Monday, May 31, 2010

Matt Mikalatos

Dear Readers,
Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos ( you try to say his last name, I have no idea), opens with Matt and his Jesus having coffee at a local coffee shop and a fisherman walks up to Jesus and punches him in the face. This starts an adventure for Matt that takes him to all different points around Portland Oregon. Along the way he meets many different Jesus', but none of them fit into his idea of what he is very comfortable with.
The Jesus Matt is friends with doesn't say no to Matt and would do him all kinds of favors. He even offered to fix a parking ticket for Matt.
Some of the Jesus' we meet along the way are Politcal Jesus, Beatnik Jesus, mostly dead Jesus, and Magic 8ball Jesus - he gives answers but none make any sense. They all seem to fill a need for someone, but none match up with the real Jesus. So with the help of a talking donkey and Pete the firsherman, yes that one, He sets out on the adventure of finding Jesus.
I personally wasn't sure I was going to like this book. I did because it forced me to look at the Jesus that I was picturing and following. It made me think about why my Jesus looked the way he did and did he match up with the real Jesus. It made for interesting read.
Let me also say, this book is not for everyone and it will offend some people. I recommend that everyone who is interested to read it, but consider yourself warned. :-)

Happy Reading

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alison Strobel

Dear Readers,
The Weight of Shadows by Alison Strobel has a good title. The subject matter that is covered by the book is not a light topic.
Kim is celebrating her birthday with a group of strangers who have no idea it is her birthday. So when the handsome Rick starts paying attention to her, she starts to feel like she won the lottery. She knows she doesn't deserve him, but fall for him she does.

Joshua has recently lost his wife to cancer and now his job. He is trying to keep his head above water, while giving his daughter as normal a life as possible. Not easy when his in-laws are finding fault with everything he does. Especially when he moves into a neighborhood they don't approve of.
What would you do if you knew that your neighbor was abusing his wife? What if she refused to leave? What if he threatened your family? Ok so I gave away some of the storyline, but there was very little about this book that was a huge surprise. It did put you into the mind of a abuse victim and how the abuser slowly gains contol of every aspect of their life. Some of the women you meet at the shelter have an amazing stories. The stories made my heart ache for the woman telling the story and angry at the guys who thought they had the right to do those things to the women they were suppose to love and cherish.
Like I said before this is not a light read, but it is a good one. One that does show that until the victim wants to leave there is nothing we can do except pray. We can make ourselves available to them as a safe place to go to when they are ready to leave. We also need to be ready with the information they will need to make a safe escape. Alison does include websites and places that will have that info for us, which is very helpful.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Terri Blackstock

Dear Readers.
Terri Blackstock is now writing stand alone books. No more series for her. With the results like Predator I am very happy she did. This is an intense books that is very relevant to things happening today. Facebook, MySpace and Tweeting are so popular and it is so easy to believe you are safe online when you have no idea who maybe lurking in the shadows.
Krista's younger sister is killed. She makes a vow to catch the killer. She is frustrated by what she sees as a lack of caring by the on-line company that "caused" Ella's death. She thinks that they should do more to protect their clients and they feel you just need to be smarter on-line. When Krista confronts the CEO of GrapeVyne her opinions of him and his company don't change.
Ryan is bothered by what has happen to his brainchild. He and his college roommate started the Grapevyne as a way to keep track of their college friends and happens. When it started making money and grew to start challenging Facebook, investors started to take notice. When he sold control of the company, it became about making money, not about helping people. When Ryan meets Krista his opinion of her changes.

This is one of those books that parents and those using the social websites should read. It is a bit creepy as she does a good job of hiding her murderer well, but it is about something that we all run into. It reminded me that others are watching even when I am not expecting it.

Happy Reading

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eva Marie Everson

Dear Readers,
I have read most of Eva Marie Everson's books. I can't say there is one I didn't like. So to say I was looking forward to her newest is maybe an understatement. This Fine Life is a bit different for her and yet is so good. She has set this story in the late 50's/ early 60's without falling into the storyline of the hippies and drug scene that so many writers focus on with that time in America's history. She writes about what most people experienced during that time, life.
Mariette is home from boarding school and trying to decide what to do with her life. Her father wants her to go to college and then return to help him run the family business. Her mother wants her to find the right guy and settle down and marry and have grandbabies. She is not that excited by either thought. She doesn't know what she wants with her life, she just feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere. That is until she meets Bender. Then she is pretty sure she knows what she wants.

One thing Mariette is sure of now is that she loves Bender and wants to be his wife. She is sure that once they marry then everything will be perfect. Bender has other plans than what she was thinking would happen. Life is never easy and it doesn't always go the way we plan, but God is with us and it is according to His plan.

This was the perfect book to read on cold and rainy spring weekend. It was a gentle story that was just nice to read. There is no great mystery and there is no great twist to it, it is just real life on the pages of a novel.

