Book Review: The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

Click here to purchase.

The Who Could See is a Speculative Fiction book set in contemporary times. Note for those with younger readers: This book does contain some violence.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

Category: Speculative Fiction (Young Adult)

I loved the worlds that Kara Swanson created in this book. The setting takes place mostly in Los Angeles (my home town!). If you like dystopian, you will love this book. It has all the edgy qualities a dystopian novel would have, but is still set in contemporary times. Fern is a very interesting character, and her backstory is interesting, studded with pain and horror. This is a type of redemption story as Fern tries to find healing from her past and present afflictions, all while trying to discover if her imaginary friend is really imaginary after all. I also enjoyed the 2D characters in this book. Fern’s niece is adorable. I don’t want to give too much away, but the relationships in this story are complex and magnetic. Also, the villain rocks (as far as villains go). The Girl Who Could See is a great read.

I was provided a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit in case I wanted to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Be sure to keep reading for an interview with the author as well as information on her awesome giveaway.

About the Book

Book title: The Girl Who could See

Author: Kara Swanson

Release date: June 1, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after al—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

Guest Post from Kara Swanson

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.

The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman who’s imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was eight years old—and has never left. Now nineteen, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward. However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But, if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth—and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.

I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. 🙂

Blog Stops

June 27: A Baker’s Perspective

June 27: A Simply Enchanted Life

June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 28: Kristin’s Book Reviews

June 28: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

June 29: Fiction Aficionado

June 29: Genesis 5020

June 30: Smiling Book Reviews

June 30: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 1: Blogging With Carol

July 1: remembrancy

July 2: Inklings and notions 

July 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

July 3: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 3: God1meover

July 4: Book by Book

July 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 5: Dragons Read History

July 5: Through the Open Window

July 6: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker 

July 6: Baker Kella

July 7: Pause for Tales

July 7: Edits and Reviews By Leslie

July 8: Books, Books, and More Books.

July 8: Pursuing Stacie

July 8: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

July 9: Reader’s cozy corner

July 9: A path of joy

July 10: Neverending Stories

July 10: Henry Happens

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b7f6

Book Review: For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund


To purchase your copy, click here.

For Love & Honor is a Christian Historical Romance set in the 1500s. It is labeled as a YA book, but I think it is appropriate for younger audiences as well.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

Category: Fiction (Christian, YA, Historical Romance)

This was my first time reading author Jody Helund. I really liked the smart, yet flawed characters that grow as the story unfolds. At about halfway through this book I kept thinking, how can it go on much longer… it’s obvious what will happen and I don’t see how the author can draw it out so long. Well, I was very wrong about the direction the story was headed! This book has everything you would want from a historical romance set in this time period, knights, sword fights, thieves, impressive dowries, elegant dresses, and much more. My favorite aspect of the story though was Sabine’s transformation through the book. She comes to realize that God isn’t in the habit of making mistakes, but will it be in time? As an avid reader, I also appreciate how the main characters love reading. As you will see, this becomes an intregral part of the plot.

I don’t want to give away too much, because it was fun to be caught off guard, but I think this book would delight pretty much anyone. I will definitely be rereading it in the future.

I was provided a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit in case I wanted to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Be sure to keep reading for an interview with the author as well as information on her awesome giveaway.

About the Book

Book: For Love & Honor

Author: Jody Helund

Genre: Young Adult Historical

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund


Why I Write Young Adult (YA) Books

By Jody Hedlund

FOR LOVE & HONOR is the third book in my Young Adult (YA) series set during medieval times and centering around knights, castles, and daring damsels. For those who haven’t yet read An Uncertain Choice or A Daring Sacrifice, don’t worry. All of the books can be read as standalones.

While this YA medieval series has been a step away from my usual historical romances, I have to admit that the series has been SUPER fun to write.

First, I love writing in the medieval time period, a time overflowing with danger, wars, plagues, strange customs, harsh living conditions, and incredible differences between the have’s and the have-not’s. All of that is such excellent fodder for developing page-turning stories. And so usually as I’m writing these stories, I have no trouble putting my characters into life-threatening danger, which is always fun.

