Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decades 2009 Reading Challenge Wrap Up Post

I really did not think I was going to make the deadline on this one. Why on earth do I wait until the last minute to finish 2 books? Heaven help me! Finish I did though. My favorites are probably Cranford and Little Women. I thought all of the books were good though. Overall I did like Dracula but there is going to be a separate post for it. I definitely will be joining Decades 2010. Thank you to Michelle of 3M for hosting this unique reading challenge.

1840s- The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens (Done)
1850s- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (Done)
1860s- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Done)
1870s- Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott (Done)
1880s - Heidi by Johanna Spyri (Done)
1890s - Dracula by Bram Stoker (Done)
1900- Railway Children by E. Nesbit (Done)
1910 - Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (Done)
1920 - The House on Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (Done)

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand? December 28, 2009


What Are You Reading Mondays is hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog

Books I finished last week:
- Ivy and Intrigue by Lauren Willig( good novella posted on the author's website)

- Railway Children by E. Nesbit (still not sure if I have read this before)

- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

- The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren


Currently Reading:

- Dracula by Bram Stoker

- How Sweet It Is by Alice Wisler

- Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne


Books to Finish this Week:

- Dracula by Bram Stoker

- How Sweet It Is by Alice Wisler

- Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

Reviews Posted:

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/cranford-by-elizabeth-gaskell-review.html

Goals:
Finish the By the Decades Reading Challenge and the 2nds Challenge. I give up on the A-Z author and book titles. There is no way to finish and work. I have had issues reading lately especially over the holidays. I need to kick it into high gear this week and watch less TV. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Serial Readers Challenge 2009 Wrap Up Post


The serial readers challenge was hosted by Beth at Just Your Average Carpool Queen.
http://justyouraveragecarpoolqueen.blogspot.com/2008/11/serial-readers-challenge-2009-as-many.html


I did enjoy this challenge and would participate again. All of the series were good but my favorite would be the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. I read 10 series total or part of series. The total number of books read is 60. :)


Brittanie's List:


1. I am going to read the Rock Harbor Mystery series by Colleen Coble (DONE)


- Without a Trace


- Beyond a Doubt


- Into the Deep


- Cry in the Night





2. I read the After the Storm Continuity series published by Steeple Hill Love Inspired. (DONE)

- Healing the Boss's Heart by Valerie Hanson

- Marrying Minister Right by Annie Jones

- Rekindled Hearts by Brenda Minton

- The Matchmaking Pact by Carolyne Aarsen

- A Family for Thanksgiving by Patricia Davids

- Jingle Bell Babies by Kathryn Springer




3. I am going to read Without a Trace Continuity series from Love Inspired Suspense (DONE)


- What Sarah Saw by Margaret Daley


- Framed by Robin Carroll


- Cold Case Murder by Shirlee McCoy


- A Cloud of Suspicion by Patricia Davids


- Deadly Competition by Roxanne Rustand


- Her Last Chance by Terri Reed





4. I am going to read the Weddings by Woodwards Continuity series from Love Inspired


- Rocky Mountain Legacy by Lois Richer (DONE)


- Twice Upon a Time by Lois Richer (DONE)


- A Ring and a Promise by Lois Richer (DONE)





5. I am going to reread at least some of the Babysitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin


- Kristy's Great Idea
- Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls
- The Truth about Stacey
- Mary Anne Saves the Day
- Dawn and the Impossible Three
- Claudia and Mean Jeanne
- Kristy's Big Day
- Boy Crazy Stacey
- Dawn in Eclipse Bay
- Babysitters on Board!
- The Ghost at Dawn's House
- Logan Likes Mary Anne
- Kristy and the Snobs
- Claudia and the New Girl
- Good bye Stacey Good bye
- Hello Mallory
- Little Miss Stoneybrooke
- Jessi's Secret Language
- Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery
- Stacey's Mistake
- Claudia and the Bad Joke
- Kristy and the Walking Diaster
- Mallory and the Trouble with Twins






6. I read the Cody Gunner series by Karen Kingsbury (Done)


- A Thousand Tomorrows


- Just Beyond the Clouds


- This Side of Heaven





7. I am reading the Boo series by Rene Gutteridge (Done)


- Boo


- Boo Who


- Boo Hiss


- Boo Humbug





8.The Pink Carnation series by Laura Willig (Done)


- The Secret History of the Pink Carnation


- The Masque of the Black Tulip


- The Deception of the Emerald Ring


- The Seduction of the Crimson Rose


- The Temptation of the Night Jasmine





9.The Silent series by Deanna Raybourn (Done)


- Silent in the Grave


- Silent in the Sanctuary


- Silent on the Moor

10. The Miracle Girls series by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (DONE)
- The Miracle Girls (reread)
- Breaking Up is Hard to Do
- A Little Help From My Friends

1st in a Series Reading Challenge 2009 Wrap Up Post


I did not keep up with when I finished this one. I read more than the 12 below but I did not keep up with them. I liked this challenge and I look forward to participating in it next year. I can't pick a favorite because I liked all of them and would recommend any of them. I will say I am addicted to the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig now. :)
Thank you J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog for hosting.


Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer (Done)
A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury (Done)
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Laura Willing (Done)
The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler (Done)
Boo by Rene Gutteridge (Done)
Breach of Trust by Diann Mills (Done)
Daisy Chain by Mary E. DeMuth (Done)
Against All Odds by Irene Hannon (Done)
Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate (Done)
Stand In Groom by Kaye Dacus (Done)
Without a Trace by Colleen Coble (Done)
Rocky Mountain Legacy by Lois Richer (Done)

1st in a Series Reading Challenge 2010

This challenge was previously hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog. I finished it early this year and read more than 12 required but did not keep up with them. I am joining it again for 2010 but will keep up with all the first books in a series I read. There are different levels and I am offically signing up for the addicted. For more information about the challenge and rules go here:
http://theroyalreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/1st-in-series-challenge.html

-- Addicted – Read 12 novels that are first in a series.

It starts January 1 and goes to December 31 2010.

1.

The Last Sunday Salon for 2009

The Sunday Salon.com

* So much to talk about it I don't know quite where to start. Warning this will be a long post. :)

* I had a great Christmas I hope everyone else did also. My mom bought me a 24 cupcake taker and two cookbooks. One has 500 recipes and the other is the Martha Stewart Cupcake book. I have been baking a lot of cupcakes this year. I can't wait to experiment with them.

* My stepfather and other family members gave me money/gift cards. I went to JCPenny's this weekend and bought a ton of clothes for around $100. They were having a good sale and I had coupons. I am very grateful. I really needed some new blue jeans, t shirts, and sweaters. I received lots of new pajamas for Christmas which I love.

* My sister and I are obsessed with calendars little and small. In her room alone we have two. A Chick fil a and a Bad Cats. In my room I have a Beach one. In the laundry room the other Chick fil a one. I bought two small island ones for work and my sister a Hello Kitty one for work. I also bought a one a day tear calender with islands and quotes for me and a Dangerous Book for Girls one for my cousin.

* I have been cleaning like crazy today. A little bit is procrastination on reading. I need to finish Dracula and two other books for the By the Decades Reading Challenge. Otherwise I just feel the need to clean and organize.

* My Mom and stepfather just came over to put up our new mailbox. Mom noticed a gouge in my tire and she is scared it will go flat or have a blowout so I am going to get ready and go to Sams to get it fixed. Hopefully it won't cost too much. I am not known for my good driving skills.

* Tonight I plan on reading and getting ready to go back to work tomorrow. Why is it always so hard after a holiday even if you like your job?

* I plan on reading every night this week so hopefully I will finish the challenges. I have several reviews I need to get up this week also.I posted my review of Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell yesterday.

* I hope everyone has a great week and finds reading time. Happy New Year next time will be 2010. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (Review)



Cranford

Elizabeth Gaskell


1853

293 pgs.

Book Description:
Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses, above a certain rent, are women.' In this witty and poignant comedy of early-Victorian life in a country town, Elizabeth Gaskell describes the uneventful lives of the lady-like inhabitants so as to offer an ironic commentary on the diverse experiences of men and women. She explores the unlikely juxtapositions of old and new brought about by the pace of change: the effects of Victorian commerce and imperial expansion co-exist with the survival of customs and habits of thought from much earlier times.

My Review:
I enjoyed reading this book. It is my first Elizabeth Gaskell book but not my last. I can't wait to read more about this town and her other works. I read the online version available at Project Gutenberg. There are several interesting items about this book. It is set in a rural English village in the 1850s and is mostly populated by women. Most of the women are middle aged to older and seem to like the fact there a few men around. Throughout the book two or three men make an appearance most stay. The narrator for the story is not revealed until half way through the book. It is Mary Smith someone who visits Cranford for long periods of time and is friends with several of its members particularly Miss Matty Jenkyns. Very little dialogue and no one cohesive plot can make the book a little confusing but was fine to me. It is more a character driven book with a loose plot based on the goings on of this village. Each chapter has a title that comes from something in that chapter/story. Some chapters are more humorous than others and some touching. Recommended.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!











MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Yesterday was my turn on the classics circuit for Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. I am so sorry I missed it. I have had a crazy week.Tuesday night was our work dirty Santa party and when I got home I ended up taking my sister to the ER. She dropped a weight on her foot and broke her big toe in two places. I was so tired last night I forgot it was the 23 and though my day was today. We have bad weather coming and I am not finished shopping so I hope to have it finished and posted soon. Thank you. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Secret Santa Presents

My Secret Santa was Kathleen of Boarding in my Forties:

http://boardinginmyforties.blogspot.com/

Something really cool is we got each other as secret santas. I love everything she picked out and sent me. Green is my favorite color and I love journals/writing materials. She also sent me some really cute bookmarks. Click on the picture to see everything up close. :)

Thank you very much Kathleen. Merry Christmas everyone!






