Friday, November 28, 2008

Alton Gansky's Enoch ~ Reviewed

Enoch (Paperback)
by Alton Gansky
Paperback: 307 pages
Publisher: Realms (October 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159979344X

Book Description:

An unusual message is popping up in unexpected places around the world--in radio commercials, movies, TV shows, even within the pages of the New York Times.

Believing that someone is playing an elaborate prank, FCC agent Gene Manford and FBI agent Katherine Roone begin an investigation. But nothing in their training has prepared them fo what they are about to encounter. Enoch will take you on a mind-bending, fast-paced journey tnrough a story of good versus evil.


Alton Gansky is an author with a unique and compelling voice. Those who have read his work are in for a superb treat with his latest release – Enoch! Time on earth is growing short, and God has decided to send a message to the world. The method, the world’s intricately interwoven communication systems. The voice, that of one who never died. The message, well, you’ll have to discover that for yourself!

This story begins with a rapid introduction of a rather eclectic group of characters. As events unfold the characters’ roles become defined and a very suspenseful and other-worldly struggle begins to reveal itself. The messenger is following God’s plan as it is revealed, and along the way he picks up a very unlikely side-kick, Eddie Feely. The FBI teams up with the FCC, while a New-Age leader unwillingly teams up with the reality of her once imagined spirit guide. The plot moves at an ever-increasing pace, and before you know it, you are deep into the story and holding your breath to see what happens next!!

I imagine Mr. Gansky is used to folks taking him to task over his creation of extra-biblical actions of Biblical characters. (in this case a prophet) Just remember folks, this is fiction. Mr. Gansky is simply exploring the “what if” behind God using our world-wide communications systems to give earth’s inhabitants a final head’s up about the Gospel message that was sent so long ago. He also explores mankind’s reaction to this message through some very realistic avenues that allows the reader to realize anew that without Christ human depravity knows no bounds.

I really enjoyed this story! It was different, it was suspenseful, it was a story that grabbed you and didn’t let go. I LIKE that!! For those who enjoy a thrill ride with a true and thought-provoking message, I highly recommend Enoch!!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kathleen Y'Barbo's Beloved Captive ~ Reviewed

Beloved Captive: Fairweather Keys Series #2 (Truly Yours Romance Club #28)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc (November 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602602301

Book Description:

In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

To read the first chapter, click here.

My Review:

Pirates, pistols, preachers and teachers! Ships, cannons, remote islands and secrets!

Oh, dear reader, if you want to be transported into the tropical world of the Atlantic during the early 1800’s, then Kathleen Y’Barbo is an author you need to become acquainted with immediately! Beloved Captive actually continues a story that began in Beloved Castaway, but there is sufficient back-story to allow you to enjoy every moment of this story! You will be swept up into the world of Emilie Gayarre and a life filled with well-kept secrets, misguided intentions and a longing to make sense of it all!

Emilie’s journey from her teaching post on the island of Fairweather Key to see her dying father sets off a series of events that will leave her life forever changed. During her journey, Emilie learns the truth about events from her childhood and the high price that many paid in order to keep those facts hidden. Emilie also learns the liberty found only in forgiveness and faithfulness to God, and she is able to leave her father’s home with renewed hope of promises yet to be fulfilled.

What Emilie never could have imagined was that her return journey would be treacherously interrupted by pirates! As she fights for survival, her actions result in the death of two men. By the time she finally returns home to Fairweather Key, she is plagued by nightmares and is begging God for mercy and forgiveness.

The Lord not only hears Emilie’s prayers, but the prayers of those with whom she shares her island home, and He answers them in the most unusual and amazing ways! When the new judge is appointed to Fairweather Key, life once again takes a few unexpected and exciting turns and Emilie is forced to rise up and defend herself. However, this time it is her heart that is in danger!

Oh, you do not want to miss these books! Beloved Castaway and Beloved Captive would make a terrific gift for the reader on your list this year! I know I will be looking forward to enjoying more of Kathleen Y’Barbo’s work! What’s not to love? Her last name even sounds like a pirate! I love it!!

