Book Review - From A Distance

Overall Opinion:

This was my first book by Tamera Alexander. I was fascinated by the gorgeous cover and was eager to begin reading. Sadly, the book did not meet my expectations. That being said, I still enjoyed the book and read it from cover to cover in only a couple days.
The fact that Elizabeth was a photographer was one of the reasons I was anxious to read it. I too am a photographer and thought it would be cool to read a book where the main character had the mindset of one. In this area, I was pleased with the book. Elizabeth was full of life and vigor, though I must say plainly that she was quite stupid at times. I was shaking my head at her abundance of pride and lack of common sense repeatedly as I read the book and actually felt bad fro the hero at parts because Elizabeth was being as stubborn as a mule and not trusting the advice of someone who knew what he was talking about. Though the character's hair color was red, I think blonde might have been a better choice. ;-p
It was easy to connect with Daniel, the hero, and his scarred past from being in the War Between The States. While I wasn't a big fan of Daniel himself and didn't much like his personality, I found that I was still able to feel the heartache of all that he had been through.
My favorite character and the only one who had any common sense, in my opinion, was Josiah - Elizabeth's hired help. The former slave was awesome - caring, considerate, kind, protective; almost like a big brother to Elizabeth. I instantly liked him and he was the highlight of the book.

There were a few things that I need to point out in this book; the most prominent being that on a very cold night during Josiah, Daniel, and Elizabeth's journey through the mountains, while their sleeping in the cave for the night Daniel noticed that Elizabeth didn't bring thick enough blankets. Apparently this granted him being able to "share" a blanket with her, which she allowed him to do...even after they were falling very much in love. I was infuriated when this happened, because while nothing bad took place, it would have all been spared if Daniel had had enough sense to check her supplies, as he knew she didn't know much about the mountains, or give his blanket to her and share with Josiah. This was the biggest downfall in the book. I lost all previous respect for Daniel when this happened. Of course, it didn't make me put down the book as nothing "improper" happened(as if that isn't improper enough), I was disappointed that this was included. I think Alaxander could have made her hero seem a lot more heroic if he had given her his own blanket and shared with Josiah.
The only other thing to point out is that Elizabeth has a lung problem, which I thought was a nice twist, but I believe it was twice that she had a problem and Daniel had to cut open her dress to get her to breath. Of course, she had a corset under it so it wasn't a big deal for people reading it now, but back then seeing a woman's undergarments like that was like, well, seeing a woman's undergarments today. He also sees a little skin on her shoulder or chest or something - I don't remember exactly where - but it was just mentioned and not dwelled on. He has to hold her against him in the water, which is part of the procedure to get her breathing regularly again. All the time Elizabeth is out cold and it is from Daniel's perspective - who is falling more in love with her by the second.

While there were a few things to point out, overall it was a fairly clean book. The part in the cave wasn't terribly bad or anything; it was just a major disappointment to me when it could have been prevented by some common sense from the two characters.

Overall, I would encourage the reading of this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet romance that takes place in the beautiful Rocky mountains. Purchase it here!

What I've Been Reading

So, ever since my little sister was born on February 16th, I haven't gotten much reading done. In fact, I've only read two books. Yes, 'tis a great shame, I know; I've just been so busy! lol
But here are the books I've read...

Head in the CloudsHead in the Clouds was referred to me by many people and I finally had the chance to dive into this adventure-filled story. I really liked this book, though there were a few remarks that were a little more lovey than I liked. It was packed with adventure, peril, sweet moments, and great lessons. The biblical aspect of this book was really good and I agreed with the theology a lot, which I rarely do with books. I highly recommend you read this book - you won't regret it!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone made it onto my reading list this week. I've heard so many different opinions on this book and was determined to read it so I could form my own. I found this book very intriguing but had some problems with it. You can read my review here!

Love Remains (The Matchmakers)Code Triage (Mercy Hospital)I've also started two books: Code Triage and Love Remains. Both are very good and I am enjoying them thoroughly. They will be featured next time it's my turn to write the "What I've Been Reading"! :-)

Book Beginnings - All I'll Ever Need

It's Friday again, so here is my Book Beginnings on Friday! Katy, over at A Few More Pages, hosts this every week and we thought it'd be fun to have Book Ponderings join! If you are interested in doing this for your blog, check out Katy's blog for details on what to include in the post!

All I'll Ever Need (Claire McCall, Book 3)

Ami Grandle clutched the stuffed teddy bear to her chest and watched her house burn. Acrid smoke enveloped the waning moon overhead. Hungry flames licked at her bedroom curtains, the blue and white ones that her mother let her pick out at K-Mart in downtown Brighton. Soon the second floor dissolved into a sea of orange. Her mother's screams penetrated the night, muffled from inside the inferno. Certainly, she thought, her mother would make it out alive. "Mom!" she screamed. Should she go back for her?

Wow! That's an intense way to begin this book. Now I can't wait to dive into All I'll Ever Need. I liked the twist of Ami taking in the things about the fire, and then we suddenly discover that her mother is inside. That's staggering! Certainly hooks the reader right off!

