Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fatal Judgment by Irene Hannon

Summary: Jake Taylor, U.S. Marshal, is assigned to protect federal judge Liz Michaels, who just happens to be the widow of his college best friends. Liz's sister was murdered at Liz's house, and the police believe Liz may have been the target. Jake dreads protecting Liz based on his friend's description of her cold ruthlessness and focus on her career above all else. Liz surprises Jake by being warm and caring, the total opposite of what he expected.
As he guards Liz, he realizes his friend's personal demons and struggle with alcohol may have been to blame for the failing marriage and his death, not Liz. Jake must decide if protecting his heart is as important as protecting Liz.
My thought: Irene Hannon is quickly becoming one of my favorite Christian authors. This book is a great combination of suspense with the murder investigation and romance with the feelings between Jake and Liz. the murder details aren't too graphic, and the romance isn't too mushy. The element of faith is not preachy, and overall, it's a great book.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Summary: Lara Lington is a twenty-something young woman living in London, struggling to build a new business, and pining over her ex-boyfriend. When she goes to her great-aunt Sadie's funeral, she is surprised when her great-aunt appears to her even though she only met the lady a few times, convincing her to find her lost necklace. Although Lara tries to brush it off, Sadie continues to "haunt" her until she uncovers the past and in the process finding her own way in life.

My thoughts: This book is a funny read. Sadie's hilarious. She appears to Lara and immediately causes chaos, demanding that Lara find her lost necklace, and in the process making Lara appear mentally insane. As Lara delves into her family's past to find the missing necklace, she finds out more about the great-aunt she never knew and realizes that underneath people's age is still the same young person that wants to live and to enjoy life. Sadie makes Lara dress up in crazy 1920 outfits, ask out a random man, and confront her millionaire uncle. Through all these charades, Sadie teaches Lara the power of love and being loved back.

Monday, December 27, 2010

You had me at Goodbye by Tracey Bateman

Summary: Dancy Ames loves books. She is an editor for a publishing company is even working on her own novel. When Jack Quinn, her brother's best friend, sweeps in and takes her job, Dancy is at a loss for what exactly to do next. Should she work on her book, keep working for free at the little coffee shop, or just mooch off of her rich parents who are reuniting? Add a long lost half brother and a brother who is getting her dream condo, and Dancy's life is pretty much in turmoil. Will she surrender to the plans God has for her or keep fighting for what she thinks she wants?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this book. I love stories about people who fall in love with someone they've known all their lives. In addition to the love story, the storyline of Dancy's relationship with Nick, who fills the role of father since Dancy's dad is self-absorbed, is a strong one. Brandon, Dancy's long lost brother, is a nice supporting character.

Find the book on Amazon: You had Me at Goodbye

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reality Check by Jen Calonita

Summary: Charlie (short for Charlotte) and her three friends become the stars of a new reality teen TV show featuring their lives in a small town. When the cameras start rolling, the girls' friendship is tested as they find out that reality TV is more like "scripted" TV. Relationships are strained, and friendships are broken as the girls juggle their TV persona with their true feelings. Is the luxury of fame worth the price of your self-worth?

My thoughts: I'm a huge Jen Calonita fan. I like how she balances Hollywood life with normal girls. Many teens idolize the reality stars they see on TV, and this book gives a fictional inside look at how things on "reality" TV aren't always what they see.

The book also delves into the dilemma of how much of yourself do you have to give up to be famous. The end of the book has a powerful message as Charlie and her friends have to decide if the price of fame is too high.

Reality Check on Amazon Check out the book on Amazon!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

I loved this book! Francine Rivers is always impressive, and I loved how she dealt with both the relationship between Marta and her father and then Marta and her own daughter. Growing up with an abusive father determined to keep Marta in her "place", Marta flees and works hard to create a life for herself. Set in the early 1900s, Marta must overcome obstacles for women in general in addition to the shackles that bind her to her family.
When she falls in love and has her own daughter, Marta becomes much like her father: hard and unrelentingly demanding on her daughter, who is meek and mild. While Marta fears her daughter will be limited in life because of her shyness, Hildemara must learn to be her own woman just like her mother did years before.
One of the most powerful bonds in life is the one between a mother and a daughter. It can either be one of the most beloved relationships or one of the most toxic, and this novel is a beautiful portrayal of that relationship from both sides.
I can't wait to read the second book in the series.

Find this book on Amazon: Her Mother's Hope on

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Writing a Book

When I taught language arts, I loved writing stories with my students. I had my students each "publish" a book through StudenTales Publishing, and I used to love writing the stories and having my friend Jessica illustrate them for me. Now that I'm out of the classroom and in the library, I've missed writing. So, around Thanksgiving, I started writing a book. I've written about 15,000 words so far, and I'm enjoying it.
Even if it never gets published, it's fun to write. We'll see what happens. :)