Monday, December 28, 2009

Cottonwood Whispers by Jennifer Erin Valent

In this sequel to Jennifer’s award-winning debut novel Fireflies in December, Jessilyn Lassiter and her best friend Gemma Teague have survived prejudice and heartache in their lifelong friendship, but the summer of 1936 threatens to tear them apart yet again. Gemma’s job with the wealthy Hadley family leads to a crush on their youngest son. But Jessilyn’s insistence that he’s no good and that no rich white man would ever truly fall for a poor black girl like Gemma puts them at odds. Tragedy strikes when Jessilyn’s cherished neighbor girl is hit by a car and killed. Things get worse when an elderly friend is falsely accused of the crime, and the only way to clear his name is to put her family’s livelihood in jeopardy. For Jessilyn, this is a choice too hard to bear and she wonders where to turn for answers, especially when an angry mob threatens vigilante justice. Jennifer’s third book, Catching Moondrops, releases in Fall 2010.

My thoughts:
I was not able to read the first book by Jennifer Erin Valent, but reading this book was a surprise!!!

I am more into reading Christian thriller/mystery novels where I have to be left guessing the who-done-its, not Christian romance novels. Christian romance isn't suspenseful enough to hold my attention but this one is an exception.

Cottonwood Whispers has many downsides to it, but it also has enough of an upside that it held my attention until the end, and it makes me anxious to see what happens in Catching Moondrops, to be released in the Fall of 2010. Cottonwood Whispers talks about many true and real issues that many people struggle with and that makes it easier to finally get into. It is a story line that questions God and questions about eternal life. Jennifer Erin Valent doesn't shy away from struggles, she tells it like it is and makes it an interesting read.

Would I have gone out and bought a copy of this book? No. Will I recommend someone to go and buy this book? That depends. If you are into challenging issues and Christian fiction then yes, I recommend you buy this book. If you don't like the challenging issues and struggling with God, then I don't recommend this book for you. All in all, Jennifer Erin Valent show a talent for writing!

~Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review~

~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Sweet By and By by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

A redemptive story from multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans.

Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she's thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson's love.

But then Jade's hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade's wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark closets of her past--the insecurity of living with a restless, wandering mother, the silence of her absent father, and the heart-ripping pain of first-love's rejection.

Turns out Beryl has a secret of her own. She needs reconciliation with her oldest daughter before illness takes her life. In the final days leading to the wedding, Jade meets the One who shows her that the past has no hold on her future. With a little grace, they'll meet in the middle, maybe even before that sweet by and by.

My thoughts:
I am not a Sara Evans fan as far as her music goes, but after reading The Sweet By and By, I can see that her calling should have been in writing! I was so moved by this story! I am a mother of a daughter so this story really takes a special place in my heart. It is an emotional, twisty story. It's about faith, letting the past be the past, and hope and forgiveness. It is about life being the most important thing above all. Truly something that I, as a mother and grandmother, hold dear to me now, after reading this heart wrenching, moving story. This book deserves to be at the top of the best sellers lists! This book is 5 stars and highly recommended by me!

~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Light Keeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger—and quite possibly the love of her life.

Growing up as the lightkeeper’s daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she’s immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.

As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs.

What I thought:
I love a good mystery story. Colleen Coble is one of the great mystery tellers in Christian fiction that I like to read. Her newest release, The Lightkeeper's Daughter, is a mix of mystery,history and faith.

The romantic part of the story is good and the characters compliment each other. The best part of the story, is the mystery. Colleen's mysterious part of her stories are wonderful because she has the ability to keep me guessing. I never can figure her the who-done-it's out until the very last page. To me, that is the best kind of story (when I can't figure it out!) because I am usually able to figure the who-done-it's on the first page!

I recommend this book as both a mystery,and christian romance book.I can't wait for the next book in this series!

Good job, Ms. Coble!

~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Amish Christmas:December in Lancaster County by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Barbara Cameron

Follow the lives of three Amish families through the Christmas season.

A Miracle for Miriam: Miriam fell for Seth, but he broke her heart. Years later, after he’s nearly killed in an accident, Miriam sees him at a Christmas party and notices something is different about him—not just how he looks, but how he acts. When Seth pursues her, she must decide whether to guard her heart or accept his love.

A Choice to Forgive: Lydia has loved two men in her life. Daniel disappeared one Christmas Eve long ago, leaving only a note saying he wanted to live in the Englisch world. And Elam, Daniel's brother, to whom she has been happily married for 15 years. When Elam dies, Lydia gives up on ever loving again. But she is shocked when Daniel wants to return to the Order and her life.

One Child: The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On this snowy Lancaster Christmas Eve, another child will change the world of two couples.

I truly have high opinions of this book. I recieved, read and reviewed in ONE day. This is set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I am from Pennsylvania and I loved reading about the different places that I,myself, have been to! In the winter time too!

The 3 authors combined their talent and wove the stories together in an inspiring way. They use faith, God, friendship, love and blessings to tell the stories of these wonderful characters.

