Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bound for Glory

Bound for Glory: Celebrating the Gift of African American Spirituals through Expressive Calligraphy  -     
        By: Timothy R. Botts, Patricia Raybon

Bound For Glory
Timothy R. Botts with reflections by Patricia Raybon
Tyndale House Publishers

     I agreed to review this book not long after my sister, mother, and a few friends of ours had been given a lesson (by a wonderful lady in our church) on how to write in calligraphy. So this book, of course, warranted great interest when I saw it available on Tyndale's website.
     Inside the hardbound cover is collection of expressive calligraphy inspired by African American Spirituals. Several of these songs I'm familiar with, and I was eager to see my favorites. Though many of the color choices of the art is not really my style, and reminded me a little of the sixties-era magazines inherited from my great-grandmother, the actual writing is creative and well-done. My personal favorites were "Joshua and the Battle of Jericho", "When the Saints Come Marching In"  "Amen" and "The Blind Man".

Rating: 7

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

His Steadfast Love

His Steadfast Love
Golden Keyes Parsons
Thomas Nelson

Texas, 1861. Amanda Irene Belle is in love with a Union Army officer....which presents problems as her family is a group of born-and-bred southerners. Can she and Captain Kent Littlefield overcome the obstacles to their love and make a life together?

     I had never read anything by this author before, so I didn't really know what to expect. I wanted to like this book, but it just didn't grab hold of my emotions in any way. I was rather indifferent to Amanda and Kent. I didn't hate them or anything, but I can't say I really liked them. They were just...there. Also, may I just say, I did NOT approve of the two of them meeting together secretly at night? True, nothing happened, they only "talked"...but I still don't think it was appropriate. Especially after Kent had just promised Amanda's father he wouldn't talk to her again! Just sayin'. Also, Kent's letters rubbed me the wrong way. I don't rightly know why, but they annoyed me.
     The book wasn't all bad. Strangely enough, I liked the story between Amanda's brother Daniel and his fiance' Claire better than I liked Amanda and Kent's story.

Rating: 6

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wings of a Dream

Wings of a Dream
Anne Mateer
Bethany House Publishers

Debut Author Delivers Sweet, Heartwarming Historical Fiction

     Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promises adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry.
While she waits for the end of the Great War and Arthur's return, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, sure that her glamorous and exciting life is about to start.

     But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's sickness, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah discovers she must choose between her desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.

     There aren't many books surrounding the Spanish Flu epidemic during the Great War. In fact, this may be the only book I've ever read that does. I really, really, liked Wings of a Dream. The characters were wonderful, and I liked the fact that it wasn't just a "romance" book. I loved the way Rebekah's veiwpoint and aspirations did a total turnaround. The kids were so sweet and I found it easy to see why Rebekah fell in love with them!
     What I think I like most about this book was the fact that the storyline was inspired by author Anne Mateer's own personal family history. Being a bit of a genealogy nut, I really appreciated that. :)
     It's hard when you try a new author- you never really know what you're going to get. But Wings of a Dream was a sweet, hopeful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Recommended!

Rating: 9

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Beyond All Measure

Beyond All Measure,  Hickory Ridge Series #1

Beyond All Measure
Dorothy Love
Thomas Nelson

Unless she can trust God’s love to cast out her fears, Ada may lose the heart of a good man.   

Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady’s companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.

Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada’s friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt’s primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.

With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.

     I have to say I really do not enjoy e-books. At least, I don’t enjoy reading them on the computer, since I don’t own an e-reader. Which is why it took me almost three months to finish this book!
     Beyond All Measure was an enjoyable read. It was rather typical of the Christian romance genre, but still had enough twists and turns to make it interesting. It was nicely written, and I thought it had a good variety of characters. I especially loved Sophie! Overall, I’d say reading this book is a good way to spend an afternoon.

Rating: 8

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.
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