Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Infinite exiles

"Exiles" by RJ Larson is Book One in the Realms of the Infinite series.  Though it is a book one, it coincides with Larson's Books of the Infinite Series.  I have not read the first series, so I spent the first couple chapters a little confused.  I would recommend reading the first series before starting this one.  I have Prophet and it is on my TBR list.  It just got bumped up the list.  In Exiles, Araine is a Atea follower who has found scrolls with scripture written on them.  Doubting the existence of Atea, Araine quickly grows to love the word of the Infinite, what Larson's characters calls God in the two series. Araine is being peddled off to a man of high ranking by her parents in order to boost their status.  Following a betrayal, she is taken into slavery.   Nikaros is a follower of the Infinite, but is taken from his family by Atea believers for a ransom.  The two young people form a union of sorts and help each other in the courts of their slavery. 
This novel is a Christian Fantasy.  It is told in a whole new way of exploring where Christian fiction can go.  Larson sets her mind wide open.  Fantasy readers out there will love it.  I received this book for free in exchange for a review from www.bookfun.org

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ishbane existance

"The Ishbane Conspiracy" by Angela, Karina, & Randy Alcorn is a novel of the battle between good and evil that is being played out in teens: Jillian, Ian, Brittany, and Rob.  The chapters alternate between the goings on of the four teens and the demons that are assigned agent style to each kid.  Jillian's father has recently died and though she goes to church she isn't really into Christianity.  Ian is a jock who is rather obsessed with spiritualism and yet knows next to nothing about Christianity.  Brittany is a smart and popular girl who likes herself enough for everybody.  And Rob is a newfound Christian, who seems to have put Christianity into a contest. 
I didn't really like this book.  The kids are INDREDIBLY spiritual.  As in all spirits! They know about tarot cards, palm reading, Wicca, Hindu, anything.  My husband and I have 7 kids and 6 have been or currently are teenagers and they were never this into spiritualism.  The kids in the book know a lot about all kinds.  You name a crystal and they can give you an expert report.  Almost as if the novel was written by a champion occult googler.  There is a repeated theme of gloom and hopelessness in the novel.  Probably the demon presence has too much force.  The demons and angels are written in a style of angel and devil on the shoulder.  I have read that style display before, but have never really viewed it that way myself.  This isn't a poorly written book.  It is a well written book, but it isn't for me.  We didn't click at all.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Multnomah www.bloggingforbooks.org

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meyer's fruit teaching

"Fruit of the Spirit: How to Water God's Word in Your Life & Relationships" by Joyce Meyer is a seven CD teaching on Fruit of the Spirit involving Love, Faithfulness, self-control, gentleness, patience, peace, kindness, and joy.  Also included is a DVD and application book.  The first CD is the audio of the DVD, so I would recommend listening to the CDs first, then getting a recap of the first with the DVD.  The application book has lots of scripture and some reflective questions.  The scriptures are very short, but many in number.  If you are one to look up bible readings in book format, you might want to switch over to a website for easier look up to cut back on the frustration of constantly searching.  I used www.bibletools.org on a tablet. 
Joyce Meyer's strong suit is speaking.  Even if you were an atheist (which you wouldn't be for long after listening to these CDs), I would recommend you listen to Meyers for the common sense and advice alone.  She has a matter of fact way of speaking that really gets through to the listener.  Her teachings are clear and to the point.  There is no wishy-washy to it.  I  highly recommend these CDs to anyone searching for answers and to anyone wanting to get closer to God and what is expected of us here.  I received this teaching from Jody's Book Review giveaway.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

woodland review

"A Woodland Miracle" by Ruth Reid is an Amish Wonders Novel.  This is the second in the series and doesn't need to be read in order.  In Woodland, Grace has the early signs of muscular dystrophy and is making a go of it in Michigan at a lumber camp.  Ben, is an Amish rebel from Florida,  upon committing a little trespassing, following some questionable behavior with an Amish girl, Ben is sent to Michigan for some time to reflect.  Grace and Ben meet and begin a love/irritate romance. 
I really like Reid's Amish books.  I usually don't even get through Amish books, but I really like hers.  In the new series, the characters have their trials and are aided through God and His miracles.  In this book, Grace has been kidnapped and must be saved.  God is there to help Ben do it.  In Woodland, the locations of the characters is not your usual Amish scene.  Florida is sort of an Amish Vegas and Michigan is a secluded area with little interaction.  Therefore, it was an interesting take on the Amish usual.  If you like Amish fiction but are getting a little bored with the same old same old, than I recommend this novel.   I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.booklookbloggers.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

