Friday, May 27, 2011

The Fine Art of Insincerity by Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt is back with another great read. The Fine Art of Insincerity is her latest novel and this author proves once again why she's one of the top in Christian fiction.

Three sisters, each wrapped up in their own lives, converge on the small island of St Simons to go through their grandmother's possessions and ready her house for its new owners. Ginger, the oldest, finds herself smacked in the face with her husband's unfaithfulness. Penny plans to rid herself of husband #...? and thinks she may have found the perfect replacement for him. Rose has a suicidal plan of her own and is trying to have a good time with her sisters without them realizing that this is the last time they will see her.

Family drama has never been so interwoven. The three sisters must face the disappointments of their pasts, the mistakes they made that affected each other and the healing that comes from facing the truth.

Thanks, Angela, for this CLEAN READ.

This book was provided for review by Glass Road Public Relations.

Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than 100 books, including The Tale of Three Trees, Don't Bet Against Me, The Note, and The Nativity Story. Her nonfiction book Don't Bet Against Me, written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She and her husband make their home in Florida with their dogs. You can learn more at her website. Be sure to check out her blog too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

False Witness by Randy Singer

Originally published in 2007, Randy Singer rewrote False Witness and it's been recently published again by Tyndale. With all of the new technology over the past few years he felt it deserved a facelift.

I was a little intimidated by this book each time I walked by it. It looked deep and I'm more a reader of lighthearted women's fiction. Once I picked it up and started reading, I was hooked. Randy Singer took the legal thriller and made it easy to follow and easy to understand. I felt so connected to the characters that I cringed when something bad happened to them. I could almost see the entire thing playing out in my mind. Very well written and engaging, it's broken down into six parts and has a lot of characters, but not so many that it's hard to follow. The Chinese mafia, law students, the US Witness Protection Program, the FBI...this book has it all. Probably my favorite of Singer's writings.

From the back cover:

An adrenaline-laced thrill ride, False Witness takes readers from the streets of Las Vegas to the halls of the American justice system and the inner sanctum of the growing church in India, with all the trademark twists, turns, and intrigue Randy Singer fans have come to expect.

Clark Shealy is a bail bondsman with the ultimate bounty on the line: his wife's life. He has forty-eight hours to find an Indian professor who created an equation so powerful it can crack all Internet encryption. If he fails, his wife pays the price.

Four years later, law student Jamie Brock is working in legal aid when a routine case takes a vicious twist: she learns that her clients, members of the witness protection program, are accused of defrauding the government and have the algorithm. Now the couple is on the run from federal agents and the Chinese mafia, who both know the formula's power and will do anything to get it.

All royalties from False Witness will be donated to the Dalit Freedom Network, which works to provide Dalit children a first-class education and free them from the bondage of human trafficking.

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed best selling author, veteran trial attorney, and pasto who is deeply passionate about ending the human rights struggles in Indea mentioned briefly in this novel. Visit his website here.

This book was provided for review by The B&B Media Group

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Holy Guacamole

I wanted to love this book. The back cover copy makes it sound like a fun read, but truthfully, the writing is horrible. It seemed like the authors sat with a thesaurus next to them so they could find different words to use in different situations. The characters are hard to get to know, the language they use is not believable, the story is slow. There was nothing that I liked about this one. Even the names of the characters are confusing and it's hard to remember who's who. It took me days to slog through this one and I'm normally a very fast reader. I found it lacking the promised mystery in intrigue, even the cooking segments weren't realistic. If you want a good summer read about a chef then I suggest Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck.

About the book:

Nestled along San Diego's coast, the former romantic getaway of the silver screen's most notorious lovers is now the sizzling hacienda of Bonnie Miller's culinary boot camp. "If you are what you eat, make it hot, spicy and irresistible," is her motto, and this queen of Southwestern cuisine enjoys quite a savory life; success, fame, and a reputation for the finest palate west of Barcelona. That is, until a pot-rattling bang causes Trace Domingo, a washed-up sports writer, to crash into her life. His arrival turns up the heat at the culinary boot camp as Bonnie discovers in life's recipe book, it is not the spices which add the most flavor, but how truly hungry you are.

You can purchase this book here.

This book was provided for review by Glass Road Publications.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Praying For Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn & Tricia Goyer

Praying For Your Future Husband (Preparing Your Heart for His) by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer is a wonderful tool for young women who are earnestly seeking after God and waiting for Him to bring the right man into their lives. Each chapter addresses one specific things for young women to pray for, for the young man that (though they may not have met yet) they will one day marry. Trust, Loyalty and that he be a God Lover are just a couple of the suggested things to pray for. Each chapter gives real life examples of why each topic is suggested. Both Robin & Tricia share from their lives as well.

