Showing posts with label Adult. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adult. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Blue Enchantress by M. L. Tyndall

Publisher: Barbour, 2009
Pages : 317
ISBN: 1-60260-157-4
Genre: Christian Romance
Source: Giveaway from Word-Vessel

Hope Westcott lives the life of the privileged whereas Nathaniel Mason is a hard working commoner. Hope can be seen about Charles Towne on the arm of Lord Falkland. She has seen Nathaniel around but would never consider giving him the time of day. With the promise of marriage from Lord Falkland when he returns from his voyage, Hope sneaks aboard his ship to surprise him sure the reason he did not want her to accompany him on his voyage was so she would not have to endure the hardships of the voyage. When she surprises him she finds there were other reasons he did not want her along. She is cast into a hold of the ship until reaching port where she is promptly put on the auction block like a common slave. There seems to be no one in this far away land that can rescue her. Nathaniel Mason can’t believe his eyes. The woman he has admired from afar is to auctioned off. He plays the part of hero and purchases her with everything he has, only to find out she got herself into this predicament through her own selfish means. Both of them are running away from what they know is right. This is the story of how they find each other and God’s plan for them. This was a wonderful book. I love the time period it was set in. I don’t usually read romance because so much of it is the “in your face” kind of romance. This loves story developed over time. You were taken on the journey of growing love at a leisurely pace. I will definitely read more by this author. This was my first encounter with M.L. Tyndall’s work, but it won’t be my last I rated this book a 5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lori's Song by Lori Foroozandeh

Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Pages: 224
ISBN: ;978-1-4327-1182-5
Source: Reviewers Copy

By the age of 15 Lori was married. Her marriage was an escape from molestation by her brother. More abuse, both sexual, domestic, and drug abuse were to follow in her life.
Remarried to an Iranian Lori left her son behind and traveled to Iran with her husband. The day after 9/11 both she and her husband are trying to leave Iran and are arrested. Separated, she finds herself in a POW camp. It is here she suffers more abuse in the form of torture, rape and starvation. After rescue she has another hurdle to get over. In Iran, a woman can’t travel without her husband’s permission. Since she didn’t know where he was she had to fight their bureaucracy just to return to her country of birth. Once back in the United States she began her long journey, as yet unfinished down the road of healing. What amazed me about this book was the love she still has for the Iranian people. There is no hatred or prejudice toward them, even after what she went through. This was an excellent book and a definite emotional read.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 1994
ISBN: 0312990456
Source: Birthday Gift
Stephanie Plum has been out of work long enough to force her to sell off furniture, appliances and jewelry just to survive. After telling her parents that she has been out of work for six months they suggest she visit her cousin Vinny the bail bondsman for a clerical job. Reluctantly she does so and finds out from his secretary the position has been filled. She also lets her know how much she could earn as a bounty hunter. The biggest payoff is to be made if she can capture someone who has periodically come into her life to torment her, Officer Joseph Morelli. Bringing him in would net her $10,000. When Vinny refuses to give her the job she threatens to reveal certain secrets to his wife. Vinny gives in. This is where Stephanie’s life takes a dangerous turn. Inexperienced as a bounty hunter and determined to get Morelli may just get her killed. I put off reading this book every time something “more interesting” came along. This author was recommended to me by three different teachers who know I predominantly read Young Adult books. I was very pleased with the book and will definitely read more. She does an excellent job of keeping you on the edge of your seat as you get caught up in the action. I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Water For Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 350
Source: My purchase
ISBN: 978-1565125605