Reviewed by: Kimberly Ford

Monday, November 24, 2008

Steven James' The Rook ~ Reviewed

The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 2) (Paperback)
by Steven James
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800732693

Product Description:

An arsonist has struck a top-secret research facility at a key US naval base. But it's not just a random terrorist attack. These people were after something specific. When Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to investigate, he is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and deception. With his own criminology research being turned against him and one of the world's most deadly devices missing, Bowers is caught up in a race against time to stop an international assassin before it's too late. Full of fast-paced action and mind-bending plot twists, The Rook is an adrenaline-laced page-turner that will keep readers up all night. Book 2 in the Bowers Files, this riveting look into the criminal mind is the perfect follow-up to James's well-reviewed The Pawn.

My Review:

Steven James has a new fan. Without meeting Patrick Bowers and his unique family situation in The Pawn, I can assure you that I will be slamming it in reverse and picking up The Pawn as soon as I can. I loved so many things about The Rook. Deeply drawn and realistic characters. Issues beyond the horror of the crimes and the tense time frames involved, issues that are faced by a lot of readers. The investigative details were thoughtful and detailed without going-on-and-on over technical details that don't matter to the overall story. Plenty of sarcastic comments and humor are laced throughout.

The only people who might not want to go there are the squeamish, we are dealing with bad, bad guys, those bothered by kidnapping and unfolding clock's-a-ticking suspense, and those who want very clear gospel spelled out in the books produced by Christian fiction houses. Those who love good stories, crime novels, drama, tension, action, great characters and all around meaty reads need to look further into the Patrick Bowers series.

Reviewed by:
Kelly Klepfer

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baldwin and Tabbs' The Death and Life and Gabriel Phillips ~ Reviewed

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips
by Stephen Baldwin & Mark Tabb
Published by Faith Words
ISBN# 978-0-446-19699-4
298 pages

To read the first chapter click here.

Back Cover: How do you make sense of a senseless death? How do you reconcile an unjust loss? Where do you find peace? Two men travel different paths but arrive at the same destination in The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips.

When Officer Andy Myers arrives at the scene of a routine call, he isn't expecting to find Gabriel Phillips lying in a pool of blood – particularly since he knows the little boy. Equally distressing, the boy's tranquil father standing watch over his son's body gives Myers an eerie sense of foreboding. He has never seen a man respond to a death – particularly the death of one's child – in such a way.

John Phillips, steadfastly maintaining his innocence, is sentenced to death. He chooses not to fight and embraces his impending death as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with the case, confused by this man's mystifying beliefs and behaviors. Conviction is not enough – Andy wants a confession and won't rest until he understands what sins cost Gabriel his life. What follows is the story of an unlikely bond between these two men and the difficult choices and sacrifices each one must make.

REVIEW: I loved the style in which this book was written. Let me give you a little sample of Stephen and Marks opening page... "Andy Myers didn't want children…Period. Case closed… You would think someone so adamant about not reproducing would have gone out and had a vasectomy, but Andy didn't think that way." And so it goes. The story of Andy Myers drew me in as his son describes him in this story, what he went through in his life and how he met Gabriel Phillips - who was an 8 year old boy!! Remember Andy hated children, but this kid gets under his skin!

Andy Myers thought differently about many things and you discover that throughout the course of this book. For example, the night Andy responded to a call for help and he discovers Gabriel Phillips' body on the floor. The only logical explanation was that the kid was murdered. No one falls out of bed and dies - not with that much blood.

Andy soon makes it his mission in life to see that the killer of Gabriel Phillips is found and convicted. Not only that, but Andy wants a confession. This consumes his every waking moment of life. This story clearly shows what revenge and unforgiveness can cost you in the long run. The one thing that Andy Myers couldn't shake about John Phillips (Gabriel's father) was the peace this man had. Where did that come from? This guy was faking being a born again Christian Andy just knew it. Andy was all torn up inside and out, and this wasn't even his kid. He didn't like kids. Andy couldn't get past any of this.

Reader beware!! I truly was engaged in this powerful story, but I was uncomfortable by all the cursing in this book. Yes, they were police officers doing their work, and I'm sure they talk like this in real life, but it made me uncomfortable reading the words. It's not what I'm accustom to reading. After all, these cops are in the trenches of life at it's worst. I understand that and you will too when you read this story so I could put up with the curse words. This is a story of hope for the hopeless and peace for the oppressed. It helps explain what the "peace that passes all understand" is, the bible talks about. This peace only comes from our heavenly father. I think the authors do a good job in showing how this happens to a few characters in this story. This book also shows our criminal system and how fast things can go from bad to worse; how people can get stuck in the maze of stuff so far, they can't see out.

