Book Review: Daughter of the King

Daughter of the kingCarlene Havel/Sharon Faucheux

Publisher: Prism Book Group

Pages: 256

Price: $12.99

Publication Date: December 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615740614 


Saul gave his daughter, Michal, to David. But when she saves David from Saul, he gives her to Phaltiel, a hateful drunk who shamelessly uses his wives and their servants to satisfy perverse desires. 

When Saul dies, troops come to take Michal away. She doesn’t know whether she is going to her death. Did David believe she willingly went with another man? However, she finds herself back with David whom she loved from the beginning. By now, David has gone from musician to king of Judea.  

Happy at first, Michal evolves from David’s cherished and loved first wife to one of many in his mansion full of wives and concubines. The politics of dwelling with a city of wives gives us a glimpse of that unpleasant situation. We see the extent of her pain when she gives permission for her handmaid to marry a poor man. She longs for a poor man who could afford only one wife. 

The book stays true to the book of Samuel and Biblical times. It answers plausibly the question of why she became angry when she saw David dance. It departs from the Bible slightly. Michal’s outburst came after David went home—Samuel 16:20-22.  

This book is well paced and keeps you reading. We like the good guys, though the bad guys are unforgivably bad. In about three places, I found the descriptions too graphic.

Book Review: Icejacked


Adrian L. Hawkes 

Publisher: iUniverse Publishing 

Pages: 220 

List Price: $15.95 

ISBN: 978-1462047116 

Icejacked is Rip Van Winkle sleeps for 2000 years. Gerhardt, graduate student and historian, believes he can further his education concerning prehistoric man when he learns of a man preserved in ice. He plans to join the study. But when he arrives at the morgue, he discovers that the man had a heartbeat and that morgue personnel transferred him to a hospital. Gerhardt thinks they have mistaken a recent tourist for a man from history.

Instead, he meets Leddicus, Roman citizen and member of the way—the earliest group to follow Christ—waking from a 2000 year sleep in a cake of ice. Gerhardt plans to become obscenely rich by presenting him to the world. 

Everything astounds Leddicus at first but he quickly learns to enjoy modern life. They travel around the country and world to tell Leddicus’s story. In the background, a group of sinister people makes plans to exploit Leddicus. 

The storyline would have benefited from more conflict. As demonstrated by UFOs and the moonwalk, people react in disbelief when something happens outside their experience. With one exception, no one questions that a man could live in ice for 2000 years. Newspaper stories all over the world would accuse Gerhardt and group of fraud. The British version of the FBI might visit (Adrian Hawkes lives in London) and investigate—especially considering all the money Leddicus makes for his sponsors. In addition, the bad guys should be woven in to the story instead of lurking in the background. I never know what connection the bad guys have to the protagonists. 

I believe Leddicus would have been physically more fragile after 2000 years in a huge ice cube. His physical condition could add to the conflict. And, where is the grief at the loss of his family and life? 

Leddicus and company are realistic and charming, and the daily life of their trips ring true. The story moves along smoothly, giving authentic hints of early Rome. Author, Adrian L. Hawkes did his homework.  

Book Review: Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Harriet beamer FOR TYPEPAD

Joyce Magnin 

Publisher:  Zondervan 

Pages: 320 

List Price: $14.99 

Pub Date:  May 01, 2012 

ISBN:  978-0310333555 

Seventy-two year old Harriet Beamer falls off a ladder. Her daughter-in-law, Prudence, makes a bet with Harriet. If the foot is broken, she must come and live with Prudence and Henry. “It was a suckers bet,” Harriet says as she plans her trip to California to join them. But she decides to take the long way by local transportation. A friendly stranger helps her find her Droid, Amelia, to plan each new course—deciding as she goes. 

Henry worries as she calls to tell him about her ride on a helicopter and her adventure with the snake-handler. He can only wait as she makes her convoluted way to him. Harriett encounters good and bad people. She gains celebrity when she stops a purse-snatcher with a well-placed rolling suitcase as the incident goes viral. 

The reader will smile more than laugh aloud, though the book provides a few of those. If you enjoy old people, who don’t believe life ends when you reach “maturity” you will enjoy this book. It may provide a pleasant Sunday afternoon diversion.

