Archives for:
The Other Cheap Chick’s 2010 Top Picks 1 comment

Here are my Top Four picks of 2010. I’m the other cheap chick. Did I mention I’m a word person? Perhaps that’s why this site works for us. These are the books that I personally enjoyed the most this year. You’ll notice there are no vampires, serial killers, business profiles or Charles Dickens classics. And I don’t apologize for that.

I bought and reviewed this book after being in contact with author Christina Dudley via Mourning Becomes Cassandra has some of the most well-developed characters of any contemporary novel. I still remember these people! It’s an incredibly fun and realistic look at grief and Christian dating. Trust me, it works really well in this book. Good news — it’s still at the cheap price of $2.99.

Talk of the Town: This book came to me at just the time I needed a funny, heartwarming story. I fell in love with Lisa Wingate’s series set at the Daily, Texas, cafe and beauty salon. Talk of the Town made me laugh out loud and made me hungry for pecan pie. I got it free earlier this year (The book, that is. Wouldn’t it be awesome if pie could be downloaded on your Kindle?!) This first book in the series is selling for $9.29 these days.
The Shape of Mercy: Every once in awhile, you read a novel that makes you feel better for having read it. The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner is that kind of book. I couldn’t believe how much I became entranced with this story world. The interlacing of the historical and contemporary was perfect. The price was perfect when I got it – free. It’s listed at $9.29 now.
Deadlock: This legal thriller by James Scott Bell is the story that the political junkies in the family have considered for years: What if a Supreme Court Justice had a profound religious experience. . . . ? The ending isn’t exactly what had played out in our minds, but a great book none-the-less. I got the book when it was offered free; today it is $9.99.

Read More..
2010 Top Four Reads – Jim Chambers 1 comment

Jim Chambers spent 40 years designing highways in Georgia. He was an avid scuba diver for twenty-two years, and his underwater photography has been featured in National Geographic and Popular Photography. Always an avid reader, Jim is now trying his hand at writing. His first book is Recollections: A Baby Boomer’s Memories of the Fabulous Fifties . Jim lives with his wife Deborah in Tucker, Georgia.
Jim loves reading Kindle books. Here are four of his favorites:
A marvelous memoir by Terry Gelormino Silver about growing up in three orphanages – two of them run by a very strict order of nuns – during the 1930s. Think “Oliver Twist” meets “Angela’s Ashes,” and you’ve got it. Not a tear-jerker, however, the book is surprisingly upbeat. You can purchase Nunzilla Was My Mother and My Stepmother Was a Witch for only 99 cents today.

Wet Desert, a thriller by Gary Hansen: This is one of the most gripping and tension-filled books I’ve ever read. Imagine a terrorist blowing up the Glen Canyon dam, setting loose a huge wall of water pouring through the narrow valleys of the Colorado River with horrifying consequences. What a thriller movie “Wet Desert” would make! You can purchase this thriller for only 99 cents.
We Interrupt This Date, humor and romance by L.C. Evans: Ms. Evans writes brilliantly of a fictional family so dysfunctional that it’s a full-time job by one overburdened member of the family to keep them all from self-destructing. Very very funny, but most readers will recognize at least one or two members of their own family. If you haven’t purchased this book yet, you can today for $2.99.
Radium Halos, historical fiction by Shelley Stout: A beautiful and poignant novel about the ladies who painted radium dials on watches and clocks many years ago before the hazards of radiation were known. I loved this book; I think it’s a classic that will be read for years to come. This is story telling at its best. This novel is available today for $2.99.

Read More..
Book Review: One Year Chronological Bible 4 comments

I haven’t quite finished this book, but am glad to be able to share a review in a timely matter.
The One Year Chronological Bible was my Christmas present to myself last year. I read the paperback version in the New Living Translation by Tyndale, available from Amazon for $16.49. Click on the book cover below to link to the paperback.

The Bible is arranged with readings for every day of the year, usually about three to six pages each day. Instead of traditional Bible order, the passages are arranged in the order that the events occurred. The first five books of the Bible pretty much are the same, but then passages became interwoven from different books.

