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