cute cop who seems to be everywhere Tish is. With a past that keeps haunting her, Tish is determined to find out why there is a body in her home, why other dead bodies keep popping up, who is behind all this, and how to let go of her past.

I thought this was an excellent debut for Nicole Young. This book got me hooked from the very beginning. Tish was such a complex character, yet because the book is written in first person the reader sympathizes with her. She's a very headst…

I got tagged!

I don't ever get tagged so since Rel decided to tag me with a meme, I thought what the heck, I'll do it.

Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
8 random facts/habits about me ...

1. I am absolutely terrified of Ronald McDonald. I don't have a fear about other clowns but Ronald scares me to death. I had a dream when I was five that the whole world had turned into Ronald McDonalds and it was only me and my sister that was safe. We were running and hid behind a car and then I remember turning to talk to her and she had red hair. To this day, if I see a Ronald McDonald, I quickly walk away. The irony of this is my boyfriend has red hair....

2. I am a HUGE Star Wars f…

Movie Review: "Moe and the Big Exit"

I am a HUGE Veggie Tales fan. I have seen all but 2 of the Veggie Tales DVDs numerous times. I mean what's not to like about the show? Talking vegetables absolutely rock. What I love about the show is that while it's aimed at kids, there's so much stuff that is there for adults as well. They're like the Pixar movies with bits of trivia and jokes thrown in that will go right over the kids heads. The writing is sharp and funny and while the messages are righteously religious they are never too preachy.

All the veggie characters are great too. Larry is my favorite, he's just so darn cute. Him and Bob make the best stand up duo. I love the French peas too ("You silly little pickle!"). I personally enjoy the later editions in the series as opposed to the earlier ones. For one, the writing is more top notch as is the animation. And I'm sorry but I'm not really a Junior Asparagus fan. He comes off being whiny to me. The newer ones are more La…

Book Review: "Norah's Ark" by Judy Baer

Chick lit for pet lovers

Norah loves pets. Pets love Norah. So it's no surprise she owns a pet store. Pets come before men which mean that Norah doesn't have a boyfriend. That's about to change when the new police officer (who happens to ride a horse) comes to town and Norah catches his eye. It seems also that the guy her best friend is in love with instead wants Norah, and then her best guy friend keeps hinting that he wants more than friendship. But Nick is the guy Norah wants and she thinks that it will be the perfect match except for one small problem. Nick hates dogs, especially Norah's dog. He gives her an ultimatum: dog or him. Norah's choice will have a profound impact on the rest of her life.

I'm a pet lover so of course I enjoyed this book. Reading about a woman who loves pets so much and therefore owns a pet shop would be like me owning a book store. I like the town with their street of shops. It sounds like it'd be a really nice place to …

Tribulation House by Chris Well

This week
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Harvest House 2007)
by Chris Well

Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.

Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.

When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in …

The Heir by Paul Robertson

It is May 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 his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature is:
Paul Robertsonand his book:THE HEIR
(Bethany House March 1, 2007)

Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and former independent bookstore owner in Blacksburg, Virginia. This is his first novel.


I couldn't take my eyes off the casket. It was expensive, and it glowed, resting among the candles and the heaps of flowers. It so perfectly expressed the man inside.

The dignitaries droned, and I didn't hear them. We knew it all. We knew what he had done with his life. If a man knows his purpose, then everyone else will know it, too.

They'd been told what to say and to keep it short, and they obeyed. They'd all gotten where they were by doing what they were told.