Google+ Badge

27 November 2014

Review: Just Over the Horizon by Susan Rush

An Unusual Christian Romantic Suspense Novel

Sarah Reeves is a visiting hospice nurse, and has just moved to a new three-month assignment where she meets handsome carpenter Nate Williams while looking less than her best. A lot less than her best, but that doesn’t prevent the two becoming friends as they care for Nate’s adopted father. Sarah gets more involved in the community, and is even asked out by a handsome young doctor, and she finds herself torn, and perhaps even wanting to settle in one place.

There were quite a few typos and glitches in the writing, but not enough to detract from a powerful and unusual story. In a way, it’s nice to see people die naturally (!) in Christian fiction, which more often features death through murder and violence. There is tragedy and death in Just Over The Horizon, but it’s dealt with in a beautiful way. I especially liked the idea that sometimes we have to remind ourselves that dying is sometimes a process, and we need to make that process as easy as possible.

But it wasn’t all maudlin. There was also a healthy dose of romance, a potentially less healthy dose of suspense, and the obligatory happy-ever-after ending (do not despise the happy-ever-after ending. It’s the reason I read romance). An enjoyable novel with an original viewpoint.

Thanks to Susan Rush and Astraea Press for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Susan Rush at her website.

22 November 2014

Cover Reveal: Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn

Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn
Surge, Anaiah Press


Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.

But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pull Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.

Release Date:
March 17, 2015

Book Links:

Author Bio:

As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security. 

Twitter:  @ScouterWife

21 November 2014

ARCBA Tour: The Songs of Jesse Adams by Peter

16 - 20 November 2014
is introducing

The Songs of Jesse Adams
Acorn Press


Peter McKinnon

About the Book:

Set in the turmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s, The Songs of Jesse Adams traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush – a farmer’s son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms a host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his touch. 

Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society’s edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power – the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head – with profound consequences. 

Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, The Songs of Jesse Adams is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.

*Warning this book contains some language that some readers may find offensive*

About the Author

For seventeen years, Peter McKinnon held senior roles in some of Australia’s largest corporations, with a focus on human behaviour and organisational effectiveness. This culminated in his appointment in 1999 as Executive General Manager, People & Culture, of Australia’s then largest financial organisation, National Australia Bank.

In late 2006, Peter was approached to head up the global human resources function of  World Vision International(WVI), based in Los Angeles. WVI is the world’s largest humanitarian aid organisation, with over 40,000 employees in 100 different countries and countless volunteers working in highly diverse and challenging settings.

When he returned to Australia in late 2009, he committed to pursuing his creative interests more directly and began to write. ‘The Songs of Jesse Adams’ is the result.

Peter has been published in publications as wide-ranging as the ‘Age’, ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly’ and ‘4 x 4‘ magazine and regards winning a Pacific cruise for his writing as his crowning achievement in this field ! He has also written and produced several musicals.

Peter is a qualified psychologist, has studied theology, worked briefly as a minister and served on the Council of the MCD University of Divinity.

He lives in Melbourne with his wife Julie. This is his first book.

20 November 2014

Review: The Bridge Tender by MaryBeth Whalen

Not Whalen’s best

I’m going to admit two things before I start, because one in particular affected my enjoyment of The Bridge Tender. First, I thought it was a romance, because the book description I read when I downloaded it made it seem like an amusing romance about a widow finding second love. It even gave the guy’s name and occupation, so there was no mistaking what was ‘supposed’ to happen.

So when I was a quarter of the way though and the main character—the widow—hadn’t even met the guy, I was starting to get confused and a little annoyed. This wasn’t what I signed up for—dragging backstory and depressing introspection (yes, I get that she’s a widow. But I thought this was a romance, which means she’s supposed to be past her grief and ready to move on). I went back and checked the book description, and it had changed to this:
On their honeymoon, the new Mr & Mrs. Ryan Shaw made a pact: No matter the sacrifices along the way, one day they would return to Sunset Beach, North Carolina—this time to buy their own home.
But that dream was not to be. Seven years into a beautiful marriage, Emily is left a widow, heartbroken, and way past caring about anything.
Until a man approaches her, claiming to have something left to her from Ryan. Something secret.
Unsure if she can ever embrace a new life without her husband, but even less sure about continuing to stay where she is, Emily heads to the coast to keep her end of the promise she once made.
Without delay, she becomes immersed in the lives of the locals, including the reclusive bridge tender with an unexpected past. As the community debates over building a new bridge, Emily must decide whether she will build a bridge of her own, one that will take her out of a painful past and into the new life—and new love—that her lost love made possible.
Ah. Not a romance then, which might explain why it was taking so long for the romance to get going. Although, in my defence, it still takes a long time to get into even this plot. Emily doesn’t “head to the coast” to keep her promise until a quarter of the way into the book, and it takes even longer before she really gets “immersed” in the lives of a small group of locals.

The second thing was my fault entirely. I misunderstood the title. The ‘bridge tender’ refers to the person who looks after (tends) the bridge, not a tender moment concerning a bridge. My bad.

As a result, I found the plot dragged, Emily was depressing and introspective, and I didn’t enjoy The Bridge Tenderas much as I’ve enjoyed other novels by Marybeth Whalan.

Would I have enjoyed it more if I’d read this blurb instead? Maybe, but I found myself waiting for something unexpected to happen. It did, but it took a long time. Emily was a distant character all the way through, and while I could empathise with her as a widow still grieving the loss of her husband, it wasn’t exactly fun reading. This distance also worked against her in the second half of the story, where she was becoming more involved in the lives of the locals, as the distant viewpoint never made it feel like she was truly “immersed”.

However, the writing was solid and I liked the way the Christian message was woven subtly throughout the novel. But I’ve enjoyed other Marybeth Whalen books more (I think my favourite is She Makes It Look Easy, for the way it shows us it’s what inside that counts, not outward appearance, and that being 'perfect' isn't all it's cracked up to be).

Thanks to Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Marybeth Whalen at her website.