Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Amy Inspired

I only thought I had saved the best for last. Amy Inspired is the last of my Bethany House fiction books to review from the last set they sent me. What a huge disappointment! I had a really hard time getting into the book. In the story, Amy Gallagher was receiving one rejection letter after another in regards to her writing. I almost felt like the author was being autobiographical, and I could understand why those rejection letters were coming. Bethany Pierce, the author, seemed to be too wordy to me with a lot of unnecessary fluff. I really couldn't find a plot. I got to chapter 5 and finally had to give up. I just couldn't finish the book. Although considered Christian fiction, she had no real theme or gospel message to be gleaned from the pages of this book. Pierce's fascination with "underwear" and other like topics reminded me of my five year old. I could find no real purpose for this book I am sorry to say. Bethany House usually publishes outstanding Christian fiction that I can enjoy and recommend to others. They really missed the mark on this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hatteras Girl

The book Hatteras Girl by Alice J. Wisler is a story that is set in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Jackie Donovan hopes to find a husband without the help of her relatives, works as a reporter for a local magazine, and dreams of one day with her friend Minnie owning the Bailey House bed-and-breakfast. Life has taken on a routine of helping her widowed friend Minnie and her son Zane, but it seems that God is answering her prayers when she is asked to interview and write an article on Davis Erickson for the magazine Lighthouse Views. Jackie soon learns that Davis owns the Bailey House, and hopes that he will soon hold her heart as well. Unexpected news seems to shatter both of her dreams, but in the process Jackie learns that to be still and wait on God can bring much greater happiness than she ever imagined.

Books written in first person are not usually my favorite, but the book Hatteras Girl, though not a favorite, is one that I enjoyed. There was nothing new about the storyline, and the ending seemed anticlimatic to me. That could be because it ended in a typical fashion. While there were some good characters there seemed to be a few too many to keep up with. The lessons of being still and waiting on God are very good, but they seemed to just be thrown in because a Christian book needs a Christian lesson. I think these lessons could have been incorporated throughout the story making them more believable. While this was a fun story to read, it is not at the top of my recommended books. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homosexuality and the Christian

Homosexuality and christian are two words that people do not like to see together and causes great discomfort. Homosexuality and the Christian by Mark A. Yarhouse is a much needed book. On the pages of this book Dr. Yarhouse delves into a subject that is typically taboo in Christian circles. He tackles difficult questions and answers them with scripture. The book is separated into three sections. The first section deals with "The big picture." Dr. Yarhouse explains exactly what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, and then he carefully describes sexual identity and how it develops. He moves on to the causes and the topic of changing sexual orientation in the last part of this section. Section two deals with questions and answers for family members who are faced with the announcement of a gay identity. Section three covers the church and the proper response to those who are having same-sex attractions.

I found this to be a very helpful book that every christian should read. Dr. Yarhouse writes in a way that is easy to understand and gives greater insight into the subject of homosexuality. He encourages the christian to understand this subject by providing information that is taken from God's Word as well as today's research. As this topic continues to be very controversial, we as christians must remember to speak the truth in love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Rush of Wings

A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann is a book I have enjoyed reading again. Noelle St. Claire is running away although she is not sure why. She ends up at a horse ranch after riding on a bus for days with no real destination in mind. There she meets two brothers who are totally different. Rick Spencer runs the ranch, and his brother Morgan visits quite frequently. As both brothers seek to know Noelle better, her past from which she has unknowingly run begins to catch up with her. As her world falls out from under her, she realizes that there is a Heavenly Father that will preserve her from all evil.

Although I read this book several years ago, I was excited to read it again. The fears that Noelle faced were real, and even though our fears may not stem from the same reasons or experiences we all need the same promises from Scripture for our own unique situations. I enjoyed the story, and Kristen Heitzmann was able to make the Word of God come alive on the pages of this book. It was an encouragement in my own spiritual walk. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Love on Assignment

Cara Lynn James is a new author for me. I enjoyed reading her book Love on Assignment. This story is set in the early 1900's. A young lady named Charlotte Hale works at a newspaper as a secretary. She dreams of being a reporter, but just the fact that she is a woman makes her dream unreachable. When her boss offers her a chance to write a story, she can't believe her good luck and jumps at the opportunity. Mr. Phifer, the editor, asks her to live in the house of a professor as the governess to the professor's children. Professor Wilmont causes quite a stir with the articles he writes for another paper, and Mr. Phifer wants Charlotte to find anything she can to discredit the professor. Although her conscience gives her pause Charlotte accepts the job as governess. Little does she know that what she finds and experiences while working undercover will change her life and possibly destroy her dreams forever.

This is a well-written book that accurately shows the distinctions between the working class and the wealthy during this time-period. Mrs. James does an excellent job of describing and developing her characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the word pictures that she painted throughout the book. Not only does Mrs. James weave a tale of laughter, deception, romance, and secrets, she also displays the power of the gospel. I look forward to reading more from Mrs. James in the future. I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through the booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.