Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review of A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?

This is book #2 in The Winds of Change Series. Fortunately, I did have the first book to take a quick gander through as I had forgotten who all the characters were when starting the second book. So if you do decide to read this book, read the first one before or you'll be thoroughly confused.

I didn't completely agree with the synopsis of the back cover as you can clearly see while reading that Emma's emotional wounds really haven't faded and the pain of her past comes to the forefront many a time. It was an ok book, heavy on the romantic side (which was expected from the back cover synopsis), but flowed well.

Not one of my fav's and I would rate this one as average.

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. This review is in no way influenced by receiving the free copy and is my own opinion.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review of The Queen by Steven James

While investigating a double homicide in an isolated northern Wisconsin town, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers uncovers a high-tech conspiracy that twists through long-buried Cold War secrets and targets present-day tensions in the Middle East.

In his most explosive thriller yet, bestselling author Steven James delivers a multi-layered storytelling tour de force that not only delivers pulse-pounding suspense but also deftly explores the rippling effects of the choices we make.

Yes, yes and yes! This book was one of the best I have ever read. Right from the start, this book sucked me completely in. One needs to have a some-what strong stomach as there are pretty graphic scenes throughout having to to do with blowing up, or shooting or blood.

Steven James is an expert storyteller and writer. Just the way he writes, flows so well and the story is developed at just the right speed. Even with this book being down the line in a series of books, the reader could come in not knowing anything about this main character and easily follow what is going on.

I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fantastic read. I'll definitely be reading his other books as well.

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. The opinions expressed here are mine alone and came straight from my own noggin.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Review of Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon

As a social worker, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But when she starts getting harassing phone calls and bizarre "gifts," it seems she may be the one in need of protection. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, her brother Cole comes to her aid, along with his new partner, an ex-Navy SEAL, Detective Mitch Morgan. As her relentless stalker turns up the heat, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case.

Overall, a pretty good book. But I could've done without the large emphasis on the romance aspect. Seemed like there was even more in the this book compared to others, and right from the first couple pages.

The suspense however, was written well. The reader knew who the tormentor was throughout, but the way it was written kept you turning page after page. Some parts made the stomach squirm a bit as it was pretty graphic, but overall, the author kept the reader engaged up until the end.

Deadly Pursuit is book two in The Guardians of Justice Series.

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. The thoughts and opinions are from my own brain.

Friday, September 02, 2011

one month in

Yesterday marked one month of being back in our home state of Michigan.

I'll be honest and say that it hasn't been the easiest transition for me. Yes, the first eight months in Seattle were the hardest thing I had ever experienced, but this transition has been much harder than I thought too. There are days where I have been in tears. Days of funkiness. But there have been days of laughter intermingled in there too.

I believe the biggest thing is not having a steady rhythm of life.

Coming from working 40+ hours a week for the past 2 1/2 years to working 20+ hours a week and having more than two days off has tilted my world. But I wouldn't trade it. I thoroughly enjoy my job and am enjoying getting to know those I work with. But I do miss those I worked with in Seattle too. We went through a heck of a lot of stuff, stuck together and came out stronger friends each time. I've had several dreams reliving my last day of work in Seattle. Though the scenery is different each time, the people are the same, as are the sorrowful emotions. Those mornings I wake up completely spent.

My husband is no longer in school. This week would have marked the start of another school year. The start of a new semester schedule. That is no longer the case. The days for him consist of hanging with the kids on my working days or working his cute behind off in putting together his website for his counseling practice. He's so close. All the dreaming, hard work, challenges, transformations, tears, and sacrifice have brought him to this point. He's on the edge of turning the page to a new chapter. And I may be a bit bias, but he's a fantastic therapist. It's been an amazing journey so far, and I'm so excited to continue it beside him as his biggest cheerleader. He's also able to indulge in his passion. Mountain biking. Three to four times a week he's hitting the trail either by himself, with friends or with his Sherpa and coming back so very refreshed. This I love.

Our social calendar has been filled each week. For the past three years, finding time to socialize was minimal. Many weekends were spent as a family. Of course "weekend" for our family was only Saturdays as the kids were in school Fridays and I worked Sunday morning and evenings. So the time together was sacred. And there were no instant friends like there are here. Not like instant oatmeal mind you. Keeping up friendships from 2000 miles away is hard, and being able to enjoy those friendships in person has made the homecoming sweeter than ever.

And then there's the unpacking, new neighborhood, new friends, new school and new church.

But I know we'll get there. That rhythm. School, client sessions for Ed, football practices and games for Sam, work, house chores, and friends. I've been pretty hard on myself in forcing that rhythm, which you obviously can't do. So I've been learning to allow myself that little word: grace. And it sure hasn't been easy.

Even though our rhythm of life has been a bit off beat the past month, I know we'll get synched up soon.