Happy Reading

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sharon Carter Rogers

Dear Readers,
Someday I would like to meet the real Sharon Carter Rogers. The rumors about her on the internet are many (and we all know we can believe everything on the internet). Whether she is actually a CIA spy or Dean Koontz in hiding, it doesn't really matter to me as I would like to meet the person whose brain thinks the way she does in her novels. Drift, Sharon's newest novel, does not disappoint. It is a bit off center and completely interesting.
In Drift we meet Baby Doll and Boy (I know not very original, but they will make sense when you read the book). Each is forgotten by God. Baby Doll figures God has forgotten about her because He never seems to answer her prayers. Besides, how could God love someone like her. Boy is a Drift. He, by his own words, is neither angel, demon or ghost. He is just a created being that has been forgotten by God after he was created.
This odd couple meet at the cemetery when Baby Doll glances up and sees, really sees, Boy. The connection is then started and Boy and Baby Doll begin their journey together.
This is a fast paced story that takes you around the dark underside of the city. There isn't any pleasant place that the book takes you to. The crime syndicate has a strong hold on the city and nothing is safe from them. Even the police station is corrupt.

In the Reader's Guide in the back of the book one of the questions is "If a friend asked you what was Drift about - not what happens - what would you say?" Now that is an interesting question. I am not sure i can answer that question, but I think for me, part of the answer lies in my identity with Christ. Each of the main characters felt lost and without a real name. They didn't have a past or a future because of it. To me, my identity is in Him not in my name or at least in one I have created for myself. Now whether that is what Sharon planned or really wrote about, I have no idea, but that would be my answer.
I am also going to say, I am in the book. For those of you who look, see if you can find me. Let me know what you find. :-)
Happy Reading

Friday, May 14, 2010

Eric Willson

Dear Readers,
First, I would like to thank Eric Wilson for the copy of Valley of Bones that he sent to my daughter Gabby. I let her read it first as she was rapidly approaching AP exams and needed a stress reliever. It worked out great. It just meant that my review is a bit later, but that is OK. It was worth the wait.
Valley of Bones is the third and final book in the Jerusalem's Undead trilogy. To be honest I am not quite sure where to go with this review. I feel like I have said it all before. I love this series. I love that it is a series that is crossing over to the teens who were reading the Twilight series. I love that it presents evil as evil, not as something to be played with, but guarded against.
Now if you haven't read the first two books, you may want to skip to the end. This doesn't have any spoilers from this book, but you may learn a couple things about the first ones that you don't want to know yet.
Natira and the Collectors are close to finding all 36 of the Nastrim. They only need to locate the 2 on the US continent and the 2 in the middle east and then the final #36 who has been very elusive. Once they find them all, the Master Collector will be able to usher in the Time of Vengeance. They will then take their revenge on the humans.
Gina and Cal and all those who resist are ready to stand against them. They will be ready to sacrifice all they hold dear. Even if it means revealing who they are and where they live to the Collectors.
I think I have now read all of Eric Wilson's books. I always find them so interesting. They are never ever a light read. Sometimes they are funny in spots, but they do make you really think about the world around you. Whether the physical or spiritual world. With this one it makes me wonder about that daily spiritual battle we are in every day.
Happy Reading

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mona Hodgson

Dear Readers,
The books I read here at work have to be uncomplicated and light. It usually means I am reading a light romance. Two Brides too Many by Mona Hodgson is such a book.
Kat and Nell Sinclair head to Cripple Creek, Colorado because family circumstances dictate it. They arrive in town with high hopes for their two grooms to be. Nothing goes according to plans. First, neither gentleman is there to meet them at the train station. Second, while traveling to a boarding house, Kat sees her intended in town, with a 'working' girl, and they are headed into a bar. Lastly the town catches fire and both girls are thrown into the midst of the chaos on their second day in town.
They are both left to wonder what could possible happen next. Where is Nell's missing groom? He got the telegraph sent weeks in advance, but he is still a no show. Does he intent to marry yet?
This is not a big "secret" book. I could figure out basiclly what was going on pretty early, but I stil enjoyed the story itself. A fire in now-a-days that would threaten an entire city is unheard of, but in 1895 it was very much a reality. Many of those small or large mining towns did burn down, some more than once. Mail order brides date back in U.S. history to before the revolutionary war. So the historical part of the story is interesting and the characters along with the storyline kept my attention even with being only able to read it in 30 minute spots.
Happy Reading

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kristen Heitzmann

Dear Readers,
Kristen Heitzmann has been a favorite author of mine for years now. A couple years ago she had a fabulous book written and in the process of being printed. Her publisher pulled it just before it was to be released. I still bug the rep from that publishing house to print that book, but in the mean time we have these other books by her. Indivisible is her newest that just came out.
Jonah is trying to get over his past. When he finds a couple of raccoons killed in a bizarre way, he is sure that there is more to the crime than what meets the eye. With a rising drug threat and his old flame becoming more involved with what is going on, Jonah is not sure this job or life is worth it. He is 9 years sober and everyday is a struggle.
Tia and Jonah's lives are mixed together in several ways. Most too painful to want to remember. Tia is just living a life forced on her when her family left town and her mother told her to take care of the family store. Tia has turned it in to more of her than her mother and is very proud of the crafts and candles she makes. She feels like she deserves the life chosen for her. Her past proves it.
I liked this book. It is a bit more creepy than others of Kristen's but it is also still very much a "normal" book for her. She is such a good author, one who is able to weave a very good story in with a mystery. I don't usually even list her in with the suspense writers, her stories are some much about the storyline of of her characters that I forget that the mystery is happening.
Happy Reading