We'd love to hear what's the first line - or paragraph - of your current read. Feel free to share it with us in the comments! Are you liking the book so far? Was the first few lines enough to grip your attention? We're looking forward to hearing from you! :-)

Book Review - Songs Of Deliverance




 Overall Opinion:

First off, I'm going to point out that I did not finish this book. I read the first two chapters, flipped through the pages to see if the content became any cleaner, read the end to see if they came to redemption and put behind their past sinful ways, and came to no result, as far as I could tell.  But that being said, remember that I did not read all of the book and could have missed something.

Aside from all of the inappropriate content which I plan to point out below, from the beginning it was hard for me to follow the book. I couldn't figure out what was going on through most of it, and then when I did it was only a brief moment before I was lost again. It was not a story that really caught my attention immediately, nor one that I found enjoyable. I was only into the first two chapters and one of the main characters had become pregnant before marriage, had an abortion, regretted it, than became pregnant again by a in vitro fertilization while she was engaged with a different man than she had conceived the aborted child with,(who also was confused as to how she bore a child when he hadn't touched her), and was lying in a hospital bed because she was shot by a man, and shot the man himself, who was raping her friend who he was engaged to. Though nothing was really described, I feared it would be later on which is why I put down the book. I flipped through the book in search of perhaps regrets and redemption, but on the last page right after the girl who was raped's wedding there were things said on their way to their new home like "Let's go make so-an-so a little sister.". I was disappointed and put the book down immediately.

That all being said, it might be an interesting book for an adult to read, but I definitely do not recommend this to young teenagers.

I was disappointed with the book, but only because I choose carefully what I read and was hoping this would be a bit more appropriate for younger readers. This may very well be an enjoyable book for adults, but I do not recommend this at all to young teenagers.

Book Discussion - The Brotherhood

Hey all! Today I will be using Jerry Jenkin's new book, The Brotherhood, for our book discussion. Please feel free to comment with your thoughts!

Oh, and btw, I am giving away a copy of this book on my blog. It was really good. You can go here to read my review. After that, make sure you go HERE to enter to win!! :-D


The Brotherhood (Precinct 11)

There are quiet a few lessons to learn within this book, but I decided to discuss just one for today. One character trait that Boone had to deal with in The Brotherhood is his desire to be everyone's savior. In school, he came to the rescue of the bullied and before long was feared by the bullies. In the police department, he was passionate at his job, and earned a reputation of always coming to someones help and constantly talking about taking down the many gangs in the streets of Chicago.

When his comfortable world is erupted, he soon finds out he can't fix everything. He can't be everyone's hero and savior. He tries to ignore it and stay in command of his life, but it doesn't take long for him to see how weak and, yes, sometimes helpless, he can be. No matter how much he tries, he can't keep his orderly life together and soon discovers that he can't control his temper and unwarranted actions at work. As much as he doesn't want to admit this all to himself - he can't hide from the truth.

The truth - he's not God. Not that he ever outright said - I am God. But his actions and thinking made him believe he could lead and take care of his own life - he didn't need God. And the Lord had to use monstrous events and then gentle guidance, to open up Boone's eyes and make him realize the truth.

What's the point of me telling you all this? Well, sometimes we Christians can do the same thing. Not intentionally, but we can. I know I do sometimes. I am so protective of those I love - I never want them to come to any harm. Then if there is a close call, I blame myself and think of a way I could have been there. Thinking I should have been there.

Then I realize - I can't be everywhere. I can't protect them forever. They are in the Lord's hands. He cares for them 100 times more than I do - He will protect them. Just like it says in Proverbs 18:10 - "The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." God has us all in the palm of His hand. We just need to learn to trust in Him - even when His will is not ours.

Joshua 1:9 - "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

So, there you have it. Are you the protective kind? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Ponderin' The Jericho

This week I am writing my post on the city Jericho, which I became interested in when I read a little about it in A Pearl In The Sand by Tessa Afshar.

With evidence of settlement dating back to 9000 BCE, Jericho is known as one of the oldest constantly occupied cities in the world. As many know, it was known as indestructible city with it's tall, impenetrable walls until God led the Israelites to victory in Joshua 6. Eventually it even belonged to the Persian empire and was used as an administrative office, and also later became a private estate of Alexander the Great.  Herod the great later came into possession of the great city.

Herod originally leased Jericho from Cleopatra after Mark Antony gave it to her. After their joint suicide in 30 BCE, Octavian took control of the Roman empire and allowed Herod free rein over Jericho. Herod’s rule oversaw the construction of a theater - Tel es-Samrat - for his guests.

In Luke 18-19 Jesus visits Jericho, and it is there He meets Zacchaeus who climbs a Sycamore tree to see the LORD. Zacchaeus lived in Jericho and was drawn to Jesus. Because of his shortness and the thickness of the crowds, he was forced to climb a tree to behold Jesus. The story continues that Jesus sees Zacchaeus, tells him to repent, and follows him to Zaccheaus' house. While this story has little to do with Jericho, the tree within it still stands - which I found interesting and couldn't help but point out. :-)

Well, that was a really scattered post! lol. But there's some information about Jericho! :-)

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Photo credit: Lori Warman