Saturday, June 25, 2011

Double Take by Melody Carlson

Spring break means happiness, fun, and relaxation. But not for Madison Van Buren and Anna Fisher. Pressures from her family and friends leave Madison feeling attacked and stressed. Anna just wants to escape a monotonous life of chores and children. When the two girls meet, they realize they could easily pass for sisters and they have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to temporarily swap places. Anna will go to New York to experience life outside of the Amish community and maybe even find her old boyfriend. Madison will escape some pressure and stress by traveling to another Amish community to help Anna's pregnant aunt with chores and children. The quickly-hatched plan leads Madison and Anna on two incredible journeys to understanding another's point-of-view. Neither of them will be the same.

I expected Double Take by Melody Carlson to be a modern-day version of The Parent Trap without the part about getting the parents together. To some degree it was the classic swapping-places chick lit. However, I was pleased by the depth and originality that Carlson added by intergrating the Amish beliefs/practices and taking the characters on a spiritual journey. I would love, love, love to read a sequel. The ending was satisfying, yet there were a few things left open that could definitely be sequel-material.

Though targeted to young adults, I recommend this book to both young adults and adults who love chick lit or Amish fiction.

Click here to read an excerpt from Double Take by Melody Carlson.

Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

It Started With The Babysitter's Club

Book Blogger Hop
Every week Crazy-for-Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop. Participants answer a question and then visit other blogs of fellow participants. This week's question is:

"When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?"

My answer: I have loved to read since I was a young girl, but it really became a passion when I started reading The Babysitter's Club books as a teenager. I couldn't get enough of those books! Every week my grandpa would take me to Books-A-Million and I would pick out two or three. My grandparents still have my collection of those books at their house. There's over 100!  

What about you?

Great Deals at Publix this week!

I went to Publix yesterday and got some great deals!

My favorite deal was Great Grains cereal for $.30 a box!  These were BOGO, plus I had store and manufacturer coupons to use. I've never actually tried these, so hopefully they will be good. If they aren't, I still only paid $.60 for two boxes. 

The other top deals of the day for me were:
  • $.49 for 5 oz. Olay Regenerist Facial Cleanser.
  • Free Tylenol Precise Pain Relieving Cream.
  • $2.00 for 80 ct. Lysol Disinfecting Wipes. (I go through lots of these, so it was a great deal for me!)
Saving Percentage this week: 77% - My highest ever!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards

    A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards recounts the Biblical stories of King Saul, King David and King Absalom in fictionalized form. As the story unfolds, the author frequently interrupts the story to give teaching regarding the themes and/or morals of that part of the story. The overall topic of A Tale of Three Kings is how a Christian should respond when hurt by church leadership or church members.

    As for the audio quality of this recording, it was excellent. The narrator's voice was appropriate and he read the text at a perfect pace.

    Regarding the content of A Tale of Three Kings, my response varied. I found the fiction portions entertaining enough. However, it was sometimes confusing and distracting when the author would jump from fiction to attempting to explain spiritual truths. I would have rather listened to a completely fiction book that challenged me to think or to a book in which the first half was fiction and the second half was teaching. I must respectfully disagree with some of the author's teachings. There is a lack of Scriptural basis for some of them. I only recommend this book to someone who is willing to consider what it teaches and examine it to see if it lines up with Biblical teaching.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from ChistianBook 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

    Finding a husband for Olivia is very important to her mother. Using a possible suitor as an excuse, Olivia travels to Mercy Falls, California, in search of the truth regarding her sister's untimely death. Unfortunately, Olivia meets Harrison Bennett, her late sister's fiancée and possible murder suspect, during an attempt on her own life. As a precaution Olivia assumes the title of Lady Devonworth to ensure her safety and anonymity. In an effort to uncover the truth, Olivia spends time observing Harrison. Unexpectedly, attraction grows between Olivia and Harrison and she begins to struggle with her hidden motives and identity. Harrison has a resolute dislike for the Stewart family and Olivia is searching for an unconditional love. Will Olivia and Harrison's relationship withstand the truth? Can love ever really be unconditional?

