Friday, December 18, 2015

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis

In an Amish town in Lancaster, PA, three unmarried sisters live in the house their parents died in. The youngest, 18 years old, decides to try her hand at being English and leaves with only a note to explain. A carriage maker comes for a visit from Ohio and decides to help the family find the run-away girl.

Jed Stutzman finds Little Women on his train ride to PA with notes, comments and hearts desires written in the margins. A photograph is used as a bookmark. Truly  touched by the writings, he hopes to meet her. An amazing twist at the end. 4 stars. Christian Approved.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore

In Long Beach, CA, a Homicide Detective and a Private Investigator join together to solve recent murders that seem to be connected to a triple homicide that occurred 27 years prior. 

Abby Hart was supposed to die in the fire 27 years ago, with her parents and Luke Murphy's uncle, who was the cook at Abby's parents restaurant, The Triple Seven. This was a great first book in Janice Cantore's Cold Case Justice series. We are left with just enough questions o make the reader want to get the next book to see what happens. Christian approved. 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, October 5, 2015

Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore

Keep your words soft and sweet in case you have to eat them. Amish Proverb

In Pinecraft, FL a young Amish woman dreams of owning her own pie shop; in comes a carpenter willing to make her dreams come true. Together they must overcome obstacles from the past in order to succeed in the future.

The story of Lovina and Noah is not your typical Amish story. They live in Florida where the Bishop allows things like air conditioning and electric due to the unbareable heat. There are no horse and buggies to be spoken of; the either walk, ride bikes, use public transportation or hire a driver to get around.

We see a lot of comma misuse or lack of use and also incorrect words, ex. his appears instead of this; there instead of their, etc.

This is a quick, easy read. An amazing story of God helping more than just our two main characters to trust and have faith in Him. 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Midnight on the Mississippi by Mary Ellis

This is book one of the Secrets of the South series. A New Orleans stock and security broker suspects his friend and business partner of embezzling money from their clients, who then ends up dead, and the broker and a PI join forces in finding out who the murderer is. This book is filled with twists and turns and crazy surprises that you won't want to put it down. Christian approved. 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lorie's Heart by Amy Lillard (Review)

This is not your typical Amish book. In a small Amish community, a young, talented girl discovers that her father had many secrets and now she must choose between the life she grew up in and the English world in order to discover who she really is. Written in the third person, each chapter focuses on a different character and leaves the reader hanging until we return to that character.

This is book 3 of the Wells Landing series. After Lorie's father passes away, she discovers that she was not born Amish, but was hidden with her father among them, to prevent her maternal grandparents from "ruining" her innocent, loving and creative personality. Lorie needs to choose whether to uncover all her fathers secrets or to let them remain hidden. 4 out of 5 stars. A must read, recommended for all. Christian approved.

From the back cover:
Welcome back to Wells Landing, Oklahoma, the tranquil Amish community where still waters run deep and a brave young woman sets out to discover her faith, her family, and herself…
Lorie Kauffman is grief-stricken when her father passes away unexpectedly. But her heartache quickly turns to bewilderment when she discovers he’d been leading two lives—one of simplicity and hard work in Wells Landing, and one fraught with painful ordeals in Tulsa. As she starts digging into her family’s past, Lorie finds herself torn between the Amish world and the Englisch world—and she’s no longer certain where she belongs…
Lorie knows that if she leaves Wells Landing, she may never be able to return. But what if her destiny lies in the outside world—the world her father knew so well? Change is never easy, but with a bit of courage and the help of a handsome and kind-hearted Englischer, she just may find the peace, acceptance, and love she’s been longing for…

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Simple Soul by Vadim Babenko (Review)

We see into the thoughts of numerous characters while Timofey is trying to avoid marriage to his boss' daughter, by convincing an old girlfriend to marry him. They get into some amusing situations, including being kidnapped and a brawl.

This book opens with Elizaveta Andreyevna walking out of the apartment of her "latest lover" and includes references to experiences occurring. There is very minimal dialogue for the first half of the book. Lots of long sentences that have a wealth of descriptive details, which makes for very slow reading. Elizaveta mentions every shop and stall she passes on her way to work and again after she leaves to go home. Written in the 3rd person, we switch from character to character, which leads to confusion, and sometimes tells what a different person was doing hours before the current event we just read about. Some characters have other names and numerous nicknames throughout, Elizaveta is also referred to as Bestuzheva. To say I'm confused is an understatement, "…she knew she held an entire universe inside her, replete with heavenly bodies. Some of her planets were inhabited, and she could hear the voices of all the countless creatures who lived there."

