Monday, June 29, 2009

Steven James

Dear Readers,

I finished the Knight last night. All I can say is when it comes out read it. It wasn't as creepy as the Pawn, but it was a great mystery. I did have one part figured out, but because I thought I figured out the murderer, I missed a couple of clues that Steven put in the book for us to find. But it is a great read and I can hardly wait for the next one, summer of 2010. :-)

Have a great week and I will post a review of Knight when it gets closer to the release date.

Happy Reading

Thursday, June 25, 2009

vacation reads

Dear Readers,
I am surprised how many of you ask what I am taking on vacation with me. I will be out of the store at Cornerstone Music Festival in IL next week. I don't get a ton of reading done as we take the senior high youth group there, but I do get some. This year so far I have 4 books planned on going along.
The Hope of Refuge by Cindy Woodsmall - releases in August. She will be here in our store on August 15 at 1-3. Come visit and pickup her newest book.
Faces in the Fire - T.L. Hines. Love his creepy books.
The Justice Game - Randy Singer - I am already caught up in the book just by reading the first couple of chapters and helping deside the ending.
Powers - John Olson. Sequel to Shade - Vampires, evil and the good guy has super natural powers. Yeah!

Not much light reading, but they are all books that the teens checkout when I get done. Of course this is subject to change and I may even bring more along depending on the weather forecast this weekend. :-)

Happy Reading

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Karen Hancock

Dear Readers,

Genesis 6:4 has bothers many a Bible scholar. "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old." NIV-Zondervan.

On the other hand it doesn't bother fiction writers at all. I have read several books about this passage already and there are several more that I haven't read. They love the mystery surrounding these "guys." Who they were and why were they on the earth. Were they super humans? Were they "left over" demons? Were they another created being? No one seems to know or even have a good guess to go with the verse. I do know that some Bible versions have them listed as giants instead of Nephilim. So there are lots of guesses.

The Enclave by Karen Hancock is one of the fiction books that runs with this story. She is a Sci-Fi author who comes out with an interesting, thought provoking novel. I can very easily say that she kept my interest the entire book. It is 400 pages long and took me a bit longer to read than I originally planned on, but it is well worth the read.

Cameron Reinhardt is trying to leave the past behind. It continues to show up in the most nasty fashion, in flashbacks, and for some reason they are becoming more and more frequent. He doesn't understand why, he just wants to forget he was ever part of the CIA and his best friend Rudy. He just wants to do his research, but God has other plans for him and thankfully they include Lacey, who is new to the research fellowship. She is one that is quickly catching the eye of Parker Swain.

Parker Swain on the other hand is trying to play god. He has been in trouble a couple of different times for his research on DNA and genetic testing. He doesn't have many boundaries when it comes to experiments on humans. He is willing to make small sacrifices to help further the cause he is championing.

Like I said earlier, this is one of those books that is an interesting read. Cloning, DNA, genetics are all hot issues for everyone right now. The promise of embryo testing is something that is another topic many people feel very passionately about. I won't tell you that it is all in here, but the stuff in here is stuff we have all heard about and I wonder what slippery slope we will quickly fall down all with the idea of living for ever.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alice Wisler

Dear Readers,

Alice Wisler is very good at writing characters who are very believable. In How Sweet it Is, she writes characters that I could relate to very well. I have never had a car accident as serious as the main character, but the moving and starting over thing... yes.

Deena needs to get out of town. Atlanta is a big city, but the risk of running into Lucas and his new girlfriend is too high.

A grandfather she hardly knows gives her the chance. He leaves his house in Bryson City, NC to her. She sees it as a way to start over and to leave the old behind. There is a catch to the house, she has to teach cooking to middle schoolers. She doesn't want to teach, she wants to hide out and sell cakes. She doesn't want to get involved with anyone and she surely doesn't want to let anyone into her heart again.

