Sunday, July 31, 2011

Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow

Tom Crane is working for a large Atlanta law firm hoping that he will make partner. His hopes are dashed though when he is "consolidated" instead. Finding himself without a job and girlfriendless(his girlfriend breaks up with him in a letter), Tom heads to his hometown to settle the affairs of his father who recently died in a drowning accident.

While Tom closes his father's law firm he stays with his uncle Elias. At first Tom doesn't want to hear anything from Elias about spiritual things. But when Tom has a spiritual encounter of his own in his father's law office he becomes more open and accepting of heavenly things.

Tom soon uncovers what looks to be an embezzlement scheme involving a client of his father's and an employee at the local Pelham company. Considering that he is best friends with Arthur Pelham's son Rick, Tom fully believes that his father's client was involved in the embezzlement. 

When Rick's wife Tiffany starts flirting with Tom he is flattered and tries to rationalize his attraction to her. After all she assures him that their marriage is on the rocks and she is willing to leave it all behind to be with Tom. Tom soon realizes his rationalization as sin and repents of it. He soon becomes attracted to Rose Addington. Rose refuses to believe that her father was involved in any way in the embezzlement scheme. She challenges Tom to do further research into the events that led up to their fathers deaths.

That research soon lands both Tom and Rose in jail and in serious danger. With his life seeming to fall apart before his eyes, Tom has a hard time calling out to the God that he so recently trusted.

First off the positive: Water's Edge reminded me of reading one of John Grisham's novels, but add in a more spiritual content. I was engaged in the story and characters from the beginning through to the end. The writing flowed and the story remained fairly consistent.

The negative: For me the spiritual content was a bit too mystical mixed with charasmatic. When Rose talked about Tom's office being a "thin" place(a place where there is less separation between heaven and earth) I was thinking, "WHAT?!" Another time Tom asked his uncle if he was a mystic. He described a mystic as being "someone who withdraws from the world and spends time having weird spiritual experiences." Tom's whole relationship with the Lord was based on emotionalism and when the emotion wasn't there then he easily fell away into despair. At one point when everything seemed to come crashing down on him he contemplated suicide. To the point of getting the gun out and having it under his chin to do the job. I understand that we all have our mountaintop experiences, but to crash so low to want to end it all did not seem consistent with Tom's character.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Truffles By The Sea by Julie Carobini-KINDLE

This is the sequel/companion to Chocolate Beach. In Truffles by the Sea we read about Gabrielle's story. Everything seems to be falling apart in Gaby's life. Her employee robbed her business, her apartment burned down. She has miraculously been offered a loft apartment to live in. It is in a more upscale part of town, but the rent is amazingly low. From the day she moves in though her nosy neighbor Iris plants in her head that her landlord is a philandering Lotherio that she needs to steer clear of.

Problems continue to assail Gaby. With all of her overhead stolen from her she has very little money to keep her in her floral business. Top that off with being sued by a disgruntled bride, her best friend Bri being too busy to sit on the beach and eat brownies, and two men vying for her attention and Gaby's world seems to be falling apart.

At first Gaby feels attracted to Max. After all he owns property, he's established, and he's extremely attractive. Gaby's new landlord Jake on the other hand confuses her with his kindness. She is wary of him because of Iris's warning, yet there is an attraction between the two.

Gaby has never given up, but she doesn't know where to turn when her life seems to be falling apart. While out driving to find perspective and clear her head she happens upon a group of women having a Bible Study at the foot of a cross. Gaby is reminded of the Lord in her life and determines to live for Him from here on.

I thought this was a fun read. In Chocolate Beach I loved Bri's sarcasm and Gaby's feisty-ness. I missed Gaby's personality at the beginning of Truffles by the Sea, but was happy to see it back once she found her confidence in who she was in the Lord.

I read this on my Kindle. Which reminds me that I am going to make August my READ ON MY KINDLE month. I have so many books that I have downloaded but have been unable to get to. So I am devoting August to that task.

Re-Reading Books in July-#8

THE RESCUER by Dee Henderson

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer(Big Sky Novel #2)

In the sequel to Beside Still Waters Marianna is still confused about her feelings for Ben. With Marianna being Amish and Ben being English a romantic relationship would not be allowed.

Aaron has tried to put Marianna out of his mind. He even tried to focus his attention on Naomi for a while. Being unable to forget Marianna he decides to travel to Montana and try and win her heart.

After an accident keeps Aaron in Montana and in Marianna's family home for weeks, Marianna becomes even more confused. How can she have feelings for both Ben and Aaron?

