Saturday, November 24, 2012

It’s Been A While

For those of you who know me and have been a fan of my other blog Diary of A Transplanted Southerner, know that I had another blog on AOL that had this name. Sadly when I transferred it to Blogger, I picked up a troll of sorts so I closed this blog and opened the other. Well, I am happy to say that I am opening this one again. Mainly because I am starting my life over and I am no longer in Michigan. I moved out yesterday and not looked back.

This blog will now be reopened because I can finally blog freely again! So, keep your eyes peeled for a new entry (aside from this one) coming soon! For now I have unpack my stuff and settle in to my new home. Thanks for hanging out with me!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Be Still My Soul~ A Review

Joanne Bischof starts her career as novelist with this amazing book. She is in the process of writing book number two in the series right now. You can find her web site here. She is definitely an author to watch!

Her first book Be Still My Soul is set in the Appalachian hills. We meet Lonnie who is shy and likes to be in the background. She is a wonderful girl and has a quiet, strong faith about her. Her father  however, is abusive towards her and it is reveled why in the book, so I am not going to say it here, you will have to read it to find out! Sarah, who is Lonnie’s aunt and best friend is the source of Lonnie’s faith. Lonnie dreams of moving in with Sarah and learning to make soap from her, so she can lead a quiet happy life. Then she meets Gideon. Gideon is a self centered boy who thinks everything that is wrong is not his fault.

He walks Lonnie home and tries to take advantage of her. She socks him in the jaw and goes into the house,  unaware that her mean spirited father saw the whole thing and thinks the worst! Before she knows what happens she is supposed to marry Gideon and does not even know him!!

She is sad and upset because she can not convince her father that nothing happened. He wants her gone from his house. Both Lonnie and Gideon do not want to marry each other and do so under great protest. Gideon’s mother is less that friendly to Lonnie because she thinks that Lonnie’s mom stole Lonnie’s dad from her when they were teenagers. So, when Lonnie is living at the house with Gideon’s family she takes that out on Lonnie.

Soon after being married, Gideon decides that it is time to leave their home town to go to another town that is about a weeks walk away to start over. Before they can reach that town, they have so many adventures on the trip and end up meeting Jeb. As Gideon’s frustration with Lonnie finally comes to a head and he snaps and hurts her, Jeb shows up like an angel sent from heaven.

Jeb takes Lonnie and Gideon to his house to meet his wife Elsie. Lonnie and Gideon end up living there while the story plays out. To find out what happens next you will have to read this book.

I enjoyed this book and it was easy to read. I could not put it down when I got started because the story just entranced me.

I got this book for free from WalterBrook Multnomah for the sole purpose of this review.

Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Sudden Glory~ Book Review

Sharon Jaynes has a wonderful book called A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Reading this book changed the way that I look at God and religion. In fact, after I write this, I am going to read this book again and actually do the Bible Study in the back as I read. There is also a discussion guide as well. Sharon has her website here. On her web site you can get daily devotions to your inbox and such.

Sharon’s ministry is mostly aimed at women and with this book she is telling us that a glory ache is not uncommon and that when most women feel it they add more stuff to their already over scheduled lives thinking that will help us. When we find that it does not we are usually at our wit’s end! Instead she recommends that we slow down and be still to listen and hear from God. It takes getting used to for us women to slow down and do nothing, but it is imperative if we want to soothe our Glory Ache.

Another thing that she tells us is to be obedient to God. To let Him lead us where we need to go. That is not so easy either because we always think that we know better and how to get there better so we want to lead. Instead, we need to focus and listen to God and move how he tells us to. As Jaynes puts it, it is a wonderful dance with our maker, let him lead.

Another thing we need to do is erase the line between our spiritual life and our daily life. We need to make them both the same exact thing, again not easy but if you focus on it and make it a priority you will be amazed at how much you hear from God all of a sudden!

All in all, I loved this book and as I have stated in the beginning, I am rereading it with the Bible study that is in the back of the book to get the most out of this book. I did not think I would have been able to get through this book, but as I read it I had several ‘glories’ of my own. This is a wonderfully written book and it is easy to understand and keep reading. I recommend this book highly!

As usual, I got this book for free from Walter Brook Multnomah for the sole purpose of this review.

A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

How Amazon Lost Me As A Customer

Most everyone who knows me, knows that I used to love Amazon. Had you asked me a few weeks ago I would have told you how much I love shopping on the site and how it is easy to find almost anything you want or need there and it is usually at a lower price than most of the regular stores including Wal-Mart. I would have told you how the customer service is wonderful and how great everything is.

Not anymore. These days I am trying to decide if I want to even keep the website in my favorites. My friend Michael, wanted to get me a Kindle Fire HD for my birthday. ( last Saturday was my birthday) After reading how it comes automatically linked to the account used to buy it, he asked me if he could have my log in information so he could buy it from my account and that way it would be already linked and ready to use right out of the box. I gave him the information and he ordered it. I saw it in my orders that night.