There were several sections that I found enlightening to read in chronological order. The first was how the messages from the prophets like Isaiah tied in with history from the kings; another was the exile period with the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther. Most interesting of all was to discover how the gospel accounts tied together. Another was reading Acts interspersed with Paul’s letters as he wrote them in between his missionary journeys. A few times it became repetitive to read essentially the same passage from two or three different books, but that is to be expected.
It is an undertaking to read the Bible in a year, but very rewarding. Reading in chronological order gave me a deeper understanding of the scope of history in the Bible. The New Living Translation is a readable translation which helped the passages to flow and also gave a fresh perspective to familiar scriptures. This particular format was “front loaded” with slightly longer passages in the Old Testament, so you could get to the New Testament sooner in the year.
As I prepared this review in time for New Year’s for those of you who may want to start reading, I was disappointed to see that this version is not available on Kindle. The Chronological Bible seems like such a natural fit for the Kindle, since you are reading straight through like a novel and not flipping between pages in a Bible study. Since there are readings for every day, it would be nice to be able to take the convenient Kindle when traveling.

The publishers are missing a great opportunity here. There are two Kindle offerings — a New King James Chronological Study Bible ($26.72) and American Standard Version ($7.99). I can’t vouch for either of those, but they may be worth a try and I’d certainly recommend a chronological Bible.
Click here to purchase the NLT Chronological Bible – Paperback

Read More..
Book Review: A Simple Amish Christmas 0 comments

We just can’t help it — we love Christmas!
I wanted to share with you my review of this book that we featured on Daily Cheap Reads when it was offered free a few weeks ago.
A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman has the romance and delight of a holiday story, with the crisp, fresh feeling of a visit to Amish country.
Annie Weaver has followed the tradition of rumschpringe and moved away from home and the Amish lifestyle as a young woman. Annie used this rebellion period to earn a nursing degree and work in a children’s hospital. As Christmas nears, however, she finds her heart longing for the simple ways of home.
When she receives word that her father has been injured in an accident, she returns home to care for him. Annie encounters Samuel, who provides basic medical care to the Amish community. Annie and Samuel immediately clash over the care for her father. But they find themselves coming together to care for the needs of their kin.

Annie becomes attracted to Samuel, but her complicated feelings for the widower make Christmas not so simple.
This full-length story presents characters that are impossible to resist. Annie was especially engaging as she tried to help her people with her medical skills, while also respecting their traditions.
This book is now selling for $9.99 in the Kindle store. (A good reminder to pick up those free offerings the minute they become available because they won’t last long!)

Click here to purchase A Simple Amish Christmas

Read More..
Book Review: I’m Your Santa 0 comments

If you are looking for something a little bit hot to warm you on these cold days, then I’m Your Santa is the cheap read for you, selling today for $4.47.

The book features a trio of Christmas romance novellas that revisit families that the authors have introduced in previous books. Lori Foster is the lead author with a stand-alone story that includes characters from two of her books Too Much Temptation ($4.30) and Never Too Much ($4.30) . In The Christmas Present by Ms. Foster, Levi had always loved Beth but she was off limits, being engaged to his best friend. But when her fiancée is found with another woman, it’s more than Beth can take and she heads home through a snowstorm. Levi has to follow her, which infuriates Beth. Will this couple resolve their differences and have a merry Christmas?

It’s a Wonderful Life by Karen Kelley revisits Two Creeks, Texas (Hell On Wheels – $8.96). It’s a wonderful life, or at least that’s what Jeremy Hunter thought until it gets out of hand with the alcohol and womanizing. Now his agent tells him he will lose another acting job if he doesn’t straighten up and it’s a role of a preacher. He heads out incognito on his Harley to live the part as a preacher and ends up stopping to get a bite to eat in Two Creeks. He has a freak accident and Bailey, a fourth-grade teacher, feels responsible. Sparks fly between the pretend preacher and the school teacher and Jeremy leaves town rather than face the truth.

Home for Christmas by Dianne Castell brings another story from O’Fallon’s Landing, Tennesee (I’ll Be Seeing U – $8.55). Coming home for Christmas was supposed to be a wonderful time, but LuLu Cahill was in a fix. Her fiancée had maxed out her credit cards, left her at the altar and now she admits she is carrying his child. And along comes Handsome, who also is having his share of troubles as this was supposed to be his Christmas Eve wedding. Meeting on one of the worst days of their lives turns into a funny, topsy-turvy weekend.