Jacob is a student at Cornell University. He is studying to be a veterinarian so he can join his father's veterinarian practice. This doesn't happen because his parents are killed in a car crash. When he returns home to take care of things he finds out his parents were in debt and there is nothing to salvage. They had taken out a mortgage on the house for his college. Trying to deal with his loss he falls apart and finds himself walking away from school and jumping onto a train. He suddenly finds out he has jumped on a circus train. He is hired to do several small jobs until the owner learns of his veterinary experience. He is then the veterinarian for the circus. A catastrophe takes place and the circus is shut down. All of this is told in the prologue. The first chapter opens up with Jacob now in a nursing home and sitting at a dinner table with a newcomer to the home. The ladies at the next table are talking about the circus that has come to their town. The newcomer tells them that he used to carry water for the elephants in the circus. Jacob calls him a liar and creates such havoc that they must take him back to his room. It is from this point on we are treated to his memories of his life in the circus. I really enjoyed this book. I needed a book for a reding challenge. I had to pick a book that I observed someone reading. I was sitting on the terrace of Ca'D'Zan, the former home of John and Mable Ringling, on the grounds of the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. It is one of my favorite places to sit and read during the summer and on weekends. There I saw a woman reading Water for Elephants. I thought it would be very appropriate due to the location of where I first saw this book. Since purchasing it I have read many blogs where people have put it on their TBR pile. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to share it with my friends.

The Secret Holocaust Diaries

Author: Nonna Bannister
Publisher: Tyndale House, 2009
Pages: 299
ISBN: 978-1-4143-2546-0
Source: Giveaway

Nonna Bannister grew up in a Christian home in Russia during the time of Stalin and Hitler. This story was originally written on scraps of paper in five different languages and hidden in a small pillow she kept tied around her waist while she was in the labor camp. She didn't share this story with anyone, not even after she came to the United States and got married. She slowly translated her diaries into English. A few years before her death she took her husband by the hand and led him up the stairs into the attic. There she unlocked the trunks she had hidden her most precious secrets in and handed her husband her translated diaries. Her only request was that he not do anything with them until she was gone. He kept that promise.
The secret holocaust diaries tells of her life in Russia. It reminded me of Anne Frank's diaries and of Corrie ten Booms book "The Hiding Place". All three of these women chose to look at the bright side and not hold grudges or hate those who had imprisoned them. Nonna tells delightful stories of her family and her grandmother. She also writes of the terrible things she witnessed. There were parts of the story where I cried and yet she showed her innocence at times and I just laughed. Her is an example of an event that made me crack up. In this excerpt we find Nonna along with her mother and all of her aunts, uncles, and cousins visiting their grandmother. She wakes up in the morning and sees her youngest cousin wandering around. To make sure he doesn't get hurt or into trouble she follows him around the house. She discovers that every room has a religious icon. She and her cousin, Aljoscha wander into the pantry where they discover a pitcher of heavy breakfast cream and a jar of raspberry preserves, her favorite. Her cousin starts yelling for some so she quickly dips her finger in the preserves and the cream and places it in his mouth. She then takes a taste for herself. Here is the excerpt that followed from page 66.
"Just as we were enjoying 'our breakfast,' I looked up, and there in the corner--yes, in the pantry--was an icon. He was looking straight at me, as though He was saying, 'I saw that!' I knew that I had committed one of the 'worst' sins--which was to get into something without someones permission. I had to think quickly. There, near the bottom of the shelf, was a stool. Dipping my finger back into the preserves and into the cream, I stood on the stool; and, barely reaching the icon, I smeared Jesus' lips with it. Now that He had some, surely He would 'forgive me'."
The only problems I had with this book were the editor's comments to clarify things which came in the middle of the page. I felt they should have been placed at the bottom of the book and the lack of pictures. We are told throughout the book that there were pictures she brought back with her. There are two shown on the back of the book and that is it. Since this was an ARC maybe they put some in the finished book. No matter, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this period in history.

