Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Body Departed by J. R. Rain

This is a book about a ghost.  

Here is the premise.  James, the ghost, is killed in his sleep.  He is shot multiple times.  James watched it all from above.  He knows what his killer looks like but he doesn’t know who it is.  James is now stuck in his apartment building.  He can’t seem to “cross over”.

Then there is Pauline, a medium who lives in the apartment building.  She can hear James and sometimes even see him.  It is Pauline who helps him figure out how to cross over.  It even appears at certain spots in the story that she loves James.

Ghosts apparently lose the memories of their real life.  James is beginning to forget events and people. He is bothered by this.  Then one day he reads an article about an elderly music teacher who is murdered.  James knows this lady and the church where she was murdered. There are no clues as to who did it.  James believes that solving her murder is his key to crossing over.

The only problem is that as an earth bound spirit he can’t leave his apartment building.  This is where Pauline comes in handy.  She is able to help him get to the Catholic Church where the murder took place.

I won’t give away the rest of the story.  I will say it was a good story.  There is a part in the story where James speaks with Christ.  Christ then explains how the afterlife works.  As a Christian I had some issues with this part of the story.  It is obviously fiction and not meant to be taken as truth.

This is not a Christian book and there is some unnecessary language in parts of the book.

Did I like it?  I will say that I have read better but it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t want finish it.  So, I guess I must have liked it at least a little. 

Happy Reading! J

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Believe in Me: A Teen Mom's Story by Judith Dickerman-Nelson

This is a true story about Judith who finds herself deeply in love with her 17 year old boyfriend Kevin.  After a summer of dating, Kevin heads off to prep-school and Judith finds herself pregnant in her senior year of high school.

Judith tells this story through the eyes of a scared teenager trying to do the right thing.  The story basically takes place from the few months before she is pregnant until the baby is just over a year old.  Most of the chapters are short put packed with great story.

I read this book quickly because I found myself drawn into her story.  I was rooting for her to do the right thing and in doing so get what she desired most.  I had a hard time putting the story down.

Happy Reading! J

The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory Kaufman

This was a book that would be categorized as a young adult book.  This would be another departure from what I usually read.  That is the beauty of free books from Amazon.  I can easily take advantage of unknown authors without being out any money if the book is really bad.  I also don’t feel bad not reading the book because I didn’t spend any money on it.  J

If you have a Kindle and would like to know how I get my free books, let me know.  I would be happy to share.

Now about The Bronze and the Brimstone.
The book is set in the 14th century.  The main characters are 3 time traveling teenagers from the 24th century.  This is actually the 2nd book in the series but you do not need to have read the first to follow it.  I didn’t read book one and had no troubles.

The main character Hansom is being sought after by the man who is the head of Verona.  This man believes that Hansom is a savant because he has brought the idea of a cannon and gun powder into the 14th century.  Hansom can share these ideas because he has an artificial intelligence that guides he and his 2 friends.  

Hansom has convinced the head of Verona that he can be the next emperor if he only follows the plans that Hansom is sharing.  In the end Hansom’s desire to make himself important to this man causes a great deal of trouble.

Hansom has fallen in love with the daughter of his master.  The master has taken the 3 teens in (this happens in the first book) and taught them to be lens makers because Hansom has introduced them to corrective lenses.  The head of Verona, however, wishes for Hansom to marry his beautiful daughter and form an alliance. 

Now, because the main characters are teenagers they tend to behave as teenagers from any century would.  This causes all sorts of conflict throughout the story.  The author also uses it to connect with you the reader.
I did enjoy the way the book ended.  At about chapter 19 I could not figure out how the author was going to wrap it up with a neat little bow.  Then he did it and left me asking for more.  I love it when that happens in a book. J

I enjoyed the book and was a little bummed to discover that the next book in the series has not been released yet.  If you enjoy a bit a time travel, young love and teenage angst then this is the book for you.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sing and Claim (Novels of Colorado Series) by Lisa T. Bergren

I have finished the series.  I really like it

In Sing, the 2nd book in the series, Moria and Nic are chasing their demons.  The book opens with Moira on the stage in Paris singing.  She soon discovers that her manager has emptied her bank accounts and she must now fend for herself.  She sets sail for America hoping to find a place in the American opera in New York.  She meets up with 2 men who will be a part of the rest of her story.  Her only desire is to feel appreciated and loved for who she is.

We find Nic in South America fighting.  He is kidnapped by a ship’s captain as payment for a lost fight.  Nic, who is still trying to find himself, does not enjoy his trip aboard the ship and decides to head for his sister Odessa in Colorado as soon as he gets off the ship. It doesn't seem to matter what happens he can't control his temper and he is not sure if wants to.

Odessa has a sweet baby boy but things at the Circle M are not doing well.  She and Bryce soon discover how much they really love each other.  They must also make some hard choices for their family.

In Claim, the last book in the series Moira has come to terms with her life in Colorado. Finding solace in the peace and quiet and her new found relationship with Christ.  Odessa and Bryce are on a more even keel and are excited to have Moira with them.

Nic is the last wanderer to return home.  He meets a young boy named Everett and his father Peter.  Peter asks Nic to partner with him at his gold mine.  Things turn desperate when Peter is killed on his way back to the mine.  Nic is left to decide if he wants the mine and the responsibility of this young boy. Can he set aside his wander lust and anger issues?  Cue the cute neighbor, horrible neighboring mine owners and a mine collapse and you have the makings of this final book.