I'm sure this is a good book but do not put it down, read continuously or you will get lost. This is not one of those books that I couldn't not wait to pick up again, it dragged a lot and lost my interest. Not a Christian book. 2 out of 5 stars.

I received the review request for this book from

From the back cover:
His crafty plan results in a deadly threat. Her hopes keep her locked in a vicious circle. They parted ways, supposedly forever. But will they be able to live apart? 

Elizaveta, an attractive Muscovite, experiences a series of odd events: she is followed; she receives anonymous calls, flowers, and gifts. The culprit is her former lover, Timofey. He now lives far from Moscow and has a flourishing business, but a serious threat emerges when the daughter of a local mafia boss wants to marry him. Timofey knows his life is at risk if he says no. He creates a cunning scheme to save himself by staging a sham marriage with Elizaveta playing a primary role. Masterfully manipulating her feelings, Timofey persuades her to come visit him in his small town, but things soon take a dramatic turn. 

A seemingly romantic journey becomes a struggle for survival. Timofey and Elizaveta confront real danger when they least expect it. Love and deception reveal their essence when the best of intentions come into conflict with each other. The protagonists try hard to achieve their goals, but, in the end, each of them finds something much different instead. Illusion, ultimately, proves stronger than reality. And coincidences are often not so random after all.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Review)

God gave Leah the gift to heal through foot massages.

Adam owns a hardware store in the town of Arthur. Leah practices reflexology in her basement. Adams mother, who also practiced reflexology, left the faith and her family when Adam was 5 years old, and views anything to do with his mother and marriage as a  ad thing that he will never partake in. All that changes when tragedy strikes and he ends up raising his 3 young nieces. He ends up having Leah watch the girls and they marry to provide full time care to his nieces. 

The Gift is book 2 in the prairie State Friends series. Written in the third person point of view, we get to follow numerous people, not just Adam and Leah. Very well written and keeps you guessing about where everything is going. The end was very abrupt and leaves some things unanswered so you know there will be a book 3 coming out. 

I can't wait to see what some of the other characters stories turn out to be next. 4 out of 5 stars. Christian approved and recommended for all.

From the back cover
Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family—and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Time is Relative for a Knight of Time by Brett Matthew Williams (Review)

"Outside of our world exists a place where time has no meaning,  and the illusion that time represents is given the former of a stream of white water jettisoning into the never ending tide of tomorrow. The gateways to this paradise lie all over Earth... for those who call it home, it is simply known as Eden."

This is the first book in the Time is Relative series. Rolland Wright has lost his mother, was abandoned by his father, and is now homeless and living in his car and using stores to bathe. He goes to a book store where his life is forever changed. He is transported to Eden where time does not exist and green tiger guys try to kill you. Rolland meets many Knights in Time and travels back to the 19th century to meet real historical figures as well as some supernatural. He internally fights to determine right from wrong, good from bad and truth from fiction, while also figuring out which girl he wants to be with.

This book opens with a message from the keeper of records and is written with historical accuracy. The author describes a very thing extremely well, from the third person point of view. There are some very long, run on sentences, without proper comma usage and, at certain points, extra words are added, ie: "... he guessed it would take another couple of minutes or so before he could it would function fully." The pacing and flow are moderate to fast and keeps you guessing at every turn. 

This is a very long story that is no where near a quick read. As a caution, there are some graphic, violent scenes and one part where we get a look into Jackson's personal journal where he writes that he took advantage of a beautiful slave girl "without permission or consent". This is an easy, intriguing read and I would recommend this books to teens and adults. 4 out of 5 stars. Christian approved with parental discretion due to paranormal occurrences. 

