Monday, June 27, 2011

"The Dragons of Chiril" by Donita K. Paul

Tipper is pretty much running things at home even though her mother is there. Her father disappeared years ago and Tipper is doing her best to keep things going. Until, one day, her father appears to her and she finds that he is alive and very much in need of her help. Tipper has to locate and retrieve three statues in order to let him return for good. She doesn't go on her quest alone, however. Her father, Wizard Fenworth, Libeittowit, Sir Beccaroon, four dragons, a dragon keeper prince, and Bealomondore work together to find the missing art and the real meaning of the story. Come along and discover the Tipper's world and meet her friends while trying to discover the truth.
 
I love books about dragons, and this was no exception. Once again Donita K. Paul brings her world to life with an interesting story and wonderful characters. I recommend all of her books to you, especially if you are a young person. The story will captivate you! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, and thank them for it.

"A Vision of Lucy" by Margaret Brownley

Klutzy. That's what you'd call Lucy. But, Lucy has a dream; she wants to be a photographer. The problem is that it is 1882, in Rocky Creek, TX, and women as photographers is virtually unheard of. Her father definitely doesn't approve and Lucy sets out to prove to him that she can be an artist with her camera. Then David Wolf enters her life. Some say he is a recluse because of bad things he has done and they fear him, but that isn't the truth. Will Lucy get the picture of the wild horse or her wild man? Or, will Lucy find love and acceptance? Will anyone ever take her hopes and dreams seriously? Come along with Lucy as she takes a journey that could make or break her relationship with her family and God.
 
I really enjoyed reading about Lucy's desires and her klutziness. She seemed very real to me. Margaret Brownley writes wonderful stories with vibrant characters and I recommend all of her books to you! Thank you to the Book Sneeze program for my copy of the book. The review is my own.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Untouchable" by Scott O'Connor

Whitley is eleven, and people simply call him "the Kid." He lives with his father and daily deals with the grief of his mother's death. But, Whitley doesn't really believe she is dead and won't speak, making any relationships difficult to keep moving forward. David Darby is a grieving father who also works cleaning up trauma sites. As he prepares to do the work, David continually reminds himself to picture it cleaned up so that he can make it through. His son needs him. He misses his wife. It has been a year and they continue to grieve separately. Can they put the family back together? What is the complete truth behind Lucy Darby's death? What is Whitley writing in his notebooks, and will it completely take his sanity? Can David save himself and Whitley the way he helps save so many other families?
 
This book was an emotional ride and I continually wanted the situations to be fixed. The characters were vivid and realistic; the story seemed to be taken from any neighborhood. I recommend this book and author and think we will see much more from him. Be sure to watch the trailer as well! Thank you to Leyane Jerejian and FSB Media for the copy I read on my Nook.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Ashes, Ashes" by Jo Treggiar

Lucy is alone in a post-apocalyptic world; a world where plague, tsunamis, etc. have killed off most of the population including her family. Fending for herself, fighting daily for food and safety, Lucy never thinks that she will find friends or protection in others. Until Aiden comes into her life and little by little she learns to trust. The Sweepers keep attacking their settlement taking the children. But, they are looking for someone more specific. Why are the Sweepers after Lucy? What is the purpose of all the testing? How did Lucy survive the plague? Can the settlement retrieve the missing children and live in safety?

This audio book was written by Jo Treggiar and read by Cassandra Campbell. The first chapter seemed a little slow, but then the book took off and I was hooked. There is suspense, mystery, and even a little romance in this story. It was nice to read a post-apocalyptic book written from the viewpoint of a young person and how they would perceive things. I recommend this book to all readers and think groups could build some great discussions around the story. Thank you to Oasis Audio for my copy of the book!

"The SparkPeople Cookbook" by Meg Galvin

Cookbooks can be a lot of fun and this one is no exception. Spark People is an organization that helps people lead healthier lives by promoting good eating habits and exercise. Nothing new, right? Well, I found some new ideas and think you will too. The book begins with tips and tricks as well as the success stories of real people. The Get Ready section helps you find out how to be a satisfied, sustained, and stress free diner. The Get Cooking section helps you prepare for cooking not only with the food, but also with your kitchen. There are sample meal plans, a guide to portion sizes, and more. Some of the many recipes are: Garlic Chicken Slaw in Lettuce Cups; French Onion Soup with Whole Wheat Croutons; Cornish Hens with Apple-Pecan Stuffing; Spinach Salad with Cherries and Pomegranate Vinaigrette; and Baked Starburst Fries. Come on and give this cookbook a try. What have you got to lose?

