Friday, September 19, 2014

Moms night out, book #27

 I saw the movie version two times in the theatre.  I laughed my head off both times.  I did a prebuy at LifeWay (you know, for the library...) and was holding my breath till it came out.  When it finally came out and I brought it home, I watched it with my kids.  They did not find in nearly as funny.  I still laughed hysterically.  

When I was able to download the book on my Paperwhite for next to nothing, I  couldn't wait to read it.  In most novelizations the author will add back stories and more life to make it more like a book.  I love Tricia Goyer.  It seemed like a match made in heaven.  

But alas ..... sigh.  Reading this book was just like watching the movie.  What little details "behind the story" she did add was so...so...so... pithy.  Like I'm sure my 13 year old could have written this and it would have been just as good.  Highly disappointed.  I know Tricia can write well, I have read some awesome books by her.  This was just not one of her better works.  Perhaps she should stick to made up fiction and not novelizations.  

An endearing true-to-life family comedy that celebrates beautiful parenting, Goyer's Mom's Night Out is a novelization of the film that portrays three harried moms, their husbands, a sister-in-law with a misplaced parlor owner, a motorcycle gang, and a bewildered cabbie whose lives intertwine after one momentous moms' night out. (picture and description at christianbook)

O:)
Melissa


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Seagrass Pier, book #26

Yes, I did in fact read this book in three days.  Yes, it is 336 pages.  Yes, my husband and kids felt a little ignored.  Yes, I was up until midnight finishing it.  But sometimes an amazing book comes along and you just can't help it.  (Think Redeeming Love!)  Now, not that I would put this one up with Redeeming Love, but I guess I was just seriously in the mood for some mystery, police, love, throw in a cute kid kind of book.  

This is the third in a series Colleen Coble has written about Hope Beach, which is somewhere near Virginia Beach.  It is a quaint little community that sounds like Seaside, FL, but trouble still abounds.  I mean, why else would she write books about it?!?!?  This is one a little similar to another book I read about cell memory, where Elin had a heart transplant and the memories of the person whose heart she received keep coming back.  Like, who killed the person in question that allowed Elin to have her heart. Completely intriguing.  But the end, well, you just have to read it for yourself!!

In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything.
Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit.
But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder.
Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares.
The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent agrees to help her: Agent Marc Everton.
Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much. (picture and description at amazon)

O:)
Melissa

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hurricane Allie, book #25

Well, I got my little first world problem figured out on my Paperwhite (PW), but it involved a little work on my end.  See, when you download all these great, inexpensive books on your PW and then you finish a book and want to see what you want to read next, you go to your home page to decide.  Only what happens is there are only two views for you to choose from: book cover or book title list.  So guess what?  Are you with me? 

YOU CAN'T TURN IT OVER TO SEE WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT!!!!!

So, I then spent a good amount of time on Amazon looking up each book I had downloaded and did a little copy and paste of the title, author, # of pages, and a summary on a document.  And how long is that little document? Oh, approximately 14 pages and counting.  Because I have now bought more books since this weekend.  But it is printed in small font.  Whatever.  

So, I haven't been able to read much lately with all of life craziness as it is, and while I did finish the last book rather quickly, I was debating if I had time to read another one before I needed to start reading the one for book club.  Since my new document has pages numbers on it, I found this little novella with only 97 pages and knew I could blow through it pretty quickly.  Ha ha ... get it, blow through it ... a book about a hurricane ... Yeah, that's where I am these days.

Anyhow, I highly recommend this little gem for a quick read.  It is by one of favorite authors who writes a lot about weddings, and if it got a little cheesy at times, and you knew exactly how it was going to turn out, I still didn't mind adding it to my list.  

Even natural disasters can't stop love!
Wedding bells are chiming for Allie Stetson and Kyle Landon. As Allie rushes through wedding preparations days before her wedding, Kyle makes a last minute trip to New York to secure a new client.

Meanwhile, a hurricane bears down on the coast days before their wedding. Is it a bad sign the storm is named Allie?

Stuck in New York, Kyle struggles to find a way home. Meanwhile, Allie scrambles to find Plan B. Her perfect wedding is ruined but not even the forces of nature can stop a wedding that was meant to be. (picture and description at amazon)


O:)
Melissa


Monday, September 1, 2014

The will of wisteria, book #24


Since I was having some first world problems with my Paperwhite, I decided to read this one from my dear friend Denise Hildreth-Jones.  We had a copy in our church library, but somehow we lost it so I finally ordered another one.  I started it just a few days ago and spent the first 1/3 of the book deciding if I had read it after all some other time.  I was starting to get grumpy about it, but about 1/2 way through I did indeed realize I had not.  What a relief!  There are too many books in this world I want to read that I don't want to waste my time reading one I have already read!!  I mean, hey ....


Alas, I digress.  Ok, about the book.  Ahhh... it is set in Charleston, SC which I have visited once in person and several times in books.  Reading this brought back to mind all those hot muggy days we were there, but also I could exactly picture where the characters were.  It is different than her other books, but now after having read all of them, I see what a diverse fiction writer she is.  The first ones I read were the Savannah series, which had me rolling in laughter the entire time.  The First Gardener had me tears the whole time.  Hurricanes in Paradise had me set right in my dream place in the Bahamas.  This one, however, took me a little time to get into.  I mean, yeah, getting kidnapped in the middle of the night and ending up in a dark room with your estranged siblings, it does "grab" you, but I just kept trying to decide if any of them really understood what was at stake.  Once the book got rolling, though, I'm pretty sure I read it in about 4 days because there was never a place to stop and leave these folks ... I HAD to see what was going to happen next!!!  

Thumbs up for this one, and actually anything my by good buddy!!

