Thursday, September 29, 2011


Title: Lost Voices
Author: Sarah Porter
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; None edition (July 4, 2011)
Pages: 304

Fourteen-year-old Luce isn't just shy, she's also afraid to speak her mind. Luce lives with her alcoholic uncle, and when things go from bad to worse, she dies as a human and becomes a mermaid.

Luce is welcomed into the tribe of mermaid where she learns the rules of being a mermaid. If she breaks any of them, she risks being expelled from the group. The thought of being alone is too much for Luce to comprehend.

An important part of being a mermaid is their singing voice. Something Luce seems to be a natural at. Each mermaid has a horrific past where a human has destroyed their life. The mermaids sing to ships to take them down, killing every last soul. After Luce's first ship sinking, her morals won't allow her to continue the senseless killings. But to let the others know would mean losing the friends she's made and the only home she's known.

LOST VOICES by SARA PORTER is not a book that would typically catch my attention. Certainly not one I would chose to read. So how did I come to read this book, by an author I never heard of?

That would have to be because of my fourteen-year-old daughter. It was she who spotted LOST VOICES and wanted to read it. Honestly, it isn't a book she'd normally read. To her credit she gave it a good try but it wasn't for her.

So now it was my turn. I must say I was a little more than hesitant. Everything my daughter has given me to read this far she really enjoyed and so have I.

When I began to read LOST VOICES, like many books, it was a bit confusing and hard to get into. But curiosity and the subject matter kept me going. As I continued to read I waited for more to happen, but sadly it never materialized.

I wasn't able to grasp the whole mermaid concept. I believe if there was more time spent on deep point of view instead of voice and water descriptions, I would have been able to connect with the characters, thus bringing the story to life. LOST VOICES was done in narrative rather than first or third person. I believe first person would have given the story more depth and stronger characters.

On the positive side, Ms. Porter has an amazing ability to depict moving through water as well as explaining singing in a way I could never imagined. Her writing was almost like a song. Like poetry in motion.

The concept of the story was there with great potential, though I felt she didn't seize the opportunity. I was able to grasp the points she was trying to get across, though they were so subtle I fear a teen wouldn't pick up on it.

A reviewer stated there was no romance, which was a little disappointing. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the reviewer hadn't picked up on that subtle romance brewing. In viewing an interview with the author, I discovered Luce falls in love in the second book.

Despite my feeling of how the author dragged out the story and missed the opportunity for the direction she could have taken it, I wanted to know what happened to Luce and Cat.

The next book in the trilogy doesn't come out until a year from the LOST VOICES. When that time comes, if I run across it, I may just have to get it.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Title: Hailee
Author: Penny Zeller
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 6, 2011)
Pages: 320

Like the first two book in the Montana Skies Series, HAILEE by PENNY ZELLER, is a sweet romance, one that will take you back in time to the late 1800’s. It’s a heartwarming story with characters you’ll fall in love with. A great read for those new to Christianity as well as the young and old alike.

Hailee Annigan’s life is turned upside down when she’s arrested for stealing food in order to survive. If it had been just Hailee she may not have gone to such extreme, but she was responsible for her two younger brothers after their parent’s untimely death.

Arrested, Hailee had two choices. Jail or The Sanctuary of Promise, a place for orphans and wayward children. Grudgingly, she opted for The Sanctuary of Promise. She wanted nothing more than to escape so she could get back to her brothers. After all, they were her responsibility and feared what would become of them.

In time, Hailee finds her faith and pursues her dream to become a teacher. When she’s offered a job in Pine Haven, Montana, she’s reluctant to go, fearful her brothers will never find her. Upon arrival at her new home, Hailee meets the young, attractive pastor, Maxwell Nathaniel Adams Jr, otherwise known as Nate.

Nate is all too happy to discover Pine Haven’s new school teacher is not the old spinster he envisioned. In fact she’s quite the opposite and he is immediately attracted to her. If he’s not mistaken, she’s attracted to him as well. But something is pulling her away, and he means to find out what that is.

Will faith and love bring Nate and Hailee together, despite their past.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Title: My One and Only
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books; 384 edition (March 29, 2011)
Pages: 384

Reading MY ONE AND ONLY by KRISTAN HIGGINS was an unexpected shocker. Never having read any of her writing, I’d spotted ALL I EVER WANTED on Amazon, and decided to order it. It’s always a risk when you decide to read a book by an unfamiliar author. Before I had a chance to read it, I did what you should never do…I purchased another book by the same author.

Hesitant to read a new author, I finally started ALL I EVER WANTED, but was soon disappointed. Reading mainly inspirational fiction, the offensive language and contemporary life style of the main character had me putting the book down at page twenty. Despite my issues that lead me to stop reading, the great quality of writing, the author’s distinct voice, and the potential for a good storyline was all there.

MY ONE AND ONLY sat waiting to be read. I knew sooner or later I’d have to get to it…I just preferred later, sure I would have the same reaction as I had with Kristan’s other book. Finally I picked it up, took a deep breath, and began to read the first words.

