About Me

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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ So the Credit Card is Smokin


My weekend included a few splurges.

In my defense I'd like to claim peer pressure AND the saving up of shopping urges.

That said. Four pairs of shoes. Buy One Get One 1/2 Price - all. One pair has already been worn. Another ended up netting me an additional four $ off.

I am the queen of justification.


Gifts. Bargain ones at that. Really. How can THAT be bad?

An uber-bargain on bar stools for my new island...the one that is still in my hubby's mind and hopefully falls out very soon in a three-dimensional form with doors and drawers.

I didna spend much at all at Target, and only three $ at Bed, Bath and Beyond. And I really felt that was necessary since a burst of enthusiastic behavior may have lost them a few customers.

But the best thing of all...was a set of pictures that I have wanted for an entire year. I saw these at the art festival last summer and regretted not purchasing one or both. Together they cost me way less than a daily cup of McD's drive thru coffee. And they bring me as many smiles.

My wonderful husband told me to get both. I hesitated twelve seconds and then slapped the plastic magical buying implement down on the counter.

Aren't they cute? They will be fabulous against my red kitchen walls.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Love's Pursuit ~ Siri Mitchell

Siri Mitchell has visited the Dregs before. Click here to read her interview and reviews of some of her previous titles. She has written one of my favorite chick-lits and a favorite historical. Me likey Siri Mitchell. : )



About the Book:

In the small Puritan community of Stoneybrooke, Massachusetts, Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.

In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith. In a community where grace is unknown, what price will she pay for embracing love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Love's Pursuit, go HERE.



My Review:

One of my all time favorite books is Geraldine Brook's Year of Wonders. Siri Mitchell's Love's Pursuit comes close. Both are tragic and horrifying in their raw honesty. Both are beautiful in description and detail, in character, and in ability to transport the reader to a vastly different time and place.

Mitchell has earned her spot in a short list of authors that I'm guaranteed to want to read regardless of the title or subject matter. And Love's Pursuit is not a book I'd pick up based on the title or the cover. A romance this is not, love story, yes. But as we all know a love story is not guaranteed a clean and happily-ever-after ending. Some reviewers have struggled with the back and forth first person point of view and the slower pace. The novel is literary fiction, meant to be absorbed, and if you expect slow going you will probably have less struggle.

The aspects of faith are woven seamlessly into the struggle of the characters' lives. But be warned that the horror of the hardships and brokenness of some characters could be troublesome for sensitive readers. The details of the Puritan life were fascinating. Mitchell, wielding a brush of vivid and stark prose, creates a story full of abuse, sexuality and violence, and paints the lives of a people attempting to create a new Zion or a city of light on a hill, and falling far short.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Return Policy





From the Back Cover:

In his second book, novelist Michael Snyder introduces us to three very unusual and distinct voices all torn by tragedy: Willy Finneran, washed-up genre novelist with an espresso maker that just won’t die and a habit of avoiding conflict even if it means putting the truth on a sliding scale. Ozena Webb, single mother and Javatek’s top customer service representative. She spends every evening playing board games with her twelve-year-old son who is mentally crippled from an early childhood accident. Shaq, a small and scraggy homeless man with trauma-induced blank spots on his memory, trying to piece together the story of his life while assisting Father Joe at the Mercy Mission. As their stories intersect, the narrative vacillates between hope and naivete, comic relief and postmodern ennui. Startling in its authenticity, this unforgettable novel reveals that no matter how far one has strayed from hope, there is always a way to return

My Review:

I was a little hesitant to read Return Policy. I loved Russell Fink and the characters Michael Snyder created so much that I was a little afraid that he couldn't quite do it again.

Return Policy is a very different book. Same unique lad-lit voice, similar deeply flawed and broken characters, same creative and capable wordsmithing, but very different. This time Snyder uses three first person points of view to tell a series of separate stories that end up connecting in a somewhat unbelievable spider web. I saw a few connections unfolding early on, but a couple snuck up on me right before the t's were crossed and the i's dotted.