What's On Your Nightstand? December 22,2009 Edition


What's On Your Nightstand is hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the fourth Tuesday every month. It is one of my favorite things I do every month. Last month I read several of the Steeple Hill books off my list which is a big relief although I still have a lot left. They publish around 12 per month but I do not buy all of them I promise. :) This month I am trying to finish reading challenges and get ready for January blog tours. The picture with books starting with the Silent Governess are January book tours. The picture with books in two stacks are my current Steeple Hills. The picture in front of my stereo are ones for reading challenges ending very soon. I have lots of reading to do. :)





Monday, December 21, 2009

November Reads in Review

I read 24 books in the month of November. All of them were pretty good. My favorites are in bold. My least favorite is Green by Ted Dekker. I am not sure what I was expecting but it did not live up to expectations. I read lots of my Steeple Hill books. They are quick and easy usually good reads.I read the full length Little Women for the first time and really liked it too. My main goal for December is to finish reading challenges. Yikes lots to read. :)
November

245. Leaving Carolina by Tamera Leigh

246. A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth

247. Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters

248. Fit to be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher

249. His Cowgirl Bride by Debra Clopton

250. White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner

251. Sometimes a Light Surprises by Jamie Langston Turner

252. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

253. The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen

254. The Thanksgiving Target by Laura Scott

255. A Silent Pursuit by Lynette Eason

256. Hearts in the Crosshairs by Susan Page Davis

257. Final Warning by Sandra Robbins

258. Return Policy by Michael Synder

259. Mistletoe and Murder by Florence Case

260. How Do I love Thee? by Nancy Moser

261. An Unexpected Match by Dana Corbit

262. His Christmas Bride by Dana Corbit

263. Green by Ted Dekker

264. Rubies in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick and Frances Wilkinson (Nonfiction)

265. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott

266. Healing the Boss's Heart by Valerie Hansen

267. Marrying Minister right by Annie Jones

268. Rekindled Hearts by Brenda Minton

269. The Matchmaking Pact by Carolyne Aarsen

Fall Into Reading 2009 Wrap Up Post

I can't believe its over already. This is one of my favorite reading challenges. I really didn't stick to my list very well this time though. I am going to link to my original list and below is a list of what I actually read. I think I read about 25 off of my original list. Overall I read 71 books. I am putting some of my favorites in bold. I enjoyed most of what I read. The only one I really did not like was Cricket on the Hearth. It did not make a lot of sense to me. Paper Towns and Her Fearful Symmetry were a little disturbing. I had a lot of fun and I look forward to participating again next year. :)
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/09/fall-into-reading-2009-challenge.html


219. Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
220. The Curse of the Pharoahs by Elizabeth Peters
221. Austenland by Shannon Hale
222. All-Of-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
223. More All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
224. The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
October
225. Betsy Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
226. Taking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove
227. Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin
228. Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser
229. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller
230. Piece De Resistance by Sandra Byrd
231. Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark
232. Betsy Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace
233. That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake
234. The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall
235. A Victorian Christmas by Catherine Palmer
236. Last Breath by Brandilyn and Amberly Collins
237. Betsy Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace
238. What Matters Most by Melody Carlson
239. A Little Help From My Friends by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
240. The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason
241. eye of the god by Ariel Allison
242. Limelight by Melody Carlson
243. Plum Pudding by Joanne Fluke
244. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffengegger
November
245. Leaving Carolina by Tamera Leigh
246. A Slow Burn by Mary DeMuth
247. Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters
248. Fit to be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher
249. His Cowgirl Bride by Debra Clopton
250. White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner
251. Sometimes a Light Surprises by Jamie Langston Turner
252. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
253. The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
254. The Thanksgiving Target by Laura Scott
255. A Silent Pursuit by Lynette Eason
256. Hearts in the Crosshairs by Susan Page Davis
257. Final Warning by Sandra Robbins
258. Return Policy by Michael Synder
259. Mistletoe and Murder by Florence Case
260. How Do I love Thee? by Nancy Moser
261. An Unexpected Match by Dana Corbit
262. His Christmas Bride by Dana Corbit
263. Green by Ted Dekker
264. Rubies in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick and Frances Wilkinson (Nonfiction)
265. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
266. Healing the Boss's Heart by Valerie Hansen
267. Marrying Minister right by Annie Jones
268. Rekindled Hearts by Brenda Minton
269. The Matchmaking Pact by Carolyne Aarsen
December
270. The Marriage Wish by Dee Henderson (reread)
271. A Family for Thanksgiving by Patricia Davids
272. Jingle Bell Babies by Kathryn Springer
273. Blessings of the Season by Annie Jones and Brenda Minton
274. Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
275. Paper Towns by John Green
276. Lone Star Blessings by Bonnie K Winn
277. A Wedding in Wyoming by Deb Kastner
278. A Forever Christmas by Missy Tippens
279. Jenna's Cowboy Hero by Brenda Minton
280. Yultide Protector by Lisa Mondello
281. 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget by Cheri Gillard (Nonfiction)
282. Wishin and Hopin by Wally Lamb
283. What Women don't know(and men don't tell you) by Michelle Mckinney Hammond and Joe Brooks (Nonfiction)
284. The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis
285. Christmas Peril by Margaret Daley and Debby Giusti
286. The Solider's Holiday Vow by Jillian Hart
287. the Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland
288. The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble
289. The Face by Angela Hunt
290. The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

