NEW BOOK REVIEW

                  
                   Day Moon (Tomorrow's Edge Book 1) ... By Brett Armstrong



In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen year old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global software initiative his deceased grandfather helped found. Project Alexandria is intended to provide the entire world secure and equal access to all accumulated human knowledge. All forms of print are destroyed in good faith, to ensure everyone has equal footing, and Elliott knows he must soon part with his final treasure: a book of Shakespeare's complete works gifted him by his grandfather. Before it is destroyed, Elliott notices something is amiss with the book, or rather Project Alexandria. The two do not match, including an extra sonnet titled "Day Moon". When Elliott investigates, he uncovers far more than he bargained for. There are sinister forces backing Project Alexandria who have no intention of using it for its public purpose. Elliott soon finds himself on the run from federal authorities and facing betrayals and deceit from those closest to him. Following clues left by his grandfather, with agents close at hand, Elliott desperately hopes to find a way to stop Project Alexandria. All of history past and yet to be depend on it.


OUR REVIEW

Reading Day Moon by Brett Armstrong was like looking into our future. Never mind that the story was set in 2039, the characters reveal the same passions of love, distrust and longing for God's guidance when their lives were in jeopardy as the same way we acknowledge the trust we look for in today's world.

Armstrong sets the setting by giving brief details of everyday life, such as the way cars have transformed so travel was safer and lives were no longer in danger of accidents. The most important change was scanning all print materials into a program and then destroyed, called Project Alexandria which was designed by Elliot's grandfather who just happened to have died in the only car crash of that time.

Seventeen year old Elliot is now programing Project Alexandria but discovers subtle discrepancies popping up at alarming rate. From here on in we are discovering multitudes of clues, packed with devastating consequences. Elliot realizes his feelings are growing for fellow student Lara as this race for solving why the government is determined to acquire and possible destroy particular works of classic fiction.

The extremely fasted past roller coaster of events continues to rattle our emotions as waves of excitement and continual twists and turns shake our thoughts of just who can be trusted and what surprise are we going to find next.

Linda     
This story is woven with the fact that it was a rarity to be a believer, and that believing in God was foolish, but author Armstrong equips Elliot with the knowledge that God does exist and knows that He is there when help is needed.

The reality of Armstrong's writing left me totally exhausted in a good way after reading this book. I sincerely mean this as a compliment to the author as I compare Armstrong along side of Dan Brown of the Da Vinci Code, and the movie National Treasure.

If you are looking ahead at our possible future, you might have just found it.


                                  Amazon Review

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NEW BOOK REVIEW




Embracing Hope ... by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring.

He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?



OUR REVIEW

I was so glad to read that all Christians are not perfect, we don't live in a perfect world, and that anger and frustration can be a real part of our lives in the romantic Christian novel Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz.

The introduction of characters and their personalities in the first chapter sets up the tone of the story. The banter of dean Drew McKinley and the direct opinions of new student staff hire Allison play nicely off each other, but throw in handsome and self centered Chris, things really charge up.

Linda     
Can life really be easy at a Christian College since after all you are surrounded by Bible studies, Chapel and the availability to Christian counseling? Thankfully author Wojtowicz revels the flaws that nags and sometimes eat us inside without our even knowing how to solve our problems even though we have the love God inside us.

Tragedies happen, faith is being tested and the weakness of the characters come alive as it so happens in real life. Many types of Christian issues are brought up and sorted out but can every problem be resolved? Wojtowicy uses this story to enhance the forgiveness of God, but the question remains ... can we accept forgiveness and forgive others?

A great read for those who are still looking to fill the emptiness in their lives as well as an amazing read for Christians who struggle with God's grace.


                                                                       Amazon Review



AUTHOR

                                                                     
                                                          


                                                                          Joseph Marx

                                                                               Author of
                                            VICTORY OVER CANCER! 



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One of my favorite quotes is from Apollo 13, which was a space mission plagued with insurmountable mechanical failures.  Yet, the crew never gave up, and persisted in rescuing themselves from death. The quote goes, “Failure is not an option.”  I have a T-shirt with this quote on it and it reminds me to never give up with my struggle with cancer.

 
 
 
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If one understands the metabolic characteristics of cancer, which are not widely known, he or she can effectively slow it's rate of growth and potentially even reverse it with smart nutrition...read more...




 

NEW BOOK REVIEW


 

The Conservative Congregant ... by Paula D. Walker Baker


Eloise Dowager left her comfort zone when she offered to prepare a meal for the homeless. She heard people were blessed beyond measure when they attended The City of Hope. See what God has in store for her!