Snyder's strengths are in excellent characterization. I grew to care about these people and kept reading to find out what would happen to them, hoping they would find good things at the end of the book. Snyder also manages to write almost heartbreakingly poignant scenes that scream with the unfairness of life and the tragedies that seem to wait around the corner ready to pounce on the unsuspecting and innocent. Gifted with a bizarrely charming sense of humor, Snyder laces his prose with quirky thoughts and situations. The spiritual skeleton in Return Policy is buried under the subtle layering of muscle and skin and becomes the frame on which the story is hung. Bottom line, someone not looking for a religious read may not even notice that Jesus has entered the story.

Not everyone who reads Return Policy is going to love it. Fans of action packed page turning novels will likely get frustrated with the introspection and pace of this novel. Those who read only G-rated and scripture laced fiction may have issues with some of the situations, a few words and the fact that there are no conversions in this story. Discussions, yes, but. Toward the end the pace hurried a bit, and the final strings were tied very neatly, maybe a bit too neatly. I didn't have any trouble following the changing POV, the sections and scenes are marked.

Overall, I'm a solid Michael Snyder fan and look forward to his next novel which I hope is in the works.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Bring it, Jane


22 and I have entered a Jane Austen marathon of sorts.

Today she purchased Persuasion and we watched it while avoiding the humidity and the housework.

I just bought Pride and Prejudice, the pink version, which we watched two weeks ago. She just finished one Jane Austen fiction title, and is in the middle of a second and now I find myself searching for more versions of the films.

We've never seen Northanger Abbey and have only viewed Mansfield Park once. One click ordering at Amazon makes the urge almost impossible to control.

The pink version, above, is a total modern version of the tale and is charming in it's own quirky way.

What is it about Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley and scenes in the rain/fog?

Which is your favorite Austen story? Hero? Heroine? Movie version? Are we alone in our new obsession?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ HOT!



Would it be whining if I said that it must be a million degrees in Iowa?

Eggs frying on sidewalks hot? Yup.

Dogs melted and sluggish, barely quirking eyebrows when a human moves unless towards a) refrigerator or b) freezer? Yup.

Sweating upper lips and the annoying trickle of 100+ % humidity running where it ought not to run? Oh yeah!

While I'm on a whining roll....

Super-heated breeze feels fabulous because it's moving.

To step outside is to either step into a sauna right after some sadist dumps a scoop full of water over the glowing rocks OR like being sucked into a force field of gelatinous too-warm bath water.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Super Cinema Saturday ~ The Proposal ~ Reviewed

My Review:

Romantic comedy junkies are in for a treat. As a Bullock fan I couldn't resist the sneak preview of The Proposal. Even after the first five minutes of the film were soundless due to technical issues in my theater, I have to say it's one of the best films romantic comedies I've seen in quite some time.

Ryan Reynolds doesn't need words to act, his eyes and facial expressions make his thoughts loud and clear. Are there more expressive eyes in Hollywood? And sarcasm, oh, there is plenty of sarcasm from both main characters. Nobody does psycho/prickly/vulnerable like Sandra Bullock. Anyone who loved While You Were Sleeping and Two Weeks Notice is going to find similar flavors of fun and fire in The Proposal.

The story is quirky and odd enough that I smirked through much of the plot as it unfolded. You can't have romantic comedy without some predictability, but it was a joy to watch. Oscar Nunez (The Office) played multiple scenes and one left me laughing until I squirmed. If you can't stomach the thought of Oscar dancing in a Speedo, you might want to wait for the DVD version so you can skip it. A semi-nude scene with Bullock and Reynolds, along with the Speedo dance make it iffy for kids, as does a smattering of off-color comments and a bit of language. The semi-nude scene runs in the previews I've seen, but there are a few prolonged moments with Bullock covering up but showing lots of skin and a side view of a collision that make it longer in the movie. Betty White looks great and plays a grandma with a special connection to Mother Earth. The scenery is breathtaking.

