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Showing posts from February, 2010

Nancy Drew Challenge February Recap

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The Nancy Drew Challenge is a reading challenge for 2010 for readers to attempt to read all 56 original yellow hardbacks that were in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. Click here for more information or to sign up for the challenge. At the end of each month, I will put up a post where participants of the challenge can recap how they did during that month.

The second month of the Nancy Drew Challenge ends today. How did you guys do this month?

Today was a rather slow month for me Nancy Drew wise. I only read two books this month for the challenge - The Clue in the Diary and Nancy's Mysterious Letter. This is not due to lack of interest but because I was trying to read for the young adult challenge and had several library books that had to be read quickly because of due dates. I have checked out the next 10 books so I'll be all set for March.

Thoughts about the two books I read
- We are introduced to Ned Nickerson (Nancy's "special male friend") in The Clue in the Di…

Faith 'n Fiction Roundtable: Wounded by Claudia Mair Burney

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The last Saturday of every month will be devoted to the Faith'n'Fiction Round Table hosted by My Friend Amy. A book is picked that several bloggers will read and discuss over. This month we discussed Wounded by Claudia Mair Burney. Look for a full review from me in a few weeks. Below is one of the many discussions we had over the book, which had LOTS to discuss (if you click on the link for the round table you can see the many subjects we talked about)

Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt--a young, broke, African-American single mother--sits ina pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. A prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, Anthony is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows that he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find som…

Book Review: "Dawn's Light" by Terri Blackstock

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In the final book of the Restoration Series, the end of a global electrical blackout signals the beginning of the Branning family's ultimate test. Murder and affairs of the heart form the backdrop for a family sifting through the lessons they have learned--and how well they have truly learned them.

I have been eagerly awaiting the finale of this Restoration series for the past few years. I really enjoyed the first book and the sequels that followed because they showcased a world that many today could not imagine living in. The story has been following one main family, The Brannings, throughout the series and readers have seen how they have had to adapt to world they are not used to. In this book, relief and a sense of back to normalcy is finally coming to the world as scientists have been able to find a way to bring back electricity and stop the global technology blackout that has been plaguing Earth.

I was very surprised at some of the events that happened in this book. The…

More Value Fiction from WaterBrook Multnomah

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Fiction lovers don’t need to budget to travel this spring break with Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s six full-length novels by beloved Christian authors (WaterBrook, February 16, 2010). At the low cost of only $5.99, these well-read “get-aways” provide quality entertainment at a price that any reader can afford.



Yesterday’s Promise by Linda Lee Chaikin – Rogan Chantry faces danger from tribesmen, ruthless politicians, and his own family as he searches for gold in South Africa. In England, his beloved Evy is injured by a mysterious assailant. The greed and intrigue surrounding the diamond mines could very well drive them irrevocably apart.



Faithful Heart by Al and Joanna Lacy – The adventures of certified medical nurse and dedicated Christian Breanna Baylor continue as she travels by wagon train to visit her sister, Dottie, in California. Little does she know that her most dangerous encounter might be with Jerrod, her brother-in-law, who’s suffering from dementia caused by combat…

Book Review: "Plain Jayne" by Hillary Manton Lodge

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Jayne Tate loves her life as it is-living in a big city, working as a reporter for a fast-paced newspaper, and dating a guy who knows nothing about her past. When her father passes away though, she's forced to take another look at what she wants out of life. After losing out on the big career opportunity she was hoping, for she decides to escape to Oregon Amish country, seeking solace and maybe a big story.

Even in this land of buggies and bonnets, Jayne finds life more complicated than she expected. Can she persuade herself that her growing friendship with the mysterious and handsome Levi Burkholder is just about research? And what's a latte-drinking, laptop-using, motorcycle-riding reporter to do when this new life starts to change her?

Why can't all Amish fiction be like this? I had a blast reading this book by this talented debut author. Everything that I don't like in Amish fiction never showed up at all. Lodge describes her books as "urban Amish, totally not y…

Ponderings

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I don't usually blog about personal stuff on my blog because I like to keep my personal life and drama away from public view.

But this is sorta book related kinda so I guess it's ok.

I get mad in books when a character tries to tell how they feel and nobody will listen to them.

I get mad when the character is made to feel like they are all alone.

I get mad when a character is told they are over-dramatic and emotional.

I get mad when a character is constantly hurt by over and over again by someone they love who refuses to change.

I get mad at characters who allow themselves to stay in this situation.

Should I get mad at myself?

The Big 5-Oh! by Sandra D. Bricker

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This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Big 5-Oh!Abingdon Press (February 2010)

by

Sandra D. Bricker
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

For more than a decade, Author Sandra D. Bricker lived in Los Angeles. While writing in every spare moment, she worked as a personal assistant

and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved across the country to take on a new role: Caregiver.