What are you reading on Mondays? December 21, 2009

Read last week (Monday December 14 to Sunday December 20) :

- Christmas Peril by Margaret Daley and Debby Giusti
- The Soldier's Holiday Vow by Jillian Hart
- The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland
- The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble
- The Face by Angela Hunt
- The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

Reviewed last week:

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-lamp-by-lori-copeland-review.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/wishin-and-hopin-christmas-story-by.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/lightkeepers-daughter-by-colleen-coble.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/sheriffs-surrender-by-susan-page-davis.html

Giveaway Open:
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/sheriffs-surrender-by-susan-page-davis.html

Reading this week:
Lots of reading challenge books especially for the By the Decades challenge and the A-Z reading challenge.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What's in a Name? Reading Challenge 2010


I have particpated in the What's in a Name? reading challenge for the past two years. I look forward to doing it in 2010. I do not have my list of books picked out yet but when I do I will put it in my sidebar. :)



http://whatsinname3.blogspot.com/


So here's how it works:


Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:



A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society



A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House



A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan



A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose



A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia



A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher





The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.





Other Things to Know
Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
Books may overlap other challenges.
Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
Creativity for matching the categories is allowed.
You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.
There will be a single prize at the end of the challenge. Readers who complete the challenge and write up a wrap-up post (or wrap-up comment) are eligible. I'll figure out a way to make it international.

Go here to sign up:
http://whatsinname3.blogspot.com/

What's in a Name Reading Challenge 2009 Wrap Up Post

The What's in a Name? reading challenge was hosted by Annie this year. The blog for it is http://whatsinaname-2.blogspot.com/
This is my second year and I really enjoyed the challenge again. I will be signing up for the third edition soon.

This is what I read and the categories:

A Building- Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson (DONE)

A Relative- Stand in Groom by Kaye Dacus (DONE)

Body Part- The Face by Angela Hunt (DONE)

Medical Condition- City of the Dead by T. L. Higley (DONE)

Profession- The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen (DONE)

Time of Day- Cry in the Night by Colleen Coble (DONE)

All the books I read were good. My favorites though include City of the Dead and The Face.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland (Review)



Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (October 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-0310272274

When the small town of Nativity, Missouri, loses its much-needed seasonal business, more than the economy suffers. Lifelong resident Roni Elliot clashes with the new outside consultant Jake Brisco, whose drastic budget-slashing threatens the traditions and spirit of Nativity. However, as forgotten joys rekindle and new traditions emerge, Christmas once again becomes a season of hope.

My Thoughts:
Overall it was an good read. I love Lori Copeland's books and have read most of her Christian fiction but this one was just okay. It was an enjoyable short book with interesting characters and bit predictable plot. It was so short it did not feel fully developed. I would have loved for it to be twice the length. It does put you in the Christmas spirit and remind us of what is important so the goal was achieved. :)


This review copy was provided for a blog tour with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.

Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb (Review)


Product Description
It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget.


LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.


Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.


From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.


My Thoughts:

I did not like this book as much as everyone else seems too. I think if you were a child or adult that remembers this time period you will enjoy it more but it did not resonate with me. I could not identify with most of the book. That said there were some funny parts. There were a few curse words and references to s*x stuff that made me uncomfortable. It is sorta a coming of age story of a fifth grade boy though with Christmas the main theme for the last half of the story only. The epilogue was completely political and unnecessary for the main plot line. The ending itself was satisfactory. I don't feel like I can recommend it for most of my blog readers. There is an audience for it and I think they will enjoy it. :)


The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble (Review)


At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger—and quite possibly the love of her life.

Growing up as the lightkeeper’s daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she’s immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion.

As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs
My Review:
Overall I liked and enjoyed this book. I have read some of her other romantic suspense mystery books set in the present day. She did a good job on the historical aspects in the book including wonderful descriptions. Mercy Falls sounds like a beautiful place. My only problem with the book is the few couple chapters seemed formulaic and the family history was confusing. It took me awhile to keep straight how everyone was related to each other. After that the plot drew me in and I wanted to know what happened next. I stayed up until midnight last night finishing the book. The next Mercy Falls novel will be on my wish list. Recommended. :)
Thank you Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review copy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis (Review and Giveaway)

***Leave a comment on this post before Wednesday December 30 at midnight to be entered to win copy.***

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Sheriff’s Surrender

Barbour Books (December 1, 2009)

by

Susan Page Davis




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!