This is my first book as a reviewer for
From the back cover:
Meet Rolland Wright - a seventeen year old orphan living out of his car in rural Woodland Hills, California. Aside from grappling with the fact of being abandoned by his drunken father two years previous following his mothers mysterious murder, his life mostly revolves around finding a warm place to sleep at night. When one day he is attacked by men claiming to have killed his father, Rolland discovers a strange ability to slow the flow of time around him, beginning a journey that takes him to places outside of time, space, and eventually to the early 19th century to fight the sinister General Andrew Jackson. With the help of a rag-tag group of historical and mythical figures with various supernatural abilities of their own (Joan of Arc, Jesse James, etc) known as the Knights of Time, Rolland solves the mystery behind his mother's murder, falls in love, battles the evil Edward Vilthe - reaper of souls, and finds a home of his own in the paradise known as Eden. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I just joined the NetGalley Challenge. If you are a bookseller, librarian, reviewer, blogger, educator or in the media, show your love for reading, reviewing and recommending new books by joining the NetGalley Challenge. You can attend online events, and enjoy early access to new books and surprises just for participants.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Gifted by H.S. Stone (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished on February 23, 2015. I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This book was an easy read. It started off kind of slow but was interesting right from the start. I chose to begin reviewing books since I have come across numerous books that have been labeled "Christian" and were clearly not. This book, with its "powers" clearly is not a Christian book but is not a book that Christians necessarily need to be wary of. This is a very clean book, which is what most parents look for when reviewing a book for one of their children.

Twin 16 year olds, Vendd and Voima, are basically running for their lives. They are in a world where people with "Powers" is something to hide. Vendd has a power that they must hide, for fear he will be captured by the king and killed in a "Gifteds Duel". One day Vendd is captured after inadvertently showing his power. Voima thinks of everything possible to save her brother and in the end realizes that she too is Gifted. She has the power of protection, which protects her and her brother from the king killing them. Many Gifteds die throughout the book, but the twins survive along with friends they meet along their journey.

There is a powerful life story of betrayal portrayed throughout the book that you would never expect. Overall, I would recommend this book to other parents. Please use discretion when allowing younger children to read this, as there is death and destruction as well as science fiction. 4 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
In a kingdom where the Gifteds are captured and thrown into fights to the death, Voima is fortunate that she is just a Regular. However, her brother, Vendd, isn’t so lucky. Since his Power started manifesting itself, the siblings have lived a life on the run, barely escaping the king’s soldiers.

Just as Voima and Vendd have settled into a new home, a fleeing Gifted enters their lives, begging for help but bringing soldiers after him. Despite the siblings’ efforts, the soldiers discover Vendd’s Power. Now Voima, an outmatched Regular girl, must find a way to defeat the kingdom’s most dangerous Gifteds in order to save her brother from certain death

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dragon Marked by Jaymin Eve (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished this book March 21, 2015. This is book 1 of the Supernatural Prison series. I received a free copy of Dragon Marked for an honest review. There is an incessant amount of cursing that started right from page one but gets a bit better as the story goes on.

I love Jessa and Braxton and all the other Compasses. This story was extremely well written and makes you not want to put the book down. I can't wait to see who Jessa ends up with as her mate. We get the vibe it will be Braxton but the author throws Louis into the mix adding him as a possibility, although Jessa repeatedly says that most stick with their own. Jessa and Braxton are best friends and will not want to chance their friendship on a deeper relationship but could turn out amazing.

This was an amazing story and I can't wait for the next one. I would highly recommend this book with a bit of parental guidance due to the numerous references to sex and intended rape. There are no actual scenes, just inferences to past events. And one time where Jessa asks if two supes were having sex in prison under a jacket. 4 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
There are supernatural prisons hidden across the globe. Contained within these fortresses are some of the deadliest criminals from the five supernatural races: vampire, shifter, fey, magic users and demi-fey.

Jessa Lebron, twenty-two, has spent her entire life in Stratford, Connecticut, one of the gateway towns adjoining these prisons which protect the fortified borders. She’s a wolf shifter, and her father leads the town council. She learns that much of her life has been hidden from her, secrets which threaten to tear apart the very fabric of her world. Especially the biggest secret of them all.

She is dragon marked.

Jessa only knows what she’s been told about the dragon marked, that they are dangerous and must be eliminated to prevent the rise of the dragon king, the powerful warmonger who had his head removed a thousand years ago. So now Jessa's on the biggest hit list of all. Dragon mark hunters are lethal and her only hope to evade detection is to keep the energy contained.

As more secrets unfold she finds herself locked up in Vanguard, the notorious American supernatural prison. Thankfully she’s not alone. Braxton, the dragon-shifter has her back. Together they must survive long enough to free themselves and the other dragon marked.