One of Sandie's passions revolves around the rights of animals. She's been involved in fundraising for Lost Angels Animal Rescue for several years now; in fact, a portion of the proceeds of Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida will go to help the non-profit group with their expenses. And Lost Angels paid her back in a big way: They brought a free-spirited Collie named Sophie into her life after the loss of her 15-year companion Caleb.

It was her 8th novel that opened the door to finding her way as…

Book Review: "Surrender Bay" by Denise Hunter

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When Samantha Owen's estranged stepfather dies, she inherits his cottage in Nantucket--a place she left years ago, never planning to return. As a single mom, Sam can't afford to pass up on a financial windfall like ocean-front property. So she travels home to fix up the house and sell it . . . never suspecting that Landon Reed still lives two doors down. As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart . . . or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

Denise Hunter has a way of drawing the reader into the story that many authors seem not to be able to accomplish. Every time I read one of her books, I immediately get sucked into the minds of the characters and the setting to become one with the story. With this book the reader travels to Nantucket Beach, a place where Samantha never wanted to return. Her past …

Waiting on Wednesday

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My Double Life by Janette Rallison
Releases: May13, 2010

Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities. Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!
"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Book review: "Abigail" by Jill Eileen Smith

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Abigail's hopes and dreams for the future are wrapped up in her handsome, dark-eyed betrothed, Nabal. But when the long-awaited wedding day arrives, her drunken groom behaves shamefully. Nevertheless, Abigail tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse of her. Meanwhile, Abigail's family has joined David's wandering tribe as he and his people keep traveling to avoid the dangerous Saul. When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail is free to move on with her life, and thanks to her brother, her new life includes a new husband--David. The dangers of tribal life on the run are serious, but there are other dangers in young Abigail's mind. How can David lead his people effectively when he goes against God? And how can Abigail share David's love with the other wives he insists on marrying?

This is going to sound REALLY weird when I admit this but there is a specific reason why I remember Abigail from reading the Bible. It's because when she first meets David, she h…

Cowgirl at Heart by Christine Lynxwiler

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Cowgirl at Heart
Barbour Books (February 1, 2010)
by
Christine Lynxwiler


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Best-selling author Christine Lynxwiler lives with her husband and two precious daughters in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains. Christine has been writing toward publication since 1997. She sold her first story in 2001 to Barbour Publishing. Since then she's written and sold fourteen Christian romance novels and novellas including the four novels that were included in the best-selling book Arkansas, which has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. Her novel, Forever Christmas, ranked number 12 on the Christian Bookseller's Association Bestseller List in January, 2009.

A four-time winner of the prestigious American Christian Romance Writers/American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award, Christine recently signed a new six-book contract with Barbour Publishing bringing her total of contracted books to twenty. …

Book Review: "Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven" by Susan Jane Gilman

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In 1986, Susan Jane Gilman and a classmate embarked on a bold trek around the globe starting in the People's Republic of China. At that point, China had been open to independent backpackers for roughly ten minutes. Armed only with the collected works of Nietzsche and Linda Goodman's Love Signs, the two friends plunged into the dusty streets of Shanghai. Unsurprisingly, they quickly found themselves in over their heads--hungry, disoriented, stripped of everything familiar, and under constant government surveillance. Soon, they began to unravel--one physically, the other psychologically. As their journey became increasingly harrowing, they found themselves facing crises that Susan didn't think they'd survive. But by summoning strengths she never knew she had--and with help from unexpected friends--the two travelers found their way out of a Chinese heart of darkness.

Like I have said before, I have been on a huge memoir kick lately. This book appealed to me because it tak…

Book Review: "Hear No Evil" by Matthew Paul Turner

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If you’ve ever had the opening bars of a song transport you back in time or remind you of a pivotal spiritual moment, Matthew Paul Turner’s honest—and frequently hilarious—musings will strike a chord. Straightforward and amusing, Hear No Evil is Turner’s “life soundtrack,” a compilation of engaging personal stories about how music—and music’s ability to transform—has played a key role in his spiritual life.

Groove along on his journey as young evangelical Turner attends forbidden contemporary Christian concerts, moves to “Music City” Nashville, and dreams of becoming the Michael Jackson of Christian music.

Cosmic and compelling, keen and funny, every page is a new encounter with the people, places, and experiences that have taught the music-editor-turned-author some new things about God, forced him out of his comfort zone, and introduced him to a fresh view of grace along the way.

