Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nanowrimo Update

I have a confession. I have failed horribly at my attempt to participate in Nanowrimo and write an complete novel this month. I would like to blame it all of the fact that is has been a trying month: the death a family member, being busy and stressed at work, and dreading the holidays. But, it can't all be blamed on my circumstances. Some of it was just me. For some reason, I'm afraid to really try. In mind my mind, I know this isn't logical. Afterall, I could write a whole novel, never tell anyone about it, and never have to worry that I'm not good enough. But, deep inside, there's a fear that I haven't been able to beat. The fear of being a failure. I already feel like a failure in so many ways. What if I can't succeed at the one thing I think is really God's calling on my life? It's scary. Perhaps, I'll try again in December, perhaps not.

Healing Sands by Nancy Rue & Stephen Arterburn

Healing Sands by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn is a story of surrender to God. When photojournalist, Ryan Coe finds herself in a desperate situation that she can not control, solve, or manipulate, she is forced to realize her insufficiency and anger. Her marriage has ended in divorce and her son, who refuses to speak to her, is arrested for attempted murder on a Hispanic teen. When it looks as if she will lose it all, including her sanity, she turns to Healing Choices counseling looking for a quick fix to all of her problems. What she finds is a need that is deeper than she ever imagined.

This book was so authentic that at first I did not like it. I look for authenticity in all books that I read, no matter the genre, but I was a bit unprepared for the deep authenticity that the authors used in this book. Rue and Arterburn did not gloss over life's problems with a layer of sugar and a sweet happily ever after. Instead, they opened up all of Ryan's pain and anger and scooped it all out to be dealt with and healed. How often in life do we prefer to gloss the pain over and ignore it? This books reaches into the heart of the reader and reminds them that ignoring issues do not make them disappear. At the same time, it offers healing from the Great Physician. The book may be fiction, but it is authentic enough to minister to hurting souls in this very real, painful, non-fiction world. I must confess that I was a bit disturbed that there was on very obvious situation between two people that was never resolved. Perhaps the authors plan to address it in another book in the series? If not, I would be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Redemption by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

Redemption, by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley, is as it's name suggests, a story of redemption. Kari Baxter Jacobs is hurt and angry after one fateful phone call exposes her husband's affair. Her husband, Tim Jacobs, is anything but remorseful and when Kari's old love moves back to town, Kari is faced with choices that will determine her future and the futures of those around her.

I've never been a humongous fan of Karen Kingsbury, but I did find this book to be exceptionally well-written. It is the first book in the Redemption series which features five books based on the Baxter family. The characters were so real and the situations were so authentic that I felt as if I was really right there in their minds and circumstances. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this book to be such heavy reading. It isn't the kind of book that you read when you want a happy bit of fluff. No, this book is so real. The situations are exactly the type of situations that people face in real life. I especially liked how all the characters were personally addressed even though the book centered mainly on Kari.