 

OUR REVIEW

 

The Conservative Congregant by Paula D. Walker Baker took me as complete surprise!  As I was reading this lovely story, I felt like I was envoled with my friends from church. Two women from different backgrounds find a mutal friendship that grow and blossoms, discovering new depths to each of their own faiths.

 
 
Linda      

It was such a "comfortable" read, as part of the theme is about helping and loving the homeless and the gift of love and service these women found that they could do for them. I felt right at home with the dialogue and the places that were described in the book, as I could have run into these ladies at the store on a shopping trip.

 
 

The thread of forgiveness stood out to me as I felt Eloise Dowager's life was holding her down from total joy until she understood what faith in God can do. This story was so totally realistic, it was hard to forget they were fictional characters.

 
 

Do these ladies find what they are looking for? Looking forward to the next book.

 


                              Amazon Review

 

 

NEW BOOK REVIEW


The Light Between Oceans ... by M.L. Stedman


 

"Haunting...Stedman draws the reader into her emotionally complex story right from the beginning, with lush descriptions of this savage and beautiful landscape, and vivid characters with whom we can readily empathize. Hers is a stunning and memorable debut."





OUR REVIEW


Linda       
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman was a fascinating story of lonely and sad people that intersected at the right time and the right place. Author Stedman sets up a key part of the story in the very fist chapter, along with past history of one of the main characters.

Living on a small island taking care of and maintaining a lighthouse although lonely and barren, a newly married couple adjust to a new way of life, in fact they treat it as a new found freedom. Record keeping of daily life on the island and sea incidents were extremely important and kept as a public record. The choices of right and wrong of these records were the key points of this story. Guilt ridden emotions crept into various lives, and decisions that were made had devastation consequences.

I read this story for book club and found it a unsettling story, but pushed through it. Even watching the movie trailer, the content of the story was not appealing to me although it had a Christian theme woven within the plot.


                                   Amazon Review

NEW BOOK REVIEW


Finding Sarah, Finding Me: A Birth Mother's Story ... By Christine Lindsay

Adoption. It’s something that touches one in three people today, a word that will conjure different emotions in those people touched by it. A word that might represent the greatest hope…the greatest question…the greatest sacrifice. But most of all, it’s a word that represents God’s immense love for his people.

Join birth mother Christine Lindsay as she shares the heartaches, hopes, and epiphanies of her journey to reunion with the daughter she gave up...and to understanding her true identity in Christ along the way.

Through her story and glimpses into the lives of other families in the adoption triad, readers will see the beauty of our broken families, broken hearts, and broken dreams when we entrust them to our loving God.


OUR REVIEW

Finding Sarah, Finding Me A Birth Mother's Story by Christine Lindsay was quite the eye-opener for me. Never having been in this situation, I was quickly involved in this struggle to find peace with a past that just couldn't be forgotten. Yes, I do have a few friends that did go through adoptions, but nothing like author Lindsay in which she was trying to find the daughter she gave up twenty years ago.

Linda     
The pain a mother goes through to make tough decisions and then live every day wondering...was it right, what is she doing and how is she doing is almost unbearable as well as the agony and stress of a possible reunion. Her own family shares the burden of  pain Christine feels, and as this story unfolds we find that it's not always the way we want it to turn out.

Lindsay weaves other adoptive stories gently through her own, bridging the gap of despair and love in the most intensive way. Thankfully through the grace of God, lives can be given new strength and move forward, but as the author says: not all adoption reunions are the same.

Whether you are in an adoption situation or not, this raw and no hold back story will sink into your heart.

                          Amazon Review


AUTHOR






             We welcome today Lillian Corrigan, author of The Bricks and Sticks of Life.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ... Philippians 4:13


What were the challenges you faced while writing?


Editing. The initial writing in the case came easily. The first draft was 499 pages. Modifying and editing for quality over quantity was the hardest part.
Marketing. You can have a wonderful and well-written story, but it's very difficult to get more exposure than one's local groups.
Overall... each aspect was worth every ounce of effort (despite my husband informing me that by adding up my invested hours over, he could already have had two new sports cars if I'd chosen to work at the local market instead.)


So I'm guessing your husband didn't get his sports car, so just how long did you write before ...and the rest of the story...







NEW BOOK REVIEW


The Bricks and Sticks of Life... by Lillian Corrigan


This inspiring novel based upon a true story will tug at your heartstrings and renew your faith in true love.

