Wednesday, December 27, 2006

His Brother's Bride~ by Denise Hunter

"Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling."

~Psalms 2:11

I wasn't sure what book to read next so I thought I would give another of Denise Hunter's books a try since I enjoyed Finding Faith.

His Brother's Bride is a period novel about a woman named Emily who travels west as a mail order bride. She arrives with great hope for the future, but through a series of events her plans are thrown. Cade is single dad whose wife died five years ago. He needs a mother for his son, but is not willing to ever replace his late wife. With all the walls between them will they ever truly become a family?

This book was a nice quick read. It was romantic with an element of suspense as well.

Next on my reading agenda~ The Swan House~ by Elizabeth Musser

Friday, December 22, 2006

Divine~ by Karen Kingsbury

"Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he cast seven demons."

~Mark 16:9

Let me just start by saying that this book is intense. Divine is a modern day story inspired by the life of Mary Magdalene, a women out of whom Jesus cast out seven demons. This woman had a sordid past without hope, but she accepted Christ and became a woman of God and she was the first person that Jesus appeared to after His resurrection. The book tells the story of Mary Madison, a woman who endured unspeakable horrors as a child and in her past. But now she is an educated woman who turns to Jesus and lives her life opening shelters and helping others find escape from awful situations through belief in Christ. During the story she has the oppourtunity to tell her story to Emma, a young mom who feels trapped. The question is will Emma learn from Mary's story and accept the unconditional love of Christ?
This book was a very good, emotional read, that gives you hope that Jesus can rescue you from even from the most desperate situations if you only let him. I would not recommend this to younger readers because of the situations described. Although the descriptions are not graphic I think they are more suited to an older audience. Otherwise, if you are up for story, the read is well worth it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Freefall~ by Kristen Heitzmann

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

~Matthew 24:29

"When a young woman stumbles out of the Hanalei Mountains on the island of Kauai with no memory of who she is or how she got there, Cameron Pierce reluctantly agrees to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her arrival. As pieces begin to fall into place, he suspects her injuries were no accident, but he's far from convinced she's an innocent victim. And there's that nagging feeling he's seen her somewhere before....Now known as Jade, the woman begins to recall fragments of what led her to this place, and she realizes the danger isn't over. Jade and the cynical Hawaiian investigator attempt to reconstruct the threads of her identity, but the stakes are far higher than either expected."
~description from

This book is riveting. It grabs your attention from the beginning and keeps it throughout the entirety of the book. Heitzmann creates characters that are relatable and truly transports you into their world. This book was great. Heitzmann is becoming one of my favorite authors all of her books are the kind I have to finish in a day or two because I can't put it down. My mom and her friend were laughing at me because every time I really get into a book I am extremely quiet and pretty much don't hear anything going on around me, this book took me to that place.

Next on my reading agenda~ Divine~by Karen Kingsbury

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Warrior~ Francine Rivers

"But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it."
~Numbers 14:24

First of all let me say THE SEMESTER IS OVER YEAH!!!!!!!! I now have two weeks of no graduate work :)

Okay onto the book. Francine Rivers has another series called the Sons of Encouragement. In this series she tells the stories of men from the bible who stood behind the great heroes of faith. Aaron the priest, Caleb the warrior, Jonathan the heir, Haggai the prophet, and Barnabus the disciple. I read the story of Caleb. The time where Israel was in the wilderness was always and interesting part to study. This book shed a different light on that time. Rivers tells the story from the view of a man that stayed true to God but also had the pain of watching his friends and relatives perish because of their unbelief. Then later in his life he watched as the new generation who were so on fire for God forget God's blessings and take their own path.

I highly recommend this book. Although this is a work of fiction, Francine Rivers tells the story in a way that truly helps you understand the people in the bible that she discusses.

Next on my reading agenda~ Freefall~ by Kristen Heitzmann

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Halos~Kristen Heitzmann

"And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

~Matthew 24:31

Alessi Moore has had a difficult life full of pain and rejection yet still manages to appreciate the small things. When she reaches the town of Charity she sees a halo and knows that something good is going to happen. Maybe this is the place where she can finally belong. Her high hopes are gone in an instant when she finds herself "with nothing but the clothes on her back" stuck in a town where not everything is as perfect as it seems.