Home for Christmas was my favorite story because it was hilarious how LuLu’s and Handsome’s plan actually backfired. But being a romance, isn’t it all supposed to come out right in the end? This was also a whirlwind of a read because of the many events taking place which carried the plot right through.

You can read these Christmas novellas of familiar places with familiar characters when you buy I’m Your Santa for only $4.47.
Click here to purchase I’m Your Santa

Read More..
Book Review: It’s a Wonderful Christmas 0 comments

This delightful collection of three short stories is a must-read for the holiday season. Each story is a different twist on a familiar holiday movie. You’ll delight in the modern-day version of An American Carol by Jasmine Cresswell, Miracle on Bannock Street by Colleen Collins and It’s a Wonderful Night by Kathleen Long.

An American Carol:
Charles Brentwood has allowed himself to become the bitter old miser we so often see portrayed in The Christmas Carol. What’s different about this character is that he really is related to Charles Dickens, the writer of the original story. In the process of self-discovery, he realizes his mistakes of the past and allows Christmas to work its transforming power.

Miracle on Bannock Street:
Take one ambitious female private investigator, a court-appointed attorney, a wayward 11-year-old, a very confused Santa and you’ve got a miracle on Bannock Street. Stella is saddled with Bobby, who’s been in and out of the system and is about to get sent to a school of boys but it’s the holidays and the judge doesn’t want to send him there now. Turn around being fair play, Victor gets Santa to stay at his house. Taking a leap, blindly trusting, this group forms a magical Christmas tie. This was my favorite of the anthology because the little boy’s Christmas wish comes true.
It’s a Wonderful Night:
Meredith Downey had never planned to stay in Dodge, New Jersey. She’d left right after high school to become a doctor never to return again, leaving behind Matt Riley. That was, until her father died and left the town without a doctor. Her sister, Melody, is the one that left and traveled the world. But one wonderful, snowy night, Meredith and Matt got their wish and realized that things sometimes may not be what they seem.

If you love to watch those black-and-white movies every year, then pop the corn, make a hot chocolate, take a front row seat and enjoy this book of holiday romances. It’s a Wonderful Christmas is available today for only $4.32.
Click here to purchase It’s a Wonderful Christmas

Read More..
Book Review: The Unfinished Gift – Christmastime in 1943 1 comment

NOTE: We are posting a second book review of holiday fiction at 8:00pm Central Time this evening.

Traditionally, the Christmas holiday is a time of family and togetherness. Tragically, Christmas can also be a time of uncertainty and anxiety.

Dan Walsh’s novel, The Unfinished Gift, is the story of Patrick, a seven-year-old boy whose mother has died in an automobile accident while his father is serving in the Army Air Corps in England during World War II. Christmas is just a few days away when the social worker is forced to leave Patrick with his only relative in Philadelphia – his estranged grandfather.

While Patrick is a mature little boy with insecurities and fears of his own, his grandfather is a cantankerous, bitter old man who doesn’t want his grandson reminding him of his failures as a father to his only son, Patrick’s father Shawn.

God, working through a neighbor, a box of belongings, an unlikely hero during a snowstorm, and an unfinished gift, draws the grandfather out of his self-imposed prison of despair.

Mr. Walsh’s writing style is engaging; the story moves along at a good pace. He reminds us of the social issues in 1940s America; the cruelties of war; and that little boys can have a very strong faith in God. This book is available to download on your Kindle for only $4.69. You will also need a box of tissues.
Click here to purchase The Unfinished Gift

Read More..
Book Review: The Heir 0 comments

If all the family togetherness of the holiday is getting to be a strain, you might want to escape with the Boyer family and get caught up in a suspenseful thriller.

The Heir by Paul Robertson opens at the funeral of Melvin Boyer, a wealthy businessman, politician and power broker. Jason Boyer narrates the story of his father’s demise and his own rise. He expects the estate from the father he hardly knew to be awarded to the do-good foundation, while he and his brother will live on a generous monthly stipend.

