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Topic: March 2013 - Reviews/Discussion of Christian Books Read

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Subject: March 2013 - Reviews/Discussion of Christian Books Read
Date Posted: 2/28/2013 9:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
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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: 3/3/2013 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Finished reading A Quarter for a Kiss by Mindy Starns Clark yesterday..........rating 4 stars.......This is the 4th book of a 5 book series: Million Dollar Mysteries.   It's a story of a young lady who works for a company that grants money to charities as needed;  she investigates the requestor of the grants to see if they're worthy.  She lost her husband in a waterskiing accident and was hired into this position.  Over the first four books, she has fallen in love with the owner of the company......and the feeling's mutual.   In this book they get so close to professing their love, so close, but not yet.   A mystery and a romance mixed with their Christian faith......

I started the 5th(last) book of the series today;  The Buck Stops Here........



Last Edited on: 3/6/13 11:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/4/2013 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Just finished reading "Bloody Point" by Linda J. White.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  I ordered it as part of my "Like Minded" on the book challenge.  Decided to go with FBI based characters.  

I found the story very well written and easy to follow.  Loved the characters and while I figured out who the bad guty was early on, it still kept me going with the action.  Consider it a good read and gave it four stars.

Date Posted: 3/4/2013 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Just finished reading Goodbye To Yesterday by Wanda Brunstetter.

This was an enjoyable little book. It is the first in a series of 6 and they are shorter stories with only about 121 pages each. This starts off with Meredith discouraged because the married life isn't what she expected. When they first got married Luke was in love with her and now they almost never talk except to argue and he spends more and more time with his dog, Fritz. His main problem is he lost his job and has not been able to find another one so the whole play of financial struggles is so relative to our day and age today. 

Luke finally gets a call from an uncle who wants him to come help in his business but this uncle lives in Indiana, which is quite a drive during the winter time. Meredith has misgivings about the trip but Luke decides to go anyways as this is his way of redemption. There are things at work here that both spouses don't realize and I like how Wanda pulls you both ways. You understand Meredith's fears about her husband going that far in the winter time and how long he will be gone. Yet you also feel Luke's longing to provide for his family and the chance he is given. 

The only thing I wish is that the book was longer. It leaves you suspended at the end and you have to wait for the next book, which seems to be coming out later this month. I also think it would have been nice to have less books and more pages to each one. It just seemed kind of hard to get into the book and just as you do, it ends. Still a very good book and I totally enjoyed it!

Date Posted: 3/6/2013 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Finished the last book of The Million Dollar Mysteries series:  The Buck Stops Here by Mindy Starns Clark........and the series stops here.....Rating:  4.5 stars.    It was as good if not better than the first books....The heroine comes face to face with the driver of the boat who hit her husband and killed him when he was waterskiing......the relationship between her and her boss who she has fallen in love with becomes strained or should I say put on hold when she discovers he knows something about that accident that he hasnt shared with her.    I'm not going to tell you how the book (and series) ends in case you're reading them or want to...........

This series is a christian mystery with a romance that develops throughout the series.......yes I recommend it.......



Last Edited on: 3/6/13 11:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2013 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Finished "Face of Betrayal" today.  I enjoyed this book very much, giving it four stars.  

17 year-old Katie Converse, home for Christmas from Washington DC, where she was a Senate Page, takes the family dog out for a walk but never returns.  The story also includes one FBI agent, one Federal Prosecutor, and one television reporter.  

I had no problems following the story or keeping up with the characters, and I was also very surprised at the ending.  Bad guy was not whom I was betting on. 

Very good story, had me wanting to keep reading till the end....finished it in two days, definitely a page turner!

Date Posted: 3/10/2013 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Read The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis (book 1 of Hickory Hollow series),  rating 4 stars..........story of an Amish man and a English girl both struggling with what they want in life.  He's Amish but wanting more out of life: education, technology, etc...........She is a concert fiddler but wants a simpler life......Another great story of B. Lewis;  references to characters of other books she has written....... the book left me hanging as to who is the boyfriend of one girl in the book, she has a hope chest, talks about her boyfriend but the book ends without her divulging who he is.......hmm, maybe their story is the second or third book of this series

Date Posted: 3/10/2013 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 665
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I've gotten behind in updating and posting, so maybe I can catch up today.

