Friday, October 31, 2008

Waiting for Daybreak by Kathryn Cushman

When I heard about this book, I quickly checked my library to see if it was available because I previously read and enjoyed another book by Kathryn (Katie) Cushman - A Promise to Remember. It was well written and the characters were interesting, so I decided that I would read Waiting for Daybreak. Now I plan to read anything Katie writes.

This book presents two women, Paige and Clarissa, with different strengths, goals and motivations. Both characters are likable at the beginning, but as you read on you may find yourself in the corner of one of them. They are both desperate to succeed for different reasons, and find themselves at odds with each other. Both young women compromise their standards for different reasons, but ultimately painful lessons are learned.

For a great recommendation check out what Kay wrote about Waiting for Daybreak at Books and Starbucks.

To find more books by Katie Cushman check her web site.

Warning - some spoiler issues - Discussion Questions

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Try Darkness by James Scott Bell

I never would have picked this book up by looking at the cover and reading the title, but I did since I was pulled in by Try Dying. There is some violence in the book, but nothing worse than anything you would see on a crime show during prime time TV. It was better than anything you might see on television because reading allows you to savor the moments you choose use your imagination. I had to get my hands on the Try Darkness as quickly as my library could get it so I could follow Ty's next adventure and learn more about him and the other characters.

For product description and excerpt go here.

Buchanan Series

Book 1 - Try Dying
Book 2 - Try Darkness
Book 3 - Try Fear (coming July 2009)

To learn more about the Buchanan Series or read an excerpt from Try fear go to James Scott Bell's website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Try Dying by James Scott Bell

This book was the first that I read by James Scott Bell. I don't remember how I found this particular novel, but decided to give it a try since the back of the book piqued my interest even though I wasn't particularly thrilled by the title. Once I began reading I was hooked. Each of the main characters has some intriguing detail in their lives that begs to be developed and Mr. Bell does just that throughout the story. The book is filled with mystery and keeps the reader wanting more - fortunately it's a series.

For a description of the book go here.

Chapter 1 Excerpt

Buchanan Series

Book 1 - Try Dying
Book 2 - Try Darkness
Book 3 - Try Fear (coming July 2009)

James Scott Bell

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Relentless by Robin Parrish

Wow! I used spend time watching espionage-double agent TV series and this book tops them all and leaves out the love scenes and provocative clothing. If you enjoyed reading some of Ted Dekker's newer works you should enjoy Robin's writing style too. There is a Christian message buried deep within the book. I think readers who enjoy suspense will like this book regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Dominion Trilogy

Book 1 - Relentless
Book 2 - Fearless
Book 3 - Merciless

Front Book Jacket says:

In the space of a breath, what he thought was his life... SHATTERED.

Grant Borrows has been Shifted--in the silence between heartbeats, his whole life fundamentally altered. There's another man in the world wearing his face and living his life. What's more, the man staring back from his mirror is a stranger.

But the changes don't stop at skin-level. Inexplicably, he's able to affect objects around him by simply thinking about them. And as he soon learns, he's become the central figure in a vast web of intrigue that stretches from an underground global conspiracy to a prophecy dating back over seven thousand years. Enemies and allies find him at every turn, but one thing they learn all too soon is that you don't want to push Grant Borrows too far...





If you like to read books jammed with action, suspense, and more find a copy of this book. I now have the second book in the series on hold at my library and can't wait to get started. The neat thing about finding out about a series at the end is that I don't have to wait a year between books. To learn more about Robin Parrish and his books check his website.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Whole Truth by James Scott Bell

The Whole Truth is the fourth novel I've read by James Scott Bell and I've really enjoyed reading his legal mysteries. He is a former attorney and brings a lot of insight from the legal process into his writing. I'm a former crime show addict and have decided to spend more time reading instead of in front of the television. I've found many Christian fiction writer's that produce a good quality of work without sacrificing integrity. What I like best of this author is that I'm finding out some detail that I didn't guess early on in the book in the last few chapters. A lot of Christian fiction is quite predictable - sometimes I enjoy that other times I want more.

I don't really want to say a lot about the book because I don't want to give anything away, so you can have the pleasure of discovering as you read. Find a copy of this book and get ready for an interesting ride.

Back of Book Says:

At the age of five, Steve Conroy saw his seven-year-old brother kidnapped from the very bedroom they shared. His brother was never found. And the guilt of his silence that night has all but destroyed Steve’s life.

Now thirty years old with a failing law practice, Steve agrees to represent convicted criminal Johnny LaSalle, who has ties to a notorious family. And some information that threatens to blow Steve's world apart.

Desperate for his final shot at professional success, Steve will do anything to find the truth. But Johnny knows far more than he’s telling, and the secrets he keeps have deadly consequences. Now Steve must depend on an inexperienced law student whose faith seems to be his last chance at redemption from a corrupt world where one wrong move could be his last.