ABOUT THE BOOK


Gert Dooley can shoot the tail feathers off a jay at a hundred yards, but she wants Ethan Chapman to see she's more than a crack shot with a firearm. When the sheriff of Fergus, Idaho, is murdered and Ethan is named his replacement, Gert decides she has to do whatever she can to help him protect the citizenry. So she starts the Ladies Shooting Club. But when one of their numbers is murdered, these ladies are called on for more than target shooting and praying. Can Gert and the ladies of Fergus find the murderer before he strikes again?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sheriff’s Surrender , go HERE

My Review:

I really liked this cute and funny historical romance light on the history. It had an interesting plot line that kept me guessing until the end. I figured it out but not til close to the end. The romance between the two main characters was believable. Gert and Ethan are the two characters that play the main role in this book but there are great secondary characters like her brother Hiram and other members of the Ladies Shooting Club(which I liked). These are some strong ladies. :) I can't wait to read the next book in this series. Highly recommended.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Are You Reading On Mondays? December 14, 2009


Books read last week(Monday December 7 to Sunday December 13):
- A Wedding in Wyoming by Deb Kastner
- A Forever Christmas by Missy Tippens
- Jenna's Cowboy Hero by Brenda Minton
- Yuletide Protector by Lisa Mondello
- 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget by Cheri Gillard
- Wishin and Hopin by Wally Lamb
- What Women Don't Know(and men don't tell you) by Michelle McKinney Hammond and Joel Brooks Jr.
- The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

Books that need to be reviewed:
- Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser
- That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake
- The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

Reviews Posted this week:
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-women-dont-knowand-men-dont-tell.html

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2009/12/99-ways-to-stretch-your-home-budget-by.html

Currently Reading:
Way too many to list. Lots of reading challenges ending soon feeling a little overwhelmed. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Women Don't Know(and men don't tell you) by Michelle McKinney Hammond and Joel Brooks Jr. (Review)

Just because the economy is suffering doesn’t mean relationships have to suffer, too. The Value Non-Fiction Line (September 15, 2009) offers insightful books on love, marriage, relationships and personal growth. At just $6.99, WaterBrook Press is offering readers on the most limited budgets, valuable resources to help them grow and succeed in their personal lives. Titles include:

More Than A Match (ISBN: 978-1-4000-7489-1) by relationship experts, Michael & Amy Smalley, marriage and family counselors who demystify the science behind compatibility tests to help singles in search of love recognize when the right relationship comes along. They also reveal the specific skills that can transform an ideal match into a lasting love.

Fool Proofing Your Life (ISNB: 978-0-307-45848-3) by Jan Silvious, Precept Ministries (Kay Arthur) radio co-host discusses how attempts at coping with difficult people often fails, because they are what the Bible refers to as “fools.” Silvious provides tools to help readers get along and conduct relationships in a way that honors God, while preserving their own sanity.

How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong (ISBN: 978-0-307-45849-0)
by Leslie Vernick, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 25 years experience, reveals how God uses the imperfections, difference and sins of a spouse to help anyone become more like Christ.


What Women Don’t Know and Men Don’t Tell You (ISBN: 978-0-307-45850-6)
by Michelle McKinney Hammond, best-selling author, speaker, singer and co-host, with Joel A. Brooks, Jr., senior pastor of Christian Life Center, clears up misperceptions, providing women with the information they need to succeed in a lasting male-female relationship ─ both while waiting and after the wait is over.



My Review:


This is the book that I received to read and review. It was awesome. I love Michelle McKinney Hammond's books. They are always full of bible verses to back up what she writes. The entire time I read this book I felt convicted like this is stuff that I need to know and be working on before getting into a relationship. It also had what to watch out for when you are dating a man that leads to problems then and later. The audience it is intended for is definitely female. I marked passages that stood out to me. One of the most important points the book made is being whole in Christ before being able to be right in a relationship with a human male. If you are not whole in Christ every aspect of your life suffers. Also an important point made is acting like you are married with the person without being married on paper. It sabotages the relationship and he might not ever marry you. The book points out several pitfalls relationships fall into. I definitely recommend the book especially if you are a single female. :)




The Value Non–Fiction Line provides readers with invaluable resources at a low cost, and offers priceless insights to help build meaningful relationship.


This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget by Cheri Gillard (Review)

The Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group introduces 99…times six…practical and up-to-date ways to help families flourish despite present economic challenges, priced at just $5.99 per book (WaterBrook Press, July 21, 2009). These books are not only timely, but also inexpensive enough to fit into everyone’s tightening budget.


99 Ways to Entertain Your Family for Free (ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45836-0)
by Mack Thomas, bestselling author of The First Step Bible and father of five.
Offers activities and events sure to entertain and educate family members of all ages.

99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget (ISBN-13:978-0-307-45841-4)
by Cheri Gillard, nurse and mother of quadruplets.
Practical ideas on how families can save money around the house.

My Review:

This is the book that I received to read and review. I though the book was well written and easy to read and apply. I was already familiar with many of the suggestions but a some were new to me. I look forward to applying this to my life.

99 Ways to Increase Your Income (ISBN-13:978-0-307-45839-1)
by Frank Martin, successful entrepreneur and author of over sixteen books.
Provides tips to generate more cash, and rebuild or supplement an income,
while hanging on to existing dollars.

99 Ways to Build Job Security (ISBN-13:978-0-307-45840-7)
by Gary Nowinski, veteran in corporate management and downsizing.
Introduces key strategies to help employees keep their jobs during economic
cutbacks.