Anatomy of a Murder

Author: Robert Traver
Publisher: G.K. Hall & Co., 1958
Pages: 697
Source: Library
ISBN: 0-7838-1666-9
John D. voelker was a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. He wrote Anatomy of a Murder based on a 1952 murder case, under the pen name of Robert Traver.In this novel Paul Biegler is a lawyer who was formerly the prosecuting attorney. He takes on the case of an army lieutenant name Frederic Manion. He has been charged with shooting a bartender who his wife said raped her. Manion returns to the park after the murder and gives his gun to the park attendant and waits for the police.The problem is, how do you defend a man who commits a murder in front of a bar full of witnesses and then admits he did it to the police? I had put off reading this book eventhough it was for a reading challenge because I didn't believe I would enjoy it. After all it was published in 1958, the year I was born. I was definately wrong. I felt like I was sitting in the courtroom watching this case. I was even more thrilled to learn that it was made into a movie many years ago. I now must try to find it and watch it. I definately recommend it and recommend that we not judge books before our time because we "think" we might not like it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Every Breath You Take by Ann Rule

Title: Every Breath You Take
Author: Ann Rule
Publisher: The Free Press, 20021
Pages: 446
Source: My shelves

Every Breath You Take is the story of the life and death of Sheila Bellush and the road to bring those responsible for her murder to justice. Sheila had a tumultuous marriage to Allen Blackthorne. Violent and controlling, she finally found the courage to leave him. After her divorce to him he proceeded to create trouble for her and their two daughters Stevie and Daryl. Long after Sheila had married Jamie Bellush and they had quadruplets, Allen did his best to disrupt their lives. He used her neighbors and his children to create havoc. After his oldest daughter refused to visit him any longer he turned up the heat with his youngest daughter. He encouraged her to accuse her mother of child abuse. After one particular event it was decided they had to get away from Allen and do it secretly.
Jamie and Sheila moved to Sarasota, Florida after Jamie’s boss transferred him to Sarasota. Sheila’s youngest daughter was still in Texas. After flying back to get her and take care of legal issues, Sheila brought Daryl back and she was put in a youth camp. Problems prevented them from taking her home with them. Daryl through manipulation managed to give her father enough information for him to find them. This set in motion that wheels that led up to Sheila’s death. On November 7, 1997 while at home with her four youngest children Sheila was brutally attacked and killed.
Ann Rule did an excellent job of taking the reader through the troubles that plagued Sheila until her death. She then takes you down the heart wrenching path of the day Stevie finds her mother’s body and the all of the law enforcement officers that eventually brought the people responsible for her death to justice. This is a 5 out of 5. I read the book in 4 ½ hours.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lizzi & Fredl

Title: Lizzie & Fredl: A Perilous Journey of Love and Faith
Author: Dr. William B. Stanford
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc., 2008
Pages: 424
Source: Review copy

Lizzi & Fredl was one of the most intense books I have read in a long time. It is the story of Lizzie &Fredl Steiner. Born and raised in Austria, they fled to France along with Fredl’s two brothers and their wives to escape helping Hitler in his war. For years Fredl and Lizzie were separated. She and her sister Elise would escape or be forced to leave one city in France for another. Often they had no jobs or had to perform work they were not used to. Their husbands on the other hand were put in work or interment camps or detention centers. They fought long and hard to make their way to America to start a new life. This is their story. The atrocities the French people and those living in their country were terrible. I learned so much from reading this book that I had never known before. Near the end of the book they talked about the emotions they felt when they saw the Statue of Liberty and I cried. I felt the emotions they felt. For me that part was very realistic. Ten months after 9/11 my husband, daughter, and I found ourselves in New York. We took a trip around the island. I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty. I had to sit in my seat as I was so overcome with emotions. I felt what she stood for in my heart. I was able to relate my feelings to what the Steiner’s felt. This is a must read. Especially for anyone who loves this time period in history or loves reading memoirs. I gave this book a rating of 5 out of 5.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Three New Reviews

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Publisher: Farrar,, Straus, and Grioux, 2005
Ages 12 and up

