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Showing posts from November, 2010

Book Review: "Naomi and Her Daughters" by Walter Wangerin Jr.

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Melding biblical accuracy with imaginative detail, Wangerin explores themes of love, faith, grief, and community. While the widow Naomi mourns the deaths of her two adult sons and the shocking murder of a beloved adopted daughter, she ponders the plight of her Moabite daughters-in-law---and makes a decision that will change the course of history.

I adore Biblical Fiction stories. I know that there are a lot of people that don't like them but I personally do. This is because, while yes I do believe the Bible is true, I also see it as a partial history book. There is only part of the story that is told in the Bible. Obviously there is more that took place than what is recorded but since we don't have that on record, we can only speculate on what happened.

The story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. If you went to Sunday School you know their story. If you've been to a wedding, you might have heard Ruth's vow to Naomi of &q…

Book Review: "Faithful" by Kim Cash Tate

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Cydney Sanders thought she knew God's plan for her life. She'd marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing Tae Bo. But she's celebrating her fortieth birthday as the maid of honor at her little sister's wedding...and still single. Now her life is suddenly complicated by the best man. He's the opposite of what she wants in a husband...and yet, he keeps defying her expectations. Starting with a lavender rose--symbolizing enchantment--each rose he sends her reflects his growing love for her.

Cydney's best friend Dana appears to have the perfect marriage--until she discovers her husband's affair and her world goes into a tailspin. Then there is Phyllis--who is out of hope and out of prayers after asking God for six long years to help her husband find faith. When she runs into an old friend who is the Christian man she longs for, she's faced with an overwhelming choice.

Life-long friends with life-altering struggles. Will they trust God&#…

Book Review: "The Snowflake" by Jamie Carie

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In the wilds of the Alaskan gold rush, 1897, Ellen Pierce discovers a man she didn't know existed and a renewed dependence on God in a place called loneliness. She'd lost everything-family, her closeness with God, her heart - until the crystal blue eyes of a leader of men stepped up and asked her one question. Will she join the trek to Dawson or stay the winter on an ice-locked steamship full of strangers? Buck Lewis is folk lore in the flesh, but his heart has been rendered asunder. In the land of snowflakes two roads converge. Will he choose the road less traveled?

Jamie Carie is always good with combining romance and passion into her stories that make them well written and believable. I have enjoyed her previous books that take historical fiction and put a good love story in them. This book is another wonderful addition to the rest of her works. The focus in this book is on Ellen and Buck, two souls who are joined together by the Alaskan frontier. The romance, w…

Book Review: "Facelift" by Leanna Ellis

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Single mom Kaye Redmond is a can-do woman who runs her own business. But her ready smile hides a reservoir of pain. When her ex-mother-in-law, who broke up her marriage, begs to stay with her after a botched face-lift, Kaye relents---and discovers that true healing goes deeper than tacking on a happy face.

You don't read a lot about plastic surgery in Christian Fiction. I guess unless it's absolutely necessary, it appears to be a taboo subject or either it happens to someone who doesn't have a lot of faith. In this book, while having the procedure done is a central part of the story, it is both the person who does gets the work done AND a person who didn't who both become affected by this act.

To be honest, I got annoyed A LOT at Kaye during this book. I can understand that there may have been a part of her that still loved her ex husband and was hoping that he would come back. However there were some scenes that had me wanting to scream at her. I could not und…

The Lightkeeper's Bride by Collen Coble

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This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThe Lightkeeper's BrideThomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)byColleen Coble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A thrilling romantic mystery set in t…

Book Review: "Hatteras Girl" by Alice Wisler

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There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag. When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

I grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia,which includes Virginia Beach. The Outer Ban…

Book Review: "City of Tranquil Light" by Bo Caldwell

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Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?

