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Showing posts from August, 2007

Movie Review: "Wild Hogs"

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I knew I wanted to see this movie after seeing the trailer. It made me laugh really hard, there are top quality actors in this movie and the plot did not look stupid. I mean you can't really beat that can you?

This movie made me nearly die from laughing. There are so many laugh out loud moments that I can't even name them all. William H. Macy's character is just a trip. You know this right from the beginning when the foursome are riding along in the neighborhood and he hits his head on the For Sale sign. Then his scene with the computer in the coffeehouse. And pretty much everything he does during the road trip. I"m a huge Tim Allen fan so of course everything he does is hilarious. The swimming in the lake scene is down right funny (until the police guy showed up...ugh). I loved the Extreme Home Makeover bit at the end. I really really cracked up during that part. Oh you did realize that was Peter Fonda at the end and he was referring to Easy Rider right?

At f…

This Week's Book Giveaway

Congrats to Alexia for winning the Melody Carlson two book set!

I'll be having LOTS of giveaways in September including a two month contest starting tomorrow. So be sure to stop by again!!!

Book Review: "Sisterhood of the Queen Mamas" by Annie Jones

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Break out the tiaras

Odessa and Maxine are best friends, pastor's wives and flea market fiends. Between the two of them are years of experience and wisdom. Which is why they feel that they are called to help out other women they see in need. From helping Bernadette find a boyfriend to Chloe's complete makeover to finding out what's really going on with seeming perfect Jan, the duo do their best to keep a lookout for others.

I liked the premise of the story. I love shopping for bargains so it was fun to read about having a booth in a flea market. The characters are really zany and very colorful. You can tell that they enjoy life and want to help others to see life as they do. I liked Bernadette and the quest to get a boyfriend for her. And I so wanted to smack Odessa's husband throughout most of the book for having to make her suffer. I felt really sad that she felt that way as a pastor's wife. I'm sure that there are many of them out of there who feel the e…

The Dead Whisper On by T.L. Hines

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE DEAD WHISPER ON

(Bethany House July 1, 2007)


by

T. L. Hines
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tony is the author of the acclaimed Waking Lazarus. He has been an advertising agency owner/principal, a trade amgazine editor, and now a novelist.

He has been a professional writer for more than 15 years with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Conservative Theological Journal, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency.

His long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, working the graveyard shift at a convenience store, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms.

As a teen he was undefeated in air guitar competitions in which he performed songs by ZZ Top.

He lives in Montana with his wife and daughter,


ABOUT THE BOOK:Would You Run Into A Burning Building?

Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life.

Once a proud Butte, …

Book Review: "To Love Anew" by Bonnie Leon

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Do you come from a land down under?

Hannah has been sent to Australia as a convict. She's been accused of stealing and has also been raped by her former employee. John has lost everything because of a bar fight that makes him lose his wife and fortune to his cousin. The two have plenty of reasons to turn their back on God as they are transported to a world far away from the life they are accustomed to. Treated like dirt and forced to live in the most despicable positions, Hannah and John must learn to find faith again and learn to trust each other in this new world.

I thought this was Bonnie Leon's best book to date. The characters were dimensional, the writing in depth, and the historical information very well researched. This book reminded me of Patricia Hickman's Land of the Far Horizon series also set in the early stages of Australia's history. I really like reading historical novels set during this time period. I really felt bad for Hannah. It seemed at firs…

Book Review: "Breaking Free" by Lauraine Snelling

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Horse Therapy

Maggie is serving ten years in prison for an accident that killed her son. She soon finds solace in the horse program that allows the inmates to take care of horses that can no longer race. She finds a special kinship to Breaking Free, a spirited horse that is full of anger. Maggie soon learns to tame the horse, to the point where she can ride him. Meanwhile Gil is a single father, whose son Eddie has spina bifida and whose mother abandoned him in favor of drugs. Eddie is confined to his wheelchair and Gil wants to do whatever he can for him. They go see the horses from the prison and ends up buying Breaking Free. Maggie goes along with them to help continue the training. The two are thrown together and must learn to trust again in this new relationship.

I'm not really a horse person, but I did enjoy reading this story. I like stories when a troubled person and an equally troubled animal find each other and connect. Maggie and Breaking Free's relationship…

August - YA Book

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ok this book isn't Christian fiction (at all), but it was the only YA book I had in my pile at the time since I had already reviewed all my Melody Carlson books.

1. Title: Sealed With a Diss

2. Author: Lisi Harrison

3. Copyright: 2007

4. How long was the book languishing in your TBR pile? I got it about 2 weeks ago from the library.

5. What made you buy/borrow the book in the first place? I've read all other Clique books. My sister reads them too, I get them first from the library and then she passes it along to me. Yes I know I am 10 years older than these girls but the story is so downright unbelievable that it's addictive. I also read the Gossip Girl and It Girl series, but the Clique is by far the tamest out of the three.

