Thursday, March 15, 2012

Things Were Better Before You Came

This is a strange title for an adoption-related book, but author Doug Walker did a great job with the title.

Things Were Better Before You Came is a true story about Walker's life, his adoption, his immense fear of rejection and discovering that God will never reject you.

I have to tell you - I have page after page of this book underlined. I related so well to each word he wrote.

As an adoptive mother, I saw my son in Walker's own self, and myself in the role of his mother. The main point I got: They did not speak the same language (figuratively) and had a hard time communicating with each other. I think my son and I are much the same and we, like Walker and his mother, show our love in different ways and it at times frustrated the other when we don't "get it."

I also saw much of myself in Doug Walker as well. He explains that he felt rejected by his adoptive mother after a callous, emotion-filled (and untrue) statement she uttered when he was a child. And as someone who does not know half of my biology, I can relate to that feeling of rejection. As he explains, it's not something you walk around with consciously. It's completely unconscious, it's buried and unrealized, but still there.

In the book, Walker explains that three single moments in his formative years led him on a path of feeling rejected - a comment from his mother at the age of 9, his mother's willingness to help him search for his birth parents at the age of 12 (he explains that he wanted his mother to be jealous and only want him for himself), and asking his mother if she loved him unconditionally (to which she responded as any mother would - "What did you do?").
Now - Walker is quick to point out that his mother always loved him and he never doubted that, but in his own mind her reactions were not what he wanted and therefore meant that she rejected him. He also says that their relationship is much better now and is healing...his mother had no recollection of even saying these things to him. It just goes to show that trivial things to us might be life-altering for others.

I did want to point out a few lines in the book that really spoke to me. Lest you think this book is only worth reading if you are adopted or an adoptive parents, let me assure you, anyone can benefit from this book. The rejection Doug Walker felt from his mother is something we all face at times in our life.

Early in the book he says, "My existence, I believed, would only be validated by my performance." I think we all feel that way at some time or another. We all feel the need to prove ourselves. And that's really what the book is about. Learning that you ARE loved. Learning that no matter what, God loves you and Jesus died for you even though you were not worthy - and that no matter what you face in life, God is always there, always present, never rejecting.

He also says he came to this realization, "At that moment I realized her love for me is based on one simple truth: I am her son.Her jealously for me was not fueled by the knowledge that I have planted a successful church, that I have never been arrested, or that I have given her three grandchildren. She adopted me when I was a baby, and she continues to adopt me today. In the darkest moments of our relationship, this has always been true, even when I didn't feel it."
For me - this statement sums it up. As an adoptive mother, I don't love my child for the things he does or does not do. No, even as a preschooler, his choices don't always make me happy, and no, we do not see eye to eye on a lot of things and we likely will butt heads over many things for many years. But he is my son. I chose him. I love him and I adopt him daily as my son.

And God adopts us daily in spite of butting heads and arguing with him over things.

Things Were Better Before You Came is an amazing story of love, adoption, redemption, and unconditional love. I highly recommend it for all parents, all children, adoptive families and Christian families.

As of March 15, 2012, this book is $7.99 for Kindle.


Doug Walker visited my home church in March 2012 where he preached an amazing sermon on adoption and shared his own birth mother's story. He also shared how he and his wife have three sons - two are biological and one is adopted. While at our church he was selling copies of his book, which I promptly bought. I will tell you that this book had deeply affected me as a mother and as someone who understands underlying rejection issues. I want to thank Mr. Walker for sharing his story both from the stage and in his book. 

Here is his sermon from his visit to our church:

AdoptionAcceptance&UnconditionalLove from Foothills Community Church on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

All The Flowers in Shanghai by D. Jepson

Duncan Jepson brings us a haunting novel, All the Flowers in Shanghai about a young girl, Feng, in pre-Revolution China. Told solely in the first person, we learn immediately that Feng is writing to a daughter that she had claimed was stillborn but was apparently still alive and was now telling her the story of her life.

Feng was the second daughter. The "spare" to her parents, who are only called Ma and Ba. She has an older sister, only called Sister, who is being groomed to marry a man of a higher status and has been treated like a princess her entire life. Xaio Feng dresses like a peasant and spends her time roaming the gardens with her grandfather and knowing nothing of life aside from the Latin names of flowers.

