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Reviews Written by
Christina Lockstein "Christy's Book Blog" RSS Feed (Oconto Falls, WI USA)

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A Dime a Dozen (The Million Dollar Mysteries)
A Dime a Dozen (The Million Dollar Mysteries)
by Mindy Starns Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
80 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 3rd in Million Dollar Mystery series is fast paced thriller with romance, October 19, 2011
A Dime a Dozen by Mindy Starns Clark is the third book in the Million Dollar Mystery series about Callie Webber, a private investigator working for a charitable organization that gives donations to smaller charities, but only after Callie makes sure they are worthy. Her current investigation has major emotional weight for her, as she is checking out MORE the charity formed by her former in-laws after the tragic death of their son, and her husband, Bryan. Callie is worried that visiting them will bring up old emotions and sorrows, but they welcome her with open arms, and she looks forward to being able to give them the donation. But as she investigates, she finds trouble based on a former employee whose husband disappeared four months ago and who has been abused by pranksters since ordering her to "go home." When the bodies start piling up, Callie has to use all of her abilities to track down who is behind the murders before MORE can be approved for their million dollar donation. On top of the investigation, Callie is dealing with her growing feelings for her mysterious employer, Tom. Clark's books are always entertaining and filled with characters you'd love to know in real life. The writing is fast paced and Clark manages to keep readers guessing without going over the top. I wish I had read the previous books in the series to really understand the intensity of Callie and Tom's connection, but I can't wait to read the next book, A Quarter for a Kiss, to see what happens next in this exciting series!


The Trouble with Being a Horse
The Trouble with Being a Horse
by Emily Edwards
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from $5.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chapter book about a girl who turns into a horse is great read, October 18, 2011
The Trouble with Being a Horse by Emily Edwards is a story about eleven-year-old Olivia who is horse mad. At Claudia's stables where she takes riding lessons is the only place she feels accepted and like herself. When a downturn in her parents' finances forces them to put an end to her lessons, she feels completely lost and alone, until something amazing happens that makes her re-evaluate everything. First, Mia's review: The book is about a girl who turns into a horse. I liked best when she got home, because she was happy. It made me like horses more. Now my review: I was really impressed by Edwards' ability to really give young readers a feel for a day in the life of a horse, both the good and the bad. Olivia's relationship with Jenny is at first fairy tale but then very disconcerting for Jenny, and Edwards' uses that to show readers just why horses can't be all that we expect them to be. The story is well told and while there are lessons, they are told with grace. My one and only complaint with the book would be the repeated use of "Oh my God" but characters, including Olivia. I know that many people are offended by the casual use of that phrase, and I was careful to edit it out when reading to Mia. I look forward to reading Edwards' next book, and so does Mia!


Along Wooded Paths (Big Sky, Book 2)
Along Wooded Paths (Big Sky, Book 2)
by Tricia Goyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.12
72 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd in Big Sky series is romance with real emotional heft, October 13, 2011
Along a Wooded Path by Tricia Goyer is the second book in the Big Sky series about Marianna Sommer who moved with her family from Indiana to an Amish community in Montana to start anew. At the end of Beside Still Waters, the previous book, Marianna had decided to stay in Montana and continue enjoying the new depth of her relationship with God, despite her growing feelings for Englischer, Ben. Aaron, the man Marianna left behind in Indiana, decides to head to Montana and determine whether she still loves him and will return with him to the house he built with her in mind. Shortly after his arrival, Aaron is in a car accident that leaves him with a broken leg and forced to live with the Sommer family and rely upon their mercy. While there, he can't help but notice Marianna's comfortableness with working outside the home, as well as her relationship with Ben. Goyer does a terrific job at keeping readers guessing in this romance. In many romances, it's obvious who the heroine should choose, but here it's not so obvious. Both Aaron and Ben are good men with genuine feelings for Marianna, but if she should choose Ben, it means leaving behind her whole way of life and family. Marianna's choice will not be an easy one, and with the shocking revelation at the end of this story, Goyer will have readers highly anticipating the next book in the series.