6. What were your thoughts on the story? Once again completely unbelievable. First off the constant mentioning of brand names was disgusting. I mean what 13 year old wears all this sort of stuff every day? Does the author get paid for mentioning them? And …

Book Review: "One Little Secret" by Allison Bottke

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So you want to be a pop star?

Ursula Rhodes, last seen in A Stitch in Time, is a regular housewife and mother who's taken the summer off to relax and perhaps even take some opera lessons. Her plans are ruined though when her husband is called away for business and seems to busy to talk to her about his plans. Meanwhile pop star Nik Prevel is looking for a singer who can make an album with him and boost his career. When he hears Ursala's singing at a party, he knows that she's the one. Suddenly the housewife becomes a singing sensation that everyone wants to hear. Mom - lit meets American Idol.

This was a really fun book to read. I enjoyed learning about what goes on in the music industry. Who hasn't had the dream of winning a Grammy? Even if you sing horribly, you always wish that you could be up there singing a duet with your favorite star and then getting rewarded for it. I liked how even though I know that there are negative influences in the music world, this story w…

Book Review: Playing with Fire" by Melody Carlson and BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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As part of the Melody month blog tour I'm giving away a brand new two book set of today's book and Notes from a Spinning Planet -Mexico! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Thursday, August 30. Good luck!

Where There's Smoke

Samantha McGregor's brother, Zach, has come home after being in drug rehab. She thinks that everything will be alright now and her family can begin to live a normal life again. However she starts to see signs that Zach is backtracking and not following steps to a full recovery. Plus there are rumors of drug uses running rampant in her high school and Ebony, her police contact, wants her help to try to find where the teens are getting their meth supply from. Sam even gets accused by the police of being a drug user. Then she has a vision of a burning cabin and her brother being dead as a consequence of his actions. She doesn't want to involve the police because…

The Void by Mark Mynheir

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE VOID
(Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007)
by
Mark Mynheir

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark Mynheir is a cop writer. He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One) and From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two).

During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective. Mark and his wife, Lori, live with their three children in central Florida.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Truth Chasers Book Three

Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind.

So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. …

Book Review: "Notes from a Spinning Planet - Mexico" by Melody Carlson

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Fun in the Sun

Maddie is going on yet another trip with her Aunt Sid. Except this time its for fun and relaxation in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Maddie is prepared for beaches, sun, and tropical drinks and is even more excited when Ryan is due to show up. However, the vacation is not all that's cracked up to be. First the timeshare location is rundown and not managed well. Then Ryan's ex girlfriend shows up making Maddie feel like a plain Jane third wheel. But Shelby has a secret that puts the pretty face facade to shame. Maddie has to fight feelings of jealousy in order to help her do the right thing.

I think that this was my favorite book out of the series. With this story, Maddie was able to enjoy herself and seek out social justice at the same time. The whole situation with Francesca's sisters and the orphanage sounded really sketchy. I wonder how many similar situations take place and it makes me worry that people will not use money correctly. I was really …

Book Review: "Beyond Reach" by Melody Carlson

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Don't Stand So Close to Me

Samantha MacGregor feels drained from the visions she's been getting from God and prays for a break. But then Ebony, her police contact, tells her about a cold case where a suicide looks to be more suspicious that what was investigated. Samantha can't figure out how she can help out with this case until she gets a vision of a guy jumping off a bridge. The problem is that every guy she meets seems to fit that description. She begins to look into reasons of why someone would contemplate suicide and realizes that the answers may be closer than she thinks.

This is another superior novel from Melody Carlson. The book starts off with an action packed scene in a airplane involving terrorists and it doesn't stop there. Suicide is a topic that no one likes to talk about but that teens face everyday. The topic of the violence in video games was very much appreciated. I cannot understand how parents knowingly allow their kids to get games with so much …

Movie Review: "The Last Sin Eater"

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I read The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers ages ago. I enjoyed it when I originally read it but I remember that I had difficulty understanding it first. I had never heard of a Sin Eater before so I was confused plus the accents of the characters is written into their speech so I had trouble reading with the flow. But I do remember I really enjoyed reading the book as Francine Rivers is one of my all time favorite authors.

So when I heard this book was becoming a movie I was excited. Although I would have been more excited if her Mark of the Lion series came out but I suppose that might be too risque for Christian viewers. I enjoyed watching the movie. I'm always afraid of adaptations because they either leave huge chunks out or change the story completely. I never understand why the plot gets changed, if you are trying to lure in readers of the book to watch the movie, you will only anger them.