As her sister is preparing to marry the rich Sang heir, Feng meets a village boy and falls immediately in like with him. They spend a lot of time together, but when Sister is suddenly unable to marry, it is up to Feng to fulfill the contract made with the Sang family.

But Feng was never groomed for any of it - she knew nothing of the ancient traditions and ceremonies involved in a wedding or marriage. She insults her new in-laws immediately, but doesn't seem to care because they took her away from the life she had known and enjoyed. And when her new husband clumsily forces himself on her, Feng turns bitter and angry.

Her mother-in-law's insistence for a male heir angers Feng, so when she does become pregnant she manages to detach herself from her developing baby and makes her maid swear to give the child away if it is a girl. Of course, the entire novel is a story she has written for a child she never knew, so when a girl is born, the reader is not surprised. Her maid takes the baby and gives it away to an older couple and Feng tells the family she had birthed a stillborn son.

The story continues from there - covering more than 30 years time in all and goes into the beginning of communist China where Feng makes some drastic and unforeseen changes in her life.

In the end, I did not feel connected to any of the characters in this book, except maybe the given-away daughter since the letter was to her. Feng goes from a sweet, unassuming innocent to a cold-hearted, angry and bitter woman. Feng's family simply abandons her without and any life lessons (though I'm assuming that's just how things were in depression-era China). Her husband I can only assume is a fool and simply does what he is told by his father, mother and then wife.

I also felt like Feng spent much of the book searching for a true parent figure. Her mother treated her cruelly, using her children only as pawns to move up in station. For many years Feng looked to her older maid as a mother figure, then sought out another mother-figure after that. It seems that Jepson gave Feng many women who could fill the role, but none who could fill the pain Feng felt.

Overall, I give All the Flowers in Shanghai 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was fairly easy to read, but some of the material was tough and at times the language more crass than I'm used to, but it certainly fit with the storyline.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Sense of Duty by Lisa Shea

I got A Sense of Duty as a free download for my Kindle and I have to admit to being intrigued from the beginning! I adore all things medieval, so I really hoped this book would live up to my expectations and it sure did.

It begins with a prologue outlining the unspoken love between Constance, the daughter of an English Lord, and Gabriel, her personal guard who had fought in the crusades. It's hard to believe that not even a chaste kiss has crossed between them, but they stand motionless for what seems like hours on the beach, Gabriel's arms protectively around Constance.
But sadly, Constance has been pledged in marriage ten years prior to a much older Lord Barnard and the time for their hand-fasting has come. And as much as she loves Gabriel, she needs to marry Barnard to ensure his protection over her parent's lands.
She tells Gabriel that their time together had been "amusing," crushing his heart, and she marries the older man.

Six years pass and Constance feels like a prisoner in her own home. With two stillbirths behind her and no living children, her husband has decided to see if any of the local women or maids can produce a child for him. Constance is scorned, hurt, but glad that the older man leaves her alone. She wistfully thinks of Gabriel. And she passes the time she works with an older man named Ralph who teaches her to wield a sword and dagger as protection against local bandits.

On a trip to see her elderly Aunt Silvia at a nunnery, her guards are killed and Constance is taken captive. She is locked away, though not broken. Constance knows that they have demanded ransom, but doesn't understand why her husband has not paid it. Perhaps her brother might. When she is saved by mercenaries known as the Angelus, Constance's curiosity is piqued, but she's too grateful to worry about it. She is returned to her brother's home to recuperate against her husband's wishes.

As she regains her strength, Constance realizes that her beloved Gabriel is closer than she thought - he is a neighbor of her brother! Gabriel is in her childhood home once again, but this time flirting with the younger sister of Constance's sister-in-law. She does her best to ignore him, choosing instead to play with her young nieces and nephews - relishing in the ability to be with children. As time passes, her sister-in-law, Alison, realizes that Constance is not as she imagined and apologizes profusely for not visiting and for leaving Constance without the affections of her own family. However, Constance's jealous husband wants her to have nothing to do with her brother, his family, or the tall, handsome man who keeps stealing glances at his wife.

