An O’Malley Prequel

Several years ago I read through Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series and loved each book but felt a little disappointed that I never got the whole story of the youngest O’Malley sibling. Now, with Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story, we get to see how Jennifer O’Malley’s story begins (the rest of her story is woven throughout the series).

Jennifer O’Malley is a great doctor. Her bedside manner with children who have critical, terminal illnesses is an extension of her. When she meets Tom Peterson, a surgeon, she finds someone who both wants to get to know her and who understands how important her job is to her. Tom is patient with Jennifer and becomes her friend, inviting her to his church, going for walks with her and just listening to her when she has a bad day. Through Tom, Jennifer figures out what she believes about God and begins her relationship with Him (a relationship that plays into most of the O’Malley series as each of her siblings struggles with their own faith).

Because Jennifer’s story is completed throughout the O’Malley series, this is a novella as opposed to a stand-alone book in the series. Whether you have already read the series or are just getting started, this story fits. It may even prompt fans of Dee Henderson’s to once again visit the rest of the O’Malleys.

*****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a fee copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or positive review of this book.

Sweet Home Alabama?

gone south

As someone who has moved to the south (just a little north of Alabama to Tennessee, in fact), I find there is definitely a difference in the way of life. In her book, Gone South, Meg Moseley does a wonderful job of capturing the atmosphere of the south.

Tish McComb has moved around for most of her life but she has always felt a connection to her ancestors. When she sees the home of her great-great-great grandparents are for sale, she stops in the small town of Noble, Alabama to see the inside and falls in love with it. What she doesn’t realize is that the town holds a grudge against her ancestors. She meets George Zorbas who owns the local antiques store and invites a troubled young girl, Mel Hamilton, to live with her. Can Tish and Mel both overcome their past?

What I really liked about this book was that the main focus was on the relationships that both Tish and Mel had with each other and with the other townspeople. There is a little romance in the book but it is definitely not the focus. I was a little disappointed with where the book ended and the epilogue barely touched on what had happened in the interim but overall, it was an enjoyable read.

I’d give it four out of five stars

For more information and to read an excerpt of this book, visit http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307730800
****Multnomah Publishing provided me with a free eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.

Nobody’s Perfect

perfecting kate cover

I picked up Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh expecting it to be pretty typical Christian chick-lit. I was not disappointed. What I didn’t expect was to become so drawn in and invested in this story.

Kate Meadows has sworn off men for the second time this year. She is determined to be undeniably, inconceivably happy in her single-dom and focus on her relationship with God. But then, within days, she meets two very interesting men. Michael Palmier, a make-up artist who gives Kate a makeover, seems to genuinely interested in her and not her perfect-model roommate. The only problem is he keeps giving her business cards for people who can help improve her appearance. And then there is Dr. Clive Alexander. He and Kate don’t see eye to eye at first but she can’t deny his good-looks and the sparks she feels whenever around him.

This was a very quick, engaging read. My only complaint is that the five-foot-three, 134 pound Kate is presented as fat throughout much of the book and her foray into self improvements gets a little bit annoying. I did like that God and Kate’s relationship (even lack thereof) are very present in this book. So often Christian fiction has one or two references about God and the author calls that good.

Overall, I give the book 4 stars and will definitely read more of Tamara Leigh’s books.

****Multnomah Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for a positive or negative review.

To learn more about Perfecting Kate and to read the first chapter of the book, check out http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=99644

To learn more about Tamara Leigh, visit http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=17218 or check out her website at http://www.tamaraleigh.com/

Robin Jones Gunn Delivers Again

victim of grace cover

I have been reading Robin Jones Gunn’s books for 20+ years. From the Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen Series to the Glenbrooke and Sister Chicks series, Jones Gunn’s books have always been one of my favorite authors. I even gave my niece the first few books in the Christy Miller series a couple of years ago and she loved them so much, she read them three times. While I knew that Jones Gunn had written the Christy Miller series to give her youth group girls something wholesome to read, I had never heard the whole story behind the books.

In her first non-fiction endeavor, Victim of Grace: When God’s Goodness Prevails, Robin Jones Gunn shares a lot of her story. She shares her struggles, her hurts, her fear and struggles with her readers. While opening up to her readers, Jones Gunn flawlessly weaves in the stories of women in the Bible and their struggles. Through every chapters, she shows how God’s grace in each of our lives is beyond what we ask for or deserve.

Remaining as entertaining and as easy to read as any of her fiction books, Victim of Grace gives deeper insight to who God wants to be in each of our lives. Through stories that pull at the heart strings and bring hope to the hurting, this book is definitely a special gem.

If you would like to subscribe to her newsletter or learn more about her books, you can visit Robin Jones Gunn’s website at http://www.robingunn.com/

******Zondervan Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or positive review

Warriors, Witchcraft and Warnings

fortress of mist cover

About 15 years ago I read a couple of Sigmund Brouwer’s (http://orcabook.com/rockandroll-literacy/) adult novels and enjoyed them. Brouwer has switched his writing focus to a young adult audience of the past several years and Fortress of Mist is his latest offering.

Book Tow in the Merlin’s Immortals series, this book picks up after the Orphan King finished. Thomas, the young new ruler of Magnus is met with a challenge right out of the gate when an Earl from another land comes and requests Thomas and his people help fight the Scottish Army. Thomas is surrounded by people he is not sure if he can trust. What does everyone want from him, who is the enemy and who is a friend?

I have not read the first book in the series but I didn’t feel at all lost while readingFortress of Mist. Brouwer does a wonderful job of moving the story along and keeping the reader involved. And in the end, he leaves you wanting more, assuring there will be a next book in the series (or at least I hope so as I think my 13-year-old nephew would enjoy this series).

For more info about this product, visit http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=221083

To listen to a podcast from the author, visit http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/blog/2012/12/13/podcast-fortress-of-mist-by-sigmund-brouwer/

Read the first chapter of this book at http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/pdf/SneakPeek_FortressofMist.pdf

Learn more about Sigmund Brouwer at http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=59668

****Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for this review