another esther novel

"Esther: Royal Beauty" by Angela Hunt is the first in Hunt's new series: A Dangerous Beauty.  Esther, as in the Bible Esther, is a Jewish girl who has drawn from the masses to be entered into a "Bachelor-esque" type game.  The most beautiful of all the virgins under the King, Xerxes, are to audition for the title of Queen through the bed chamber.  An original casting couch, if you will.  When the king puts into effect a genocide to all of the Jews in his kingdom, Esther (who has been hiding her heritage) begins to find a way to maneuver her husband into saving her people. 
The basic telling from the Bible is here, but historical facts have been applied to fill in the blanks and make a novel from it.  I have read and reviewed another Esther novel, "A Reluctant Queen", and if you have read it too, you can rest assured that the two novels are not the same at all. Feel free to read both.   "Reluctant" is a love story and "Royal" is not.  In "Esther", the women are treated mostly cruel. They are bought and sold, traded, stolen; as someone would a car.  The King is not someone you would ever dream of your daughter marrying, and there is always a scheme going on.  Rather than a romance novel, it is more of an adventure novel.  Esther is one tough cookie, but she is incredibly young and naive.  She makes for an interesting character.  The story is told by alternating chapters between Esther and Harbonah, the head eunuch.  Hunt also tells the story of eunuchs during this time period, which is rarely shared.  I give this book 4 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

always on my mind review

"Always on My Mind" by Susan May Warren is the 5th in the Christiansen Family series.  I have read the first book, but not the others and had no trouble following the story.  The Christiansens are a family that live in Minnesota, the land of freezing cold. The novel follows Casper, the middle brother, who lives to save the day.  Whether you want him to or not.  Casper had fallen in love with Raina the summer before only to discover that she had had a one night stand with his brother, Oscar.  After a fist throwing argument, Casper leaves Minnesota for Honduras to do a little treasure hunting.  Upon returning, discovers that that one night stand had resulted in a very pregnant Raina.  Casper and Raina begin to start over with separate and fresh lives.  The novel also follows a 1920's mystery to keep the suspense going and linking Raina and Casper together. 
The Christiansens have a bit of a God-complex.  They tend to see their way as the only way and that they can do anything and everything.  As life throws them fastballs, they, especially Casper, begins to figure out that only God can be God and that they can only do and control so much.  Now that I have read the first and last of this series, I am bummed that I have missed the rest.  They are definitely going on my TBR list.  The Christiansens are, while flawed, still very interesting.  They are loving, irritating, sometimes the underdogs, the heroes, well, they are a family like anybody else's.  The novel leaves you wanting more. Though it is a Christian novel, the author never becomes preachy.  It is a matter of fact, the Christiansens happen to be Christian.   I give this 4 stars and highly recommend it.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale Blog Network. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

spouses with benefits

"Rescued By a Wedding" is a Marriage of Convenience novel from Harlequin written by Kathleen O'Brien and Melinda Curtis.  It is two romance novels: "Texas Wedding" and "A Marriage Between Friends".  If the sex was a salsa I would rank it a medium.  It's somewhere between sweet and porn.  Just right, I'd say.  Both stories have  some similarities.  Both have women in their late twenties that are stuck ten years in the past.  Both can't seem to move on.  Both women also have married men in order to bail themselves out of a jam.  Both women start off pretty crabby.
In Texas, Susannah must be married for one year in order to inherit the ranch that she has lived on all of her life and has been running alone.  She married Trent, an ex-high school boyfriend, who has been taking the blame for the death of Paul, a friend in common of the two, for 11 years.  She's a pretty unhappy woman.  So many things stand in their way to reunion:  little sisters, ex one-night stands, stalkers, etc.  The two have a lot to work out. 
In Between Friends, Jill and Vince have gotten married right out of high school when Jill realizes she is pregnant after a date-rape with another guy.  Jill then leaves Vince.  Fast forward 10 years and a casino deal has brought the two together on opposite sides of the deal.  The two battle it out on both fronts struggling to put the past behind them and decide a future with or without the other.
This is a pretty good romance.  I recommend it to pretty much any woman. The authors keep with the tried and true formula of a romance, yet, they throw in some comedy (especially Curtis) and add some flavor of action and mystery.   I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from The Sweet Team.