Monthly Archives: December 2009

The Witch Doctor’s Wife by Tamar Myers (Review #2)

doctorReviewed by Teri Davis

Amanda Brown is literally immersed into the African culture of 1958 when she agrees to fill in for a missionary couple. How demanding can it be for a few months?

To begin with the housekeeper who is male, Protruding Navel, has an extremely judgmental attitude of his expectations for Amanda. Added to that, Amanda decides to hire a local as her assistant basically to irritate Protruding Navel. This woman, Cripple, who is the local witch doctor’s first wife, understands human nature and who comfortably unsettles Protruding Navel.

Gifts of the Heart by Karen Boes Oman

giftsReviewed by Cy Hilterman

Christmas Eve at grandparents house and it’s time to read the eight grandchildren a story. They gathered on and around grandpa excited to hear a story about Christmas. Grandpa read a tale to the children where he and grandma had gathered up their gifts from out of the drawers, beds, and wherever they were. The weatherman had promised a clear day but a sudden snowstorm appeared, blowing everything swirling away, everything that was in the car.

Gifts of the Heart takes the children on an imaginary flight where they could see all their gifts blowing to various people and animals that could use them. After a while, Little Bo Peep knocked at the door and offered to fly them all in her sleigh to take them to see how the various recipients were using the gifts that had blown to them.

Torn by Amber Lehman (Review #2)

tornReviewed by Chris Phillips

Lehman has written a very good coming-of-age book. She confronts issues both common to teenagers and uncommon. As the publicity said, Gay and Lesbian issues are core to the plot and handled openly and honestly throughout.

Krista is the main character. The story begins with her moving to Southern California from Ohio, going from a parochial school to a public one and her mother going on a mission trip all at the same time. Even though she has no friends when the book begins, she quickly finds some in Carrie, Ryan and Brandon. The tale continues through her sophomore year and the situations she through the school year.

From these four and a few others the plot and character develop, particularly Krista, thoroughly, believably, and consistently. There are concrete and common problems of teen years, but also coping with gender and orientation issues. There is sexually active and gay, Brandon, who is the bright and beautiful Southern California prep. Ryan is the boyfriend that seems perpetually frustrated and inept. Carrie is the best friend and also becomes a love interest for Krista.

The plot mechanism is Krista adjusting and settling into the new school and the new neighborhood. Her brothers are older and involved in their own lives but keep up with what she is doing. There are other friends and people that show up in the plot. There is sufficient variety to give a good balance and yet keep the plot moving.

Tainted by Brooke Morgan (Review #2)

taintedReviewed by Vickie Dailey

Tainted is a good case in point for being careful what you wish for. Is is part romantic intrigue and a not so strong psychological thriller. The main characters (Holly, Jack, Holly’s 5-year old daughter Katy and her Grandfather Henry) do not pull you into the story.

Holly Barrett meets Jack Dane while riding on a bus. A whirlwind romance ensues. From one seemingly innocent encounter life changing events will occur.

Blessings of the Season by Annie Jones & Brenda Minton

Reviewed by Jane Squires

blessingsThe Holiday Husband

Addie shows up at a deptment store applying for job. She runs into Nathan and Jesse playing hide and seek among the clothes racks. She has to fight to get a job with the owners because of the wreck made by Nathan and Jesse and other reasons.
She comes up with a plan that makes Nathan put all his plans on hold to stay and help her. You can see God sometimes working through unforeseen circumstances to change plans to carry out his plan. A delightful read and will uplift your spirits for the holidays.

The Christmas Letter

Lizzie, a 12 year old, writes a soldier as part of a school assignment.  Eventually she keeps writing him letters as if they are from her Mom.  No one expected him to show up at their door looking for Isabella and wanting to get to know the woman who wrote the letters. Chad decides to stay in town and see if he can change Isabella’s opinion of him. 

Living in a rural area this book is like reading a story from my own town. People all know each other and nothing is private. God brought my husband from one town to another to meet me and I found this story so rewarding.  Sometimes God repositions us to find the person he has for us in life.