Second, I’ve had fun writing my YA series because I love being able to speak truths into the hearts of young people. I have 4 teenagers and one tween, so I’m surrounded by teen angst every day! As a result of dealing with lots of teen issues with my children and their friends, it’s my goal to share hope and encouragement that if my characters can persevere and handle the growing-up issues with integrity and strength, then my readers can too.

Finally, I’ve enjoyed writing my YA series because I believe teens need clean romance alternatives.  A lot of teens are reading romances (that’s when I started reading them). I’ve loved being able to provide a clean romance alternative with chivalry and honor and courage and lots of other themes that will hopefully give young ladies encouragement and inspiration as they move forward into building healthy relationships of their own.

Lest adult readers worry that FOR LOVE & HONOR might be too juvenile for them, then let me put your fear to rest. Reviews from my adult readers are showing that they, too, are enjoying the new book:

“This is marketed as YA, but it’s wonderfully interesting for all ages, in my opinion.”

“Even though it is written with the younger set in mind, I, being of the older set, enjoyed it immensely.”

“For Love and Honor is everything that fans of Jody Hedlund have come to appreciate and enjoy; regaling her readers across the generations with the timeless reminder that God-given uniqueness is a priceless gift, bestowed out of everlasting love.”

How about YOU? Have you read any YA books lately?

Blog Stops

May 2: Lighthouse Academy

May 2: Inklings and Notions

May 2: Bibliophile Reviews

May 3: God’s Little Bookworm

May 3: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 3: Blogging With Carol

May 4: Faithfully Bookish

May 4: Smiling Book Reviews

May 4: A Greater Yes

May 5: The Fizzy Pop Collection

May 5: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 5: Just the Write Escape

May 6: The Scribbler

May 6: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 6: Zerina Blossom’s Books

May 7: cherylbbookblog

May 7: Back Porch Reads

May 7: Jeanette’s Thoughts

May 8: The Artist Librarian

May 8: A Baker’s Perspective

May 8: Book by Book

May 9: A Path of Joy

May 9: Cafinated Reads

May 9: I Hope You Dance

May 10: Kristin’s Book Reviews

May 10: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

May 10: Neverending Stories

May 11: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 11: Radiant Light

May 11: Karen Sue Hadley

May 12: Pause for Tales

May 12: Just Commonly

May 12: Have A Wonderful Day

May 13: Bigreadersite

May 13: Daysong Reflections

May 13: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 14: Book Bites, Bee Sting, & Butterfly Kisses

May 14: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

May 14: God1meover

May 15: thewitsabout

May 15: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

May 15: Baker Kella

May 15: Remembrancy

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc

Happy reading,

Kristin

Book Review: A Spring of Weddings by Tony Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell

This is my first every Celebrate Lit blog tour post. Yay! I hope you are as excited as I am.

And they are also giving away a Kindle, so check out that giveaway here.

A Spring of Weddings is collection of two stories about, as I’m sure you guessed, Spring weddings. I don’t normally like Romance books, but there were a few things that made this collection special.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

Category: Fiction (Contemporary Christian Romance)

The first story in this collection is “A Proxy Wedding” by Toni Shiloh. This was the first book of hers that I’ve read, though I like her blog. I have to say, the unique premise of this story caught my attention right from the start. I didn’t even know what proxy wedding was, let alone a double proxy wedding. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there were definitely a few surprises in this cute, well planned tale.

Hope Beyond Savannah” is the second part of the collection and was written by Melissa Wardwell. It was also my first time reading anything by this author. It was an interesting story, but in my opinion, things happened so fast without enough time for character development. Maybe it would have been better as a full length novel. I really appreciated the multicultural aspect of this story. I should also mention that if you don’t like to read about lots of kissing and physical affection, this isn’t the story for you. It felt like, “ugh, more kissing,” but as I mentioned before, I don’t really like romances. I still found the story interesting, though. And I felt for the main character, Lily. Poor thing!

Overall I would definitely recommend this book for a quick, entertaining read.

I was given a copy of this book by CelebrateLit Publishing in case I wanted to review it. All opinions are my own.

 

Click here to purchase your copy

About the Book

Book: A Spring of Weddings: A Contemporary Spring Weddings Collection

Authors: Toni Shiloh & Melissa Wardwell,

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: March 30, 2017

A Proxy Wedding

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?