Through a harrowing series of events, Constance and Gabriel finally admit their love for one another, as expected, and Barnard flies into a rage. It is revealed that Gabriel is at the head of the mercenaries called the Angelus and Constance figures our that Barnard himself is at the helm of the bandits who have been robbing people and leaving them for dead the last several years.

When Gabriel is sentenced to hang - along with his men - and Constance is forced to return to her husband's keep, will they be able to unveil Barnard's deception and save the men of the Angelus?
Of course - the answer should be obvious!

A Sense of Duty is full of twists and turns - some expected, many not. There is just too much to try to cover in a quick book review! But if you like romance (not steamy stuff, but stories of finding your true love) and you like Medieval or Regency novels, I really think you will enjoy this one. I could barely put it down! I give Lisa Shea's book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

(PS - it is still free as of 2/14/12! Get it now!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Kathleen Morgan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and Child of the Mist certainly doesn't disappoint.
Set in the 16th century Scotland Highlands, the story opens with a grim scene. That of Naill Campbell watching helplessly as his beloved wife and child die in childbirth. We later learn that it had been their fourth stillborn child.
Then the tale jumps a year to the life of beautiful MacGregor clan heir Anne MacGregor who is known throughout her lands as a healer - though some call her a witch because of her Old Ways of healing.
One evening she is sent to the home of a peasant couple having their first child. While she is attending to the laboring mother, cattle thieves raid the town - men from the hated Campbell clan. When one sees her breath life in to the still young babe, he calls her a witch and wants to kill her. She stands her ground and is then released by a kind - yet still hated - Campbell warrior.
Soon the same Campbell man who saved her life - who also happens to be the Campbell clan heir - is captured by the MacGregors. Anne tells her father that the man saved her life and she was honor bound to save his in return. So instead of killing the man, the MacGregor chieftain gives him his daughter - Anne - in an effort to end their decades-long feuding.
Anne and the Campbell heir, who of course of Naill from the first scene, are handfasted. Meaning they are like-married for a year and a day. After that time they may either have a real marriage or they may go their separate ways. Anne doesn't want to be married - let alone to a thieving, murdering man like Naill Campbell (who is called the Wolf). And Naill had only lost his beloved wife a year before and is not ready to commit to another, let alone love her, at all.
Naill and Anne set forth for Campbell land where they face many challenges. One being Naill's handsome cousin Iain, who fancies himself in love with Anne and thinks his cousin is a rake and will treat her poorly. The second - and biggest problem - is that someone on the inside of the Campbell clan has betrayed Naill and wants to see him dead.
Who is the traitor? Naill suspects many. His cousin Iain tops his list because of his affections for his psuedo-bride and Naill is jealous. But his Uncle Duncan would be second in line behind Naill himself for the title of Chieftain. Hugh, a cousin, is also in the heir line-up, as is another cousin, Malcolm. Any one could be working against Naill and trying to claim the Chieftainship for himself.
Of course, many problems arise for our young couple. At first they hate each other. Then of course, they fall in love but their own stubborn prides get in the way and despite loving each other, they do not trust each other. Thrown in the fact that many townspeople, Naill's family included, call Anne a witch, and it's a recipe for a disastrous relationship except for the love the couple have for each other even though they refuse to admit it or do anything about it.

In the end, what will happen? Will Naill discover who the traitor is before he loses not only his life and title, but the woman he has grown to love? Will Anne's homeopathic healing abilities get her arrested for being a witch? And of course, will love prevail and the couple wind up together or will the traitor, Iain's affections and the couple's own differences come between them?

Child of the Mist is a very quick-paced book and a fairly easy read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of her series called These Highland Hills. She also as a series called the Brides of Culdee Creek, of which I have read Book 1 and loved.

I give Child of the Mist 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend the author to anyone who likes romance without the smut. Right now it's FREE for the Kindle (as of 2/6/12), so scoop it up and read it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Belle by C. Dokey, adaptation of Beauty and the Beast

Cameron Dokey brings us a short, young adult book simply titled Belle.