The community in which Marianna and her family are now living is a mixture of Amish and English. Whereas before in Indiana The Amish did not mix with the English here in Montana Marianna finds herself working for them and caring for them in a way she never thought possible. Marianna is also discovering a more personal relationship with the Lord and struggling to make that relationship mesh with the Amish way of life she has been taught since her birth.

I am thoroughly wrapped up in this series! At the end of Along Wooded Paths is a sample chapter for the next book in the series entitled Beyond Hopes Valley which just whetted my appetite and caused me to hope it will come out soon. But since Along Wooded Paths will not be released until October 2011, I doubt that my desire will be satisfied!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Sam no longer turns into a wolf, but now Grace does. While Sam waits for warmer weather and Grace's return a girls body is found in the woods. This sets in motion Isabel's father's attempts to get the ban on hunting wolves lifted.

Since the girl was found near the Boundary Woods and close to Sam's house he is instantly a suspect. Especially since Grace too has seemed to have disappeared.

With the looming threat of the wolves being hunted and Grace being out there with them Sam and Cole must find a place to move the wolves.

In order to save the lives of the wolves and Grace Sam must do something he hoped he would never have to do again.

Although Forever is not always filled with action the ability of Maggie Stiefvater to keep a person engaged in the characters provides a fascinating page-turner. She has a way of explaining the thoughts and actions of the characters that makes you feel their emotional trauma right along with them. The love between Sam and Grace tugs at your heart. When you read about Sam's struggle to get his thoughts out into words you feel empathy for him. The relationship between Cole and Isabel was filled with tension. And the drama of the wolves' peril kept me holding my breath wondering which ones would survive. Great job Maggie Stiefvater! I will miss Sam and Grace, but I do have one complaint: I wish there were a different ending!

WORD DEFINITION: I have looked this word up and cannot find it in the dictionary. I am wondering if it is a typo, or if it is actually a word.
"I saw now that the kitchen floor was covered with dirt, the dull yellow lights illuminating where Cole's pacing had painted an OUROBOROS  of filthy footprints in front of the cabinets." pg. 32 of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

I love to read and find new words and their definitions. But this one is not find-able. If you know what it means let me know!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My revised To Be Read shelf

I went through all of my books that have been sitting on my shelf to be read for like forever! This is the paired-down version:

I'm still kind of stressed out when I see all of the books that need to be read. And this is not counting all of the books on my Kindle. If I could only let life just pass me by and read for 24/7. Wait! I wouldn't want life to pass me by though! Let's revise that statement. If I could just let housework, grocery shopping, and all of those other chores that I dread doing pass me by, then I could read a lot more.  But until I can afford to hire someone to do all of those dreaded chores(like that will ever happen), I am just going to have to chip away at that shelf as I have time. The sad thing is that I still go out and buy books, or I still request publishers to send me books. I am a book addict. I doubt that there is any help for me!

To show you how much of a book addict I am look at my library! Yes, I have turned an entire bedroom into my library. I have to confess I could use a bigger room! Plus I'm in need of two more bookshelves.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I am going through books and getting rid of some that have been languishing on the shelves for far too long. See if there is anything that you would like.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

August Book Club Pick

 Our next club meeting is August 13th. Julie at My Own Little Corner of the World will be hosting.  We will be discussing:

Here are directions for participation.

We would love to have more people join us. Everyone is welcome!

Check out the discussion questions here

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Christian Fiction Book Club

This month we read Pompeii: City on Fire by T.L. Higley

Ariella was sold into slavery as a young girl to an evil Roman politician. She escapes him by disguising herself as a young boy and joins a gladiator troupe. They arrive in Pompeii to entertain the citizens who’s boredom and debauchery has turned into a demand for more and more bloodshed in the arena’s.

Cato has escaped to Pompeii after his failed political career in Rome. He is determined to live a life of leisure as a winemaker. What he doesn’t count on is the corrupt leadership of one man who is determined that Cato will not usurp his authority in Pompeii.

When Cato chances to meet the young “lad” Ari and discovers her secret he is determined that she will no longer fight in the arena. Sparks fly between the two. Ari’s heart has been hardened by years of abuse and she is determined not to let this Roman into her heart. When Cato’s sister is wrongly sent to jail he is determined to end the corruption that has been governing Pompeii. What he doesn’t count on is the evilness of this ruler, the support of local Christians, and the simmering mountain of Vesuvius. Will Cato find faith in the Christian’s Messiah or will all be lost to evil?

