Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Really Clever Video

Got the link to this off Twitter, but I was able to embed it here. Imagine if there was Facebook back when Jesus came to earth as a baby.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

I picked up Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce,  impressed by its beautiful cover, and anticipating a great read because the protag, Amy Gallagher, is a writer. I am a writer. I could relate. And relate I did, but not often enough. 

Try as I might, I had difficulty getting into the book and staying there. I’ve seen other reviews on this book where the reviewer said he/she didn’t know how to review the book. And I concur. There were moments I really enjoyed what I was reading and times when I struggled to get to the end of a chapter.

Amy, who is the one and only POV character in this first person tale, teaches English at a small Ohio college and is a struggler. She struggles with her fundamental Christian upbringing which leads to struggling when she doesn’t feel comfortable not ordering a beer in a tavern despite the fact she doesn’t  drink beer. She then struggles when she doesn’t have the courage to ask a visitor to not smoke in her own apartment. And she struggles when she and her platonic live-in male roommate, Eli, and she share a mattress one night without doing anything but sleep. The next day she berates herself for what she did, despite what they didn’t do, and carries the guilt over the bad decision for quite a while. Some readers will likely squirm at this scene, but I think what happened after that night was more effective than if Amy had stopped it before it happened. Pierce effectively used this to show consequences for doing something that is against God's moral code despite the fact that in the world's point of view, it would be much ado about nothing.

I think this entire story would have read better if it were tightened. Copious sections are taken up with excerpts from her students’ essays and short stories. I found it difficult to justify so much of this as there seemed to be no purpose to their being there. They did not move the plot along, nor did they do anything to deepen Amy’s characterization.

Having said all that, there are moments of humor that made me chuckle and smile. The reviews on line include quite a few who thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it a high score. Check it out and decide for yourself!

Note: I received this Book from Bethany House Publishers for purposes of review. The opinion expressed is strictly my own. I was not asked to give only a favorable review.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Some great new reads for December from ACFW authors! What a way to round out 2010. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the Holidays and read a good book!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW website.

1. Aloha, My Love by Deborah Kinnard -- A Romance from Desert Breeze. A second chance at love mixes with trade winds in a winter vacation.

2. An Amish Love by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long-- A Romance from Thomas Nelson. Two of today's most popular genres--Romance and Amish fiction--together in one volume.

3. Christmas Bodyguard; Gardians Series, Book 1 by Margaret Daley -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Slade Caulder, a businessman, hires bodyguard, Elizabeth Walker, to protect his daughter,  but can  Elizabeth save both Slade and his daughter from a killer and keep herself from falling in love with him?

4. Cowboy Daddy by Carolyn Aarsen -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. When a woman calling herself the aunt of his nephews comes to try to take them away, Kip learns a lesson in love and letting go.

5. Driven by Shellie Neumeier -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Risen Books. Robyn can't help but notice the new guy at school, but what she misses could cost her dearly--a demon has been sent to destroy her.

6. Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho by Angela Ruth -- A Romance from Summerside Press. Emily Van Arsdale returns home to film a movie and falls for the rafting consultant who has a grudge against celebrities ever since his fiancee left him for fame and fortune.

7. Maggie and the Maverick; Book 3, Idaho Brides by Erica Vetsch -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Maggie goes undercover to break up a ring of thieves, but finds herself falling for her prime suspect.

8. Michigan Brides by Amber Stockton -- A historical from Barbour. Relive Michigan's industrial boom alongside three women who must change their way of viewing the world before they can realize love.

9. Mail Order Cowboy; Simpson Creek Brides by Laurie Kingery -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. An enterprising miss in a bachelor-less post-Civil War Texas town organizes the unmarried ladies to bring mail-order grooms to town.

10. Praying for Rayne by Elizabeth Goddard -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Rayne Fleming loves her job designing water fountains, but when Jack Kostner joins the company all her plans for success struggle to survive, including the blossoming love between them.

11. Singing in Babylon by Ann Gaylia O'Barr-Breedlove -- General Fiction from Oak Tara. Life in the "enchanged kingdom" is nothing like she thought.

12. The Camera Never Lies; Hometown Mysteries by Elizabeth Goddard -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Barbour. When Polly Perkins’ camera finds a murder victim, her ability to read emotions through a camera lens could prevent another murder while giving her reason to hope in lasting love.

13. The Lawman’s Christmas Gift; Alaskan Bride Rush, Book 6 by Linda Goodnight -- A Romance from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Love, faith, and a Christmas miracle come to a dying Alaskan town just in the "Nick" of time.

14. Touched by Mercy by Tina Pinson -- A Romance from Desert Breeze. The west seems to hold all the answers to Samantha Northam's dreams, but is it far enough away to protect her from her nightmares?

15. Wasatch Love by Lauralee Bliss -- A Romance from Barbour Heartsong Presents. The Wasatch Mountains of Utah holds the key to a young woman's unhappiness and a man's desperation.

16. Yuletide Defender by Sandra Robbins -- A Suspense/Mystery/Thriller from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. A determined reporter, a protective cop, and a threatening gang war are headed for a showdown, just in time for Christmas.