Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Angel Falling Softly by Eugene Woodbury

I had read two chapters of Eugene Woodbury's Pathway of Dreams two years ago and couldn't get through the rest for all the graphic sex, but was still willing to give this new slant on the vampire tale a chance and was very disappointed. The blurb on the back of Angel Falling Softly tells of a female vampire falling, but it leads you to believe she is seeking a new life by redeeming herself in an LDS Community. This is so far from what we're thought to believe.

An LDS bishop's wife has lost her faith and is willing to sell her soul to save her young daughter, who's in a coma in Deseret Children's Hospital with Leukemia. There are several sexual encounters that Milada goes into in order to get blood. One of these encounters is a lesbian encounter, which left me nauseous. The publisher and others are saying this is NOT LDS Fiction, but everyone I talk to say otherwise. If this is NOT LDS Fiction, then why do we see and hear about "Fast offerings", Relief Society, Scouting in a Sandy suburb where my hubby and I used to live? I feel our faith and God were mocked and shown disrespect.

I would've liked to have seen Milada change her ways and life and gotten forgiveness and embraced the Gospel and a different miracle occur than having the young daughter leading a condemned life, living forever as a vampire.

We have felt deceived by what has been portrayed in this novel, also that Some people seem to be misinformed that vampires and sex go hand in hand. Mary Shelly, who created Dracula, did not portray Dracula as a sexual character. I was an absolutely avid fan of Dark Shadows and there was not an ounce of sex in that show.

I feel Eugene is a great writer, but he needs to write for a mainstram audience and not list on his bio that he served a mission for The Church of Jesus CHrist of Latter-day Saints. Also, I have read many LDS novels that have had far less mention of LDS in them than Angel Falling Softly. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

236 pages
Zarahemla Books (June 30, 2008)
Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
Amazon.com Sales Rank:
#775,316 in Books

Purchase Angel Falling Softly here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recovering Charles by Jason Wright

I got a rough draft of Recovering Charles from Jason Wright a few months ago, but when I started to read it the other evening, I found out that my ISP program had crashed and lost half my saved folders, so was able to get a new final copy to read on my computer. WOW!!!! Jason has done it again, but with New Orleans and the aftermath of Katrina the setting for Jason's newest masterpiece, has really brought forgiveness, redemption and faith together. The beauty of this story and the images we can visualize, bring home to life this horrifyingly true tragedy.

The story is about a man who is asked to come to New Orleans to recover his father, who has gone missing. He meets the last friends his father knew while in New Orleans and learns more about his father than he ever knew before. The going back and forth in Luke's life as a boy are so filled with nostalgia. Jason seems to be the only one who can bring on the floodgates with each book he puts his hand to. Everyone should read this book!!! The people of New Orleans would be proud!!!!!

From the backliner:

Luke Millward is a man who does not know he is lost.

His girlfriend loves him; his career is going well; and every night he falls asleep knowing that his life is good and meaningful.

Only when the past reveals its twisted smile in a phone call and the disconnected voice asks him to come find his father in post-Katrina New Orleans is Luke compelled to find out what kind of man he truly is.

Recovering Charles is for every family who’s had it’s share of tough times, for anyone who regrets the things you’ve never said, for everyone who needs to know their life has a second verse.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590389646
ISBN-13: 978-1590389645
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #1,191,537 in Books

Purchase Recovering Charles here. Pre-orders are available.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All's Fair by Julie Bellon

In Julie Coulter Bellon's new offering, she sets the suspense tone quite well. I learned more about the inner workings of a political campaign than I knew before. This story takes place in Iraq, where Brandon Shepherd and Rachel Fielding, doctors in the US Army, are kidnapped and Brandon's best friend Ryan Jameson, Brandon's sister Kristen and their military father, spearhead a rescue operation. By reading this gripping novel, we learn just how much we should value our freedoms and the Iraqui's freedom. With what is going on in Iraq, it's very difficult to determine who to trust in our war on terror. I highly recommend this fast-paced novel.