Because it’s time for the dragon marked to rise.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

First World by Jaymin Eve (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. It is book 1 of the Walker Saga series and took me by surprise since it totally wasn't what I was expecting. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Throughout the book, there is some use of strong language, no sex although mention of some. There is a ton of violence and adventure.

The author sets the stage incredibly even though it began slow. Once I began reading I actually had to go back to the information about the book to understand what was going on. Starts out with Abby on a desolated Earth and having recurring dreams about people she never met. Once on First World she meets Brace, one of the people in her dreams. We find out that Abby is a Walker, someone who can walk between world's.

Christian parental advisory- at one point in the book, it tells us that everyone was created due to a random burst of energy and then the different worlds were created.

Would recommend this book to teens, with discernment and supervision due to some questionable elements, as well as adults. Wish these books were available through the library, not just on Amazon for cost. I would love to read the next books in this series. 4 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
A paranormal romance series. 
An epic journey. 
If the Seventine are released, will anyone survive?

Abigail Swish might not love her life, living in gang-ridden New York in 2035 and training to fight and survive with Compound 23. But she is grateful for a few things, especially her no-filter-between-brain-and-mouth best friend Lucy and her escape each night into a dream world far different from her own. 

In fact, sometimes she lives for the fleeting moments she spends at night with the man who fuels every romantic fantasy she’s ever had. But each morning reality returns. She could just cry. But she won’t of course; tears don’t change a damn thing.

Then without any warning, a month before her eighteenth birthday, everything does change. A guardian finds her. He explains, in a strangely familiar accent, that she was stashed on Earth for safekeeping and has been lost to her family ever since. And it is time to return home. To the First World; a land of unimagined beauty. 

Abigail and Lucy find themselves escaping New York, ending up on another planet and traversing through an unforgiving wilderness. Yeah, because that sort of thing just happens every day. Luckily an unexpected saviour arrives; the man from her dream-world. Brace is six-and-a-half feet of gorgeous perfectness, wrapped in an arrogance like no other. Unable to trust his assistance, and unsure which of her instincts to follow - kiss him or punch him in the mouth - Abigail eventually accepts his help to find her family. 

And what a family. Enter Josian, her father; larger than life and apparently not even human. He is Walker, a planet-less race revered as gods, causing mischief and mayhem through-out this star-system. Unfortunately, there is no time for a cosy reunion, since no one explained that by returning to First World her half-Walker genetics would act as a catalyst setting forth a chain of events which could spell disaster for not only her existence but that of all worlds.

First World is book one in the Walker Saga, a seven-book paranormal fantasy series.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Perfect Cast by T.K. Chapin (Review)

"Roy’s appreciation for the country life stemmed from his love of God and His creation. He felt the cities were overcrowded and destroyed pieces of God’s beautiful land." He was glad he would get his grand-kids for the summer.  "Jess missed a step on her way down the stairs and tumbled to the bottom... Glancing up. she was greeted by laughter from a rude, but very attractive, brown-haired boy with the bluest eyes she'd ever seen." 

Jess' parents split up and her mom decides it would be good to get her kids out of Seattle for the summer, and take a trip to Roy's farm, where Jess hasn't been in the past 5 years. Jess can not even imagine what she is going to end up doing on a farm for the whole summer, without modern conveniences like cell phones and cable television. Her attitude changes as the book goes on and she ends up falling in love with God, the farm and the least likely guy.

The Perfect Cast is book 1 in the Love's Enduring Promise series. I was contacted by the author to review this book. Thank you T.K. Chapin for the opportunity to read your book. The prologue, which is a diary entry from Jess, and italic thought comments throughout are written in the first person and the rest of the book is in third person written from the perspectives of Jess, Roy (Jess' grandfather) and Levi. There are some present/past tense issues mainly toward the beginning of the book when Jess is thinking about things she and her father used to do before her parents split. The pacing and flow of the story are moderate to fast and some chapters overlap the timing of the book to give a better idea of what is going on. Tempers arise throughout and a death occurs but God prevails and finds some of his lost sheep. The end was shocking, unexpected and a bit anticlimactic. 

This was a coming of age Christian romance; the author accurately portrays the teenage innocence at the beginning of the book and we see Jess and Levi grow and depend on God. This is a quick read that I would recommend to teens and adults. 4 out of 5 stars. Christian approved.

From the back cover:
“Meeting him was fate, loving him was a choice, and spending the rest of my life with him… well that was destiny.” 

