Saturday, March 27, 2010

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

An unlikely friendship develops between Donetta Bradford (a grandmotherly, busy-body, hairdresser) and Kai Miller (a twenty-something, wandering, jewelry-making, cruise ship employee) when a hurricane hits the East Texas coast. With the storm bearing down and no other options, they help each other find shelter and weather the storm together. Kai is unable to return home after the storm and stays with Donetta in Daily, Texas. The two become fast friends and help each other find their way through difficult relationships.

The book was a little slow to start but picked up a little ways in. The story is one of friendship and faith in God - even through difficult circumstances. Donetta possesses life experience and a trust in God that Kai learns from and greatly benefits from. The story is encouraging and a good, easy read. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun book to read ... great for vacation!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review of the book.

4 stars (out of 5)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh is a fantastic look at the struggle that many of us face with actually believing what we say we believe, acting like it, and therefore trusting in God. Sheila (it feels like we're friends after reading the book!) lets readers into her own personal struggles with trust and faith and writes openly about her battle with depression and her time spent in a mental hospital.

Sheila also looks honestly at "heroes of the faith" and shows not only their strengths but their weaknesses as well. She makes observations about times of growth in their lives and makes people like Paul, Samson, Joseph and others seem a little more like the rest of us, rather than the "super heroes" that we sometimes think of them as. Additionally, she also draws together lessons from each of their lives that we can apply to our own lives as we walk this journey of faith.

The book also includes a list of questions to be used in discussion with others and a 12-lesson Bible study that could be used individually or as a group study. I would love to do this study as a group to have the interaction and encouragement from others.

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review of this book.

5 stars (out of 5)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols is a moving story about forgiveness, prayer, God's grace, and second chances. Mary Bridget Washburn survived a dysfunctional childhood only to escape into a life of crime. As she begins to feel guilty about her new life, she runs away again, takes on a new identity, and starts rebuilding her life. Along the way, she connects with a family who desperately needs to forgive themselves and each other. Drawn to the teenaged daughter, Mary Bridget feels like God is telling her she can make a difference in the teenager's life. Throughout the rest of the novel, Nichols seamlessly weaves together multiple story lines and shows how redemption is possible only by the grace of God.

While the book starts off a little slow, it quickly picks up pace. The story is masterfully written and causes you to fall in love with the characters - feeling sorrow, anger, joy, and despair on their behalf. Fiction books don't typically make me feel the way this one did. Additionally, Scripture and truths about the character of God are prominent throughout the novel in a way that connects with the reader without sounding "preachy."

I would recommend this to a friend and am excited to see what's next from Linda Nichols.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for a free and honest review of the novel.

(5 stars out of 5)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Beguiled by DeeAnne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand

I just got finished reading Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand and it was fantastic! It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to read an excellent book and finish in two days!

Beguiled is the perfect combination between mystery and romance. Rylee is a dogwalker in an upscale Charleston neighborhood. When several of her clients are burglarized by the Robin Hood Burglar, the police begin suspecting that she is somehow involved. Rylee teams up with a local news reporter Logan to find out who is really behind the burglaries.

Now, I've read quite a bit of Christian fiction in my time ... and my fair share of romance and mysteries as well. The authors did a wonderful job writing the story in such a way that you are still guessing "who did it" until the very end of the book.

I also felt that Rylee was represented as a "real" person ... she had problems that stemmed from her childhood and were still affecting how she lived her adult life. The authors allowed her to deal with these problems realistically ... through friendships and her relationship with God.

I would definitely recommend this book to my friends! But only if you have a weekend to start and finish it. You won't want to put this book down!

This book was given to me by Bethany Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review of the book.

5 stars (out of 5)
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