This book would be a great mother-daughter devotional or also good to use for a girls-only Bible study.

I'm so thankful that they took the time to write this. I remember late-night prayers for the man I would *sigh* someday marry. It's my hope that this book will help other young women to wait for the kind of man that I got.

This is published by Multnomah and was provided for review purposes only.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shattered by Melody Carlson

Shattered is the newest book my novelist Melody Carlson. Melody has written over 200 books for children, teens and adults. This is book two in her SECRETS series for young adults. In this volume we meet Cleo, who is dreading the current week because her best friend Lola is moving away. Cleo wants nothing more than to spend one last night having fun with her BFF, and that involves a concert in the city that Lola won tickets to, the eve before she moves away. Trying to convince her mother into letting her drive into the city isn't working so Cleo makes her own plans. Plans that end up costing far more than she could have ever imagined. Plans that change her life forever.

Once again Melody Carlson writes a book that's so intense that it grabs you from the first page. She takes topics that teens deal with on a daily basis and weaves stories of people who struggle and overcome. I recommend her books wholeheartedly. Clean reads with good lessons.

Thanks Melody, for this CLEAN READ.

Thanks to Glass Road Public Relations for this review copy.

This book is new and is available from NavPress.

Pitch Black by Melody Carlson

The TRUE COLORS series by Melody Carlson is a set of ten novels written for teenagers. Each one deals with a different subject that hits home with kids today. Pitch Black is the fourth in the series and it introduces us to Morgan, a teen who lives in a single parent home. Morgan's mom takes a spur-of-the-moment trip to Vegas where she intends to marry her half-her-age boyfriend. Leaving Morgan home alone for several days. During this time Morgan's lifelong friend, Jason, commits suicide. This act sends Morgan and several classmates into despair and they decide to have a suicide pact, they'll kill themselves together after Jason's memorial service. After all, if Jason, a kid who had it all, can't get through life then why should they?

Melody Carlson grabs your attention from the first page of this 193 page book and doesn't let it go until the end. There is a link in the back for anyone considering suicide. This is a gripping novel that was so real and heartbreaking that I had to put it down several times and clear my head for a while.

If you have a teen who is dealing with depression or having suicidal thoughts you may want to read this before giving it to them. It explains in detail how Jason did what he did, which may not be something that a desperate kid should read.

I applaud Melody for tackling this tough subject and NavPress for printing it. Thanks, Melody, for this CLEAN READ.

Thanks, NavPress, for providing this book to review.

You can purchase this book here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

She Makes it Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen

She Makes it Look Easy is the second novel by Marybeth Whalen and while I enjoyed her first one, this one blew me away. The characters in this book were so real to me that it kept my attention for most of the day and I finished it within hours. This is not a light, fluffy story. It's got so many levels to it that it will most likely stay with me for a long time. While at first I thought it was a story of two women who become quick friends right after meeting each other and how they both think that the other has the perfect life (lesson: quit comparing yourself to others, no one is perfect!), it became so much more.

Ariel Baxter has finally made it. She's moved into a neighborhood that she feels proud to call home and the woman on the other side of her fence seems to be the perfect new friend. Justine misses her friend that moved out of the house Ariel now lives in, but finds Ariel to be just what she needs. Both seem (to the other) to have the perfect life, but nothing is ever as it seems. Rumors circulate around town and before long both are being shaken and life will never be the same for either one again.

This book will be released by David C. Cook in June 2011

This was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer is still a relative newcomer to the Christian fiction writing scene, but last year I was blown away by her debut novel, A Tailor Made Bride. Now she's gone and done it again with her third release from Bethany House, To Win Her Heart.

Eden Spencer has resigned herself to being a spinster. Her betrothed ran off five years ago and while time has healed her wounds, she's still a little uneasy around men. Especially men new to town like the ruggedly handsome Levi Grant. Levi has just been released from prison and is looking to start over in Spencer, Texas as a blacksmith. He has made peace with his past and has renewed his relationship with the Lord, but he still doesn't want anyone to know about his incarceration, because he doesn't want to be labeled as trouble.

What I loved about this book:

  • Eden is the founder of the town library and has it in her home because she considers books of utmost importance

  • The characters use stories from the Bible to help them in real-life circumstances

  • There aren't too many characters to remember

  • I cried at the ending

  • The minor characters are as lovable as the major ones

I loved every minute of reading this book. Kudos to the author for another enjoyable read! And for a CLEAN READ.

Thanks to the author for providing this book for review.

You can purchase this book here.