Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review - Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

I opened this book to the first page, read the first sentence, and said to myself, "Oh no, it's a first person book". I've said this before, but I really don't like books written in first person because most of the time the way the character is acting or reacting is against my personality or character and I just get so frustrated. I end up wanting to beat the main character in the book. However, this is a book given to me to review so I push through to Chapter 2 and...

"Oh rats, there's two main characters." That's it, I basically told myself to give up because not only was the book written in first person, but there were two main characters who were so totally opposite of me that I knew I was going to hate this book.

I love surprises! Ok, no, I don't really, but that's an entirely different subject. This book actually surprised me. I found myself slowly, but surely getting drawn in to the characters. There were a couple of slow parts where I really found myself wondering did I need this much detail, but it turned out in the end, I did.

The story follows two characters, an older southern belle from Daily, TX, Donnetta, on her way to take a cruise with her two friends, and Kai, a drifter who has never put down roots in one place too long, a trait she got from her daddy. There are twists and turns as these ladies attempt to outrun a hurricane, meet up with some good ol' Cajuns from the Texas bayou (which I didn't even know there were any bayous in Texas), and then try to rebuild after the storm.

I also liked the way the author through in a free lesson about telling those you love how much they mean to you on a daily basis. That was unexpected, but we can all use that reminder.

All-in-all, I would be happy to recommend this book to any of my friends and welcome the opportunity to read more books by Lisa Wingate.

This book was provided to me for review by Bethany House.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review - Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

Have you ever wished you could run away from your past? Have you wanted to hide out and just pray that it never finds you? Mary Bridget Washburn needed desperately to get out of the life she was currently living, but can you really reinvent yourself when you're on the wrong side of the law? Once given the opportunity, will she be brave enough to take it and do what must be done? Can God really use someone with her past to heal the hurts of a family in crisis?

Not too far away is a father who is caught between secrets from his past and a congregation that is divided in whether he should be their pastor; a daughter at the beginning of her teen years, who is scared and desperately wants someone, anyone to show they care; and twin babies who just need someone to love and care for them.

This book is a powerful reminder of the power of intercessory prayer, God's grace and mercy, and the way God can use his people if we'll just get out of His way. Linda Nichols seamlessly weaves all these truths throughout this book. You will find your heart racing as Mary runs for her life, pray with the intercessors when Satan is trying his best to wreak havoc in different situations, cry when they cry, and laugh when they laugh.

Not a Sparrow Falls will warm your heart in many ways, and leave you wanting more.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Book Reviewers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Power of Respect by Deborah Norville

The concept of this book is fantastic. If you want to go farther in life, get along with people, harmony in your home, remembering to respect those around you will go along way. Remembering that the woman checking you out at the grocery store is a person just like you, more than likely, with the same problems that you have will go a long way to helping you show respect and making her day, and yours, go a lot smoother. This principle is true in every facet of any relationship you have no matter how small or insignificant or how great and dynamic. This is a concept that has definitely gone by the wayside for many people. In today's society there are only a handful of people that are willing to remember there are others around them that are just as important as they are.

My only complaint about this book is that the author, very eloquently said it all in the first chapter or two. Every other chapter was the same concept presented in a slightly different way, but ultimately saying the same thing. It has taken me almost 9 months to muddle my way through and I actually couldn't bring myself to finish it. I felt like I was literally beating my head against a wall hearing the same thing over and over.

If you have not heard this concept before, you might thoroughly enjoy this book, but for those who practice respect on a daily basis, it will probably not be anything new.

The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Imagine your life lived in a cocoon not penetrable by sound, or for that matter, much of anything. Now, imagine your life as the mother of a little boy, whose less-than-ideal entrance into the world, left you with a love so strong that you would do absolutely anything to protect that little boy, but not strong enough to break through his silent cocoon.

In this book, Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley bring you immediately into a time of desperation and confusion in the height of the Great Depression as the mother of a little boy who is deaf and mute, but endowed with a gift far greater than either one of them can comprehend. You will go through the ups and the downs of their lives; from the palace to the prison and back up again. You will be brought to the brink of desperation and cheer with them as their lives begin to make sense. You will be brought to tears at the hard and lonely times of this little family as time and time and time again they have to fight for everything they have only to end up exactly where God wanted them with the maximum amount of lives being touched.

This book was provided to me free of charge as part of Bethany House Book Reviewers.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

This Insight Edition of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen was a blast to read. I have to admit, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. At first, I thought all the little sidebars were a little annoying, but as I got further and further into the book, I found myself actually looking forward to them.

This book is a classic written in the beautiful prose of the 18th Century writer, Miss Jane Austen. I can't remember the last time I had read one of her books, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It even inspired me to rent the 1995 movie with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant in it. I love the contrasts between the two sisters, the overly dramatic, romance-seeking Marianne, and the calm, steady, level-headed, Elinor.

I look forward to seeing more books like this from Bethany House. This is a great way to get re-acquainted with the classics.

This book was provided to me free of charge as part of Bethany House Book Reviewers.

The Rose Legacy by Kristen Heizmann

First of all, I owe a huge apology to Bethany House. This book and a few others that I will be posting reviews on were sent to me by Bethany House, I think at the end of last year, but with some major upheaval in my life I haven't been able to take the time to review them. I am finally getting back into the swing of things and wanted to get these reviews out there.

I have never read a Kristen Heitzmann book before so I had no knowledge of writing style coming into the reading of this book. The Rose Legacy is part of a series set in the Rocky Mountains during the gold rush era. The book begins with Italian beauty, Carina DiGratia making an arduous trek from Sonoma, California to Crystal, Colorado. She has left behind a loving family, except for a wicked sister who stole her fiance' from her, a deed she will never forgive or forget. She is out to prove that she is not the innocent that people believe she is. Unfortunately, she has a hard time living down that reputation, even among a city full of strangers.

Ms. Heitzmann, cleverly pulls you in and points you in several different directions at once. Making you second guess who you think the villain is with every turn of the page. There were a couple parts in the story that I thought were a tad tedious, but all-in-all, the book left me wanting to read the second and third installments in the Diamond of the Rockies series.

I have already recommended this book to my friends and will continue to do so. If you are a fan of historical romance and mysteries, this is a good, clean, entertaining book that, I believe, you will find hard to put down.