Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Opposite Of Art By Athol Dickson

I received this book from Glass Road Publications for free for my honest opinion of this book.

Book Description
A great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver. His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description. Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe. But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it? After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist: the daughter he never knew existed, and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago.


My Thoughts:

The Opposite Of Art is the first book by Athol Dickson that I have read and WOW. The Opposite of Art is a story about a half century journey of Sheridan Ridler, an artist who has a near death experience and is trying to recreate through his art The Glory he saw in this experience. Ridler was a selfish, amoral man whose art was fantastic. Someone in his life tries to kill him and in his near death experience sees heaven. As he comes to he is frantic to find anything to draw what he saw before he "lost" it. Unable to recreate "The Glory" and finding out that everyone thinks he is dead, Ridler goes on this journey to find "The Glory". In the process he finds himself re-evaluating his life and choices.

The Opposite of Art is an intense read. Athol Dickson writes like no other. His descriptions and imagery are deep. Dickson "paints" pictures throughout his novel that give you a beautiful picture of what and where. I found myself having to put the book down frequently to reflect and really absorb what Dickson wrote and what the meanings were. I truly enjoyed this book and the writing. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction and who is looking for an intense read. Athol Dickson is a truly gifted author and I look forward to reading other books by him.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

I received this E-Book from WaterBrook Press Blogging for Books for free for my honest review of this E-Book.

Book Description:
Treasure is found in the most unlikely places.

The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon--and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life.

Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying.

Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistence, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God's presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?


My Thoughts:
The Pirate Queen is the first book by Patricia Hickman I have read and it is awesome. The Pirate Queen takes you on the journey of one woman, Saphora Warren, who was looking to spend the summer at their summer home, in essence leaving her husband, Bender. To her surprise Bender comes home to tell her he has cancer and is dying. This changes everything, Saphora, Bender, and their grandson Eddie head to Oriental to spend the summer at their summer place. While at the beach they meet an intriguing child, Tobias, who becomes a huge part of their lives. This book takes you on a journey of love, betrayal, forgiveness, loss, and finding God. Patricia Hickman writes with such authority on these things and of the parts of the country this story takes place. The story grabs you and brings you into her world. The journey that all of these characters take is just amazing, filled with joy and sorrow. The Pirate Queen is a wonderful story that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction. The Pirate Queen is one of those stories that will stay with me for quite some time. I am excited to read other books by Patricia Hickman.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

I received this e-book from booksneeze.com for free for my honest review of this e-book.

Book Description:
Colt McAlister is drawn into a war against things he thought only existed in comic books.

After a car wreck takes the lives of his parents, Colt moves to Arizona to stay with his grandfather. There, an informant tells him that his parents were actually murdered because his mom, a journalist, was getting ready to write a story exposing Trident Industries.

Along with Oz and Danielle, his new comrades at Chandler High, Colt vows to uncover the truth. But the more they learn, the more bizarre reality becomes. Mind control, jet packs, and flying motorcycles only scratch the surface of what they discover.

Colt is recruited by a secret organization called the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. But the battle isn't just against an out-of-control giant corporation. A gateway to another world is opening, and the invasion has already begun


My Thoughts:

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis is the first book in his C.H.A.O.S. Series. I had never read any books by Jon S. Lewis prior to Invasion. Invasion is a fantastic book that brings what you read in comic books to life here on earth. I personally don't read comics or any books that are from comic books but I am so glad I decided to read this one. Right from the start Invasion grabbed my attention and kept it through to the end. Jon S. Lewis writes with such detail and such imagination that it was so easy to picture what he is writing about. The characters in this story are normal, everyday people and teenagers who experience things they have read in comic books. The descriptions of the other worlds and the aliens in this book are just awesome and just fascinating to picture in your mind. Jon S. Lewis truly has a gift for writing these types of books. I am HOOKED!!! Reading Invasion was like watching the new super hero movies that have been sweeping the movie theaters. I found myself unable to put this book down, and when it ended it definitely left me wanting MORE! I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy books, give it a chance. I am so glad I did!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper

I received this book free from Multnomah Books Blogging for Books program for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:
She serves him breakfast at her café every morning … but he never seems to notice her.

Carrie Carter’s small café in Seaside, New Jersey, is populated with a motley crew of locals … although Carrie only has eyes for Greg Barnes. He’s recovering from a vicious crime that three years ago took the lives of his wife and children—and from the year he tried to drink his reality away. While her heart does a happy Snoopy dance at the sight of him, he never seems to notice her, to Carrie’s chagrin.

