Hi everyone! I’ll be leading a discussion of Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden for this month’s ACFW Bookclub. The discussion will take place from May 27 – 31st on a Yahoo groups email list. Everyone is welcome to join, and there’s plenty of time to read the book! Elizabeth will be participating in the discussion as well. I’ve included an interview with Elizabeth to entice you.
2012 Book 111: Wildflowers from Winter, by Katie Ganshert (7/23/2012)
Reason for Reading: It’s the ACFW bookclub pick for August. I’m leading the discussion so had to read it a bit in advance to prepare my discussion questions.
Bethany Quinn is voraciously pushing her way to the top of an architect career in Chicago when she gets an unexpected call from her estranged mother. Bethany’s childhood friend (also estranged) has a family emergency, and Bethany’s grandfather has heart problems. Bethany reluctantly takes time off work to visit her hometown—a place she hoped to never see again. There, with the help of a renewed friendship and a rather grumpy, but handsome, man she learns that the world isn’t as dreary as she once thought it was. I loved this book. I could easily relate to Bethany’s problems and personality, so she seemed so real and personal to me. Evan, the handsome farmer, was annoying and endearing at the same time; therefore, the budding romance had a realistic tension. Bethany’s religious epiphany was a little sudden, granted, but it was set up well. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes Christian romance.
2012 Book 75: Surrender the Dawn, by MaryLu Tyndall (5/12/2012)
Reason for Reading: ACFW bookclub choice for May
My Review 4/5stars
Because all the men in her family have left to fight in the War of 1812, Cassandra Channing must financially support her family. She desperately decides to invest the rest of the family’s money in a privateering ship captained by the town rake Luke Heaton. Because she is forced to trust someone outwardly untrustworthy, she is forced to come to grips with the fact that not everything is as it seems…and sometimes she should have more faith. This is the third book in the Surrender to Destiny trilogy, but I read it as a stand-alone book. (It works fine that way.) However, I liked it so much, I’m planning on reading the first two in the series, as well…just so I can get a complete picture of all the characters. This book is a sweet romance with an interesting historical backdrop. It definitely has a religious message, but it is never preachy. I think it was just what I needed at the moment.
2012 Book 43: Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part 1, by Michael Duncan (3/3/2012)
Reason for Reading: This was my book club choice for this month. I am in charge of the discussion for the month so I have no choice but to read it! 😉
My Reveiw 4/5 stars
When Aaron, Captain of the Royal Guard, is given a mission to retrieve a stolen book by any means necessary he doesn’t question his orders. He soon finds that not all is as it seems. He becomes embroiled in the politics of Dwarves, a race of men he believed were fairy tales. He must lead a mission to retrieve the Book of Aleth and to discover the truth. I was pleasantly surprised by this allegorical fantasy of the Christian Fiction genre. The epic fantasy story was original enough to capture my attention and the writing was smooth and enticing. The religious message is present but subtle, which to me is a sign of a good writer. (I hate being beat over the head with a Message.) The book DID end with a cliff-hanger, but I guess I was expecting that based on the term “Part 1” being in the title. So I was only a tiny bit irked. (I think books should have a natural ending…even in series.) Other than that quibble, I was very pleased.
2012 Book 13: The Chair, by James L. Rubart (1/26/2012)
Corin Roscoe, depressed thrill-seeker and owner of an economically-challenged antique shop, is confused and mildly annoyed when an old lady unexpectedly dumps an antique chair on him—a chair made by the “best carpenter to ever live.” His life dissolves into turmoil as he explores the meaning of the chair. Meanwhile, naughty people seek the power of the chair. This is a suspense novel in the Christian Fiction genre; however, I was never in very much suspense. Critiqued as a suspense novel, there’s not much to it. Critiqued as contemporary Christian Fiction, however, I think it was pretty good. It had an excellent message without much preaching, and it had realistic characters. I would recommend “The Chair” to people who enjoy Christian fiction, but don’t mind a small amount of violence or imperfect characters (i.e. those who drink alcohol and swear (as in “Corin swore,” not actual swear words)). My star rating is based on a Christian Fiction critique, but it loses points for a few typos in the digital version—I think it’s disrespectful to readers to not carefully proof-read before publication. 3.5/5 stars