Lizzie Hall is fifteen and preparing to get her driver’s license and help her friend pick out a dress for the prom. All of these plans change in the blink of an eye. Suddenly Lizzie wakes up on a ship called the SS Nile. She and her roommate Thandi, dressed in white pajama’s leave the room to find food and explore. Unlike Thandi it takes Liz a while to realize that she, like everyone else on this ship is dead. When the ship finally stops she finds herself in a place called Elsewhere and on the dock is her Grandmother Betty.
Liz tries all kinds of things to find out who she is in this strange place. Just when she thinks she has it figured out and has found someone to love, her luck changes again.
This was an absolutely delightful read. You see the rebellious teenager unwilling to change at first and then you see the teenager who has decided to give her time in elsewhere her best. She finds talents she never knew she had and uses them to help others. This was a fun read. I found myself giggling out loud at times. This book definitely gets a 5 out of 5 for being easy, delightful and fun.

Giv: The Story of a Dog and America
Author: Boston Teran
High top Publishing, 2009

The book came to me with the quote, “The Forrest Gump of dog books”. This was so right on target. The author crafted the story so well that I had to go back to make sure the story was fiction. This is the story of Giv, a dog who travels all across the states. He survives a kidnapping, Hurricane Katrina, an abusive period only to be rescued by a Marine, who finds it was he that needed rescued. This Marine decides to find Giv’s owner, which takes him across the country. Once again Giv rescues someone and it is believed that Give is lost. When found his past meets up with his future. This was a wonderful book. Each owner has a story. It is usually one that starts out negative until Giv enters the picture. Lives are changed because of him. Anyone who has ever had a pet, or read stories of animals who have rescued others, often giving their own life for the human will want to read this book. Just like in Forrest Gump, every negative thing that happens to him turns into something positive. I gave this book a 5 out of 5 rating.

Ageing Well: A guide to Rejuvenation and Longevity
Author: Dr. George Cromack,
Outskirts Press, 2009

Just when you think you are doing everything you can to help you age gracefully, along comes another book to show you how to do it better. Unlike a lot of books, this book chose to treat the whole person. This book is basically an informational book. It gives you options to improve your lifestyle. I usually don’t put a lot of stock into these types of books because they want you to make such strict changes to your lifestyle that is not always compatible with those who live with you. I didn’t feel that way about this book. I have incorporated breathing exercises, strength training. A lot of the natural products; antioxidants, probiotics and enzymes suggested in the book, I had already added due to six surgeries over the last year and a half. They were products that my surgeons recommended to aid in the healing process. This book took a more homeopathic view of treating our bodies. They were common sense items that were probably the things our grandparents or great-grandparents used.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Three New Reviews

Constellation Chronicles: The Lost Civilization of Aries by Vincent Lowry

Vincent Lowry has created a science fiction book that held my attention from the very start. This is a book for everyone whether they are Sci-Fi lovers or not. The main character is a young boy named Glenn. His passion is trying to figure out if there is life on other planets. Due to the dog eating the dinner he was to fix for his sister and himself he decides to take his sister out to dinner. Something goes flying past their truck and crashes. They turn around to check it out. Imagine his surprise to discover it is a spacecraft. He and his sister venture inside. When they leave a small creature follows them out and stowsaway in his truck. After creating a mess in the kitchen they capture it just as their father returns. When Glenn tries to return the creature to its spacecraft he runs into not only the military, but an alien race that needs his help.

Too Too Many Tutus by Suzanne Davis Marion

Christina has a problem. She has too many tutus. Each one is special to her and represents a special dance. She has trouble deciding which one to wear to class until her brother makes a suggestion. This was beautifully illustrated and a book that every young dancer or wannabe dancer will love.

The Light, The Dark & The Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus

This is a collection of fifteen short stories. Nicklaus is a master at taking romantic stories and showing the range of emotions one can reach as they read them. I had three out of the 15 that became my favorites: Requiem for Linny, paper doll and 10:18. This is definitely a book for all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Take a Chance Challenge Tasks, 2, 4, & 7

I have completed three more tasks for the Take a Chance Challenge. I have posted my reviews below.

Take a Chance Challenge Task #2 My Random Word was “Life” I chose the book Airball My Life in Briefs by L.D. Harkrader.