    I enjoyed reading The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble. The Lightkeeper’s Ball is the third book in the Mercy Falls series, but it reads well as a stand-alone novel. The story quickly grabbed my attention and drew me back to it during the days I read it. The plot's pace was appropriate and Olivia's character was intriguing. While the individual scenes were unique and enjoyable, I found the overall plot was somewhat predictable. However, since it is fiction and I am a fan of happily-ever-afters, I still recommend this book to fans of historical romance. The setting and characters make it a very enjoyable read.

    Click here to read an excerpt from The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The B & B Media Group. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Her Best Catch by Lindi Peterson

    Between her family, her friends, and her job, Allison Doll has plenty of drama in her life without adding in a guy. Especially, a guy who has his heart set on leaving to play professional baseball. When the handsome Ashton Boyd begins showing up at her job and wisking her away to lunch or dinner, Allison is cautious. Afterall, Ashton is a minor celebrity and she's already got enough things to deal with. As Allison and Ashton spend time together, she is undeniably drawn to him, but hesitant to allow herself to pursue the relationship. Afterall, it would only take one phone call for Ashton to leave her... forever.

    Her Best Catch by Lindi Peterson is a sweet, mostly light-hearted read. I read this story in less than 48 hours which testifies to the story's ability to hook the reader. Although some parts of the plot could be easily anticipated, I found it to be authentic and entertaining. Allison's character development was interesting to watch and the first person point-of-view was effective. The comic moments in the book were a nice touch. I recommend Her Best Catch to fans of Chistian chick lit and Christian romance.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from Bell Bridge Books via Netgalley. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    52 Lies Heard In Church Every Sunday by Steve McVey

    Reviewed by Jolene A. for Reader's Favorite.

    As stated in the introduction of 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday by Steve McVey, “Words do mean something, and when ideas are put into words in such a way that they lead to or reinforce fallacious notions, it is appropriate to challenge the use of those words. Too much is at stake to risk faulty communication about the truth.” With that in mind, McVey unveils 52 statements/beliefs commonly held by mainstream Christians as lies and seeks to show why the truth is so much better. The premise of the book is that if some part of the truth about the Gospel is left out of a statement, it creates a half-truth, which makes it a whole lie. Each chapter addresses one lie/half-truth, is two to four pages long, and includes a section about clarifying your thinking.

    Reading 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday by Steve McVey was at times easy and at times difficult. The briefness of the chapters made it convenient to read when I had a spare moment or as a companion to my daily Bible reading. McVey did well as far as breaking down each statement and disecting it in everyday language for the reader.

    There were times I wanted to cheer because I feel like McVey perfectly addressed a topic that has muddled the language, beliefs, and lives of Christians for years. Examples of this included: Lie #29 (It's a Sin to be Depressed) and Lie #51 (You Must Forgive and Forget). There were times I was surprised when I saw the title of a chapter and thought: I agree with that and there's no way he's going to convince me otherwise. A few minutes later I would concede that while I don't consider the statement a lie, a do see how it is needful for Christians to know the whole truth, not the half-truth. Lastly, there were times when I was simply not convinced. In those times, I understood what McVey said, but had to respectfully disagree. Overall, I think this is good book for Christians who want to have a firmer grasp of why they believe what they believe. The book will either back up what you already believe with Scripture or make you dig into Scripture to examine the truth of the matter.

    I recommend this book only to those who are brave enough to read with an open mind, examine personal beliefs, and compare the book's teachings with the Bible.

    Click here to read an excerpt from 52 Lies Heard In Church Every Sunday: and Why the Truth is So Much Better by Steve McVey.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Reader's Favorite. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    False Witness by Randy Singer

    When Clarke Shealy's wife is taken hostage by the Chinese mafia, he must use all of his bounty hunter skills to find an Indian scientist with a powerful algorithm. An experience such as that is not easily forgotten. Four years later, Shealy's witness protection identity and location have been compromised and the enemy is ruthlessly pursuing the algorithm. Complicating matters is the question of who can be trusted and who cannot. When local law students become involved, the stakes increase. Is there a traitor inside the FBI? Will the Chinese mafia exact revenge and take the algorithm? Will justice triumph?

