Monday, February 28, 2011

In Want of Words

Do you know what my blog needs... other than more posts? A good challenge! Well, maybe I should rephrase that. What I need is a good challenge. My blog is  not the one with the problem. Its writer is the one struggling for words.

How ironic that I need something to spur me on to fill my blog with words, and the NaBloPoMo theme for March is In A Word. So I'm going to push myself to write on that theme over the next 31 days. No promises of 31 posts, though. And yes, I may or may not have a problem with commitment.march11

So here's hoping for a much wordier blog in March.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

Blood Ransom (Mission Hope Series)Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the Republic of Dhambizao there have been rumors of Ghost Soldiers raiding villages and all the people simply disappearing, but young Joseph Komboli has seen it with his own eyes as he watches his family attacked. Desiring to find his father before he's killed, he seeks the help of Natalie Sinclair, an American woman working for disease control, but she has no idea of the web of danger that she is about to get tangled in.

I liked the book, but I'm sorry to say I just didn't love it. The suspense was there, although more so toward the latter half of the book. I found the story somewhat difficult to get into, though. It could be that I didn't care very much for the characters, as they didn't have much depth to me.

I'd say my biggest struggle with the book was with the portrayal of the characters. I know for sure that Natalie and Chad were Americans, but I'm not certain who else was American. Since the story was set in Africa I had to assume that all the other characters were African, but they seemed very American in all the dialog. I felt like there should've been a better distinction made in the storytelling.

I will say that I appreciate Lisa Harris as a Christian writer who writes a "clean" romance. Some Christian authors just go a bit over the top for me.

I'm giving Blood Ransom 3 stars.

I wish to thank Zondervan for providing me with a free copy of the book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling A Bit Behind

I haven't been such an avid reader in February, which is a bit of a disappointment for me. In January I was going strong and only missed maybe 2 or 3 days of reading in the entire month. So I'm feeling behind in my reading goal for 2011, which is to read 50 books. I've completed 9 so far.

It's not that I've been lazy about reading. I've either been busy with people or just too sleepy by the time I get to my reading that I can't keep my eyes open. If only I could read with my eyelids closed.

Currently I'm reading a novel for review, and I've been at it for at least a week, if not longer. It's been slow going, and it really shouldn't have been. Unfortunately, that means I'm not enjoying it. I would love to finish it today, but it depends on getting the other things crossed off my to-do list this afternoon.

I know it must be pretty bad when I have a dream about needing to finish the book and laboring at my computer over what I'm going to write in my review. It was definitely bothering me in my sleep. Ridiculous!

Hopefully, Thursday or Friday I can whip myself back into shape, into the reading fanatic I know I am.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

The Bridge of Peace (An Ada's House Novel, #2)The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the 2nd in Cindy Woodsmall's Ada's House series of Amish novels. It's the story of Lena Kauffman, a single schoolteacher in an Old Order Amish community, facing both a challenging "scholar" in her classroom and a hostile school board ready to dismiss her for her independent ways. The trouble is that Lena isn't aware another enemy is lurking at every corner.

I haven't read anything by Cindy Woodsmall before. The author information page states that the author has a good grasp on the Amish community because of real-life family connections. So I was quite surprised when her characters didn't seem to fit the Amish stereotype, for lack of a better word, I have in mind. I've read several Amish novels written by another well-known writer, and her characters are vastly different in comparison. Woodsmall's characters seemed informal in their conversations, hardly an actual mention of God, and there were things the characters did that I just couldn't imagine the Amish would condone.

I found myself confused for the first 100 pages, too. There were so many different characters who were related to one another in some fashion, and I couldn't keep them straight. I believe it might be best to read the first book in the series before reading this one, in order to know who is whom. Once I caught on to the family and friend relationships, the story finally took off for me and gained momentum.

I truly wanted to love this book when I began, but I didn't. The story was somewhat interesting and a bit unpredictable, but I probably won't recommend it to my friends because it just didn't grab me. This one didn't quite compare to other Amish novels I've read and enjoyed. I will probably pass on others written by Woodsmall.

I wish to thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Blizzard 2011 - The Aftermath

                              Blizzard 2011 

As forecasted, we were hit with a bonafide blizzard Tuesday night. I was doubtful of the warnings, but as the evening wore on I was convinced.

Thankfully, we never lost power, and the storm moved through fairly quickly. The lights flickered once before bedtime, and I prayed with every fiber of my being that we wouldn't lose power. It's one thing to be stuck in the house. It's an entirely different matter to be stuck in the house with no heat.

Our county declared a snow emergency, so we did stay in all day Wednesday. I can't say I used my time wisely. I could've been reading like a maniac, but instead I was catching up on my Biggest Loser episode that I had DVR'd and napping.

I managed to drive to church for Olympians Club, since our alley was plowed. I was super thankful to be able to get out of the house for a little while. We had fun with the only two clubbers who got to church. I was happy to be there, even if we were few in number.

So this picture is what the front of our church looks like this morning. You can see the snow is drifted up to the windows.

I'm so glad that it's back to the daily routine today. I really like routine.

Stay warm, people.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


It's snowing right now in Northern Indiana, and the wind has picked up. They are warning us that a blizzard is coming this evening. They're calling for 12-18 inches in our county. I used to get excited over the prospect of being stuck in the house for a day or two, but the idea doesn't appeal to me any longer.

You have to understand that we've had snow on the ground since December 1st, except for 2 days when we got rain and it melted. I love a white Christmas, but it's February 1st and I am sooooo over the snow at this point. I'm totally and completely ready for spring.

Snow! Snow!  Go away!  Come again some other day some December day!

I'll let you know how it turns out.