Saturday, May 31, 2014

Scarlett Says



Title:  Scarlett Says
Author:  Julie L. Cannon
Pages:  304
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
I never know what to expect from authors based on the title or even the cover of a book, but that makes the joy of discovering the story all the more fun.  In the book, a young woman named Joan in the throes of her teenage years read Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell, and Joan wants to be like the character Scarlett.  Joan starts a blog totally committed to anything and everything related to the novel Gone with the Wind.  Her posts discuss themes, characters and more from the novel.
Joan is afraid of the real world; she prefers anonymity and the world of the internet because she sees it as safe.  Joan, in time, with the help of a therapist overcomes her phobia enough to enter the working world where she meets a man nicknamed Siggy, who befriends her along with giving her words of wisdom.  His friendship helps Joan in many ways as readers will discover in the tale, as well as learn about Margret Mitchell’s real life history.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure where the novel was going, but the deeper I got into the pages the more I felt pulled into the characters’ lives.  I remember reading Gone with the Wind in high school and having to write a report on the book.  A few years back I watched the movie again, amazed at my change in perspective that came with growing up.  The novel touches on themes like real relationships compared to internet or virtual ones, slavery, the Civil War and many topics Gone with the Wind reveals.  There is also a lot of banter the online community has on the Scarlett Says blog that Joan writes, written very well by Julie L. Cannon.  I liked how the friendship between Joan and the janitor developed into a true friendship that in many ways challenges Joan’s perspective and lifestyle.
It is pretty amazing that some of the themes revealed in Gone with the Wind and this novel are subjects still discussed in our day.  Faith in God or the questions that come when life is different than expected, add the emotions the character Joan displays toward God when she is confronted with overcoming her past make for interesting reading.  I hope you take time to enjoy the book and consider revisiting some of the history of Margret Mitchell and her novel Gone with the Wind.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Friday, May 30, 2014

Introducing Author Cindy N Bring and consider becoming part of her Team!

To Join The Team visit :  http://cnbring.com/the-team/

















A Cold Treachery



Title:  A Cold Treachery (Inspector Rutledge #7)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  556 (large type edition)
Year:  2005
Publisher:  Thorndike Press
Inspector Ian Rutledge has just finished a case and is in the area when help is requested nearby.  He is sent to investigate the murder of a family at their kitchen table.  No signs of resistance are seen, but one family member is missing.  All the men in the small village are mustered to search the cold, desolate area of northern England for the boy.  As the days pass, the mission turns from rescue to recovery in the minds of the men.  No 10-year-old boy could survive the cold as well as being without food and water.  As there are no witnesses, Ian begins methodically questioning other people who knew the victims.
At the hotel where Ian sets up his headquarters, there is a pretty, young woman in a wheelchair that catches Ian’s attention as a man, not an inspector.  Nothing romantic happens in this story, but maybe in the next one?  Ian is stymied as he has multiple people pointing their fingers at multiple suspects without any hard evidence of guilt.  If only the boy were around, maybe he saw something!  As time passes, the local chief constable becomes more and more unhappy with Inspector Rutledge and his lack of results.  Can Ian find the guilty party before he is replaced?  Who could commit such a heinous crime?
There was a great twist at the end of the story that I didn’t see coming!  There is lots of tension mounting throughout the story.  I did think that the search for the little boy went on too long and that his fate should have been revealed sooner.  The internal conversations that take place between Ian and Hamish I find so very interesting.  They add so much depth to the character of Ian and to the overall story.  This is still a very good mystery and definitely worth reading.  I am thoroughly enjoying this series and can’t wait to read book eight next!
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Echoes of tthe TItanic

Title:  Echoes of Titanic
Author:  Mindy Starns Clark & John Campbell Clark
Pages:  385
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Adele Brennan boards the Titanic on its maiden voyage, dreaming of a new life in America as she bids goodbye to her homeland of Ireland.  She sails to join her father who has spent the past 16 years in America building a successful business.  She travels with her cousin Jocelyn, who is like a sister to her and Jocelyn’s father.  She longs to use her keen business mind, but lacks opportunity in Ireland.  Hopefully, America will embrace a female businesswoman.  When tragedy strikes the ship, only one of the girls survives.  The survivor goes to New York and makes the family business even more successful after she attends college and joins the firm.  However, the firm faces some controversy when someone claims she is not really Adele Brennan.
Kelsey Tate is just like her great grandmother Adele or so everyone keeps telling her.  She loves the business world and is very good at her job at her family’s firm, Brennan & Tate.  Now that her father has suffered a stroke, the company’s image has taken a beating.  The new PR firm hired by the company begins to promote Kelsey as the latest financial wizard who is going to rebuild the company’s image.  Kelsey and Cole Thornton used to work together, but when she undercut his bid on a project five years ago, their relationship ended.  Now, after Kelsey discovers a body in one of the company’s conference rooms, she is persona non grata and banned from work until things are cleared up.  Her company also faces a hostile takeover.  She receives a message from Cole, offering to help.  With no one else to turn to, Kelsey accepts his offer.  She also faces another trial when a distant cousin again publically questions Adele Brennan’s identity.  Who really survived the tragedy of the Titanic?  Was it Adele or Jocelyn?  Are the bonds Adele supposedly bought from a new start-up company back then for real or are they just a myth?  If real, where are they?  Are they worth anything if they really exist?  Kelsey is determined to find out.  While working with Cole again, they both discover they still love one another as well as discover they were both manipulated five years ago in order to break the up.  Who would do so and why?
I found this mystery original and intriguing.  It held my attention from beginning to end.  I liked how there were a couple chapters in the present day and then a chapter from the past.  It was so interesting taking a look back to the Titanic.  I thought the characters very approachable and could connect with them easily.  It was also great to see that no matter how strong a businesswoman Kelsey thought she was, she still needed God’s strength each day to see her through.  Her rediscovering her faith in God was wonderful to read about.  I hope this author does more fiction works in this same vein.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Until I Found You



