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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review of Melanie Dobson's "Refuge on Crescent Hill"

As a fiction writer, I was delighted that I would have the opportunity to review another novel for the Kregal Publications blog tour. I felt that I would be stretched a little to read a suspense novel...and I'm glad that I did. 

Melanie Dobson's novel "Refuge on Crescent Hill" has a good pace from the first page to the last. The dialogue is natural and easy to follow, moving the story-line forward, not bogging it down with insignificance. Her characters are believable. Her narrative voice is straightforward, unpretentious, and causes pictures to fill the reader's mind. 

Here's a little bit about this novel...

 Moving home after a recent job loss was supposed to reassure Camden Bristow but what she finds is an empty mansion 150 years old. What happened to the house she played in as a child, the bedtime stories that told of secret passageways and runaway slaves, and all those family memories?

When antiques start disappearing and footsteps are heard, Camden wonders what really happened here . . . at Crescent Hill? Who still has access to the house? And for what purpose? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden also uncovers secrets about her family that could change the town--and her life--forever. (from the Kregal website)

I have to say, the idea of family mystery is intriguing. And getting to read a book that unfolded the mystery little by little was exciting. The concept that all secrets affect the lives of those around us was so well developed in this novel. Dobson did a great job keeping my mind moving while I read. Not only that, she kept my focus on Camden's search for the truth.

I recommend this novel. It would be great for book clubs and the reader who wants  me mystery and edge-of-your-seat literature. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review of The Story of Noah's Ark (storybook and wall clings)

I love children's books. Especially when they contain brilliantly colored illustrations. But, do you want to know who loves that stuff more than I do?

Yup. That's right. My kids. 

I received this book in the mail from Kregal Publications (in exchange for a blog review). When I opened the cardboard package, I watched my kids' eyes light up. They instantly knew that this was a Noah book. (I actually had to hide it from them for a short amount of time so that I could preview it). 

This book is beyond fun. It uses easily understood words (my kids, ages 5 and 3, had no difficulty understanding it), but it isn't a baby book either. I like this for a preschool aged book. It tells the story with Biblical accuracy. 

And, can I tell you what I really like most about it? It has wall clings. So the kids can "play" Noah's ark. I tested these clings. They are sticky enough to go on the wall. But not so sticky that they peel away any paint. They are easily removed. And they can be put back into the book for future use. 

I think this would be a great book for Christian preschool Bible classes, Sunday School and for family use. It's a great way to tell the story and reinforce with activity on the child's part. 

I highly recommend this book! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review of The World Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips

This is not the cover of a typical Theology book. But, then again, this isn't your every day Biblical Worldview book. 

In this book "The World Tilting Gospel" Dan Phillips confronts sin, weak theology, wrong Biblical teaching, our identities as children of God, and on and on. All to teach us about tilting the world.

His premise is this; the early Church turned the world upside down. It was radical. Unapologetic. Heroic. And all in the Name of Jesus Christ. People were coming to the knowledge and salvation of Jesus by droves. Whole towns were either transformed or ticked off by these radical Followers of the Way. They were a group of revolutionaries. They lived drastically different lives than those outside of Christianity. They were willing to be tortured and killed brutally for their faith.

They did it all without Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, political campaigns. They didn't even have huge budgets. They did it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

One of the cool things about having the Scriptures is that we can learn from others. We can follow in the footsteps of the "Great Cloud of Witnesses". And this book gives us examples, encouraging us to faithful living and to seek the Word of God in our lives. 

Dan Phillips knows his Bible. He's a smart guy. But, here's the really great thing; he doesn't talk over anyone's heads. This book was easy to read. He took some hefty concepts and transformed them into bite sized pieces for his readers. 

This would be a great book for a Theology class, Bible Study, Sunday school resource. And yet, it's a great one for anyone hoping to build their knowledge and understanding of what the Scriptures say about faithful living. 

This is a very great book. I hope you'll give it a read. You'll learn a lot about the early Church and how the modern Church can improve in Jesus' Name!