Showing posts from May, 2011

Book Review: "The Linen Queen" by Patricia Falvey

Summary from Abandoned by her father and neglected by her self-centered, unstable mother, Sheila McGee cannot wait to escape the drudgery of her mill village life in Northern Ireland. Her classic Irish beauty helps her win the 1941 Linen Queen competition, and the prize money that goes with it finally gives her the opportunity she's been dreaming of. But Sheila does not count on the impact of the Belfast blitz which brings World War II to her doorstep. Now even her good looks are useless in the face of travel restrictions, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone.

When American troops set up base in her village, some see them as occupiers but Sheila sees them as saviors--one of them may be her ticket out. Despite objections from her childhood friend, Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish-American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfa…

Book Review: "The Promises She Keeps" by Erin Healy

Summary from Promise, a talented young vocalist with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging witch and art collector in search of the goddess who will grant her immortality.

When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that Promise is the one she seeks. But Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and opposes Porta, comes between the women with his mysterious visions and drawings, and plunges everyone into a flesh-and-blood confrontation over the true meaning of eternal life.

This book seemed to be written differently from other Christian fiction books that I have read. It's a unique read that might not gel with all Christian fiction readers but those that do enjoy it will so very much. The story seems to focus on five characters: Promise - a young girl with cystic fibrosis, Porta - an older woman who wants to live forever, Zack - a young artist with connections …

Book Review: "The Fitting Room" by Kelly Minter

Summary from Kelly Minter explores what it means—in real life—to "clothe" ourselves (Col. 3:12) in Christian virtues like forgiveness, joy, patience, compassion, and more. Can we really "dress up" in the character of Christ? Kelly Minter says the answer is yes—if we let the Master Designer do the fitting. This relatable book offers insightful Scripture study with real-life stories and simple, down-to-earth explanations of tricky concepts such as justification and sanctification—stitching it all together with dry humor and down-to-earth honesty. There are no gimmicks, no guilt trips, just an irresistible invitation for women to enjoy a spiritual makeover—to put on a life that's personally tailored by the One who knows and loves them best.

I'm normally not a non-fiction reader. Oh, I like memoirs and enjoy a good narrative history book (partially because of my major) but overall I don't really like non fiction like some others do. Most of the ti…

Book Review: "A Killer Among Us" by Lynette Eason

Summary from Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. The new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he's hunting one of them too.

Kit's job as a negotiator is one that I could not do. The way she is able to keep calm while someone is in state of unsureness and could kill everyone nearby is pretty amazing. You don't really hear too much about negotiators in the news. However after reading this book I am in awe of their ability to stay calm and reason with an unstable person while putting themselves in extreme danger. She does this several times throughout the book including one scenario that could possible kill her own self.

Stories that always take the perspective from the serial killer POV simultaneously c…

Book Review: "Instructions for a Broken Heart" by Kim Culbertson

Summary from When Jessa catches her boyfriend, Sean, making out with Natalie "the Boob Job" Stone three days before their drama club's departure to Italy, she completely freaks. Stuck with a front-row view of Sean and Natalie making out against the backdrop of a country that oozes romance, Jessa promises to follow all of the outrageous instructions in her best friend's care package and open her heart to new experiences. Enter cute Italian boy stage left.

Jessa had prepared to play the role of humiliated ex-girlfriend, but with Carissa directing her life from afar, it's finally time to take a shot at being a star.

Kim Culbertson's first book, Songs for a Teenage Nomad, made my Best Reads of 2010 so I was really looking forward to her next book. She writes in style that I really enjoy and gives insight to characters that most YA writers tend to skim over. I really enjoy how her books are more about what the characters are feeling as opposed to just thi…

Book Winners

Congrats to the winners of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees!

Tobe from Wading Through the Ocean of Life

Maria from To Read, Perchance to Dream

Book Review: "The Royal Treatment" by Lindsey Leavitt

Summary from Desi Bascomb's job as a princess substitute has gotten a whole lot more glamorous now that she's advanced to Level 2 within the Facade Agency. Magical make-up, roller-skating celebrities, and the chance to see Prince Karl again are just some of the major perks. Not to mention, she's landed the role of Fairy Queen in her school's production of Midsummer's Night Dream (opposite her best friend's crush. Which is a little weird, but at least he wears a donkey head during their kissing scene). Life should be perfect, but Desi can't seem to shake the feeling that there is more going on with the agency's magic than she's told. Like why is this mind-bending power exclusive to royals? Is it possible that there could be a bigger way to make an impact in both parts of her life?

