Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Wings by Donna Stanley

Debut novelist Donna Stanley weaves a tale of good versus evil in New Wings, but the stakes are higher in this than in your average teen novel. This one hits the supernatural battle between angels and demons, and young Olivia Stanton is right in the middle of the action.
Olivia  has a gift, she's able to see her guardian angel, not only see him, but talk with him as well. He, in turn, is able to warn her when her friends need help.
She doesn't always get it right though, and sometimes her angel needs to rush to her rescue. She learns in time to trust the voice that she's getting used to.
Some of the battle scenes are intense, just what young readers these days like. This book was doctrinally sound and used scripture to back up different parts.
There is a lot to learn in this novel, it will teach teens how to engage in spiritual warfare without being afraid as it reminds them who the ultimate victor is.

From the back cover:
Olivia Stanton always knew the Bible says guardian angels exist. But, in all her seventeen years, she assumed they only showed up when people were dying or needed rescue from sudden disaster. Her assumption is shattered with the appearance of her own guardian angel-in the form of the good-looking Mike, no less. As Olivia gets to know Mike, more and more of her misconceptions about the spiritual realm are revealed. And, as her spiritual eyes are opened to the presence of angels all around, she'll find they can be good or evil.

This book was provided for review by Glass Road.    

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney

The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney is one book that you've got to read. Wow. Wow. Wow. I started it in the morning and could not put it down until I finished in late afternoon. I was sucked into the story from the first page. My heart ached with Mitchell Brannon when his wife, Jill, just disappeared on her way home from a conference. I felt his shame when he thought perhaps she'd left on her own will and his horror when he thought maybe something sinister had happened to her.
I felt for Shelley, Jill's best friend and their next door neighbor, when she found it difficult to navigate in this area--trying to comfort Jill's husband and yet keep her growing feelings for him to herself.
Wonderfully written and feeling like it was ripped from the headlines, The Face of the Earth is one that you've got to get your hands on. Deborah Raney has given us a treasure in this book.

From the back cover:
What if she never came home?
When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife sets off for home after a conference, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised that Jill's car isn't in the garage. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick something up for dinner. Love you." Hours later, Jill still hasn't returned, and Mitch's irritation turns to dread.
When the police come up empty, Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, to help search. As hours turn into days and days into weeks, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly more complicated. Every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse.    

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Pastors' Wives by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen was an interesting book that caused me to think about it for several weeks after reading it before I could write about it.
This is not a Christian book, though it's written about Christian women.
Pastor's Wives, to be exact.
This book is crude at times, sprinkled with obscenities, and even ridicules a real-life mega-church pastor by name.
The three main characters are pastors wives, one veteran, one with a past, one a new PW (that's what we call ourselves).
Yes, I am a PW. And I have to tell you that I am nothing like the women in this book. Though this is a fictional account, I don't even know any women who would act like these three.
There are some things that the author got right.
Having to share your husband with hundreds of people is hard.
Life in the ministry can be lonely.

There was a lot more that she got wrong though. She seemed to miss the entire aspect of our personal relationships with God. The characters were built up to be these strong women, the main character more concerned about protecting the church and its reputation as a whole than about the people in it. She makes fun of them, doesn't seem to care about them, pushes her own agenda, and seems to put herself in charge of everything. There is no submission to her husband, she goes above his head often and conducts church business on her own without consulting anyone. 

Maybe that's what bothered me, the fact that the book treated the church as a business instead of what it truly is: a ministry.

The author, on a self-confessed journey towards a faith of her own, can't understand that it is a ministry because she hasn't gotten to the point of having her own relationship with the One who will transform her thinking. I can't hold that against her, she doesn't know any different.

I wouldn't recommend this book if you're looking for something that will show you what it's like to live "in the fishbowl". It paints a picture that is not at all what I've experienced in over two decades of living the life of a pastor's wife.

There was one part that was all too true though, the evil board member. Been there, done that. There is truth that some of the most evil people are in our churches. I've met them, but there are more lovely people that outnumber the nasty ones.

There is an iPad Mini giveaway from the author, plus a Facebook party. You can enter to win it here.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Afloat by Erin Healy

Afloat, by Erin Healy, was a hard book for me to get into. While I did read the entire book, I never connected with the characters and therefore, didn't care about them or the story. They never came alive for me, plus there were a lot of different characters to keep up with, I sometimes got them confused for each other.
I've enjoyed this author's other books so I will continue to seek out her works, this one though fell short for me.