This book is about forgiveness, moving on, and letting go. All things that are really easy to tell others to do, but not so easy for ourselves. Deena doesn't find it any easier than we would. She struggles with forgiving Lucas, she is bitter and determined that those unruly kids are not going to wiggle their way into her heart. But mostly she is NOT going to let the social worker, Zack, try to make them a couple.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy weekend read. It is light and funny, with a very good message. It is a grand book to read while sitting on the deck enjoying the warm sunshine.

Happy Reading

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tom Morrisey

Dear Readers,

I have to tell you that one of my favorite authors in the ABA market is Clive Cussler. He writes heroes that are bigger than life and very good at everything. In the CBA market Tom Morrisey comes in a close second. He writes stories that have unbelievable story lines and characters that are people that we would all like to be like, but none of us ever are.

Pirate Hunter is a modern day tale of treasure hunting by Key West. Greg Rhode is doing something he has always wanted to do. Treasure hunt with Phil Rackham. The original interview doesn't go according to plan, but then again nothing about this job goes as planned. The sunken ship isn't where they expect it to be, a fellow diver isn't suppose to be a beautiful young lady with two different colored eyes.

The second story line is the actual story of the boat and crew and why it is one of those boats all treasure hunters are looking for. In and of itself it is a good story. I liked the history part of it. I liked learning the story behind the story. It does mean that you have to flip back and forth between modern day and history, but it is not a hard thing to do in this book.

I really did like it, It is a fun little romp through the warm waters of the Caribbean, with pirates and treasure. What more could you ask for except maybe a wonderful drink with a paper umbrella in it.

Happy Reading

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Robin Parrish

Dear Readers,

This book made me think of a few of your libraries that had Science fiction readers. I know of several "teenage" boys that will be very interested in this book. Other than that, this is going to be a tough book for just about anyone to read. It you liked Robin Parrish's Relentless/Merciless/Fearless series you may want to read this as the writing style is the same, but that is where the comparison ends.

Offworld is straight Sci-fi. When our first Mars mission lands back on earth everyone is gone. Not just humans, but animals, birds, fish, insects... you get the idea. Chris Burke is the mission leader and he is trying to keep his little group from going completely off the deep end. Their families are missing and something seems to be trying to keep them from figuring out what is going on. Trisha, Terry, and Owen are just as puzzled by this all as Chris is. (by the way "writing" about myself in the third person is very weird:-)

They are able to figure out enough to see that they need to head out and find the source of what is going on. This is one of those books that you need to let the over the top things go. It is completely unbelievable in spots, which overall is what the book is all about...

This is not an easy book to read because of the over the top issues, but it is all explained in the book. I think the Sci-Fi readers will enjoy the concept of this book and the imagination it brings out. What would it be like to come back to that experience? Where is everyone you love? Where are the animals and what could cause this to happen? Like I said, thought provoking, but different stuff than what you normally think of.

Happy Reading

Thursday, June 11, 2009

J.M. Windle

Dear Readers,

I love that J.M. Windle's books don't end with all happily ever after. Veiled Freedom ends well, just not everyone is "saved" by the end. It is the type of book that I have come to expect from her and she hasn't disappointed with this one. I really thought the main character was going to be returning to Afghanistan, ex-special Forces veteran, Steve Wilson. Yes he has a very large part of this story, but the main character is really Amy Mallory and the woman she is there to help.

When Steve returns to Afghanistan after being gone 8 years he is shocked at how close to the Taliban rule everything has become again. Where is the freedom he fought so hard for? Why are the burqas back in force? Was it even worth the lose of human life that he witnessed? He has been hired to protect the new Minister of Interior and he will do that and do it well. He is not excited to be back, but the job pays well and he can do his job without getting involved with the people again.

Amy comes to Afghanistan for the first time. It was her dream a long time ago to come when America liberated the country form the Taliban. She finally has her chance, but it isn't at all what she expected. When she is meet at the airport by her driver, he refuses to take her in his car until she puts a burqa on. She finds the man she is replacing leaving in an hour, so a crash course in store for her as to how things are run. She has little or no training from the organization that sent her and she doesn't even know that she isn't safe staying in the building that houses her non-profit group.

Two very different people in country for two very different reasons. Put together because the foreigners always stick together and I am sure Steve couldn't stand to see a pretty girl get in trouble.

This book is a very candid look at life in Afghanistan with the new democracy. It is not what we think of as freedom. They have the freedom to follow Islamic law. They have the freedom to have the mullahs tell them right from wrong. They still have the freedom to follow traditions set thousands of years ago. To me none of them seemed like true freedom. I know after reading this book, one of the best things for me to do is not go to an Islamic law-run country. I am not sure I wouldn't be thrown out very quickly.

But this book is well worth the read and it is interesting to see that the way of thinking over there hasn't changed, and I am not sure there is anything our government can do anything about it as it is the law for them. The funny thing is that they pick and choose which of the "laws" to obey as it fits their needs and how powerful they are. Interesting. Also very interesting to me is that under this new democracy woman are still property of their families. They actually have no freedom. Hmm...

I do and will recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a thought provoking book that has a very good storyline to go with it.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tom Pawlik

Dear Readers,
Tom Pawlik's first book, Vanish, was so different that there was nothing I could compare it to. I really enjoyed reading it and was very curious as to what his second book would be like. Valley of the Shadows is also a very interesting read. I would have not been able to enjoy it if I hadn't read book one as they fit so well together.

This next part of the review is going to be a bit of a spoiler for book one. So skip ahead to the last paragraph (I will start the one that it is safe to come back to miss the spoiler parts) if you don't want to know the big secret of book number one.

Conner is still trying to figure out why God brought him back from the edge of death. He knows there has to be a reason and if his dreams are any indication it has to do with the people he meet on the "other" side..

Mitch has lived on the farm with Howard for the last 5 years. At least that is what he believes until he runs into a stranger named Nathan. Then everything he believes about this new world is turned upside down.

This book continues the story of Conner and the world between life and death so very well. It makes you think about it, the book is still a work of fiction but....

Ok it is safe to come back now... I wasn't sure I was going to like this book because I wasn't sure what he could do different. Tom does a good job of putting a different spin on the same story (so to speak). I am not sure he could do much else with it and still make it interesting, but I am looking forward to his next one to see what he comes up with.

Happy Reading

Monday, June 1, 2009

Eva Marie Everson

Dear Readers,

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but it is a good story. Eva Marie Everson is maybe best know for her series The Potluck Club written with Linda Evans Shepherd. It is a qurky little series followed by Potluck Catering Club. I have enjoyed all those books and I guess that made me expect that sort of book this time also. To say the least, this is not that kind of book.

Things Left Unspoken is a look at family history and how it isn't always what we think it is. Jo-Lynn Hunter returns home for her beloved Uncle Jim's funeral. She had spent lots of time with Uncle Jim and Aunt Stella. They were like the grandparents she never had. She loved them both dearly, especially Uncle Jim. Fishing with him and spending her summers there are some of her best memories.

The day of the funeral Aunt Stella asks Jo-Lynn to help renovate the house she has lived in all of her life. It was her parents house before she and Jim moved in. There is a development company that wants to update the town and make the "big house," that is what everyone calls it, the museum for the town. Which means lots of updating and cleaning of the house to make it ready.

There is someone in town not happy about the renovations. They are determined to stop Jo-Lynn. There doesn't seem to be much they won't do to stop her. She can't figure out why they are just upset about the renovations of the house and not the rest of the town. She can't figure out why anyone would dislike her Aunt and Uncle enough to stop her.

Cottonwood Georgia could be any small town in the south. Every town big or small has its secrets. Some people will go to great lengths to stop people from discovering these secrets. Others are just not ready to learn the secrets either.

I really enjoyed this book. It is plain and simply a good story. It has a bit of the mystery/crime scene story line to it, but that is not the main focus of the story. It is really a story of a marriage in trouble and a family secrets that maybe shouldn't have been kept.

Happy Reading