Hope Beyond Savannah

Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. Can prejudices be over looked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?

About the Authors

Toni Shiloh
Melissa Wardwell

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Melissa Wardwell was born and raised in a small mid-Michigan community living there still with her Husband and three children. She enjoys taking pictures, reading, and leisurely rides with her husband on their motorcycle. All her stories revolve around women who are mothers. Single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.

Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.

Guest posts from Toni & Melissa

A Proxy Wedding

By Toni Shiloh

Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.

When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.

It. Was. Rough.

It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.

Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.

In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.

I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.

Hope Beyond Savannah

By Melissa Wardwell

I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun, but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.

With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.

My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.

Blog Stops

April 25: Blossoms and Blessings

April 25: Lighthouse Academy

April 26: A Baker’s Perspective

April 26: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

April 27: Blogging With Carol

April 27: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

April 28: Mary Hake

April 29: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 29: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

April 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 30: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 1: Quiet Quilter

May 1: Kristin N. Spencer

May 2: Kat’s Corner Books

May 2: Karen Sue Hadley

May 3: Books. Books. And More Books.

May 3: History, Mystery & Faith

May 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts

May 4: A Greater Yes

May 5: Carpe Diem

May 5: Christian Bookaholic

May 6: These Splendid Sentences

May 6: Just Jo’Anne

May 7: God is Love

May 7: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 8: Autism mom

May 8: Caffeinated Reads

May 9: Bibliophile Reviews

Giveaway

To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Click here to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Happy reading,

Kristin

Book Review: Such A Tease (Meddlin’ Madeline) by Chautona Havig

Such a Tease by Chautona Havig

This book is the 2nd book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Series. For a review of the first book, “Sweet On You,” click here.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

Category: Fiction (Historical Mystery)

Such a Tease,” is an amazing sequel to Havig’s first Meddlin’ Madeline book, “Sweet on You.” Though Madeline is determined not to make the same mistakes, she still has a lot to learn. When she tries to be more considerate of the people in her life that care for her, she still can’t seem to kick her meddlin’ habit of investigating crime, and I’m glad.

One of the many things I loved about this book was the way Madeline has learned to show others grace and mercy, for the most part. While in the last book she was right about most people’s attitudes and actions, she came off as judgmental. In this book, she tries to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

Vernon Smythe is back as Rockland’s local villain, or is he? Even Madeline isn’t sure. And if you’re hoping to get some more Russell and Madeline time in, you won’t be disappointed. Or will you?

I know I’m taking this book’s title a little too literally, but hey, it’s fun to tease.

If you love a good mystery, this book’s playful style and impressive wit are sure to win your admiration. I can’t wait for the next installment of Meddlin’ Madeline. This is yet another winner in a long line of amazing books by author Chautona Havig.

As always, happy reading!

-Kristin

I was given a copy of this book in case I wanted to review it. All opinions expressed are solely mine. This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review: That Book for Wives by Sally Poyzer

That Book for Wives by Sally Poyzer

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

While I appreciate the great advice that Sally Poyzer offers in her book, “That Book for Wives,” I felt that overall her approach to becoming a better wife was oversimplified. The theme of the book seems to be, “If you just do what I’m telling you, everything will be ok.” I do think that wives should strive to do all of the things Poyzer says. For example, she has an entire section on how to apologize well, even if your spouse doesn’t apologize first (or at all). I think that is great. Her four point approach is strategic and should be fairly easy to implement. But I feel that the book missed a lot of background, the roots, of how we can change to be better wives. Even if you do everything the book advises, if you aren’t doing it out of a strong and secure devotion to Jesus Christ, being firmly rooted in His love and grace, you will fail. It seems to me that she is assuming the people that read this book already have a really strong and mature walk with the Lord.

I love the way she approaches the book from the perspective that even if your husband isn’t willing to work on your marriage at all, there are still things the wife can do on her own that can improve the marriage relationship.

The next critique is a specific sensitivity for me, and may not apply to all readers. Poyzer glosses over the complications previous sexual abuse can have on a couple’s sexual relationship, suggesting that Jesus can heal, and it may also be a good idea to receive Christian counseling. As someone that works with survivors of sexual abuse, I can tell you that finding a healthy way to relate to your spouse after surviving earlier sexual abuse is a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of counseling, and re-learning truth. It isn’t something that prayer alone can solve, from what I have seen. I know that opinion isn’t very popular, but if that is how we are going to approach sexual abuse, why not simply pray for a better marriage instead of using a book like “That Book for Wives,” to help guide us?