Title:  Until I Found You
Author:  Victoria Bylin
Pages:  352
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany
Unique, captivating and compelling are the words I use to describe this wonderful novel that has characters almost like real people.  Kate Darby and Nick Sheridan are the main focus in the tale that is filled with tension, romance and faith.  The past of Nick Sheridan is one he wants to be able to forget in so many ways.  Once he becomes a Christian, he makes a vow that is tested when he meets Kate Darby.
Kate is the beloved granddaughter of Leona, who is the sole owner of the local paper.  While Leona hopes Kate will take over the family business, there is a story Leona needs to share with her.  However, one morning changes are brought to Leona; the ripple effects touch Kate and Nick.  Kate wishes she could have the faith her Nonnie (Leona) has, but just cannot seem to bring herself to believe in someone she cannot see or hear.  What happens during the whole book will lead readers on an adventure that is sure to captivate the heart and mind.
As I turned page after page, the tension between Kate and Nick was very palpable as their choices always came back to their beliefs, which weren’t the same.  The vow Nick had made and the life he had led, which is now radically different, gives him a certain understanding of the worldly temptations that Kate is facing.  Yet, he knows that Kate must make her own choices.  The frustration Nick feels, I believe, many can relate to.  When we see someone choosing a path that can be hurtful to them, but know they have to make their own mind up, is very hard to endure.  Praying for them helps no doubt about it, but the heart is broken and people hurt deeply as they realize only God has the power to influence someone to choose Him.
Believers know in order to have a lifetime marriage to their husband or wife, there needs to be a foundation of beliefs that are the same.  Life can be so hard and if the hearts aren’t together in the foundation, the road to “until death do us part” is certainly not filled with roses.  There are times where there are thorns.  I can testify that if my husband and I weren’t believers and had made a decision before marriage that divorce is never an option, with all we have been through we would not be married today 26 years later.
The author does a fantastic job of showing how the older generation needs to pass on to the next their past regardless of what it holds as it is a way to show God’s hand in their life.  Also, depicted is how hard it is really to find someone who is willing to make a lifelong commitment to God first then to another person.  Finally, the choice we all have to make is to go God’s way or the way of the world which is at odds with each other and constantly pulling for our devotion.  This is a very well written novel!
My rating is 5+ stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Persecuted

Title:  Persecuted (I Will Not Be Silent)
Author:  Robin Parrish & Daniel Lusko
Pages:  320
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany House
While this is a fictional story, it is not a futuristic one or one for the faint of heart.  My first impression as I read was how in some ways the story reflects in a broad sense the many issues our nation is struggling with right now and Christians loss as to what to do.  On 07/18/14, a film with be released with the same title and you can learn more by visiting a website http://www.persecutedmovie.com.
The forward alone will challenge many to be thinking as they read the book, asking questions in light of current events in relation to the novel.  The main protagonist is a highly valued evangelist named John Luther who runs a ministry, but doesn’t compromise the truth.  The stand John takes on a particular bill before Congress puts him diametrically opposed to many well-financed and highly influential people.  When the wheels are set in motion to take down his life and ministry, it is like the gates of Hell have been thrown wide open.  What results will keep the audience turning pages for hours!
The one thread I find most interesting is how easily it seems many are influenced by news, political figures and more without comparing it to the Word.  Even though the evangelist gives them biblical truth and points to the Bible as the book that has the answers, it seems as though so few seek the truth for themselves.  Therefore, when John is hunted down for alleged crimes, some characters have already turned their backs on him and his ministry.
The action taking place kept my pulse racing as one antagonist was vaguely referred to as Mr. Gray, but whose true identity didn’t come to light till the end.  In the conclusion, we see how characters are changed in that they grow closer to the Lord and each other; yet, some seem to move forward still blind, deaf and dumb to the truth.  The book is an amazing work and I suspect the movie will be as well, focusing on the main point of coming to a personal decision of standing up for Christ or being silent. For me, I pray that God will continue to grant me the ability to be bold and unashamed of Him and the gospel no matter what threats might be made to silence me now or in the future.
My rating is 5+ stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457