Friday, August 30, 2013

Mrs. Poe By: Lynn Cullen

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I love Edgar Allan Poe, but I wasn’t sure how a book about his mistress would shed any light on him the writer. But, I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is based on Poe’s life, his writings, and his mistress Frances Sargent Osgood. Mrs. Poe is a work of fiction, but you can learn a lot about Poe, his life, his family, and others prominent people in this time frame. Many well-known names are mentioned in this book including Mr. Rufus Griswold, Walter Whitman, and Mr. Longfellow. It was great reading these names and getting a glimpse of their lives as well. Lynn Cullen does a great job of setting up the story about how Edgar and Frances meet, exchange poems, and fall in love. She also describes how they were treated and talked about because of their love for each other. Virginia Poe was more vindictive than I thought she was concerning Edgar’s and Frances’ relationship. You never knew what she was going to do next. But was it really her trying to harm Frances and her family or was it someone else? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Great job of weaving fact into fiction!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

If the Shoe Fits A Contemporary Fairy Tale By: Sandra D Bricker

This is the first book I have read by Sandra Bricker. If the Shoe Fits is a modern day Cinderella story a bit on the cheeky side. I laughed, cried, and cheered for Julianne and Will. At times they exasperated me as well. How much does Julianne have to go through before she realizes, if ever, that Will might be what she has been looking for all along? How long will Will wait before he lets Julianne know what everyone else has known for years? Julianne Bartlett and Will Hanes have been friends since childhood. They even went to law school together. They open a law office together and hire a receptionist who isn’t all she claims to be. Will has been around since childhood, but Prince Charming can’t show up on a bicycle and be a best friend, can he? He must show up riding on a white horse, or walking down the middle of the street rescuing a dog, losing his toolbox and a work shoe in the process. Julianne doesn’t want to ruin her friendship with Will by muddling it up with something more personal. She is infatuated with the idea of Prince Charming and she can’t see what is right under her nose. If you enjoy a romantic comedy with loveable characters without the standard storyline, you will love this book! Julianne has a penchant for fairy tales and can’t see a love happening without following the proper prerequisites. The ending is well worth the wait—you will laugh and cry at the same time. Enjoy! I look forward to reading more by this talented author.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Robert Griffin III Athlete, Leader, Believer By: Ted Kluck

If you like football, you’ll enjoy this book. Ted Kluck researches RGIII’s life, but he also analyzes other football players. From players that have been around a while, to players just starting out, Kluck compares and contrasts their styles and staying power. At one point, Kluck states, “As far as I can tell, Griffin worked like an animal and engineered his life so that it would turn out pretty much exactly the way that it’s turned out so far. Few people would be willing to put in the work that Griffin put in along the way. He was also, clearly, blessed with an outsized portion of God-given raw talent and has been allowed by God to thus far navigate the puzzle of high school, recruitment, injury, coaching, and other outside factors almost perfectly.” Others have tried to do what Griffin has accomplished up to this point, but didn’t have the drive, determination, or talent to keep going. Griffin knew at an early age this is what he wanted to do and he and his family orchestrated events to make it happen, from practicing, lifting, to playing. He was also class president and ranked seventh in his graduating class. After reading this book, it will be interesting to see how far he goes and what he accomplishes along the way. Want to read about Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, or Vince Young? There are sections on these and other players as well. The title is misleading, as you think the book will be solely about RGIII; it isn’t. Football and quarterbacks through the years would have been a more appropriate title. There are unanswered questions in the book because the author didn’t ask. Kluck gives you an all around view of football and the life of football as he talks about RGIII. He also voices his opinions and views of players and what he perceives happening. For an analytical view of football, I highly recommend this book. For a closer look at the life of RGIII, you won’t find it here. I received this book free from Booksneeze, Thomas Nelson publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vertical Leap By: Bill Rieser

This is Bill Rieser’s brutally honest journey from sinner to saved by grace. At a young age he was nicknamed “White Jesus” because of his miraculous feats on the basketball court. But his basketball abilities wouldn’t be enough to help him survive his rage, fear, and addictions. His childhood had shaped the kind of man he had become. But then Jesus took hold of his life and transformed it. This story is Rieser’s account of what he went through and how he overcame. From being ruled by addictions to cheating to being filled with anger, this true account will encourage you and lift you up as you fully realize the power of prayer. Rieser states that one of the truths of prayer is that prayer is a lifestyle, not a thing we do every now and then. Experience the awesome power of prayer as Rieser comes to realize as a child of God, our Father wants to bless us if we’ll just ask. Rieser learned that God is more interested in our worship than in our prayer lists. He wants us to pray about our needs and wants, but He wants to hear our praise and worship as well. Sometimes God will speak to us and ask us to speak to another. Rieser tells of one time he was sharing his testimony and God wanted him to go speak to a kid there. He didn’t want to go, but eventually he did. Below is what he had to say about the incident: “What an honor to be asked by a loving Father to deliver a message to a hurting boy. In disobedience I had resisted, but when I finally let God use me, He did what he does best—ministered to an aching heart. I know I could have repented of my disobedience and God would have forgiven me. But by disobeying I would have missed a great opportunity to run an errand for the king of kings.” When you are obedient to God, God can use you above your wildest dreams. God wants to bless us; we just have to ask and have to be obedient to His will. Read Rieser’s story and be blessed and encouraged!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stress Test By: Richard Mabry