Kirby Nikel loves basketball. However he can’t play basketball. Kirby joins the basketball team when he learns their seventh grade team will get to meet his idol and former school alumni, Brett McGrew. This meeting is very important because Kirby is sure that he has all the clues to prove that Brett McGrew is his father. The one thing that stands in his way is the school board. They have informed the coach that there will be no team or meeting Brett McGrew if the team can’t win the first game of the season. Between the coach and Kirby things just might work out.

Task #4 Judge a Book By Its Cover – Book Begging For Change by Sharon G. Flake

The cover shows a young girls hand holding a Styrofoam cup and change being dropped in. I suspect she is homeless or else so hungry she must beg for change to survive.

I was so wrong in what I thought this book was about. This is the story of a young girl whose father is a drug addict and her mother is trying to get ahead in life. Raspberry’s mother is dating her best friend’s father, a doctor. Raspberry’s mother is brutally attacked and ends up in the hospital. While Raspberry is trying to deal with the incident, the area they live in and the fact that her father should have been there to protect them, she makes some bad decisions and steals some money. This threatens to tear her friendships apart and eats at her unmercifully. Unpleasant encounters with her father where he steals from her sets her on the path to thinking she has become like her. Raspberry has to go through a lot of thoughtful soul searching to set things right in her life. Excellent book. This is one that teens will definitely be able to relate to.

Task # 7 Best Seller in a random year: The year was 1958 and my book choice was A Death in the Family by James Agee.
This is the story of a father’s untimely death and the family’s reaction to it. At the beginning of this story you immediately know that this is a very close family. When the father is suddenly killed in an automobile accident we are taken on the journey the family must take as they realize the immediate and future changes to their family, their feelings and life. Agee did a great job of bringing the reader along. I felt the pain and grief due to the descriptive and emotional way this was written. He touched on other topics especially the church and the role it played in society during that time period. I found myself angry along with Mary’s brother Andrew at the priest who refused to complete the service because her husband had not been baptized. This was definitely a good book.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Desperate Highway by Jesse Stretch

Desperate Highwasy The True Story of a Criminal was one of the most fascinating books I have every read. This was the story of the very successful businessman, Jeff Andrews. The problem was his success was based on falsehoods. He was a conman extraordinaire. I was fascinated that he was able to commit such crimes and stay on the run as long as he did. At the same time I was repulsed by how calloused he seemed to be at hurting and taking advantage of others. I felt sorry for him when I realized how low he had sunk into booze and drugs. I felt the demon that haunted him. Only someone who has truly dropped so close to hell can descripe the demon the way he has. On the other hand, only someone who has felt God's love reach down and lift him out of Satan's grasp can describe the change that took place in his life. This book was a breath of fresh air. It demonstrated the depths that God would go to to reach someone. If God was willing to reach out and pull someone like Jeff Andrews out of Satan's grasp, he would definately be willing to do the same for anyone else no matter where they are in life. This is a must read for anyone. I believe it would definately be beneficial in prison ministries around the world. May god truly bless Jeff Andrews and the ministry God has laid out before him and may he constantly guide the hand of Jesse Stretch.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sassy by Gloria Mallette

Sassy Davenport is a successful romance novelist who lives her romantic fantasies through the books she writes. While conducting a book signing her world is turned upside down when Norris Yoshito walks up with a bag of books for her to sign. Not only is he good looking, but he is polite and mannerly. Sassy agrees to deliever the signed books to him in the restaurant across the street. Predictably they start seeing each other. We know this is how most romance novels go. This book is different. The prologue starts off with Norris' assistant being brutally murdered. She can't understand while she is slowly dying, why Norris, whom she has secretly been dating, is the one killing her. At this point I began to wonder why the author would give up the killer before chapter one had begun unless she wanted to terrify the reader with gruesome details of other murders that would culminate in the killers capture. I was so glad that I was so off base.