And from the backliner:

Political campaign expert Kristen Shepherd excels at staying cool under pressure, but this time she’s in over her head. After leaving her high-profile fiancĂ© at the altar, she uncovers the shocking truth about the man she nearly married — truth that could ruin her life. With the press on her tail, the only person she can trust is Ryan Jameson, her political opponent and former boyfriend.

Army doctor and LDS convert Brandon Shepherd shares his sister Kristen’s talent for keeping a level head, and his newfound faith gives him steady strength during times of turmoil. But when he and fellow doctor Rachel Fields are seized as Iraqi prisoners of war, he faces a crisis of personal integrity that may cost him his life.

In this gripping tale of unlikely heroes and unexpected romance, two siblings must risk everything for freedom. And in the heat and sand of enemy territory, they discover that all’s fair in love, even if not in war.

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Release Date: July 2008
Size: 6x9, softcover
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Purchase All's Fair here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Caught In The Headlights by Barry K. Phillips

It's been quite awhile since I've read a self-help type book and I'm sure glad and grateful that Caught In The Headlights was the right book to read now. Barry writes with a lot of wit about the 10 lessons he learned the hard way. This amazingly short (104 pages) has so much wisdom in it. Barry quotes Confucious, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, and Jesus Christ.

He brings home his point in easy, but very powerful ways. The ten lessons are: Happiness, Self-Esteem, Pride, Freedom, Control, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Success, The Big Event and The Perfect Body. I would NOT walk, but run to your nearest bookstore and buy this amazing little book, which is big in so many ways!!! This book should be read and pondered by everyone, but also enjoyed and savored as you go!!!
Have you ever gotten what you wished for, only to discover that it's not really what you wanted after all? We've all had those deer in the headlights moments when we realize we've been chasing after the wrong things. Caught in the Headlights is a frank, insightful look at 10 key goals most of us think we want - only to discover our eyes are on the wrong prize. Barry Phillips not only entertains but also examines common values and enlightens us to the goals we should seek, and what to do differently now that we know better. From goals such as happiness, self-esteem, protecting our pride, or the perfect physique, Phillips takes a closer look at those aims prized by society and explores how we can pursue higher goals. A thoughtful, funny, and at times profound look into the real reasons we all have for the things we do, this book will entertain, enlighten, and inspire. ~ Amazon.com
Paperback: 116 pages
Cedar Fort (June 2, 2008)
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #377,870 in Books

Purchase Caught in the Headlights here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sheep's Clothing by Josi S. Kilpack

"Six children keep Kate Thompson busy. Her oldest daughter, Jess, is almost sixteen and acting the part--something Kate had hoped to avoid. Yet, she's quick to remind herself that it could be so much worse. Besides, there are more important things to worry about than adolescent moodiness, like convincing her husband that they're ready for one more baby. Jess gave up competing for attention at home a long time ago. But now, even her best friend doesn't seem to have time for her. Then Jess meets Emily online. Unlike everyone else in Jess's life, she can talk to Emily about anything. Emily understands her. Emily listens. When the unthinkable happens, and Jess disappears, Brad and Kate Thompson realize that they missed something--something big. How could this happen in their home? To their daughter? Most important, will Jess ever come home again?" ~Amazon.com

I absolutely loved this book!!!! Josi did an outstanding job of bringing the evils of internet predators to light. Jess is having problems with self-esteem and not feeling of importance, even when her best friend seems to be ignoring her and she seems to be left out with all the demands placed on her by her parents, so she starts looking into chat rooms and message boards, where she comes to find a friend who is lying around to deceive her. As we have a 22 year old son into porn, we've had to use filters to see where he's been on our computer, but a few years ago, Bob designed and built an electronic device that will safeguard your home and children from the negative aspects of the internet. We can just turn off the phone with a key and our son cannot access our computer when we're not home. We've got to be very vigilant with our children around the internet, esp with our children getting more tech saavy each day. I feel every parent and teen should read this very gripping eye-opener of a novel. Josi does such a great job with these timely issues.

