Archives for: November 2010
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..