Monday, July 26, 2010

"Bad Girls fo the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs

In this first book on “Bad Girls of the Bible,” Liz Curtis Higgs encourages her readers to take a new look at these women who had a problem with sin. It may have been for a moment, for a season, or they may have been “bad to the bone,” but each has something to teach us. As each chapter opens, Ms. Higgs gives us a real time story based on the life of the woman she is discussing before introducing us to her. Tying the past to the present, each story shows how Satan continues to tempt in the same manner year after year. Each chapter also offers us hope and steps for change, along with questions to ponder alone or in a group.  Come take a new look at Eve, Potipher’s Wife, Lot’s Wife, the Woman at the Well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and the Sinful Woman. Come glean wisdom from their lives.
I found this book to be full of wonderful suggestions on how to combat the devil; how to win the daily struggle with sin. It gave me new insights into the lives of these women, and how I can grow from studying them. I now want to read the rest of her books!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" by Stephanie Meyer

This "Eclipse" novella details a small portion of the life of newborn Bree Tanner. Stephanie Meyer totally immerses the reader into the life of a newborn vampire, fears, thirst, and the unknown. Bree is part of a violent coven held together by Riley, a servant of her. As their thirst rises, Riley chooses who goes out to hunt. He also expects Diego to clean up the messes so humans don't figure it out. But, what is the real purpose of the coven? Who is the "her" Riley talks about? Come take a peek into Bree's vampire life and meet the others who are with her. Come find out how the Cullen's fit into this story.

This was a very quick read, only 178 pages. I really liked Bree, Diego, and Fred; and found myself totally immersed in Bree's story. I recommend this book to any of you who have read the "Twilight" series as it will give you a view you haven't had before. You may find yourself feeling new anger and new empathy. Now, can we get Stephanie to write about Renesmee????

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"A Soft Place to Land" by Susan Rebecca White

Two half-sisters, sent to live apart from each other after the death of their mother and father/step-father. Julia is sent to live with her biological father and his wife; Ruthie, now an orphan, goes to live with relatives she doesn't really know. The loss to both is great, both in family and in each other. Each girl must make choices in her life, all the while needing reassurance from the other. Traveling alone can be hard and the burdens cumbersome. What happens while they are apart? What happens when the opportunity comes for Ruthie to return to their old house? How do these sisters deal with secrets, and what happens when betrayal enters the picture? Will these sisters find in each other "A Soft Place to Land"?

I enjoyed this book, and have discussed it with others in one of my reading groups. Our discussion covered things like: choices parents make without really thinking (guardianship), bonds between sisters (siblings), the effects the death of parents have on children, betrayal, and forgiveness. It would be great to have a sequel to tie up the loose ends. This book works with our without a group, although it is better to have someone to discuss with because there are things you WILL want to rant about.

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Hidden Wives" by Clare Avery

Two teenage sisters, a polygamist sect, and many horrible secrets fill the pages of "Hidden Wives." Rachel and Sara live in a home with their father, his wives, and other children, part of Blood of the Lamb sect. Rachel is determined to live the Principle, but Sara has her doubts due to her pending marriage to her uncle. Neither girl wants to defy the church, but something isn't right. Is Rachel really so beautiful that she causes men to lust after her? Is Sara really so rebellious that she deserves the punishments she endures? Can they escape before it's too late? Come meet Sara and Rachel, along with their family, Prophet Silver, Luke, Irvin, and Ernadine as their story unfolds before you.

I want to thank the authors for giving me the opportunity to read this book. It read like something right out of today's news. The story was so compelling, the situations so real, that I couldn't put the book down. I needed to know what happened to these young women. No one should ever have to live this way. While this book is good for anyone to read, reading groups will find this book especially enjoyable. It is full of discussion topics like: polygamy, incest, rape, interracial relationships, child abuse, and suicide, which will keep the discussion going long after the book is finished.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Venom and Song" by Wayne Batson and Christopher Hopper

The seven Elven lords (Tommy, Jimmy, Autumn, Johnny, Kira Lee, Jett, and Kat) have returned to Allyra. The cost has been high, but the celebration and coronation leaves everyone in high spirits. But, for how long? The seven now have to learn how to fight properly before going up against the Spider King and his host. Does everyone want them to have the time, or do they want to rush the fight? What do they do when a traitor is found in their midst, and are there more? As they train, the Spider King attacks, wrecking havoc on the Elves' plans. Now the seven must pull together as a team and fight through pain, fear, and enemies to find the Keystone and Rainsong. Can they find it fast enough to help the Elves and save their world?

Book two of the Berinfell Prophecies picked up right where book one left off. I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze program, and was very happy to have been able to read the first book so close to this one. The characters were alive to me, and I again felt myself wishing to meet them. The story captured my imagination and pulled me in, introducing me to new characters and creatures. Gnomes, elves, scarlet raptors, and more await you as you enter Allyra. It will capture your imagination and leave you wanting more! The lessons presented within these pages are worth learning at any age.