When Carrie’s dishwasher is killed and her young waitress disappears, Greg finds himself drawn into helping Carrie solve the mysteries … and into her life. But when Carrie’s own painful past becomes all to present, her carefully constructed world begins to sink.

Will the fragile relationship she’s built with Greg implode from the weight of the baggage they both carry?


My Thoughts:
Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper is the first book by Gayle Roper I have ever read. I enjoyed the book. It is well written and the characters in this story are great. They are a group of colorful people from all different walks of life that bring something to the table to help one another. This colorful group seems to all meet at Carrie's, a diner on the boardwalk in Seaside. This book has a very strong Christian theme throughout without feeling like its being preached. This story also shows the dangers of fanatical religious groups and what can happen to people who are in them. I enjoyed Gayle Roper's writing style and her well researched descriptions of the different places in this book. If you enjoy mystery/romance then this is the book for you!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Women Of Faith Imagine 2011 Milwaukee Wi

I was given the honor of being one of the bloggers selected in my area to receive 2 free tickets to The Women Of Faith Imagine Event held here in Milwaukee Wi. I was so happy and surprised I got selected.

I asked my cousin/friend Vickie to come with me. Neither of us had ever been to this type of event but we were both excited to go and experience it....OMG is all I can say. This event was beyond anything I imagined it would be.

We got to the Bradley Center around 9:30 am and were able to pick where we wanted to sit...so we huffed it around the Bradley Center to find right where we wanted to be. The event started and that was it. The Women of Faith Singers were AMAZING!! I am so addicted to listening to them now! Just fantastic women with such a gift for singing and worshipping. Our EMCEE Anna got up and again was just blown away by her words of encouragement and fun. We then had the privilege to hear from Sheila Walsh first! What a woman. So transparent and so open to talk about her life and her journey to and with God. Then after every talk she gave, she honored us with her phenomenal voice and sang beautiful, touching songs that reflected what she spoke about. AFter Sheila, we heard from Henry Cloud. What an awesome guy who had so much insight and life to share with all of us women!! He and Sheila had such a rapport with each other it was awesome to get to hear them talk together and really know one another! Most of the 10-3:30pm sessions were Sheila and Henry sharing and helping us.

Vickie and I walked around a little bit and decided to go to Water Street Brewery for dinner..that was fantastic. It was great to sit, talk, and just be girls (with no kids LOL)

Our 7pm-10pm sessions were again OMG...we heard from the awesome singers and Anna and then we got to meet the whole Group of Women for the weekend. We got to hear Natalie Grant and Mary Mary. We got to have some funny but honest time with Nicole Johnson about being a wife and mother. Then the highlight for me of the evening was Ken Davis, a Christian Comedian who literally had me laughing until I cried. I don't know the last time I laughed that much at one time. He was so good for my soul. After Ken Davis, Natalie Grant gave an awesome concert and the evening ended. It was such a high to be on.

Saturday I was solo, Vickie couldn't make it but my friend Jolene and her guest were able to connect with me so I wasn't alone! Another awesome day!Got to hear from Sheila Walsh again! YAY We heard from Lisa Harper-WOW!! Loved her. Nicole Johnson-LOVED her!! Then Angie Smith....cannot even describe her talk but to say that the whole Bradley Center was full of women crying by the end. All of these women got up and were so transparent and so willing to share their good and not so good stuff. Mary Mary gave an awesome concert and Luci Swindoll spoke-again WOW.

Such a powerful weekend. It was just what I needed. It was awesome to be able attend and share it with my cousin/friend!! I truly learned so much from each person in this group that came to Milwaukee and I feel so blessed that I was able to be there!! This is a must event!!

I want to thank Thomas Nelson and Women of Faith for 2 free tickets to attend this fantastic event. Thank you for blessing me with them!!!!

The Mercy Book 3 Of The Rose Trilogy By Beverly Lewis

I received this book from Bethany House for free for my honest opinion of this book.

Book Description:
Rose Kauffman pines for prodigal Nick Franco, the Bishop's foster son who left the Amish under a cloud of suspicion after his foster brother's death. His rebellion led to the "silencing" of their beloved Bishop. But is Nick really the rebel he appears to be? Rose's lingering feelings for her wayward friend refuse to fade, but she is frustrated that Nick won't return and make things right with the People. Nick avowed his love for Rose--but will he ever be willing to sacrifice modern life for her?