    False Witness by Randy Singer is an adrenaline-laced tale that gripped me from chapter one. There is so much action that the story moves fast, but in order to understand everything that happens, it must be read at a moderate pace. This unlikely combination actually contributed to the book's ability to keep drawing me back to it. I loved the character of Kumari. He was wonderfully unique and intellectually stimulating – much like the entire book. Clearly, Singer did his homework while writing this book. His portrayals of the mafia, the job of a bounty hunter, and the life of fledging law students seemed spot-on, though I know little about any of those lifestyles. I read the 2011 version of False Witness which is a rewritten version of Singer's older book by the same name.

    I recommend this book to fans of suspense/mystery fiction.   

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The B & B Media Group. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson

    Kimberly Claybourne Tucker didn't want to be swept away by the magic of Cedar Key, Florida. A painful divorce and the responsibility of rearing two sons leaves Kimberly stressed and without the answers as to why things happen. When a judge orders her sons to spend five weeks with their father, Kimberly's father pushes her to visit Cedar Key, a place she has avoided for years because of the bittersweet memories. Her goal is to visit the area as quickly as possible and return. However, a chance meeting with Steven Granger, her first love, disrupts her plans. As she spends time in Cedar Key, she discovers the need for faith, the shadows of the past, and that sometimes there are second chances.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson. I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida so I easily identified with the atmosphere and vivid imagery. The intricate stories of the characters drew me back to this book until I finished it. There's no doubt that Everson is a talented author, but I wish there was more closure to the plot. The book is well-over three hundred pages, yet the story is incomplete when the book ends. Thank goodness there is a sequel planned. The first chapter of it is in the back to the book.

    I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction with a mixture of romance, sisterhood, and life issues.

    Click here to read an excerpt from Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson.

    Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller, from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    A Little Humor for Today

    YouTube won't let me embed the video for Chris August's Candy Wrap, but it is the cutest video I've seen lately. Click here to watch it.


    FIRST Wild Card Tour: The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

    It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

    You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

    Today's Wild Card author is:

    and the book:

    Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
    ***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***


    Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

    Visit the author's website.


    Olivia seems to have it all, but her heart yearns for more.

    Olivia Stewart's family is one of the Four Hundred—the highest echelon of society in 1910. When her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Olivia leaves their New York City home for Mercy Falls, California, to determine what befell Eleanor. She suspects Harrison Bennett, the man Eleanor planned to marry. But the more Olivia gets to know him, the more she doubts his guilt—and the more she is drawn to him herself.

    When several attempts are made on her life, Olivia turns to Harrison for help. He takes her on a ride in his aeroplane, but then crashes, and they’re forced to spend two days alone together. With her reputation hanging by a thread, Harrison offers to marry her to make the situation right. As a charity ball to rebuild the Mercy Falls lighthouse draws near, she realizes she wants more than a sham engagement—she wants Harrison in her life forever. But her enemy plans to shatter the happiness she is ready to grasp. If Olivia dares to drop her masquerade, she just might see the path to true happiness.

    Product Details:

    List Price: $14.99
    Paperback: 304 pages
    Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 159554268X
    ISBN-13: 978-1595542687


    The New York brownstone was just half a block down from the Astor mansion on Fifth Avenue, the most prestigious address in the country. The carriage, monogrammed with the Stewart emblem, rattled through the iron gates and came to a halt in front of the ornate doors. Assisted by the doorman, Olivia Stewart descended and rushed for the steps of her home. She was late for tea, and her mother would be furious. Mrs. Astor herself had agreed to join them today.

    Olivia handed her hat to the maid, who opened the door. “They’re in the drawing room, Miss Olivia,” Goldia whispered. “Your mama is ready to pace the floor.”

    Olivia patted at her hair, straightened her shoulders, and pinned a smile in place as she forced her stride to a ladylike stroll to join the other women. Two women turned to face her as she entered: her mother and Mrs. Astor. They wore identical expressions of disapproval.

    “Olivia, there you are,” her mother said. “Sit down before your tea gets cold.”

    Olivia pulled off her gloves as she settled into the Queen Anne chair beside Mrs. Astor. “I apologize for my tardiness,” she said. “A lorry filled with tomatoes overturned in the street, and my driver couldn’t get around it.”

    Mrs. Astor’s face cleared. “Of course, my dear.” She sipped her tea from the delicate blue-and-white china. “Your dear mother and I were just discussing your prospects. It’s time you married.”