I enjoyed this book a lot. Kristen Heitzmann's storytelling always transports me completely into the story and I find it difficult to put the book down. I think you will really enjoy this one.

Next on my reading agenda~The Warrior~ by Francine Rivers

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Hilltop in Tuscany~ by Stephanie Grace Whitson

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! For his mercy endures forever."

~ 1 Chronicles 16:34

This week has been a pretty crazy one. As I told you before I am working in a store that my parents just opened, and the week started off a little slow. Today God blessed us tremendously. We were a little unsure of which way to go with advertising, but the ad that we did put out got a lot of responses. And we have also acquired a corporate account which is a huge blessing. God is good!

During this hectic week I read~ A Hilltop in Tuscany~the sequel to A Garden in Paris. This story follows Mary in her new life in Paris as her daughter Liz comes to terms with her father's legacy. This story was a nice wrap up to the last book because I was anxious to find out what was going to happen. Anyway I do have a plan on what I want to read next, but I might not get to it for a while because I am nearing the end of the semester and I have a lot of work to do. Oh, who am I kidding I will probably find time to read too.

Next on my reading agenda~ Halos~by Kristen Heitzmann

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Garden in Paris~by Stephanie Grace Whitson
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new."
~ 2 Chronicles 5:17

After her husband's death Mary Davis finds herself wondering about the past and feeling overwhelming emotions of fear and regret. After a motto inspires her to take charge of her life she finds herself in Paris trying to reconnect with a part of herself that she has kept hidden for over 25 years.
Mary's daughter Liz has never really understood her mother and has always been very close to her dad. After the death of her father the gulf that has always existed between them seems to widen. Stunned by her mother's sudden change in plans leads Liz on a path to truly seeing her mother but will this realization bring them closer or serve to push them apart?
This story was great. Another "reading vacation" to place that I eventually want visit.

Next on my reading agenda~ A Hilltop in Tuscany~ by Stephanie Grace Whitson. This is the sequel to A Garden in Paris, and since this book didn't really resolve I am jumping right into the sequel :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Letter Perfect~ by Cathy Marie Hake

"Be confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

~Philippians 1:6

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and if you traveled that you didn't get stuck in too much traffic. My Thanksgiving was nice, but a little hectic. Since my family's store opened this week my Mom and I did not have as much time to prepare for the meal as we would have liked, and of course we had family coming from out of town. So the day before Thanksgiving after working until 8pm we all cleaned the house and then started cooking. Our family got in at about 11:30pm so we stayed up with them finished cooking and went to bed at about 1:15am. Thanksgiving day we got up and cooked until around 2pm when we ate and the spent a couple of hours cleaning up which we actually had been doing all along but still things managed to accumulate. But still it was nice to spend time with family and to reflect on just how very blessed we are. So all in all it was a good, but busy holiday.

Now on to the book. Letter Perfect is the story of a woman named Ruth who never seems to fit in with polite society. After the death of her Mother she travels west to California to met the Father she has never known, fulfilling her mother's dying wish. I won't tell you much more, but the book is funny. All of the messes Ruth gets into, whether being clumsy, or speaking with out thinking are great. The story also has the element of mystery and suspense with a little romance. This book was a fun read and I really enjoyed it as a break from reading all of the texts for my grad. school paper. Speaking of which I had better go and attempt to finish it :)

Next on my reading agenda~A Garden in Paris~by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Finding Faith by Denise Hunter

"Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned . But what do You say? This they said testing Him that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote in the ground with his finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."
~John 8:5-7

I have to be honest. The first time I attempted to read this book I stopped because I thought it was too sad. But due to a current lack of book buying funds and a delay in a book shipment I decided to give the book another try. I am so glad that I did. Don't get me wrong, the subject matter is very intense and emotional but the writer weaves the story in such a way that once I gave it a chance I couldn't put it down. The story deals with the stories of two women dealing with trust, forgiveness, lies, and the very emotional subject of abortion. So give it a chance I think you will enjoy it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real~ by Neta Jackson

"He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in the darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."
~1 John 2:9-11

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real is the third book in the Yada Yada series. These books are wonderful. They really caused me to examine my own prayer life. The group of mis-matched women who met at a women's bible conference decide to keep up the prayer group after they leave the conference and their friendship brings changes to all of their lives that none of them could expect. This book make me want to have a prayer group of my own. I recently got my mom to start reading the series and she is hooked. We are going to try to start up a prayer group, so I will have to keep you posted and let you know how it goes.