I read A Promise to Love by Author: Serena Miller

This is such an exciting and skillfully written book! A Promise to Love begins with a tragedy and the action never stops. There are numerous twists, turns and side plots, so something of importance is invariably happening with each new scene.

The characters come off the page and into your heart and mind. Ingrid is a wonderful, caring and strong woman, who depends on her faith to carry her through life. I particularly enjoy the way she models the love of Jesus, which seems to come as naturally to her as smiling. Of course, she isn’t perfect, which makes her even more endearing. Joshua is the kind of flawed hero that readers love to cheer on. Several interesting, secondary characters, with strong personalities or distinctive quirks, add much richness to the story.

I love the historical aspects to this book and how the author was able to weave history around and through her story. A Promise to Love is a book that I wanted to just keep on reading without stopping, because I was anxious to see what would happen next. A Promise to Love is an extraordinarily good, historic fiction novel. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical, romantic fiction

 

 

Date Posted: 3/10/2013 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 665
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Another book I recently read is Mother of Pearl :: Kellie Coates Gilbert

Mother of Pearl is an interesting story about commitment to family and staying true to one’s self. The author tackled some difficult themes—accountability, forgiveness, and regeneration—to name a few. I liked the way she handled the fact that families—including Christian families—aren’t always what they seem.

I think this novel would be especially interesting to women and particularly mothers.

If you want to read my whole review, I posted it on the book data page.

This is the author's debut novel, so I am using it for The Beginning and The End  in the reading challenge.



Last Edited on: 3/10/13 7:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2013 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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In Every Heartbeat
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
3.5 stars   This is a book set in Missouri about three friends who grew up together in an orphanage who go off to college together.........with different goals, one wants to be a preacher, one a writer, and one to explore the world..........
 
Love Finds You in Camelot, Tennessee
Author: Janice Hanna
4 stars    This Love Finds You book is a bit different;  the town clerk Amy develops a scheme for the town to put on the play Camelot to promote their town and earn revenue.  Full of delightful fun quirky characters to bring a smile to your face and of course the developing romance between Amy and the mayor.......
Date Posted: 3/13/2013 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2008
Posts: 3,365
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Just finished reading Grave Consequences by Lisa T Bergren.

Wow!! This is a wonderfully powerful story has totally swept me into it's pages. Lisa Bergren has written a novel that pulls you every which way while immersing you into a different time period and culture. This is the second in a series and I would urge you to read them in order, mainly so you know what is going on. Most of it can be figured out but it might be easier to keep characters straight.

Personally I fell in love with Cora. She is put in a hard spot at a time in her life where she needs her family. Only everything she knows is not as it seems. Or is it? Not only is her family taken away and replaced with a new one, but she must found out what she is really made of. Is the fancy, regal, posh life hers? Or is she more ready to go home and spend her life as a school-teacher in her little country town? These are just some of the questions and struggles Cora goes through as you read this novel. Oh, and don't forget her little romance problems too. These greatly mirror her other struggles as she continues her grand tour.

This is a wonderful book that I had no personal problems with. If put in the same position I think I would come to the same conclusions that Cora does. Which I am not going to tell you so you have to go get the book. Ha!! Actually there are sweet parts, a bit of mystery thrown in and a story of a life that has its ups and downs. I so cannot wait for the next book and probably the last. This will hopefully clear up any loose threads left hanging while I also hope to hear more about Cora, Will, Pierre and the rest of the Kensington and Morgan clan. I do have to say, I didn't much like Hugh throughout most of the story, but there comes a turning point where I actually understood more of him and his struggles as well. We all may be different on the outside than we really want to be. How true this is for many of us. Excellent book Lisa!!



Last Edited on: 3/13/13 1:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/13/2013 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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Charity, I read the first in the series and loved it.  I'm glad to hear the sequel is good!  I'm looking forward to it.