Handyman Mitch Conner personifies the meaning of mentor. Unlocking potential, he builds up both people and structures. Using the proper tools for each job, he shows how simple materials create exquisite results. Some lives become cottages, others estates, yet each is precious in its own way.

After losing his wife and home, Mitch is left haunted and longing. One moment of fate fulfills his dream to be part of a family. But when illness threatens to demolish it, Mitch relies on relationships—the concrete that fortifies our existence—in his battle to save himself once again. Bonds with loved ones deepen as they laugh, labor and learn the meaning of life.

Step into Mitch’s boots. Journey through seasons filled with joy, hardship and tests of will in this touching story about an everyday hero you will never forget.


OUR REVIEW


Lillian Corrigan grabs you right from the start with her catchy title, The Bricks and Sticks of Life. Building upon each character in this lovely story takes the reader through three phases of a family's emotional love and life for a period of time.

The Joyful Mysteries of Life introduces us to Mitch, a beloved father figure who has lost his loving wife whom he misses so deeply. Mitch, or teasingly called big "M", does his best to bring up his only son, affectionately called little "m" in a Godly manner. They are a well respected duo in their Church community.
 
The Sorrowful Mysteries of Life continues to build Lillian's characters in their growth of handling the unknown territory of a growing family that has flourished in love for one another, the respect of their relatives and church families while dealing with an uncertain future.

The Glorious Mysteries of Life explodes with emotions that will finally resolve in the acceptance of family issues that will only strengthen their faith in God.


Linda   
 
A book that was hard to put down as the reader will most certainly get involved with the love and faithfulness of God and family that was shared. As the author puts it..."Every day we purchase, gather, find, or experience bricks and sticks that build our lives. Each is a gift. Perhaps we're reminded to cherish loved ones, have faith in our higher power, or believe in ourselves."

A special note from the author on the last page will only enhance the reader's involvement of the story.


                                            Amazon Reivew




NEW BOOK REVIEW



Only Children Chase Sawdust ... By Willowy Whisper

Their whole life turned to sawdust and blew away . . .

Please don't leave me, Jacob. I need you. I know you're grieving. Maybe we all are. But you're chasing something you'll never catch . . . and we both know you won't come back alive.



OUR REVIEW

Who could pass up this intriguing title, with such a lovely author name! Only Children Chase Sawdust by Willowy Whisper opens with a lovely prologue that explains the title and setting of the story.

Two children grow up together in a small settlement, where lives depend on the community help that they give each other. Everyone knows, loves and respects each other, love blossoms and life is going well. But a surprisingly suspicious Indian attack destroys the foundation of this settlement, and heartache soon follows.

The decisions that were made from that time forward, is the meat of
Linda    
the story. Plots and lies unfold before our eyes, and the faith of the people left are held in God's hands. Will faith and loyalty be enough to see the survivors through this twisting tale?


I thought the premise of the story was good, faith in God versus love in one another. I understood why Jacob felt he had to do what was in his heart even though it hurt those around him. I would have to say the chapters were a bit choppy going back and forth and didn't need the swirly icons to separate the paragraphs as the author moved the story forward. Some of the Indian dialog didn't seem exactly right on, but the strength that was developed in the characters did grow and develop.

The closing lines in the Epilogue cannot be missed! 
                                                                    


                                            Amazon Reivew






NEW BOOK REVIEW


Broken Like Glass ... By E.J. McCay


Home is not always where the heart is.

Lillian Louis James built herself good life, but when a quick weekend visit with her daddy turns violent she finds herself on the wrong side of the law. Stuck in the small town she would rather forget, Lillian is forced to attend therapy and try to figure out where it all went wrong. Her high school crush showing up on the scene doesn’t help either as unresolved feelings bubble to the surface. Will Lillian let Jesus heal her broken past before her chance at love is gone?



OUR REVIEW

Broken Like Glass by E.J. McCay's book cover was most intriguing. At first I thought it was going to be a your typical broken heart romance, but oh no...after the opening chapter the guts of the story pours out. Lillian comes home after years of being absent from her home town only to reach her breaking point, stabbing her father in the Safeway. The only way to stay out of jail is by visiting her court appointed therapist, an old time school friend and having the best lawyer in town who happens to be her best friend represent her.

Linda      
I have to say, Lillian's sarcastic humor was a hard for me to like at first, after all she did stab her father and but didn't seem remorseful. Reading on, I realized why she had developed this harden, outer protective shell she created for herself. We slowly find the reasons behind Lillian's behavior as she herself discovers and relives the unspeakable events in her life that has brought her to this point.