But just before his death, Melvin Boyer altered the will to name Jason the heir of all assets. At first, Jason tries to resist the inheritance. Then he gets a taste of the money and power. As the depth of corruption of his father’s empire is revealed, Jason becomes drawn in to the point that it seems impossible to escape.

It’s discovered that his father’s death may not have been an accident. Or is the investigation a political maneuver? Jason begins to trust no one and attracts powerful enemies.

The Heir is in the tradition of John Grisham thrillers, with fast-moving action and lots of plot twists that kept me reading well past bed time.

The character development is very thorough and the writing was excellent. Jason Boyer has a keen sense of wit and sarcasm, like this discussion with his father’s second wife:

“If a marshmallow could talk, that’s what it would sound like.

“I’d like for you to be on the board of the Boyer Foundation.”

“Oh.” It wasn’t the word, just the vowel sound, drawn out, like a marshmallow being stepped, real slowly.

The story had more depth than most legal thrillers, but the pace moved a little slow at times. Jason seemed very mature for a 28-year-old rich kid and a lack of mourning for his father, no matter how distant he was, seemed out of character. If you’re looking for a fast read that’s light on graphic details, yet realistic in the extent of corruption, The Heir is a good one to try.

I picked it up a few months ago when Amazon offered it free on Kindle. It’s selling now for $5.49.
Click here to purchase The Heir

Read More..
Book Review: What Nathan Wants 0 comments

Several weeks ago I read What Nathan Wants, written by Ruth Ann Nordin, an independent author. I would like to say that Nathan doesn’t fit the stereotypical male of what he wants, he expects to get. I would like to say that, but I can’t. He’s a guy who operates under the mantra, “If I want it, it’s mine.”
Nathan Rudolf is a wealthy travel agency owner in Omaha, Nebraska, who brings his business decision skills into play when it comes to whom to marry and have a family. The heroine, Amy Watson, is a woman who is content to keep her world on an even keel. She isn’t looking for a relationship, a husband, or a family.

Nathan uses an old-fashioned ploy, plus enlisting her family and friends, to force Amy out of her world. In response, Amy takes a strong stand for herself to help Nathan realize that marriage isn’t a business.
A contemporary romance with a familiar plot line, What Nathan Wants is a quick read that moves at a good pace. Overall, the book is a pleasurable read. The characters are believable and likable, except for the villainess, but who ever likes her? The ending chapters are happily-ever-after, but include real life, too.
The author self-describes the book as rated R. Don’t let that stop you from reading this book. The few scenes of married intimacy can easily be skipped by clicking NEXT PAGE a couple of times. Today you can purchase What Nathan Wants for $2.39.
Click here to purchase What Nathan Wants

Read More..
Book Review: Mourning Becomes Cassandra 2 comments

Mourning Becomes Cassandra is a book about a 31-year-old woman whose husband and toddler die in a car accident and she must pick up the pieces of her life. And it’s funny.
It’s Christian fiction about believers who go to church and share the gospel with their friends. And use swear words.
We featured this book on Daily Cheap Reads and after contact from author Christina Dudley, I decided to read it.
The story picks up a year after tragedy tears apart Cass Ewan’s world. She moves in with two friends and earns her keep preparing meals for her friend’s brother – the womanizing atheist who owns the house. As Cass walks through her grief, the toughest thing for her to deal with are family and friends who insist on reminding her of her loss.

But her single, fun-loving friends are just the ticket to starting over. She also takes on a mentoring project to a drug-using, overweight teenager who lives with her 21-year-old boyfriend. Cass also picks up a job with a video game company with a cute fellow mentor.
Cass is refreshingly honest — in her grieving, her anger at God and the peculiar culture of church singles groups. This is a character-driven novel where all the characters come to life and are true to form throughout the story. It is a bit long, but once the plot takes off, it moves at a good pace.
The book has a chick lit tone. It is certainly Christian fiction, but beware that some language is crass. I found it worked well in most cases to add to the story. One thing that bothered me: It is set in progressive Washington, but two of the male characters were named Roy and Wayne. It just seemed out of place.
Overall, this was a great read and I enjoyed it. It’s still available at the cheap price of $2.99.

Read More..
Next Page »