This is Stephen Baldwin's first fiction book with Mark Tabb. I surely hope it won't be his last. Stephen Baldwin wrote a non-fiction book before this called "The Unusual Suspect" that looks good. I was pleasantly surprised and very moved by this story, and you will be too.

Reviewed by:
Nora St. Laurent – Book Club Servant Leader

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Patti Hill's The Queen of Sleepy Eye ~ Reviewed

The Queen of Sleepy Eye
by Patti Hill
B & H Publishers
408 Pages

Back Cover:

It's the summer of 1975, and sensible seventeen-year-old Amy Monteiro longs for the freedom of college life in California. But when her mom's beloved 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sports Coupe surrenders to a mortally wounded transmission in Colorado, it doesn't take long for Amy to realize that her insufferable, tiara-toting mom, Francie - former queen of the Sleepy Eye Corn Festival - is out of money and in
no hurry to let go of her daughter.

In a time of great change, and in this small Colorado town, Amy will find herself caught up in the struggle between the past and present, young and old, geeks and jocks, hippies and the establishment, even life and death. And during this one unforgettable summer, both mother and daughter will grow up.


Amy is finally breaking free from her mother, or so she thinks, as they are in route to college in California. Amy is excited about their trip and can't be free of her mother,Francine fast enough.

But, Francine wants to hang on to Amy as long as she can. Amy and Francie hit a major bump in the road when their 1958 Pontiac Bonneville breaks down in Cordial, Colorado. They are side tracked from their main mission as they wait on a car part that needs to be ordered; it might take over a week. Amy is crushed, but Francine looks at this as another adventure. Francie soon makes friends with Bonnie, who tells her of a job opportunity they can take advantage of while they wait on their car to be repaired. The opportunity can include both mother and daughter. They can be caretakers at a funeral home, with free room and board. Amy is definitely creeped out, but Francie looks at this as a way of saving money to pay for the car repair.

Amy now feels stuck and she doesn't have the funds to leave for California on her own. Her mother has embraced this small town and it's beginning to look like Francine might never leave. Amy begins to look at her mother in a new light, and she doesn't like what she sees. Her mother has always been fun and a little bit different than all the other moms - now she realizes why. There had always been a divide between Amy and her mom - especially when Amy became a born again Christian. Her mom wanted no part of it, but Amy still sought out ways to witness to her.

Amy and Francine grow up through the unexpected situations they were faced with. Amy discovers she really didn't have the unconditional Love of Christ inside her heart, but judgment. It's a hard lesson to learn. Francine realizes she is the mother in this relationship and needs to start acting like it. She needs to look out for what is best for her daughter Amy.

This is definitely a story of discovery, love and maturity. A mother daughter story and so much more. You will definably have to check it out.

Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent - Book Club Servant Leader

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alice Wisler's Rain Song ~ Reviewed

Rain Song by
Alice J. Wisler
Paperback:304 pages
Publisher:Bethany House (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764204777


Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his emails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does.


“Don’t miss the adventure.” (p. 251)

Rain Song is a story about Nicole Michelin and her search for the missing memories of her mother before tragedy took her from life. Nicole is also searching for understanding about her father’s withdrawal from a full life as a physician and medical missionary into the dark world of alcoholism and depression. Although Nicole’s life is filled to the brim with loving relationships in the warm Southern town of Mount Olive, North Carolina, there are still empty places in her heart and mind left behind by events that took place a world away.

The world isn’t as vast as it used to be though, and a reader’s response to Nicole’s article on the Pretty Fishy website finds its way into her email box and sets off a series of correspondence that ultimately changes Nicole’s life. As she begins to talk with Harrison Michaels via cyberspace, Nicole discovers that there are still those from her early life who can answer the lingering questions from her past. However, the effort to uncover those answers means stepping outside the comfort of her close-knit family and predictable routine. Nurtured and encouraged by a wise and loving grandmother, Nicole is finally able to embark upon her own adventure. What she discovers beyond the familiarity of Mount Olive, North Carolina are the missing pieces of her memory and the beauty that has always lain dormant within her heart.