99 Ways to Fight Worry and Stress (ISBN-13: 978-0-307-45837-7)
by Elsa Kok Colopy, Associate Editor for Focus on the Family Publications.
Presents skills to guard rest, dream a little, and dive into truth and more.

99 Bible Promises for Tough Times (ISBN-13:978-0-307-45838-4)
by Randy Petersen, seasoned author of more than fifty books and Bible studies.
Gives encouraging and wise words found in Scripture to mediate upon.


Written for families and individuals who are hoping to not only survive but thrive, during tough times. These value-packed, applicable resources offer relevant and reliable insights to endure the current economic downturn, and are sure to appeal to families in all stages of life.



This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Familiar Stranger

Moody Publishers (September 1, 2009)

by

Christina Berry



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Single mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. All that confusion must have influenced her decision to be team captain of a winning team on Family Feud.

Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, released from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!

Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers.





ABOUT THE BOOK

Craig Littleton's decision to end his marriage would shock his wife, Denise . . . if she knew what he was up to. When an accident lands Craig in the ICU, with fuzzy memories of his own life and plans, Denise rushes to his side, ready to care for him.

They embark on a quest to help Craig remember who he is and, in the process, they discover dark secrets. An affair? An emptied bank account? A hidden identity? An illegitimate child?

But what will she do when she realizes he's not the man she thought he was? Is this trauma a blessing in disguise, a chance for a fresh start? Or will his secrets destroy the life they built together?

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

The Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Lamp

Zondervan (October 1, 2009)

by

Lori Copeland



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lori Copeland has been writing for twenty-five years and has over three million copies of her books in print. She began her writing career in 1982, writing for the secular book market. In 1995, after many years of writing, Lori sensed that God was calling her to use her gift of writing to honor Him. It was at that time that she began writing for the Christian book market.

To date, she has more than 95 books published, including Now and Always, Simple Gifts, Unwrapping Christmas, and Monday Morning Faith, which was a finalist for the 2007 Christy Awards. Lori was inducted into the Springfield Writers Hall of Fame in 2000.

Lori lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband Lance. They have three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren. Lori and Lance are very involved in their church, and active in supporting mission work in Mali, West Africa.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Christmas trees, twinkling lights, skating in the park, and holiday displays are the hallmark elements for celebrating Jesus birth for the sentimental residents of Nativity, Missouri. Will fiscal responsibility replace Christmas their traditions when times are tough? Though their priorities and methods clash, Roni Elliot and Jake Brisco want the same thing, for the town to prosper. As the two get to know each other better, each begins to gain a new perspective on what the real wealth of Nativity and the season might be.

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Whirlwind by Robert Liparulo


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Whirlwind

Thomas Nelson (December 29, 2009)

by

Robert Liparulo




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert Liparulo is a former journalist, with over a thousand articles and multiple writing awards to his name. His first novel, Comes a Horseman, released to critical acclaim. Each of his subsequent thrillers—Germ, Deadfall, and Deadlock—secured his place as one of today’s most popular and daring thriller writers.

He is known for investing deep research and chillingly accurate predictions of near-future scenarios into his stories. In fact, his thorough, journalistic approach to research has resulted in his becoming an expert on the various topics he explores in his fiction, and he has appeared on such media outlets as CNN and ABC Radio.

Liparulo’s visual style of writing has caught the eye of Hollywood producers. Currently, three of his novels for adults are in various stages of development for the big screen: the film rights to Comes A Horseman. were purchased by the producer of Tom Clancy’s movies; and Liparulo is penning the screenplays for GERM and Deadfall for two top producers. He is also working with the director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, Holes) on a political thriller. Novelist Michael Palmer calls Deadfall “a brilliantly crafted thriller.” March 31st marked the publication of Deadfall’s follow-up, Deadlock, which novelist Gayle Lynds calls, “best of high-octane suspense.”

Liparulo’s bestselling young adult series, Dreamhouse Kings, debuted last year with House of Dark Shadows and Watcher in the Woods. Book three, Gatekeepers, released in January, and number four, Timescape, in July. The series has garnered praise from readers, both young and old, as well as attracting famous fans who themselves know the genre inside and out. Of the series, Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine says, “I loved wandering around in these books. With a house of so many great, haunting stories, why would you ever want to go outside?”

With the next two Dreamhouse books “in the can,” he is currently working on his next thriller, which for the first time injects supernatural elements into his brand of gun-blazing storytelling. The story is so compelling, two Hollywood studios are already in talks to acquire it—despite its publication date being more than a year away. After that comes a trilogy of novels, based on his acclaimed short story, which appeared in James Patterson’s Thriller anthology. New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry calls Liparulo’s writing “Inventive, suspenseful, and highly entertaining . . . Robert Liparulo is a storyteller, pure and simple.” He lives with his family in Colorado.

Visit Robert Liparulo's Facebook Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/LiparuloFans


ABOUT THE BOOK

Which door do you go through to save the world?

David, Xander, and Toria King never know where the mysterious portals in their house will take them: past, present, or future. They have battled gladiators and the German army, dodged soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, and jumped from the sinking Titanic. They've also seen the stark future that awaits if they can't do something to change it--a destroyed city filled with mutant creatures.