Sassy and Norris develop a relationship whereby they fall in love. To add to this new confusion, Sassy's cousin is dying of aids and want nothing to do with his son or the mother of his son who happens to be one of Sassy's friends. Once again in steps the charming Norris to bring everyone together.
Sassy has become confused by his Jekyll and Hyde personality. It scares her to see his dark side. Norris convinces her it was not him but someone who looked like him.
From this point on things get bizare. More people associated with Norris are murdered and Sassy wants to defend him from the cop who is bent on sending him to jail. His refusal to tell what he knows to the cops has her scared and confused. If he were innocent he would surely defend himself and yet there is no way he would have killed those people. When Sassy finds herself the next victim of the killer all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

This is a definate must read. The twists and turns are so quick you don't see them coming at you. It kept me on my toes the entire time. About the time I thought that I had it figured out something else was thrown into my path.

I guess it would be important to say at this point that I don't usually read romance novels. I don't like all of the mushy, fluffy stuff. I will definately check out more of Gloria Mallette's books. I also have a list of friends I know will love this book. It will definately be recommended.

Sassy by Gloria Mallette
312 pages
Gemini Press

Romance, Thriller, murder, illness, family

Monday, June 22, 2009


I Am Inspired The Beginning" is a book that shows how God will not leave us no matter what we do. Valerie Allen, a minister in her church finds herself having strange cravings. Upon sending her son to the store to make a purchase for one of the cravings he jokingly asks if she is pregnant. She denies this and then wonders. Several pregnancy tests later the truth is revealed. Her one step of God's will created an unplanned pregnancy. Letting her congregation know of her sin had to have been difficult for her. However, she discovered that no sin is too great to cause God to leave us. This book will inspire you to take your problems and situations to God. She leaves no room for you to continue to sin and make excuses. She makes it very clear that we should strive to stay in tune with God's will at all time. God will still take our mess and work it out to glorify him if we let him. I believe the title is very appropriate.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Surrender All

Okay, so I had to finish the other book I was reading.

Surrender All : Your Answer to Living with Peace, Power and Purpose by Jodi Lamb is a wonderful book that I found refreshing and easy to read. In the turbulent times that we are living in, this book was a reminder that if we place our trus and love in God and surrender every fiber of our being to our maker he will take control of our lives and work it out. The book doesn't come across as preacy. It reaches and teaches through examples, hers and others. It came at a most appropriate time in my life and showed me that when faced with trials all I need to remember is that I have a loving God that I can surrender them to and feel his peace and joy in my life. I will most definately recommend this book. I give it a 5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Train a Rock by Paul Steven Stone

This book was such a fun read that I read it in one sitting. The book is a collection of Paul Steven Stone's column he wrote called "A Stones Throw". The collections included his displeasure with neighbors allowing their pets to leave gifts in his yard to the story of "Henry J. Worthmore, Jr." and his death. The angels are making recommendations to God as to what should be done with this man. I laughed as I read it. The he has the heart touching stories like "The White Gloves" that tear your heart out and make you ask, how could we have let this happen? This is definately a book I will share with my friends, recommend, and re-read. This book can be purchased online at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Between Wyomings by Ken Mansfield

Genre:  Adult, Autobiography,Christian

Between Wyomings: My God and an iPod on the Open Road is Ken Mansfield's story of a trip he and his wife Connie took in their van he named Moses. As they travel Ken is reminded of he life he once lived without God and the life he now lives with God.

The inside message was one of introspection. Ken looked at his past and where it had taken him. He looked at his relationships with some of the biggest names in the music industry such as the Beatles, and Waylon Jennings and looks at the valleys and peaks throughout his life that brought him to God. The story is told through his memories that are triggered by songs he and his wife listen to as they travel. Ken says in his book, "I finally gained what can never be lost. I don't have to practice anymore - I got it! " We go through life just practicing, trying to get life right and God is standing there waiting to give us true life. This is a must read and I will gladly pass it on. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishing for letting me review and blog about the book for them.