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Topic: May 2013 - Reviews/Discussions of Christian Books

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Subject: May 2013 - Reviews/Discussions of Christian Books
Date Posted: 5/1/2013 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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Please post book reviews and/or comments on Christian books that you have read in January 2013 here

If you are participating in the 2013 Christian Reading Challenge:

Extra, Extra Bonus

Spread the Word:  Post a review of a book that you have read in the monthly review topic and you will be entered for a random drawing of a WL book to be chosen by me (valued under $15).  There will be a minimum of 4 drawings a year with maybe a couple of more thrown in.  You do not have to track them.  I will get the names from the thread.  A person may only win once.

FYI - I am exempt

Date Posted: 5/5/2013 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Invisible by Ginny L. Yttrup

 

I just could not put this book down!  

The story includes a chef/cafe owner, a pyscologist, an herbalist, and a doctor.  The first three are women seeking to be invisible...each with their own issues about themselves.  The doctor is a handsome widower intersted in the chef, but she has such a low opinion of herself, she thinks there has to be something wrong with the doctor.  

The phsycologist has come to California for a year, leaving her husband, twin daughters, and her practice to "heal"...but she seems to be doing more hiding than healng

The Herbalist has been strugging with an eating disorder because she just wants to disappear.  When life sends problems that trigger her desire to disappear again, she tackles it head on, with God's help.

 

This story really spoke to me, being a "large" woman who has used her weight to keep people at bay..especially men after a very nasty relationship and divorce with my first husband.  It helped me to open my eyes and see that I still have a tendency to do this and made me think to find out what some of my triggers are and how I am hurting my relationship with God because I have not acknowleged the fact that I am made in His image (spiritually), and that He created me, so as a human, I am not a mistake.  My weight is my doing, but it is still not an excuse to push people away.  It's my job as a Christian to shine the Light of Jesus and be a testimony to Him.  

Date Posted: 5/5/2013 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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Daughter of Light  Author: Morgan L Busse      5 Stars

Lately I find myself drawn a lot more toward books that could be termed fantasy or speculative fiction. This book is a perfect example of why. Rowen is a young woman who suddenly has a strange mark show up on her hand. She has no idea what it is, where it came from, and why is it there until one day a situation arises with one of the males from her village. In stopping his advances, she touches him with her hand and it is like she can suddenly see through his soul, all the darkness that makes up who he is. The village hears of this and convicts her of being a witch for which she could be burned at the stake but instead they banish her from the village. Thus begins her journey to find a safe place and maybe even find answers to questions that she hasn't even voiced to herself yet.

I thought that the story did slow a good bit working towards the middle but it still moved enough to keep drawing me into the story. After the middle, the pace really picked up and kept me enthralled until the end. It does leave you wondering what happens with one character that you come to like but I'm hoping that it will be resolved quickly in the next in the series.

If you have never tried this type of book, this one would be a great one to pick up. Can't wait for the next one in the series to come.

Date Posted: 5/5/2013 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2011
Posts: 634
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Daughter of Light  Author: Morgan L Busse      5 Stars  yes

 

The next book is out; Son of Truth  http://www.marcherlordpress.com/bookstore/fantasy/son-of-truth-by-morgan-busse/

 

On Amazon it seems it is only an ebook but the Lord Marcher Press Publisher website offers it in paperback.  Can't wait to read it myself.

Date Posted: 5/5/2013 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Well, just got done reading Jennifer by Dee Henderson. 

Very well done and I totally enjoyed going back and reading the story of the youngest O'Malley. If you have not read this series by Dee Henderson I would urge you to. If you have read them, you will know what I am talking about when I say this gives so much more meaning and depth to the back story of Jennifer. The only bad thing is that it is small. You will definitely need tissues handy and that is amazing when this is before she even enters the other series. Good writing that is typical of Dee Henderson. I really love her books and the way she writes. Funny thing is my mother and sister have already read through it as well, which is fast. Definitely a 5 star book!! If you know someone going through cancer or who has a friend facing cancer, this is a book to give them. I had a friend battle with cancer and so much of what is written in this book was an encouragement. 



Last Edited on: 5/5/13 11:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/6/2013 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Finished my first book for May;  my reading has slowed down........

Read Wildflower Hearts,  another Romancing America book set in North Dakota..........romance in the Wild West; loved it!

In the first story Anna from Chicago writes dime novels under a man's name and is invited to visit a ranch in North Dakota by a rancher who is appalled by her lack of knowledge of the wild west shown by the errors she makes in her books (for ex, a steer gives birth to a calf)......The rancher has a twin sister and an older brother who find their romances in the second and third story of the book........a fun read, interesting old wild west stories........

Subject: The Noticer by Andy Andrews
Date Posted: 5/8/2013 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 400
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I just finished this book and would recommend it to everyone. It is short but full of great thoughts. It is fictional but is a great story about perspectives on life.