Since it's been a while since I read the book, I didn't really notice any…

Book Review: "Notes from a Spinning Planet - Papua New Guinea" by Melody Carlson

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Definitely Not Paradise

Maddie is off again on another global adventure with her Aunt Sid. After hitting the green hills of Ireland, they're traveling to the other side of the world to Papua New Guinea. Sid wants to write an article about how the country is unsafe for Americans and also plans to research the AIDS epidemic that is a major crisis for the country. While there, Maddie meets Lydia, who has been adopted by missionaries. It is through her that Maddie learns really what it is like to live in a country that really needs to hear about God's word.

Ok honest time here again: I didn't know anything about Papau New Guinea other than where it was located. My boyfriend's brother lived there this year for 3 months for his job but other than that I have never paid any attention to this country. However after reading this book I learned so much about the AIDS crisis. I had no idea that this was such a huge problem in Papau New Guinea. My heart goes out to those affect…

This Week's Book Giveaway

Congrats to Nora for winning a copy of And If I Die by John Aubrey Anderson.

I'll be having another book giveaway next week. Be sure to come back to enter!

Book Review: "Off the Record" by Elizabeth White

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This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing
OFF THE RECORD(Zondervan August 15, 2007)
by Elizabeth White
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Beth White is the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.

In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.

Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past.

Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes lig…

Book Review: "Bad Connection" by Melody Carlson

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God is there, there's no denying, It's supernatural

Samantha McGregor is your normal, average, everyday teen girl. Except for one thing: she gets visions from God. She uses her unique spiritual gift to help out others in need. In this book, Samantha sees visions of one of her classmates who has been missing for several weeks. Everyone seems to think that Kayla has just run away from home, but Samantha sees her being tied up and in danger. She turns to the police for help to save her friend. But what if this is just her imagination working overtime?

First things first. This is not a Christian version of "Medium." Yes Samantha can see supernatural visions of the present and glimpses of the future. But she is very quick to defend that this is as a spiritual gift from God. I really enjoyed this book. It's a unique type of teen fiction and Melody Carlson handles it superbly. The storyline was excellent. I didn't know what was going to happen and was really aw…

Book Review: "Notes from a Spinning Planet - Ireland"

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Erin go Bragh

Nineteen year old Maddie is traveling to Ireland with her Aunt Sid and Ryan, her aunt's godson. Her aunt is researching the peace camps affected by the Irish conflict with the Protestants and the Catholics. Meanwhile Maddie and Ryan explore the Irish countryside and discover the beautiful country while learning about the people and the culture. While there Ryan discovers his Irish roots and the story about his father and mother. Maddie and him then discover the truth about the IRA bomb that killed his father and what really happened to the man Sid loved.

I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I really want to see the green hills and listen to bagpipes and see the sheep. In fact I've already made plans to go to Ireland for my honeymoon one day. Heh. Reading this book was like taking the trip from my armchair. I learned lots about the culture and the people from reading. Little tidbits like stores not having bottled water or biking tours made the book more au…

Movie Review: "Thr3e"

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I'm going to admit this. I have never read a Ted Dekker book before. Well I take that back. I read House, his collaboration with Frank Peretti and I really enjoyed it. But I've never actually sat down with a Ted Dekker book. I really don't have an excuse either. But after seeing this movie, I think I might have to make up for lost time.

I usually end up avoiding Christian produced movies because the actors aren't very good, the special effects are really cheap looking, and the message comes off too preachy. It just doesn't come across as very appealing to me especially after watching the big blockbusters.

This movie however, I really enjoyed watching. The acting was really good. The actors aren't household names although you might recognize Marc Blucas from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The special effects rival those in blockbusters. And the storyline was excellent. Like I said, I haven't read the book so I don't know how much was changed or left off b…

Book Review: "She Who Watches" by Patricia Rushford and Harrison James

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Mac is Back

Sara Watson has disappeared from her home. Because she is the niece of the state senator, this attracts more media attention and makes the case more high profile. Detectives Mac McAllister and Dana Bennett are called in to help the FBI with the investigation. When her body is found near an Indian reservation questions begin to rise about who the killer is and the connections it might have to her senator uncle. The final entry in the MacAllister does not disappoint.

This was an excellent suspense novel. It was like watching a TV show, CSI comes to mind. The detective work is serious not cheesy with the police actually being competent and not bumbling characters. Mac and Dana make a good team and the secondary characters add more dimension to the story as well. The forensics team in this series is awesome. I've learned quite a bit from reading the descriptions of what the medical examiners discover. I will admit there are some grisly images but it keeps in with realit…

And If I Die by John Aubrey Anderson and BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Wednesday, August 15. Good luck!




