Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Crosses

Two crosses. One belonging to a missionary's daughter sent to a college program in France by a rich philanthropist, and the other in the possession of a young girl running for her life. Little do the two of them know that the cross is the symbol of a organization trying to rescue a targeted group out of Algeria during the Algerian war for independence from France. Set in 1961, this is an excellent suspense novel about a war that isn't talked about as much. It is more than just a classic tale of good versus evil, but a story of grieving, redemption, and forgiveness. Not only is the story wonderful, but I found the characters incredibly real.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God is always on time

The comment, "God is always on time", was made a while back at church. It took me back to the many instances that I have seen this in my life, particularly when it came to the man that God had for me to marry. When I was a teenager, my parents encouraged me to start praying for the man that God had for me. I can't say that I was always diligent in praying for him, since I would get caught up in life or discouraged with the ups and downs of being a young adult. When I was 23, I started to think that perhaps there were things I needed to accomplish before getting married. So, I talked to God (which was really just telling Him how I thought things were going to be. What is the saying? We plan white God laughs.;)) and came up with a list of things that I wanted to do with my life before I got married, figuring that was how things were suppose to go. A couple of months later, my brother attempted to play matchmaker and failed miserably, so I had to goad him on facebook about his matchmaking attempts. Imagine my surprise when that update prompted a private message from an old friend who suddenly seemed to be showing interest! I shouldn't say suddenly, since I think a few of my friends saw it coming, since they made comments when we talked. I had brushed them off, thinking they were way out in left field. It took me a bit to realize that I didn't really know this guy well enough to write him off, and that perhaps God had something in store for my future then what we "agreed" on. When I really stopped and took a good look at things, I realized that I just about missed one of the most wonderful things that has happened in my life. Fast forward three years, and we are now happily married. I can look back and see God's hand in our relationship and the timing of things. We have known each other since we were in our early teens, so it was possible that we could of gotten together sooner. And yet, I see that we needed to make choices and mature on our own before getting married. It was good for Andrew to go to college out of the area, and I learned a lot through working in my family's business and doing the farmers markets. We both had to make choices to stay involved in church and youth group. While it would of most likely still worked out for us to be together earlier, God had His reasons for it not happening sooner. So, I want to encourage those of you who are still hoping and praying for the man or woman that the Lord has for you. He or she is out there, you just have to surrender to a higher power, since He has your best interest at heart.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Next Target

After the death of her husband, Austia Donatelli picks up his mission to work with the Muslims in her community to help create unity and peace. Her ESL classes are not only to help immigrants assimilate and obtain jobs, but also to dispel myths about Christianity. When one of her students is shot after becoming a Christian, clearly an honor killing, Austia fears she has become the next target. I couldn't put this book down! The story is well written, along with having a wonderful point, showing how prejudice Americans can be when using the media as their source of information. Though Austia has an excuse to hate the people her husband ministered too, she chooses to show them Christ love, becoming His hands and feet to the world. It would be so easy to write a spoiler for this novel, since there are a lot of twists in the story! I shall try to limit what I say.:D It has been a while since I last read a book that I couldn't put down, so it was refreshing to read The Next Target! I hightly recommend this story, since it is riveting and has an excellent message for Christians to become more involved in the world around them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mariah's Quest

The year is 1753 and the Harwood sisters have arrived in Baltimore from England to become indentured servants to save their bankrupt father. Mariah, the middle sister, isn't quite as selfless as her sisters, deciding to move to America since her families bankruptcy has ruined any chance of a suitable match. When Mariah's papers are bought by a handsome plantation heir, she thinks her future is set. But, being a governess to Colin's younger sisters proves to be different than she thought. Through servitude, Mariah learns that she cannot control her life and must learn to rely on God, a lesson we all need to be reminded of. Set during the French Indian war, Mariah's Quest is a nice historical fiction tale. I like how the story showed how life could of been like if you lived during the 1700's. I hadn't read a whole lot (outside of history textbooks) about this period in our history, so I found the parts regarding the war especially interesting. You don't have to be into history to enjoy this story. If you are looking for a easy summer read, this is the book for you!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Guestbook by Mary Beth Whalen

Growing up, Macy Dillon's family takes their yearly vacations at a beach house in the Carolina's. At a young age, her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guest book at the rented house, since she couldn't yet write an entry about their visit. When Macy returned the next year, there is another drawing with hers done by a boy about her age. Through the years, Macy and the artist communicate through their art, never knowing the identity of the other. When tragedy strikes her family, Macy goes ten years without returning to Time in a Bottle. Time and bad choices have separated her from the little girl she once was, so when her mom suggests another family vacation, she jumps on the chance to re-connect with her past and perhaps the mysterious artist. Little does she know that her quest to discover the artist will lead her to the love of her life. I found this story engaging and fun, though you don't receive answers to questions regarding the details of the story until you are well into the book. The story is a wonderful reminder to not take life or loved ones for granted, to remember to turn to the Creator of the universe in all things.

Monday, May 14, 2012

H2O the novel by Austin Boyd and Brannon Hollingsworth

Kate Pepper has her life in order: a good job making big bucks to support her extravagant hobbies, a rich boyfriend, and expensive toys. When she slices her hand while making sushi fora fund raiser to make her boyfriend look good, Kate starts to see things when she touches water, causing her life to spin out of control. Suddenly, those things that used to get her up in the morning no longer hold the joy they once did for her. At first, the visions are bizarre and disjointed, but then Kate starts to witness actual scenes that have taken place. Can Kate come to the realization that Someone is trying to get her attention before things pass a point of no return? I found this story hard to get into, since Kate is a powerful heroine who is vulnerable and yet hard to relate too. It took me till about half way through to decide that I liked her and actually get into the story. So, stick with it!:D The writing style is edgy and will keep you guessing till the last page. Disclaimer: I wouldn't recommend this story if you are squeamish though, as Kate ends up in several predicaments that aren't for the faint of heart. All in all though, the book is worth reading if you like stories about God speaking in modern day or enjoy novels that make you think outside of the box.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Set in a world sometime in the not so distant future where America and the rest of the world has survived a major war and is dealing with by creating unity through people taking on "the mark". Logan Langly is approaching his 13th birthday, the day that kids go in to take a test and become citizens through receiving the mark. It is also the age he last saw his older sister, Lily, alive. Some kids who go in to get their mark wind up meeting unfortunate accidents. Through losing his sister, Logan has realized just how precious life is, and yet has also become hyper sensitive about his surroundings. His friends are convinced that he is wrapped up in conspiracy theories that have little truth in them, but the new girl is convinced he might be onto something. Together, Logan and Erin start down a path from whence there is no return. This is an excellent debut novel! I thought the story was compelling and unique, once with fun characters (though I did notice that some of the adult characters lacked depth) and plenty of twists in the story. If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, or enjoy a story with unpredictable twists to it, then this is the book for you!