The next morning I had an email from Amazon talking about how they thought that the order was a fraudulent order and they canceled it, without asking. So, I contacted Amazon customer service and asked why it was canceled without someone checking with me about the order. The person I chatted with was nice enough, and said that they made a note on the account and if Michael wanted to reorder it from my account this would not happen again. But it did.

The next day, it was reordered. I got another email talking about how it was a fraudulent order and Amazon had cancelled it again. So, again I contacted them, which was made even more difficult because they locked me out of my account by now. I explained to yet another customer service person what had happened and that this was not a fraudulent order. Again I was reassured that this would not happen again if the order was placed again.

So the next day, using an account linked to a different email address, I placed the order myself from my very own computer that I used before to shop on Amazon and the same thing happened for a third time. Again I contacted Amazon to explain the situation. I was told that an account manager would get back to me in 24-48 hours. That has not happened as of yet for either account and it has been a week since this all started. So I am thinking that Amazon does not need my business. I will take my money and shop elsewhere even though I might have to pay more money for the things I want. Amazon, you had a loyal customer in me, but this situation has pushed me away and since you can not follow up with your customers that have complaints, well, I don’t need to spend my money with you anymore. Good-bye.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twice A Bride~ A Book Review

This is the first novel I have read by the author Mona Hodgson, although this book itself is the fourth in this series which follows the Sinclair Sisters. In this book, however we are treated to the story of Willow Peterson and her landlady Miss Hattie. Willow is an honorary Sinclair sister, related by marriage. Her brother is married to Ida Sinclair.

Willow is widowed from the love of her life Sam, who actually saved his best friend, Tucker, who is Willow’s brother. She had a very rough time getting over Sam’s untimely death and it forced her father to put her in an institution because of it. Willow eventually does come out of what is known as depression these days but back in the 1890’s was termed as melancholia.

Miss Hattie is Willow’s landlady and owner of her own boarding house and has also been widowed. Her beloved George had cherished her  for the whole marriage and Miss Hattie will not settle for anything less and is not even looking for a romantic relationship!

I loved this book and the characters within it. If historical romance is your thing, then you will love this book too! Hodgson does a wonderful job setting the scene and keeping the reader turning the pages to see what will happen next! There are quite a few subplots weaved into the story and they are expertly handled. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves romance or even historical fiction.

As always, I got this book for free from WalterBrook Multnomah for the sole purpose of this review.

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Not This Time

To begin, Not This Time is the first novel I have read by the author Vicki Hinze. You can find her personal website here. She is a Christian fiction author who also writes amazingly complicated thrillers. Most books in the genre of thrillers are easy to figure out within a few chapters, however in Not This Time, Hinze keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Myself having grown up and lived a significant part of my life in Florida, where this story is set, I have to say that she got it right. I love it when an author will set their stories in places that I know because I feel that the setting is also a character and should be given it’s proper due as well.

I do have to admit that there is not much in this book that I did not like, in fact I am not sure that I did not like anything. I also have to admit that writing reviews for the thriller/mystery genre is extremely difficult because I do not want to give anything away and I really want people to read this book!

The characters in the story are all well written and fleshed out. I enjoyed that you do not know everything about everyone in the first few chapters. Hinze’s characters are flawed and amazingly human and the story deals with something that we as human deal with on a daily basis whether we want to admit it or not. Terrorism. Although, in Not This Time, it is mostly domestic terrorism.

There is also a very understated and  expertly woven in undercurrent of spirituality in this story. It is not preachy and I love that because it lets the actual story of this novel shine through. The “God factor” as I like to call it is low key, but also adds to the story without getting preachy. Both Christians and non Christians will love this novel.

I am totally looking forward to reading Hinze’s other novels hopefully soon. So, what are you waiting for? Go read Not This Time now! You will not be sorry you did!!

I got this book for free from WalterBrook Multnomah for the express purpose of this review.

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Trip & Other Surprises

Well let me begin by saying that my trip to Georgia was amazing and so much fun! So much that I did not really want to come back home. Sigh. But I did get on the plane and came home. I am having trouble getting back into the swing of things with school and all. I was in Georgia for 8 days. I wish I had stayed. But you know me, I had things here that I had to come back to and take care of.

On the the surprise of the last couple of weeks. I got a call a few nights ago from a friend of mine. My ex-husband who was abusive to me, is dead. I am still trying to deal with that news and how I feel about that. It has been harder than I expected because I feel sadness, yeah I know he was abusive, but at one point I did love this man and it makes me sad that he is dead.

I actually forgave him for what he did and I let it go. Seems kind of interesting that after I did that, I learned of his death. Right now, I am stressed out and my PTSD is not doing me any favors. It is hard for me to concentrate and get things finished right now and that is also including school. I need to go for now, but I will be back soon. Ciao!