    Oh dear. She’d hoped to engage in light conversation that had nothing to do with the fact that she was twenty-five and still unmarried. Her unmarried state distressed her if she let it, but every man her father brought to her wanted only her status. She doubted any of them had ever looked into her soul. “I’m honored you would care about my marital status, Mrs. Astor,” Olivia said.

    “Mrs. Astor wants to hold a ball in your honor, Olivia,” her mother gushed. “She has a distant cousin coming to town whom she wants you to meet.”

    Mrs. Astor nodded. “I believe you and Matthew would suit. He owns property just down the street.”

    Olivia didn’t mistake the reference to the man’s money. Wealth would be sure to impact her mother. She opened her mouth to ask if the man was her age, then closed it at the warning glint in her mother’s eyes.

    “He’s been widowed for fifteen years and is long overdue for a suitable wife,” Mrs. Astor said.

    Olivia barely suppressed a sigh. So he was another of the decrepit gentlemen who showed up from time to time. “You’re very kind,” she said.

    “He’s most suitable,” her mother said. “Most suitable.”

    Olivia caught the implication. They spent the next half an hour discussing the date and the location. She tried to enter into the conversation with interest, but all she could do was imagine some gray-whiskered blue blood dancing her around the ballroom. She stifled a sigh of relief when Mrs. Astor took her leave and called for her carriage.

    “I’ll be happy when you’re settled, Olivia,” her mother said when they returned to the drawing room. “Mrs. Astor is most kind.”

    “She is indeed.” Olivia pleated her skirt with her fingers. “Do you ever wish you could go somewhere incognito, Mother? Where no one has expectations of you because you are a Stewart?”

    Her mother put down her saucer with a clatter. “Whatever are you babbling about, my dear?”

    “Haven’t you noticed that people look at us differently because we’re Stewarts? How is a man ever to love me for myself when all he sees is what my name can gain him? Men never see inside to the real me. They notice only that I’m a Stewart.”

    “Have you been reading those novels again?” Her mother sniffed and narrowed her gaze on Olivia. “Marriage is about making suitable connections. You owe it to your future children to consider the life you give them. Love comes from respect. I would find it quite difficult to respect someone who didn’t have the gumption to make his way in the world. Besides, we need you to marry well. You’re twenty-five years old and I’ve indulged your romantic notions long enough. Heaven knows your sister’s marriage isn’t what I had in mind, essential though it may be. Someone has to keep the family name in good standing.”

    Olivia knew what her duty demanded, but she didn’t have to like it. “Do all the suitable men have to be in their dotage?”

    Her mother’s eyes sparked fire but before she spoke, Goldia appeared in the doorway. “Mr. Bennett is here, Mrs. Stewart.”

    Olivia straightened in her chair. “Show him in. He’ll have news of Eleanor.”

    Bennett appeared in the doorway moments later. He shouldn’t have been imposing. He stood only five-foot-three in his shoes, which were always freshly polished. He was slim, nearly gaunt, with a patrician nose and obsidian eyes. He’d always reminded Olivia of a snake about to strike. His expression never betrayed any emotion, and today was no exception. She’d never understood why her father entertained an acquaintance with the man let alone desired their families to be joined.

    “Mr. Bennett.” She rose and extended her hand and tried not to flinch as he brushed his lips across it.

    “Miss Olivia,” he said, releasing her hand. He moved to her mother’s chair and bowed over her extended hand.

    Olivia sank back into her chair. “What do you hear of my sister? I have received no answer to any of my letters.”

    He took a seat, steepled his fingers, and leaned forward. “That’s the reason for our meeting today. I fear I have bad news to impart.”

    Her pulse thumped erratically against her ribcage. She wetted her lips and drew in a deep breath. “What news of Eleanor?” How bad could it be? Eleanor had gone to marry Harrison, a man she hardly knew. But she was in love with the idea of the Wild West, and therefore more than happy to marry the son of her father’s business partner.

    He never blinked. “I shall just have to blurt it out then. I’m sorry to inform you that Eleanor is dead.”

    Her mother moaned. Olivia stared at him. “I don’t believe it,” she said.

