Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A trip to Barnes & Noble

Today I went to the local Barnes & Noble and wished I was a millionaire. If I was, I probably would have bought alot of books from there. But since I'm not, I just looked around and enjoyed being surrounded by books on every side.

While there I noticed a few fiction books that seemed to be about ghosts. I have to confess, I didn't realize there was really a market for ghost fiction. But recently, I read one myself, and I guess it makes sense with the popularity of series such as the Harry Potter books and the Twilight books, that people are interested in books relating to the supernatural.

It was just interesting to me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Emma Landon and Brad Cutler shared a remarkable, beautiful love until a terrible mistake tore them apart, leaving them wounded and unable to heal. Years later, Brad Cutler has moved on with his life and is about to marry the love of his life when he realizes that he can not move on to the next chapter of life and until he has closure about his first love. When Brad announces he has to find Emma and close that chapter of his life, the wedding is put on hold and his relationship with his fiancée is jeopardized. Following what he believes is God's will, he searches for Emma and the healing that neither of them have ever known.

I have read approximately 10 novels by Karen Kingsbury and this one is by far my favorite. I could not put it down! I fluctuated with the characters. First, I wanted Brad to be with Emma, then I wanted him to be with Laura, back and forth I went. I cried with the characters as they worked through the deepest pain of their lives and I rejoiced as they found the healing they had needed for so long. This book is a great read and a gentle, healing story about the difficult topic of abortion.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

GoodWill Bookstore

I have just discovered the GoodWill Bookstore! I've known it was there for a long time, but I have not visited it. I went on Christmas Eve and was pleasantly surprised to find that the had a large inventory and very reasonable prices. I was able to get 2 hardcover books and 4 softcover books for $21. It was an awesome buy.

The Mermaid In The Basement by Gilbert Morris

Viscountess Serafina Trent is not the typical high-society, well-to-do woman. She is a scientist who has learned to believe only in what she can see and trust only what she can prove. When her brother, Clive Newton, is arrested for the murder of an actress, all the evidence points to him. However, she believes with all her heart that he is innocent and attempts to use her brilliant, scientific mind to set him free. Dylan Tremayne, a superb theater actor, volunteers to assist her in her search for clear Clive's name. Reluctantly, she accepts help and finds his friendship to be a blessing to her life. Together, they work day and night, and an attraction grows between them despite Serafina's determination to never marry again.

The Mermaid In The Basement by Gilbert Morris is both a mystery and a historical fiction book. It is very well-written and the plot and characters were completely believable. I enjoyed how the author introduced the protagonist to Charles Dickens at one point. The romance between Serafina and Dylan was highly predictable; however, the ending was not. I intend to visit the library soon and see if the sequel to this book is available.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Heard The Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I Heard The Bells is a well-known poem that has been put to music. When listening to the song, sometimes it's easy to miss the meaning. I am posting it here because I love the words and the authenticity of the song. Too often our culture makes Christmas out to be a happy time for everybody. But it is not always a happy time filled with peace and joy. Families fight. Parents abandon their children. People go without the basic necessities of life.

However, when we encounter unhappiness during the Christmas holiday, we must remember that God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. He is alive and present and came to bring joy and peace for all men.

I Heard The Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th'unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
'There is no peace on earth, ' I said
'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.'

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz

Janie is an eight-year-old girl surrounded by a dysfunctional family. Her mother carries an unwanted child, her grandmother is the meanest person she knows and her sister, Rainey, has Downs Syndrome and struggles to understand. The crisis pregnancy leads to a road trip that changes Janie's life, as she knows it, forever. From the mountains to dirty motels to a dream house, the trail Janie learns she must walk is not easy, but it has the chance to save lives.

It's hard to write a review of this book and not give any spoilers. I think the author did an excellent job at creating a tale filled with a mystery that is not resolved until the end. Although there are hints throughout the story, they only serve to pique interest, they do not blatantly reveal all the is going on involving the characters. I admired that the author wrote the story in such a way that although she was revealing hints all along the way, the reader could easily miss those hints until the end. I confess, I did that and found myself going back to make sure that everything really did line up and make sense. I was pleasantly surprised that it did.

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."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reunion by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

The day Elizabeth Baxter found the lump in her breast changed the Baxter family forever. As Ashley and Landon, plan for their wedding, Elizabeth plans a family reunion. She knows God is going to heal her body and let her grow old with her family, but just in case, she wants to see them all again. As the time and cancer progresses, Elizabeth finds herself drawn to the oldest secret that she and her husband have kept. A secret she's still not willing to tell. When it seems that none of her prayers will be answered the way she wants to them too, she surrenders all her hopes and dreams to God, only too find that all her dreams have been fulfilled – just not in the way she expected.

, the fifth and final book in the Redemption Series, by Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley was by far the most potent of all the books and is my personal favorite of the Redemption series. I loved this book though at times, it made me cry. I confess that if there were no books to follow this one, I would have hated the ending. However, as I understand it, The Firstborn Series, follows this series and continues with the life and struggles of Dayne Matthews. I'm looking forward to checking those out from the library soon. Kingsbury did an excellent job of introducing the new characters into this book which I understand will be featured in later book series.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley

Peter and Brooke West are both successful doctors with two lively, beautiful daughters. On the outside, things seem fine. But behind the doors of their home, their marriage is struggling. When Hayley,their youngest daughter, is the victim of a drowning accident, everything seems to be falling apart. As Hayley struggles for her life, their marriage disintegrates. Both Peter and Brooke struggle with feelings of guilt towards themselves and each other. Peter relieves his pain in illegal ways and Brooke finds that she must surrender all to her God – her daughter, her marriage, even her life – if there is to be any hope of a future for their family and any reason to rejoice.

Rejoice is the fourth book in the Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley. I didn't like this book in the beginning, but once I got about a fourth of the way through it, I started loving it. It's not a book to read if you are depressed, but as with all the books in this series, I admire the authenticity that the authors used when creating the characters and the plot.