Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Anniversary Waltz, by Darrel Nelson

At their sixtieth anniversary party, Adam Carlson asks his wife, Elizabeth, for their customary waltz. After the dance they gather the family and share their story—a story of love and courage overcoming adversity and thriving in the face of overwhelming odds.

It’s the summer of 1946, and Adam has just returned from the war to his home in Reunion, Montana. At a town festival he meets Elizabeth Baxter, a young woman going steady with his former high school rival and now influential banker, Nathan Roberts.

When Adam and Elizabeth share a waltz in a deserted pavilion one evening, their feelings begin to grow and they embark on a journey, and a dance, that will last a lifetime.

This was a sweet little book, since I was ready to read a piece of period fiction and I wasn't disappointed. The characters seemed very real to me. Adam, who had just come back home after serving in the Army, was eagerly greeted by his mother, but his father refused to acknowledge his return. As the story continued, we learn of the burden his parents carried when Adam enlisted and left his parents to work the farm.

And then we learn of Elizabeth who was raised by her aunt and uncle. She works at the smal dry cleaners at the time Adam comes home. When he comes in to have his uniform cleaned and pressed for the town festival, they begin a conversation that leads to an invitation for Adam to come for dinner. This excerpt gives you some thought as to the challenges that faced Adam that afternoon.
"I enjoyed your contribution to the service today," she said.  "Thank you," he replied. "The music was inspriring, and the company was exceptional." He winked at Elizabeth.  Wil noticed but said nothing.  Lenora noticed too and asked, "Do you plan to make regular church attendance a part of your life?"
The correct answer was yes, of course, Adam knew that any other answer would end his chances of ever being around Elizabeth with Lenora's approval, however slight it might be. But he answered honestly, without pretext.  "I admit I didn't attend church much before the war.  Somehow in my youth, it didn't seem important.  But in Italy I got back in touch with God.  We all did.  I made a deal with Him.  He kept His end of the bargain, and I intend to keep mine."
"What deal did you make, if you don't mind my asking?"  Lenora inquired.
So, now I won't share anymore of the story.  But it's a book I recommend to encourage you.  A book to give you hope that when you're discouraged not to give up.

This is the first novel by Darrel Nelson, and I hope he will give us more stories.

I'm sharing this review free without any obligations to the publisher. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fire of the Raging Dragon, The Pacific Rim Series

"In the very near future, China, now the world’s largest industrial producer and consumer of Mideast Oil, passes a law that all new cars manufactured in that nation will be operated on natural gas. Beneath the floor of the South China Sea, around the contested Spratly Islands, billions of gallons of natural gas wait to be mined. "

Bestselling author Don Brown has built a loyal fan base by writing what he knows best: thrillers with heart. A former Navy JAG officer and action-officer at the Pentagon, Brown pens action-packed plots and finely-drawn characters that are credible and compelling.
In Fire of the Raging Dragon -the second book in Brown's bestselling Pacific Rim Series-Stephanie Surber is stationed on board a submarine tender in the South China Sea when a naval war breaks out. After a gruesome discovery escalates America's involvement, Stephanie's father, U.S. President Douglas Surber, must choose to take a stand against evil … or save the life of his daughter.
This is my first book by action author, Don Brown, and I'm his newest fan.   It is a political thriller like no other. Don, who served five years in the U.S. Navy, writes a fast-paced book making good use of his knowledge about the military and their operations. This political thriller uses sub-headings as the storyline develops it's plots and subplots with twists and turns that begin to challenge what part of the story I'm reading, but yet I couldn't put the book down. I like a book that offers fairly accurate information and based on the author's background, his descriptions of the military and political situations throughout the story are guaranteed to engage any reader right to the conclusion.  Also interesting is the background of history for both sides in the conflict. Readers won't miss the lack of profanity since the idea that this situation could actually occur today are described by an author whose knowledge of current affiars make this a thriller of a book! I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy suspense and action.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 I was not compensated for this review and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Voice In The Wind, by Francine Rivers

The first book in the bestselling Mark of the Lion series, A Voice in the Wind brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, this young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.

This classic series has already inspired nearly 2 million readers, but both loyal fans and new readers will want this 20th anniversary edition of a Christian classic, which includes a foreword from the publisher, a letter from and Q & A with Francine Rivers, color map, an illustrated glossary, and discussion questions suitable for personal and group use.

As I began reading this 20th Anniversary Edition of A Voice In The Wind, by Francine Rivers, I became anxious at the vivid descriptions in the opening paragraph, 

"The city was silently bloating in the hot sun, rotting like the thousands of bodies that lay where they had fallen in street battles.  An oppressive, hot wind blew from the southeast, carrying with it the putrefying stench of decay."

My apprehension to continue reading a story that claims to be a classic was resolved by my commitment to give an honest review of this book for the publisher.
The book surprised me by it's story of life in the first century.  I believe the author has thoroughly researched  the background for the book.  Each chapter brought me closer to experiencing the sights and sounds and emotions of Hadassah and those living through Rome's persecution of Christians.

This special edition has the addition of the discussion questions which would make an interesting home-study with friends.

Even though I'm still not comfortable reading script with horrific details, this book deserves to be on any best seller list.  Understanding and experiencing what life must have been like for Christians in the very early years through this story helps me appreciate the perseverance of all those believers who have come before me.

I was provided a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.