Four headstrong siblings must satisfy their father's dying demands--or risk losing his fortune. Let the clash of wills begin.

Charleston blue blood Clayton Wilcott "got religion" late in life; so late, it turns out his kids never took to it. So he's left a provisional will delivered in a highly unorthodox way.
Now they're going to have to honor Daddy's commandments from beyond the grave--for a full year--or be cut off from their substantial inheritances.The scent of wisteria lingers in the air as the four spoiled Wilcotts battle for their birthright. Told in Denise Hildreth's trademark blend of humor and heart, this Southern tale is about learning to love, learning to live, and learning to bend.

(picture and description from amazon.com)

O:)
Melissa

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Under the sheets, book #23

Good book. You should read it.  The end.

Dr. Kevin Leman knows even married people have lots of questions about sex, but sometimes they feel too embarrassed to ask or don't know where to turn for the best answers. For all those questions readers couldn't imagine asking their pastor or even their close friends, Dr. Leman is ready with open ears and expert advice.

With his trademark humor and wit, he offers frank answers to the burning questions all of us have about sex. Covering such topics as God's original intentions for sex, body image, attraction, expectations, sex drive, sex after children arrive, and much more, Turn Up the Heat is comprehensive in scope and just what the doctor ordered. Readers will get not only the answers they crave but plenty of the hearty chuckles they expect from Leman. Perfect for newlyweds or couples who have been married for years. (pic and description from amazon


O;)
Melissa


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Between us girls, book #22

A pleasant surprise.  When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but the more I got into it I could hardly put it down.  I fell in love with Jasmine, Sam and of course sweet Mama Liv!  I fell in love with the Casa de Vida "detainees"!  And I'm pretty sure I may have fallen in love Keagen who has no first name.  But that's another story .....

This book was a nice, refreshing break from what I have been reading where this a love story always simmering and did truly focus on the relationships of Liv, Jasmine and Sam.  They seem to come from three different backgrounds, but all their stories intertwined and made them seem like one.  Stories like these remind you are not randomly placed in situations or places for no cause, but the Lord is at work in every move and adventure you go on.  

Highly recommend!!

(and the good news is, this IS a series and I didn't even know it!  Of course, it is not being released until next February, but I can wait.  This book could be a stand alone because all the ends came together in one nice little bow.)

From bestselling Christian fiction author Sally John comes a brand-new series featuring broken lives, new beginnings...and unexpected romance.

Welcome to Casa de Vida—eleven quaint bungalows located three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in tiny Seaside Village, California. Owner Liv McAlister never advertises vacancies beyond a small hand-lettered sign out front, preferring to trust that God will send the right tenant at just the right time. And He always does.

Meet Jasmyn Albright—she’s had more than her share of bad breaks lately, beginning with the tornado that demolished her farmhouse. Emotionally fragile and feeling utterly alone, Jasmyn heads west, hoping to outrun her heartbreak. And she doesn’t stop until she notices a small sign that reads “Vacancy.” Before she’s quite aware of how it all happened, Jasmyn finds herself the newest tenant at Casa de Vida. She hardly dares to hope that her fortunes might be about to change…but of course when God is at work, anything can happen, and new beginnings are one of His specialties.

Sometimes among strangers, family happens. And sometimes, when we least expect it, romance is a welcome guest. (picture and description at amazon)


O:)
Melissa

Friday, July 18, 2014

Love in a Broken Vessel, book #21

Be still my heart.  I have found my new favorite book.  Maybe it's because I just finished two not so stellar books.  Maybe it's because I liked the cover. Maybe it's because there was a message for me in it.  Maybe it's because it's the first time I get the deeper meaning in a book.  But this is it.  My new favorite.  And I think everyone should read it.

As you know, I am not a big fan in general of fictionalized Bible stories, unless Francine Rivers writes them.  They just always make me nervous about how much "liberty" they are taking.  I read another book by Mesu Andrews and did not like it.  I wasn't even going to read any more by her, but my friend insisted I read this one so I gave it a shot.  I cannot thank her enough!

This is a rendition of the book/love story of Hosea.  Naturally I was a bit skeptical because who can top Redeeming Love?  Funny thing is, Mesu actually acknowledges this right off in the Note to the Reader

When you think of reading the story of Gomer and Hosea, what novel comes to mind?  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, right? I think I've read it at least four times.  It's tied for first place in my all-time favorites, and Francine Rivers is hands down my favorite author.  So why would I dare write a novel that might be compared to such a classic?  Because Love in a Broken Vessel is biblical fiction, and Redeeming Love is a biblical story set in a prairie romance.  Trying to equate the two stories would be like comparing apples and oranges--both are fruit, but very different yummy flavors.  My hope is that readers wil enjoy each one for the unique story it is.

So right off you know the author is not trying to "beat" Redeeming Love, but do a different spin.  You had me at "Hello."  

I think the thing that just resonated over and over with me is how God/Hosea keeps on loving me/Gomer, even when I/she feel(s) so unworthy.  Even when I/she fight(s) back, not wanting or feeling like I/she deserve(s) the love.  Not even being able to accept the gifts God/Hosea gives me/her.  It's like after I had children I kept seeing that parent relationship played out time and time again as I try to discipline my children, hearing God say the same words to me as I am saying them to my children.  

Hosea is a hard book to understand.  Even after reading Redeeming Love I still didn't feel like I understood the book.  THIS book really brought it more to life, the loving her despite the fact she runs away time and again, loving her children born of different men, waiting so patiently on her and rejoicing in the end when she does turn to him.  I had tears at the end, even knowing it was going to work out but having no idea how it would!!!  Needless to say, this book gets all my thumbs up!!


Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God's message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel heal Gomer's broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal. (picture and description from Amazon.)


Happy Reading!

O:)
Melissa