It is the story of a man on the beaches of Alabama that is seen carrying his suitcase all around the area of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. He meets people along the way and helps them gain a new perspective on their life situations. It spoke to me and I think it could help everyone with their own perspective. I highly recommend the book. I am keeping my copy since I think it would be good to read again whenever I need to look at life differently.

Date Posted: 5/8/2013 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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This isn't a review but thought that I would share this here. 

Robin Lee Hatcher has a post titled 'Christian Fiction Wednesday' where she says "I love to help readers find books by the many wonderful Christian fiction writers I’ve come to know through the years. I can’t read them all, but I can at least tell others when a new book is out. Here’s the latest offering."

I saw one that caught my attention of a new to me author.  Here is the link:

http://robinleehatcher.com/christian-fiction-5-8-13/?fb_source=pubv1

Date Posted: 5/8/2013 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Your book Meg caught my eye, I went to add it to my wish list, I've already read it..........:0)

Date Posted: 5/9/2013 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Finished reading Wounds by Alton Gansky. This is not one of my favorites. It is okay but kind of odd. There are several main characters and they are somewhat hard to keep track of. There are some grisly descriptions given:) The main plot is that someone is going around murdering people in strange ways. One man is found dead from what appears to be a pizza dough roller. Another man turns up who looks like he has been beaten to death by a huge man. The detectives on the case think it is a serial killer but there are no clues as to the common denominator for the killings. One man who might be able to help them is a seminary professor who has past dealings with the detective. He watched her younger sister die. There is a lot to keep track of in here and I just felt it was a bit much. Someone else may be able to read it just fine and have no problems. I would give it 3 stars out of 5. 



Last Edited on: 5/9/13 2:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/9/2013 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Finished reading Seaside Romances  This is another one of the Romancing America series.  It includes three different historical romances; the first about a daughter of a light house keeper, the second the daughter of an alcoholic who when working as a maid is romanced and asked to wed by her rich boss, and the third about a daughter whose mother is planning on her marrying and becoming a countess.....all the stories take place in Rhode Island......

Date Posted: 5/14/2013 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Connecticut Brides by Pamela Griffith is a set of three Christian romance stories set in Connecticut........

The first a young lady literally runs away to the circus looking for her mother after her aunt tells her that her mother didnt really die, she was working as a bearded lady in the circus...........as wierd as it sounds, it happened........a different and interesting story.

In the second a young lady finds a friend from childhood who she has always loved.....he's lost his eyesight in an accident, refusing surgery that could restore his eyesight..........

In the third story Hannah is looking for serenity after a stranger shows up and enters her dreams........

Date Posted: 5/15/2013 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I read this in April, but I realized I hadn't posted about it in the April topic, so I'm putting it here. smiley

Hildegard de Bingen - R. Pernoud <-- This book is separated into chapters that focus on topics concerning Hildegard and her life, yet the narrative is chronological.  The style flows easily between the authors narration and quotes from Hildegard's work.  Thus far this is one of my favorite biographies on Hildegard.  While not as detailed as some, Pernoud's excellent sense of pacing makes this an enjoyable and detailed read.  Complete review available on my blog.



Last Edited on: 9/1/13 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/19/2013 7:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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In the past week or so, I have read the first three books in Anna Schmidt's AMISH BRIDES-CELERY FIELDS series. They are:

HANNAH'S JOURNEY

FAMILY BLESSINGS

A GROOM FOR GRETA

I must say that I really enjoyed all three. All had unique original stories that I really appreciated---not the same old, same old plot like some others. All had great characters. If you like Amish romances, I think you will enjoy this series too. (It's best to read these in order.)

Date Posted: 5/20/2013 6:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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White Mountain Brides by Susan Paige Davis: another Romancing America book set in New Hampshire..........This one takes place in 1689 after several members of a settlement are taken hostage by Indians, then live in Canada for several years.  When they're returned to the community three young women have no home left to go to.  The pastor takes them in and one by one, each story of the book is about how they start their life anew and also find love........a historical romance novel........

Date Posted: 5/24/2013 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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Mortal Fire (The Secret of the Journal)  Author: C. F. Dunn      5 Stars

Have you ever read a book that makes you have more questions than answers? That wasn't anything like what you thought it might be but that it didn't matter? The answer to both of these questions concerning this book is a definite yes! I was half way through the book and still didn't have a clue as to what exactly the book was about. The back cover says "Emma, a young and self-contained professor of history, leaves Cambridge for a post in an exclusive university in the USA, intent on finding a long-overlooked seventeenth century journal. Bound within its pages are secrets that threaten to bring Emma into conflict with the present; but can she discover the truth - and will she believe it?

