reviews i write, thoughts i have…


For Time & Eternity by Allison Pittman
September 10, 2010, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

About the Book:

Escaping her legalistic upbringing, Camilla Deardon runs away from home to marry and start a family with Nathan, a young Mormon. But when the church elders give Nathan the honor of taking a second wife, Camilla questions this special revelation and remembers her childhood faith. Will she be able to save herself and her children? 384 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Allison Pittman’s latest series comes to a great start with For Time & Eternity! It’s engaging, real, and truthful. The characters immediately come to life, and as the reader, you become wrapped up in the story quickly. It’s not a book that will try to sway you one way or another about Mormonism, it allows the readers to think for themselves. This is the first time I have read a fiction book about Mormons, but I’m anxiously awaiting the next in “The Sister Wife Series” . Highly recommended!!



Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs
April 22, 2010, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Fiction review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

When a car accident leaves a famous movie star in a coma, nurse Kemp McAvoy—a medical school dropout—devises an evil plan. Manipulating her medication, he pretends to be an angel giving her messages—then dictates a “spiritual bestseller” he believes will make them both rich. But what will he do if real angels show up?

This had pontential of becoming like an episode of Touched By An Angel. In other words – cheesy,  and extremely so. But Wonders Never Cease doesn’t fall into that category – EVER.   It’s a lighthearted read, but has a lot of depth where it counts – unlike the messages the “Angel” Kemp is giving to Liv Hayden.
The author, Tim Downs, is well known for his Suspense books (and even won a Christy for one!) But this isn’t a Supense or Thriller, honestly i don’t know what to call it! The best way i can think of describing it is as a medical mystery with a supernatural twist and a touch of Hollywood life, if that makes any sense at all!
This book is definitely a stretch in genres but he still proves himself to be just as great a writer in this book as he is in his suspense novels. 

As many people have been saying about this book, it truly is one you can enjoy even if you don’t like Christian Fiction. I’m looking forward to seeing more books of this genre from Tim Downs! 🙂

Thanks to booksneeze.com for sending me this book to review!



Never Let You go by Erin Healy
April 14, 2010, 2:09 am
Filed under: Fiction review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

From Cbd.com
After her estranged husband, Grant, tries to re-enter her life, Lexi is determined to keep him away from their daughter, Molly—especially now that a drug dealer is demanding payment for Grant’s debts. But the “seen” is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s the invisible evil powers that threaten Lexi’s world. Will heaven help her?

My review,
This is Erin Healy’s first book as a solo author, though she has co-written two books with Ted Dekker. She’s already a pro, she deftly blends suspense, heartbreak and the supernatural into Never Let You Go.

This book might seem hard to follow at first, many characters are introduced at once, and the scenes are shown from multiple POV’s (point of view) But that is only at first!
The book starts picking up speed straightaway, and Erin barely allows for the reader to take a breath before pulling another punch to the literary gut.  (I started reading this at night, not the best time to start this book!)
 Never Let You Go isn’t written for one gender or the other, but will probably appeal to females in particular, and especially mothers. This book is refreshing in it’s appeal, since the suspense genre has been so dominated male authors.
Very, very strong “debut”  and definitely a recommended read! (just not at night!) 🙂



For Honor: An Adventure of What Might Have Been
April 8, 2010, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Fiction review, Nothing Binding

about the book (from author)
Can one woman save a country? Can she do it as a lady musketeer and fencer in 17th-century France, and can she and the musketeers grant a hero’s final wish?

My review
I’m going to start off with my disclaimers, and then get to the good stuff 🙂
First off, I have no qualifications(on paper, at least) for being interested in reading this book. I received this as a random pick from three books  by a review company, Nothing Binding. It wasn’t my first choice, but it sounded really interesting based on the synopsis. I know very little about France, and even less about 17th century France. Honestly, I’m more of a Brit wanna-be. I have never read any of Dumas’ books and have never watched the movie adaptions. The closest I’ve come to watching the movie is the Wishbone show on the Three Musketeers! I didn’t even see the Disney cartoon version starring Mickey and his friends!