Meanwhile, Rose's older sister, Hen, is living in her parents' Dawdi Haus. Her estranged "English" husband, injured and helpless after a car accident, has reluctantly come to live with her and their young daughter during his recovery. Can their marriage recover, as well? Is there any possible middle ground between a woman reclaiming her old-fashioned Amish lifestyle and thoroughly modern man?


My Thoughts:
The Mercy picks back up where Beverly Lewis left us off in The Judgement. Hen is living in the Dawdi Haus with her estranged husband who is blind and injured from an accident. Rose has broken off her engagement with Silas Goode. Their Mamm is waiting to have back surgery that she refused to have for many years but because of Beth Browning and her visions decided it was time. Rose still has feelings for Nick Franco but is trying to move on. Their family friend and bishop has been silenced by the brethren for the actions of Nick Franco, their Foster Son.

Picking up The Mercy was like picking back up with a friend. The characters in these books fast become like old friends and it is awesome to see everything come full circle. Beverly Lewis truly captures the Amish Faith and life. The characters are rich ones that you feel such a kinship with as you read. This final installment of the trilogy was anything but predictable. I found myself not knowing what would happen until it did and Beverly Lewis does an amazing job of making her books and characters unique in their circumstances and lives. While reading The Mercy I felt like I was right there in Lancaster County watching all of this unfold. I am sad to see this set of books end but cannot wait to see what new Beverly Lewis has in store for us readers next. I highly recommend not just this book but this trilogy to anyone who likes Amish Fiction. Thank you Bethany House for the honor of reading and reviewing this book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

I received this e-book from booksneeze.com for free for my honest opinion of this e-book.

Book Description:
The Civil War - a defining time of great sacrifice, change, and betrayal which determined the fate of the Nation.

It isn’t until it comes into her very home that Amanda Belle must face impossible choices of love, loss, and loyalty.

It's the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Although Amanda never thought she would marry because of her promise she made to her dying mother, her attraction to Captain Kent Littlefield is undeniable.

When Texas secedes from the Union, her brother Daniel marches off to war to fight for the Confederate States and Kent remains with the Union troops.

Her heart is torn between the two men she loves and the two sides of the conflict. When she turns to God for help, Amanda expects direction and support, but hears nothing. Is God listening to her anymore? Where is God in the atrocities of war—and whose side is He on?

Amanda senses her life is at a turning point. But she must trust God to bring her family through the chaos that threatens her home, her family, and the beloved state of Texas . . . with her heart, and her faith, intact.


My Thoughts:

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons is a beautiful story that takes place during the Civil War mainly in Indianola, TX. This story is about Amanda Belle, the oldest daughter of Reverend Belle. When her mother died, Amanda had promised to raise and protect her siblings. Amanda's brother, Daniel, goes to war, while Amanda and her family must stay on their land and try to live. This story recounts historically the events that happened in towns and cities all over the U.S. during this time. Amanda met a Union soldier and they fell in love but her family forbids a relationship. As the war goes on Amanda begins to question their way of life in the South in regards to slavery and her Union soldier sees that slavery isn't the same in every household. The Belles home is overtaken by Union soldiers when her Soldier, Kent Littlefield is injured. Amanda and her father nurse him back to health. Amanda's feelings for him grow. As the war goes on Amanda starts questioning her faith and whether God is really hearing their prayers. Kent Littlefield's faith on the other hand never waivers and continues to grow as he depends on God for everything.

I love Golden Keyes Parsons books. She writes awesome historical fiction that really brings you in. From the beginning I felt like I was right there watching the story unfold, seeing the effects of the war. The historical facts are very well researched and things that I hadn't heard about with the Civil War. The time period was also well researched as how everyone interacted and how feelings were between the North and South. The characters were people that I could relate to and really felt part of their lives and their thoughts. The theme of War and God's love is predominant throughout the whole story. The faith of all the characters are seen in this book including that of the slaves. I truly enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. I hope Golden Keyes Parsons will be continuing on this story as a series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially during the Civil War time. I cannot wait for another novel by Golden Keyes Parsons.

I review for BookSneeze®

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Baker's Wife By Erin Healy

I received this book from booksneeze.com for free for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:
If what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, why is Audrey growing weaker by the day?