Overall, though not perfect, this is a movie worth the few hours and the full-price movie ticket investment. A charming, fun, summer evening movie.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~Friday Fun, Read the Warning.






WARNING: Before you click on the link below.... The clip is great but the website is written on the corner of the screen. Website name is: crazys---.com. I looked for another version but didn't find one without the "brand." So, you've been warned. : )


Click HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Eyes Wide Open




Book Summary:



I had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.

In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you. Not the you who pretends to be perfect to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Not the you who always feels guilty before God. Not the you who secretly feels God forgives everyone else but only tolerates you. Not the you who looks in the mirror and sees a failure. The real you, loved and forgiven by God, living out of your identity in Christ.

A travel guide through real spirituality from one incomplete person to another, Eyes Wide Open is a book of stories about following God in the messes of life, about broken pasts and our lifelong need for grace. It is a book about seeing ourselves and God with new eyes–eyes wide open to a God of love.

My Review:

Eyes Wide Open ended up containing more content than I expected. Not for the steeped in church doctrine crowd, but a solid little resource for brand new baby Christians or seekers. Similar in content to Purpose Driven Life but geared more toward those who don't quite know how all this Christian stuff is supposed to play out, Eyes Wide Open is full of anecdotal stories and examples from Jud Wilhite's life, town and various friends.

Written conversationally and with plenty of contemporary language and slang, it's lacking Christianese. It begins with the assurance that God loves us, to our new creatureship in Christ, to the assurance that we are designed to be unique beings with created purposes, to our response to all of this truth. This 180 page quick read would be a very good resource for a small fellowship group study/discussion and it would lend itself to a mentoring/discipling relationship. No discussion questions are presented but some could easily be put together. There are four sections and twenty-one chapters which could be adapted into a month long study with homework.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ The Path That The State Built


















Ode to Sultry Summer Walks on Delightful Walking Paths.



Recite with the cadence of The House That Jack Built. If you don't know what I'm talkin about or smokin then just move on, it only goes downhill from here.

This is the path that the state built...

There are concrete and concrete blend products in Iowa...on and near the path that the state built.

The sunlight on the path that the state built makes for lovely walks.

The dogs, Lily blue, Lola pink, on the grass that the state planted make use of said grass for unmentionable purposes.

The sights and smells and sounds on the path that the state built are mostly pleasant...birds singing, wildflowers blooming, traffic humming, grass growing. Unless an unmentionable thing left near the path or on the grass that the state built and/or planted rides in a recycled plastic bag dangling at my side.

Hope you enjoyed your guided tour of the path that the state built.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Serials and Scenarios - The Disappearance of God - Mohler


Book: The Disappearance of God
Author: Dr. R. Albert Mohler

Book Summary:

More faulty information about God swirls around us today than ever before. No wonder so many followers of Christ are unsure of what they really believe in the face of the new spiritual openness attempting to alter unchanging truth.

For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for “feel-good” theology.

We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith.

As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues:

Is God changing His mind about sin?
Why is hell off limits for many pastors?
What’s good or bad about the “dangerous” emergent movement?
Have Christians stopped seeing God as God?
Is the social justice movement misguided?
Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?
Is liberal faith any less destructive than atheism?
Are churches pandering to their members to survive?

In the age-old battle to preserve the foundations of faith, it's up to a new generation to confront and disarm the contemporary shams and fight for the truth. Dr. Mohler provides the scriptural answers to show you how.


My Review:

My faith is simple. I can often see both sides of an argument and even though there is usually one side I support strongly, I do tend to try to be the peacemaker. So, why am I drawn to deeper looks at some of the most explosive issues that divide those who share my faith? Because I don't want to crush any growth that God's got in store for me or stifle any truth that God would want to give to me.

I've not read Albert Mohler before. The title, The Disappearance of God, intrigued me though the struggles within the Christian denominations and generations exhaust me. I tend to get frustrated when the biting and snarling ends up defeating the whole point of telling people that God so loved the world...because those who define Jesus by His followers don't really have an interest in what any of us are saying when we can't stop the snarking long enough to get it said. The fight within is not attractive in the least. And that is tragic.