But even still, this book slowly won me over. I say slowly because it did take me a while to get invested in the story. Not because of poor writing or bad characterization, but because I know so little of the back story(this book is supposed to take place after the events in the Three Musketeers)
Having said that, you don’t need to have read it to enjoy this one!  I’m sure it would help to get you into the swing of things, and you might notice some interesting parallels that I completely missed, but it’s not necessary. If you’ve already read and experenced the Three Musketeers, I have a feeling you’d really enjoy this one. It proabably has some modern sensibilities tossed in, but fits well within the genre of historical french fiction. It’s engaging, completely action-packed and has some great  “you go girl!” moments!
My one small gripe is, I really wish the author would have used more French words and phrases within the book, especially since she is a French teacher! There were a few here and there, but not quite enough to convey an authentic French feel.
This book has given me a reason to pick up Dumas’ books the next chance I have!

Thanks to Nothing Binding and the writer/editor for sending me this book to review!



The Chronological Guide to the Bible review
April 7, 2010, 1:41 am
Filed under: Non-Fiction Review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

Reading the Bible chronologically can be crazy,  you’ll skipping through a book and then going back and forth between I Kings and II Chronicles.  It’s insane, but it’s great for learning ancient and church history.
However, it can be dry, very dry, and I’ve been tempted to skim my way through the Bible many times, especially with the two books mentioned above!

That’s why I’m totally in love with this awesome resource!
This book truly helps to bring what can otherwise be extremely dull, interesting! And it can be used with a bible you already have!
Thomas Nelson is one of the publishers who have always set a standard for Bible guides and resources, but i think this is one of the best I’ve seen. 
It  appeals to my visual learning with maps, charts and outlines a plenty. The Bible is divided into 9 “Epochs”. 6 to divide  the Old Testament and 3 to divide the New Testament.  Because they use this format, and since it’s been around for a long time, it helps the reader to get to know their way through the Bible.
It has a very simple format, and the references of what to read are within the text of the book, with a commentary to correspond with each passage.
There’s a lot of information packed into this 200+ page book, but it’s still a concise resource that I’ll be keeping on hand for some time to come.

Thanks to Booksneeze for providing this book for me to review!



Jane Austen By Peter Leithart
March 1, 2010, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Non-Fiction Review, Thomas Nelson Reviews | Tags:

Thomas Nelson has just published their first collection of what they call “Christian Encounters” The first collection of these neat little biographies are on John Bunyan, St. Patrick, Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, and my favorite, Jane Austen!

I Admit, I’ve read a lot of books about Jane Austen, about her country, about her times, about her influences and about her family and even “Jane Austen for Dummies”! Some are are dry, and seem to be just facts, others tend to go off the deep end and elaborate a bit too much, especially on her short-lived romances.Very, very, few make her life seem real and tangible to the reader.

To get to the point, I never have read one quite as enjoyable as this!  At times this book reads like a novel, and yet it is full of (interesting – and verifiable!) facts and details. He’s not one to drone on about the trivial, but he doesn’t ignore the little nuances of her all too brief life. He also realizes his audience  have probably not only experienced Jane Austen’s books but also the many other variations on them. He mentions these, but doesn’t take pages and pages to discuss this, just makes the reader aware of what he calls “Janeia.” 🙂

I am a Jane Austen ADDICT, (as in, ahem, STALKER!!) so I know my stuff, and this guy has shown me that knows his too!

BIG thanks to the wonderful people at Book Sneeze for providing this book for review!



True for You, But not for Me by Paul Copan
February 15, 2010, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Bethany House, Non-Fiction Review

about the book (cbd.com)

Learn to respond to one of the most common objections about Christianity – that it claims to be the only faith. The message of relativism and religious plurality is very popular and its argument is commonly accepted. Here you will find clear explanations to counter those arguments, including: the absolute quality of relativism, the exclusivity of inclusivity, the uniqueness of Jesus, and, “What about the unsaved who have never heard?”.

My review:

This is an interesting book, Paul Copan has worked to compile the most common arguments against Christianity and writes a sort of rebuttal system to use against each.

However, i do think this book could possibly end up being very dangerous.

I could very easily see this becoming a  “translation” book for well-meaning Christians to just start flipping through the pages – just like tourists in a foreign country.

I don’t think this is the smartest nor most effective way to share Christ’s love. I don’t want to argue my “cause” – just live it. In many ways i find it more enjoyable and not to mention  long-lasting for a person to immerse themselves in another country. You learn the little intricacies and traditions of a culture that had you taken a more brash approach, you would never had found. I think it would be a wise thing for Christian apologists to do as well.

If this book is the sort of thing you’re looking for, a straight-forward, focused on “winning” the sinner rather then befriending, this is a good book. However, it is not what I’m looking for, i would rather have my discussions of faith be an organic offshoot of a deep friendship.