And they've still got to find a way to bring Mom back and keep Taksidian from getting them out of the house. The dangers are hitting them like a whirlwind . . . but the answers are becoming apparent as well.

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

I just received this book in the mail. My 12 year old girl cousin is reading it now. She absolutely loves this series. After she finishes she will ask me periodically when the next one is coming out. lol :) I would have thought this series to appeal more to boys but it is a credit to the author that it has widespread appeal.

What Are You Reading On Mondays? December 5, 2009


Books read last week(Monday November 30 to Sunday December 6):

- The Marriage Wish by Dee Henderson (reread)

- A Family for Thanksgiving by Patricia Davids

- Jingle Bell Babies by Kathryn Springer

- Blessings of the Season by Annie Jones and Brenda Minton

- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

- Paper Towns by John Green

Reviews this week:
None bad Brittanie

Books that need to be reviewed:
- Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser

- That Certain Spark by Cathy Marie Hake

Books I need to read/currently reading:

- The Christmas Glass by Marci Alborghetti

- What women dont' know and men don't tell you by Michelle Hammond and Joel Brooks Jr.

- 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget by Cheri Gillard

- the Christmas Lamp by Lori Copeland

- the Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry

- Dracula by Bram Stoker

- Guardian of the Flame by T. L. Higley

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Salon December 6, 2009

The Sunday Salon.com

* I have not accomplished much reading this weekend. It has been pretty busy.

* Yesterday I went shopping with my sister and cousin and out to lunch. That night I went with my aunt and cousin to a Christmas competition for singers etc. I had a great time. It was good spending time with them.

* Today has been weird. I have not been able to focus. I read two books though which is good. So total three for the weekend. I have several reading challenges I need to finish but some of the books are hard to read and I am getting stuck. So I have put bookmarks in them and set them aside for right now. Any advice?

* Read this weekend:

-Blessings of the Season by Annie Jones and Brenda Minton

-Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

-Paper Towns by John Green

* They were all okay. I am still thinking about Paper Towns. Not sure what to make of it yet.

* I hope to read one more book tonight. I have finished all the dishes, laundry, etc. :)

* I hope everyone has a great week and can find reading time! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Raising Rain by Debbie Fuller Thomas


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Raising Rain

Moody Publishers (September 1, 2009)

by

Debbie Fuller Thomas



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debbie writes contemporary fiction from an historic Gold Rush town in Northern California. By day, she manages after school and day camp programs, and she burns the midnight oil to write what she loves. Her first book Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon, is a Christy finalist. Raising Rain, her second book became available September 2009.

Debbie has contributed to story collections such as Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul, and Lord, I Was Happy Shallow, along with articles in Coping With Cancer magazine.

She has two teenagers and her husband is the executive pastor on Sonrise Church with 1,000 members. Debbie is a manager at Auburn Area Parks and Recreation.



ABOUT THE BOOK


Raised to be a 'new woman' by her mother and three college roommates in
the 70's amid anti-war protests, feminist rallies, and finals, Rain
Rasmussen discovers that putting her career first has left her overdrawn
at the egg-bank, and her baby fever has now driven off her significant
other.

When her terminally ill mother demands a Celebration of Life before she
dies; they all confront ghosts from the past on a 'stormy' weekend in
Monterey. Bebe, the roommate closest to Rain's heart, revisits choices
that have impacted Rain the most, raising doubts about God's—and her
own—willingness to forgive and to be forgiven.

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

The Christmas Glass by Marci Alborghetti


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Christmas Glass

GuidepostsBooks (October 1, 2009)

by

Marci Alborghetti



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Marci Alborghetti has been writing only slightly longer than she's been reading. In seventh grade she received her first writing prize for a zany Halloween story. The prize? A five dollar gift certificate to a local bookstore. She was hooked. The Christmas Glass is her fourteenth book, and she is currently at work on a sequel as well as a non-fiction book about service. Some of her other books include: Prayer Power: How to Pray When You Think You Can’t, A Season in the South and Twelve Strong Women of God.

She and her husband, Charlie Duffy, live in New London, Connecticut and the San Francisco Bay area. While in New London she facilitates the Saint James Literary Club.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In the tradition of The Christmas Shoes and A Christmas on Jane Street, the heartwarming story of The Christmas Glass shows how, today as always, the Christmas miracle works its wonders in the human heart.

In the early days of World War II in Italy, Anna, a young widow who runs a small orphanage, carefully wraps her most cherished possessions -- a dozen hand-blown, German-made, Christmas ornaments, handed down by her mother -- and sends them to a cousin she hasn't seen in years.

Anna is distressed to part with her only tangible reminder of her mother, but she worries that the ornaments will be lost or destroyed in the war, especially now that her orphanage has begun to secretly shelter Jewish children. Anna's young cousin Filomena is married with two-year-old twins when she receives the box of precious Christmas glass.

After the war, Filomena emigrates to America, where the precious ornaments are passed down through the generations. After more than forty years, twelve people come to possess a piece of Christmas glass, some intimately connected by family bonds, some connected only through the history of the ornaments.