However, being informed, defining beliefs, discussing the issues behind the issues make sense to me. Mohler, though a theologian with theological terms and teacher delivery, cuts through the issues and boils it down into a common sense opportunity to see the forest in spite of the trees.

Someone who hasn't spent time in church, or is clueless to what the word doctrine even means may struggle with wanting to go beyond the first few pages. But the rest of us who've been around for awhile, hung out at the doctrinal water cooler, kicked around the usual debates over baptism and eternal security could benefit from Mohler's cut to the issue teaching. Beginning with the idea of an emergency room triage team, Mohler divides the struggles within the Christian faith into those that are non-negotiable life and death, the category of dividing but not deadly, and then the minor irritations that may take nothing more than the balm of human respect to clear up.

If you are curious about the beliefs of the Emergent church, the God is ALL love teaching, the bottom line of who Jesus was and is, you could benefit quite a bit from picking up this information packed look at those questions and more. Mohler is respectful and generally quotes from published and public statements. You may not like what you read, may not agree, but Mohler goes on to recommend other books and quotes from many others.

Back to the emergency room analogy. I feel like Mohler checked my ears for wax and shined bright lights in my eyes and made sure all my senses were synchronized.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Gutteridge & McKays' Never the Bride


I'm suffering from too little time and too many good books syndrome.

Sigh. I've been reading my little brains out. (Wide open, insert snarky comment here.) But, I'm just not quick enough to get everything done in a timely manner.

So, thanks to friends, I can post info about Never the Bride stating that I will read and review it, but that pressure is off because Nora did read and review it and did a fine job of making me want to read it even more. Whew.

Rene Gutteridge has visited the Dregs before. So click away. I'll return to cyberspace with a review...soon.

Summary:

Jessie Stone has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn't been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Author Bios:

Cheryl McKay is the co-author (with Frank Peretti) of the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories series, which has sold nearly 200,000 copies, and the screenwriter of the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Nanny Diaries




My Review:

I had no intention of seeing this flick. My daughter, who spent a few years as a nanny, didn't care for it. And I didn't know what to expect. But at the video store, with coupon in hand and slim pickings, I rented it.

I ended up being charmed by the unique quirkiness of this film. Nanny Diaries includes a hint of Mary Poppins along with a museum-type look at family norms and not so norms throughout the movie. This film has elements of terrible sadness and that is why my daughter didn't like it. The viewer gets to see the inside of a very unhealthy family. Annie (Johannson) doesn't come from much healthier stock with a mom who is over-bearing and hard to please and a father who is a non-figure in her life.

Annie hits her crossroad moment when a potential new employer asks her who she is. Annie discovers who she is by her short time as a nanny.

I was impressed with the total lack of on-screen sexuality. Annie has a behind closed doors moment with a kissing scene leading up to it and Mr. X is in two compromising situations that mostly play out off camera. One or two F-Bombs and a smattering of the usual curse words give it the PG-13.

I was pleased with the ending and overall really liked this film. The acting is very good, Giamatti was very easy to despise and Linney played her role as vulnerable selfish socialite flawlessly.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Deliverer ~ Linda Rios Brook

I haven't gotten this one read yet. But it looks intriguing, eh?


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Deliverer

Realms (May 5, 2009)

by

Linda Rios Brook



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linda Rios Brook, President of the RiosBrook Foundation, believes the answers to issues of social justice and righteousness lie in the proper alignment between the church, the marketplace and media and entertainment. She is a sought out speaker and teacher on matters relevant to cultural restoration. Linda worked as a media executive for over 20 years in the field of broadcasting serving as President and General Manager of television stations in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota and was President and part owner of KLGT-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Linda has served on several national boards and community organizations and is listed in Who's Who of American Women. She is an ordained minister and has a Doctorate of Practical Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute.

Linda is also the author of Lucifer's Flood.

