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A review of "Caught in the Middle" — 7 years ago


Mystery authors will hate me. I am the type of reader that will look at the end of the book. But take it as a compliment! It means I am enjoying the book so much that I want to know the ending now! And I did enjoy Caught in the Middle, the 1st book the Amhearst Mysteries series. Merry Kramer is an ideal heroine who wants independence and to become a reporter for the local paper. However that’s all interrupted when she opens her car trunk and finds a dead body on top of her Oreos and soda. When the mayor turns up dead the next day, Merry soon finds her life being threatened. The book gives readers a ride of twists and turns as you try to figure out who’s behind everything. And yes I was surprised with the ending. This was a very well written mystery with a strong female character. The end of the book leaves you hanging. Recommended for any grown up Nancy Drew fan.

A review of "The Prophet: Amos (Sons of Encouragement Series #4)" — 7 years ago


I’ll admit it. When I read my Bible, I tend to skip the minor prophets. Except for Jonah, I don’t think the majority of people can even remember their naems. Luckily Francine Rivers has made Amos into a novel (Book 4 in her Sons of Encouragement series) so we can learn about his story. Amos is a shepherd who is appalled at the way God’s people have become in the days after the nation has split. God gives Amos visions of what will happen to the enemies of his people and to his people themselves. When Amos goes to Bethel to tell them, they first rejoice at hearing of the destruction of their enemies but then after hearing what will happen to them, they turn against Amos. Even though near death at times, Amos stays true to his word warning the people to repent and leave the ways of the false gods and priests. The people don’t listen and God sends down his punishments.

I liked how the story could be related to people in today’s world. If we’re not careful we’ll end up just like the kingdom of Israel. Another thing I liked was the cameo of Hosea, another prophet, here as a young man. His story is hinted at and can be told fully in as a parable in another of River’s books, Reedeming Love. This book is recommended if you have trouble understanding the book of Amos. It’s amazing how fiction makes historical and biblical event more clear.

A review of "Entangled (Portraits (Bethany House Pub))" — 7 years ago


Entangled is another entry in Bethany House’s old Portraits series. Tracie Peterson is also one of my favorite authors. I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Cara Kellser is forced to join politician Bob Kerns as his running mate for governor of Kansas. During the road to election and after, Cara finds out what type of man Kerns really is. She wants to get out but she fears for her life and the lives of those connected to her, specifically her daughter and state trooper Harry Oberlin. The characters of the bad guys in the story are deliciously evil as they are men who think only of themselves, and how they can keep profiting not thinking about their family or those close to them. If all politicians are like this: Beware!

I enjoyed this book for the most part. My only main complaint is the character of Cara’s daughter. She is supposed to be 11 years old in the book yet she acts liek a 5 year old. Maybe kids have matured more in the last few years but when I was 10 I didnt’ jump around all the time, waiting to be picked up and carried by people. Also I’m not sure of how other states run their elections but it seemed unlikely that someone with absoluetly no political experience whatsoever would be able to run for office. Political parties are not mentioned but it seems that Cara’s political views are different from Kerns, and I’m sure that the media would have brought that up and made a big deal about it.

The romance story is not the main story and seems to be put in as an afterthought. The story was fast paced, suspenseful and gives a good look into political campaigns. Enjoyable read during election time!

Quite possibly the best book I've read this year... — 7 years ago


I have the tendency when I find a really good book to drop everything and just read it. Sometimes this means staying up til 2am finishing a (non school related) book. For example, when the last Harry Potter book came out, all I did for 2 days straight minus 2 hours for church was read. (It was well worth it btw). Why am I talking about reading times? Well today at 2:00pm I started reading “SAHM I Am”. I finished it at 5:07pm. I read a 325 page book in 3 hours. Even THAT is a record for me. It shows how good a book it was.

SAHMs are Stay At Home Moms. Of course I am not one, but I will prally be one in the future (check back with me in about 8 years). However, even with that I totally enjoyed this book. It is written in email format, with a group of women who are members of a email mailing list for SAHMs. The book focuses on 5 women who bond together, in a chat outside of the email list, and the moderator of the list who is dealing with issues with her younger sister. The women are real and very relatable with hilarious and heartwarming situations. My favorite character is Dulcie and the funniest part in the book for me involved a romance novel inspired love letter. I laughed and laughed at her reaction. Another thing I liked is that the 5 women are not afraid to speak their mind and they let us know that they are annoyed with Rosalyn and the way that she comes off across in her moderator posts. But the reader finds out why she acts the way she does so it’s understandable, but for a while yes, this reader agreed with the 5 women. I enjoyed the sarcastic emails that would follow showing how the characters would feel after a Roslayn post. It made the books feel more real. I am really looking foward to the next book.

The fact that there are no chapters in this book made it very hard to put down, as there is no stopping point. You just want to keep reading and reading. You really feel as if you are a part of the list as a lurker. However even with all the different storylines going around, you never feel lost. I hope that next time if I become a SAHM I am able to find a email group or something akin to this so I can find the same friendships and bond like these women do.

A review of "Theodora's Wedding: Faith, Love, and Chocolate" — 7 years ago


When I finished Theodora’s Diary, my first thought was “Great book, I want more.” Lucky for me, I had already placed my interlibrary loan and this book reached me in two weeks. I finished it in two days. This book deals mainly with Theodora’s relationships with her new vicar, her new boss at her job, and of course her upcoming wedding with Kevin. I liked the introduction of the new characters especially the vicar, who does not fit into the typical ideal of a priest and gets into conflict with the uptight Jeremiah. Theodora’s adventures, no matter what she does, are always exciting. Just having the deal with the people she meets and how she reacts to them is worth reading about. The scene she has with Declan, and the events that follow afterwards, are so typical of guys. And then they think they’ve done nothing wrong and it’s all the girl’s fault!