This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
AND IF I DIE
(Faithwords August 2007)


by

John Aubrey Anderson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John grew up in Mississippi cotton country. After graduating from Mississippi State, he received an Air Force commission and has recently retired after flying twenty-eight years for a major airline. He lives in Texas with his wife, Nan.




ABOUT THE BOOK:AND IF I DIE is the third book in the Black and White Chronicles. The first was Abiding Darkness (August, 2006), the second was Wedgewood Grey (February, 2007).

In 1945, a spirit voice told Mr. A. J. Mason to “Be ready.”

In 1960, the spirit drew near and said the same words to the same man. “Be ready.”

On both occasions Mason ended up in bloody battles with the forces of evil. On both occasions, he sav…

Book Review: "Bitter Rose" by Melody Carlson

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Family Feud

Maggie's family is going through a very rough time. Her parents have separated and on the verge of getting a divorce. Their bitterness spreads to Maggie who wants her parents to get back together and realize that they can work things out. But this won't happen because Maggie blames her mom for her dad leaving. Feeling as though her family has failed her, she turns to her aunt with whom she can share her true feelings with. However when the truth about her parents' split comes out and a tragedy strikes the family, Maggie has to learn whether she really wants this bitterness to take control of her life.

Once again, Melody Carlson focuses on another subject that is touchy among the Christian church. Divorce is not something a lot of people like to talk about. Therefore teens who are in families that have divorce often have no one to talk to and go through their suffering alone. Maggie's pain is understandable. No one wants to see their family split up. Y…

Book Review: "Sophie's Dilemma" by Lauraine Snelling

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Impulsive Choices

Lauraine Snelling takes us back again to Blessing, North Dakota. This time she tells us the story of Sophie Knutson, daughter of Kaaren and Lars and twin sister of Grace. When HamreBjorkland returns, Sophie finds her childhood crush has grown to love. Against her father's wishes, she convinces Hamre to elope and they move to Seattle. However married life is not all that Sophie thought it would be and she soon finds that her honeymoon is not paradise. Unfortunately disaster strikes and Sophie must return back to Blessing, alone and now pregnant.

I really love the Bjorklund family. I've been reading the series for several years now and it's really cool to see the younger generation growing up. It seemed like yesterday that Ellie, Sophie, Grace and Astrid were all babies, now they're all grown women. Sophie is very headstrong compared with her twin. She is very young when she runs off with Hamre and learns from her mistake almost at once. I feel s…

Movie Review: Half Nelson"

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Every year I make a goal to watch all the major nominated Academy Award movies. Usually I end up watching only half of them because someone end up being too much on the R-rated side for me to stand. I don't usually watch rated R movies because I don't like watching gore, sex, language or heavy violence in my entertainment. The Oscars are usually my exception because they're supposed to be the best movies of the year.

Ryan Gosling plays Dan Dunn, an inner city junior high history teacher. He's not your average teacher as he doesn't base his teachings on the curriculum, as is able to draw his students to learn more. However he has a secret he's been hiding, he is also a drug addict. When one of his students discovers this secret, they form a bond that will either damage or strengthen their relationship.

Ryan Gosling was gosh darned good in this role. He totally deserved the Best Actor nomination he received. To me he'd always been the blond hot guy from B…

Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

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This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducing
RETURN TO MEbyRobin Lee Hatcher

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Robin is the author of over fifty novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal.

Winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robin, who is also one of our CFBA members, lives in Boise, Idaho.Here is my review from back in June
Who says you can't go home again?

Who says you can't go home again?

Roxy wanted to make it big in the country music scene. She left her home and family on bad terms to become a music superstar, immersing herself in that lifestyle and falling away from the values she had been taught at home. Meanwhile back at home her older sister Elena has learned to come out of her sister's shadow and make a name for herself. She's finally at the place she's wanted to be, head of the family company and about …

Bad Idea - Todd & Jedd Hafer

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It is AUGUST 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 author(s) are:



TODD AND JEDD HAFER

and their book:

BAD IDEA a novel (with coyotes)(NavPress TH1NK Books, August 22, 2006) ABOUT THE AUTHOR(s):


Todd and Jedd Hafer previously teamed up to write Snickers from the Front Pew: Confessions of Two Preacher's Kids, which has now sold more than fifty thousand units.

Todd is editorial director for the inspirational book division at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jedd is director at The Children's Ark in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a home for troubled teens, and travels the country as a standup comedian.

Visit them at their website.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chapter 1

“We should totally drive!” Rhonda said, wagging a limp french fry for emphasis.

I clenched my teeth. I hate it when adults try to talk like teenagers. Rhonda…