At the brink of adulthood Jess thought she had it all figured out, that was until her parents split and her mom whisked her away to the middle of nowhere. Her Grandpa’s farm was the last place on earth she wanted to be, and with no cell phones, internet or cable she was destined for a summer of boredom. 

Man of Her Dreams 
Clint Foster, the man who has everything going for him. Successful, charming and downright gorgeous; Can Clint be the true love she's been waiting for? Her only problem is her Grandpa’s farmhand Levi keeps getting in the way. 

Trading in rock concerts for chicken coops and sneakers for cowboy boots; join Jess as she finds love in the unexpected places. 

A clean christian romance about faith, love and family. 

Bound by Sacrifice by Reyna Pryde (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished this book April 7, 2015. This is book 1 of the Road to Ruin series. I received this complementary book in exchange for an honest review. This was a very interesting book. We learn about the Bible story of Cain and Abel and this book brings that story to life and what could have happened after Cain killed his brother Abel. I very much enjoyed this book and was sad to see the end, especially since everything was left in limbo. I love the ups and downs of Acelynn and how she is surprised by who and what she is after over 80 years of life.

The Bible is God's word to us and we know that intercourse is to be between a married couple. Abel, being a blessed man of God, having been in Heaven, why would he not marry Acelynn first before having sex? Also, the details of the intercourse are not necessary in the book. I get that the purpose of their intercourse is so Acelynn is pregnant with a child of the son of Satan.

I would not recommend this book to my Christian friends even though it was a great book, due to the sex throughout majority of the book. 2 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
Find a new kind of PARANORMAL from the world of Traversing Eternity ... Monsters of fantasy and myth, angels and demons, vampires, shapeshifters, and a world full of magic!

All legends are created out of truth, join Acelynn on her journey to find that truth in the first installment of The Road to Ruin Series: Bound by Sacrifice, a Traversing Eternity book.

When you make a deal with the Devil, it can be Hell...
Acelynn made a deal to save her sister's soul, kill Satan's son or become Satan's bride. It seemed impossible to find a legend like Cain, but after decades she finally got a lucky break. This break happens to be one sexy immortal, the type of man Acelynn can't let herself fall for. He's full of hope, a light shining brightly, and all Acelynn knows is darkness. And the darkness keeps growing as vampires, werewolves, and other magical creatures change the course of her journey. Will her heart be the only thing that stands in the way of saving her sister's soul? Or will she always be bound by sacrifice?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bathory's Secret by Romina Nicolaides (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I received complementary copy of this book for an honest review and finished it January 29, 2015. This is book 1 of the Affliction series.

Parental advisory: this book portrays a warped sense of what Christianity is. Priests who pray to God, capture, contain and rape vampires, all in the name of Jesus, as well as drink vampire blood to elongate their own lives. I've never read a vampire novel before, but it was a good read, with thought-out, well developed characters. I would have given this book a higher rating were it not for the graphic scenes beginning in chapter 8.

I love how the book opens up to explain about a virus that changes your body composition and how the person then becomes "Afflicted" or otherwise known as a vampire. It also explains from a first person point of view, all the myths about vampires, such as using garlic or a crucifix o ward off a vampire. Silver is specifically pinpointed as something that can harm someone with the VN73 virus.

This author has very poor usage of commas, which prevents the sentences from being read smoothly and I have had to reread numerous sentences to understand what is trying to be said.

Our main character, Kati, is a 14 year old, underprivileged girl, who lives with her mother. She is approached by the Countess, Bathory, to work at her castle and bind a bunch of papers into books. Kati can not read up to this point, which is what the Countess is looking for in a book binder. The Countess brings in 4 young, wealthy girls to teach how to become ladies, one of whom befriends Kati and teaches her how to read.

*Graphic Spoiler Alert*
Kati begins to read the Countess' journals and we discover the Countess' childhood. Up to the chapter 8 mark, this was a clean book, but at the middle of this chapter, there is a graphic rape scene between the captured young vampire and a Priest. We are told that this would be a nightly occurrence, and not necessarily by the same Priest, each time. There are also other scenes between the girl and her vampire keeper, Vyktor, later on in the book. This book ends with a cliff hanger. What happened with the Countess' son who was to be healed? Is that in the supposed next installment that the author mentions at the end?

