Thursday, June 25, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Hot!

First off, let me just apologize for practically falling off the map in regards to my blog lately! My life has just been a rollercoaster ride lately, and I'm trying so hard to stay caught up with everything. :o) Things seem to be much calmer now, so blogging should resume as normal (hopefully) starting today.

With that said....let me pick back up with one of my favorite memes, Booking Through Thursday. Here's this week's question:

Now that summer is here (in the northern hemisphere, anyway), what is the most “Summery” book you can think of? The one that captures the essence of summer for you?

(I’m not asking for you to list your ideal “beach reading,” you understand, but the book that you can read at any time of year but that evokes “summer.”)

This one is a little tough because I don't typically remember books based on what season of the year they fall in (Christmas being the exception here). Surprisingly though, I have thought of 2 books that could fit this bill, and both of them have been read within the last month or so.
My first pick would be Stealing Home by Allison Pittman. This book is all about baseball at the turn of the 20th century, and you can't help but feel that you're in the crowd watching the baseball games in this book. The characters in the story are just wonderful, and are not ones that I'll soon forget. I have a review posted of this book here along with a synopsis of the book.

My second pick is slightly ironic, considering what happened at my house 2 weeks ago. The book I'm referring to would be Last Light by Terri Blackstock. My husband thought I had a weird sense of humor when I picked up this book right after our power had gone out due to some bad storms in our area. Thankfully, we were only without it for about a day, but that didn't stop me from picking up a book that dealt with the power going off over the entire planet! (What is wrong with me here!!!) Anyway, the story takes place in the dead of summer and in the south, where it's known to be scorchingly hot at times. It's determined that an electromagnetic pulse has caused all electricity to cease functioning as well as all automobiles and generators. The water doesn't work all that well either, so everyone's stuck with boiling lake water just to have something to drink. Combine that with whatever non-perishable food you've got in your family, and things start to look pretty grim. No one knows when the power's going to come back on, so people start to think about getting chickens, cows, and planting their own vegetable gardens to survive. Needless to say, after I finished this book, I was thinking, "We need to start a vegetable garden, need to plant some fruit trees, need to get some chickens, need to stockpile some bottled water, etc." Pretty strange to think about, huh?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review: The Voice and Angel of Wrath by Bill Myers/4 Stars

This month, the Christian Fiction Review Blog is featuring a wonderful new book by Bill Myers--Angel of Wrath. Angel of Wrath is book 2 in his Voice of God series.

Synopsis of book one, The Voice:

Charlie Madison is a burned out Special Forces Agent and his world is about to be turned upside down. When his 13-year-old niece barges into his reclusive life, Charlie must come out of retirement to rescue her parents and a computer Program that has recorded the actual Voice of God--the implications of which have shaken the world's religions to their core. Together, with the help of the attractive and mysterious Lisa Harmon, Charlie and his niece circle the globe, tracking down the religious radicals who have kidnapped his sister and brother-in-law. But, there is far more at stake than the safety of the parents or even religion. If the Voice of God created reality, It can destroy it. If controlled, It would become a weapon of mass destruction making all others obsolete. Soon the trio not only fights against various religious powers, but major governments as well . . . until the Program is discovered and played back with unimaginable results.

My thoughts on The Voice:

I am no stranger to Bill Myers' books. My first experience was with The Face of God, which had me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. The Voice was no exception. It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions, both good and heart-wrenching, as well as non-stop, heart-pounding action. I felt as though I was experiencing an entire season of 24, only in book form.

The only problem I had with The Voice was that I didn't feel a connection with the main characters, which I attribute to the very fast pace of the book. I felt for Jazmin all the way through simply because she's got more to deal with than most teenagers. On the other hand, Charlie and Lisa's abrupt romantic connection at the end didn't seem very realistic to me at all. In spite of that, I was still very anxious to read the next book, Angel of Wrath.

Synopsis for Angel of Wrath:

Thirteen-year-old Jazmin, her ex-Special Ops uncle Charlie, and former FBI agent Lisa are reunited in the second of the Voice of God series to stop a an assassin driven to murder members of a megachurch led by Lisa's brother. This assassin has drawn in a coven of teens toying with satanic practices to support his efforts. The naive youth engage in ceremonies that appear to usher in the death of each of his victims. When their rituals open a portal into the spiritual realm, a terrifying and mysterious entity crosses over to our world.

The battle culminates with the capture of Lisa's father as the next target and a Black Mass requiring both their deaths as a sacrifice. The team will, once again, have to rely on all their wits, strength, and faith to survive in this action-packed, unearthly warfare.

My thoughts on Angel of Wrath:

While I did enjoy The Voice as a whole, I absolutely LOVED Angel of Wrath. I read this entire book in one sitting because I just could not put it down. Spiritual warfare is not a topic I come across very often in fiction, and Bill Myers' portrayal in this book was very reminiscent of Frank Peretti's earlier works on the same topic.

As with The Voice, I felt the same way about Angel of Wrath being similar to watching 24 on tv. There is one scene in the book where Charlie is hunting down Kristof (the bad guy). Charlie has managed to put a tracking device on Kristof, and has chased him down to a local carnival. Charlie then relies on a friend of his to help him locate Kristof in a massive crowd of people. Just reading lines like, "Two meters ahead, two o'clock," and "He's right on top of you, don't you see him?" made it so easy to visualize, and compare to a tv show. (Sorry, you'll have to read the book to see if Charlie caught up to Kristof.) :o)

To sum it all up, if you want some good, heart-pounding, action-packed couple of books, then here you have it. I would very much love to see a third book come out in this series as I think it would help to tie up a few loose ends.

4 Stars for both books

Southern?  No
Sass?  Yes

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wonderous Words Wednesday

Wonderous Words Wednesday is hosted by The Bermuda Onion. It is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading. Feel free to join in the fun.

Last week was my first opportunity to join in this meme, and I really enjoyed it. As I said then, I felt just a little bit smarter after I looked up the definitions to all the words that were new to me. :o) Here's this week's offering...

trade mark for a coffee substitute invented by C. W. Post and made with chicory and roasted grains

natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition

taken, done, used, etc., surreptitiously or by stealth; secret

Having a harmful effect; injurious

Yep, now I'm smarter again! :o) All of those words come from a new book I just finished over the weekend called Stealing Home by Allison Pittman. If you're interested, I just happen to have a giveaway going on right now for that very book! Click on this link, and follow the instructions. Who knows, maybe you'll be the lucky winner!! :o)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Fell free to join in the fun, if you want. :o) Oh, but there are some rules you should know about first..........

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Okay, here's my teaser from my current read, The Voice, by Bill Myers:

"Iserson waited until they were no longer the room's center of attention. Waited, but did not back down. "Now you sound like the Christians." He smiled, though there was no amusement in his voice. "Those who demand nonstop mercy so they can enjoy nonstop sinning."

Wow, talk about a sucker punch teaser!!! The Voice is book one in the Angel of Wrath series by Bill Myers. Book two, Angel of Wrath, was recently released, and I'll be featuring it on my blog in the very near future. Stay tuned!