I didn't want the story to end but new it had too. This book has found a permenent home on my bookshelf, and each year,at Christmas, I will read it again and again!

~A Copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

Friday, November 13, 2009

Read and Share: The Story of Christmas by Gwen Ellis

A truly wonderful read for children and their parents! The DVD combo idea was magnificent as both truly tell the wonderous story of Christmas in a way that will be forever in a child's mind!

Written in a way that little minds will comprehend, Gwen Ellis tells a wonderful story of how Christmas came to be, from Zachariah's story to the birth of Jesus to the Wiseman. I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old and they both sat in awe as I read this story to them.

The pictures that are used in this book complete the story so well. It is like the words were written to go with the pictures, not the pictures to go with the words. My children had as much fun telling their own Christmas Story just from the pictures as they did listening to the story and watching the DVD.

This is a book that I would give as a gift to anyone who has children from the ages of 2 and up. It is a fun and inspiring read for everyone and wonderful new tradition to start for the whole family.

A 5 star rating for both illustrations, story telling and DVD addition. Well done, Gwen Ellis!!

~This book was provided for the purpose of review from Thomas Nelson Publishing Company. No money was recieved for this opinion.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Green by Ted Dekker Review

I have read that if you did not get to read Dekker's White, Red, or Black novels and read his Green you have read all 3 of the others as he combines those three in Green and makes one novel. I have to agree that he has done that.

What I can not agree with is his use of the fantasy mixed with the future and reality. Oh, Ted Dekker is a very talented author, yes, but this is a book that I would not read simply because it's not the genre and style that I am used to.

Dekker is very talented, as I stated, when he is describing events in the book. He certainly knows how to make meaningful characters. His plot is unique in combining fantasy with the reality.

The part that I dislike is the future fantasy of re-creating earth and calling it Green. He portrays God with his character Elyon and Satan with his character Teelah. I don't like his style of using biblical characters and re-creating them in a fantasy style.

But, however, some people do enjoy that sort of thinking and I would highly recommend this book for you. I do not yet if I would enjoy other works of Ted Dekker's but just because I disagreed with this particular work doesn't mean I won't try reading his works again! I just don't like this style of this book.

*This book was provided for review compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers*

~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor Review

Kenneth Taylor uses the ABC's and combines them with things children, (and adults!) should learn to live a better life and have a closer relationship with Jesus.

Taylor makes it fun for children to learn the ABC's and important lessons by using rhymes and silly,fun pictures! He also adds questions to each lesson so that the children can think about the lessons more thoroughly that are being taught.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, so I know children will enjoy it as well! I'd recommend this book to parents or Sunday School teachers who wish to share God's word and biblical concepts in an exciting and fun way, with young children and adults alike!

Two thumbs up for a best selling children's book author!!!

~This book provided for review courtesy of Tyndale Publishers~

Friday, September 18, 2009

Waiting for Summer's Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This story had me from page one! It is magnificently written by a truly talented and wonderful author that writes in a style sure to make you feel a part of the story within the pages!!
Set in a quaint little Mennonite community, Summer Steadman is all alone after her family falls sick and dies. She's desperate for a job to make ends meet, so she boldly takes on the task of teaching Peter Ollenberger's son while he is recuperating from an injury and is unable to attend school. She never planned on falling in love and knows he can't accept her English ways and looks at her as an "outsider", so she leaves to the home built for her near her family's graves, but can she return to the man she loves and accept his Mennonite ways??
Peter Ollenberger is a widowed Mennonite man, raising his son and taking care of his late wife's grandmother. He has a strong faith. He has good friends...that is until the young "learned English woman" lives in the small shack on his property and teaches his son lessons...and steals his heart!
Ms. Sawyer tells of tested faith, the value of family, morals and a love for God that is sure to draw you in from the first page! This book deserves highest praises many times over for an author who knows how to capture the readers' hearts!

Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

A wunderbaar Amish novel set in the quaint Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Beth Wiseman combines love, faith in God, friendship and family in a way that captures the reader and holds them to the very end!
Lillian Miller, trying to escape a life of lies and a relationship she doesn't need, flees to her Amish grandparents' home in Lancaster County, knowing all along that she will never fit in with her modern style. While there, she discovers truths about her past...things her mother never told her.
Samuel Stoltzfus is a young Amish widow, trying to raise his young son. He meets the young Englischer, the granddaughter of his close friends. He knows the rules of the Ordnung, but can he truly deny what he feels in his heart???
She's forced to choose between two of lies and abuse, and one of simple, family oriented, Godly, plain living...and a life with a wunderbaar, caring man.
What will happen to Lillian and her perfect, modern life and Samuel, with his plain living? Will they face the truth of their feelings, hearts and God and become Plain Perfectin this amazing inspirational novel?
Grab some coffee and a copy of Beth's novel, sit back and enjoy this first book in a wonderful series, Daughters of the Promise! You'll be glad you did! This book truly deserves to be highly praised and I think you'll agree once you,too, have read Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman!!!!! Two thumbs up and five stars to Mrs. Wiseman!!!