Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer - My Review

I waited and waited for this book to arrive in my mailbox.  I haven't read alot of Kim Vogel Sawyer's books, but I have enjoyed the ones I have read.  This book really appealed to me because of the musical aspect.  I love music.  I finally received the book on Monday and started reading immediately.  It didn't take me long to realize that I liked it.  I finished in a little more than a day!

Sadie Wagner is the oldest in her family and used to taking care of everybody.  She loves her family and feels the need to help provide for them after her stepfather is injured and cannot work. Her cousin Sid comes through with a respectable job opportunity for her in Kansas as a store clerk and there is also the possibility of singing in the town's new opera house.  Sadie and her parents feel that God is calling her to Kansas.  Thad is also called to Goldtree, Kansas as the sheriff and is given the challenge of uncovering who is in charge of a bootleg operation. Upon arrival Sadie and Thad are drawn to each other and Sid isn't so sure he likes it. 

Sadie struggles with trying to provide for her family the best way she can and making sure she goes about it the right way without compromising her beliefs.  Thad is struggling with his call in life and the roadblocks that keep popping up. 

All in all it is a sweet romance with a strong faith base.  The characters are engaging and likeable and some are just quirky.  The main characters have struggles in their faith that allow the reader to see how they conquer the issue and grow from it. 

I would recommend this book for a light, enjoyable read for any age.

I received this book from Bethany House for free to review.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Maybe I really am a writer...

I am a reader, but I have never professed to being a writer.  I don't have novels on my computer waiting to be published or notebooks full of short stories, but I do write.  My high school English teacher would be really disappointed in my ability to follow the rules of writing, so let's not tell her.

 I have written some devotionals for kids that have been used in church publications as well as a few for some adults.  What I am most proud of writing are my preschool music programs. 

I have said before that I teach music and chapel for preschoolers.  Part of my job is to put together our Christmas program and our graduation programs.  I love doing this!  I have written three dramas/musicals for my kids and am currently working on my fourth.  I have a secret desire to publish them for other church preschool programs to use. 

I am waiting to be inspired four my fourth program.  I have some broad ideas, but really need to narrow it down and get to writing.  Clearly I am avoiding doing the work.  I am going with a jungle theme and "One True God".  I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Sound Among Trees by Susan Meisnner - A review

A Sound Among Trees by Susan Meissner is set in Virginia at Holly Oak which is a house that survived the Civil War and other tragedies.  The family that owns Holly Oak seems to have had its own heartaches that may be linked to the house itself.  The women who have resided here seem to struggle unnecessarily.  The house is occupied present day by Adelaide and her great grandchildren along with their father, Carson.  The children’s mother, who was Adelaide’s granddaughter that she raised alone, died a few years ago.  Carson recently remarries and brings his new wife, Marielle,  to reside at Holly Oak.  People begin to bring up that the house is haunted by Adelaide’s great grandmother who was a spy for the Union during the war.  Marielle must figure out to make her new life in this home that may or may not be haunted. 

This is quite a different book.  It is set in present day, but also has a part of the book that is letters written during the civil war.  It was very different than anything I have ever read.  I liked the book, but I did have a hard time getting into it.  Once I got several chapters in and more of the mystery began to unfold I started enjoying a lot more.  I wanted more of the letters and more of the historical part of the book.  I felt that it was the best part. I would have liked more from the Civil War letters because that is what I truly wanted to read.

This was a good book and unique.  It blended the past and the present.  There are lessons in overcoming the past and not allowing things of the past to continue to shape present. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen - A Review

Margaret Macy is trying to escape her stepfather and his plans to marry her off to his nephew.  She just needs to make it a few more months until she receives her inheritance.  One night she has had enough of his plotting ways and decides to run away with her maid who was just fired.  She runs away in disguise and hides out with the maid.  Knowing that her stepfather has everyone looking for the two the run as far as their money will take them. Both find jobs as maids in another town.  Margaret is hired by a man she helped while in hiding because he feels the need to repay her kindness.  She has no idea that the family she is hired to work for is the same family who sons were once her suitors.  She works and hides from her stepfather as well as trying to keep her identity a secret from the Upchurch family.  While working, she begins to realize that she made a mistake in rejecting Nathaniel Upchurch.  Nathaniel has never forgotten about Margaret who broke his heart.  Will they discover her secret and a love for each other?

As usual, Julie Klassen's books are excellent!  I enjoyed this book and found myself unable to put it down. I was wrapped up in Margaret's transition from high society to the life of service. She changed so much as a person during this time.  She grew because her eyes and her heart were opened.  She learned to look past what she saw and look deep and this allowed her to see who the Upchurches really were.  The subplots were excellent too, I found myself really wanting to know what was happening in them and not just wanting to read the main story.  The only negative was that I didn't like how it ended, not that I didn't like the way it wrapped up, I just wanted there to be another chapter or epilogue to give me an insight into what happened after the ending!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Inconveneint Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo - A review

Charlotte Beck wants nothing more than to be an adult, go to college and work in her father's company.  Alex Hamby wants to continue his work as an astronomer and not worry about what society expects of him.  The two meet and have an immediate dislike of the other.  Charlotte has a hard time presenting herself as an adult to her father and society.  Alex learns that it is up to him to secure the family's future socially and financially.  Daniel Beck, Charlotte's father, sees something in the two and decides that he has a solution to both of their problems.  If Charlotte and Alex  agree to marry, Alex has the money to secure his family and Charlotte can go to college and be guaranteed a place in her father's company.  Can the they agree to an inconvenient marriage?

The title of this book caught my attention.  You always hear about a marriage of convenience, not inconvenience.  I have only ever read one novella by Kathleen Y'Barbo,  Golden Days.  I didn't realize that this book was the third in a trilogy and I have not read the others, but I did not feel lost.  I enjoyed it!  I laughed and found myself rooting for the couple.  There was good tension and chemistry between the main characters.  I did find it odd that there were two parts of the book with a four year gap in between the parts where basically nothing happened.  Nothing transpired between the two main characters during those four years so it worked, but I was a little surprised to jump forward four years.  maybe it wasn't the jump that surprised me but the fact that the main characters did not speak or correspond for four years and then at the end of that time were expected to marry.  Like I said though, it worked.  I found the story fun and different.  I would like to read more of Kathleen's books.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What books do you read over and over? Is there a book you lend out often?

My post about Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has me wondering if other people re-read books?  Are there some that you just keep coming back to over and over?  I do.  My favorite authors get a special place on the shelf and keep getting read over and over.  When I don't have anything new begging me to read it I like to go back to what I know and is comfortable to hang out with certain characters again.  I think I pick up some new detail every time I re read a book.

What about lending books?  Is there a book that you lend all the time?  I found myself wanting to re-read a book the other day and I had shared it with a friend who was still reading it.  Are there any books that you have two copies of, one for you and one to share?

I love hearing what you have to say!