This was a very quick read and while it wasn't exactly "my style" I thought it very well written, I enjoyed their adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story and I thought this would make a great beach or vacation read.

Belle is the youngest of three sisters who she defines as possessing true "Beauty." Belle believes she has beauty, but not capital-B Beauty like Celeste and April. The defining moment of her childhood is when the family first meets their benefactor and father's business partner Alphonse LeGrand and Belle finds herself, for the first time ever, standing between her sisters. For some reason neither her parents nor Monsieur LeGrand can see her and Belle assumes it is because her sister's Beauty completely enveloped her and her non-Beauty.

Through a series of events, Belle's father encounters the Beast and the fabled Heartwood Tree. The Heartwood Tree story was one of true love, with the wife of a young couple dying and the husband planting a tree over her heart. The white and red petals bloomed year round and never faded. It was legend that nobody was allowed to cut from the tree, but when the right person came the tree would willingly give up a branch for that person.

Naturally, the father finds the Heartwood and the tree gives up a branch to him. The Beast then finds him and demands that the man, known for his woodcarving skills, work the wood so it tells its story. The father says that only his daughter Belle would be able to work the wood. What father does that? But that's the story, so we'll go with it.

Belle returns to find the story inside the Heartwood branch, but can not come up with anything. She lives with the Beast for weeks where he continually asks her to look into his face till the count of five, but each time she can not do it.

Finally he tells him she is homesick and wants to go home. He allows her to leave, but in a conversation with Monsieur LeGrand Belle realizes she might love the beast-like man. She rushes back to him, hoping to find him in time.

Belle is part of a series of adaptations of fairy tale stories. There are also books retelling the stories of Cinderella, Mulan, Arabian Nights, Rapunzel and Snow White.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed the story and Dokey's quick pace. A perfect summer (or snowed in!) read.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Viridis by Calista Taylor

Viridis, by Calista Taylor, is a Steampunk mystery/romance novel set in 1866 London.
If you are unfamiliar with Steampunk, here's the wiki:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United States—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology, or futuristic innovations as Victorians might have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology includes such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the contemporary authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld and China Mieville.
Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's Analytical engine.

Anyway, Viridis is the story of Phoebe Hughes who had created a powerful "herbal" drink called Viridis. Because of it's ability to heighten one's senses and helps people shed their inhibitions (all while being completely safe to drink), it has become an overnight sensation in London at her club by the same name.
But when a young lord named Hawthorne is killed two blocks away, an investigator with a tender heart is led on the chase of a lifetime trying to solve a murder and figure out just how Phoebe and her concoction fit in.
The entire story is so full of twists and turns, it keeps the reader's mind engaged and wondering what will happen next to the characters, both good and bad.

Phoebe's one-time love, Seth, has returned to London after having been away for a year working for "the Cause." The Cause seems to be on the verge of a revolution in London and is fighting against the Queen and her Secret Services. Both the Cause and Secret Services are truly secretive because I never quite caught onto what exactly either side was trying to accomplish.
Back in Seth's brawny Scottish arms, Phoebe manages to anger a would-be suitor by the name of Victor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants - Phoebe for himself.

When it is discovered that the murdered man had stolen Phoebe's secret recipe for Viridis, the plot surely thickens as they all try to come up with an answer to the many questions that keep arising:
Who killed Lord Hawthorne?
Why did he have the recipe for Viridis and what side was he on (the Cause or the Secret Services)?
Who had Hawthorne been with the night he was killed?
Was Victor behind the whole thing?
Where did Hawthorne's lady friend Lilly disappear to?

The inspector has a very hard time trying to answer all the questions and track down potential murderers who would want the recipe for Viridis, but is incredibly polite and civil to the main characters throughout the story.

But when things become very dark and criminal charges begin to fly, nobody is sure what to do. Seth is arrested for seeking revenge and Phoebe tries to take matters into her own hands to get him released, even if it means giving herself over to the one person she detests most. And when her brother Gabriel is attacked, everyone is left scratching their heads as to what is really going on.

A mystery in it's truest form, I had no inclination at all as to "who done it" when the real murderer was revealed and WHY - I have to tell you, I was shocked!