Matt Newman is a doctor at the wrong place at the wrong time. As his life slowly unravels, Sandra Murray, a lawyer, is there to help pick up the pieces. But can they figure out who is out to get him before it’s too late? Someone is going to great lengths to see him dead. Who is it and why do they want Matt out of the picture? This story will keep you turning the pages until the end. What happens when you are a lawyer and a Christian? Sandra must come to grips with her profession and her Christian walk. How can she defend people who may not be innocent? She believes that everyone deserves the best possible defense. Matt hasn’t prayed in a long time. But, with his life falling to pieces around his ears, he figures he’d better start. He is kidnapped, escapes, but then is accused of murder and arrested on a drug charge. Along the way, it seems only God and Sandra are on his side. Matt confesses to his brother Joe that he thinks God is mad at him for ignoring him over the years. Joe tells him, “Even when you’re ignoring Him, He’s not ignoring you.” This is one of the best medical suspense stories I’ve read in a long time. You will love this book with Mabry’s descriptions of the crime scenes, the evidence trails, and following Matt’s case from beginning to end as Sandra investigates the charges and Matt works in the emergency room when he’s not in jail. Unexpected twists take you through Matt’s journey, interwoven with faith truths and discoveries. Can Matt leave it in God’s hands and not worry? Can he trust that God is in control? Matt learns it is hard to do that on the best of days, but with the days he’s been having, it gets easier knowing there is someone on his side helping him to overcome. I look forward to reading more stories by Richard Mabry!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Deadly Devotion By: Sandra Orchard

This is the first book in the Port Aster Secrets series and the first book I have read by Sandra Orchard. If you are looking for a great murder mystery, look no further. I loved this murder, suspense, romance, who-dun-it story! From the first, you are trying to solve the mystery of who killed Kate Adam’s friend Daisy Leacock. I had an idea of who it might be, but none of the clues really led you there. Kate goes to the police and talks with Tom Parker about reopening the case into her friend’s murder. He tells her it is a closed case; his supervisor tells him it is a closed case. Other people get upset because she is investigating the murder and getting too close to the truth. But who is worried she will figure it out? Edward, who isn’t who he says he is, Hank, Parker’s boss, Darryl, husband to Kate’s best friend? Somebody else? Or is it all a figment of Kate’s imagination and Daisy really killed herself and Kate just needs to accept it? Tom helps Kate investigate, but he is going against his boss’ orders. Can he keep Kate safe? I loved the Jaws’ theme (Tom’s boss says this: “I got a call from the mayor this morning. Seems Miss Adams complained about our handling of the Leacock case. With tourist season around the corner, the mayor doesn’t want rumors of unsolved murders tarnishing the town’s reputation.” At another point, Tom reflects that his prime suspects were switching up faster than ducks in a shooting gallery. That pretty much sums up the story! You’ll think you know who the killer is, but then you’ll rule them out! This is a great story by a wonderful author and I can’t wait to read more. If you love a great mystery, you will love this book! I received this copy free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fired Up By Mary Connealy

I thoroughly loved this book by Mary Connealy! Fired Up is the second in the series. You do not need to read the books in order, but it helps to know what has happened to the characters in the previous story to understand why they act like they do in this one. The characters are believable, lovable, fallible, and engaging. I’m hoping there is another one to follow up with Vince. How far does someone have to go to be unforgivable? Glynna’s two previous husbands would be two prime candidates; but can God’s love help Glynna, and especially her son Paul, forgive the people in their past so they can enjoy the future God has for them? Fired Up is Glynna and Dare’s story. But it also encompasses Paul’s story. He is Glynna’s son and he has had a rough time with the men Glynna has picked as husbands up to this point. He is having a hard time reconciling his past to accommodate his mother’s future. According to him, his mother doesn’t need a man in her life; she has him. That’s all she needs. Can Dare convince Paul that he isn’t like the men that he’s known in the past and that he can trust him to take care of them and not hurt his mother? Will Dare be around long enough to convince Paul to trust him and Glynna to marry him? Someone is trying to kill him, but who is it? Is Paul out to kill him so he can’t marry his mother? Fired Up is a great western romantic suspense read that will keep you turning the pages and thinking about the characters long after your done. Forgiveness is more than letting the person who did you wrong get off scot-free. “The forgiveness is more for you. It does a lot of damage to carry hate around inside.” You will love this powerful story of forgiveness and love!