Friday, November 13, 2009

White Picket Fences (Review & Giveaway)

Do you ever look at the life of someone else and think, "Wow, they have it all together! Their house is beautiful, they are healthy, they have adorable and well-behaved children. Life for them is so easy!" You know you do! I do. But we also know appearances are deceiving. It is like seeing two pixels of an entire computer screen, or even better, do you know those pictures that are made up of thousands of other smaller pictures? It is like looking at one tiny panel of one of those.

Susan Meissner's White Picket Fences is about a family that appears to have it all. Wonderful careers, great kids, and a perfect life. Amanda Janvier agrees to have her niece, Tally, stay with the family when her father disappears. Tally and Amanda's teenage son, Chase, work together on a school project about the Holocaust. Chase becomes troubled. This project unlocks secrets that have been carefully hidden in his family. But secrets always have a way of coming to the surface. Can this family survive the turmoil and stick together?

Meissner's characters are very developed and believable. About halfway through the book I couldn't put it down. I tend to avoid Holocaust books, because of the heavy subject matter. This book deals with it thoughtfully and tastefully. Facades and secrecy aren't glorified. The importance of relationships and communication come through. A very interesting read!

Susan Meissner cannot remember a time when she wasn’t driven to put her thoughts down on paper. Her novel The Shape of Mercy was a Publishers Weekly pick for best religious fiction of 2008 and a Christian Book Award finalist. Susan and her husband live in Southern California, where he is a pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four grown children.

Buy it here.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Press.

Interested in your own copy? Leave a comment by Friday, November 20 on this post (or on facebook post) and I'll give one away!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dear Santa....

I know it seems a little early, but my kids have been working on their wish lists for some time, so I figure, why not?

I know I should ask for world peace and food for the starving kids in Africa.
I know I should ask for love among my brothers and sisters (and a hammer, probably showing my age there).

But I'm all about keeping it "real" these days.


for Christmas I would like,

A Family Celebration of Christ free from arguments, strife, and guilt.
5 more hours in every day
A housekeeper
A landscaper
A personal chef
A live-in babysitter (well, I do have an 11 year old who is good for short stints).
A dumpster
A weekly date night with hubby

If you can't deliver, don't bother stopping at this house.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My heart today

Caught in the half-light, I'm caught alone
Waking up to the sunrise and the radio
Feels like I'm tied up, what's holding me?
Just praying today will be the day I go free

I want to live like there's no tomorrow
I want to dance like no one's around
I want to sing like nobody's listening
Before I lay my body down
I want to give like I have plenty
I want to love like I'm not afraid
I want to be the man I was meant to be
I want to be the way I was made

Made in Your likeness, made with Your hands
Made to discover who You are and who I am
All I've forgotten help me to find
All that You've promised let it be in my life

How about you?