The following are some of my book reviews from last year:

Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck
Thomas Nelson, 2007

Split Ends is a fun-filled trip to Beverly Hills through the eyes of Sarah Claire, an extremely likeable character with a terrific sense of humor. As someone who thought she didn’t like chick lit, I found myself pleasantly surprised. I will never be able to say again that I don’t enjoy this genre – Kristin Billerbeck has changed my mind. I highly recommend this humorous and inspiring story!

Please CLICK HERE to see my full review on Split Ends!

Remembered by Tamera Alexander
Bethany, 2007

Remembered, the third book in the Fountain Creek Chronicles, takes us back to Willow Creek and revisits beloved characters from the previous two books in the series, Rekindled and Revealed. Tamera Alexander has the remarkable ability to create places, and characters who endear themselves to us, even those just briefly mentioned. If I had lived in the late 1800s, I would love to have met these people and would surely have been inspired by the way they lived out their faith.

Please CLICK HERE to read my full review of Remembered.

Never Ceese by Sue Dent
Rating: Must Read!

Journey Stone Creations, 2006


N
ever Ceese gripped me from the very first page. I am so thrilled that someone has bravely stepped forward and written a Christian werewolf/vampire story. What would it be like as a Christian to be a cursed vampire or werewolf? Imagine the despair you would feel, knowing you are cursed to live on this earth forever as an animal and with no hope of eternal life with God. That concept alone makes for an intriguing premise. But there is so much more to the story.

Check out my review of Never Ceese by Sue Dent at BookLoons!

♥♥♥

Crossfire by Jeanette Windle
Rating: Must read!
Kregel Publications, 2000

When handsome Nicolas Cortez comes into Sara’s life, things start happening fast. Too fast, really, but after a whirlwind courtship and marriage Sara finds herself next to Nicolas on a plane bound for his home in Bolivia.

Crossfire is by far my favorite contemporary Christian thriller. Jeanette Windle, who lived as a missionary in Bolivia for fifteen years, is a master at portraying the culture and knows the inner workings of the Drug Enforcement Agency. I felt Sara’s pain as she struggled to fit in with her new family and their rich, snobbish friends, as she tried to understand her husband’s change of personality in his homeland, as her fairytale life turned into her worst nightmare.

This review is published at Book Loons – Click here to read it!

The Hidden by Kathryn Mackel
Rating: Very Good!

Thomas Nelson, 2006

Imagine waking up to find yourself chained in a deep, dark cave. You have lost all sense of time and place and have no idea who you are or why you are here. You only know that you are terrified.

Then, out of nowhere there is a crashing sound and a light flickers, blinding you. You shrink back, not knowing whether this represents rescue or the return of the evil one who put you here. What can you do but hold your breath and await your fate?

Have I caught your attention? Kathryn Mackel certainly will with her rich characterization and talent for writing fiction that is engrossing and completely unpredictable. She did an amazing job with Jacob’s character, whose experiences are described above. He has a remarkably complex personality that is well presented, not an easy feat.

This is a deep, inspired, and sometimes disturbing take on the spiritual battle going on between heaven and hell. It brought passages of scripture to life for me and applied it to modern times and people. I was thrilled at the way this book ended, and would like to read the author’s other horror/mystery titles. This book is definitely worth a read!


Buy this book or read an excerpt at Christianbook.com!

Julia’s Hope by Leisha Kelly
Rating: Must read!

Baker Publishing, 2002

It’s 1931, and Julia Wortham’s family has lost everything. She and her husband, Samuel, find themselves struggling to trust God with their future and the safety of their two young children. When it seems that all hope is lost, they are brought into the life of Emma, a lonely old woman who is brokenhearted that she cannot live out her last days on her beloved farm.

Can they make a family together and be happy in spite of the disapproving neighbors who are convinced that the Worthams are there to swindle Emma out of her farm?

The story of the Worthams and Emma captivated me so completely that I didn’t want the story to end… and thankfully it doesn’t end here! There are at least two more books in this series and I look forward to reading them.

The Wortham family’s warmth and love really impressed me and Emma’s desire to share what she had no matter how little there was caused me to look at my own life in a new light and wonder if I could be doing more for the people around me. This is a true gem, one that will be on my shelf and recommended to everyone from now on.

Buy this book or read an excerpt at Christianbook.com!

Outriders by Kathryn Mackel
Rating: Very good!
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005

Kathryn Mackel has created a fascinating world in Outriders. It takes place in the dark days after the Endless Wars on a very different Earth than we know. One that is barren, cold, and cruel. A world in which its inhabitants struggle to survive.

Niki’s assignment seemed simple enough. She was well-trained, so traveling on foot across the arctic ice to fetch three rooks, young trainees who had been chosen to join the battle against Traxx, would not be hard for her. She only need bring them back safely, as Brady had done countless times before. It was a babysitting job, really. Still, it was a good sign that Brady trusted her with this, and she didn’t take it lightly.

Ultimately, she finds more trouble than she had bargained for.

Outriders is a futuristic fantasy that draws you in and doesn’t let go. I found the detail original and thought-provoking. Certain descriptive scenes were a treat for my imagination. I have pictures in my mind that I won’t soon forget, such as young people being brought to Niki in coffin-like husks from the mouth of an enormous white whale and towering walls of man-eating vines with beautiful but deadly flowers that lure you in with a tantalizing perfume. Despite the danger and evil of this world, it is reassuring to know that God is in control even there. I was reminded of the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” Kathryn Mackel’s Earth is the perfect example of the valley of the shadow of death, where it seems that God has abandoned man. But God’s promise to be with us is carried through in Outriders. I recommend this absorbing first book in the Birthright Project series. I am looking forward to reading more by this author!

Birthright Project series
Book 1: Outriders by Kathryn Mackel
Book 2: Trackers by Kathryn Mackel



Along Came Jones by Linda Windsor
Rating: Very Good.

Multnomah Publishing, 2002

Disaster seems to follow city girl Deanna Manetti wherever she goes. First she is framed for a crime she didn’t commit and her apartment is ransacked. Then her life is threatened. Now on the run from the cops and whoever threatened her, her only thought is that she must disappear. Getting run off the road by a wild horse in Montana was not part of her plan. She finds herself stranded there with her cowboy rescuer, Shepard Jones, who also happens to be an ex-U.S. Marshall. Can Deanna keep her past a secret until her car is fixed, or will she be found and silenced before then?

I couldn’t put this book down. The writing is fresh and humorous, and the characters were real to me. Deanna Manetti is someone I would want to be friends with – she’s funny, appreciates sarcasm, and seems to really care about people. Her conflicts are true-to-life and she stays true to her character.

You’ll find yourself laughing at the scrapes Deanna gets herself into and delighting in the witty banter flying between Shep and Deanna. There is a definite chemistry between the two, though they both are uneasy when it comes to romance due to past broken hearts. Will they learn to trust each other and God with their lives? This book has everything – romance, adventure, humor, and faith. I can’t wait to read more by this author!

Buy this book or read an excerpt at Christianbook.com!



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