Next on my reading agenda~ Finding Faith~by Denise Hunter

An Echo in the Darkness~ by Francine Rivers

"Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
~Matthew 10:27-28

Last week I finished "Echo in the Darkness" by Francine Rivers. This book is #2 in the Mark of the Lion series. I could not put this book down. Since I haven't had a lot of free time lately I looked forward to reading it every night before I went to bed. The book continues the story of Hadassah, Marcus, Julia, and Phoebe as they all cope with what happened in book one. Marcus, Julia, and Phoebe each react differently to the relationship that they had with Hadassah. And when a woman in veils comes into their life none of them realize that it is the same person they all believed was dead.

The third book in this series is "Sure as the Dawn", which I read this summer. This book tells what happens to Atretes. Anyway, this series is fantastic and on my list of favorite books, so read it! You won't be disappointed.

Next on my reading agenda finishing~ Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real~ by Neta Jackson

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Voice in the Wind~ by Francine Rivers

"But he answered and said, Every plant My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
~Matthew 15:13-14

I first read A Voice in the Wind when I was sixteen years old. I thought I would re-read it now because it has been a while and I enjoyed the book so much before I wanted to re-visit it now that I am a little more mature. I think I finished the book in about two days. This book is sooo good. It tells the story of a Hadassah a young slave girl jewish by heritage and christian by faith. After the destruction of Jerusalem Hadassah is sold to a Roman family. I don't want to give too much away so I will leave it at that. The story shows her struggles with faith and fear and the lives she touches along the way. The beginning of the book is a little slow because it sets the stage, but don't be discouraged it is well worth the effort.

Next on my reading agenda~ Echo in the Darkness~ by Francine Rivers and The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real~by Neta Jackson

I am not sure which I will finish first so we shall see :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Mile From Sunday~ by Jo Kadlecek

"No guilt in life, no fear in death this is the power of Christ in me. From life's first cry, to final breath Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand. Till he returns or calls me home here in the power of Christ I stand"
~From~ In Christ Alone by ~Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

I thought I would change it up a little bit and open with one of my favorite songs. This is the last verse of the song I still gives me chills thinking about all that Jesus has done for me and it is said so eloquently in this song.

A Mile From Sunday is a book I picked up from my latest raid at the local bookstore. I actually had never heard of this author before, but the cover and description of the story peaked my interest so I gave it a shot. This story was about a Religion reporter named Jonna Lightfoot McLaughlin who through mysterious clues and messages finds herself in the middle of a story that could turn out to be "the biggest story of the year". The closer she gets to finding out the truth the more danger she finds herself in. This book was a good read, and a lot different than any story I have read recently. It was nice reading about someone who doesn't have it all together, and is constantly spilling things on her shirts (I can definitely identify with that :) Anyway the sequel is set to come out in April 2007 and I am looking forward to reading the next installment of the story then.

Next on my reading agenda a re-read~A Voice in the Wind~by Francine Rivers

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Calm, Cool, and Adjusted~ by Kristen Billerbeck and unforgiving~ by Kristen Heitzmann

"As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be afraid; only believe."
~Mark 5:36

I think that I will be remembered as the girl who had too many jobs. Right now I am a music teacher, personal fitness trainer, free lance musician (performing both with orchestras and contracting out for events), graduate student, and I am incharge of advertising for a college orchestra. Right now I feel as if there needs to be 10 more hours added to the day and I need some sort of caffeine iv injected into my system. However am I did read 2 interesting books lately, so I will start off with Calm Cool and Adjusted.

Calm, Cool and Adjusted is the 3rd book in the Spa Girls series. This book focuses on Poppy Montgomery a chiropractor. While Poppy may seem to be "calm , cool, and adjusted" her life is thrown into chaos with the preparation of her friend, and fellow spa girl Morgan's wedding. When her best friends lay down ground rules about the wedding, "no health talk" and she has to bring a date, Poppy begins to question herself which leads her "on a path of self discovery".