This was my first Steampunk novel, and the very cool gadgets and "modern-like" contraptions they had were very neat and futuristic, but sort of hard to imagine for me. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the story.
There is a lot of sexuality in the book, and in the latter part there is a chapter that I would consider delicate if the reader has even been the victim of sexual abuse.
As someone who usually reads Christian fiction, though, I was not personally bothered by any of it and felt that author Taylor stayed true to her genre and characters exceptionally well.

I would give Viridis 3.5 out of 5 stars and a big props to Taylor for her first book! I hope one day to follow in your footsteps of publishing! Kudos!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wicked by Gregory McGuire

I first read Wicked by Gregory McGuire in 2008 because it had fab reviews, a Broadway show and I'm a HUGE Wizard of Oz fan.

The story starts with Elphaba, daughter of the slightly alcoholic/drugged up Melena and pastor Frex. Melena is the heiress to the title Eminent Thropp,which is something of a governor/royal title mixture. Elphaba is born green with razor sharp teeth. Over the years, her mother birth another daughter, Nessarose, and a son, Shell.

After the death of her mother, Elphaba goes off to the Emerald city for school where she is roomed with the gorgeous and spoiled Galinda. They strike up something of a friendship over the years and have a small band of strange friends.

Elphaba falls in love with the prince of the Arjiki tribe, Fiyero, who is already betrothed to another, but that does not stop them from having their own intimacies. Fiyero comes and goes from the Emerald City in his travels and is with Elphaba while in town.

Through tragedy, Elphaba travels to the Vinkus, where Fiyero is from, and meets his bitter wife, children and his wife's several sisters. This is the setting where Elphaba becomes the Witch we all know.

Wicked is a very politically charged book, with several parts that remind me or George Orwell's Animal Farm in that McGuire has both animals (like our pets and wild animals) and Animals - who walk, talk, dress and teach college. The Wizard, according to Elphaba and her constituents, is trying to turn Animals back into regular old animals. This is the basis for the Cowardly Lion character.

I reread the book this past year and still found it confusing, being way too political for my personal taste. I like the personal story of Elphaba, Galinda, Fiyero, Boq and the others much better. The book is nothing at all like the Broadway adaptation, and I found that to be much more to my personal liking.
But I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed McGuire's writing and his weaving of the tale. If you have not read Wicked or the three books that follow (Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz), I would recommend reading them as pieces of great literary works!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

I read The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo last week. It was quite the interesting tale, but to be honest, it took me the better part of a week to read, which means it did not hold my attention as well as I would have hoped.

The book, which takes place in the late 1800s, is centered around Charlotte Beck, a young lady who is more interested in commerce than marriage. Charlotte's step-mother, however, would prefer to see her married first and spends the entire debutante season in London showcasing her to potential noblemen.

Charlotte, you see, is an American heiress. And in this day and age it was common for rich American girls to marry British nobility who had nothing more than a title with no money to go behind it.

At a party, Charlotte happens to fall into the arms of nobleman Alex Hambly - literally. The two have an instant attraction but mutual dislike for one another. Charlotte things Alex is a rogue viscount and Alex thinks Charlotte is an insufferable brat.

Over a series of events, Charlotte's father presents the pair an offer they can't refuse. He will send Charlotte to college as she wants if she will agree to marry Alex after school. Alex, in return, will get a large financial gain. But Charlotte is convinced that after 4 years she will be able to talk her father out of the arrangement.

When dear old Daddy won't give in on the arranged marriage, Charlotte and Alex plot to leave the marriage unconsummated and get the marriage annulled as soon as possible.

Will their plot work? Will they want to get an annulment once they are officially wed?

I do recommend reading the book, I enjoyed the twists and turns, but I do admit it did not hold my attention as I would have liked. I give The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Sound Among the Trees

I received this book quite a while ago, except that the UPS man did not deliver it to the right door and I never saw it. Fast forward to now when I read this book! I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.

Susan Meissner delivers an intriguing tale of deception, rumors and unsure love in this book set in modern day Virginia. A Sound Among the Trees is something of a ghost tale where family matriarch Adelaide runs Holly Oak, a plantation house, that has been occupied by her family for generations and is thought to be haunted by her great-grandmother Susannah Page.