I am having a lot of fun with this cookbook. The recipes are normal foods, so they fit into a normal lifestyle. The difference is in the preparation, and the guidance is all in the book. I really love trying the recipes, especially the smoothies. Thank you to Net Galley for the copy I have on my Nook. I can't wait to buy a copy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"The Guardian" by Robbie Cheuvront with Erik Reed

Anna Riley is a young woman celebrating Mardi Gras when her life suddenly changes. A little boy meets her on her way back to the hotel and gives her information that makes her fly immediately to Pittsburgh. From that moment on, Anna's life moves quickly as she becomes the Guardian of the scroll God gave to John on Patmos. She needs to find the scroll and decifer it, finishing the work of her grandfather. With the help of Father Vin, Jason Lang, Nick, Hale, and Marie, Anna jets around the world in search of the scroll. But, as usual, there is a team of evil doers anxious to thwart her attempts. Who is the little boy Anna met and what role does he play in the story? Will Cardinals Wickham and McCoy find a way to gain the power in Rome? Will Anna and Jason find the way to make it through the losses that come through their search? Are you on the winning side of this battle? This information and much more is held within the pages of this fast-paced, well-written novel!
 
This book was "unputdownable" for me! From the moment I started reading, I was on the journey with Anna. I felt her successes and her losses. The story is well written and the characters seem real. The Epilogue was a thrilling point of expectation and promise for me! I recommend this to all readers. Groups will find discussion questions at the end with many other points of discussion throughout the book. Thank you to Net Galley for the copy I read on my Nook. This is a book I will buy and give as gifts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Changeling Moon" by Dani Harper

"Changeling Moon" is the beginning of a new shape-shifter series by Dani Harper. Zoey Tyler moves to a small Canadian town to take over the newspaper (desirous of hiding her own problems) and is totally unaware that the town is full of changelings. But, fighting for her life against a very large wolf one night puts her investigative nose twitching as she vows to prevent others from being hurt. Connor Macleod is not only the town vet: he is also a changeling. As he helps Zoey, he also works to protect his pack, knowing there is something special about Zoey. Will Zoey find out before she falls in love with him? What is "special" about Zoey and how will she deal with the change?

This book is a paranormal fantasy that went a little too far with me when it came to the sex, and I would say the book is for adults rather than teens. The story was interesting and I wanted to know what would happen to each of the characters and the town. Thank you to Leyane Jerejian and FSB Media for my copy of the book!

"Lucky Stiff" by Deborah Coonts

A woman falls from a helicopter; there's a drunk, naked man passed out in the stairwell; a semi full of honeybees overturns and the bees attack - just a few of the things Lucky has to deal with tonight in Las Vegas. Her job is to make sure that the public doesn't become aware of the problems, just comes and has a good time. Her title is Head of Customer Relations at the Babylon, but there is so much more to the job! Her boyfriend is a former female impersonator who plays the piano, is gorgeous, and has women falling all over him. Will he help her with her numerous problems? Was "falling" from a helicopter an accident for Ms. Neidermeyer, or was she murdered? Will the DA's secret liaisons be found out? There is a new French chef coming to the resort. What is her wacky mother's plan? Come join Lucky, Teddie, Darlin' Delacroix, Detective Romeo, and the others as Las Vegas comes to life!

This was a fun, quick read that held my attention. I kept waiting for the next shoe to drop as situations continued to pile up! If you are looking for a mystery/romance beach read or just something fun and quick, this book would be a good choice. Thank you to Leyane Jerejian and FSB Media for my copy of this book.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"The Awesome Book of Bible Stories for Kids" by Sandy Silverthorne

What if early Bible events were happening today? What if the things we take for granted were also available to Noah or David or Adam? That is what Sandy Silverthorne is asking in her new book, "The Awesome Book of Bible Stories for Kids." Each story begins with a Bible based synopsis, adds the "what if," and then encourages the reader to "Get Real" by reading the correct Bible passage. This book lets children use their imagination, then look up what really happened. Samson was a strong warrior. What if he was their gym teacher? David was too young to fight, yet took down a giant. What if kids could watch someone stand up to a bully on TV? Achan stole when God told the Israelites to destroy everything. What if CSI were there to put the clues together? These are just a few of the wonderful "what if's" in this book.