Linda is also a teaching Pastor at Covenant Centre International in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Linda is married to Larry Brook, who is the Executive Director of the RiosBrook Foundation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ancient language expert Samantha Yale returns to translate a new batch of scrolls written by the fallen angel from Lucifer's Flood.

Samantha Yale has taken on a daunting translation project. A set of scrolls, delivered by a man she knows nothing about, tells a fascinating and frightening tale of what went on behind the scenes of biblical history. What is even more incredible is who is telling the tale--a fallen angel who immediately regretted his decision to side with Lucifer.

With The Deliverer, Linda Rios Brook brings new depth of imagery into the spirit world. It is a story about rebellion and consequences. It is about demonic strategy to disrupt and destroy the people of God. But ultimately, it is a story about the unrelenting love, grace, mercy, and determination of a sovereign God in pursuit of His children.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Deliverer, go HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Not The Dog Days of August Yet, Obviously




Two pictures to make you smile.

One an e-mail forward that just about made my day. The other. Well...let's just say dogs aren't always mans' best friends...sometimes they lean toward the feline. Or it might be a "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" type of situation.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Ghostwriter





For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed--the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Ghostwriter, go HERE.

My Review:

I’m a chicken. The only Stephen King I’ve read is his book on writing and a few short stories. There is a reason for this…nightmares.

As an innocent 8th grader I was forever scarred by Poe. The Tell-Tale Heart horrified me and The Black Cat changed my life. Back before "stepping" for aerobic health was introduced as the new big thing, I had mastered the exercise.

My heart began pounding the second I opened the basement door and I could run up twenty backless steps in a matter of seconds.

That said, ghost/horror stories make for apprehensive reading. So you might wonder why I’d choose a book to read and review from the horror genre.

Because the story intrigued me.

I would recommend that ubersensitive souls stay far away. Not only are there supernatural elements and haunting, there are grisly details best not read before bedtime. The story of a man at the edge of losing his
sanity is fascinating and I felt a pull toward Dennis and the sorrow
and the hopelessness that crippled him.

Thrasher writes a solid story and creates three-dimensional characters. The spiritual elements of the story infused hope into the situation of a man who’d all but lost everything he’d ever held dear which makes the horror somehow redeemed

I may not add a lot of horror to my literary diet but Ghostwriter is a book that I can recommend Ghostwriter to those who love a side-dish of terror every once in awhile.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Book Contest ~ Comment for a Chance






Hiya.

This weekend FLEW by at a whipneck pace.

Before I let one more day pass, I want to encourage rumble lovers to sign up for a chance to win a copy of Baby Shark and her adventures. Note: Not for the weak or sensitive reader. Here's the link to my review of book one. If you are interested in what Robert shares sign up. The winner will be notified via e-mail, so make sure we can get ahold of you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Mike Dellosso's Scream ~ Reviewed

Mike Dellosso's newest book is out. Read about his previous novel and his interview here.



About the book:


Otherworldly Screams...
A Madman on the Loose...
This Time the Stakes Are Higher Than Ever

While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend's life. When this happens several more times--screams followed by an untimely death--he is compelled to act.

Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Scream, go
HERE


My Review:

In his sophomore novel, Mike Dellosso has created an intriguing, spiritually rich story involving rips in the fabric between Hell and earth. Mark Stone, a man with a broken marriage and a cynical outlook on all things religious, hears an otherworldly scream one night while talking to his friend. Moments later that friend is dead. After a couple more random conversations where he hears the same horrific squeals he puts the details together and contacts a minister who explains the likely scenario.

The creepy and multi-layered plot involves a serial killer, whom I correctly guessed a third of the way in, and the abduction and captivity of women. Along with the Hellish screaming this makes the plot a bit intense. Dog lovers may want to use a bit of caution as there are some disturbing dog moments. Chickens and dog lovers take note of the warning, and those who are offended by Jesus and the discussion of where one goes after death may find offensive material as well.

Well-written and solidly spooky story that may satisfy thriller lovers. The Christian thread is woven throughout and may be just what you're looking for if you want a strong Christian message with some thrills and chills.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ River Jordan's Saints in Limbo


Click on the book cover and read more about Saints...