Reading level:
Young Adult
320 pages
Deseret Book (May 2, 2007)
Amazon.com Sales Rank:
#1,074,689 in Books

Purchase Sheep's Clothing here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Keeping Keller by Tracy Winegar

I learned that through love, humor and understanding, you can be a good parent to a special needs child, especially an autistic child who has no comprehension of right or wrong. Keller was a bright beacon of joy. Since I have good friends with three grandchildren with autism, I have a lot of empathy for Jeff, our former bishop's second oldest son. This is my second novel about autism and I loved both books. I love books like this that tug at the heartstrings.Bravo Keller!!! Since this story trook place in the 50's, we didn't know much about mental illness and it was sad how people were so ignorant and showed little understanding like we do today. I've worked with mentally challenged children and found them a joy to work with. With love and understanding, we can move mountains with how we relate to our family members and to everyone around us.

From Amazon's Editorial Comments: "Keller is a force to be reckoned with! The year is 1955, and few people understand or tolerate mental handicaps. For Beverly and Warren Vance, the daily struggle to live with their handicapped son, Keller, is taking its toll. Keller is large for his age and often aggressive, prone to throwing tantrums and breaking everything in sight. Beverly and Warren have been encouraged to institutionalize him, or at least keep him out of public view. But they decided long ago that trying to teach and raise him was a better option - at least until now. When a shocking development and a disastrous incident complicate their decision, the lines between right and wrong become increasingly blurred. Yet in the end, through their own choices they come to understand that the most important thing in life is family."

Trade Paperback, 218 pages
Cedar Fort Inc. (March 10, 2008)
Amazon.com Sales Rank:
#1,302,616 in Books

Purchase Keeping Keller here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Survivors by Gregg Luke

When I first read the synopsis on the back of this book, I liked the sounds of what this book was about. Once I got into the story, I was surprised by how different it was, but it was a definite page-turner.

The story starts off with a pharmaceutical guy on an airplane with a young Mormon girl and the plane crashes in the jungles of Mexico, with the two the only survivors. How they each help each other and how David learns the true meaning of life and learning to care for others, is the most important element of this fantastic novel. How they outwit drug runners and survive the elements was fascinating and I learned some things about the rain forest and the primitive, but very spiritual and humble people in this region.

You are in for one thrilling roller-coaster adventure!!!!

6x9 Trade Paperback
Covenant Communications (2006)
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #2,359,432 in Books

Purchase Survivors here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Bishop's Bride by Elizabeth A. Watkins

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bishop's Bride. I thought this was an absolutely delightful romp. It was a quick read, had a lot of laughs interspersed with the story of how a widower finds a new bride as the most important duty of his upcoming calling of bishop of a new ward, as he is told he has to find a wife in three weeks!!! Andrew McCammon is being called, as the stake is being changed. Andrew doesn't know how his adult children will react to this new scenario. Even the police chief gets into the fray, with a couple of dead bodies along the way to stir up things. I really liked Gina, the fairly new RS President, who Janette stays with, as she has no home to go to and finds out why Gina has a difficult time with charity. Janette helps Gina analyze her dreams of continuous tombstones appearing in her dreams. If you like Genealogy, you'll love this madcap romp. I sure did!!! I could relate to this story, as I married a widower, with a small daughter, but she endorsed the union wholeheartedly.

Binding: 6x9 Trade Paperback
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (2007)
ISBN-10: 1598113143
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #1,752,948 in Books

Purchase The Bishop's Bride here.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Friends Forever Book Nook

Welcome to the official blog of the LDS Friends Forever group. I'll be posting reviews of books that we're reading here and invite all of you to drop by often and comment on what you've read. We'll have too much fun! Watch in the next few days for the blog to develop and grown.