I have said before that I am not usually a fan of Historical fiction. But T.L. Higley writes in a way that captures and holds my attention. I loved her novel Guardian of the Flame and Pompeii City On Fire did not disappoint me. The characters and story have stayed with me even after the exciting ending of the book!

5. Pompeii is a city reveling in its decadence. How did you feel about the way the author portrayed the society? Did it make you uncomfortable? Did you feel it was realistic?
Uncomfortable, YES! But very realistic from my understanding of the day, (which is pretty limited). It was a society of “anything goes” and that came across in the writing. Anything written in a more glossy tone would have been false and inaccurate. 

6. In what ways do you think our society parallels the Roman world in its obsession with death and sex? Would you say the world is getting worse or improving?
I’m not sure of what our society is thinking about death, but society is very much obsessed with sex. Just look at the TV ads, or billboards, or magazine covers, even our cartoons! Sexual encounters are no longer between just man and woman. Our teens are subjected to sexuality before they even enter high school. No longer is it the norm to wait until you are married before entering into a sexual relationship. I have even heard about someone marrying their pet! Yes, we as a society are obsessed with sex just as the Romans were centuries before. Any type of debauchery is becoming more acceptable. Are we improving or getting worse? I think we live in a fallen world and until our Savior comes to reign on earth we are not going to see much improvement.

12. Cato and Ariella are exposed to the gospel through the witness of a house church that is largely in hiding. How do you feel about the way in which the Church today is reaching out? Is it more or less effective than the first-century Church?
I feel that with the freedoms that we have today we as the church should be way more effective than the first-century church. Are we? I don’t think so. We get comfortable in our pews and with our own friends or social group. 

13. The end of the story involves some specific intervention by God, showing His power. Do you believe God still works in this way? If so, where have you seen or experienced it?
One year ago in May our church was destroyed by a tornado. Our music minister and his 3 children were in the building at the time. God protected them and they were able to get out of the building after the tornado went through. Ask our pastor and he will tell you today that even though we were devastated at the time God has blessed us as a church body beyond anything that we could ever have imagined. He allowed us to be able to have church services at a school that we had served in the community through the years. He allowed us to witness to the community around the church and to those that were also affected by the tornado. We had tried in various ways throughout the years to reach out to the community, but being a rural church and having so many people spread out it was difficult to find just the right outreach. Through this year of rebuilding and outreach we have seen and heard so many stories of how God has worked through our experience. What at first we thought was a tragedy, God has brought blessings in abundance!

Join the discussion now for Pompeii over at Seasons of Humility. Link your review so we can all take part in the discussion.

Come join us next month when we read Digitalis by Ronie Kendig. Next meeting is August 13th.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Claire Prescott is in Oxford, England filling in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar. Claire has taken care of her sister Missy since she(Claire) was 18 years old. Claire has put her life on hold in order to please the people around her. Her week at the seminar studying Pride and Prejudice causes Claire to reflect on where her life is going.

Claire has left her boyfriend Neil at home in America. Their relationship is casual and she feels neglected as his life is consumed by sports. The first day of the seminar Claire meets James a publisher in New York. Thinking to reinvent herself while she is in England she introduces herself as a pediatrician. James is aloof yet there is an attraction between them.

Claire meets Harriet a decidedly eccentric elderly woman. While having tea in her cottage Harriet brings out pages of a manuscript that she proclaims is the first manuscript of Pride and Prejudice entitled First Impressions. As Claire begins to read she finds that First Impressions is totally different from Pride and Prejudice. Harriet's dilemma is knowing what to do with the manuscript. Her daughter would love it for the monetary value of it. Mrs. Parrot wants it so that The Formidables may continue to preserve Jane Austen's request of her sister to burn any correspondence or manuscript that has not been published.

Claire finds that she is not the only one being deceptive while at the seminar. The question is will she be able to discover her own heart before it is too late.

This was another fun Austen-read by Beth Pattillo. I loved her other book Jane Austen Ruined My Life. She has a way of making her characters delve into self-examination and discovery without being boring or preachy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

October Blog Tour Book

I have the opportunity to read and review KISS OF NIGHT by Debbie Viguie and be part of a blog tour in October. I'm looking forward to reading the book. My understanding is that it is a Christian/Vampire story. I have been wanting to get my hands on one to see how that plays out, so I am looking forward to reading the book and being part of the tour.

I really think I'm liking the cover too!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Re-Reading Books in July #2

I finished Twilight. Instead of moving on to New Moon I'm going to read the prequel to another series that is my favorite:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Re-Reading Books in July

Because I sometimes feel this need to visit old friends but don't seem to have the time, I have decided to set aside July as my re-read old friends month.

I'm starting with: