Thursday, April 10, 2014

Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson and GIVEAWAY

When a man’s body is found by abandoned railroad tracks near his home, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the murder. The victim, Gavin Miller, was a former college lecturer dismissed for misconduct and has been living as a recluse since.

As with Peter Robinson’s previous books, this is a very detailed police procedural.  Each detail and suspect is carefully examined, and the trails in this story lead far into the victim’s past.

I enjoy this type of carefully examined case and the complete explanation of the evidence.  It does move slowly at times, but I have also found this in other of his books.  Often when I read books by British authors, I find quite a few words unfamiliar to US readers, but fortunately this author spends his time in both the U.K. and North America so there were few times I needed to look up a word.   

Another good book by Peter Robinson.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in India by Carole P. Roman

Next stop – India as we travel around the world with Carol P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in… series. This is another exciting book introducing children to other cultures.  As with the others in this series, this book covers what children would want to know about if they lived in another country. It answers what children call their parents, what they eat, what games they play, what they do for fun, interesting places to visit, and celebrations.

The full-page illustrations are colorful and very descriptive of the text. The text is large for early readers.  Some of the words are challenging, but there is also a pronunciation guide in each of the books. I highly recommend this and all of the others in this series for home, preschools, and elementary schools.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bone Deep By Randy Wayne White

Well, I am not sure how I missed out on books 1-20, but yes, this is the 21st in the Doc Ford series. It is definitely a stand alone book, and I never felt I was missing something in the story by not reading the previous books.

 I enjoyed the main characters in this story. Doc and his sort of ex Hannah are an interesting mix, and I enjoyed the differences in their personalities.   The story progresses smoothly as Doc is approached to help a member of the Crow Nation recover a stolen relic. The job leads him on an adventure into stolen artifacts, the black market, environmental concerns of phosphate plants, and relic diving. The location descriptions gave a real sense of being in the heart of Florida.

I thought the plot got a little confusing with so many minor characters and it slowed the story down a bit, but it was still a good book and I will definitely look at some of the previous books in this series. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Treasure of Snake Island: A Captain No Beard Story Volume 5 by Carole P. Roman

The Treasure of Snake Island is the fifth volume of the Captain No Beard series, but my first! It is a fun pirate story with a search for a treasure – a very special treasure.

I love the wide age range that will enjoy this book. Young non-readers will enjoy visualizing the story in the full-page colorful illustrations as it is read. Colors, rhymes, and the animals will appeal to the pre-school age, and older readers will be challenged with the characters and dialog.

First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Polly the Parrot, Fribbet the frog, Cabin Girl Cayla, and of course, Captain No Beard will fascinate and entertain both boys and girls. I highly recommend this very entertaining pirate book!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodnight, Angels by Melody Carlson

This is a delightful story that follows a little boy as he prepares for bed, saying “Good night” to
everyone and everything.  This is a heavy duty board book made sturdy enough for young children.

The illustrations are softly colorful and detailed with scenes that start outside at play and then move into the house, as he prepares for bed. He takes time to say good night to his toys, his dog, and his parents. He also says goodnight to God and thanks Him for his blessings, love and care.

This is a nice bedtime story by Melody Carlson with pictures by Sophie Allsopp. It is the kind of story that will help an active child settle down and prepare for bed.   The illustrations allow the child to point out household items and toys as they listen.

I received a copy of this book through the BookLook blogger program in exchange for an honest review.

If You Were Me and Lived in...Turkey by Carole P.Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in...Turkey is another excellent addition to Carole P. Roman’s unique series of books to introduce children to other cultures around the world.   She introduces the children to common boy and girl names, foods, what children call their parents, places to go, games to play, and answering all the questions that a child would ask. 

The books are described as for pre-K through age eight.   Younger children will enjoy the colorful and playful illustrations and while you read to them, and young readers will enjoy learning about how other children live. 

I highly recommend all of the books of this series for parents, grandparents, and for use in preschool and elementary schools.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Innocence by Dean Koontz

I am a long time fan of Dean Koontz books. His writing has certainly changed over the years, but then I've changed too! Innocence is once again a different kind of book that truly took me by surprise.  I will not give a synopsis because I wouldn't want to spoil a bit of the mystery.
changed also. His books have never once been a disappointment. 

Mr. Koontz has an incredible talent to describe people, places, and emotions to give the reader a sense of presence.  The story of Addison and Gwyneth and their special circumstances was an emotional adventure for me.  I loved the book, and although the end was satisfying with all questions answered, I wanted it to go on forever.  I highly recommend this book.   

Thursday, January 9, 2014

If You Were Me and Lived in Kenya by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in Kenya by Carole P Roman is another outstanding book in her series of books that introduce children to cultures around the world. This time the young reader is introduced to Kenya. The book covers the information that is most important to children such as what their name might be if they lived in Kenya and what they would call their Mommy and Daddy. It covers common meals, games, toys, and other different and interesting activities of daily life in that country. The full-page illustrations by Kelsea Wierenga are fun and attractive to children.  New readers will be challenged by new and interesting words along with a pronunciation guide and non readers will enjoy listening to the descriptions as they look through the illustrations.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fascinomas - Fascinating Medical Mysteries

Fascinomas is a book of true medical mysteries. Each short story presents the patient’s symptoms and then goes into the process of making the diagnosis. These are interesting cases with unusual symptoms and the diagnoses takes a lot of true detective work. The stories have been collected by the author from different doctors around the country. My favorite story was Chapter 9, Medicine Can Be a Humbling Profession. Of course to explain why it was my favorite would give away the mystery and I won’t do that, but it was honest and definitely humbling for the doctor involved. Clifton K. Meador, M.D. is also the author of True Medical Detective Stories , another excellent book on medical mysteries. I highly recommend both True Medical detective Stories and Fascinomas-Fascinating Medical Mysteries. Love the book's cover!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Grief: A Mama’s Unwanted Journey by Shelley Ramsey

This is a difficult book to read and I am sure a difficult book to write.  This is also a difficult review to write. 

If you want to know what the experience is “like” when you lose a child, the author explains it well. I could identify with all of the emotions, shock, and reactions from other people. I could especially relate to the example of the friend that spotted her in a store and immediately turned her back and walked away. It would have been much more helpful, however, to explain more about how deeply these reactions hurt. 

Unfortunately, if you are going through this experience, and you are looking for guidance or comfort, there is not much here.  Her story is all about her and her son and there is very little reaching out to try to understand the grief of others.  This is evident in her repeating over and over that her son did nothing wrong and made no mistakes even though he died in a single-car accident.  She explains in detail how God provided for the pastor of her church to be with her husband when he was informed of the death. How perfectly her church guided them through the experience. I saw no effort to see through the eyes of someone whose experience was different, and the attitude was as if God gave her family preferential treatment. Did you have more faith than I? No, I don't think so.

I'm sure that writing this book was helpful for the author, but I don't think she was at a stage in her grief at which she could look beyond self and reach out to others.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Are You Afraid Of? By David Jeremiah

If we are honest, we will admit that no matter how strong our faith, we sometimes have fears.  In What Are You Afraid Of? Facing Down Your Fears With Faith, we learn to face those fears, work through them,
and revitalize our faith.  The fears covered in this book are common uncertainties such as financial security, illness death, and even a fear of God. Using his own experience and those of others, Dr. Jeremiah gives practical advice and encouragement to bring the fears under control.

This is not a light read, but neither is it dry. The stories are interesting and the advice pertinent to our daily lives.  I received this book from Tyndale for review so I read it through, but I plan to go back and read it as a Bible study, perhaps a chapter a week. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Settled Blood by Mari Hannah

Settled Blood is the second in the DCI Kate Daniels series. The book seemed to be a little too much of an attempt to be an all inclusive genre. This mystery, thriller, suspense, police procedure and lesbian romance instead ended up a little muddled. There are very descriptive crime scenes, and the high suspense tension lasts until the end of the story.

I usually enjoy a methodical police procedure, but in this book, it seemed the details were too repetitive. How many reports does the DCI Kate Daniels need to receive ( and seem surprised about) stating the fall victim was alive when she hit the ground. It did nothing to add to the horror of the crime. Also, the pining over her ex-girlfriend seemed out of place in the middle of a tense drama.

This is a British author so there were quite a few terms and British slang that I was not familiar with, but that was not a big drawback because it just took a quick search online to find definitions. It did break up the flow of the story though.

A copy of this e-book was provided by Edelweiss, Above the Treeline.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Last Light by Terri Blackstock

We have all had situations arise when our power goes out, sometimes for a day or two.  What would happen if it went out everywhere. How would our smart-phone addicted society react without anything electronic?
Last Light explores how a family adjusts and recreates their lives under the most primitive of conditions.  Travel, food shortages, lack of medical care are all situations explored in the story.

The characters were realistic and well-done, but the oldest daughter, Deni, was so unlikable that I really didn't care about her or her goals.   Had she been portrayed as younger I could have understood her bad choices, but at her age she should have been more mature.

This is definitely a solid Christian book with scripture and Christian philosophy of life as the family struggles with decisions concerning sharing, concern for others, suspicion of neighbors and working together as a community.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Very Sad Time

Michael Palmer, one of my absolute favorite authors died has passed away. His 20th novel, Resistant, is to be published in May. His memorial service is today.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Darkness First by James Hayman

When a doctor reaches out to try to help an abused woman, the woman ends up dead and the doctor severely injured.   Suspicion surrounds the doctor when a bag of Oxy is found in her pocket.  Detectives Maggie Savage and Michael McCabe know the killers name, but soon learn that is leading them nowhere, and the murdered woman’s young sister is in grave danger.

Darkness First does an amazing job of drawing the reader deep into the story. With its shifting locations and characters, the story is progresses very meticulously.  There is the perfect balance of narration and dialog, and the characters are well-developed and interesting. This mystery/police procedural was an all-around great read, and I highly recommend it for fans of this genre.

I received a review copy of this book from Witness Impulse in return for an honest and fair review.
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