Sunrise on the Battery
Sunrise on the Battery
by Beth Webb Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
127 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to Love, Charleston is absorbing family drama, October 10, 2011
This review is from: Sunrise on the Battery (Paperback)
Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart is the sequel to Love, Charleston and follows the story of the Scoville family. Mary Lynn and Jackson were high school sweethearts who married right out of school with a shared dream: to raise their children with the opportunities they were denied growing up poor in a small town. After living for a decade in Charleston and carefully working their way up in society, they are finally about to reap the rewards of full acceptance. But Mary Lynn is starting to question the dream because of her attendance at the local church and a prayer group has opened up her heart to more than just status. Their three daughters each deal with the stresses of a life in private school with constant lessons and parental expectations in different ways. Catherine, the eldest, is beginning to turn to drugs to help her cope with the constant pressure, especially when her father takes away her greatest joy: running track, to make her focus on raising her SATs. Mary Lynn asks her prayer group to pray for Jackson to find God, but when he does, the repercussions will shake her and the entire family to its core as they are forced to redefine who they are as people. Hart has a way of writing that makes each character completely relatable and sympathetic. I found myself rooting for every character, even when their actions weren't necessarily right and when their desires were at polar opposites with each other. Hart gives readers a view of what radical faith would look like today and how a society based on status and appearance would respond to it, while also asking readers to consider where faith fits into their life. That she manages to do so without being preachy is quite an accomplishment, but Hart keeps the reader so focused on the Scoville family that even Jackson's wildest actions and biggest speeches don't come across as proselytizing. It's an absorbing story of a family whose desire to fit in almost costs them everything they value most.


Hello, Hollywood! (Backstage Pass)
Hello, Hollywood! (Backstage Pass)
by Janice Thompson
Edition: Paperback
113 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd in Backstage Pass series if fresh, fun, and faithful, October 8, 2011
Hello, Hollywood by Janice Thompson is the second book in the Backstage Pass series about the people working on a sitcom called Stars Collide. In this novel Athena Pappas is comfortable as the headwriter for the show, enjoying her rich life with her Greek family, helping out at her family's restaurant, and her friendship with Kat, the female lead of the show. But when the show's producer hires a new writer, Athena is sure that her job is on the line. She's even more shaken up when the new guy, Stephen Cosse, turns out to be an Adonis that gets her pulse pounding. Stephen and his daughter, Brooke, quickly fit in with Athena's family, but she has a hard time trusting him enough to really let him in, especially when it seems he has betrayed her. When you are reading a Janice Thompson novel, you know that you're going to find families overflowing with love and quirky personalities, descriptions of food that will leave your mouth watering, and a sense of humor and love of life that will have you smiling with every turn of the page. Her books are always entertaining and filled with a deep faith. I am a huge fan.


The Mercy (The Rose Trilogy, Book 3) (Volume 3)
The Mercy (The Rose Trilogy, Book 3) (Volume 3)
by Beverly Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.51
229 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Finale for The Rose Trilogy has unforgettable characters, October 5, 2011
The Mercy by Beverly Lewis is the final book in The Rose Trilogy about Rose Kauffman, a young Amish woman struggling to let go of her feelings for a man who has left the faith behind. The Kauffman family has faced many challenges over the previous books. Rose's elder sister Hen left her Englischer husband to return to the faith she left. Just as he was about to divorce her and file for custody of their daughter, he was in a car accident that left him temporarily blind and in need of Hen's care. Emma, Rose's mother, is facing dangerous surgery to free her from the pain she's suffered for a decade. And Sol, Rose's father, is hurting at his friend Aaron Petersheim's removal as bishop of their community because his foster son, Nick, refused to be baptized into the faith. Rose has finally put her feelings for Nick behind her and seeks out a relationship with a new man, Isaac, in hopes of finally finding the life she has always dreamed of as a wife and mother. I read a lot of Amish series, and after awhile, many of the plots and characters tend to run together. The Rose Trilogy is such a powerful story, even after several months between books, I was able to fall right back into the story. Lewis does a wonderful job of creating fully fleshed characters with real flaws and emotions that readers can empathize with. The ending to the series is very satisfying and in many ways surprising.


The Hum and the Shiver: A Novel of the Tufa (Tufa Novels)
The Hum and the Shiver: A Novel of the Tufa (Tufa Novels)
by Alex Bledsoe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.27
58 used & new from $0.01

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking story of ancient mystery and romance, October 4, 2011
The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe is hopefully the first book in a series about the Tufa people of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Bronwyn Hyatt is returning home a decorated war hero and international celebrity after her capture by Iraqis and subsequent rescue. But she's unsure about how she feels returning home to everything that she fled years ago, including her reputation as the Bronwynator. As a Tufa, there are expectations upon her, especially as a First Daughter, that she's spent her life running from, but she finds that being home begins to heal some of the places within her soul. A new pastor has come to the area hoping to lure some of the mysterious Tufa to his church, but their cheerful disinterest makes him curious about this enigmatic people who were here before the Europeans came to America and have an unusual relationship with music. Bledsoe has filled this novel with a fascinating set of characters, but even better a breathtaking view of the Tufa, whose mysteries and traditions fills the novel with fantasy and wonder. Bledsoe has created an unusual character in Bronwyn who is unrepentantly sexy, fiercely independent, and trying to figure out her role in an ancient culture. Bledsoe kept several secrets while also delivering some shocking revelations; I sincerely hope there is another book soon, because I don't know how long I can stand to wait!


