Posts Tagged ‘Waterbrook’
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Today I’m reviewing THE LAST CHRISTIAN by David Gregory, a futuristic inspirational novel that was quite different from anything I’ve ever read before.
In 2088 the world has changed completely from the world we know today. Abigail Caldwell, the daughter of missionaries, emerges from the jungle of Papua New Guinea to find that the United States her dead parents had told her about has vastly changed. Almost everything is done via the Grid, which is what the internet has morphed into. No longer tied to computers, it can be instantly called up by the mind. People meet each other and spend most of their time in Virtual Reality. There are no rules, for Christianity has died. Now science has developed an artificial brain that far surpasses any human brain or computer. The only trouble as Abby sees it is that once the new “perfect” brain has been surgically installed, one loses God. It’s not seen as a problem to modern mankind, for they’ve decided a long time ago that there is no God, but Abby vows to bring Christianity back to America, and hopefully, the modern world.
The moment she begins to attempt restoring the spiritual dimension to humanity, those that are trying to make brain transplants universal are out to get her. Allied with historian Creighton Daniels, they become unwitting targets of powerful men. It will take courage and sacrifice, but Abby and Creighton are willing to take on the challenge.
This was a riveting novel from Waterbrook Press, and it has the potential to be a powerful movie. I hope it’s made into one someday. The option of a brain transplant is a powerfully seductive one offering all knowledge–much as the devil in the guise of a serpent once offered it to Eve in the garden of Eden. The moral choice then was as important as that offered to the world of THE LAST CHRISTIAN. I highly recommend this fascinating book. It can be ordered from Waterbrook at www.waterbrook.com/catalogue and was provided free for review to me.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
Thursday, February 25th, 2010
Today I am reviewing DEEP HARBOR by Lisa Tawn Bergen, the second in the Northern Lights series.This is a wonderful Christian historical novel which deals with the themes of redemption, second chances, and waiting on God’s perfect timing. Initially, I found it hard to get into, since I had not read the first book in the series, THE CAPTAIN’S BRIDE. And I found the first female protagonist presented, Tora Anders, very difficult to relate to, for she is selfish, manipulative and very much into the pleasure of riches and power. But it was Tora who won my heart as she became broken, lost her wealth and the man she craved. She became very much a nineteenth century female version of the Prodigal Son. One of the other female protagonists, Kaatje, is a hardworking farm woman whose husband had an affair with Tora, then left for Alaska, causing Tora to leave their baby with Kaatje. Kaatje took baby Jessica in, then feared someday Tora would someday return to claim her. The last of the three heroines, Elsa, is the wife of a ship’s captain who sails with him. The three women are all connected as Bergensers (Norwegians who immigrated to America), and their stories intersect continually in a way that really drew me in.
I found Elsa, the widow of a ship’s captain who bears his posthumous child after he falls overboard and drowns, hardest to sympathize with. I did like that she aided Tora in her quest to become a new person in Christ. But knowing there is a pirate looking for her in a desire for revenge since the first book, and knowing he is still looking for her in the second book, she nonetheless goes back to sea with her children along, including the baby, and writes articles to the New York Times detailing her whereabouts, which the villain takes full advantage of. This seems not only foolish but not what God would have a responsible mother do to ensure her children’s safety. It seems she is a little carried away by pride, especially since she is known as “The Heroine of the Horn” from the first book. But this weakness never seems to change or is even portrayed as a weakness. And I realize this may only be my own opinion. The redemption of Tora and hints that she will eventually marry her true love do a lot to compensate for Elsa.
I had a couple of minor quibbles with the author’s style–one, that she repeatedly refers to Tora before her redemption as a “maven” of roadhouse development. The word “maven” was not used in the late 1800′s; it is a Yiddish word which first comes into American use in the 1950′s or ’60′s, depending which dictionary one consults. This jarred me out of the nineteenth-century atmosphere the author had conveyed. And she uses “quip” as a dialogue tag far too often. As an author myself, I realize that there is often a word or words that I’ve overused in the manuscript, but these should get edited out by the author or during the publisher’s editing.