Book Review: Downtown Green

Downtown Green FOR TYPEPADJudy Christie 

Publisher:  Abingdon Press 

Pages: 224 

List Price: $13.99 

ISBN:  978-1426708992 

Lois Craig, owner of the Green News-Item newspaper, new mother, and proud citizen of Green, watches the downtown businesses wane without customers. Zach Price, her ex boss, wants to acquire the newspaper to merge with his large one. Major Wilson, newly released from prison, and Jerry Taylor fight to bring an industrial development to replace the main streets. Meanwhile, the scenic lake becomes not as scenic as the weed, giant salvinia, doubles, rapidly covering it. 

Lois and concerned friends struggle to bring business to downtown. She and her husband, Chris, buy an ice-cream parlor to prevent Jerry Taylor from buying the land. The town gathers to fix the dilapidated building. 

The large cast of characters becomes confusing. The book would benefit by a who’s who index to keep track. It doesn’t help that the dog has a people name. The reader may wonder whose child is that. A few of the background stories resolve themselves too easily. Vince should have tormented them longer. 

Despite these flaws, the reader will enjoy the people and small-town ambiance of Green—the sense that the town belongs to all of them. The pace of the story moves well. Worth reading.

I received this book from NetGalley. It is an honest review.



Book Review: The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club

Half-stitched FOR TYPEPADWanda E. Brunstetter 

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing, Inc. 

Pub Date:  April 03, 2012

List Price: $14.99

Pages: 320

ISBN:  9781602608115

Amish Emma Yoder didn’t like depending on her children. To earn some money, she advertised that she would teach quilting. She didn’t expect the motley crowd who stood on her porch for the first class—all suffering invisible hurts. The bickering couple, the biker whose parole officer suggested he find a creative outlet, and the African-American minister’s wife have little in common. Emma feels she might have more to give than quilting lessons. 

Emma Yoder and Ruby Lee ring true. I believed Stuart and Pam. But Jan, the biker, and Star, the Goth teenager weren’t quite believable. They should have had a few rough edges. I don’t know any bikers except the Christian Motorcycle Club, who probably aren’t typical. However, my impression is that though they might love their dogs, they might also have to watch their language (for example), and troubled teens aren’t this wholesome. They suffer from cutting, Bulimia, disrespect for adults, or other symptoms of their pain. 

This book is a pleasant read for a Sunday afternoon when you don’t want the world’s problems to disturb you. It also gives a peek in to the Amish life for those of us who wish we could live that simply for God. A phone shack? My grandson texts in his sleep.

I received this book from NetGalley. It is an honest review.


Book Review: Downfall, Intervention Series


Terri Blackstock

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: March 01, 2012

List Price: $14.99 USD

Pages: 304

ISBN: 978-0310331483

Emily has come through a long fight to overcome her drug addiction, but she has successfully navigated her abstinence for two years. Barbara, her mother, stood by and suffered with her during the worst and Emily is having trouble earning her trust. Barbara believes the nightmare begins anew every time Emily stays out late or does something she did during her years of addiction. Emily attends college now and enjoys her new addiction-free friends—who stay out late. 

When Barbara comes to Atlanta to be near Kent, it brings them back to the place of Emily’s addiction, and to an old enemy she didn’t know she had. The “Avenger” decides he will kill her and her family. He plants a bomb under her car. From that moment, the bodies fall as he gets nearer to her family. Drugged beyond reason, he enjoys the game. 

I had a revelation during the reading of this book. I didn’t realize that ex-addicts can never again take a narcotic, even to help terrible pain. The addict must always feel every bit of pain he or she is victim to—or succumb to painkillers and begin the foggy, insane years again. 

The action is constant, characters believable, and the suspense continuous. Anyone who reads this book should start with the first book. Though the mystery begins and ends in this book, I felt like someone who goes to a party and walks into someone else’s conversation in the middle. The author often refers to happenings in earlier books. If the first books move at the pace of this one, Emily should be agoraphobic as well as addictive. I certainly wouldn’t leave my house—though for her, home offers no safety.


