Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Zoo" by James Patterson

What if the animals of the world began attacking the human population? What if that happened all over the world from savannahs to zoos to homes to city streets. This is the premise of "Zoo" by James Patterson. Pick it up, if you dare!

Jackson Oz is a biologist who knows there is something wrong with the animals. His theory, HAC: Human: Animal Conflict, is being ridiculed by most people. But then things start happening that can't be ignored. While there are still sceptics, some people do come around and try working on the problem. Will they discover what is causing the abberrant animal behavior? Will they get people to pay attention? Will any of this be in time to save mankind?

I really enjoyed this book and read it in a few hours. I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what would happen next. If you enjoy books that pull you in right away and keep you guessing about what is coming, this book is for you. While some of it is predictable, it is well worth the read. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"A Horse in the Wilderness" by Debbie Eckles

Brent Travis is a schoolteacher who has come to Orchard Springs, Arkansas to get away from the people who had hurt him. Autumn Parker wants to move into the house her parents rent out, but it is rented. Add to their troubles vandalism, a missing horse, and a missing boy, and you have situations that draw these two together. Will their problems be resolved?

Brent wants a clean start. Too many Christians have hurt him and he just doesn't trust them anymore. He relocates to teach and rents a home from the Parkers. Autumn Parker had wanted to move in there, but finds out Brent is there. Collision of wills? Add to the story a missing horse and a missing child and you have a story full of interesting people and occurrances. Will Brent's heart begin to heal, and will he be able to trust again? Where does Autumn fit in? What about the horse and the boy? Pick up the book to learn the answers to all these questions and more.

This was an interesting book and I liked the characters. If you are looking for a book that has you guessing and smiling along the way, this book is for you. If you enjoy stories with horses, nice characters, and God's moving in lives, this book is for you. I received my review copy from Book Look in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Every Father's Daughter" by Margaret McMullan

Fathers and daughters have a magical connection that trancends the years. In this new collection of essays, readers are treated to the in's and out's of these relationships that can travel some winding roads.

Relationships between any two people will have their up's and down's, but fathers and daughters almost always end up together in the end. In this new book, twenty four women open up to readers about the relationship they had with their dads. Some were work-a-holics, some absent for stretches of time, some had difficult problems to overcome. All remember fond memories and the lessons learned from the man who held their heart. Through the good and bad experiences, these women give readers a picture of love, perseverance, loyalty, and devotion.

What a book! No, not every father daughter relationship is perfect or even ends up well, but there are always lessons to be learned. This book will remind readers of that significant point. This is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about the father-daughter relationship and the impact it has on both lives. I received my review copy from Pr by the Book for participation in their blog tour. It is a great book!

Every Father's Daughter
Twenty-four Women Writers Remember Their Fathers
Selected and Presented by Margaret McMullan
With an Introduction by Phillip Lopate
302 pages, 6 x 9 hardcover
978-1-62054-013-8, $29.95
Publication date: April 9, 2015

“What is it about the relationship between fathers and daughters that provokes so much exquisite tenderness, satisfying communion, longing for more, idealization from both ends, followed often if not inevitably by disappointment, hurt, and the need to understand and forgive, or to finger the guilt of not understanding and loving enough?” writes Phillip Lopate, in his introduction to Every Father's Daughter,a collection of 25 personal essays by women writers writing about their fathers. The editor, Margaret McMullan, is herself a distinguished novelist and educator. About half of these essays were written by invitation for this anthology; others were selected by Ms. McMullan and her associate, Philip Lopate, who provides an introduction. The contributors include many well-known writers—Alice Munro, Jayne Anne Phillips, Alexandra Styron, Ann Hood, Bobbie Ann Mason, Maxine Hong Kingston, among others—as well as writers less well-known but no less cogent, inventive, perceptive, lacerating, questioning, or loving of their fathers.

A collection of essays on the father-daughter dynamic. Editor and novelist McMullan (Literature and Writing/Univ. of Evansville; Sources of Light, 2010, etc.) presents 24 ways of "knowing" one's father by accomplished, independent daughters, each with a folksy introduction to help situate the relationship in place and time. For many of these authors, the father was a tall, handsome, impossibly romantic character in the family, removed from the quotidian, often remote, and whose approval the daughters tried to maintain. In a twist on this theme, Jane Smiley writes how ultimately relieved she was not to know her father—who perhaps suffered from PTSD and divorced her mother when the author was a toddler—because his absence allowed her the space to grow up "free of preconceptions." Some of the contributors offer reminiscences following their fathers' deaths—e.g., Jill McCorkle in "My Dad." In "My Father's Daughter," Bliss Broyard fills in a deeper portrait of her philandering, brilliant, bookish father by talking to his lively, lifelong best friends in Greenwich Village, concluding ruefully that she should have paid more attention to her father when he was alive. Melora Wolff offers an excellent view of the glamorous world of visiting fathers from the first-person, plural view of young ladies at New York City's Brearley School, while Barbara Shoup describes her father's vanishing into alcoholism in her excruciating essay "Waiting for My Father." Throughout, fathers often represent the world of work, whether in the "special places" like the gambling house that Maxine Hong Kingston describes in "The American Father" or the sacred writing den that was strictly off limits to boisterous children, as depicted in Alexandra Styron's "Reading My Father." Other contributors include Jayne Anne Phillips, Antonya Nelson, Ann Mason and Alice Munro, and Phillip Lopate provides the introduction. Consistently elucidating portraits.