The other book I read is Unforgotten by Kristen Heitzmann. This is the sequel to Secrets which I talked about in an earlier post. All I have to say is read it, it is a great story, oh and I hope there is a book 3 coming :).

Next on my reading agenda~ A Mile From Sunday~ by Jo Kadlecek

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Interior Motives~ by Ginny Aiken and The House That Love Built~ by Bateman, Downs, Sattler, and Warren

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendents may live."
~Deuteronomy 30:19

Well, I new that October was going to be crazy, and I was not disappointed. AND IT IS ONLY THE FIRST WEEK !!! I started graduate school which I am doing through a distance program, and already the work has begun to pile, compounded by the fact that the book I am supposed to be reading is backordered and won't be here until Tuesday. I am hanging in there though. With all of the stuff going on I haven't had much time to post anything, hence the long absence, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading. So here is what I have been up to....

Interior Motives was a great read. This book is a continuation (book 3) of the Deadly Decor mysteries series. This time Haley finds herself decorating the office of her therapist and friend Tedd (woman). While working there she gains a new client and a new mystery to solve. When Haley suspects foul play everyone thinks that she is being overly paranoid, however, she does have one ally in the form of her wacky older neighbor Bella who just received her...gasp...private investigator license. Anyway, the book was entertaining and a good mystery read.

I also read The House That Love Built. This book is a series of short stories about different women finding love and each story centers around a house that the woman in the first story built. The stories were cute, and I recommend them if you are busy and can only find time to read in short spurts. That was pretty much all the time that I had and this was a nice break.

Next on my reading agenda~ Calm, Cool, and Adjusted~ by Kristin Billerbeck

Monday, September 25, 2006

Secrets~ by Kristen Heitzmann

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
~Psalms 23:4-6

This book tells the stories Rese Barrett and Lance Michelli. Rese buys and renovates an old villa, a job that she has proven she can do as well as any men. Renovating this house and turining it into an inn is a project she wants to accomplish alone.

Lance Michelli is searching for answers. After his grandmother falls ill she sends him on a journey to oncover something that she in her current state is unable to tell him. His search leads him to Rese's villa.

Despite their different reasons, their journeys lead them to the villa and to each other. As they attempt to reconcile the past they find themselves making choices that will deeply affect their future.

Finishing this book was due mostly to the awful cold I have right now. I was up all night last night unable to fall asleep, so I read most of it then. Illness aside, I enjoyed this book a lot. I had read the Diamond of Rockies series by Heitzmann and this story concerns the decendents of the characters I read about in that series. The book dealt with many issues that I won't go into because I don't want to spoil it. It was an entertaining and thought provoking read, that also had some good cooking in it.

Next on my reading agenda~ Interior Motives~ by Ginny Aiken

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Altar Call~ by Hope Lyda

"Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of his servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God."
~Isaiah 50:10

Altar call is the sequel to Hip To Be Square. It continues to follow the story of Mari Hamilton and her friends as preparations for Sadie's upcoming wedding throws their world into chaos. Since their friend is about to take a life altering step it causes the rest of the women to examine their lives and relationships, or lack thereof. I thought the book was great it showed that just because things look okay or even ideal on the surface doesn't mean that it is the right thing for you. So I am going to keep it brief since I talked a lot in my last post. Bottom line I recommend the book, but I suggest you read the books in order, Hip To Be Square 1st and Altar Call 2nd.

Next on my reading agenda~ Secrets~ by Kristen Heitzmann

Abigail's Story~ by Ann Burton

"I will love you, O Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strenght in whom I trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

~Psalms 18:1-2

I was recently asked to read this story by a friend, since I read fast, to let her know whether the book was good or not. So I thought I would share my thoughts with you even though this isn't the book I said I would read next.

This story was about the life of Abigail the second wife of David. I thought the story was entertaining, but some things bothered me. In the bible the account of Abigal referred to as the wife of Nabal is a very short one. The bible merely details David and Abigail's encounter when David angered by Nabal's refusal to give David and his men aid and sets off with his men to punish Nabal himself. David was angry because after guarding Nabal's flocks and protecting them from attacks Nabal refused to give David and his men food and responded to the request by insulting David. Abigail apologizes for her husband and brings food to them. She humbles herself and reminds David that he shouldn't avenge himself keeping him from shedding the blood of Nabal and his household. In the book Burton has Abigail and David meet before hand and fall in love. There were some other minor things that were different from the biblical account that kind of, in my opinion, took away from the story.

