Monday, June 30, 2008

Vanish - Tom Pawlik

Dear Readers,

Tom Pawlik is the winner of the 2006's Christian Writers Guild contest. This contest is a contest that Jerry Jenkins holds through his writers guild.

Vanish is the book that Tom wrote and now Tyndale is publishing. This is a very different book. It is not what I expected and I am not sure what I expected, but this was not it. The only thing I had heard of it before I started this book, was "I am reading it now and find it a bit strange." So with that to go on I am going to give you a very different review. I have said in the past that I don't like to give away anything about the book as then there is no reason to read the book. Which for those of you who don't know me, know that is one of my pet peeves. It really bugs me when someone gives a review and then promptly gives the total story away. I have no reason to read it, and what good is a book you don't need to read? So it is something I try hard not to do.

Conner is very much in charge of his life. Everything is going according to plan. Ok, so there are a few minor gliches, but nothing he can't over come. Until he wakes up one morning and everyone else on the planet is gone.

Everything is no longer what Conner knew, well sort of. Everything is the same - jsut without people. Very strange. And why is he the only one that has survived?

This is Conner's journey to discover what really happened. He does meet up with other people who were left in this situation. Oh, did I fail to mention the strange, ghostly creatures wondering around on this new world?...and they don't seem to friendly.

Ok, that is as far as I dare go without giving away something important that I think you need to discover on your own. I was half thinking this was going to be an "end times" book, but it is not. This is a book I will include on the list of books for the book club here at the store. I think it will be one that will generate a lot of discussion. Just remember, nothing is as you remember it. :-)

Happy Reading

Unbridled Dreams - Stephanie Grace Whitson

Dear Readers,
Ok, tell me that at least some of you didn't want to join Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show? Who of us didn't want to ride horses, rope cattle and meet hansome cowboys? As you have all guessed by now, Unbridled Dreams is not a guy book.

Imogene Marshall wants to ride horses for Buffulo Bill's wild west show. Her mother wants her to become a lady and go to finishing school. Irmagard is not very excited about that prospect and is trying to figure out a way that she won't have to go.

When her father steps in and gets her a chance to try out for the show and tour with them for a summer, she can hardly contain herself. There is just one problem with this: her mother doesn't know.

As I started this book I figured it was just going to be a nice love story. The great thing about Stephanie's books however, is that they are not like that at all. There are always underlying stories to each character. Shep is a great example (don't worry I am not giving anything away). Imogene thinks he is just a simple a guy who has always been a cowboy, but that is about as far from the truth as you can get.

There are storylines that I wasn't expecting, but as the old saying goes "don't judge me until you walked a mile in my shoes." At first I was ready to not like Irmagard's mother, but as I got to know her I really came to like her and respect her. It is the same with "real" people, you don't really know them until you get to hear their story.

I also think that even if you never wanted to ride with Buffulo Bill, you will like this story. It is fun, interesting and very well researched. It was just fun to learn about how the show was put on and where and how really popular it got. It was, for its time, as popular as American Idol. Everyone wanted to see it.

Happy Reading

P.S. This book is not releasing until August. Sorry for that oversight. You are welcome to pre-order your copy today. Just email me at the store and I will be glad to do that for you.

Wind River - Tom Morrisey

Dear Readers,
Tom Morrisey's newest has just arrived in the store. Wind River is just a little different for him. It is closer to In High Places than Turn Four or Deep Blue. It is a guy book through and through. I did enjoy it, but not as much as male readers will.

Tyler Perkins returns from Iraq with hidden scars. He loses one of his mentors to a carbomb, on a mission he should have been on. The guilt and anger that he is carrying is killing him and his marriage.
When he receives a card from and old friend from back home, he knows he needs to go see him and make one more trek up to Wind River. It will be a good way to say good bye to his friend and even a place to wrestle with his own demons.

Soren also has things in his past that Tyler doesn't know about. This trip is actually his way of setting things right. Soren has an agenda and nothing is going to stop him. Not mother nature, not his own health, and definitely not Tyler. Things will be learned on this trip that neither guy is expecting. Each will take something from the mountian that they were not planning on.

I know I have already said that I liked this book and have found it thought provoking. I also really liked how Tom described the western mountians. It makes me want to go out there and take up fly fishing - I don't even like hiking or fishing.

This is one for the guys, but girls don't miss out on a book that just may explain the guy mind to you a little.

Happy Reading

Winter Haven - Athol Dickson

Dear Readers,
I want to note, that my posts right now are for my latest email reviews that I have sent. I will start posting new books soon. Thank you for your patience.

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson is plain and simply a ghost story. He sets this book on a remote and misty island off the coast of New England. It is a place shrouded in mystery and the latest "find" is not at all what Vera Gamble expects. Her brother, who ran away 13 years ago has washed up on the island's beach. Only he hasn't aged a day since he left home.

Vera is determined to get the bottom of this, only the island itself, not just the people, seems to be trying to keep her from finding the answers.

Like I said before this is a ghost story. It has a great mystery and a good shiver factor. I found it interesting, and very different from anything else I had read this year. I will admit I have liked Athol's other two books and know that they are not for everyone. But if you are looking for something just a little off center, this is it.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"A Mile in My Flip-Flops" by Melody Carlson

Dear Readers,
Melody Carlson's newest, A Mile in my Flip-flops, is a great read. It is perfect for summer and is just a nice relaxing book. It is centered around the house flipping phenomenon that is sweeping cable TV.

Gretchen Hanover needs money and needs it fast. She also needs more room for her rather large and enthusiastic lab. She is sick of her small apt. What's a girl to do? Well, buy a house to flip of course. With little experience, and only happy thoughts, Gretchen desides this is where God wants her to go.

I don't want you to think that this is just a "silly" book. It is a lighter book than some of us are use to from Melody, but I also seem to be saying that a lot about her books lately. I know she is writing some heavy duty teen books for girls, so maybe she needs the break.

This book is a look at what we hear God saying, and what we think he is saying. With many errors and starts and stops, Gretchen finds what she is looking for, only she didn't know she was looking for what she found. Does that make any sense? To figure it out you will have to read the book. :-)

I so enjoy Melody's books. Her characters are real and fun, they make you want to hang out with them. In fact Gretchen reminds me of what I would be like if I decide to fix up a house. Of course she has more experience and get-go to do something like that than I ever would. This was just a fun book to read, though it did not make me want to flip a house. That is too much work.

Happy Reading