Tuesday, July 29, 2008

With Endless Sight by Allison K. Pittman

Behind every story of loss is the promise of grace.

Belleville, Illinois and Wyoming Territories, 1861

Born into a life of privilege, fourteen-year-old Belinda never questions her security, even as she leaves Illinois with her family to discover new adventures in the Oregon Territory. But when disaster falls, Belinda is left wounded, weak, and alone. Her faith in God gives her the only strength she knows in a harsh new world.

Belinda’s journey takes her to a snow-covered mining camp and a red-roofed brothel in the Wyoming mountains, but not before she must spend a lonely winter with the man who took away the life she knew. Throughout the grief and hope of a strange land, Belinda must decide if her faith is big enough to allow her to forgive.

The satisfying conclusion to the Crossroads of Grace series, With Endless Sight offers a rich story of family, new beginnings, and the freedom that grace can bring.

My Review:
I won this in a giveaway, and although historical fiction is not my genre of choice, I loved this book from the first sentence: "I wasn't asleep--wasn't even pretending to be--when my cousin Phoebe slipped into my room." So many thoughts come to mind with that sentence. What time is it? It must be night because the speaker is supposed to be asleep. Why is Phoebe slipping into a room when someone is sleeping? What's she up to? Why isn't the speaker asleep? Why doesn't she even pretend? What happens next?

Allison K. Pittman can write! With the compelling plot, the main character so realistic that I felt as if I've had conversations with her, the twists and turns surprising me over and over again, all add up to make this ONE GOOD READ!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Face by Angela Hunt

Born to parents who died shortly after her birth, twenty-year-old genius Sarah Sims has been hidden in a secure CIA facility where she works to help her handlers achieve their goals. Yet her days of anonymity are limited because her aunt has discovered her existence and is determined to lead Sarah out of exile. But before she can leave the only world she’s ever known, Sarah needs what most people take for granted . . . a functioning face and the skills to use it. Will she remain in her secluded fortress or summon the courage to follow her heart?

My Review:
I just finished reading an advanced copy of The Face by Angela Hunt. I can sum up my reaction in one word: WOW!

A baby is born with such severe facial deformities that several operations must be preformed in order for the child to breathe, eat, hear, and speak. Twenty years later, her aunt, a psychologist, stumbles across the evidence of the child's existence, and begins a determined quest to find and love her niece, no matter her niece's appearance. But without an acceptable face, the young lady has never been in public; she's never learned to experience emotions.

Hunt's talented writing pulls the reader into this tender thriller with realistic characters and believable dialogue. She teaches me something new with each one of her novels. At the core of this novel, the reader considers the importance of life, love, and pain.

This is one of those hard-to-put-down books. John Grisham, move over!

The Face is scheduled to be released in November. You can order a copy now for an unbelievably low price.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Until Tomorrow (Christy and Todd: The College Years #1) by Robin Jones Gunn

Wondering what happens with Todd and Christy after the last page of A Promise Is Forever? Dive in to the College Years and enjoy the romance!

Until Tomorrow begins in Switzerland, where nineteen-year-old Christy Miller lives and studies at an international university. After being on her own for nearly a year, she gets a wonderful treat when her two closest friends--Todd and Katie--come to Europe to visit and travel during summer break.

Each has very different expectations for the trip that threaten to ruin their precious time together. Minute-by-minute, time slips away until they are facing their last moments together. For Christy and Todd, leaving will be especially painful. They said good-bye once but having to say it again may be too much. Their only hope is that they have the kind of love that will last until tomorrow....

My Review:
A trio of college age friends--two girls, one guy--tour Europe, giving the reader glimpses of interesting places to visit in addition to addressing the challenges of morality, following God, and retaining friendships. The title implies that Christy and Todd's love will last until tomorrow--the future--their future together. Ideal read for teens and college ages. Good read for any age.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Skid by Rene Gutteridge

Come Fly The Frenzied Skies!

Blissfully unaware that Atlantica Flight 1945 from Atlanta to Amsterdam is about to make aviation history, First Officer Danny McSweeney focuses his energies on navigating the turbulent personalities of an eccentric female captain, a copilot with a talent for tactless comments and conspiracy theories, and a lead flight attendant with an outsized attitude that definitely exceeds the limits for carry-on baggage.

On the other side of the cockpit door, the unscheduled in-flight entertainment includes a potbellied pig, a jittery diamond courier, and the recently jilted Lucy Meredith, whose personal mantra of "What Would Oprah Do?" will be challenged by the sudden appearance of her ex and his new traveling partner. On her left sits Hank Hazard, whose unusually polite but constant requests--prompted by his covert role as a spy for the airline--test the limits of the crew's customer service.

But as Lucy and the crew discover, Hank's odd behavior is linked to a quiet faith that may play a key role in the fate of everyone on board. Especially when an unexpected traveler sets this already bumpy flight on a course toward the unfriendly skies.

My Review:
As a humorous look at airline pilots, it's perfect for a summer read. Can you imagine, flying in an airplane with these passengers: Lucy, a woman reading and quoting Secret to help her get over her ex is sitting next to Hank, a not-too-bright airline industry spy; a handcuffed convict who flirts with the aging flight attendant; a man transporting diamonds; and a pig--yep! a PIG! All of this is wrapped around a pilot's final flight. I laughed out loud!