Some biblical fiction about women of the bible that I really enjoyed are the from the Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers. She tells the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. They are sooo good. She takes the biblical accounts and weaves a story that is not only entertaining, but spiritually uplifting. It causes you to examine you own life and faith and see the blessing of God's grace in the lives of the women who are a part of the lineage of our savior Jesus Christ. The names of the books in order are Unveiled, Unshaken, Unashamed, Unspoken, and Unafraid.

Enjoy! (oh and if you are reading the story of Mary have some tissues handy.....sniff)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Decorating Schemes~ by Ginny Aiken

" You look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."
~Luke 6:41-42

You may wonder why I have chosen this particular scripture for today, well eyes or should I say eye irritants have been on my mind today. I play cello with a quartet and today we had a wedding gig. To start off the day was very humid so the minute I went outside my hair frizzed up causing me to have a bad hair day, usually the frizz can be somewhat contained if minimal time is spent was an outdoor wedding. Anyway, since I have the biggest car (Yeah Jeep!) because I have to cart my cello around with me a lot I drove the quartet in my car. My left eye had been feeling a little irritated since I woke up this morning, but it wasn’t that bad so I forgot to pack my glasses in case of emergency (you fellow contacts wearers will understand) that needless to say was baaad move. So as I am driving my eye begins to hurt more and more, and by the time we get there and set up my eye won’t stop watering. There I am playing my cello outside on a plantation with my end pin stuck about an 1 ½ inches deep in the soft ground with my eye leaking like a faucet, but as they say the show must go on. Oh and after playing for 2 hours I got to drive back the hour drive leaky eye and all while everyone else relaxed. Today was a FUN day :(

On the plus side I did manage to finish reading Decorating Schemes in spite of my left eye. This book was the second book of the Deadly Decor Mysteries. And the story was once again very entertaining, there are parts in the book where I laughed out loud and parts where I wanted to cry (not because of my current eye situation). The main character, Haley Farrell, is still dealing with the issues she started to face in the first book Design on a Crime. The book also talks about some other serious subjects that are brought up with the investigation of another mysterious murder. If you enjoyed the first book you should definitely read this one.

Next on my reading agenda~ Altar Call~ by Hope Lyda

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Last Ten Percent~ by Michelle Mckinney Hammond

"Are not sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

~Luke 12:6-7

That verse never ceases to comfort me, especially when I feel like no one understands or cares about what I am going through. To know that there is someone there who cares so much about me that they even know the number of hairs on my head (and I have a lot of hair :) is amazing.

Speaking of amazing, this book is definitely a must read. The story is about four women who are friends dealing with various life changing issues. One thing that I found interesting about the book was that two of the friends were chrisitan and two were not. So, not only was the story told from four different points of view, but there was also the perspective of people that were living as christians and people that weren't. This book will make you laugh, cry, and really think about not only God's role in your life but also your role in your friend's lives.

Next on my reading agenda~ Decorating Schemes~by Ginny Aiken; I might also sneak in some short stories depending on my mood, if I do they will be from The House that Love Built~ by Tracey Victoria Bateman, Susan Downs, Gail Sattler, and Susan May Warren

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Design on a Crime ~ by Ginny Aiken

"Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord's name is to be praised."
~Psalms 113:2-3

Haley Farrell is starting her own interior design business Design $ense. After being recommended by her good friend and mentor Marge Norwalk to a high profile client, Haley feels that she has just the right first client to make her business successful. Her world is turned upside down when Marge is murdered, and she finds herself not only without her friend, but also the prime suspect in her friend's murder investigation. With all suspicions pointed at her she decides that the only way to prove her innocence is to solve the murder herself.

This book is definently more intense than the other mysteries that I have read. It has an excellent message about knowing that God is with you even through there are times when you wonder why certain thing were allowed to happen. The main character Haley no longer believes in God because of an awful thing that happened to her, so along with fighting to prove her innocence she is also fighting the memory of what happened. I definently recommend this book. I just yesterday order the next book in the series Decorating Schemes. I just love I got the book used for $6.49 and that includes shipping and handling.

