Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Book Review of Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, & Diann Hunt.

I recently read Smitten which is four novellas in one book written by by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, & Diann Hunt.

I have stated before that I don’t normally read novellas because they are just too short.  However, as far as length this worked for me because the four were written consecutively and even though each novellas was about a different girl in a group of friends the time periods didn’t overlap.

Briefly, the books are about a group of girls working to make their hometown of Smitten stay alive by “remodeling” its image.  The original industry that kept the town alive was logging and due to the economy the saw mill was closed and in order for the own to stay alive and thrive it needed a new industry.  The girls come up with a plan to make the town a romantic destination by introducing new businesses.  They have a little help from a hometown celebrity.  It also tells how their faith in God helps them make hard decisions about their lives.

Let me just say that I enjoyed this book for the fun and easy read that it was.  If you want a lighthearted read, this is a book for you.  If you want something deeper, it’s not a first choice.  

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Review of Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

I have long enjoyed reading books by Colleen Coble and Lonestar Angel was no exception.  I am a huge romance suspense fan so this book was the perfect one.

This book was riveting from beginning to end.  Being an adoptive mother of older children it was wonderful to see a book with those types of children as major characters.  I was glad to see that Clay and Eden came to love them right away and decided to adopt some of them.  Kids from foster care are victims of their circumstances and need parents who will love them unconditionally forever.  

The suspense was great; it kept me wanting to get back to the book whenever I was interrupted.  And it really kept me guessing who the kidnappers were by going back and forth between different groups of characters.

I felt the love story was true to life with the indecision that lasted for so much of the book.  I was glad to see them come together at the end of the book.

All in all it was such a good book all around touching on the foster care system and that healing for those children can come from animals.  The plight of children in foster care can sometimes be grave.  Those kids have been traumatized by one set of parents and need some deep intensive help to heal.

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Daughter

For some reason I feel compelled to write a tribute to my daughter ... my first daughter ... my daughter who has given me one grandson and soon to be a second.

Calsey has not lived the normal life of a neurotypical child which is one you might give birth to and raise as a typical child.  Calsey has had a difficult childhood of abuse, neglect, forming relationships, etc.  She came into our life when she was 11 with some very serious issues that we attempted to get her help with but the seriousness of the issues and her age combined to make getting the help problematic.  We did the best we could; she did the best she could.  Our relationship was very rocky at times thanks to the lack of training we received. 

But Calsey made it to adulthood (and so did we) and I now have a better relationship with her than when she was a minor living under my roof.

Calsey is doing the best that she can with the resources that she has (emotional, psychological, etc.)  Her rough start in life has followed her through to adulthood.  Calsey is 20 years old and unmarried.  She is the mother of one son and soon to be another.  She has been judged, ridiculed, shamed and all things you can think a girl in her situation might experience from those who might think that her sin is great and she should be ashamed of herself.

I am here as her advocate to say that Calsey has make some unwise choices (as have we all) but none that would remove her from the love of God.  Calsey made a wise decision when she was still in foster care to give her heart to Jesus which means that Jesus doesn't judge her or mock her for the choices she makes.   Jesus loves her and wants what's best for her not criticism and condemnation. 

Her sin (whatever that may be) is no greater than my sin or your sin or anyone else's.  God does not place value on certain actions or behaviors that we might consider sinful. 

Calsey, you are of value ... you have worth ... in my eyes but most importantly in God's eyes.  I love you but God loves you more.  You are more precious than silver or gold.  God made you in his image and he will never let you go.  You are his forever because you made that decision for Christ to come into your heart.  Even though you make choices that aren't wise, God has promised to bring good to those who love him and that includes bringing good from the bad choices, too.

I love you, Calsey.  I hurt when you hurt and it makes me cry.  I continually pray for you.  You know that you can come to me or call me anytime day or night and if you are in a situation where you need me to come and get you, I will be there.  I committed my life to you like I committed my life to your dad.  You will always be our daughter and we will always be family.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

A book review of An Amish Wedding by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long

An Amish Wedding is actually three novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long.  

A Perfect Secret by Kelly Long tells the story of Rose and Luke and the road leading from their engagement to the wedding of Rose’s best friend, Priscilla.

A Perfect Match by Kathleen Fuller tells the story of Naomi and her journey from being content to be single to finding her true love in Zeke.

A Perfect Plan by Beth Wiseman is about the four weeks leading up to the marriage of Priscilla and Chester.

All three stories are written in the same time period of about four weeks.  Each one has intertwined the same group of people leading up to the wedding of Priscilla and Chester.  I don’t normally bother with reading novellas because I am such an avid reader and I want to invest more time than 100 pages or less in the story.  From that perspective I enjoyed these because they were in the same book and were the stories of the same people so I could invest my time in the first one and go on to the second and third knowing the characters.  

What I didn’t like was that they were three separate books written within the same timeframe.  I would have preferred for them to be intertwined within one large book instead of starting over with the timeframe with books two and three.  But with three different authors that can be difficult.

All in all, I enjoyed these reads and am always impressed when a book (or books) are written by more than one person and you can’t really tell by reading them.

BookSneeze® has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review of His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

I have been reading a lot of historical fiction lately and His Steadfast Love
by Golden Keyes Parsons definitely hit the mark.

This story is about the civil war and the ramifications for loved ones on both sides of the war.  One of the threads of this story was the relationship between a girl raised in Texas with slaves and a man from Pennsylvania who was not raised with slaves and whether their love could overcome the bitterness left in the hearts of many by this war.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I don’t really care for books with lots of battle scenes in it.  It just doesn’t hold my interest.  This did have some of that but it did not override the rest of the story.  Once those parts were past I couldn’t stop reading to find out how things would turn out with the couple who were raised worlds apart from each other in the same country.

I was very definitely challenged in my faith as it was preaching forgiveness.  It made me aware of some issues I have with forgiving others.

It was very entertaining and I would definitely recommend it to others.

BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.