All in all, I would recommend this book to those that have a firm understanding of Christianity and know that what the Priests in the underground compound, are not correct in their thinking and warp what the Bible says to be true. Use your own judgement. As a Christian, I would not let my children read this book because it goes against what we believe to be true. 2 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
Do Vampires live forever? Hell no! Immortality is earned...

The year is 1609 and fourteen year old Kati lives a quiet rural existence with her mother in the outskirts of Csejthe Castle, the home of the powerful Countess Erzsébet Báthory. When the Countess personally shows up at Kati’s house offering her a job as a servant, she is happy to go if it’ll help her mother break out of poverty. Once at the castle the Countess ensures that Kati is illiterate before giving her the task of binding a series of centuries old notebooks which hide a blood soaked and violent past. As the months progress Kati discovers that her new mistress is fearsome, cruel and dangerous, but she is unable to leave without fear of retribution. She realizes that her only hope of understanding and escaping the Countess hides within the journals she is unable to read. Finding herself in a desperate situation Kati must uncover the secret behind the Countess’s erratic behavior and stop her before it’s too late for her and everyone she loves.

Run by Becky Johnson (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished this book on May 12, 2015. This is book 1 of the Charlotte Marshall Mystery series. I received it through the Read it and Reap program in exchange for an honest review.

This was a truly a true page turner. Once I downloaded it, I could not put the book down and stayed up late into the night to finish reading it. I love Charlotte and everything that she accomplished. I can not wait for the next book. I was hoping for this book to end with her and Jack getting together.

This book was well written and well researched. You could actually feel Charlotte's emotions along the way and how scared she was throughout the book.

I would totally recommend this book to all my friends. 5 out of 5 stars

From the back cover: 
A decades old mystery and a deadly game of cat and mouse will change Charlotte Marshall forever. 
Charlotte has a good life: friends, family, a successful career. Her perfect life is destroyed when research for a book and a connection from her past plunges her into the middle of her worst nightmare. 
On the run, with no one to trust, Charlotte begins to unravel the work of a sadistic murderer. Afraid and alone, she will learn the meaning of trust and just when to run.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Warning Signs by Katy Lee (Review)

This is a past read and reviewed book. I finished this book on May 15, 2015. This is book 1 of the Stepping Stones series.

Miriam is deaf and is the principal of a hearing school. She is targeted for what she saw as a child. While figuring out who is behind a drug operation she meets Owen and helps him find forgiveness and love.

What an amazing book. I have never read a book quite like this one. It is filled with inspiration and the love of God. 

5 out of 5 stars. A must read.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

One True Path by Barbara Cameron (Review)

"Michael accelerated from the curb, taking off with such speed the rear end fishtailed... He slammed on his brakes, but the bumper caught Sam and the impact tossed him into the air like a rag doll."

Rachel Ann has been going through her running around years and seeing an English guy named Michael. One day Michael shows up while Rachel Ann is babysitting her 4-year-old brother and Michael gets annoyed that she can't go for a ride so he speeds away, makes a U-turn and races back to talk to her again when Sam darts out into the street. He ends up in a coma for weeks. All through this time she comes to see Michael's true character and realizes that he is just looking to have a good time and does not really care about her or her family. Her neighbor and childhood best friend, Abram,  helps her and her family through everything,  even so much as working for Rachel Ann's father at the furniture shop and having the boss pay her father for everything Abram does. He finally admits how much he cares for Rachel Ann and she had no idea. Was love just next door all this time?

This is book 3 of the Amish Roads series. It is a very fast, short read. Pacing and speed are moderate to fast, told from the third person following Abram and Rachel Ann. This is not your typical Amish book. Our characters are a bit older than u would normally find in an Amish book, them being in their early 20's. The bishop in this community must be very lax since Abram has a cell phone and the women are allowed to wear colored dresses instead of black or even grey. This community aounds more Mennonite than Amish. 

Good book, especially if you are looking for something to read quickly over 2 nights. I finished it in a day, but I read fast. Christian approved. Very predictable. 3 out of 5 stars. I would recommend.

From the back cover:
Amish marriages are forever. Abram Lapp believes he could love his neighbor forever, but Rachel Ann is enjoying her Rumschpringe, exploring Englisch life with a very Englisch boy named Michael. As Abram watches Rachel Ann stray from the life he had hoped for them, he regrets not telling her that his feelings for her have deepened. Rachel Ann loves the freedom she has away from the familiar Amish rules and responsibilities. But when tragedy strikes and her brother is critically wounded in an accident, she begins to feel a pull toward home. She struggles with guilt and throws herself into working two jobs to help with hospital expenses. Leaning on Michael for support, she realizes he might not be the man she needs or wants. Could the husband she has hoped for be waiting right next door?"