I was asked by "Chiero" (in the comments section) if I had read any christian books with a martial arts theme. And actually in Design on a crime both the main charater and the chief investigator on the murder case are martial arts students. So thanks for the comment and the scripture ( it is one of my favorites :) and I hope you enjoy my recommendation.

Next on my reading agenda~ The Last Ten Percent~ by Michelle Mckinney Hammond

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"The Cubicle Next Door"~ by Siri L. Mitchell

"I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever."
~Psalms 86:12

Usually I don't go for military stories, despite the fact that my father was in the navy. I find the stories sad and a little boring. When I ordered this book I was a little wary, since the story is about a woman who works on and airforce base, but since I like other books by the author I gave it a shot. I really liked the book. Jackie Harrison is the main character. She has had some bad things happen in her life which cause her to have certain views of life and love that are not necessarily healthy. Her world is rattled when a new office neighbor, Lt. Col. Joseph Gallagher, decides to challenge her carefully constructed outlook on life. As Joe begins to get under her skin Jackie chooses to vent her feelings in the form of a blog. Things start to get tricky when her blog is featured on TV and everyone including Joe starts to read it. The book was funny and at some times poignant.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jackie and Joe go church hunting. When my family moved into the area we had a hard time finding a church. One church had a minister that screamed into the microphone (in a very small room) and the worship music was blasted into huge speakers. Needless to say my entire family left with serious migranes. Other churches had services that lasted 3 hours long without much being said and more importantly with out really reading much from the bible. I could go on and on about the horrors of our church hunt, but I won't because we did eventually find a good bible preaching church which was all that we wanted in the first place.

If you are looking for another funny read about a woman who "blogs" read "Consider Lily"~ by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbuilt.

Next on my reading agenda~ "Design on a Crime" ~ by Ginny Aiken

Friday, September 01, 2006

"Cow Crimes and the Mustang Menace"~ by Sharon Dunn

"And do not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
~Romans 12:2

Well, you have to admit that the title of this book sparks your curiosity. This is the third book in the Ruby Taylor mysteries series, a follow up to "Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante". This book centers around "a series of bizarre ranch thefts" that hits the feed store that Ruby works at. So unable to accept the seemingly cut and dry conclusion that the officials reach, Ruby, a self-proclaimed geriatric Nancy Drew, sets out to find the truth but ends up "getting in over her flaming red head".

This book was a great mystery read. I love mysteries that keep you wondering throughout the book. Sometimes the way that mysteries are presented you already know what is going on and are just waiting for the main character(s) to catch on. In this book I was kept in suspense the whole time and the ending was a twist that was totally unexpected. In addition to the book being a good mystery I loved Dunn's humor. As Lorena McCourtney, author "Invisible" says "Ruby handles it all-- the thieves, murders, a Potato Festival, and the handsome, but frequently infuriating, deputy in her life, Wesley-- with good humor, a strong faith, and a tart wit that will keep you both laughing and reading."

If you are interested in more books by Sharon Dunn, check out her website at

Next on my reading agenda~ "The Cubicle Next Door" ~by Siri L. Mitchell

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hip To Be Square~ by Hope Lyda

"The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
~Exodus 14:14

Mari Hamilton is a twenty-nine year old who has set the goal to have her dream job, home, and life by age thirty. As time gets closer to her birthday she takes stock of her life and realizes that she is very far from her goal. Instead of working in a spa she is the events coordinator for a retirement center and her social calendar is far from "exciting". So she, with the help of a "friendly intervention", decides to overhaul her life and really go after the things she dreamed about, but is the end result really what she wants?

This book was a very entertaining read. I loved Mari's off sense of humor and how she would observe others reactions to her off the wall comments. This story definently is about accepting God's will for your life and how good things can come from unexpected places.