Date Posted: 3/16/2013 5:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Almost forgot to review this book here:  A Distant Melody (Book one of Wings of Glory) by Sarah Sundin.......rating 4.5 stars........

or did I do it in Feb's??  I dont remember now.

Anyway, it's the story of a socialite young lady who meets a young man while attending her college friend's wedding.......he's in the Army Air Corps and ships away to England.  Her parents have plans for her to marry the young man who works for her father.......but no love there.  Love develops between her and the pilot amidst the long distance separation while he's fighting Germans in England..........he's injured, gets shipped home, and??????/  how does it end?  I don't tell endings........A great read and I'm looking forward to see where books 2 and 3 of the series take me.

RaraA A
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Date Posted: 3/16/2013 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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I love reading Love Finds You in........books to learn about the different locations..........This one wasnt quite as interesting for me........Star rating 3 stars......okay but not a Cant put it down without finishing it book.   Story in the 1860s in Canada;  the Prince from England is going to visit.  A local town girl is hired as temp help to serve him and his entourage;  she meets up with one of his staff, and here goes the love story.......I didnt see where this was Christian Fiction;  not blatant anyway.......Its more a story of the different economic classes in Canada in 1860........
Date Posted: 3/16/2013 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 21
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Finished Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore.  I loved this book, could not put it down!  I gave it 4.5 stars.  This is the first book I've read by Shannon Dittemore, and found the story very well told and totally enthralling.

I loved the main character Brielle, she was very real, down to earth, and to watch her grow in knowledge through the book was awesome.  The story tells of Angels and demons working through both our world and the celestial world and the balltes that occur.  I found this very realistic and it brought to mind some times whenI just knew an angel had protected me.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next two books!

Date Posted: 3/17/2013 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho by Janette Mowery,  Rating 4 stars.   This Love Finds You book was much more enjoyable than the last I read.  A western type story from the 1860s in a mining town in Idaho.........love the young brother of the heroine and the mischief he gets into......a stranger comes to town, who is actually an undercover marshall investigating fires/etc that have been set at various businesses.......and the story begins.  The heroine helps bring him back to God;  a great faith story in addition to a western romance.  Love the story!!

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 8:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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The Homecoming by Dan Walsh;  4.5 stars........This is a continuation of his story The Unfinished Gift.  Shawn comes home from WWII, a war hero, and is sent on a 4month tour with famous Hollywood stars and starlets to sell war bonds.......his son remains with his father, but Shawn hires the social worker who helped Patrick and his Grandpa as a nanny to take care of Patrick and allow Grandpa to be a Grandpa.......Again another great story by Dan Walsh.......

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio by Annalisa Daughty,  4 stars..........story of an Amish girl who goes to stay with an Amish friend for the summer in Charm, Ohio to get away and help make decisions as to what she wants in life;  she wants more "colors" in her life, not sure if she wants to join the Amish church.........she meets a recent college graduate who has also come to Charm to get away and figure out her life.   They have run away from two different lifestyles both seeking the answer to What do I want to be when I grow Up?  question.........They become good friends and help each other along the way..

Subject: The Shack
Date Posted: 3/18/2013 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 405
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 I just completed The Shack by William Young.  I waited a long time to read this book because of things I heard about it. I recently had several people say how it changed their lives so I thought I would read it so I could intelligently talk about it. I was extremely disappointed. I became a Christian in 1979 and I have come to know my God and Saviour intimately. He is Almighty and is My Heavenly Father. He rules in the heavens and is Sovereign over all that happens on earth. He is too great in my life to reduce Him to washing dishes and cooking meals. I know He is with me all the time and I can turn to Him in anything I face. He has provided for me when I needed a single egg for cornbread. I read a lot of fiction but this was just too far from the Biblical account of God's character and the character of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I do not recommend this book to anyone.

Date Posted: 3/19/2013 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,103
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I finished reading  I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives. :: Doug Bender, Dave Sterrett yesterday.  The book consists of true stories by people and how they either came to know Christ or how he works in their lives now, He is first and I am Second.  Bought the book last year and it has been sitting in TBR ever since.  Decided to bring it to church to go into the library here and started reading it when it was really slow in the office last week.

