Friday, December 21, 2012

A Unique Beginning

Chasing the Sun
Tracie Peterson

Publicity Summary: When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction. Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running. Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?

Review: I enjoyed the characters and the basic story line. I was trouble by the business related to Hannah’s father. It could not shake the gloom concerning this point. It was a constant topic and while the characters did not know what occurred, the reader did. I had such a difficult time with this. It hung over the story at times. The story worked its way through this and the evil evident one of the character was very believable. I really liked the gritty feel of living so far from a town and how they depended on each other due to this. The reality of a war decreasing supplies and therefore making them precious was realistic. Over all the book was enjoyable very believable.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

A Pleasant Surprise

Finding God in the Hobbit
Jim Ware

Publicity Summary: With a simple hobbit in a simple hobbit-hole, Tolkien opened the window on a whole new world that has captured millions of imaginations and changed the face of literature forever. But this story of unexpected adventure is far more than goblin attacks, dragon-hoards, and riddles in the dark. It's a journey that changes a simple hobbit named Bilbo---and us---along the way. Ware, coauthor of Finding God in The Lord of the Rings, once again unlocks the mysteries of Middle-earth with insightful reflections on the scenes and characters of The Hobbit. You'll discover the deep connections that link this fantasy world to our own and unveil the mysterious workings of the Author of the Tale in your own life. Just as the very ordinary Bilbo Baggins was caught up in a web of momentous events beyond his understanding, so you also are part of a larger story. Travel to Middle-earth to discover some ways in which God is still very much at work in our world---and has a bigger purpose for you than you can ever imagine.

Book Review: I enjoyed learning more of J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith and history. That his world view was so engaged in the Word of God is what separates his writing from purely allegory. I found myself really thinking about this during the book. Mr. Tolkien’s mind set was so centered on Christ that he never gave a thought to imposing it on his books it just was him. I enjoyed the over view tour of the Hobbit. It brought back memories of my first encounter with this story. Going back and forth between the book and the man was engrossing. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to spend time with this book. It was well worth it.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

An Enjoyable Story

The Bridge
Karen Kingbury

Book Summary: Molly Allen lives alone in Portland, but her heart is back in Franklin, Tennessee, where five years ago she walked away from a man she cannot forget, a rare sort of love she hasn't found since. Ryan Kelly lives in Franklin and spends plenty of time at The Bridge-the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin-remembering the long hours he and Kelly once spent there. Now, Ryan and Molly's favorite bookstore is in trouble. For thirty years, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, providing the people of middle Tennessee with coffee, conversation, and shelves of good books-even through dismal book sales and the rise of eBooks. Then in May a flood tore through Franklin and destroyed nearly every book in the store. By Christmastime, the bank threatens to pull the lease on The Bridge and is about to take the Bartons' house as well. Despondent, Charlie considers ending his life. And in the face of tragedy, miracles begin to unfold.

Review: It started out slow but moved into high gear quickly. The book was split between the owners of the Bridge and the younger couple who moved from college to present time. Some of the time is spent in the past and was moved there nicely by a video or remembering through a character. I found the background information to be enjoyable and like the characters. I thought some of the hospital events to be less believable, although not impossible. Overall this was an enjoyable well laid out story.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Simon & Schuster, Inc. for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Cherished Christmas Novella

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella
Liz Curtis Higgs

Editor Summary: This heartwarming novella invites readers to experience Christmas in Victorian Scotland, as the chill of a family misunderstanding gives way to the warmth of forgiveness. On a reluctant visit home, an icy reception from her family in Stirling sends Meg Campbell fleeing for the train station, determined to spend the holidays alone in Edinburgh. When snow delays her departure, Meg pours out her heart to fellow traveler Gordon, an affable newspaperman who asks all the right questions, even as he keeps his own heartache under wraps. Then an unexpected turn of events finally points them both in the right direction: home. This stand-alone novella captures the unexpected gift of forgiveness and the hopeful stirrings of new love.

Review: This was a quick read and suspenseful. Even though there were a few hints of what was to come it was still suspenseful to see it unfold. I like the main characters and was quickly drawn to Meg. It felt very real and like being in the house when the conflict was finally revealed to the secondary characters. Everything about the story felt like a grand Christmas celebration. The snow, the church service and the presents. It was a pleasure to read this story and provide this review.

I would like to thank Waterbrook Press and Edelweiss for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.