As I said, these are minor things which may only bother me. This was a very spiritually uplifting book about hardworking, determined Christian women and the equally determined men who love them. I found the eventual reconciliation of Tora and Kaatje inspiring. The story will be continued in the next book in the series, MIDNIGHT SUN, in which the characters all journey to Alaska to forge new lives. I would recommend this book.
This book was provided for review by Waterbrook.
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
Monday, November 16th, 2009
Today I’m blogging about two books, THIRSTY, by Tracy Bateman, and TOUCHED BY A VAMPIRE, by Beth Felker Jones. I’m sorry the images I copied from Waterbrook/Multnomah’s Blogging for books site do not show the entire book covers.
I’ve always liked vampire books, so when I got the opportunity to review these books for Waterbrook/Multnomah, I jumped at the chance to see how Christian authors would handle this subject.
In THIRSTY, Nina Parker is a woman at a crossroads. As a teenager, she underwent a terrifying event that haunted her ever since, though she doesn’t clearly remember it. Now an alcoholic, she has lost the custody and the love of her daughter, Meagan, and her ex-husband wants no part of her. But when she is forced to move back to her hometown and move in with her sister, Nina seizes a chance to take her daughter along during her spring break. Meagan is interested in getting to know the parents Nina has given up on there, though she makes every moment difficult for her mother. A series of murders and animal killings leaving bloodless bodies and carcases alarm her, her sheriff sister, and the town. A mysterious neighbor seems way too interested in her. Is he a good man or does he represent danger? Can she stay away from the bottle which is calling her back to alcohol addiction, or can she trust those who love her? Should she be worried about the alluring woman who has her daughter and several other teenage girls enthralled with her yoga classes and unusual influence? Is there truly no recapturing the love her husband once had for her? Author Tracey Bateman brings this ale of obsession and redemption to a dramatic, unforgettable conclusion.
The book can be ordered at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9780307457158
TOUCHED BY A VAMPIRE, by Beth Felker Jones, is for every parent who’s wondered if their teenaged daughter’s obsession with the TWILIGHT series is a good thing, and every reader who wants to examine the phenomen more deeply in light of Christian truth. I was particularly interested because of a granddaughter who’s been reading these books and watching the movie. The author examines whether the good themes in this book, such as the fact that true love waits for marriage, outshines the more troubling aspects of the series, such as the heroine’s utter obsession with the hero before she has ever become her own person. The book contains an overview for anyone who has not read the TWILIGHT series but still wants to understand them.
I was glad that the book examined the series without insisting on a premise that no true Christian should read these books or allow her children to do so. It’s thoughtful and thorough without being arbitrary. It’s also not an anti-Mormon treatise (the author of the TWILIGHT series is a Mormon), though it examines the series in light of Mormon themes; for example, the emphasis on family as represented by the Cullen clan.
Ultimately, I’ve come away from reading TOUCHED BY A VAMPIRE thinking that while a temporary obsession with the TWILIGHT series won’t hurt the teen who has parents who have taught her not only that true love waits, but true love does not drown individualism either, and that the love of a mythic creature such as a vampire with superpowers cannot compare with the love of God. I’m proud to say my granddaughter has such parents, so I’m not worried about her being warped by reading TWILIGHT. But perhaps the teen who has not developed her own sense of identity, and more importantly, does not understand that the One who loves her most is God, may come out of reading the TWILIGHT series looking for a magical Edward Cullen equivalent who does not exist, and come away disappointed.