The premise is, there are a group of buildings being constructed and something goes wrong on the worksite, leaving one building in jeopardy. One by one, characters die or are injured. There is no contact with the outside world and the characters know that there is something seriously wrong, not just in their building, but in the entire land.
With some help from "helpers" only seen by a few, the building stays afloat.

This book was provided for review by Litfuse.

Monday, May 13, 2013

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad is a delightful look at the early 1900s and the duties of a Hello Girl-a telephone switchboard operator. 
Hannah Gregory has her life planned. She's going to law school to be a lawyer. Until her parents die of the flu. Now she's got the responsibility of her two younger sisters. Work is hard to come by and she learns of an opportunity to be a Hello Girl. She completes the training and is hired. 
Hannah has never been one to play by the rules and this job has plenty of them. This is a fun book with twists and turns that will keep your attention, but not so many that will confuse you.

The first in The Gregory Sisters book, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Lorna Seilstad has proven herself to be an entertaining storyteller and her historical fiction should not be missed.

The idea for this book came to her after viewing a YouTube video. Possibly this one

From the back cover:
Hannah Gregory is good at many things, but that list does not include following rules. So when she must apply for a job as a switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won't be easy. Hello Girls must conduct themselves according to strict--and often bewildering--rules, which include no consorting with gentlemen while in training.
Hannah doubts it will be difficult to keep that rule-until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.
With historic details that bring to life the exciting first decade of the twentieth-century, Lorna Seilstad weaves a charming tale of companionship that blossoms into sweet romance.

This book was provided for review by Revell.
The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Couponing for the Rest of Us by Kasey Knight Trenum

If this scares you, then you may want to grab a copy of Kasey Knight Trenum's Couponing for the Rest of Us.

Kasey spends her time teaching others what she's learned about couponing. It doesn't have to be extreme, it doesn't have to take over your life, and it doesn't have to be hard. It is explained so simply in this book that anyone can do it.
Stores go through rotations with their pricing. Kasey teaches you how to identify the rotations and combine that with coupons to get the best deals. I really appreciated when she taught that you don't need to have a stockpile.
Kasey also teaches to give. This is something that isn't mentioned much in the mainstream, but she is sure to point it out. 
While much of this information isn't new, it is nice to have it all packaged in one place. 
I haven't found a system that works best for me though, fresh produce isn't something that I'm able to find coupons for, most everything I see is processed foods.
This book was provided for review by Revell. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When A Secret Kills by Lynette Eason

Get ready for an adventure that you won't soon forget. When A Secret Kills by Lynette Eason opens with suspense and mystery and maintains the action throughout the book. Though I figured it out long before the characters did, I still enjoyed every minute reading. A fast and easy read, I whipped through this one in a day. I look forward to more from this author.

From the back cover:
Investigative reporter Jillian Carter knows it's time to put the past to rest. She's tired of looking over her shoulder, letting a killer go free. She's no longer the scared kid who changed her name and disappeared. Now, no matter what the cost, Jillian must do what she is trained to do-find the truth and expose it. And the truth is that Senator Frank Hoffman committed murder ten years ago-and Jillian watched it happen.

Didn't she?

Get ready for the spine-tingling, nail-biting conclusion to this explosive series.

Lynette Eason is the best-selling author of several romantic suspense novels. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Find out more about her here.

This book was provided for review by Revell.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Name Jonah in my Stomacn and I Think I'm Going to Throw Up!

Hey God, I've got some guy named Jonah in my Stomach and I think I'm going to Throw Up by Troy Schmidt has got to be the longest title ever for a book. This kids book is a fun look at a familiar Bible story. It's  the story of Jonah told from the whale's perspective.  

With fun, colorful pictures it'll be one that your children will enjoy looking at. The story though is a little off for me. There was just something about it that I didn't like all that much. I guess it's supposed to be a fun twist, but it fell flat to me.

It would be a fun glimpse into the whale's mind, just make sure to remind your child that it didn't really happen that way and that the story in the Bible is the way it actually took place. I think maybe that's what bothered me.
 From the back cover:
Oh sure, you've heard the story of Jonah a hundred times, but have you ever heard of from the perspective of someone who witnessed this history making event?
The whale!
This light-hearted series puts a fresh spin on our favorite Bible stories, told with humor and attitude, while remembering exactly what the original story was all about.
A lesson in obedience.

This book was provided for review by FlyBy Promotions.