Next on my reading agenda~ Cow Crimes and The Mustang Menace- A Ruby Taylor Mystery~ by Sharon Dunn

Monday, August 21, 2006

Forever Friends...a collection of novellas by Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Carol Cox, and Gail Sattler

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths."
~Proverbs 3:5-6

I used to hate to read short stories when I was younger. I felt like they were too short and they always left me wanting to find out more about the characters and what was going to happen next in their lives. During the last couple years, I have actually grown to appreciate short stories. In between classes, papers, exams, rehersals, work, etc. I found myself not having large chunks of time to lose myself in a book like I used to. Short stories provided the perfect solution. I could read and reach a good stopping place so that I still had time to do the work that I would rather have put off. Anyway, to make a long story short...(ha ha) I have to say I am a short story convert and this selection didn't disappoint.

Forever Friends is about the lives of four friends who met at church camp when they were kids. While there they formed a lasting bond that keeps them connected as they get older even when they are living far apart. They keep intouch through letters, monthly conference calls, and yearly camping trips. My favorite stories from this book were the ones about Belinda and Collette.

If you are in the mood for more quick reads here are two other selections of stories that I enjoyed.

Blind Dates: Four Stories of Hearts United With a Little Help from Grandma ~by Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Bev Hutson, and Colleen Coble.

San Francisco: Four Romances Blossom in the City by the Bay ~by Kristin Billerbeck

Next on my reading agenda~ Hip To Be Square by Hope Lyda

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell

"I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well."
~Psalms 139:14

I finished Chateau of Echoes a few days ago and am still feeling jet lag. This book completely transports you. I like the way that Melody Carlson (a writer) puts it. "Reading Chateau of Echoes is like taking a European holiday in an unforgettable inn, with only the finest cuisine- and all for the price of a book!"

In this book Frederique Farmer a young widow buys a chateau in France after the death of her husband and turns the place into a bed and breakfast. The chateau turns out to be a place of historical significance after some journals, written by a woman who lived five hundred years ago, are found. So inspite of her desire to be left alone Frederique finds herself inundated with people wanting to see the place where this woman lived. The story of Frederique is interwoven with the story of the woman who wrote the journals and the combination provides an excellent escape from the everyday. Another thing I loved about the book was Frederique is also a chef. Since I love to cook it was neat to hear about her preparations/meals and at the end of the book there were some recipies for items she prepared, which I can't wait to try. So if you have always wanted to take a vacation to France, but can't find the time, I highly recommend this book.

I chose this book because I recently read another book by Mitchell called Kissing Adrien. So if you want to read more by this author this is another of her books that I recommend.

Next on my reading agenda~ Forever Friends; a collection of novellas by Kristin Billerbeck, Colleen Coble, Carol Cox, and Gail Sattler

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante
by Sharon Dunn

"But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint"
~Isaiah 40:31

"When a professor at the local university dies, Ruby Taylor is hired to fill his shoes. Along with a frozen corpse and midnight intruders, this sassy Cinderella has to deal with lost love and a family that defines the word dysfunctional. Deadly university politics turn personal as Ruby works to straighten out a mystery that has more twists than a silly straw."

This book kept me guessing at every turn. Ruby Taylor was a character that you can identify with. I loved her prayer chants when she was faced with someting she felt was difficult. The struggles she went through forgiving her mother and keeping her eye on Christ added a dimension to the story that I really enjoyed.

I actually finished this book a while ago, but it took me a while to get around to writing this post because I have been busy. My Mom went out of town to visit my Aunt and Grandma so I had to kind of take her place cleaning, and preparing meals, etc. My brother is so spoiled. He even got me to make him a milkshake at 11pm at night because both he and my Dad said "Mom would" :)

As summer is coming to a close I feel like I need a vacation so I will be taking one, with the next book I read, to France.

So, next on my reading agenda "Chateau of Echoes" by Siri L. Mitchell

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Jade.....Book 2 of the Shades of Style Series

"Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love"
~Psalm 44:26

Jade by Marilynn Griffith

I loved this book. The story is about Lily Chau a pattern maker at the fashion house Garments of Praise. Things start to unravel as Lily feels pressure from work, family obligations, and her love life. As she tries to keep her head above water her friend/co-worker/second mom enters her in a contest for a place on "The Next Design Diva" , a reality show for designers, to give Lily an oppourtunity to make her dream of having her own line a reality.

This book continues with the same characters that we met in Pink, the first novel of the series, and is a great story. It not only includes the ups and downs of romance and family, but also shows that sometimes God has a different plan for you than what you may have imagined for yourself.