Adelaide's grandson-in-law Carson, who was widowed by her granddaughter Sara 4 years before, is remarrying. He moves his new bride Marielle into Adelaide's plantation home. Yes, you read that right, her granddaughter's widower, his two children, and the new wife. I thought it was an odd arrangement to be sure. The modern story focuses on how Marielle adjusts to living in the literal shadow of the late Sara. She is compared to Sara by all of Adelaide's old lady friends, by her new husband Carson, by his children Hudson and Brette and by Adelaide herself. She wonders if she will ever stack up.

But when Adelaide's friends tell Marielle about the ghost that haunts the house, her curiosity is piqued. Susannah was thought to be a spy for the North during the Civil War after marrying a Southern officer. Marielle begins to search for answers including calling a local psychic. Adelaide tries to tell her there is no ghost, it's the house that is cursed.

Things take an interesting twist when the deceased Sara's dead-beat mother, Caroline (daughter to Adelaide) shows up. Only now Caroline has sobered up and wants to help her mother and the grandchildren she has never known. Caroline winds up helping Marielle feel more adequate as a new wife and mother to Carson, Hudson and Brette.

Through all this Marielle and Caroline discover and reveal letters written by supposed ghost Susannah to her cousin in Maine that reveals everything that happened during the war.

Confusing though it sounds, this was a good book and I enjoyed reading it. It did seem a little far-fetched and I would have much preferred to read two separate books - one centered on Marielle coming into the family as a new wife and step-mother and then one that told the story of Susannah. It was a little much all together as one book.

I would give A Sound Among the Trees 3.5 stars out of 5. Very well written!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chosen by Ginger Garrett

Chosen, the Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett was a phenomenal read. As I read it I truly did wonder if these were the lost diaries of Esther - the Jewish girl who was made Queen of Persia and is one of two women who have "their own" books in the Bible.

The book is written in true diary format with dates (completely done in in the ancient Persian calendar) with the recent happenings and bubbling hopes of a young girl living below the castle in Susa. In it Esther talks about her and her cousin Mordecai, the neighborhood street market, and the boy Cyrus who catches her eye.

Garrett writes so eloquently and you really feel like you are with Esther as Cyrus tells her he loves her - even though our Esther is all of twelve years old. And you also feel like you are with her as King Xerses' men are pounding on her door, demanding she be presented for inspection.

In the Virgin's Harem, Esther quickly becomes the favorite of the head eunuch Hegai. He allows her little extras, including paper to presumably write the journal in which we are reading. Esther had been told by her cousin Mordecai not to reveal her Hebrew heritage to anyone within the castle.

After a year of preparations, at the age of sixteen, Esther is set to meet the king. The man who would decide her fate. Esther had watched countless girls douse themselves in perfumes and jewels to see the king, only to find they had been used and cast aside, never to be heard from again with the rest of the king's concubines.

The apex of the book comes as Esther engages King Xerses in conversation, telling him, "Women give you their bodies every night in this bed. But who has ever given you their heart? Your crown may give you the right to my body, but you will have to fight for my heart."

If you know the Biblical story of Esther, you know the main events that occur. But the way in which Garrett has written them makes them so real and so astonishing for me. The detail in Chosen is engaging, but also leaves enough to the imagination that the reader can fill in additional details if she chooses.

Chosen has been one of my favorite books for about six years now and I reread it often. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Biblical fiction!

Welcome to My Escape!

My Escape from Reality will be a blog dedicated to book reviews and also sharing my progress on the books I am writing myself.

I generally read fiction, most often romantic, inspirational and historical in nature. Sometimes I read non-fiction, parenting and life books, and a variety of other things.

I live with my Kindle no more than 5 feet from me at any time so I can pick it up and read at a moments notice. But I also enjoy to occasional paperback!

Two books are already penned and a third is almost finished. And I have ideas for several more. I just need a publisher! And as much as I love my Kindle, I really want to see my printed book(s) on a shelf one day!

So check back often and see my reviews!