This story was really fun to read and very cute! I enjoyed it even more so than the first book in the series that introduced readers to Desi and how she is now par…

Armchair BEA Day 3 - Interview with Molly from The Bumbles Blog

Today's topic is was to interview another blogger. I myself was interviewed by the lovely Becky of Bibliognome and you can read my fascinating interview over here. As for me, I got to meet a new blogger to me, Molly from The Bumbles Blog. She got to experience the wacky questions that makes up an interview from Deborah. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Your basic standard questions: What's your blog about, when did you start and how did you get started, yada yada yada

I began our blog in the Fall of 2008 in order to play along with the book meme, Teaser Tuesdays ( I wanted a way to be able to interact with other readers online and came across that meme. It seemed I needed a blog too in order to really get to know the other participants. So I created one on the fly as a virtual extension of the things that interest my husband and I in our little corner of the real world.

We are a buffet blog – a little bit of everything for y…

Book Review: "The Wilder Life" by Wendy McClure

Summary from Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder — a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places McClure has never been to yet somehow knows by heart. She traces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family—looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House — exploring the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura’s hometowns. Whether she’s churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of “the Laura experience.” Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder’s life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.

The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of American women. It is also an…

Armchair BEA Day 2

Today's topic is to highlight some of my favorite books this year. As you may or may not know, I always do a year in review post spotlighting my favorite books of the previous year, so it will be interesting to see if some of these books still make that list come December 31.

To read my review of each book, click on the title under each cover.

YA (Christian fiction) - Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren (David C. Cook)

Contemporary Women's fiction - Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious (William Morrow)

Memoir - Big in China by Alan Paul (Harper)

Historical Romance (Christian fiction) - To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House)

Chick Lit/Contemporary Fiction - Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (Dutton)

Historical Fiction (Christian fiction) - An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon (Zondervan)

Historical Romance (Christian fiction) - A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell (Bethany House)

Chick Lit (Christian fiction) - Operation Bonnet by Kimberly Stuart (David C. Cook)

Book Review: "Who Is My Shelter?" by Neta Jackson

Summary from When she was thrown out of the penthouse she shared with her husband and their sons, Gabby didn't know if she'd ever find a soft place to land. But after seeking refuge at the shelter where she works, extraordinary things happen as she is reintroduced to God.

From the ashes of her marriage comes the House of Hope-a safe haven for homeless moms and their children.But now those ashes of her destroyed marriage are being stirred again. When her long-gone husband's life hits rock bottom, he reappears and asks for one more chance. And Gabby faces what feels like an impossible choice. Take him back. Or keep moving forward without him. Toward someone new who hasn't betrayed her.

Is God redeeming what Gabby thought was gone forever? Or is He leading her down a different path and giving her something-and someone-new?

This is the ending of Gabby's story that begin in Where Do I Go. She's now come full circle in terms with her husband as he has become th…

Armchair BEA Kickoff

Hello and welcome to my blog! In case this is your first time visiting, my name is Deborah and I'm the proud owner of Books, Movies and Chinese Food.

Here's the story of me and my blog in a nutshell

-I've been blogging since September 2006
- I've reviewed over 800 books on this blog.
- In the past 3 years I've read over 1200 books (not sure exact number)
- I do read and review a lot of Christian fiction, but I've gotten pretty picky about which CF books I read these days. I also read/review general market chick lit, contemporary women's fiction, memoirs and YA. I'm a big YA fanatic especially contemporary YA but many people don't know this as I mostly read but not review a lot of the YA books that come my way.
- I'm a huge geek and I love stuff like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, James Bond...all the proper geek movies. I am also a big Beatles fan.
- I'm an archivist during the day. Think something like National Treasure...minus …

Book Review: "Undercover Pursuit" by Susan May Warren

Summary from The only way to get security agent Luke Dekker to a wedding? An undercover mission as groomsman. He'll bust the groom, a drug cartel heir, before anyone can say "I do." Then Luke can escape all this love and romance nonsense—and the too pretty bridesmaid/agent assigned as his "fiancĂ©e" for the weekend. Until Luke discovers that sweet, vulnerable Scarlett Hanson isn't his contact. Isn't an agent. Isn't trained for the high-stakes mission now trapping them both. And worse, Luke's falling for her—which is not part of the assignment.

