Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

Genre: Amish Inspirational
Distributor: Bethany House
Length: 368 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Berta and Johanna and their families, beaus, and community
Theme: (1). Good can set a good example for Bad. (2). The havoc keeping secrets reaps.
Comments: This was a free download from Kindle and since we’re heading to Omaha soon and I want to visit the Amana colony, I moved it to the front of my TBR pile. Also, for my assignment from “The Misadventures of Super Librarian”, I’m supposed to read about either a marriage of convenience, an arranged marriage, or a pretend marriage. This book will fill the arranged marriage choice. It’s about two girls, one Amish, one not so much. Johanna is very good, very relying on God, and a good example. Berta is over the top selfish. She does start to grate on Johanna’s nerves. Johanna faces dilemma of family; Berta faces dilemma of family. Both find redemptions at the end. Johanna’s romance is with Carl, who comes to work for her father from another Amana colony. Berta, eavesdropping, soon hears Johanna’s parents discussing Carl as a potential husband for Johanna. Johanna is distressed that they’d be planning this without her knowledge. She worries that her family wants to use Carl as a surrogate son as her brothers are no longer in the colony. She pushes Carl away whenever there’s a chance at a one-on-one encounter. He doesn’t push easily.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Genre: Inspirational romance –contemporary humor
Distributor: Abingdon Press
Length: 288 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Emma Rae Travis, Jackson Drake, Fee, the sisters, the parents, and more
Theme: Love can happen again and again, especially with God's help.
Comments: Emma Rae wins a contest for her baking. She’s then hired by the owner of the Tanglewood Inn to be his baker. He’s single; she’s single. He’s still mourning his late wife. It’s in her memory that he’s revamping the inn. Emma’s parents didn’t set the best example. Still, her life doesn’t need much revamping. Cute setting. Great characters. Easy read.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Genre: Action Adventure
Distributor: Tyndale House
Length: 384 pages
Rating: PG -13, lots of blowing up of people and things
Starring: The Bennets and their friends and enemies
Theme: Keep going for the goal no matter who gets hurt

Comments: Coming back from California (think long drive), I stopped at a quick mart for a soda and an audio book. I was quite impressed by the selection, especially how many were Christian. I chose this one because I’ve always been fascinated by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jon and Erin get married, get a phone call, get sad, get mad, get excited about a treasure hunt, get going, get people around them killed, get close, get in danger, get help from lots of people, get many of those people killed, get the treasure.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

Genre: YA paranormal
Distributor: Harlequin Teen
Length: 255 KB
Rating: G
Starring: Charlotte, her parents, her best friend, a cute boy, and more
Theme: It’s hard to act normal when you’re not
Comments: This plot was such a good idea – coffins floating in the streets, an old cemetery, items hidden in the coffins. You know what, the writing is good too. I liked the people (a mom and dad who actually act like a mom and dad) and what (paranormal investigators) and where (new neighborhood) they were in life. Now, if the author goes ahead and really develops the paranormal elements, I’ll be happy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Genre: Suspense
Distributor: Harper
Length: 352
Rating: PG 13, but only because there’s dead body gore, realistic, graphic gore.
Starring: Bill Brockton, Al, Waylon, Thomas, Jim, Miranda, and many more.
Theme: Dead men do tell tales
Comments: This was another freebie from Kindle, and again I'm a good audience and the marketing worked. I will definitely buy the next in the series (and probably all of them). I liked it that much. At the end of the year, if I only have nine in my top ten, then this one will go on it. I really enjoyed this book, didn’t want to put it down. It’s about the Body Farm and solving crimes based on what the corpse tells you. The main character, Bill Brockton , is still grieving his wife’s passing. Good. I like loyal men. An interesting corpse comes his way… actually Bill has to go out of his way to retrieve the corpse. Exellent. There’s a backwoodsy town. Oh, and the characters. Jefferson Bass nailed story and characters, which is why he’ll probably be in my top ten. He peels away (literally) the clues. I had three problems with the book. One, townspeople who too freely told him their secrets (Waylon and cockfighting; Jim and the ‘sang). Two, not enough motive for the hero to go after the bad guy at the end. I like that he went, but I don't want him to be stupid. Give more of a ticking bomb element and I'll love you. Three, an unnecessary reference to alternate lifestyles. The first one I’m thinking will improve with time. The second one, too. The third one I’m still wondering about since it did nothing for the plot. I guessed who the killer was, almost (if you read lots of suspense you’ll find that if there’s a religious bend in the story than there’s a religious bad guy - sigh). Oh, and few too many people died. I did not want the sheriff to die. The fact that this comment is long tells you how engaged I was with the story. So, good job, author.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

Genre: Christian Suspense
Distributor: Revell
Length: 335 pages
Rating: G
Starring: Monica and Evan: she in danger of being kidnapped; he is supposed to prevent that from happening.
Theme: It is possible to persevere even in darkness.
Comments: Monica is estranged from her father. His job puts her in danger from Middle Eastern fanatics. FBI agent Evan first comes to keep her safe. He finds he never wants to leave. She does indeed get kidnapped. Then, his job is to find her forever.