Will her jagged broken heart and soul be able to handle the past, including renewing a friendship with an old boyfriend that clearly still has feelings for her? The relationship she had with "Papa" was not the typical let's go to church to talk to God, but it was the only way she was comfortable to communicate with Jesus and take hope in Him that her life was worth something.  Not only was Jesus her help, but I felt the whole relationship with "Papa" was the author's way of introducing the reader to God's love and His forgiveness.

An easy style of writing, but I found this to be for myself, a painful content. Be prepared for an emotional read.


                                            Amazon Review


NEW BOOK REVIEW



You Inspire Me ... By Tondeleya Allen


Inspirational, encouraging, and uplifting, "You Inspire Me" is a devotional straight from Tondeleya Allen's heart. An optimistic attitude and positive words are liquid gold that can benefit each of us every day. Readers will find tools to triumph struggles, overcome negative thinking, and marginalize the naysayers and dream killers in their lives.

"You Inspire Me" explores the strength of women, our purpose in life, and steps that can be taken to transform our lives and make
Tondeleya Allen
our dreams a reality. When we maintain hearts of gratitude and positive attitudes, there is no task we can't handle.

Author of "The Blessed Woman Endeavor," "You Really Do Deserve Me," and "A Good Sandwich Can Save a Marriage," Tondeleya Allen believes that faith is the cure for what ails us and that women have enough grace and strength coursing through our veins to handle every ounce of pressure life sends our way. 


 
OUR REVIEW
 
 
I always know when a read a book by Tondeleya Allen, you better have a highlighter on hand or paper and pencil to take notes!  You Inspire Me has done it to me again! I look down at my desk and see all kinds of gems that I found from this devotional, as actually there isn't any wisdom found here that we can't take away!
 
Linda     
I enjoy the easy style of Allen's writing, as if she is talking to me personally, encouraging and helping me get back on the right track. She has her finger on the pulse of women's struggles, defining the problem issues and giving us direction to work on our most difficult situations.

What I think is amazing starts off in the very first part of the book. It doesn't matter that Allen doesn't know us, that she doesn't know our past, or what we have already done with our lives up to now. Her quote from the book:

 I believe that even your pain and heartache can be turned into joy and lessons.  Your gifts can improve this world.

The positivity that is expressed in each chapter drives us forward and encourages us to forget the past and recharge ourselves:

Delegate when you can. Move as your energy, inspiration and time allows.

I always find a special chapter that jumps out at me...this one happens to be Live to Create. Allen shares a story about her mom that I believe implanted her gift of writing:

Whether I’m weaving words, mixing textiles, sewing without patterns or cooking without recipes, I enjoy experiencing the freedom and playfulness of expression.


A must read for all women in any stage of life, as you will be uplifted with God's love and faithfulness.
 
                                                  

                                        Amazon Review



NEW BOOK



Love Defined ... By Leila Tualla



In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood…but learn they all still have some growing up to do.

Alex Makapulo is facing a crisis of faith.

Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church—against her family’s wishes—but she can’t quite take the final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction.

Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime.

For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London, but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him.

Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places.

When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma.

As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little, and find your own definition of love.



OUR REVIEW


Right from the get go, I knew this was going to be an intriguing YA book. The cover of Love Defined by Leila Tualla, confirms this marvelous contemporary story of three college girls on the brink of discovering their new adult lives in the working world.

Author Tualla sets the stage where we are hooked into some kind of distressing event that is causing a lot of emotional tension between the girls.

Backing up three months to the start, we are introduced to college girls that have been friends for eternity, but even though their personalities are being constantly defined by age and life, friends stick together no matter what.



Three different girls, three different storylines, but uniquely blended together with some of the chapters opening with one of the girl's quotes, directing our attention to the storyline at hand and moving it forward.

Linda    
I have to admit I loved Alex's story, as she developed strength and maturity in her devotion to God. Her struggles were real, but her faith continued to grow and deepen as her friend's problems spiraled out of hand.

I loved the style of the author's writing, as Love Defined is as true to life as you can get. This is not a sugar coated book, but definitely a Christian story that is probably happening all over the world to young adults and older teens, over and over again. Although, as in real life, we don't know what will happen in the long run with these girls,  Tualla does give us a satisfying ending, knowing that God is faithful and His love endures. As the author reminds us: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor. 13:13

There must be a sequel to this book!