Alice Wisler tells this story of Rain Song in the slow, deliberate style of Southern tradition. Along the way, you will come to love Nicole’s eclectic family and you will cheer her as she makes her very cautious discoveries. I look forward to more beautiful stories from this very talented writer!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Robin Jones Gunn's Engaging Father Christmas ~ Reviewed

Engaging Father Christmas
By Robin Jones Gunn
Published by FaithWords
ISBN-10: 0-446-17946-9


Miranda Carlson can't wait to return to England to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Hall will be it, especially when hints of engagement fill the air.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family refuses to bless Miranda and Ian's relationship. How can Miranda ever find a place to belong in this cheery corner of the world? When family secrets threaten all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet ... as Miranda searches for love, she finds the promise of so much more in the arms of a certain Father Christmas. Perhaps this holiday has special gifts in store for her after all.


Warm and engaging only begin to describe characters Robin Jones Gunn brings to life on the pages of this book. The setting, a cozy corner of England, adds a subtext of tradition to the tale. Engaging Father Christmas is a story of love, redemption, and finding home—perfect for giving to all the readers on your list this year. Novel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation.

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nancy Moser's John 3:16 ~ Reviewed

John 3:16
By Nancy Moser
Published by Tyndale Publishing
ISBN# 978-1-4143-2054-0
410 Pages

Back Cover: When a Fatal Tragedy hits a college town, a string of events brings together a group of desperate people, each looking for a reason to keep living.

A father spiraling into depression, a dating couple faced with an unwanted pregnancy, a professional fired in an ethical scandal, estranged lovers confronted with the child they abandoned twenty-three years ago.

As these lives intersect on a bright fall day, one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.


"We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future". I've been a Christian for awhile now, and had forgotten so many of the special moments and hard decisions that I had to make once I gave my life completely over to the Lord. It may sound funny sometimes when I try to explain my decision to surrender control of my life and give it over to the Master but I have no regrets. Please don't judge Nancy's book by its cover; this story is so much more intriguing than what you seen on the outside.

Nancy Moser quickly engaged me in this story of different people living life large and on their own terms. Nancy follows the lives of several people: William, who is a football player for the small town; Carrie, who is William Paulson's girlfriend; Maya Morano, who is out to be the number one sells person in her company at all costs; Maya's husband Sal, who loves his wife with all his life; Roman Paulson, Maya's boss and William's father, John Gillingham, a bestselling author and Velvet, his long lost love; Lianne Skala who finds herself with an unexpected pregnancy; Peter McLean, who is going to college because his parents hope he will take over the family's farm when he graduates. Everyone in this town is going about business as usual, until there is a fatal tragedy that affects everyone. People in that town start to think about what's important in life for the very first time. It may seem hokey to some about but how Nancy Moser describes the situation of how ONE person's life reaches so many, it made you think - I really believe we don't know how our lives affect others around us. Look how the life of Jesus affected the people back then and how He is still affecting people today.

It was good to be reminded of the meaning behind John 3:16 and how the characters lives are affected by that one simple, but powerful verse. Not everyone in that town is very excited to hear the message behind John 3:16 and Nancy shows that. Not everyone jumps up and down for joy because you became or are a follower of Jesus!! We are all called to do our part – to be a planter of the seed. It's God's job to water the seed until it ripens for the picking. I love how one of the characters reacts after hearing the message of the John 3:16, she says "You're talking mumbo jumbo…like it's magic. What do I have to do, say it 3 times while standing on my head and my life will be perfect?...Give me a break."

Nancy Moser's message is honest, sensitive, funny and entertaining. It's a great way to talk about our faith without being pushy. It's a great reminder (especially in these uncertain times – when everyone is filled with fear ) of who holds our future; no matter what we struggle with!

I have to tell you that some sections of this book cracked me up and reminded me of the movie "Evan Almighty". Remember when God was trying to get Evan's attention and get him to start building the ark? It seemed that everywhere Evan went, his eyes were opened to the signs and he could see things clearly for the first time. It was so funny!! Nancy has God nudgings in her book as well. It was great! It's comforting to know that God is at work around us whether we see him or not!

Christian or not, you will enjoy this story which talks about peoples' lives and the decisions they make that affect themselves and those around them. You will see how one life has affected so many. This ONE person gathered all the love notes that God sent him each day (not only in the bible, but in the beauty he saw around him) and passed that love on to others. It's a great comfort, reminder and story!!
Don't pass it up!!

Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent – Book Club Servant Leader

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shaffer and Barrows' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ~ Reviewed

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Published by The Dial Press
278 Pages

Back Cover:

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she'd never met, a native of Guernsey, the British Island once occupied by the Nazis. He'd come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where he might find more books by this author.

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the- moment from arrest by the Germans.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the Society's charming, deeply human members, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Through their letters she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her forever.