As Christmas Day approaches, readers join each character in a journey of laughter and tears, fractures and healings, as Filomena, now an eighty-four-year-old great-grandmother, brings them all to what will be either a wondrous reunion or a disaster that may shatter them all like the precious glass they cherish.

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

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Essie in Progress by Marjorie Presten

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Essie in Progress

Kregel Publications (April 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Marjorie Presten for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Marjorie Presten is a native Georgian who has her own fair share of experience juggling career and motherhood. She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, Tom, and their three children.


Listen to a radio interview about the book AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Prologue

1972

In a thirty-second phone call, Hamilton Wells would make a decision that would earn him more money than he could spend in his lifetime. Everything was on the line, but he was not nervous, euphoric, or eager with anticipation. In Hamilton’s mind, the matter was not speculative, debatable, or anything less than a sure thing. Hamilton had the gift, and it had never let him down. Yet even before he made the call, he knew money wouldn’t cure the unrelenting pain of his grief. He sat at his desk with only a single orange banker’s lamp for illumination and cried silently.

Her death had been inevitable, but feelings of helplessness still overwhelmed him. His young son’s dependency on him only multiplied his grief and anger. Six-year-old Jack Wells had insisted his father do something to help Mama, but the only thing Hamilton could do was sit at her bedside and try not to cry. Now it was six weeks after her death, and Hamilton knew his son needed him to be strong, to return life to normal. A neighbor had enrolled Jack in the local church baseball league. They played a game every Wednesday afternoon. It will be good for him, they’d said. Life has to go on.

Hamilton cradled his head in his hands and groaned. The enormity of the risk he was about to take didn’t concern him. It was purely mechanical. He would surrender all he owned for just one more blissful afternoon at the lake he and his wife both loved, but now that was impossible. His wife was dead. Nothing he could do would change that.

He remembered the book of Job. Would a loving and caring God do this to the love of my life? Well, he did, Hamilton thought bitterly. Earline had lingered for months. The doctors said it was miraculous that she had endured as long as she had. Be grateful for these last days to say goodbye, they’d said. But for Hamilton, the prolonged end only added anger to his bottomless sorrow. Standing alongside his son as a helpless witness to her slow deterioration and suffering in the final weeks was more than he could bear. It was the worst time of Hamilton’s life. Nothing really mattered anymore, and it seemed he had nothing left to lose.

Under different circumstances, he might have played it safe and put the proceeds away for his son’s education, bought a new house, or perhaps invested in a bit of lake property. He could have become like the rest of the players and worn monograms on his starched cuffs so everyone could remember whose hand they were shaking. Instead, he had gone it alone. His brokerage business had few clients. He was the only big player left. Now he planned to risk everything on something happening on the other side of the world.

Ham couldn’t remember exactly when he had recognized his innate ability to pick the winner out of a crowd. It had always been there, ever since he was conscious of being alive. The talent had blossomed in the military when the card games occasionally got serious. Now, with every dollar he had to his name, Hamilton approached wheat futures with that same instinct. The Russian harvest had been a disaster, and the United States was coming to the rescue. The price of wheat was going to go through the roof, and then through the floor. He was going to make a fortune on both ends.

He picked up the phone and dialed a number on the Chicago Mercantile exchange. He listened for a few moments as the connection was made. Young Jack tugged at his father’s shirtsleeve. “Pop? Can we go now?” Jack held a baseball in his hand and a glove under his arm. Hamilton swiveled his chair, turning his back to his son.

A familiar voice announced his name. “How can I help you?”

“It’s Ham,” he said. “Short the entire position.”

“What? Everything?” the voice asked.

“Everything.” No emotion colored his voice.

Young Jack crept gingerly around the chair to face his father. “Pop,” he whispered, “come on, the game is about to start.” Hamilton shook his head and looked away.

The voice on the phone was still talking. “Most folks are still enjoying the ride, Ham. You could get hurt.”

“It’s not going a penny higher. Short it all.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Warn me? My wife is dead. What else matters?”

The voice mumbled something about her passing.

“She didn’t pass. She’s dead. Just do what I ask.”

“OK, Ham.” The phone disconnected.

Jack was standing there in front of him, shoulders slumped. The ball hung loose at the end of his fingers, and the glove had fallen on the carpet. “Pop, can we go now?”

“Sorry, Son. Not today.”

“It’s not fair!” Jack erupted. Hot tears sprang up in his eyes. “What am I supposed to do now?”

Ham looked down, silent.

Jack hurled the ball to the floor, wiped his tears angrily, and stormed out of the house.

Ten minutes later on the futures board, wheat ticked down.

It ticked down again.

And so it would continue. Ham would be richer than he’d ever imagined. He’d never experience another financial challenge for the rest of his life. It was not really important, though. Scripture came back to him: “what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

He would trade it all to have his love, his life, back again.

But that was not an option.

Out his window, Ham could see young Jack riding his bicycle furiously down the street. He watched with a passive surrender as his son’s small frame shrank into the distance.