From the Foreword by Margaret McMullan
“After my father died, I couldn’t read or write, perhaps because, in the end, my father was unable to read or write. I didn’t know it then, but I was looking for a collection of intensely personal essays, written by great women writers telling me about their fathers and how they came to know their fathers, a collection which might help me make some kind of sense of my own very close relationship with my father. I wanted to know from women, replacement sisters, if they had similar relationships with their fathers as I had with mine. Or, if their relationships were altogether different, I wanted to know how exactly these relationships were different. I wanted to know if the fact that my father was southern had anything to do with anything. I suppose, more than anything, I just wanted to know that I wasn’t alone in my love, my loss, my loneliness. I wanted to read this anthology, but it did not exist. Writers write the book they want to read. Editors do the same. This book came out of a need, my own, personal, selfish need.
“Eventually, I contacted the authors I loved and admired—some of them friends, some of them friends of my father’s. I never wanted this to feel like an assignment, but I suppose it was. I simply asked these women to tell me about their fathers. They took it from there. For some authors, the idea of writing about a father just clicked, and they wrote their essays, often within days of the request. We all have stories about our fathers, even if it’s a bad story or a non-story, it’s a story. If you write, you will read these essays and feel the need to write your own.
“I kept my father’s tastes very much in mind during the difficult but joyful process of selecting essays for this book. This collection reflects my father, and, of course, other fathers as well. These essays are a sort of collage or mosaic of fatherhood and all the ways daughters communicate or don’t with their fathers. Of course, there’s a long list of wonderful women writers not included here—this anthology really should extend itself into another volume.”

Margaret McMullan is the author of six award-winning novels including Aftermath Lounge, In My Mother’s House, Sources of Light, How I Found the Strong, and When I Crossed No-Bob. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Ploughshares, Southern Accents, TriQuarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Sun, among several other journals and anthologies. She has received an NEA Fellowship in literature and a Fulbright award to teach at the University of Pécs in Pécs, Hungary. She currently holds the Melvin M. Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"A Friend in Me" by Pam Lau

Too many times older women are separated from younger women not just by age, but by fear or the differences we find in music, books, etc. But that shouldn't be! All women share a special bond and it is up to the older women to set an example of love and friendship, and to become a "safe haven" for younger women. Are you having trouble on either side of this coin? This book is for you.

Yes, they're different. They probably like different music, clothing and hair styles, etc. But, they are still women and are in a place older women have been before. It is time to break down the barriers and befriend the younger women, not with a pushy attitude, but with grace, gentleness, and example. When we seek God and ask Him to direct every aspect of our lives, HE will open the doors and offer the opportunities. We who are older simply need to follow His lead. Friendship is hard anytime, but it is so worth the work. Mentoring requires time and effort, but the product is amazing. Reach out to other women today and see how your life will change.

I really enjoyed this book. I am an older woman and enjoy being around my younger friends. It wasn't always easy, but I was on the other side too. This book makes sense and offers gentle helps on how to be the friend and mentor God wants you to be. So, if you are a woman seeking to be the best friend you can be, this book is for you. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Book info

About the book:
A Friend in Me (David C. Cook, June 2015)

Young women long for relational connection with women further ahead of them on the journey. Yet, without realizing it, many of us tend to distance ourselves from those in younger generations.

Can we really have close relationships with women who have different thoughts on church, different experiences with family, and different ways of talking about God? Where do we start?

In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows you how to be a safe place for the younger women in your life. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, forgiveness, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds you that there doesn't need to be a divide between generations of women. Together, we can have a global impact---and experience a deeper faith than we've ever known.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Pam Lau is the author of Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar's Review and Christianity Today. She has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, Lau lives near Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three daughters.

Find Pamela online: websiteTwitter
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Monday, June 8, 2015

"The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest" by Melanie Dickerson

A female Robin Hood who is also a teacher. A man whose job is to hunt down and stop poachers however he needs to. Jorgen and Odette, two people drawn together, yet inevitably pushed apart. Who will win the battle?

Odette loves the people in her village. She teaches the children, she knows their needs. So by night, she hunts. The problem is that she hunts on the margrave's land and that is against the law. Enter Jorgen, a man who really hates poachers because one killed the man who raised him, the man who had his job before him. Little do these two know that they are on opposite sides of the law when they meet at a community festival. Little does Odette know that the children she hunts for are not getting the meat. What will happen when the black market is exposed? What will happen when Jorgen and Odette realize who the other is? This wonderful story will pull you in until you know the answers to all your questions.

I really enjoyed this book. It was familiar, yet different; a fairy-tale with a twist. I found myself feeling all kinds of emotions as I read - excitement, happiness, anger, and hope. If you enjoy books that are purely fiction and fun with a twist of adventure and danger, this book is for you. I received my review copy from the Book Sneeze program in exchange for an honest review.