One of the ladies in my book club gave me this book to read.

I'm so glad that she did. I haven't read a book quite like this one before. The story was put together with letters written by many different characters in the story. Once I got into the rhythm of this book I found it most amusing, very informative, funny and in some places quite fascinating.

I'm not a history buff and found the letters from this time period interesting and horrific at the same time. Because the letters were so personal, you could actually get the feel of what they went through back then in the concentration camps, as well as what everyone was doing outside the camps. I wanted to share a few funny comments from the book "Reading good books spoils you for enjoying the bad ones." and "Men are more interesting in books than in real life." This is just a peek into this amusing, informative story.

I thought it was quite clever the reason the literary guild first started meeting. They had curfews and very little entertainment. I don't think any of them expected this group to amount to much. But it became their haven of rest and the hope they needed to make it through a pretty bleak existence.

The main character of the book is Juliet Ashton, is a writer who wrote
a weekly column for the "Spectator" during the war. Stephen and Stark Publishing published all her articles and called them "Izzy Bickerstaff Goes To War". It became an unexpected hit! Now Juliet was in search of her next book. It's interesting how the "The Guernsey Literary and Potato PeelPie Society" began and what they talked about at their meetings. The group consisted of men and women that attended their meetings and everyone talked about the different books they each had read that past month. You will be intrigued about the diversity of people that came to the meetings and the stories that they have to tell. I was really tickled by Juliet Ashton and her search for the topic of her next book and her editor/publisher Sidney. Sidney and Sophie are good friends that gently push Juliet to search her heart and go after her next story no matter where it took her. So Juliet follows her heart, and dug up as much research she could on this literary society. Again this book has things in it I just loved: books, book clubs and the people that are involved with them. I thought the authors, Mary Ann and Annie, did an amazing job of showing me some of the history during this time period - things that I wouldn't normally choose to read on my own. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be inspired by the unique ways this community comforted and encouraged one another during such difficult, almost impossible, times.

I want to leave you with one of the sayings from this book that really struck me - "That's what I love about reading: one thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will led you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment." Reader beware!! That is true with this book as well! There are so many things I want to know more about because I read this book, and you will too. It's a keeper!!

Reviewed by
: Nora St. Laurent - Book Club servant Leader

Bonus Review:

Recommended by a friend who reads as much as I do, I opened the pages of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society not sure if I would like it. I mean a book full of letters? What a delightful surprise I received.

Shaffer's tongue-in-cheek humor and engaging style had me enthralled from the first page. I felt as though I was reading over Julia's shoulder, falling in love with the residents of Guernsey, characters each and every one. How utterly disappointing they only live on the pages of this book.

Sadly, Mary Ann Shaffer's health declined rapidly and her niece, Annie Barrows, author of the children's series Ivy and Bean, completed the novel seamlessly for her aunt. Although Shaffer only wrote one novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is top notch and should be around delighting readers for years to come. Novel Reviews and I give it our highest recommendation. It's a 5-star, absolute must-read.

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

By Ane Mulligan

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lauraine Snelling's One Perfect Day ~ Reviewed

One Perfect Day
By Lauraine Snelling
Published by Faith Words
ISBN-10: 0-466-58210-7

Back Cover:

Nora Peterson is determined to make this Christmas perfect. Next year her twin teenagers will be off to college, and their lives will never be quite the same. With her husband delayed on a business trip abroad, Nora's nerves are already frazzled when she gets the news of a car accident that will not only change the Petersons' lives forever, but also those of another family whom they've never met.

As a nurse, Jenna Montgomery has always struggled with balancing her personal and professional lifer. Her daughter, Heather, has suffered from a heart defect for most of her life. Now that Heather is twenty years old and still on the organ transplant waiting list, Jenna must find a way to accept that this is likely their last Christmas together. Then the miracle Jenna has desperately prayed for becomes a reality in an instant, and Heather's health is restored.

While Nora struggles with depression and grief, Jenna discovers that miracles aren't always easy to receive.


One Perfect Day is a gripping tale of hope and loss, of sorrow and joy. Most of all it celebrates the gift of love as one family struggles to accept their son's death and allow his organs to give the gift of life to someone else. Snelling masterfully portrays both sides of the emotion fraught organ donor program. I was not ready for the book to end when I turned the last page. These characters had become friends and I didn't want the friendship to end.

