Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review: INTENT by Krista Wagner

Loved this book!

Trying to deal with small town life and feeling that she has no real purpose, Raylee Johnson finds a new source of confidence when her former high school crush returns to town. When she begins to feel better about the direction her life is going, Raylee is thrust into a maze of doubt, uncertainty, murder, and deceit where the only thing she does know for sure is that her life is engulfed in lies.

My Personal Review

Intent by Krista Wagner is an excellent book. Buckle your seat belt and hang on tight as this novel twists and turns through suspense filled pages. I loved it!

Intent by Krista Wagner is a great read. The element of surprise and intrigue are utilized throughout this entire book. As the protagonist, Raylee Johnson, pushes through a seemingly monotonous dead end job and begins to reach the conclusion that her life is without meaning, she is catapulted into a maze of events that leave her reeling. The courage and strength that Raylee finds during this tumultuous and precarious period of her life unfold with dramatic flare.

The reader is led astray several times as the plot unravels down narrow paths of apprehensive action. Clues are scattered like finely sifted granules of sand across the grand canyon. As with any good mystery novel, the reader is never quite sure who's behind it all until the very end.

Wagner's ability to infuse the reader with hope and encouragement through a relationship with Christ is worked into the story in a clear manner without being intrusively overboard. There is not a "preachy" feel to this read, as the author takes advantage of her talent for subtlety and cohesively delivers sound Christian doctrine through some of the lives of the minor characters. This book is sure to help the reader effortlessly transfer some healthy prospective into their life.

If you enjoy reading a good mystery that has an element of reality without creating nightmares, I highly recommend that you read, Intent by Krista Wagner!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Sun Came Up Late Today

Psalm 119:90(MSG)
Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.  

The sun was late rising this morning.  Well, at least that's what it felt like when I awoke to darkness, as compared with yesterday when the sun was shining brightly in my window at the exact same time.  I already miss that sunbeam coming into my bedroom early. Today is "Day Light Savings", so we sprang forward an hour.  I don't understand the need for Day Light "Savings" Time.  Do we actually save time?  This has always perplexed me.  We get what we get, right?  We end up shuttling more light to the end of the day and less brightness to the front half, but it's the same amount of time, so why do we call it "daylight savings time"? of the baffling questions of my life that will never have a satisfying answer as far as I can tell.   

Springing forward.
I clearly like consistency, as you can discern from my dislike of the whole time change thing.  Oh to have such problems, right? But on a more serious note, one of my favorite things about God's word is that it is always the same.  It never changes. The words of the Bible are as applicable today as they were centuries ago.  

His Words are on time...every time.  They are never late. The truths of God are for everyone.  They are not for majorities or minorities.  The Word of God is forever adorned with the greatness of His love, mercy, and grace. We don't have to set it forward or back it up to keep pace with the culture in which we live. The Lord has taken care of all of that for us.  Sweet!!   

Thank You for providing us with an up-to-date time clock that will never change. Thank You for the comfort that we find in Your Word;  a strong tower to run to for shelter. Your words are a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet.  Your voice is like a gentle stream of living water bringing life to all who would drink deeply of it.  I am forever amazed and give You all of my praise today.
In Christ's Name,

Friday, March 6, 2015

God's Promises Are Permanent

Psalm 119:89(MSG)
What you say goes, God, and stays , as permanent as the heavens.

The word "permanent" in a Mom's mind conjures up visions of the Sharpie Marker on walls or clothing, right?  Yep.  That's tough stuff to get out.  No amount of scrubbing...even after soaking in "Shout" can get those stains out.  Believe me, I've tried.  It might fade a little, but it isn't leaving.  Nope, it's there for good.

That's a beautiful thought when I think about the promises God has made to us.  They are real and what He says goes.  His words stay forever, just like that marker.

Here are three of my favorite non-washable promises from the Lord:

Florida sunset...thanks for sharing Dad!
Psalm 103:12 (NIV)- As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified;  do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 27: 1-2 (NIV)  The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?  
The Lord is the stronghold of my life-  of whom shall I be afraid?  
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.    

Thank You for writing on my heart with permanent marker.  Your words are an everlasting comfort to me.  Bring them to my mind often and help me to live them out every day of my life here on earth!  Let the peace of Your words flow over each one reading this right now.
In Christ's name,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Book Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

This book was not for me.
The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.

As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend. But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.

Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it's too late to walk away.

My Personal Review:

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton is imaginative and reveals the author's extreme creativity within it's pages.  Although this is considered a YA read and I am an OA (Older Adult), I chose to read this book because I occasionally like to suggest a good read to the young adults in my life.  

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton was released February 10, 2015 and is the first debut novel in a YA series.  At the beginning of this book, it is clearly defined that a "Seeker" is one who uses their skills to alter the world for the better;  a protector of the weak.  This knowledge of good verses evil and the idea of using one's talents to change the world to make it a better place give it a strong foundation for a wonderful book with many sequels.  The concept for the book is excellent.  There were many narratives I enjoyed within this book, but unfortunately, there were also many descriptions of violent acts that I did not relish.

I anticipated that the plot would move quickly into an evil underworld of deception, and while the work hints at that, I never fully grasped the complete picture.  Instead, the reader is frequently taken from here to "there" and back again through time travel provided by the special powers of the much sought after stone "Athame".  I found myself continuously turning back pages in an attempt to figure out what I had missed, due to the fact that I consistently was not making connections between events.  I easily envisioned the circular doors leading to new places, but struggled with the transitions between circumstances.  It became distracting and frustrating. 

The three main characters who are training to be Seekers are diverse and interesting.  Their interpersonal relationships with one another and their families draw the reader's attention.  The one area that is narrated in a very detailed manner, is the violent acts of murder and torture that occur in various parts of this book.  Many were extremely graphic and left me with a pit in my stomach.  In fact, the descriptions were so nauseating that had this not been a review copy and as such I had given my promise to read the work completely through, I would not have finished this book.  It was overdone and detracted from the fantasy.

The character's travels were also a bit too shallow for my liking.  I wanted to hear more of Scotland's rich history and visual beauty beyond just the casual comments about the castles and green meadows.  The complexity of Hong Kong could have been expounded upon to inform the reader of some of the culture as well.   Instead, the pages are filled with detailed descriptions of blood and gore, but no redeeming cultural values to at least off set the ridiculousness of overplayed violence.

In the end, the reader is left hanging, of course which is to be expected with a series.  The good part of the book is the mystery of wondering where it's going.  What will happen next?  If I keep reading will I understand this more?  The inferior parts of the book are the lack of fluidity and the violent acts.  The thought of my daughter reading about her "shirt being ripped open and her nipple being twisted" as a means of punishment for incorrect behavior is not a work I want to encourage her to read.  That particular incident is just one example of the many descriptive vile behaviors observed in this reading.

In the end, I am not sure that I will attempt to read the sequels to Seeker.  I'm guessing I'll probably pass.  

Thank you to Random House Children's Books for this review copy of Seeker through the Net Galley Review Program.  I was given this free copy in exchange for reading the book thoroughly and giving an honest review.  The opinions within this review are my own.