25 Book Reviews

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 Pearls of Christmas | Day 1 – God with Us . . . And Us with Him by Susan May Warren

Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas blog series!
Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
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God with Us . . . And Us with Him
By: Susan May Warren
Every year over labor day weekend, the Warren family has a MWE. Mandatory Warren Event. It’s a call to come home and enjoy the long weekend with our favorite people. Since my children have left for college, I relish every second of this weekend—the laughter in the kitchen, the long conversations in the family room, the frenzy of backyard football, the quietness of the morning as we drink coffee on the deck and watch the sunrise. I cherish these people, and when they are with me, I drink in their presence.
I’ve been reading the prophecies about Christ this season and came across Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself will give you[ a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
I am struck by the word Immanuel. God with us. The closest I get to comprehending this is reading about how Jesus’ loved his disciples. Surely they relished the time with him more profoundly after his resurrection, knowing he would soon leave.
Thankfully, he didn’t leave them for long and sent His Holy Spirit. God . . . still with them.
As I consider the magnitude of this God who would come to earth, who would abide with the disciples, and then with me, I have to wonder not only do I relish God’s presence in my life, butdoes God relish time with me? Am I committed to embracing His entrance into my life? Am I even making the effort to see Him?
Imagine that during our MWE weekend, I ignored my children, and they, me? I would lose the joy of their presence.
It is not surprising to me that the Jewish people did not recognize their Savior. After all, who would guess that the Almighty might package himself as a baby and appear among them, fragile and dependent? But today, we know the story, we know the miracles, we know the truth, and God invites us into an abundant relationship, one that He wishes to relish, one that will change us. A relationship that will slake our thirsts and satisfy our hungers. One that reminds us that we are never alone.
Because every day we are a mandatory event to our Immanuel.
This season, look for the ways that God is your Immanuel, with you, every day.
Susan May Warren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over 40 novels. With over 750,000 books in print, her stories of family, romance and adventure have earned her acclaim and reader fans from around the world. Visit her website for upcoming books and sneak peeks!
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Friday, December 7, 2012

A GREAT Christmas read for only .99 and enter to win a Paperwhite Kindle!

"A Christmas Homecoming"
            By Mary Ann Diorio         
    About A Christmas Homecoming: (taken from LitFuse)
Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody's departure, Sonia's world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister's destructive actions, has become rebellious.
Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?
Jody Pettit O'Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her departure, her world has been turned upside down. She's been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.
Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God? 
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/fKkNc   

My Opinion of this book:  This book involves a story that could be found in the Bible- it immediately reminded me of the parable of the Prodigal Son, however Mary Ann tells it in a modern setting.  Her characters appeal to all the emotions we tend to feel at Christmas, memories of those missing, disappointments , as well as of  Christmases past, when everything was joyous. A heartbroken mother, ( and many of us, as women, can feel deeply for her), a daughter who has made a terrible mistake and suffers the consequences, a son who has become embittered by circumstances. The detail used to describe all of the characters have us engrossed in the story from the first page. We feel the hurt and despair that Sonia experiences, as the Christmas season approaches and she recalls the sudden disappearance of her beloved daughter. Pain and memories that Jody feels , are intense , and she became very real to me. THEN, the reader experiences the happiness and true joy of the Season! Forgiveness  and faith in God is examined in detail , in this short book. Will Jody's whole family truly forgive her? Will her children get to know their grandma?
The plot is fast moving and keeps us glued to the pages, wanting to know what is going to happen next.  So many events and so many surprises. The ending of this novel  had me in tears, as I felt the shock and forgiveness that is  always available to those who love the Lord.  

This book is just what we need to read at Christmastime, when time is short, but feelings are intent. It is honestly a story of redemption!
Five star book!!! Well done!!

Book was provided by LitFuse in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Meet MaryAnn:  

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio loves God, people, children, and dogs, in that order. She also is passionate about story and its power to transform the human heart. Dr. MaryAnn, as she is affectionately called, writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of life. She is Adjunct Online Professor of Fiction Writing for Regent University and coaches writers on their journey to publication. MaryAnn and her husband Dominic are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters and a fantastic son-in-law.
Find out more about MaryAnn at http://maryanndiorio.com/. 

To read more reviews of this book and to see the book trailer, please click on the following link:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A New Mystery/ Thriller, NOT to be missed!!!

"When A Heart Stops"
    By Lynette Eason

This fabulous author of mystery and intrigue , has again come up with another winner!! Lynette is a talented suspense writer , who continues to shock me with each book. Her talent to throw in the unexpected is outstanding. I read, completely engrossed, waiting  for the next surprise in her plot. You find yourself turning those pages as quickly as you can to discover the  next event, which always surprises you even more.  This book is a `sit on the edge of your seat` kind. 
When A Heart Stops, is the second in her newest series, Deadly Reunions. It follows When The Smoke Clears. Both are equal in their ability to  keep you reading beyond your bedtime and through the night. You just can not put these books down until you have finished.

Lynette`s characters come alive in your mind. You feel their fears, confusion, pain, as well as joys when the mystery is finally solved. NEVER have I been able to predict the conclusion of one of these books. The suspense and character involvement keeps you going from beginning to end. This author is certainly one who is skilled in balancing breath taking action with complicated characters, who are unique but realistic.

Serena , a medical examiner , is used to  dealing with death, every day in her job, however this time , it is not easy. The victim is known to her . The eerie scene before her, sets her on edge. Almost as unnerving , is the fact that she the FBI agent Dominic, a childhood crush, who becomes involved with the case. 
As evidence is gathered and the suspense mounts, it seem as if they have a serial killer on their hands. One with disturbingly familiar methods!   Serena and Dominic ,  together , must work to find the pattern and end this killing before the murderer strikes again.  Suddenly, Serena appears to be chosen to be the next victim. When her life is at stake , she must decide if the secret she has been keeping, has put her on the killer`s list. Can she trust Dominic with the truth!!! Or , will she wait too late!!

 You MUST read to find out!! Definitely a five star book to all suspense lovers!!

Book was provided by Revell in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...