Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Win a Kindle and Read a Great Book--The Stone Travelor by Kathi Oram Peterson

The last book on my catch-up review list is The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson. Like the previous few books, I agreed to review The Stone Traveler before I left for Portugal the first of July, but unlike the other books, I didn't actually get this one until after I came home. Kathi, knowing I had a wedding the first of September scheduled my review for September 30th. So, I'm not really late. In fact, I actually hope to post this a few days early.

Let me preface this review by saying Kathi is holding a great contest and the main prize is a KINDLE. Yes, a Kindle. I LOVE my Kindle, and this is a fun way to try to get one. If you visit Kathi's blog http://www.kathiswritingnook.com/ and look at the left column, you will find a bunch of blog sites that have reviewed her book. If you visit each of those sites and leave a comment, you will be entered into a drawing for a Kindle. Now let me tell you, there aren't a ton of people who have the time to keep going back and looking at the new reviewers posting. As I understand it, you have to post on every site to be eligible, and the contest ends on September 30th (the day I was supposed to post, but remember, I'm posting this early). So if you want that Kindle, there's a good chance to win it that way. I would try for it myself, but already have one--and I have a deadline. Rats!

Now back to the book. The Stone Traveler is basically a young adult book, but adult readers will also enjoy it. I really did. What I loved the most was the way my teenage son took the book and devoured it. I loved that he was getting a great adventure with gospel insights without the preaching. Tag, the main character, has made some really poor choices, but he is given exactly what he needs to shake off the figurative chains that bind him. Tag really comes alive for the reader. I also loved that the female characters were strong and courageous.

I won't go into more detail, except to say that this book is well worth buying and reading. Kathi has come up with a wonderful story for people of all ages. Don't miss out on either the opportunity to read this book--or to win a Kindle. Hmm, maybe I'll tell my children about this contest. After all they loved the book!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Okay, readers, it's on to another book I read this summer while in Portugal, Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen. The book was provided by the author to me in hard copy for review. Though I love reading on my Kindle, I love hard copy almost as much, because I can take it to the beach without worrying about it being stolen or ruined by sand.

I'd expected a young adult book, as that's what I'd thought it was originally, but I was pleasantly surprised that the characters were older, not angst-filled teenagers--though there was a lot of angst going around, and for good reason.

Emi is house-sitting for her mother when someone breaks in and leaves what seems to be a letter from her father who is supposedly dead. This sets into motion a series of events that have Emi flying to the Austrian Alps with Daniel, her best friend that she has secretly loved for years. Only Emi can free her family from the curse hanging that hangs over them, but she may lose Daniel and her life in the process.

Intrigue, danger, love, and mythical legend blend together to make an interesting, suspenseful read. Lovers of clean paranormal romances, will enjoy this book every bit as much as I did. Visit Ronda at http://www.rondahinrichsen.com/

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Say What?

During my month-long trip to Portugal this summer, we had a lot of fun and many wonderful experiences. There were also some rough times, even though we only had four of our children with us instead of the six we'd always taken before. But what we seem to remember most and laugh about now, months later, are the funny things that happened.

One afternoon we went into a post office to buy a stamp and mail a single letter in the Cova da Piedade. It was early afternoon when many stores shut down for the typical two-hour lunch, and we were grateful the place was open at all. It was huge post office, larger than the one I usually go to in Pleasant Grove.

We were the only customers, and two ladies awaited at their stations to serve us. What luck! As we walked up, one said bit sourly, "Do you have a number?"

"What?" I asked, thinking I hadn't heard right. But my husband, a native Portuguese was every bit as confused.

"A number," she repeated. This time she pointed to a machine near the door that gave out numbers.

My husband and I exchanged an incredulous glance, but the woman was absolutely serious. We took the long walk back to get a number, which then, about thirty seconds later, popped up on a screen. We approached the counter again, bought our stamp, gave the woman our letter, and left, shaking our heads.

Bureaucracy at its finest!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rebound by Heather Justesen

It's been a busy past few months for me, and I'm so late on this review that it's embarrassing. In fact, I have three reviews that I'll be posting in the next few days. Nothing like a daughter's wedding, a month-long trip to Europe, a broken ankle that refuses to heal, and a pending deadline to put a woman behind.

But I'm anxious to tell you about the first of these books, which I read from my Kindle while on the plane to Portugal this past July. The book is Rebound by Heather Justesen. First of all, I want to say that I really, really love Heather. I don't know her well, but I do know firsthand that she's the sort of person who will jump in and help wherever she can. I admire her greatly. She's that kind of writer, too. She writes with heart.

Rebound tells the story of Lily, whose husband, John, has turned out to be the worst kind of man. He's lied to her from the first and now their marriage has crumbled before her eyes. Worse, his parents are determined to take away her children--not, mind you, that they have ever cared to spend time with them before. John and his parents are BAD people. In fact, none of them have a single redeeming feature. You will not need to worry about their motives or suspect any other agenda. They are shallow people who are beyond help or redemption. People readers love to hate.

What specifically worked in this book was Lily, who is a likeable character and who works hard to make a good life for her children. Curtis, a man who is at first just a friend, is also a likeable character and their progress toward romance is believeable and, well, sweet. As Lily grows stronger, she becomes a woman able to take care of herself, ready to love again.

One thing I really enjoyed in the novel was Curtis's interest in his biological family, especially how he finally reached out to his mother in prison. I would have loved to see more of his relationship with her and with the other siblings because what was in the novel was fascinating to me.

This book helped get me through layovers, folks. Believe me, I was glad to be given a review version of this LDS romance. Thanks, Heather! Visit Heather at http://www.heatherjustesen.com/.