I feel that the book leaned heavily on her own stories, and could have been more scripture focused.

She also doesn’t take boundaries within marriage into consideration, and if you have really bad in-laws, she suggests you do your best to grin and bear it for your husband’s sake. She doesn’t ever mention that there are times when a wife and her husband must place boundaries in their familial relationships for their spiritual and emotional health. Though she does give a list of boundaries she uses to keep herself pure and distanced from the very real threat of adultery. I use the same boundaries in my own life, and have found them to be very effective.

Overall, I think there are a lot of nuggets of wisdom tucked throughout this book. If I was going to recommend a book of this type to a friend though, I would rather recommend “The Peaceful Wife” by April Cassidy.

Book Review: Nehemiah – Becoming A Godly Leader

This post was originally part of my old book review website “Christian Book Lady,” which I will be shutting down next week.

I give this book 5/5 Stars.

Category: Non-fiction :: Target Audience: Christian Leaders

Nehemiah: Becoming A Godly Leader by Gregory Brown is a wonderful resource full of truth and practical application.

This book is a great resource to Bible teachers and small groups, but it is so simple that anyone could read it and gain understanding. That is one of the things I love the most about this book, is it’s accessibility.
The Biblical principles of leadership that Gregory Brown explores and expands on from the book of Nehemiah have the potential to change the world. If every leader would allow the principles in this book to shape their lives and leadership styles, we would see a great change, and even as Brown suggests many times, revival.
“Jesus said when the church is unified, we will see many souls come to Christ; the world will know that Jesus came from God…Sadly, most ministries swing to the other extreme. Most churches and ministries work very independently. In fact, they are often so worried about losing members that they never work with other churches at all. However, when you look at the early church, which also experienced revival, they were very unified.”
After reading this book, I can confidently state that Brown is a brother in the Lord that wants to see the lives of many transformed by the love of God through servant leadership. He discusses important topics such as unity, dealing with discouragement, leading by example, serving even when we don’t like the job or feel qualified, the importance of dealing with conflict instead of overlooking it, and how to deal properly with the provision God has given us.
This book would a blessing to any believer that wants more clarity on what it means to faithfully serve Jesus Christ, whether they are in leadership or not.

Book Review: From Fiery Trials by Marisa De More

This post was originally part of my old book review website “Christian Book Lady,” which I will be shutting down next week.

I give this book 5/5 Stars.

 

Category: Non-fiction :: Target Audience: Adults

From Fiery Trials by Marisa De More is true, challenging, and encouraging. If you have struggled with mental illness, depression, or demonic influence, this book will encourage you as you turn to Jesus Christ for deliverance. Marisa De More’s testimony of her childhood is intense, but encouraging. I love how she approached everything in such humility. She also approaches issues that all Christians have in a very biblical way, explaining the seasons of growth she went though individually and also in her marriage with her husband, Barry. I loved this book so much, and I believe it will encourage many others.

One of the main themes of this book is, “Why has God created me? What am I supposed to do with my life?” I feel like the answer will encourage so many people in their quest to serve the Lord.

Personally, God used this book to minister to me during a very difficult time in my walk with Him. The illustrations and visions paint a perfect picture of God’s love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for your transparency and honesty Marisa! May the Lord continue to bring you closer to Him

Book Review: Carol and the Belles by Chautona Havig

This post was originally part of my old book review website “Christian Book Lady,” which I will be shutting down next week.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

Category: Fiction :: Contemporary

Themes include: Giving Abroad, Christian Dating, Orphanages, Family, Christian Friendships

I am delighted to review Chautona Havig’s most recent edition to her collection of wonderful holiday books“Carol and the Belles.” As usual Chautona’s natural “tell it like it is” style flows through each page, and while this book does deal with some serious issues, I didn’t find it to be too serious or heavy. If you add this to your stack of easy and enjoyable winter reading, you won’t be sorry. The story almost reminded me of Jane Austen’s “Emma” meets “The Shop Around The Corner.” I don’t want to give too much away, because that would just be a shame. It will no doubt be a Christmas favorite for years to come.