I absolutely adored reading this book. When I first started reading this book, I could have sworn it was a non fiction memoir. It was hard to believe that it was a fictional account. It is inspired on the lives of the author's grandparents but it's written so convincingly that I could have sworn I was reading the actual acc…

My Library Reads No. 1

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Twitter is the be all and end all when it comes to finding inspiration. Today I mentioned on Twitter that I read more YA than most people think. While I do review some YA books on my blog, I normally don't get a lot to review. However I am a YA fiend and I constantly am borrowing them from the library. But since I don't review library books, no one ever knows that I read them. I think over the course of the year I've probably read at least 150 YA books. That's just a guesstimate, I'll do a year end post later with final stats and findings.

Anyways as I was saying, I posted this on Twitter and then Amy from My Friend Amy came up with the brilliant idea that I should do posts to highlight my library reads since I don't review them. This was mainly due to the fact that until I actually told her this, she had no idea that I had read some of the Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. While I write up all the titles on my 2010 reads, I realize that not every…

Book Review: "Nightingale" by Susan May Warren

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Esther Lange doesn’t love her fiancé—she’s trapped in an engagement after a mistaken night of passion. Still, she grieves him when he’s lost in battle, the letters sent to her by the medic at his side giving her a strange comfort, so much that she strikes up a correspondence with Peter Hess, an Iowa farmboy. Or is he? Peter Hess is not who he seems. Indeed, he’s hiding a secret, something that could cost them both their lives, especially when the past comes back to life. A bittersweet love song of the home front war between duty and the heart...a battle where only one will survive.

While reading this book, the first thought that came to my mind was that it reminded me of the book Summer of My German Soldier. As far as I can remember this is one of the other few books that dealt with the subject of German POWs working in the fields of the US. Therefore I found it very interesting and wanted to learn more about the subject. Esther and Peter's story is bittersweet. Both of them h…

Book Review: "The Silent Order" by Melanie Dobson

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When his partner is murdered, 1920s detective Rollin Wells goes into hiding. Taking refuge in an Amish home in Sugarcreek, Ohio, he works to discover who in the police force is collaborating with Cleveland's notorious mob. But when he befriends a young Amish mother named Katie, will he unearth an even more shocking secret?

This is not your average Amish book. In fact, I really don't consider this an Amish book at all. Yes one of the main characters is Amish and lives in an Amish community. However the main focus of the book is on the 1920s Italian American gangster crime families so prevalent during this era. It's an absolutely different look at the Amish culture than most other books are focusing on and it was greatly appreciated by this reader.

The story focuses on Rollin Wells who is a detective that finds himself among the Amish at Sugar Creek in Ohio. He soon finds out that there is a connection between the family he is staying with and the Cardano family, …

Book Review: "The Double Cross" by Clare O'Donahue

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Nell Fitzgerald and the Someday Quilts ladies are asked to lead a quilting workshop at a new bed and breakfast in upstate New York. However, the retreat quickly takes an unexpected dark turn. When a body is found in the woods, and one of their own is the chief suspect, the ladies must rely on their craftiest thinking as they embark on their most personal case yet.

With smart, sassy Nell leading the charge to clear her friend's name and find the real murderer, The Double Cross is sure to confirm Clare O'Donohue as a master of the mystery genre.

This was probably my favorite book of the entire series. This story takes the characters away from Archers Rest and to a quilting retreat workshop. I personally like it when characters are pulled away from their norm and set in a brand new environment. It gives the reader the chance to see if they will act the same or if a brand new personality will appear. I loved seeing the women interact with the new characters introduced. From old …

Book Review: "Christmas at Harrington's" by Melody Carlson

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Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?

What's one of the ways I know that the holiday season is soon upon us? By reading a Christmas novella from Melody Carlson. For the last few years, she's written a new Christmas read each year to help readers get into the holiday spirit. They've all been different but all achieve the same goal: bringing a little Christmas cheer and letting the reader know what is the true spirit of Christmas.

This was a sweet Christmas story. I thought it was a nice spin to focus on people who play Mrs. Claus as opposed to reading about Santas all the time. Reading about former FEMALE…

Book Review: "A Drunkard's Path" by Clare O'Donahue

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In the sleepy town of Archers Rest, Nell Fitzgerald is finishing her first quilt and preparing for her first date- with Police Chief Jesse Dewalt. When Jesse stands her up, it turns out he has a good reason-the body of a murdered young woman has been discovered near the Hudson River.

