Monday, June 29, 2015

Fruitful Wife review

"The Fruitful Wife" by Hayley DiMarco is a non-fiction book about the study of the role of a wife from the biblical point of view.  Di Marco breaks the roles apart into the fruits of a Christian: peace, love, etc.  She goes back and forth between biblical texts and personal experience.  I read the book little bits at a time with my devotional each day.  This took quiet awhile.  The possibility of a liberal minded woman taking offence to this book are probably pretty good.  There were a few parts where even I was like, "hey!".  For the most part the book sticks with a logical point of view.  I would recommend it for a newly wed or a woman looking to recharge her marriage.  I received this book in exchange for a review from Crossway. 

Silent creed review

If this book doesn't make you paranoid, I don't know what will.  "Silent Creed" is the newest in the Ryder Creed series by Alex Kava.  Creed, a former dog handler with the army, has been called in to do a favor for an associate.  A land slide has wiped out a research facility in North Carolina.  A classified, off the radar, research facility.  Creed has been hired to quietly search the area  for signs and bodies attached to the facility. The military's history of experimenting with lethal doses has been both carried out and denied for years.  The congress has finally acknowledged the cover up, but is still denying any assistance with the soldiers that were harmed.  Kava uses several different characters and their angles into the past military research and cover-up involving both the military and US citizens. 
Ryder Creed is my new favorite fiction hero.  Creed and his dogs are always diligent in finding their victims and solving the crime while they are at it.  Kava combines her new main character, Creed, with her established O'Dell series.  Maggie O'Dell is an FBI agent.  The dog handler point of view is a fresh new angle of mystery solving and the characters are well written.  I received this novel from First to Read. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Janette Oke's When Calls the Heart brought to life

Janette Oke's "When Calls the Heart" has been brought to life.  Originally a Hallmark Channel movie, the novel has inspired a series by the same name.  I received a 10 DVD Edition of the complete season one from Fly By Promotions through a giveaway at www.kitchentable4.com.  Included in the 10 DVDs is 6 discs of season one, the original movie (which is in the middle of the box), one disc is a "get to know" disc about Michael Landon Jr, the director, and Ms. Oke.  The other discs are the episodes split up as shown on the Hallmark Channel. 
I really liked this series.  I have been a fan of Oke and the "Love" movies for years, especially the first one.  I like this series better.  (other than the first Love movie of course)  Elizabeth Thatcher, a well-to-do young woman from the East comes to the wild west in pursuit of her dreams of  being a teacher.  She finds herself in Coal Valley, a company town, with a scoundrel for a boss and a strong, wise woman, played by Lori Loughlin, for a confidant and town leader.  The actors portraying the characters are a perfect fit.  The story lines move easy yet still have a distinct plot for each episode as well.  Erin Krakow plays Miss Thatcher.  You may recognize her from "Army Wives"; and her sister is played by Charlotte Hegele of Bomb Girls fame.  The acting is wonderful, exceeding expectations!  I love this story and the show.  I am DVRing season 2 right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Better all the time review

"Better All the Time" the 2nd book in The Darling Family series by Carre Armstrong.  I had not read the first in the series, and it isn't necessary to read to "get" this novel.  The series revolves around the Darlings, a large family with a Christian background, that seems to have a running theme of self-absorption and addiction.  The first novel followed Ivy, the oldest sister; this follows the three younger sisters, Laura, Sephy, and Amy.  Laura, who lives in Arizona, has replaced her addiction for pills in exchange for alcohol. Sephy is an overweight college girl with the inability to tell anyone no.  Though her family insults her regularly for that trait, they also demand it from her as well.  Amy is in the beginnings of getting a community art center off of the ground.  A work-oholic, she has tunnel vision when it comes to others, cannot keep her opinion to herself (thinks she shouldn't either) and has gotten a little infatuation going with Mitch, a contractor at the center. Though they were raised by seemingly decent parents several of them have one form of addiction or another and all can't seem to see past their own point of view. 
This is a well written book, difficult to put down. However,  Armstrong had many different story lines going at once, and her characters lacked likability.  The book would have been stronger had it focused on Sephy, the most likable of the group.  Sephy decides to loose her excess baggage and develop some happiness while she is at it.  Though in order to do both, she must find her backbone and use it; something she dreads doing.   I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale House Publishing. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Caleb's story

"Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus" by Cliff Graham is the fictional telling of the story of Caleb.  Little is known of Caleb, of Moses fame, and Graham has taken the liberty of researching and exploring Caleb's story.  In "Shadow" Caleb leaves home to live in Egypt and work as a stone sculpter for the pharaoh.  Shortly after arriving, he lets his testosterone crazed temper get the best of him and is sent to join an elite group of soldiers.  The novel follows him as he fights in the army and then meets Moses, as Moses is beginning his leading of the Hebrews out of Egypt. 
Most biblical novels are written by female authors; and while that is wonderful, it is refreshing to read something from the male point of view.  The book has a more straight forward telling and a lot more action.  Though Graham could be accused of being too violent; keep in mind that he is telling the story of a soldier and of a very violent time.  How else would you tell it?  I have read Graham before and he is a wonderful writer.  This novel is no exception.  I highly recommend this book!  I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Beyond the romance


This is an amazing book!  "The Outer Banks House" by Diann Ducharme is a historical novel that is a romance, but also a period piece about the aftermath of slavery.  Taking place in 1868 in North Carolina island, Nags Head, Abigail is a southern planter's daughter that has a thirst for reading and education.  After arriving at the island in the Outer Banks home, she comes to teach a local "Banker" Ben to read and write.  The unlikely pair form a friendship, then a romance while they are exploring the class and race differences on the island. 
This book is engaging.  It is extremely well written.  The characters are realistic.  I was to write this review earlier today, but just had to finish it beforehand.  No regrets.  There is a part two, "Return to Outer Banks".  I will be finding and reading that book!  Five stars. Just a word of warning, there is a horrifying death scene in this book.  It isn't long, but it makes an impression.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from HF Virtual Book Tours. 

 
 
 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldier's family devotional

"While My Soldier Serves" authored by Edie Melson is collection of prayers for the family members of soldiers currently serving in the US Military.  It is written with many different people in mind.  For family members of all kinds for all kinds of soldiers.  The book has two parts: one with prayers for the service member and one with prayers for the family left behind.  Each entry has a quote, a prayer, and a scripture.  I read an entry from each section each day.  You could read it really any way you want. 
I liked the book and thought it was useful, however, it is about half written in the pronoun "she" which is very distracting.  My soldier serving is a "he".  I had a hard time getting involved with all of the "she" s.  I think maybe two books should be available, a "she" and a "he".  I am publishing this review for Memorial Day.  I have never lost a relative while serving in the military, though many have served.  Currently I have a step-son serving in the infantry in Africa, a nephew in the Marines serving as a corrections officer in Japan and my daughter's long term "significant other" is leaving for the army to South Carolina.