I don't normally read Christian non-fiction but I have been on a memoir kick lately and also I am a huge…

Book Review: "All Things Hidden" by Tricia Goyer

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Charlotte is cleaning out the basement of Bedford Community Church when she comes across a tattered and yellowed newspaper article. The clipping, published more than a century ago, implicates her great-great-grandfather in the loss of funds intended to help finish building the church. Charlotte has heard stories about the incident through the years, but now it seems the past has come back to haunt her. Is it just her imagination or are people treating her differently now that they think she’s descended from a crook? Will Charlotte be able to clear her family’s name once and for all?Meanwhile, Sam is spending time with a new girl in town—and is keeping secrets from his grandparents about where they go. Christopher is trying to get an article published in the local paper, and Emily reluctantly partners with a foreign exchange student on a class project and eventually comes to see that they’re not that different after all. As old secrets are brought to light, the whole family is reminded…

The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee

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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Pastor's Wife Abingdon Press (February 2010)by
Jennifer AlLee


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer AlLee was born in Hollywood, California and for the first 10 years of her life lived over a mortuary one block from Hollywood and Vine. An avid reader and writer, she completed her first novel in high school. That manuscript is now safely tucked away, never again to see the light of day. Her first inspirational romance, The Love of His Brother, was released in November 2007 by Five Star Publisher.

Besides being a writer, she is a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, her husband and teenage son have learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets there without severely impacting their waistlines. God is good!





ABOUT THE BOOK

Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congr…

Book Review: "The Battle for Vast Dominion" by George Bryan Polivka

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Packer Throme, determined to demonstrate that power comes only from above, leads his people in a war against the dreaded Drammune. The evil Hezzan of Drammun will kill without remorse for the secret of the Firefish...and so will dark forces lurking within Nearing Vast.

As army faces army, and navy faces navy, all are drawn inexorably to the source of the epic struggle... the feeding waters of the Firefish within the Achawuk Territory. One final surprise awaits Packer Throme there in the foreboding place where the struggle for the dominion of the world will be settled at last.

I have admitted several times that I am not a big fantasy fan. There's nothing wrong with the genre, it's just hard for me to be able to get into the story. However, I have really enjoyed the Trophy Chase series and now with the third and final book, I was sad to see everything come to an end. Polivka takes the reader on another sweeping adventure above the Trophy Chase where Packer has to once again battle…

Listen by Rene Gutteridge

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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:

Rene Gutteridge

and the book:

Listen
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 11, 2010)
***Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rene Gutteridge is the critically acclaimed author of more than fifteen novels, including the Storm series, the Boo series, the Occupational Hazards series, and the novelization of the motion picture The Ultimate Gift. She lives with her husban…

Book Review: "Outlaw's Bride" by Lori Copeland

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Falsely convicted of bank robbery, drifter Johnny McAllister is sent to a rehabilitation program in the home of a California judge. When he goes to Judge McMann's home, his aim is to be a model prisoner, hoping to be released early and return to his life's mission: to kill the man who wiped out his family 15 years before. He's planned for everything - except his encounter with Ragan, the beautiful and kind housekeeper, and with the generous folks of Barren Flats. But can Johnny let go of his anger and embrace a new life? One that would include Ragan as his bride?

This tender story reveals how even the hard law of the land doesn't stand a chance when God's mercy and true love come to reside in a heart.

I enjoyed this book a great deal more than the second book in the Western Sky series, A Kiss for Cade. Both Johnny and Ragan are multi-dimensional characters that the reader gets to know and feels compassion for. Copeland also puts an interesting historical plot to mix …

Waiting on Wednesday

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You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Releases: August 5, 2010

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Book Review: "Swinging on a Star" by Janice Thompson

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Bella Rossi's life is nearing perfection. She's got the perfect guy, she's running a successful business, and she's about to plan her most ambitious wedding yet, a Renaissance-themed fairy tale come true, complete with period costumes and foods, horse-drawn carriages, and even a castle. There's just one hitch. The best man just happens to be Brock Benson, Hollywood's hottest and most eligible bachelor. Oh, and did we mention he's staying at the Rossi house to avoid the paparazzi?With all the pressure surrounding this wedding, Bella's not sure she's going to make it through. Add her starstruck sister, her feuding aunt and uncle, and a trio of large, sequined church ladies with even bigger personalities, and you've got a recipe for disaster--and a lot of laughs. This hilarious romantic comedy is sure to delight both fans and new readers alike.

The previous book in this series, Fools Rush In, was one of my top ten reads of 2009 so I was uber excited…

Raven's Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet

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It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:

Jeffrey Overstreet

and the book:

Raven's Ladder
WaterBrook Press (February 16, 2010)
***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeffrey Overstreet is the skilled author of Auralia’s Colors, twice-nominated for a Christy Award, and Cyndere’s Midnight. His award-winning film reviews have appeared in Image, Books and Culture, Paste, and Christianity Today, and…