    “I know, it’s a shock.”

    There must have been some mistake. She searched his face for some clue that this was a jest. “What happened?”

    He didn’t hold her gaze. “She drowned.”


    “No one knows. I’m sorry.”

    Her mother stood and swayed. “What are you saying?” Her voice rose in a shriek. “Eleanor can’t be dead! Are you quite mad?”

    He stood and took her arm. “I suggest you lie down, Mrs. Stewart. You’re quite pale.”

    Her mother put her hands to her cheeks. “Tell me it isn’t true,” she begged. Then she keeled over in a dead faint.

    Harrison Bennett tugged on his tie, glanced at his shoes to make sure no speck of dirt marred their perfection, then disembarked from his motorcar in front of the mansion. The cab had rolled up Nob Hill much too quickly for him to gather his courage to face the party. Electric lights pushed back the darkness from the curving brick driveway to the porch with its impressive white pillars. Doormen flanked the double doors at the entry. Through the large windows, he saw the ballroom. Ladies in luxurious gowns and gentlemen in tuxedos danced under glittering chandeliers, and their laughter tinkled on the wind.

    His valet, Eugene, exited behind him. “I’ll wait in the kitchen, sir.”

    Harrison adjusted his hat and strode with all the confidence he could muster to the front door. “Mr. Harrison Bennett,” he said to the doorman.

    The man scanned the paper in his hand. “Welcome, Mr. Bennett. Mr. Rothschild is in the ballroom.”

    Harrison thanked him and stepped into the opulent hall papered in gold foil. He went in the direction of the voices with a sense of purpose. This night could change his future. He glanced around the enormous ballroom, and he recognized no one among the glittering gowns and expensive suits. In subtle ways, these nobs would try to keep him in his place. It would take all his gumption not to let them. It was a miracle he’d received an invitation. Only the very wealthy or titled were invited to the Rothschilds’ annual ball in San Francisco. Harrison was determined to do whatever was necessary to secure the contract inside his coat pocket.

    A young woman in an evening gown fluttered her lashes at him over the top of her fan. When she lowered it, she approached with a coaxing smile on her lips. “Mr. Bennett, I’d hoped to see you here tonight.”

    He struggled to remember her name. Miss Kessler. She’d made her interest in him known at Eleanor’s funeral. Hardly a suitable time. He took her gloved hand and bowed over it. “Miss Kessler. I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”

    “I came when I heard you were on the guest list.”

    He ignored her brazen remark. “It’s good to see you again. I have some business to attend to. Perhaps later?”

    Her eyes darkened and she withdrew her hand. “I shall watch for you,” she said.

    And he’d do the same, with the intent to avoid her. “If you’ll excuse me.” He didn’t wait for an answer but strolled through the crowd. He finally spied his host standing in front of a marble fireplace. A flame danced in the eight-foot hearth. Harrison stepped through the crowd to join the four men clustered around the wealthy Rothschild.

    The man closest to Harrison was in his fifties and had a curling mustache. “They’ll never get that amendment ratified,” he said. “An income tax! It’s quite ridiculous to expect us to pay something so outrageous.”

    A younger man in a gray suit shook his head. “If it means better roads, I’ll gladly write them a check. The potholes outside of town ruined my front axels.”

    “We can take care of our own roads,” Rothschild said. “I have no need of the government in my affairs. At least until we’re all using flying machines.” He snickered, then glanced at Harrison. “You look familiar, young man. Have we met?”

    Flying machines. Maybe this meeting was something God had arranged. Harrison thrust out his hand. “Harrison Bennett.”

    “Claude’s son?”’

    Was that distaste in the twist of Rothschild’s mouth? Harrison put confidence into his grip. “Yes, sir.”

    “How is your father?”

    “Quite well. He’s back in New York by now.”

    “I heard about your fiancée’s death. I’m sorry for your loss.”

    Harrison managed not to wince. “Thank you.” He pushed away his memories of that terrible day, the day he’d seen Eleanor Stewart for what she really was.

    “Your father was most insistent I meet you. He seems to think you have a business proposition I might be interested in.”