The book can be ordered by linking to: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601422781
These books were provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
This time I am reviewing LEAVING CAROLINA by Tamara Leigh, the first in a new series by this talented author. Once again, this was a book I might not have picked up on my own–I write Christian historical romance, so much of my reading is in that same genre. And I’m not usually fond of the trendy use of present tense to tell the story. But I’m really glad I did–I do love Southern heroines, and Piper Wick is one of the best. A Southern heroine who is doing her best to run away from her roots and marry the handsome politician for whom Piper is a P.R. consultant, Piper is compelled to return home to straighten out a family situation when her uncle decides to change his will, a move that will expose some family secrets that some Pickwick family members don’t want exposed. Piper plans to fly in, fix the problem, and get back to her L.A. life, but she becomes emeshed in the situation and captivated by her old uncle’s blue-eyed gardener, whom she fears has maneuvered her uncle.
How Piper learns to let the truth set her free–from preconceived notions, from misreading her past, and so much more is the crux of a delightful story in which wrongs are righted and the guilty parties get their just desserts. I especially liked that the elderly uncle’s values were respected even though he was edging into dementia. The Christian message is very subtle in this book–one could certainly not accuse it of being preachy. Tamara Leigh proves Southern heroines are truly made of steel under their soft magnolia exteriors. I’ll be looking for more by this talented author, and since the story hints at a spinoff using two of the secondary characters.
This book can be ordered using this link: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421661
This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
Monday, October 12th, 2009
This time I am reviewing for Waterbrook THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS by Cindy Woodsmall, a Christmas novella.
This is the story of Beth Hertzler, an Amish woman who runs a craft store, has suffered a tragedy–her fiance was killed and she has worn black ever since. Her aunt, who never married, is sure that Beth is missing out by not going on with her life and falling in love with someone else. But Beth hides secret guilt regarding the death of her fiance, and feels unworthy to love again. So her aunt engineers a meeting between her and Amish carver Jonah, who has been crippled in an accident. Mistaken identities and the resulting offense caused when the maneuvering is discovered almost prevents love from triumphing, but it is Christmas time and miracles can happen then.
I am not one who reads a lot of Amish fiction. The market seems crowded with them–in some places that only carry a little Christian fiction, such as my local Giant Eagle supermarket, “bonnet romances” are the only Christian fiction represented. This story is not as “purely Amish” as some because the heroine does a lot of car traveling using a non-Amish driver (who seems to be just a walk-on character, probably because of the length limitations of a novella) and that takes away some of the Amish atmosphere, but this reflects the realities of life for some Amish living today. But reading THE SOUND OF SLEIGH BELLS was very rewarding, perfectly evoking the atmosphere of Christmas miracles and the joy and pain of healing.
For those who are interested in ordering the book, here’s the link: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307446534
Blessings, Laurie Kingery
New FTC regulations require that I post that I received this book for review free from Waterbrook
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
I started the new book, tentatively titled THE WEDDING TREE, on Sunday, and by now I’ve finished the prologue and about half of chapter one. As always, it’s fun starting a new book. This third book in the Simpson Creek Spinsters series will finally give Prissy Gilmore, friend of Sarah Matthews and a founding member of the Spinsters’ Club, her story. For her match I’ve given her a rascal. I’ve been writing such serious men lately–preacher/lawman Jude Tucker in HILL COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, revenge-driven Sandoval Parrish in THE OUTLAW’S BRIDE, and most recently, Dr. Nolan Walker in SOMEONE FOR SARAH, the book I just turned it. So it’s time for a rascal, I think, and I think Sam Bishop will fit the bill….
My next book to review for Waterbrook just arrived today, YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS by Bruce Wilkinson. I’m looking forward to starting to read this book this evening. This time the publisher sent me something extra–a copy to give away! Be sure to watch this blog for the time to enter a comment and perhaps win the book!
For those who read my earlier blog, I finally finished achieving the renewal of my basic CPR card. Ahead lies the renewal course for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), always an ordeal, and a necessary evil I have to go through every two years for my nurse job. Then after that–the A.C.F.W conference in Denver! I can’t wait!