Reading that you would think that the journal is very important to the story but actually in this first book of the series it really doesn't play a big part. Even though I couldn't get the actual story to jibe with the description, I kept reading because what was written intrigued me and kept drawing me on. So much that I didn't want to put it down. I would say that this book is letting you get to know the characters and building up from there. I enjoyed the writer's style and the turn of phrasing that she used. I liked Emma's character mainly because she is different. She is a historian but is drawn to study events that include man's inhumanity to man, such as torture and things along those lines. She meets a man that she is strongly attracted to and one that she greatly fears. There isn't much explained about either which leaves a huge mystery. I have my own guess about the one she is attracted to but I won't share that here, especially as I might not be right. I will just say that I can't wait for the next in the series to come out.

Date Posted: 5/24/2013 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,082
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Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword Bk 1)  Author: Patrick W. Carr      5 Stars

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers — Will Love — In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Enjoyed this book very much.  The story drew you right into it and I didn't want to put it down.  For the author's first book, he did an outstanding job. Needless to say I have already pre-ordered the second in the series.  The way the characters were described made it very easy to picture.

The only problem that I had with it and it is more personal taste than anything was the names that the author gave to God, The Son and the Holy Spirit.  In reading I had problems with trying to figure out the pronunciation in my head.  Luckily for me, they weren't used a tremendous amount of time.

Date Posted: 5/25/2013 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Just got done reading If The Shoe Fits by Sandra Bricker. What a hoot! I am giving this 5 stars because I loved it!

The whole premise of the book is based on Cinderella. A woman who is waiting for Prince Charming to appear on his white horse, except she doesn't like horses so a motorcycle would work too:) Julianne has just opened a law firm with her best friend, William. He has been in love with her for years but never broached the subject because she thinks of him as a brother or best pal. When she falls for this hunky handsome construction worker who is rescuing a dog from the road, Will doesn't know what to do. Julie, or Jules as Will calls her, feels like her life is perfect when Paul Weaver asks her out to eat. But sometimes the things we think we want, aren't always what we need. 

Totally enjoyed this one and anyone who likes a good laugh will enjoy it. 



Last Edited on: 5/25/13 2:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/26/2013 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Red Rock Weddings by Lauralee Bliss    Another Romancing America book of three stories set in Utah.......giving this one 4.5 stars!!

It Happens Every Spring by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman   This is the first book of a series; Four Seasons of a Marriage.  I'll give this one 5 stars.  LOVED It!  Brenda and Steve feel their marriage is unraveling, children off to college........temptation comes to Brenda in the form of a handyman she hires and to Steve in his job and his clients.......throw in a homeless young man who is mentally challenged who shows up and Brenda tries to take care of him.......and throw in several other women of the community who come together to help Brenda when she is at her lowest........along with God's love...........a wonderful story!  Can't wait to read the rest of the series..........a light but meaningful read!!



Last Edited on: 5/26/13 3:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2013 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Finishing up two books:

A YEAR ON LADYBUG FARM  Christian fiction chick lit at it's best;  What a fun book.........three middle aged ladies, children grown, husbands gone.......sell their homes and move into an aging home that is "infested" with ladybugs giving them the name Ladybug Farm.......a beautiful, fun story, of their adventures as they renovate the house with its gardens and farmland........and venture into a new life..........

  SIERRA WEDDINGS       Another of the America Romances;  this is a trilogy of three modern Christian romances taking place in Nevada.  Three modern day  women find love despite their haunting past........                                                                           

Subject: Will move to June's review when it's opened
Date Posted: 6/4/2013 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,716
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Minnesota Brides by Janet Spaeth  Another Romancing America book of three stories;  these are located in Minnesota (duh) in the 1880s........Christal's life is upset when a new doctor arrives in town, why does he bother her so?   Eliza runs away to her hometown after being jilted, will she be able to put the past behind her as she finds new love?  Lolly and her brothers take in a stranger who is injured with amnesia, are close to losing their farm during the Great Depression; how does this stranger help them keep the farm?  Entertaining historical romances!

Date Posted: 6/15/2013 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,537
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I ordered the book A Miracle for St. Cecilia's (Dorsetville, Bk 1) (Large Print)
Author: Katherine Valentine   because it was Large Print and then after picking it up and reading it cover to cover, I found out it is a series.  Delightful story, delightful characters, delightful book.  I have now ordered the other four or five in the series, but if you get the chance, check this one out.  

Subject: The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
Date Posted: 6/19/2013 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 400
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I just finished this book and loved it. It was a little predictable and reminded me of a movie I saw once. The emotions of the characters were so real and their struggles were easy to empathize with. I am so glad I kept reading. It was a testimony to the changes possible in a person when God get a hold of their heart.  Life if filled with hard things and people struggle with many problems but there is always hope when we take those things to the One who created us.



Last Edited on: 6/19/13 9:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: How Do I Love Thee? by Nancy Moser
Date Posted: 7/17/2013 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 400
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I just completed this book and really enjoyed it. It is based on the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The author even included a section in the back of the book telling what parts were actually true events in Elizabeth's life. I love learning about people in the context of a novel. I was amazed at the character's upbringing and her courtship with Robert Browning. In some ways the story is tragic but well worth the read.