    Harrison smiled and began to tell the men of the new diamond mines that Bennett and Bennett had found in Africa. A mere week after Mr. Stewart’s passing, Mr. Bennett had renamed the venture to include Harrison. An hour later, he had appointments set up with three of the men as possible investors. His father would be pleased.

    Harrison smiled and retraced his steps to toward the front door but was waylaid by four women in brightly colored silk. They swooped around him, and Miss Kessler took him by the hand and led him to a quiet corner.

    “Let’s not talk about anything boring like work,” she said, her blue eyes sparkling. “Tell me what you love to do most.”

    He glanced at the other women clustered around. “I’m building an aeroplane. I’d like to have it in the air by the time Earth passes through the tail of Halley’s Comet.”

    She gasped. “Do you have a death wish, Mr. Bennett? You would be breathing the poisonous fumes directly. No one even knows if the Earth will survive this.”

    He’d heard this before. “The scientists I’ve discussed this with believe we shall be just fine,” Harrison said.

    “I assume you’ve purchased comet pills?” the blonde closest to him said.

    “I have no fear.”

    The brunette in red silk smiled. “If man were meant to fly, God would have given him wings. Or so I’ve heard the minister say.”

    He finally placed the brunette. Her uncle was Rothschild. No wonder she had such contempt for Harrison’s tone. All the nobs cared for were trains and ships. “It’s just a matter of perfecting the machine,” Harrison said. “Someday aeroplanes will be the main mode of transcontinental transportation.”

    The brunette laughed. “Transcontinental? My uncle would call it balderdash.”

    He glanced at his pocket watch without replying. “I fear I must leave you lovely ladies. Thank you for the conversation.”

    He found Eugene in the kitchen and beckoned to his valet.

    Eugene put down his coffee cup and followed. “You didn’t stay long, sir,” he said. “Is everything all right?”

    Harrison stalked out the door and toward the car. “Are there no visionaries left in the country?”

    Eugene followed a step behind. “You spoke of your flying machine?”

    “The world is changing, Eugene, right under their noses—and they don’t see it.”

    Eugene opened the door for Harrison. “You will show them the future, sir.”

    He set his jaw. “I shall indeed.”

    “I have a small savings set aside, Mr. Bennett. I’d like to invest in your company. With your permission, of course.”

    Eugene’s trust bolstered Harrison’s determination. “I’d be honored to partner with you, Eugene. We are going to change the world.”

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Revise Us Again by Frank Viola

    Revise Us Again: Living From a Renewed Christian Spirit calls upon Christians to examine and rescript the habits, practices, and language of their lives. Whether you have been a Christian one day or one hundred years, you have spiritual ethos that is shaped by the Bible, church teachings, society, environment and traditions. However, authentic Christianity requires that each person must examine his or her own spiritual worldview and then turn to the Bible for the authentic, original script of life.

    Each chapter in Revise Us Again by Frank Viola is relatively short and easy to read. I was pleased with this aspect since I used the book as a companion to my daily Bible reading. Chapter three was my personal favorite of the entire book. It discussed how Christians sometimes use prayer as an excuse to decline a request. Viola emphasizes the need for honesty and authenticity. I felt like many of Viola's points were good, but not all were completely backed up with Scripture. In those parts, more Scripture would have perhaps been more convincing. I also felt like there were a few teachings that did not line up with Scripture. That being said, I do not feel like this is a bad book. I simply emphasize that Revise Us Again, like any book with spiritual teachings, should be compared with the Bible's teachings to see if the teachings line up.

    I recommend this book only to those who are brave enough to read with an open mind, examine personal beliefs, and compare the book's teachings with the Bible.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The B & B Media Group. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    The Alarmists by Don Hoesel

    Professor Brent Michaels is a leading sociologist, satisfied with life, and discounts the Mayan calendar end of the world conspiracies. However, when man-made and natural disasters seem to escalate, he's called in by a special Pentagon unit to look for order amid chaos. As December 21, 2012, nears Brent and the team struggle to find who is manipulating these events and prevent the so-called end of the world. Read more in The Alarmists by Don Hoesel.

    The Alarmists is not my favorite book by Don Hoesel, but it had a solid plot with lots of twists. As expected, mystery and suspense were heavily involved, but the story did not hook my attention like Hoesel's other books have. Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high, but I recommend borrowing from the library before buying.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."