I loved reading this book. The characters were hilarious and totally relatable (well most of them). Looking foward to reading the next book, if it ever gets returned from the library…(whoever has it, it’s overdue!)

My only complaint is I have no idea what on earth a bludgie is. A little help, anyone?

Books about food are always good — 7 years ago


I’ve always been the type of person that enjoys a good book when eating. Somehow reading a book about food always makes the meal tastier even if what I’m reading isn’t what I’m eating. “The Potluck Club” is another one of those great eating/reading books. It even comes complete with recipes from the dishes mentioned in the story in case you get a hankering for beef brisket, cinnamon rolls or broccoli casserole. I really enjoyed this book. It gave the story from many different angles, with the characters all have different personalities. The premise of the story deals with a group of women meeting together for prayer and potluck. The women are real, experiencing funny and heartbreaking events together. Each character has a background story that they try to keep secret from the others. I am very glad that the book did not fault Goldie for her decision in her situation with her husband. Other books would have let the matter slide by or have Goldie give in. My favorite scene in the book dealt with a certain bear and a chocolate cake. I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard. (Of course if I had been in that situation I wouldn’t be.)

My only complaint was the character of Clay. I’m not sure why his viewpoint is in the story. I understand he’s a newspaper journalisty trying to get a story for the paper, but he just came across as annoying, nosy, and stalkerish. I also hope the conflict with Lisa Leann and Evangeline is either resovled or more fleshed out. This is a good book for women, perfect for a book club to read and discuss over a potluck! and yes! the library just got book 2 in.

A review of "Dreaming in Black and White: A Phoebe Grant Novel" — 7 years ago


I will not lie. I am a movie trivia buff and I am proud of it. I watch the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes every year (would watch the SAG awards but alas i don’t cable). i love all sorts of movies (hence why i would include movies on that deserted island of mine). Therefore Phoebe Grant would prally be my new best friend. Out of all the chick lit books I’ve read so far, this is far and away my new favorite book. Funny, touching, and with TONS of movie references I didnt want the book to end (and yay there’s a sequel). Phoebe is a working class woman who is not afraid to be single. Movies and her friends are the source of her life, until she loses her job in Cleveland and is forced to go back home to help her mom out in her small town in California. The characters are multi-dimensional and FUN! I honestly never had so much fun reading a book. I feel like I’m gushing too much about it! Her reactions and emotions are perfectly reasonably in certain situations. And she eats! And while yes she would like to lose weight, she is not obsessive about it, like other characters in other books. She is also not in search of finding a husband. If one turns out, great, if not she’ll live. And yes Phoebe is a Christian, but the book is not preachy at all. My only complaint is that the book came out before the 2005 edition of Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knigtley. I’m sure Phoebe would have loved it too! Great books, highly highly recommended.

A review of "Impasse (Portraits Series #9)" — 7 years ago

Before reading this book, I had never heard of this word before (it never showed up on my SAT list!) Reading this book gave me a somewhat better understanding of the meaning. I read this book after going through Bethany House’s old Portraits series and I had to inter-library loan it because this was the only book in the entire series that no library in this entire area had. Impasse tells the story of Esther, a television reporter, and Jon, a history teacher, and the choices they make that lead them into a deadlock. The story deals mainly with the creation vs. evolution debate, and what’s a Christian to do about it in school. This book was one of those older Christian romance novels I’m not too particulary fond of. Esther comes off rather weak when dealing with her fiance, letting him run all over her until the very end of the story. Also something I never find realistic in romance novels were the two characters getting engaged after knowing each other for less than 6 months. There also seems to be a dislike for non-tradional church services. I also did not realize this story was a modern retelling of the book of Esther until page 200. Hopefully others would catch on more quickly than I did. Final verdict: ok story, interesting arguments on evolution vs. creation, so so characters.

Do you like CSI? — 7 years ago


Then you’ll like the McAllister series, and Terminal 9 is no exception. Gritty, realistic and often quite descriptive, this book explores the death of an old man which turns out not be just an accident. The story makes you feel as if you are part of the case as Mac and Dana uncover clues, interview suspects and discover body parts along the way. Mac and Dana make a good team, with none of the police detective sterotypes. They both allow each other to take charge and do thing his or her own way. They have a good relationship with a hint of romance but not so much to take away from the main story. Note this is not a romance story so as not to scare off male readers. I’ve enjoyed Patricia Rushford since reading her Jennie McGrady series and this book continues the enjoyment. And I’ve just discovered that my library has order book 4 of the series!

A review of "Uncharted" — 7 years ago


Wow, this book just blew me away. The back of the novel says "A blend of the movie “Castaway” and “The Big Chill” with a touch of the television series "Lost"" thrown in with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. Yes that perfectly describes this book. I won’t give away the ending but this is one of those books that you will think about long after you’ve finished it. The characters all seem to have two sides to their personalities. The two that stuck out the most to me were Mark and Lisa. At first these two appear to be complete opposites. Then it’s revealed that really the two are exactly alike. Intersting to think also that just thinking about doing something is the same as actually doing it. This book also makes me wonder…is this what is going to happen on “Lost”? Angela Hunt is one of my favorite authors and proves again that she deserves to be.

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