When her husband Geoff, a pastor, lost his job after a scandal rocked their congregation, Audrey's never lost faith.

They decide to resurrect a failing bakery as a way to heal family wounds and restore their place in the community.

Running late to the bakery one foggy morning, Audrey strikes a vehicle. Emerging from her car into the fog, she discovers she hit a motor scooter. But there’s no rider in sight. Just blood.

The absence of the driver is a mystery, especially to Sergeant Jack Mansfield, the detective and church member responsible for firing Geoff from his pulpit. The scooter belongs to Jack’s wife, Julie, a teacher at the local high school, who has vanished…like morning fog.

Though there is no evidence to support Jack’s growing suspicion that Audrey and Geoff were involved in Julie’s disappearance, the detective is convinced of their guilt. When he takes the tiny bakery and its patron’s hostage, Audrey must unravel the secret of Julie’s disappearance and her own mysterious suffering before Jack hits his breaking point.


My Thoughts:

The Baker's Wife is the 2nd book I have read by Erin Healy and it did not disappoint. The Baker's Wife is a story about a woman with a connection to people that others don't have, she can sense their pain and can take it away for them. The Baker's wife was The Pastor's wife until Jack Mansfield got her husband fired. The family stayed in the town and opened a bakery. On a fog morning, Audrey, the Baker's wife and their son were driving to the bakery when out of no where they hit something. They get out of the car and see they have hit a scooter belonging to Julie Mansfield, Jack's wife, and Julie is nowhere to be found but lots of blood is around. At the same time Diane Hall has come back to town after being in jail for 25 yrs for the death of her twin sister. Diane and Julie had been friends as children. Jack Mansfield believes that Audrey had killed his wife and hid her body or was holding her hostage somewhere. As Jack hold Audrey's family and some others hostage at the bakery, Audrey, Diane, and Jack's estranged daughter Miralee fight against the clock to find Julie and bring her home before Jack hurts everyone Audrey loves.

The Baker's Wife is a very interesting story about The Baker's Wife who can feel others pain and does her best to help them. Erin Healy writes a fascinating story about 2 families at odds with each other who have to come together to find Julie Mansfield. This story is a fast paced, at times intense tale that really keeps you guessing at what really happened. As the story unfolds there is a depth and connection of all the characters. Erin Healy writes of forgiveness, having faith in a seemingly impossible situation, and how some people use their faith as a weapon against others. I truly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories of suspense and intrigue. I look forward to reading more novels by Erin Healy.

I review for BookSneeze®

Waking Hours By Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson

I received this e-book from booksneeze.com for free in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:
Welcome to East Salem: A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.

A high-school girl is found murdered in a park in Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death confounds the town and intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, who is determined to unravel the mystery. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl—yet no one remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot—something tied to an ancient evil?

But it's not just Dani’s waking hours that challenge her. Each night, her eyes open at 2:13 due to troubling dreams—dreams filled with blood, water, and destruction. Is it a clue—or a sign?

Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his security system has been breached by an elderly woman who attacks him with preternatural strength. Before he can process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the high-school girl's murder. He agrees to help—and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charms when they were in high school.

It will take astute analysis and forensic skills to solve the crime. But Dani and Tommy suspect there's more to the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance . . . and more to the evil they're facing than a mere human killer.


My Thoughts:
Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson is the first book in East Salem series. I am addicted to Lis Wiehl's Triple Threat Series so I was very excited to see she was writing another series and HAD to read it. Of course it did NOT disappoint. Waking Hours is a story about true evil that has descended on the town of East Salem. A girl is murdered, not just murdered but sacrificed. The storyline is intense and I found myself with goosebumps reading some of it. The suspense and intrigue grab you from the start and just keep going. The story was not predictable and it keeps you guessing until the end. The characters of this book are very well written and are real people. All the characters are connected to one another in all different ways. The history of witches and rituals was very well researched and well explained in the book. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense and intrigue. Cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.

I review for BookSneeze®

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Women Of Faith Imagine 2011 Milwaukee Wi

Attended Imagine 2011 here in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center Sept 30 and Oct 1. AWESOME!!!!! So much happened and so much to process. I am so looking forward to next year. I really need to get the money now to go for next year!! I am still processing through all that this weekend was and I am physically recuperating from it all so I will be post here in the next few days about the experience! All I know is that I HAVE to go next year!!!! So Check back in the next few days for WOF Imagine through my eyes!!