Anyway, this definently makes the recommendation list.

Next on my reading agenda~ Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante by Sharon Dunn

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blind Dates Can Be Murder ...and other mystery recommendations

"I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help, His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish."
~Psalms 146:2-4

Thanks to waiting at the dentist, chiropractor, and at my brother's school (while he picked up his parking permit) I finished reading Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Mindy Starns Clark. It was definently a good read, with an excellent combination of mystery, suspense, romance. For more info. on her book check out her website at If you decide you are interested in reading this book I would recommend that you start off with the first book in the series The Trouble With Tulip. I always hate when I accidently read the second book in a series first so I thought I would pass this information on to you so you don't do the same:)

Speaking of mysteries here is another recommendation for you. A Table by the Window by Lawana Blackwell. This story is about a woman named Carley Reed who recieves news that a grandmother she hardly knew died and left her a "substantial inheritance". As she goes to her grandmother's town she not only finds a new life, but also family she never knew she had. However, as the back cover of the book says, "a mysterious murder threatens her newfound happiness". This book kept me guessing the entire time and is also a good choice for any food lovers out will know why if you read it.

Next on my reading agenda~ Jade by Marilynn Griffith

Saturday, July 29, 2006

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me"
~Galatians 2:20

As I said in my last post I have been reading The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort. I really recommend this book. It explains how we should share our faith with others and talks about our responsibility to share the gospel with those that are lost. My mom is taking an evangelism course at our church and they gave two copies of this book to everyone, so I decided to read it because what she shared with me about the class really started me thinking about how I need to do more to share my faith with others. Anyway this book is very helpful and answers a lot of questions, some I didn't even know I had and I am only on chapter five.

I know what you may be thinking my progress so far is far from impressive but I really have been busy. I am in the process of applying for grad school along with studying for my personal trainer certification, so reading time is limited.

Nevertheless I am also reading Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Clark who also wrote The Trouble With Tulip another smart chick mystery. So far it is very good. Blind Dates... picks up where The Trouble With Tulip left off and I am already in the middle of another mystery which Jo, the main character, will set out to solve using her wealth of knowledge and household tips.

Anyway I have church early tomorrow, 8am service, so I am going to sign off.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Pink~ by Marilynn Griffith

I have done a lot of reading this summer. Some might think it a little weird that I spent an average of 2 to 3 days to read a book, but once I start reading a good book it is really hard to put it down. Most books I would usually finish in less time, but alas... duty calls (usually in the form of a family member, or one of my two dogs :)

Well, I just finished reading Pink by Marilynn Griffith. I really enjoyed it. The first thing that drew me to the book was of course the color. I happened to be shopping in a christian bookstore with my Mom and the bright pink cover caught my eye. I must say, this summer I seem to be drawn to brighty colored book covers. My book shelf kind of looks like a bowl of skittles, not the regular ones, but the special ones they make for easter. Anyway...this actually was the second book I read by Griffith and I have already ordered the next book in the Shades of Style series, Jade. Pink is about a woman named Raya who leaves her pampered life and moves into her grandmother's apartment to pursue her dream of being a designer. As she trys to embrace her future her past keeps her from truly moving on. It is a great story full of comedy, heartache, romance, and friendship.

Along with reading a lot of novels recently I have also been working my way through the bible. Right now I am in Nehemiah. One thing I love about my bible (Nelson Study Bible) is it has excellent commentaries. It not only explains the scriptures, but also gives you some history to help you put the scripture into context. I am reading where the people have returned to Jerusalem after being captive and are now celebrating the feast of tabernacles. One thing I found interesting is that the whole book of Nehemiah is written in first person not in third person like the previous chapters.

My initial goal last year was to read through the bible in one year. Well if I don't manage to finish the rest of the bible by January, I will be in year 2 of reading through the bible. Those geneologies really slow you down. Oh and not only that, but the lists of the members of the army, or the tribes came out of captivity etc. When I hit those chapters I have to throw in a few Psalms or Proverbs afterwards which consequently throws off my progress.

Next on my reading agenda: Non-fiction- The Way of the Master by Ray Comfort

Fiction- Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Mindy Starns Clark