Weddings and Wasabi
Weddings and Wasabi
by Camy Tang
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
23 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars 4th in Sushi series is perfect ending, October 3, 2011
This review is from: Weddings and Wasabi (Paperback)
Weddings and Wasabi by Camy Tang is the fourth and final book in the Sushi series about a series of Chinese-American cousins finding love. Jenn has always been the good cousin, the good girl in her family, willing to accept responsibility and take on any chore without a word of complaint. She just finished culinary school secretly hoping to start a restaurant of her own, but the whole family expects her to begin working at her aunt's restaurant. When she encounters an abusive ex-boyfriend at a party, and the family sides against her, Jenn has had enough of being their doormat, and then the fun begins. The Sushi series has been one of my all time favorite romance series, because Tang infuses her books with a deep sense of fun, along with romance, faith, and strong friendship. Each cousin is one that readers would love to know in real life. This book feels as though Tang decided to give readers the book they would love and allowed her joy of writing to cut loose. With hungry goats, a water-gun attack, and love at first sight, this is a perfect ending to a terrific series. My only complaint is that it had to end! I am a life-long fan of Tang's, and anyone who reads the Sushi series will be just as hooked.


Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart
Raising a Daughter After God's Own Heart
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.88
92 used & new from $0.50

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great devotional to help Mom raise Godly daughters, September 29, 2011
Raising a Daughter after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George is a must read for any mother concerned about her daughter's spiritual life. George, who is well-known for her devotionals for women, including A Woman after God's Own Heart, uses her own experience as the mother of two daughters to help moms trying to get it right. She first encourages women to start with their own relationship with God by reading the Bible regularly, memorizing Scripture and starting a prayer journal specifically for recording prayers about your daughter. She breaks down our role as a mom into several different roles: cheerleader, teacher, shepherd and more. Each role gets a chapter (in some cases two) with real life examples, practical advice that any mom can do, and Scripture supporting her position. George recognizes that no mother is perfect, including her, and her writing voice is always encouraging and positive, She gives moms a place to start, no matter where they may be in their daughter's life: infancy to school girl to teenager, she doesn't want them to be afraid to begin. The chapters are easily read in a few minutes each night and each ends with a few activities to help moms dig a little deeper.


A Heart Revealed: A Novel (Winds of Change)
A Heart Revealed: A Novel (Winds of Change)
by Julie Lessman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.99
77 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2nd in Winds of Change series is weakest in line, September 24, 2011
A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman is the second book in the Winds of Change series and the fifth following the lives and loves of the O'Connor family of Boston. Sean O'Connor, the eldest son, has made a practice of avoiding women in his life. He keeps himself busy running from his job to playing and coaching several different sports, trying to stay too busy to think about the past and to bury his violent temper and the demons that cause it. Emma Malloy made a mistake fifteen years ago in marrying Rory, and he made her pay for it by nearly killing her and permanently scarring her face. Her best friend Charity, Sean's younger sister, brought her to America and helped her find a job that keeps her very busy. Emma is well beloved by the wide circle of friends she has built, and her faith in God keeps gives her peace despite the ache in her heart for a love she doesn't feel she deserves. The rest of the O'Connor family continues to have drama in this novel as well: Katie fights with new husband Luke about her desire to become a lawyer, Marcy wants to adopt Gabriella, and the rest of the family is feeling the effects of the Great Depression. I have loved every book in the series that portrays Christian marriage as a beautiful and healthy place for sensual passion while depicting history through the eyes of a fascinating family. This book is the weakest in the series so far, for me. Much of the plot was overly predictable and there was an abundance of extraneous detail about furnishings and fashion. Remember Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch series? That's Gabriella for me; she's a brat, and not in a good way, and I don't enjoy her storyline. Reading the previous books had me rooting for the main characters and so I kept reading, and I'm glad I did because Lessman writes Christian romance like nobody else in the business. I hope the next book about brother Steven recovers the series five star status.


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