Thursday, February 21, 2013

Come to the Table by Netta Jackson

A second book in the Souled Out Sisters series, "Come to the Table" is a sweet read with endearing characters. Neta Jackson has woven pure thoughts and words into a story that keeps the reader entertained and enthralled from page one. As one who read book one, I was excited to learn that because of Ms. Jackson's detailed plot, I had predicted many of the outcomes. As the characters are maturing in this novel, I am already hopeful that my new predictions will come true in book three. What I like most about "Come to the Table" is the talking points. As I was reading about the characters and each one's conflicts and choices, I was able to share with my teenaged daughter. This created evenings of good conversations and discussions. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a "good read with great characters".

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wisdom Meets Passion by Dan Miller

Open the book and turn the page to a possible new life. Wisdom Meets Passion is a self help book that, through stories and anecdotes, will give you the courage to make true life changes. Are you stuck in the rut of a daily grind? Have you lost the passion that you once had? Then, this book will help give it back (or at least give you a boost in the direction of where you lost it). From the author of 48 Days, Wisdom Meets Passion gives factual examples to guide your next steps. Wisdom tells you to stay where you are and make money while Passion says that you should follow your dreams (and the dollars will come with your dream). Whether you believe it or not, when you love your job, it is easy to go to work for it isn't work at all. Wisdom Meets Passion is a reminder that we should do what we love and love what we do. As I read this book, I begin working on my original dream of owning a busines. Will I succeed? I won't if I don't allow the passion to take over my thinking. Wisdome Meets Passion, a great book for someone looking for their lost passion.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Home In Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A Home in Drayton Valley is a sweet pioneer story and I read it at the time my students were studying pioneer travel. What impressed me most was the historical detail in the story. I used much of her thoroughly researched information during class discussions. The central plot revolves around Tarsie Raines. A young woman from Ireland and stuck in poverty in New York City, Tarsie dreams of a better life for herself and her best friend, Mary and Mary's family. The dream is fraught of conflicts including Mary's debilitating disease, Mary's alcoholic gambler of a husband and two young children (whom the husband doesn't want). Tarsie convinces Mary to travel to Drayton Valley. When Mary approaches her husband, he scoffs at the idea until he needs to go out of necessity three days later (don't want to spoil the plot). Tarsie pays for the tickets and most of the supplies and they begin their journey first by train and then by wagon. The travelers have all of the conflicts of a pioneering group and then some. Tarsie, who is a devout Christian, does her best to help lift up the family, ease Mary's sickness and care the children. As one situation leads to another, a promise is made and the plot takes an interesting turn. A Home in Drayton Valley is written beautifully and an ease to read. It is a story filled with hardship and happiness with a few surprises along the way. (Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to request a free copy, I truly enjoyed it.)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The River by Michael Neale

Gabriel was born by the river, for the river. It is a love that has been passed down through several generations. The River is Gabriel's destiny until one fateful day when his father was taken by The River. Gabriel's life takes a drastic turn as he goes to live with his mother far away from the river. The River, though far away from Kansas, still haunts Gabriel. From fear to fascination, the river is still coursing through his veins. Will Gabriel return to The River? In a fascinating story, that ebbs, flows and cascades through life, The River is destined to keep the reader enthralled. This was one book that I was sorry when it concluded. I hope that Neale is composing a sequal because life, just like the river, flows with a few twists and turns along the way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Reason by William Sirls

Every page you turn will make you yearn for me. I would day that every other page was a surprise with plot twists and much suspense. Anyone that says The Reason is predictable didn't quite understand the story, or they skipped pages. William Sirls created characters that any reader can connect with. As a mother, I connected with Brooke. She has the same struggles and joys as all mothers have and one can only hold their breath as her story unfolds. I can unashamedly admit that I cried when I read the novel: tears of sadness and tears of joy. Again, just as a mother does. I also connected with Macy. She is a doctor who, like most of us, can't seem to relinquish control to God. While reading, I was reminded that I am not in total control of all situations (truth be told, no situation). The Reason will give all readers a reason to rethink their goals and what makes a person truly successful if only the truly believe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Song of the Brokenhearted by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Coloma

Song of the Brokenhearted is a must read. In fact, you may find it difficult to put aside. The plot of the story revolves around a wife who has everything. You know the type, the woman who drives the best cars, has the sweetest and most successful kids, lives in a large house and gets the monthly manicure/pedicure treatment. But, things aren't always what they seem. As the main character's life unfolds, her "perfect existence" begins to fade. The author uses a weeping willow tree as the symbol of the character's change of life. As the willow wilts, so does the main character. I could connect to the characters in this novel. First, who doesn't want to get have a monthly mani/pedi? Secondly, who doesn't have struggles? One thing that I didn't connect with was the character's faith in God. I, like many, struggle with leaning on God when things go badly. This story is a reminder that God will help through faith and hope. The story's plot moves along well and the characters are believable. This is definately a book to put on your reading list.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Choice by Robert Whitlow

For summer reading, the best choice is "The Choice". The plot is so engaging, I couldn't put it down. The Choice is about a pregnant teenager in 1975 Georgia. The setting is perfect as this is around the time of Roe vs. Wade. The teen, Sandy, has tough choices: abortion, adoption or keeping the baby. The father, another teenager and star athlete, says to Sandy, "Who's the father?". I moaned, okay, screamed, outloud. Whitlow makes the characters so realistic that I was totally involved in the storyline. In 1975, pregnant teen girls did not continue their education unless they went to a special school. Sandy, top of her class and head cheerleader, must leave her school. She could attend a special school or get her GED in hopes to eventually attend college. What a choice! The Choice follows Sandy through her life as she makes the tough choices. It is a wonderful story which shows how one choice can lead to another and then to another. The Choice is a choice you should make when adding to your library.