My Review:

A literary fiction with a unique storyline, Saints in Limbo is a lazy, beneath-the-wisteria read. Slow and smooth, Saints mixes generations, loss, crushed dreams, brokenness and a swirl of hope in a literary cocktail that surprises and satisfies.

Three-dimensional characters, a touch of whimsy, heavy melancholy, and a surreal adventure with a magical and spiritual undertone make for a lazy summer read. This is my first River Jordan novel and it will not be my last.

The omniscient point of view is not my favorite but it was easier to overlook since I was drawn into the story.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Book Giveaway

Guess what, book lovers?

I've been told of a website that is giving away one Christian book a day for the month of June.

The Christian Pulse is sponsoring a contest called The Great Escape Summer Reading Contest. They are giving away free autographed copies of books every day in June. Each book is only available for one day, and the daily contests continue until the end of June 2009. All you have to do is go to the address below each day and click.
http://www.thechristianpulse.com/ then click on the Great Escape ad near the top of the page and click again. Check the title of the book available to win on that day because the titles change daily. After you click on the ad and checked the title, you will be given an email address to click on.

So, there you go.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Breathe ~ Lisa T. Bergren



Lisa has visited before. Check out her interview and reviews of previous books.



To make a new life, she'll have to learn how to breathe again...

By the time Dominic and Moira St. Clair get their ailing sister, Odessa, to Colorado Springs in the winter of 1883, she is nearly dead. Odessa has been seriously aling for the past year from consumption, an illness that claimed the lives of four of her younger brothers, prompting her father, to send his only surviving children west to chase the cure.

Moira is beautiful and dangerously headstrong; and pugnacious Dominic is charged with establishing a new arm of the family business--a business he doesn't want.
Several days after her arrival, Odessa witnesses what she fears is the murder of miner Sam O’Toole, friend and neighbor to the charming Bryce McAllan.

What’s more, Sam leaves her a poem containing clues that seem to direct her to his mine, which is purported to carry a fantastic vein of silver. But if she is ever to rise from her bed again, she must first concentrate on conquering the giant that threatens her─consumption. Indeed, she must learn to breathe again─daring to embrace her life, her future, and hope in her God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Breathe, go
HERE

My Review:

Breathe exhales drama, adventure and the lives of three siblings as their locations and situations rise and fall within the tight four-hundred pages. A silver mine mystery, a tense, suspenseful chase, spiritual changes and growth, occupation and location changes, love and life-threatening situations abound in this page-turner.

Lisa Bergren writes a solid story and multi-dimensional characters. The scenery she paints is vivid and nearly breathtaking. History and the details of the cure for consumption in Colorado Springs are fascinating. This is the beginning of a series and it is sure to be loaded as the unfinished tales are rich for the mining.

Fans of family sagas and historicals set in the wilds of Colorado need to check this novel out.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Giveaway Winners....Drum Roll, Please....


Lesley wins the Latino set.
ossmcalc is the winner of the Hachette Asian book giveaway.








Nicole wins the Mother's Day books.


Thanks to all of you for the fabulous comments and for not injuring each other in the comment posting frenzy.

Hopefully, Hachette is going to make a habit out of book giveaways.

I will contact each of the winners via e-mail and ask for a snail mail addy. However, if the winner doesn't hear from me check the spam and if all else fails e-mail to me at kelly( period )klepfer( at )gmail( dot )com.

And for the rest of you who are NOT losers...this may make you feel better.


We have a young man at our church who has some challenges...one of which is a social disconnect. He plays a great piano though, and every once in awhile will grace us with a passionate worship song.

Yesterday I walked up to him to thank him for playing. He shook my hand, looked me dead in the eye, cocked his head and said. "Kelly? Kelly Klepfer?"

"Yes."

"You don't look like yourself."

"Well, uhhhh, I got my hair cut."

Still staring. He smiled, dropped my hand and waved his in the air. "Oh, we all get older."

So, now don't you feel better about not winning the books?