A delightful book and your holiday spirits will soar reading it.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

Identity Crisis by Debbi Mack

Reviewed by Patricia Reid

Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae is an attorney. When Detective Martin Derry of the Prince George County Police appears at her office along with Special Agent Carl Jergins of the FBI looking for her client Melanie Hayes, Sam is shocked. Sam represented Melanie in a domestic abuse case. It seems Tom Garvey, Melanie’s ex, is dead and Melanie has disappeared.

Sam agrees that if she locates Melanie, she will contact the police as long as she can be present at the interview. Derry and Jergins are also trying to locate a CD and want to know if Melanie left the CD with Sam. Sam is also questioned about two men, Gregory Knudsen and Christof Stavos. Stavos is rumored to be a member of the mob according to the FBI agent.

Burning Shadows: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain by Chelsea Quinnn Yarbro

germainReviewed by Teri Davis

To a vampire, time seems endless. They don’t fear illness as ordinary mortals, but exist by building upon their wisdom of the ages and their wealth. Unlike the stereotypical vampires, these actually help humanity and are well-respected as they survive over time.

In the year, 438 C.E., the Huns lead by Attila are attempting to take over the region of the Carpathian Mountains. With the Roman Empire weakening, this is the perfect opportunity for their expanding dominance of the territory.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

postReviewed by Cy Hilterman

This novel should become a real masterpiece. Sarah Blake captures the reader, transplants them into the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, and places them in the minds and bodies of those living before and during World War II. From a small New England town Frankie Bard went to London and researched news and interest for Edward R. Murrow, the voice America knew as he reported for CBS from London and vicinity during that war. Frankie eventually started doing her small bits on Mr. Murrow’s show. Her voice also became known from her own human-interest stories and news.

The area was a sea of bombed and burned out buildings from which the residents of the area fled when the warning sirens went off and hustled to get underground to the protected shelters. As they stayed in those crowded shelters they could hear bombs going off above and feel the blast of the shells. They could smell the burning buildings, and taste the dust that crept into every corner of the city, above and beneath ground.

The Road to Woodstock by Robert Lang

road1Reviewed by Julie Moderson

Michael Lang tells a first person experience of organizing Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.  He was only 24 at the time of Woodstock.  To Lang, Woodstock was a test of whether people of his generation believed in one another and the world that they were trying to create.  Could the hippies really live as a peaceful community that they envisioned?  Lang believed all along that they could.  Woodstock came to symbolize solidarity. 

On the six hundred acre farm of Max Yasgur, everyone became one big family, loving music, dealing with traffic jams, and unrelenting rainstorms.  It was truly a magical trip.  Hundreds of people worked countless hours to make Woodstock happen.  Woodstock, NY became the name because Lang went to a Sound Out there and came up with the idea to have a large- scale event but not the million plus that it became.  They only expected about 100,000 per day.  Traffic was backed up over 20 miles.

Rainwater by Sandra Brown

rainwater1Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

Rainwater is a much different style of book than we are used to from Sandra Brown. We are used to crime, mystery, and detective, stories interlaced with love. Rainwater is a terrific book that takes us into a world about which Sandra Brown has wanted to write for years. I loved reading and thoroughly enjoying the story, the characters, and the actions of 1934 Texas with racial problems running high, education running low, and much inter-action between all the players. There is a romantic side of Rainwater also that brings some of the people together that the reader might not expect.

Ella Barron runs a boardinghouse out of necessity to exist but she enjoys her routines and especially enjoys her seemingly mentally challenged son, Solly. Dr. Kincaid brought Mr. Rainwater to Ella requesting that she allow him to become a boarder. It so happened that a room was available so she took Mr. Rainwater in to join her other boarders all of who got along quite well. When Mr. Rainwater saw the things Solly was doing, he stepped in with Ella’s approval and they discovered that Solly could do some amazing things with dominos, tooth picks, cards, and eventually more. He worked with Solly a lot.