It is a quick read as each story isn't that long, maybe ten pages for some, less for others.  People such as Michael W. Smith, Bethany Hamilton, the lead singer for Korn, etc. 

There is also a web site where you can go to read additional stories.  I highly recommend it.  5 Stars

Date Posted: 3/20/2013 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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This month I have read:
Selected Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas  <--Bite-sized pieces of theology by one of the most acclaimed Christian theologians of all time.
Hildegard of Bingen: Selections from Her Writings  <--Selections from her Scivias where she describes her visions and what they mean.
God is Love (Caritas Deus Est) - Pope Benedict XVI  <--The first address given by Pope Benedict.  A insightful treatise on love.

Full reviews can be found on my blog, listed in my signature.  



Last Edited on: 3/20/13 11:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/23/2013 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson    4.5 star rating.   One of my favorite Love Finds You books........takes place during the time of the stock market crash/depression era.   A father who has lost his job at a Chicago bank and lost his wife in childbirth, is leaving Chicago on the look for greener pastures.  There is a strike for the railroads and they can't board the train to Seattle he bought a ticket for so he hops aboard a freight train with his daughter.  The daughter is ill with diptheria and he has to depart the train to get her to a doctor;  ends up in an Amana colony in Iowa......meets one of the local girls........He refinds his faith and a new life for himself and his daughter of course with a romance included.  Well written,  historical Christian fiction.........stories about these colonies enthrall me;  they make life seem so simple........

Date Posted: 3/25/2013 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Love Finds You In Folly Beach, South Carolina........4.5 stars

 Loved this book........one of my favorite LFY book, along with the one above.  :0)    Not a historical romance, it's up to date with references to the war in Afghanistan.   A young lady goes to Folly Beach (Yes another place I now want to visit!) to help in writing a book;  she and the author of the book she's going to help click right away with so many things in common it's almost unbelievable.......a very enjoyable book, the characters are just plain FUN to read about...........

Date Posted: 3/29/2013 8:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming by Miralee Ferrell;  4 stars.    A "cowgirl" running from an outlaw disguses herself as a "cowboy".  This sharpshooter is hired by a rancher to hunt varmints that are killing his cattle........When she refuses to sleep in the bunkhouse with the other men, saying she'll sleep on her bedroll outside, he finds out she is a girl..........He keeps her on until he can find someone else for the job but insists she sleep in the house, with his sister, nephew, and himself......He realizes she is perfectly capable for the job and isn't bad as a female companion....She falls in love with the whole family and the story goes from there........a true Western romance!

Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska by Loree Lough;  4.5 stars.   A young lady drives to Alaska in an RV after being promised a chef's job to find out it was given to someone else.  She finds employment in a gift shop........The town is made for Christmas and as she is a Christmas lover, she fits right in........The owner of the shop she's hired for is single  angel  Here we go;  romance in the air again.  A fun and delightful story!!



Last Edited on: 3/29/13 8:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/31/2013 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 16,956
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Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer     4.5 stars........A Mennonite family plans on leaving their country to avoid their 18 year old son being drafted into the Russian army........the couple and their three sons leave on a ship with an uncle........the father of the family and one son die en route....so that they may continue on the mother marries the uncle (her husband's brother) and they travel to Kansas as man and wife in name only.......This is the story of how they settle into the US and themselves and the 18 year old come to accept the marriage.

Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, 4.5 stars    Another "fun" Love Finds You book........Lucy is nearing 30 and wants to marry but hasnt found that special person.  Her friend Matt encourages her to go on a trip with their church's single group to Snowball Arkansas for fishing, canoing, and other outside activities.  Lucy declines as she is not an outdoors person until.....she meets the handsome new member of the singles group.  She signs up for the outing with Matt and away they go........Does Lucy find love?  Yes but not with who she expected!!!  I especially enjoyed this one as it was light hearted and told of places I've visited in Arkansas......Blanchard Spring Caverns, Mountain View, Buffalo River, White River;  yes it brought back memories.......