For more information on James Scott Bell or his works of fiction check out his web site.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Presumed Guilty by James Scott Bell

I recently found a new author whose work I enjoy - James Scott Bell. Presumed Guilty is a murder mystery and a lot more. It's one of those books that I didn't figure out in the first few chapters (rare in Christian fiction). The book challenges the reader without coming across preachy. Find a comfy couch, a warm blanket and a copy of this book...

Back of Book Says:

Pastor Ron Hamilton’s star is rising. His 8,000-strong church is thriving. His good looks and charisma make him an exceptional speaker on family values. And his book on pornography in the church has become an unexpected bestseller. Everything is perfect.

Until a young woman’s body is discovered in a seedy motel room. The woman is a porn star. And all the evidence in the murder points to one man: Ron.

With the noose tightening around her husband’s neck, Dallas Hamilton faces a choice: believe the seemingly irrefutable facts—or the voice of her heart. The press has already reached its verdict, and the public echoes it. But Dallas is determined to do whatever it takes to find the truth.

And then a dark secret from Dallas's past threatens to take them all down.

As the clock ticks toward Ron's conviction and imprisonment, and an underworld of evil encircles her, Dallas must gather all her trust in God to discover what really happened in that motel room . . . even if it means losing faith in her husband forever.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Melanie at Books and Starbucks shared about one of her favorite books and wrote an excellent description, so I encourage you to check out what she has to say at this link. The Hiding Place is one of those books that can help adjust our outlook on life if we allow it. I found this web site with more info on the book and Corrie Ten Boom. I haven't read the book, but I watched the movie many years ago (and love to collect Corrie Ten Boom quotes) so now it's on my to read list... Melanie shared some other wonderful quotations and lessons from the book at her other blog. Thanks Melanie!

This book cover is the one my library has in it's collection.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Believe in Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

When I found out that Karen Kingsbury had a new Christmas book for children, I requested that my library purchase the book for their collection. Today I was pleased to pick up a brand new copy of the book. The book is probably an interest level of ages 2 - 8. It could easily be read alone by a young child. Personally, I think its fun to read books like this to younger children. It has a beautiful message that old and young will appreciate. Daniel Brown did a wonderful job illustrating the book with great detail.

From Karen Kingsbury's website:

We Believe in Christmas rises to the challenge of making the true meaning of Christmas shine brighter than today’s secularized version. This inspiring story connects the contemporary Christmas glitz to its origins. “And if we want the perfect star to shine upon our tree, look and see that Brightest Star, and there will Christmas be.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October Deadline Giveaway

Randy Alcorn is giving away three copies of Deadline, one of his fictional books this month. It's an incredible book with some interesting characters. Reading this book gives you a taste of some of what he has written in Heaven and other non-fiction books. I really enjoy reading Randy's fiction because it is a lesson within a story. It's so easy to learn that way. It is also neat to get some of Randy's eternal perspective teaching through fiction and then read his non-fiction as well.
Visit Randy's website to learn more about the book and read an excerpt. To enter for your chance to win the giveaway, leave a comment on his post by Friday, October 24. The winners will be announced in his blog posting on Monday, October 27.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sunset by Karen Kingsbury

I finished the final book in Karen Kingsbury's Baxter family series. This fictional family has been fun to get to know because they have problems similar to the problems any of us could face. This series could be viewed as three individual series or one large series. The first series is Redemption, the second is Firstborn and the final series is Sunrise. Each series has a slightly different focus, but all include the trials and joys of the Baxter Family.

Redemption Series - (These five books were co-written with Gary Smalley and explore the relationship principles that has Gary has taught and applies them to the Baxter family.)


Firstborn Series


Sunrise Series


Front Jacket says: (Spoiler Alert - if you haven't read the other books in this series and plan to skip the book jacket info)


With the demands of Hollywood behind them for now, Dayne and Katy Matthews continue to adjust to life in Bloomington as they look forward to a new chapter together - expanding their family. Meanwhile, the entire CKT staff is busy preparing for the first production in Dayne and Katy's theater.


The Flanigans rally to support Bailey and Connor as they try out for lead roles in the musical, but then the family receives tragic news that weighs heavily on everyone's minds. At the same time, Jim Flanigan faces a decisions that could drastically change his family's life.


As John Baxter prepares for his marriage to Elaine Denning, one of the Baxters enters the most trying season of all. Will a time of renewed love and hope be strong enough to establish the sacred ground of marriage and chart a course for the future? And when the times comes to finally sell the beloved Baxter house, memories of times gone by meet with the changes of today, providing that only the support of faith and family can take a person into the sunset years of life.

The final story, Sunset, ties everything together in a neat package solving most of the dilemma's or at least bringing them to closure for the most part. One family, the Flanigans could be further developed in a future series. Karen mentions in this book that the Baxters may appear in future books down the road. Karen also mentioned that she may create some blogs from the perspective of one or more of the Baxter family to update readers on what is happening in their lives. Check her web site for more info. I enjoyed reading this series because they dealt with real life problems in ways that ultimately brought them closer to God. The characters challenge the reader to delve deeper into God to become who HE wants us to be individually.

Discussion Questions - Spoiler Alert