All in all this was a good series.  If you are a lover of Christian fiction then I think you will enjoy these books.  Lisa T. Bergren does a good job of connecting you with the main characters of these books.  I read them all in about 5 days mostly because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.  I found myself cheering for them and cringing when they made choices you knew were going to end badly.

Happy Reading! J

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Breathe: A Novel of Colorado by Lisa T. Bergren

I fell for Amazon’s trick of making the first book in a series free in the hopes that you will get hooked and then purchase the rest of the series.  Well, I read it and was hooked and have now purchased the next 2 books in the series J

This is really your typical Christian Historical Fiction and I liked it.  I don’t usually like them but this one I did.  The author does a great job of presenting Christ without preaching or going overboard.  I appreciated that as she kept the Christ parts relevant to the story.

There are 3 siblings in this series.  Breathe centered around Odessa who is suffering from consumption.  Odessa, her sister, Moira, and her brother Dominic open the book on a train headed for Colorado.  They are chasing the cure for Odessa’s consumption.

Odessa is the sweet older sister.  Moira is the carefree baby sister and Dominic (Nic) is the brother who has been given the job of taking his sisters safely to Colorado.  The problem is that Odessa is the only one in the family who seems happy about this trip.  Moira would rather be on stage singing and Nic would rather be doing anything except living under his father’s directions.  Once there, Nic and Moira have been tasked with opening a book store to sell the books from their father’s publishing house back east.  A job neither of them is looking forward to.

It is the old west so there must be a sheriff.  Is he a good guy or a bad guy?  Then there are the outlaws who are after the mine that has been left to Odessa by a fellow consumptive who has died.  Add in the rich man who runs the town and everyone in it and you have all the makings of a western novel.

There is a predictable plot to this story but it was a quick read. (it took me less than a day)  I enjoyed the simplicity of it and am looking forward to finding out what happens next in the family story. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Barefoot: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand

This was a chick novel from the first word and I loved it. J

It is the story of 3 women spending the summer on Nantucket.  Each of the 3 women is trying to escape something back home.  Vicki has lung cancer and hopes that the chemo and sand on Nantucket will bring healing.  Brenda is having some legal troubles as well as some romantic ones.  Melanie is pregnant but hasn’t told her husband because he is having an affair.

In steps Josh, a 21 year old Nantucket native.  The women need a babysitter for Vicki’s 2 young boys.  Josh needs to escape his job at the airport.  He is a budding writer and senses he will find a story with these 3 women.  Josh seems to rescue each of these women over the summer while finding that any good story comes at a price.

Of course, what happens over the summer is what one would expect in any good chick novel.  There is a little tension, a little romance,lots of places to shed tears and a satisfying ending.

This was a quick read but left me feeling good at the end.  This book is not a Christian book and has some language and romantic scenes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blue by Lou Aronica

Blue by Lou Aronica

Loved this book!

Chris Astor is a divorced dad who loves his daughter passionately but feels like he is losing her since the divorce.

Becky Astor is a 14 year old girl who loves her parents but can’t figure out what her dad wants from her.  She is also experiencing some health issues that remind her of the cancer she had as a young girl and she is scared!

Miea is the queen of Tamarisk the imaginary world created by Becky and Chris to help Becky through her cancer.  Tamarisk is in danger of becoming extinct.

These 3 people have to come together in order to help Becky face the toughest challenge of her young life and to save Tamarisk.

This book probably fits into the fantasy genre.  I don’t usually enjoy this type of book but I loved this one.  Lou Aronica poignantly shows the emotions of a father fighting for his daughter, a young girl who desperately wants to live and a queen who wishes to save her kingdom.  I had a hard time putting this one down!

Quick read – great for the beach J

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

This is historical fiction set in the time of King Henry VIII.  I don’t know much about this time period so it was fun to read. 

There are 3 main characters in this story.  Each chapter is written in first person from one of the 3 characters. 

Jane Boleyn – Sister-in-law to Anne Boleyn the now dead queen.  She serves as a maid in waiting to the new queen of England.  She works for her uncle gathering information about the queen.  Her goal is to keep the Boleyn inheritance.

Katherine Howard – 14 years old at the beginning of the book is young, greedy and ditzy.  Her hope for her life is to gain money, men and an inheritance.  She also desires above all else to be loved and admired by all.  She is thrilled to be called to serve the new queen.

Anne of Cleaves – Abused by her brother, ignored by her family and on her way to be the new queen of England.  She wants only to be a good queen and serve the people of England.

These 3 characters get caught up in the madness of King Henry VIII.  Some days they wonder if they will make it out alive.

Book Pros:
1. The chapters are short.  Each chapter is written first person from one of the main characters.  No chapter is longer than 5 or 6 pages.  This makes it easy to pick it up when time is short.
2. This author also had a way of leaving you hanging sometimes at the end of a chapter.  It made me want to skip ahead to that characters next chapter to see what would happen.
3. The author does a great job of character development.  By the time the book was done I really had connected with each of the main characters.
4. There is a good amount of dialogue.  Sometimes historical fiction tends to go into too much detail for me.  This author had a good balance.

Book Cons:
1. It is a very long book, 558 pages.
2. Detail can get overwhelming in some chapters.  I know I said there was a good amount of dialogue but occasionally the details of the countryside, people’s clothes or how a person was feeling got a bit much for me.
3. The author does use some historical vocabulary that I was not familiar with.  This did make some parts hard to figures out.  Usually after a few paragraphs the meaning became clear.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.  I learned from the info at the end of the book that this author has other books about King Henry VII’s wives.