reviews i write, thoughts i have…

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 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

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!) 🙂

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!

The Word of Promise, NKJV New Testament Audio Bible
February 14, 2010, 12:22 am
Filed under: Non-Fiction Review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

The Word of Promise New Testament is a well-produced Audio Bible. There are many, many different Bibles on Audio but this is one of the best I’ve come across. It’s full of famous and recognizable voices (which may or may not be a bonus depending on your viewpoint). Because the voices The Word of Promise uses are, for the most part, actors, it means it never feels amateurish. This particular edition I’m reviewing comes with a travel cd case to carry all 20 discs of audio, plus a behind the scenes bonus disc.

The only “bad” thing about this audio Bible is the music, at times it was too loud for the voices and then became distracting from the verses being spoken. It’s beautiful music – even though it repeats, a lot, but was overpowering  for my taste.

It would be a great listen for long car trips or even on the commute to work! I think even the entire family would enjoy this Audio Bible!

The Gospel According to LOST by Chris Seay
January 12, 2010, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Non-Fiction Review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

I love the series LOST, LOVE it! It took me a while to get into the show, and I still don’t get all the mysteries of the island, but it’s still one of my favorite T.V. shows. So, when I heard about Chris Seay’s book The Gospel According to LOST, I knew I had to read it.

While it is a little strange he didn’t wait until the end of the series to write this book, it is a book I think will still have relevance at the end of the 6th season.

He discusses many of the most beloved characters, and draws parallels from within the show to the Bible, in a much more Biblical (and less religious) way than in the show itself.
Don’t worry about being literally “lost” in this book, If you’ve never seen this show before, Chris Seay is thorough and detailed, He retells the back story of every major character in the show. There are a few spoilers here and there, but not too many to worry about ruining the show for you.
Loved this book just as much as i do the Series and I’ll certainly be passing this around to the other “losties” i know.

(Side note:Scott Erickson created some amazing artwork for this book, which you can check out here : )

An Amish Christmas collection
January 12, 2010, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Fiction review, Thomas Nelson Reviews

Follow the lives of three Amish families through the Christmas season.

A Miracle for Miriam: Miriam fell for Seth, but he broke her heart. Years later, after he’s nearly killed in an accident, Miriam sees him at a Christmas party and notices something is different about him—not just how he looks, but how he acts. When Seth pursues her, she must decide whether to guard her heart or accept his love.

A Choice to Forgive: Lydia has loved two men in her life. Daniel disappeared one Christmas Eve long ago, leaving only a note saying he wanted to live in the Englisch world. And Elam, Daniel’s brother, to whom she has been happily married for 15 years. When Elam dies, Lydia gives up on ever loving again. But she is shocked when Daniel wants to return to the Order and her life.

One Child: The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On this snowy Lancaster Christmas Eve, another child will change the world of two couples.

My Review
Amish Christmas is a collection of 3 Novellas by some of the most prolific Amish writers in the industry; Beth Wiseman, Barbara Cameron, and Kathleen Fuller.

It’s a good story collection, a very good one. Now having said that, i can state that it was not my favorite Christmas book i read during that season. It’s good, just not great. It is hard for a short story collection to strike a chord in reader’s hearts as there is only a small amount of space to write a solid story.  The one novella I felt was the standout from some of the others’ “just good” stories is Barbara Cameron’s “One Child”. It was sweet and heartfelt, if a little rushed. The others were funny, sweet and entertaining but seem didn’t have quite the same amount of power to me. I’d definitely recommend this book to people i knew already enjoyed reading Amish Fiction. But, on the other hand I don’t think it’s a great introduction for those who don’t like Amish fiction.