Are you curious? Good. Here is a brief synopsis that Chautona wrote that won’t give anything away.

Their childhood letters formed the friendship of a lifetime.

As part of an international school pen pal program, Carol and Michal began writing monthly letters twenty-five ago.  So, when Carol’s artisan guild decides to send an emissary to the United States to investigate a new gift store and potentially negotiate contracts for importing Romanian handcrafts to several major American cities, Carol applies.  Finally, the chance to meet Michal after all these years!

But Carol’s arrival in Rockland is fraught with surprises, misunderstandings, and a string of both awkward and delightful dates.  Michal and the “belles” do everything possible to make the visit memorable and special, but when Carol decides to apply for a work visa, things get really interesting.

As a self-professed “world’s most non-spontaneous person,” Michal discovers that following your heart and the Lord’s leading just might also lead you into unexpected places and spontaneous decisions.

Since I met my husband through the fine art of letter writing, aka Facebook messaging, this book holds a special place in my heart.

Book Review: Space Drifters – The Emerald Enigma

This post was originally part of my old book review website “Christian Book Lady,” which I will be shutting down next week.

 

I give this book 4/5 stars.

Category: Fiction :: Science Fiction

Space Drifters: The Emerald Enigma

Paul Regnier is a native Southern Californian like me, and his appreciation and enthusiasm for Science Fiction was not lost on me. There are several obvious references to Star Wars, and I found the crew to closely resemble the mishmash of the crew from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. I loved the characters. They will win you over right away. Even though Captain Starcrost (the protagonist) wears the same pants as Hans Solo, he most reminds me of Malcom Reynolds from the Firefly franchise. His tough exterior seems a bit irritating at first, but once he meets Jasette, the bounty hunter with an unexpected past, we finally get a glimpse of his softer side.

If you are a true sci-fi fan, you will appreciate the detail that Regnier put into “The Emerald Enigma.” There were scenes that reminded me of ‘Lost in Space,’ but there were also plenty of new and unexplored ideas, one being a ship computer that has an actual personality. It was basically like reading a mashup of all my favorite kinds of sci-fi. Well done, Reignier. There wasn’t anything inappropriate in this book, in case you are wondering. And for me, the most refreshing thing about the entire book was Blix, whose voice automatically sounded like Abe Sapien in my head from the first moment I read his dialogue.

As far as spiritual content, it is very subtle. One of the main characters is a Christian and has a Bible. He shares his faith with the other characters. There are a few mentions of prayer.

The only disappointing aspect was that this book doesn’t have a concrete ending, since it is the first in a series. It definitely leaves you wanting more.

Book Review: The Peaceful Wife by April Cassidy

This post was originally part of my old book review website “Christian Book Lady,” which I will be shutting down next week.

 

I give this book 5/5 stars.

 

Category: Non-fiction :: Target Audience: Christian Wives

The Peaceful Wife by April Cassidy is a treasure and a wonderful resource for any woman of God.

“Control and aggression kill romance for both men and women. Passivity also kills romance on either side of marriage.”

If this is true, what solution is there for having a happy, balanced marriage? This book sets out to answer that question using the Bible and practical, real-life examples.

This book is much more than a collection of blog entries from April Cassidy’s popular blog, peacefulwife.com. Instead it is a well thought out book that is extremely balanced and biblical in its approach to a God centered marriage. She does some very difficult things in this book effortlessly. April explains submission in a way that will help every wife to understand the beauty of what submission actually means, and also shares what things are inappropriate within a marriage for men and women. Although this book is written primarily to wives, I feel like there is definitely helpful information in this book for both men and women. The author of this book has taken all of her personal research and experience regarding learning how to be a godly wife, and lovingly compiled it into one book. Have you ever wondered why your husband shuts down in a seemingly random way? This book is for you.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this book is that it also warns women in dangerous situations to seek help, and never once equates submission with abuse, but distinguishes the two very carefully. This will be my go to book for future counseling sessions with wives. I wish I would have had a book like this when I first got married. Thank you, April. It is clear that you poured your heart and soul out in this book for our benefit.