Out of the three books in the series, this one was my favorite. First it takes place in the Caribbean giving a nice change of scenery. Second, the plot is slightly different and deals with characters other than Eastern European suspects. Third, the characters are more likable than others in the series. The chemistry between Luke and Scarlett is a lot more fun in this book. It might have to do wi…

Book Review: "Mission: Out of Control" by Susan May Warren

Summary from Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent—with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a diva American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way—she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret. When Wick discovers what's at stake, how far over the line will he go to keep them both alive?

The second book in the Missions of Mercy series introduces to new characters as well as brings back those from the first book as well as Warren's other series. I was actually quite intrigued with Ronie's alter ego Vonya. She sounds like a mix of Lady Gaga and an indie band. She really was into her music and I enjoyed seeing her slip into the Vonya character and be someone that no one else was expecting. Actually Ronie seemed to h…

Book Review: "Point of No Return" by Susan May Warren

Summary from An American boy and a warlord's engaged daughter have disappeared—together—in an Eastern European border country. Only one man can find them in time to prevent an international meltdown—Chet Stryker. But Chet is taken aback when he realizes the boy is the nephew of Mae Lund, Chet's former flame. When Mae insists on rescuing her relative herself, Chet knows he has to protect her from the enemy on their trail. Yet can he protect himself from falling for Mae again?

Susan May Warren is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors because she uses her international knowledge and infuses them into her stories. Her specialty is lies in stories that place in Russia and Eastern Europe since she has actually lived in those areas. If you've read her previous books based in these countries, you will recognize some of the characters from those stories. The story takes the reader to Georgia (the country, not the state) in a international chase involving kidnappin…

My Library Reads No. 13

My Library Reads is a spotlight on the library books that I have read during the previous week. This is not a post on what books I borrowed but books that I read. Since I don't review library books, this is a way to still be able to showcase them on my blog.

BTW, if anyone knows of another meme that is like this on another blog, could you please let me know? I don't know of any myself, but if there is one already in place, I'd like to give credit where credit is due!

Library Books read from 5/9/11 - 5/16/11

Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (HaperTeen, 2/15/11)

YA - I am so glad that I'm doing the YA Contemps challenge because otherwise I would have never discovered this book. This is a beautifully written story about two former best friends who are now rivals in everything, especially in their competitive singing. The POV goes back and forth between Brooke and Kathryn and also between past and present. We see how the two of them …

Book Review: "Waterfall" by Lisa T. Bergren

Summary from Goodreads: American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

I've been a big fan of Lisa Bergren's books for years. I can't remember exactly which was the first book of hers that I discovered but I know that I've enjoyed every book of hers that I've read. My particular favorite is her Gifted series. That being said, when I heard that she was putting out a YA series, I will admit I was a little skeptical. This is not because I doubt h…

Book Review: "The Lightkeeper's Ball" by Colleen Coble

Summary from Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred-the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt-and the more she is drawn to him herself.

When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they're forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement-she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to dr…

Book Review: "Born Under a Lucky Moon" by Dana Precious

Book Summary from Born Under a Lucky Moon is the tale of two very important (but distant) years in the lives of Jeannie Thompson and her (embarrassing, crazy) colorful family members to whom "things" just seem to happen. From the Great Lakes of Michigan to Los Angeles and back again, it is a story of surprise marriages, a renegade granny, a sprinkler system cursed by the gods, and myriad other factors Jeannie blames for her full-tilt, out-of-control existence. But it's also about good surprises—like an unexpected proposal that might just open Jeannie's eyes to her real place among the people she loves most in the world . . . the same ones she ran far away from to begin with.

This was one of those books that I couldn't stop reading. It's one of those rare occasions when you discover a brand new author and you pick up their book and you fall instantly in love. Yes this was that such book. I started reading it during my lunch break at work and I did no…

Book Review: "A Stitch Before Dying" by Anne Canadeo

Summary from When Maggie Messina, owner of the Black Sheep Knitting Shop, is invited to give knitting workshops at a Berkshires spa resort, she manages to negotiate a cottage that fits all five of the Black Sheep for what promises to be a weekend of knitting bliss. But while the friends are expert at counting stitches, they haven’t counted on murder.Guests and staff at the Crystal Lake Inn are as varied as a mixed bag of yarn, but most colorful is certainly the owner, charismatic self-help guru and former psychiatrist Dr. Max Flemming. The doctor may have told all in a revealing autobiography, but from his ex-wife to the widow of his former business partner—both employees at the inn—Max seems mired in shad­ows from his past. And when a killer strikes during a mountaintop retreat, the Black Sheep wonder what the good doctor might be hiding.The police seem to be following the wrong thread. But while Maggie’s workshops have given the knitters a unique view of the tensions at the…