Friday, July 24, 2015

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant (Review)

No one is too broken for God to heal.
Stella is still recovering from her ex-husband's deception and abandonment. Every time she has a memory, she has an anxiety attack and passes out. She is an interior designer and needs a job desperately or will need to move back in with her parents. Her mom gets her a job to revamp an old theater with an out of town contractor, who happens to be her sister's ex-boyfriend who fell in love with her instead, got scared, and ran away. Chase is back and can not believe that the designer for the theater is the one person he should avoid after causing a world of hurt to Stella and her family, many years ago. He has his own brokenness to overcome, after loosing his fiancee in a fire, and is hopeful to be the one to help Stella while on his own journey, since he never stopped loving her.
This book is written in the third person point of view following both Stella and Chase. It is a fast paced book that keeps you guessing how Chase and Stella are going to get through their past mistakes, however, the flow is stilted at points due to a lack of editing out certain extra words or fixing tenses correctly. Usually I don't mention editing issues like this but it is throughout the whole book and makes the reading stutter. It is as if the book was written and then changes were made but not fixed or proofread afterward.
This is a good Christian book and I recommend it and look forward to reading this author again. I only hope other books are edited and proofread better. 3 out of 5 stars.

From the back cover:
For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Where did the Dinosaurs come from?

I was thinking lately about Dinosaurs after seeing the newest Jurassic Park movie in the theater. (Good movie, by the way.) If God created the land, sea, air, birds, fish, mammals, humans all in 6 days and then rested on the 7th day, where did dinosaurs come from? Or, as some believe, humans formed out of nothing when all particles collided just the right way in the Big Bang theory, where did everything else come from? We evolved from monkeys or apes? Where did those monkeys or apes come from? Single celled organisms that, over time, evolved into humans, mammals, birds, air, sea, and land? Ok, that discussion for another time.

Everything we are told growing up in school and by the media says that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. That contradicts what the Bible tells us. That God created the whole world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. But, how can the Bible be wrong?

Genesis chapter 1  (ESV)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (the first day)
7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. (the second day)
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[a] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. (the third day)
16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. (the fourth day)
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (the fifth day)
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”(the sixth day)

So God created the Earth on the first day and man on the sixth day. Where are the dinosaurs that were to live millions of years ago?

"As you add up all of the dates, and accepting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to Earth almost 2000 years ago, we come to the conclusion that the creation of the Earth and animals (including the dinosaurs) occurred only thousands of years ago (perhaps only 6000!), not millions of years. Thus, if the Bible is right (and it is!), dinosaurs must have lived within the past thousands of years." -Dinosaurs and the Bible

How could God create dinosaurs and man together? Someone can get eaten, right? Wrong! 

Genesis Chapter 1
29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God told everyone to eat PLANTS! It wasn't Adam and Eve sinned by eating forbidden fruit that death entered into the picture.

Most animals are not described in the Bible but many dinosaurs actually are so we know they were living at the same time as humans. Even after the flood, dinosaurs were in existence since God mentions one that Job is familiar with.

Job 40:15-24 (ESV)

15 “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox.
16 Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17 He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18 His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron.
19 “He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!
20 For the mountains yield food for him where all the wild beasts play.
21 Under the lotus plants he lies, in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
22 For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brook surround him.
23 Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24 Can one take him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a snare? 

So if dinosaurs existed after the flood, what happened to them?

At the time of the Flood, many of the sea creatures died, but some survived. In addition, all of the land creatures outside the Ark died, but the representatives of all the kinds that survived on the Ark lived in the new world after the Flood. Those land animals (including dinosaurs) found the new world to be much different than the one before the Flood. Due to (1) competition for food that was no longer in abundance, (2) other catastrophes, (3) man killing for food (and perhaps for fun), and (4) the destruction of habitats, etc., many species of animals eventually died out. The group of animals we now call dinosaurs just happened to die out too. In fact, quite a number of animals become extinct each year. Extinction seems to be the rule in Earth history (not the formation of new types of animals as you would expect from evolution). -Dinosaurs and the Bible