Thursday, February 25, 2010

Value Fiction Titles from Waterbook/Multnomah

Press release from Waterbook/Multnomah - (look at the end for reviews of two of these titles by yours truly)

Value Fiction For Your Spring Break

Colorado Springs, CO— 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.

Full-length novels offered include:

by Robin Jones Gunn
- Jessica has moved to a new town to start a new life. But a friendly fire-fighter and a suspicious boss both want to know what she’s hiding.

Beneath a Southern Sky
by Deborah Raney
– Daria Camfield is expecting her first child when her husband Nate is reported dead on the mission field. Devastated, she returns to the States and soon marries again. But two years later Nate is found alive in the jungle. How can Daria possibly choose between he two men who love her?

The Golden Cross
by Angela Elwell Hunt
– Aidan O’Connor may be a poor barmaid but she’s also a gifted artists. When a famous cartographer takes her on as a student, Aidan is swept into an adventure that will bring her back to her heavenly Father, and into marriage with the love of her life.

Deep Harbor
by Lisa Tawn Bergren
– Tora, Elsa, Kaatje, and Karl face trouble, tragedy, and treachery across the Wast, Hawaii, Japan, and the high seas. These four immigrants from Bergen, Norway, each grow closer to God and learn afresh the value of faith, family, and coming alongside each other in times of need.

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 fatigue.

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.

I received Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn and Faithful Heart by Al Lacy for review.

I love Jones Gunn's Sisterchicks series and was anticipating the arrival of Secrets. I have to admit I was disappointed. It was a quick and easy read, but predictable and not compelling. I like a light-hearted fiction book that doesn't require a lot of thinking now and again. It wasn't painful to read, just forgettable.

I have also read some of Lacy's writing and particularly like the Mail Order Bride series. Faithful Heart is Book Two of the Angel of Mercy Series which is a spin-off of The Stranger series. The book opens with the author giving the reader a back story on the main characters. That was a turn-off to me. Even though I like reading series books, I don't like feeling like I HAVE to read another book to feel like I can understand the book currently in my hand. I have read a couple of the Stranger series.

The main story line of Faithful Heart deals with Shell Shock of a soldier after the Civil War and the wife that stands by him during the ordeal. She is faithful to her wedding vows and truly loves her husband. Extremely admirable traits, and I truly cared about her and her plight. This book also continues a romance between two characters introduced in the Stranger series. How many times can you bring a couple extremely close to being together to only allow circumstances to pull them apart again? I can't handle it on t.v. sitcoms and I don't like it in my books. Give us a resolution already! I almost feel like it is purposely crafted to get to the next book, and the next, and the next.....

While I realize they are not glowing reviews, the books were okay for a light spring break read. The books were provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah for review and I was not compensated in any other way. Opinions expressed are all mine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Hidden Flame

I get in a rut sometimes when it comes to reading my Bible. What I mean is that I read it and read it and read it and don't put a lot of thought behind events happening in the culture at the time.

The Acts of Faith series by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke fictionalize events surrounding the ministry of Christ and the early church. The first book in the series, The Centurion's Wife was wonderful. I picked it up at the library on a whim last year and I was hooked from the beginning.

The Hidden Flame is the second in the series. It is not dependent on the first book although a few of the characters are the same. The Hidden Flame follows the followers of the Way during the early church immediately following the crucifixtion of Christ.

Abigail is being sought after by two suitors, a merchant in high standing and a Roman soldier, but she wants neither of them. Her heart is drawn to another. The book was compelling and entertaining fiction, but also made me consider persecution. I take my faith for granted. I wonder if faced with the persecution of the early church, if I would stand firm. These people were dedicated.

Davis Bunn has written a number of gift books and novels, including The Great Divide.
Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series has been the source for several Hallmark films.

This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for review. My opionions are my own.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Why raise modest children?

When I type that I realize that you may think that I mean children that are not prideful or vain, and while that is certainly important, what I truly mean is children who have a regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc (as defined by

Why mention this now? Because I went shopping at the mall tonight with my two oldest daughters who are 11 and 9. Because all they wanted to look at buying were the trendy mini-skirts, the spaghetti strap camis and plunging necklines. "ooh, isn't this cute, BUT dad would never let me wear it." After the second or third time hearing this I had to ask my dear daughters, "Do you know why?". The eldest responded, "because it shows too much skin." ME - "Why is that a bad thing?" Then, utter silence....and if you have daughters, you know utter silence doesn't happen very often (at least in my experience so far.)

This conversation was a great teachable moment. I proceeded to tell them about how you can dress in a stylish and tasteful way without bearing so much skin. I imparted to them the fact that boys and men are visual and that exposing too much skin is temptation and that they want boys and men to be attracted to them for more than their looks.

It was a great conversation that ended with a great laugh when my 9 year old piped up and said, "I'm never marrying a professional wrestler." I had to chuckle and ask why. Her response, "because they show A LOT of skin and if it's not right for girls, it's not right for guys either." Methinks this conversation may need to be revisited in a few years....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

So Long Insecurity

This isn't a book review. More a passing on of info. I have heard for years about Beth Moore, knew who she was, heard how fabulous her books and studies are, but I haven't read any. Last week I started her newest book, So Long Insecurity (you've been a bad friend to us). I've gotten thru chapter 2.

I knew before I started that I had security issues, but I told myself, "I'm not THAT bad." I was in tears by the end of Chapter 2. From the definition of insecurity and indications of insecurity that were mentioned, I AM more insecure than I thought.

I am pledging now to take the journey in reading this book to becoming a SECURE woman of God. A woman secure in who she is and who God created her (me) to be. A woman who doesn't draw her security from others.

Interested in joining me on the journey? Beth Moore has a blog she is using to facilitate an on-line study group. It starts this week. Join it and start your own journey to security. When I am done, I'll be sure to let you all know the results.

BTW - I BOUGHT this book, it wasn't provided by anybody. :-)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Plain Pursuit review

I won't mention YET AGAIN how much I love GOOD Amish Fiction. Not just a plot thrown together with the token buggy accident. Beth Wiseman delivers with Plain Pursuit.

Carley is an Englischer outsider who has suffered great loss. She is forced to take a vacation to re-focus and get her life in order. Looking for peace, she uses the time to visit her friend Lillian in the Plain Community. Lillian's son becomes sick during her visit and she doesn't understand why the doctor who wants to help is not allowed to treat the child. Carley learns about the Amish, and also discovers her own distrust in God. Will she find her way to reconciliation? What is authentic and can she trust her heart?

Wiseman develops her characters so that readers truly care about their circumstances. I was invested in finding out how it all resolved! Once I started reading, I couldn't stop!

Beth Wiseman's first novel was best-selling Plain Perfect. (My next read, hopefully!) Beth and her family live in Texas.

This book was provided for review by BookSneeze (Thomas Nelson). The opinions are all mine!

The Male Factor winner

Cstironkat wins a copy of The Male Factor by Shaunti Feldhahn. Congratulations!