                                         Amazon Review




 

NEW BOOK REVIEW



Restored ... by Tanya Eavenson

Dr. Steven Moore is known nationally for saving lives. If only he could save his own. Unable to deal with his cancer prognosis, he retreats to a happier time in his past—to the woman who once stole his heart.

Four years after the death of her beloved husband, bookstore owner Elizabeth Roberts still struggles to sustain her faith and joy in the Lord as she raises her two sons. She strives to find a way through her family's grief, never suspecting a man from her past might offer hope for her future.

But how can there be a future when he's only come to kiss her and says good-bye?


OUR REVIEW

Author Tanya Eavenson blends life and death in the heartwarming  Christian romantic story Restored. Is it possible that love from the past can ever be forgotten or forgiven? 

Linda      

Eavenson's style of writing has a balanced rhythm to it. She incorporates the feel of heartache with the joy and love that the main characters develop as they find their way around some troublesome past events. As it is in real life, Restored has a nice Christian "flavor" flow to it. The story isn't pounding you over the head with trying to change your view of God, but speaking as we do in everyday life, expecting God has a plan for us.

Trust me, you'll need your tissues, but Eavenson doesn't leave us disappointed.

                                       Amazon Review               



NEW BOOK REVIEW


                                     Enjoy the Poodle Skirt ... by Kate Willis



Rule one: Keep your hands clean.
Rule two: Careful with the food trays.
Rule three: Visit the soda fountain as often as you like, but don’t make yourself sick.
Rule four: Enjoy the poodle skirt.

Canary is excited to spend a whole week helping her newlywed aunt and uncle run a 50’s diner along with her older siblings Rose and Michael. Even the rules for working there are fun! But when a routine cleanup presents a mysterious, hand-drawn map, her vacation gets even more exciting than a banana split with hot fudge sauce. And that’s saying a lot!



OUR REVIEW


Wow! What a surprise I found in this deliciously, delightful mystery book. Enjoy the Poodle Skirt by Kate Willis is an exceptionally written story for the older elementary age reader.

Linda     
Willis keeps the flow steady and holds your attention with cute descriptions of the diner and outfits that have to be worn, even to the naming of the embellishment on her skirt.  (I wish there was a diner like that around here!) I did get the vintage feel of the place, and felt the enjoyment that the characters were having. They mystery was just the right amount for the age that this book was written.

An added bonus: You have to even read the warning in the front of the book about what would happen if you reprinted or misused this story in any way. Very cute and creative.

The end acknowledgements were very heartfelt, giving God the credit for what He has done in Willis's life and family.
As a first grade project aide for my daughters class, I would have to say that this book should be a must read as an introduction for the mystery genre, as it is sweet, wholesome and not overdone.

                                         Amazon Review




NEW BOOK REVIEW




Wow! As we grow, we have added on a new category...







Books that really don't fit anywhere, but are fun to read for the beauty and content.

Check out our side bar for the start of our selections...you'll see what we mean!




 

NEW BOOK REVIEW



Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy, and Fun ... By Marco Tosa



For anyone who loves Barbie and wants to know more, this illustrated biography tells the story of the doll's evolution into an icon of popular culture, beloved and avidly collected by children and adults alike. 
 
Conceived in 1959 as an "adult" doll to dress for every occasion, Barbie has since become a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Illustrations reveal her many faces, styles, and incarnations, from the blonde, blue-eyed mainstay to the exotic dolls available around the world. Here too are her most glamorous costumes, and the real-life Hollywood stars-Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Vivien Leigh-and fashion designers-Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Bob Mackie-who inspired them.   Doll expert Marco Tosa presents a wealth of documentation, including a description of how the dolls are made, a family tree, a chart of the dolls' occupations, the dates of issue of each Barbie doll discussed, and photographs of original packaging. There is also a section on the forthcoming, more anatomically correct Barbie doll.
Linda   (of course not!)
Marco Tosa, a native of Genoa, Italy, teaches at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. He is the author of several books on fashion and on the history and culture of dolls.


OUR REVIEW

I received this absolutely beautiful Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy, and Fun by Marco Tosa from my girls at Christmas. I am a Barbie collector and found this book fascinating. It gives the history of the creation of the Barbie doll, as well as the transformation she has had over the years.

Did you know that in 1945 the birth of the toy company named "Mattel," stands for "Matt" for Mattson and "El" for Elliot, old friends who worked together in a garage converted into a small creative studio.

Not only does it contain amazing pictures, the history behind Barbie will rock your socks off!
            
 
Here are a few from my own collections:




                 Amazon Review