One Perfect Day is the perfect Christmas present for any reader on your list. Novel Reviews and I give it the highest recommendation. Any book that leaves me wanting more is a five-star read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Megan DiMaria's Out of Her Hands ~ Reviewed

Out of Her Hands (Linda Revere Series #2)
by Megan DiMaria
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141431888X

Product Description:

In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

Read the first chapter here.

My Review:

Megan DiMaria hits the pavement running via the first person point of view of Linda Revere, superwoman and superagitated supermom. Linda is facing huge issues of change and crushed expectations. Even though Linda's POV is the only "voice" we hear, readers get to glimpse enough reality, grit and angst in a large group of players to feel like they are reading a multi-player piece ala Karen Kingsbury or Neta Jackson.

Nikki Arana fans need to look into DiMaria as well. Arana's As I Have Loved You reminded me of Out of Her Hands.

Any issues I have with the story are probably of the stepped on toe variety because the story and the characters are painted in varying shades of reality and it's not altogether flattering. Linda is every woman. I see her in acquaintances and I see her in myself. Nick, Amber, and Emma are all people I know a little too intimately, too. Jerry and Ross add some serious stability to the story especially when things unravel.

Out of Her Hands packs quite a story. Buckle up and prepare to hit all the emotional stops.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Kathryn Cushman's Waiting for Daybreak ~ Reviewed

Waiting for Daybreak
By Kathryn Cushman
Published by Bethany House
ISBN 978-0-7642-0381-7

Back Cover:

Two women. How far will they go to protect their dreams for tomorrow?

Paige Woodward is out of options ... so when a dream opportunity arises at a brand-new pharmacy, Paige chooses to keep quiet about her past to ensure she'll land the job. After all, she needs the money to pay for the treatment that can save her mother's life.

Clarissa Richardson feels alone. She wants desperately to honor the memory of her grandmother by running a successful pharmacy ... but that vision comes to a screeching halt when her grandfather hires Paige, the too-perfect new girl who seems to be hiding something.

Today seems dark and painful, but every tomorrow brings the hope of something new. If they can just keep waiting for daybreak.


Kathryn Cushman set herself a paradigm with A Promise to Remember and hasn't disappointed with Waiting for Daybreak. Deep, complex characters are fast becoming Cushman's trademark. Paige and Clarissa drew emotional responses from me like few books do. Even the secondary characters are fascinating. Combine those with a riveting storyline and you have a novel you'll not put down until you turn the last page. Novel Reviews and I give it our highest recommendation: a 5-star read!

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan

Monday, November 03, 2008

ACFW November Book Releases

Christmas shopping possibilities or just a great escape from the stresses of life - but we've got eight new releases this month to help you do just that. Check them out.

Also, don't forget to check out my new Spotlight on debut author Michelle Sutton.

1. Dark Pursuit
by Brandilyn Collins from Zondervan. An elderly, muddle-minded suspense author must create the plot of his life to save his granddaughter from the killer who has trapped her.

2. Home Another Way
by Christa Parrish from Bethany House. The only way for Sarah Graham to find her future is to make peace with her past.

3. Misfortune Cookies
, An Until The Fat Ladies Sing Mystery Book One by Linda P. Kozar

4. Of Mice...and Murder
from Heartsong Presents Mysteries. Bodaciously big beautiful friends Lovita and Sue Jan crack open a fortune cookie to a sinister message, spies, Szechwan and sizzlingly handsome strangers., The Maxie Mouse Mysteries Book One by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents Mysteries. Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown-with a dead guy in her pantry?

5. My Son's Wife
by Shelia E. Lipsey from Kensington/Urban Christian. Look at others like God looks at you, with the heart. First Lady Audrey has a hard time doing this, especially in her own family.

6. Redeeming Gabriel
by Elizabeth White from Steepe Hill/Love Inspired Historical. Divided by war, united by love: Union spy Gabriel Laniere is in Mobile, Alabama, on a mission, but he discovers the lovely Camilla Beaumont has a secret of her own.

7. The Bossy Bridegroom
, South Dakota Weddings series Book Three by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents. He was raised a tyrant. She was born to be a doormat. The perfect marriage, until as new Christians, they try fixing the mess they’ve made of their lives.

8. The Clueless Cowboy
, South Dakota Weddings series Book Two by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents. A lady rancher finds a burned out city boy next door. She needs to keep him alive, and protect her heart, until he gets rested and abandons her.

Happy reading ~