Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

 A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert took me a little longer to get through than most books do. This is not a light, easy read. The characters in this book wrestle with deep issues and I found it to be heavy and almost depressing. Just when I got a handle on what Ivy (the main character) was dealing with along came another blow, and another, and another. Then the other characters all had their own deep issues. I really didn't enjoy this because of all of that. 
Here's the back cover:
It was a clean read, but not the glimpse into the fashion industry like I'd hoped it would be. And the redeeming moment was actually underwhelming. Then the book just ended abruptly and had a one page epilogue that pretty much said they all lived happily ever after.
Not my favorite.

This book was provided for review by Blogging for Books. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Death Takes a Ride by Lorena McCourtney

Death Takes a Ride is the third installment in the Cate Kinkaid Series by Lorena McCourtney. This was not my favorite of the three. For some reason I never connected with the book (not sure if it was the book or if it was just larger things looming in my mind at the time of reading). 
I was hoping for a fun read with some mystery, and was looking forward to giggling a lot. The book was good and the mystery was one that I couldn't figure out, but there was just something missing for me. 
I have enjoyed the series so far though and I  hope that this isn't the last of Cate Kinkaid.

From the back cover:
Cate Linkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there--this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense. 
Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystaner, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the m ore she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.
Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on a wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.

This book was provided for review by Revell.

Veil of Secrets by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

I've read numerous books by Kathryn Mackel and a few of Shannon Ethridge's. This collaboration on Veil of Secrets is one that I really didn't enjoy. I trudged through the first one hundred pages hoping that it would gain momentum and then it finally did, but then I felt like I was being preached at and was exploring my own marriage issues in the fictional husband-wife therapy sessions. The characters never came alive to me and there were so many of them that it took me until about page one hundred to figure out who was who. There was one character (David) that I'm still not sure who he was. It got bored again towards the end of the book so finished the last twenty pages or so in just a few minutes as I skimmed them. There was a lot left undone, questions unanswered (the whole Joshua thing, for one).
I didn't enjoy my time with this book. It was a let down.

About the book:
Can a mother face the secrets of her past in order to protect her daughter from the same mistakes?
Melanie and Will Connors seem like the perfect couple, but their marriage only looks good on the outside, having withered inside from a lack of intimacy.
The barriers Melanie faces to intimacy are hidden in her past—a misguided tryst with a trusted friend of her father's, a pattern of promiscuity as a teen, empty relationships in early adulthood. The only way Melanie sees to save herself from herself is to turn off her desires—even in her marriage.
Will insists they either work on the marriage—or work on the divorce. Their attempt at restoration occurs in the midst of a New Hampshire presidential primary that is rocked by violent protests and razor-sharp character assassinations. For the first time, their marriage begins to feel like a safe place.
As Melanie tries to sort through her own past, she sees her 16-year-old daughter's head turned by a charismatic older man on Will's campaign team. Can Melanie sift through her own rubble and find the voice to help guide her daughter—and possibly find the joy that God intended for her marriage?
This book was provided for review by BookLook and Thomas Nelson

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ragamuffin: Based on the Life of Rich Mullins

Ragamuffin: Based on the Life of Rich Mullins was released in theaters several months ago and is now coming out on DVD. I was privileged to receive a copy to review and was completely wrecked by this movie. I had no idea what Rich was like as a person. I bought his first record simply because of this song:

Because it had Amy Grant helping out with BGVs. Rich wrote many songs that Amy recorded (Sing Your Praise to the Lord, Doubly Good to You, Love of Another Kind) and was one of the many artists that Amy helped professionally.

I always found his lyrics to be deep and inspiring. He wasn't one to write bubblegum songs, his had meaning.

After watching this movie it is clear that he was a passionate man who thought deeply. I had no idea how tortured he was from the circumstances surrounding him. 

There are sixteen instances of swearing in this movie, most being the same word and most spoken by the character portraying Rich's father. The father who caused most of the torment in the life of this musical genius. 

It is clear that the words spoken to Rich when he was a child had a horrible impact and that if his father had taken time to spend with his son, to get to know him, to love him for who he was and not try to make him into something else, then Rich probably would not have walked the path that he did. 

But God still used him where he was. He used him while he smoke, and He used him while he drank. It seems as though Rich had tragedy after tragedy in his life and he didn't know how to let it go.

I found this movie to be almost overwhelming. All he wanted was his father's love and he died without never getting or knowing it. 

We have a generation of people just like Rich. Searching for ways to fill the void of the  love of an earthly father. 

I think that this movie could have an impact on the lives of those people.

While Rich wasn't perfect, he lived his life trying to be like Jesus and the impact that he made through his music may be nothing in comparison that the impact this movie may have.

This movie was provided for review by FlyBy Promotions.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Persecuted by Robin Parrish

Wow! I haven't read a book this captivating in quite a while (see my previous posts). This one grabbed me and I could not put it down. It took me about two hours to read it and it chilled me to the bone. This fictional account of religious freedom in America was all too real. 
I'm also thrilled to note that it is going to be released as a movie within the next few weeks. 
This book was high-action and suspense. The only thing that I didn't like were the flashbacks to years prior, I felt it slowed the story down.
I hope that readers (and movie goers) will realize that this is what could happen to us in this country sooner than we realize.
It is time to take a stand and not be silent any longer.

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

I have come to love Karen Witemeyer's books since her debut several years ago. She does everything right with historical fiction. Her novels draw the reader in and immerse the mind fully in the story. Everything else fades away as I read one of her stories.
Full Steam Ahead is no different. I adored this story are getting to know these characters. I hated seeing it end and would love for their story to continue on. 
Love, romance, mystery, suspense, danger, and even a nod to pirates, are all included in her latest. This was easy to get into and kept my attention fully. Such a welcome break to have a wonderful book to read in the middle of a chaotic summer.

Sit down and relax with this one. You deserve it.

From the back cover:
Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.
Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.
After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.
Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire and heir for her father when her heart now belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

This book was provided for review by Bethany House