Right away it had contemporary and sassy written all over it. Mind you I prefer LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRE days. But to be fair I would give it several pages before giving up. I was contemplating putting it down when the main characters boyfriend was revealed to be a firefighter (the same profession as my husband). Another factor that kept me reading, it had a considerably less amount of foul language in compassions to the previous book I had attempted to read of hers.

As I continued to read I wasn’t taken by the firefighter, though she did an excellent job with his character. Then without warning, another man entered the scene…Now I was intrigued. From there it only got better!

I was hooked, and hooked in the worse way.

The book I thought I’d put down, I COULDN’T stop reading.

MY ONE AND ONLY is witty, fun, amazingly written with a storyline and characters with such remarkable personalities and growth, you’ll be searching for time to read. I just can’t say enough about this book. It held my interest, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me want to rush to my computer to write my very own novel of the same caliber.

Harper James is a divorce lawyer and she’ll stop at nothing to help her clients. After all she was once married. But it wasn’t just a failed marriage that had given her a bad taste of love and marriage. No, there were a whole lot more there below the surface.

Nick Lowery had loved Harper James from the instant he laid eyes on her. He was a man that knew what he wanted, and went after it. Their marriage may have ended in divorce, but that didn’t stop Nick from loving Harper.

Can years of separation prevent Harper and Nick from having a future together?

I just loved the direction Kristan took in MY ONE AND ONLY. Not only would I have not changed a thing, she had me pleasantly surprised in the direction she took the story at several places…and had me crying towards the end.

If you’re wondering if I’ll be purchasing another of KRISTAN HIGGINS books, don’t. If fact I may just have to go back and give ALL I EVER WANTED another try.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Title: The Beginning of After
Author: Jennifer Castle
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 6, 2011)
Pages: 432

When I spotted THE BEGINNING OF AFTER by JENNIFER CASTLE, I was immediately drawn to the cover, and the title was intriguing. Upon reading the blurb on the back cover, I made the decision to read it.

When Laurel Meisner’s world suddenly changes, she’s left with a whirlwind of emotions, unsure of which direction to turn. In a blink of an eye, her family is taken from her, leaving Laurel’s grandmother, the only surviving family member, to care for Laurel. But Laurel isn’t the only one hurting. David Kaufman, an only child whose father remains on life support after the devastating accident that killed Laurel’s family and David’s mother, is going through his own pain. After all it was his father who had been driving the car at the time of the crash.

THE BEGINNING OF AFTER takes you on a journey through one teen’s life as she grieves the loss of her family. Along the way she discovers people who make that journey a little easier.

Despite the stories slow pace, you want to keep reading.

Sometimes there are songs that make you want to dance and shout to the world. Then there are other slow and mellow songs where the words penetrate your soul, causing you to rethink things you may not have otherwise. THE BEGINNING OF AFTER is like the latter.

This beautifully written story provoked emotions and deep thoughts within me about losing loved ones. I wept inside for every child that has lost their parents and for all the parents who have passed away, knowing how tangible their loss would be.

I’d love to see a second book to THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, maybe simply titled AFTER. I’d love to be a part of Laurel and David’s journey into the future.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

[Repeat Chorus 2x]
And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

Saturday, September 10, 2011



Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you, my friend, will see
You've got a friend in me
(you've got a friend in me)

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's one thing you should know
You've got a place to go
(you've got a place to go)

I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben
(a friend) Like Ben
(like Ben) Like Ben

Monday, September 5, 2011


Title: Crossing Oceans
Author: Gina Holmes
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 1, 2010)
Pages: 400


Saturday, September 3, 2011


Title: Her Rodeo Cowboy
Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Love Inspired (August 23, 2011)
Pages: 224

One would think with as many books as DEBRA CLOPTON has written, especially since most of them are related to one small town, she couldn’t possibly put out another unique story. But that’s exactly what she did. I can honestly say I don’t think a day will come that I will tire of her books.

HER RODEO COWBOY didn’t disappoint with the cover. Nor did it disappoint with the title. And it certainly didn’t disappoint with the writing and plot. I loved the characters as well as their story. As with all of Debra’s books, I zipped though this one in a matter of a few short days. Once you start, you just can’t put it down.

There were several places I chuckled or sighed out loud at one of her great lines. I dog-eared paged 202. A very profound message I felt led to share with a few others in my life.

Montana Brown’s world is suddenly turned upside down. She flees from the only home she’s known to stay with her cousin in Mule Hollow, where she can peruse the dream her father snatched from her.

Luke Holden has dreams of his own, and nothing is going to get in his way. Especially a woman. No, marriage is not in his plans. He prides himself in making that known upfront. The only problem is a barrel racer has his heart thumbing double time, and rethinking his plans.

Don’t miss out on another great tale by DEBRA CLOPTON. Can’t wait to see who will be next to tie the knot in Mule Hollow. I have an inkling it’ll be one of Luke’s brothers. My guess is on Colt.