Book Review: Sentenced to Life

Sentenced to life for typepad aKay Baker

Publisher: Tate Publishing 

List Price: $12.99 

ISBN: 978-1617390913 


Also available on Kindle 

Kathy takes a meandering path from prison to the surprising destination that ends this book. An accountant with too much access to her client’s money, she succumbs to temptation. Thus starts her sentence as a white-collar criminal. She describes the day-to-day life of prison to minimum security to halfway house and then to her Christ-filled life. The optimistic protagonist portrays the years she spent in prison as almost fun, at one point comparing it to a country club. I respect her decision to accept her imprisonment and educate herself. 

The author lists Sentenced to Life as fiction based on truth, but it reads more like a memoir. 

The reader will find not so much a polished novel as it is an old-fashioned letter. It is readable and interesting. 

I received the book from the author but I have not met her. She did not pay me. This is an honest review.

Books Review: Beyond the Farthest Star

Beyond the Farthest Star  FOR TYPEPADBodie and Brock Thoene 

SubTitle:  A Novel 

Publisher:  Zondervan

List Price: $14.99

Pages: 240 

Pub Date:  January 01, 2012 

ISBN:  9780310336105 


Pastor Adam Wells, former child evangelist and possible next Billie Graham, instead, pulled in to his new church with a sad secret, a damaged daughter and unhappy wife. Each church he accepted became smaller than the previous ones. He longed to do something important, and the burning of the nativity in the public square promised him his chance. But can he withstand Senator Cutter’s desire to annihilate his family with the old secret? 

The reader wants the best for the characters—though Anne, Adam’s daughter, dares us to like her as she does everyone in the town of Leonard. 

Tim, raised by his wise grandparents, tries to give her friendship.  In so doing, he brings along his dangerous friend, Kyle, who feels rejected by Tim’s new bond with Anne.

This highly readable book delivers constant action. Hints of the family tragedy pepper the story, but readers must wait to know what brought them to this place. Read it only if you have time because you will find your dishes waiting while you push on to the end. 

I didn't know until I finished the review that this will be a movie. I'd go if I didn't know the end. Christians can go without fear of wishing they hadn't.

I received this book through NetGalley. 

Book Review: Betrovia, First of Three-Part Trilogy, Historical Fantasy Novel

Betrovia for typepad a

Dave King

Pages: 302

List Price: $12.99

ISBN: 978-1463757519

Betrovia is the first of a three-part trilogy. This fantasy novel re-creates a time when a soldier’s weapons included swords, and bows and arrows. War ravages Betrovia. It tells the story of Patrik, an innkeeper: trapper, hunter, and artist; and his two daughters, Tamara and Galena, and the war that shapes their existence. When Patrik finds a package of scrolls, he decides to trust Teophelus, a neophyte priest, to help him get them translated. Teophelus agrees to help him. Teophelus soon discovers a religious community eager to squelch the scrolls.  

The characters move in unexpected directions, especially when Tamara, oldest daughter, beauty, uninterested in the men who pursue her, an old maid at eighteen, finds her love and a life completely changed. 

The story moved well and with enough detail to put the reader in the picture. The characters rang true.  

I received the book from the author but I have not met him. He did not pay me. This is an honest review.

Book Review: Who is My Shelter? (Yada Yada House of Hope Novel)

Who is my shelter Neta Jackson

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson 

List Price: $14.99

Pages: 432 but only 409 tell the story. Followed by Book Club questions 

ISBN:  9781595548634 

Phillip throws Gabby out of their penthouse, driving her to homelessness. He parks her boys with his parents in another state. On her own with no place to go, Gabby founds House of Hope, a place for homeless single mothers. She fills each day with friendships, problems, and prayer. Meanwhile, Phillip’s gambling addiction endangers his life as thugs beat him up, landing him in the hospital--and then try to do it again. He knows he’s not safe until he can pay his gambling debts. He returns Gabby’s boys. Gabby still loves Phillip but feels the marriage has ended. 

This well-researched book realistically follows the workings of how such an undertaking can succeed. The habitants and leaders of The House of Hope merge into family and friends as these women get a new start. 

Who is My Shelter lists as fiction but I wanted it to be true. If there are places like Houses of Hope, I don’t know about them—but there should be. We care about the sometimes-difficult personalities here. Crisis and Gabby’s story keep this book perking along. Well worth reading.