Meanwhile the members of Nell's quilting circle encourage her to take drawing classes with the famous artist Oliver White. When Nell's professor meets her grandmother Eleanor, owner of the Someday Quilts shop, he seems instantly smitten. But once another woman's body is found outside her grandmother's home under a blanket of snow, Nell begins to patch together clues and follow a path of evidence that suggests her professor may also have a degree in the art of murder.

After reading the first book in the series, I was ready to return to Archers Rest and hang out with Nell and the rest of the Someday Quilts gang. I really had enjoyed my first adventure with them and I was looking…

Book Review: "Blood of the Prodigal" by P.L. Gaus

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In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English," who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones."

This is the first Amish book that I have read that is not faith based, meaning it's not from a Christian publisher. Therefore the story is a lot different from those that are from a Christian point of view. There were two main differences from what I could tell while reading. First off, while religion is a part of the story due to the Amish culture it is not a main focal point at all. The other is that there is no romance in this book. Almost all the Amish books in Christian fiction have r…

Chronicle Books Giveaway

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This just in: Chronicle Books is having an AWESOME giveaway. They are giving away a set of books up to $500 to a lucky blogger AND that same list to someone who comments on their blog! That's up to $1000 worth in books! Chronicle Books is an independent publisher of distinctive books and gifts. If you haven't seen any of their books before, check out their website. You will drool.

If you know me even a little bit, you will know that three of my biggest passions in life are Star Wars, The Beatles and pugs. And guess what? Chronicle Books has books about ALL THREE!!! Check out this insanely wonderful list below. If, by the grace of God, I happen to win there will be major shrieking heard for miles around across the DC Metro Area. And if I win, I hope the lucky blogger who wins likes all three as well because then you will be my best friend forever because apparently you have excellent taste as well. Some of these books have been on my wishlist forever or I've been dro…

Movie Review: "The Social Network"

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Before I start my review of the movie, here are my brief thoughts about Facebook. When I was in college, AIM was THE thing. We were obsessed with creating the perfect away messages and listening to that DING! That was how we social networked back in the day. I didn't join Facebook until 2006. I was currently using MySpace at the time and didn't feel like switching. I didn't join earlier because I didn't want to do what everyone else was doing. When I did join, it was only open to college students. I'm sorry to everyone who uses it now, but I honestly miss those days. Now everyone is using Facebook, like my dad for example so sometimes I have to be careful about what I share.

When I heard about this movie coming out, I will admit that I didn't really have any desire to see the movie. Even though I am a Facebook user, did I really want to see a movie about Facebook? Therefore even pretty much until a few weeks before it came out, I was still skeptic…

Book Review: "Amy Inspired" by Bethany Pierce

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Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend. But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli.

She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated. When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?

Sometimes I don't think I fit the targeted audience for a Christian fiction reader. I mean, I'm a 20 something Asian American recently graduated college student who lives in a b…

Book Review: "The Lover's Knot" by Clare O'Donahue

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Nell Fitzgerald is thrilled when she receives a gorgeous handmade quilt in a lover's knot pattern from her grandmother Eleanor as an engagement gift. Her joy is short-lived, however, when her fiancé announces he's calling off the wedding. Heartbroken, 25-year-old Nell flees New York City for her grandmother's home in quaint Archers Rest. In this small town Eleanor's life revolves around her quilt shop, Someday Quilts, and the members of the shop's quilting circle.

When the body of a local handyman known for his flirting is found in the quilt shop, murdered with a pair of quilting scissors, Nell finds herself drawn into the case— and drawn to the handsome police chief. As a pattern of clues begins to emerge, one of the prime suspects is Nell's ex-fiancé, whose arrival in Archers Rest seems suspicious. The ladies of the quilting circle continue to piece together their quilts as Nell unravels the mystery.

This book was different from most other cozy m…