This was a fun, quick read for me. I found myself giggling at some of the stories (Adam naming the animals while an animal program was filming, for example). This is another tool for parents to use with their children. While encouraging questions, this book also provides the answers. It will make a great addition to a home or church library. Thank you, Net Galley, for the opportunity of reading this proof on my Nook.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New - "Maria Juana's Gift" by T. Lloyd Winetsky


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Elaine Krackau | PR by the Book | 512.501.4399, x 704 | elaine@prbythebook.com

Health Care and Your Child

Novel explores medical malpractice and cultural differences

In MarĂ­a Juana's Gift...Winetsky gracefully shifts gears from heartwarming to heartwrenching...a great job...-- John Fannin, Daily Sun News

In his second stellar novel Winetsky weaves a poignant tale of love and sorrow.” – Carl Kleinschmitt, Emmy-nominated writer for The Odd Couple, The Dick Van Dyke Show and M*A*S*H

YAKIMA, Wash. – According to the World Health Organization, medical errors affect one in 10 patients worldwide. As if that isn’t scary enough, what if that one patient was your child?

"The Powerful and Playful Warrior within YOU" by G.J. Reynolds

"The only person in the whole wide world who knows how much effort you applied and whether you truly did your best is you." pg. 131
Playful and Powerful Warrior? Really? Can the two exist together? Yes they can. In his new book, G.J. Reynolds gives tips and tricks to not only being the best you can be, but having fun while doing that. He has a powerful story of overcoming depression and other obstacles, and willingly shares it so that others might benefit. Too many times people let other people, things, and circumstances get in the way. This book will help you reclaim your individuality and your personal power and learn to relax into your life. There are twenty one chapters with action steps, so the book is easy to read and apply in sections.
This is an interesting book that was fun to read. I especially enjoyed the action steps at the end of the chapters, along with the highlighted quotes. Some of the key words for me are: Think, Focus, Surround, and Live. This book will appeal to individuals and groups alike as groups will enjoy sharing insights and ideas. I want to thank Megan at PR by the Book for my copy and the opportunity to review the book.

"The Sweetest Thing" by Elizabeth Musser

The time is the Great Depression - 1930's, the place is Atlanta. Times are tough for Mary and her family, but their faith keeps them strong. She is from Chicago and her father is a preacher. The opportunity arises for Mary to go live with an aunt in Atlanta so that she can get a better education, so she moves. Perri is a total opposite. She is from the society side of Atlanta and loves the parties and popularity. When the two girls meet, it seems unlikely that they will be friends, but when tragedy enters the picture, circumstances change. Throughout the book the two girls change, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. How the girls end up and the mystery and suspense that is added will keep a reader enthralled throughout the story.

This is a wonderful story of tragedy, friendship, faith, and redeeming grace. I loved reading about the characters encountering and dealing with real problems, real situations. The girls became very real to me and I was hoping the book would end with good things for the girls, but won't give away the ending! One of the biggest lessons of the book is that no matter what, God is always with us. He is there even when we turn our backs on Him. I recommend this book to individuals and groups alike. There are many topics that lend themselves to group discussion. Thank you to Bethany House for my copy of the book. It is a pleasure to write my review!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther" by Joan Wolf

"A Reluctant Queen" certainly describes Esther, whether you read her story in the Bible, or in this fictionalized account. Here we read about Esther's life and feelings, getting the picture of a young woman who loves her Uncle Mordecai and will do whatever he asks. When the king searches for a new wife, Ester is taken to the palace with many other beautiful women. Each wonders if he will choose her. Esther does as she is told, but wonders if her life will be the same when she returns home. She has a life she wants to get back to. She doesn't want the "spotlight." When she is chosen by the king, Esther is surprised in more ways then one. This is historical fiction at its best - adventure, intrigue, fear, faith, and romance.

The story of Esther is one of my favorites, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. Thank you so much to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for the copy I read on my Nook. I was drawn into the story completely and ended thinking that much of this may have been real - i.e. Esther's feelings for her home and family. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. If you liked "One Night With the King," or "The Red Tent," you won't regret picking up this book!