Staci Garrison comes from a wealthy family and her husband, Derrick Garrison, DDS, is doing well in his profession. She isn't lacking money or materia...moreStaci Garrison comes from a wealthy family and her husband, Derrick Garrison, DDS, is doing well in his profession. She isn't lacking money or material possessions, but having these things isn't enough to help her failing marriage. Can her relationship with Derrick be restored?
When God speaks, it can be for spiritual growth or protection or even for someone else's benefit. He speaks through His Word (The Bible). He speaks through dreams. He speaks through people. He speaks directly (I believe His voice is audible for some Christians, but mostly it's a still small voice inside of us). Staci could identify the voice of God, so my question is, "Why did she always ignore Him?" My answer: Not only was she hurting, but she developed a spiteful attitude. This Christian woman knew when Malcom Leblanc opened his mouth, Satan was speaking, but she kept in contact with the man because she was angry with her husband? Because she needed companionship? She had family and friends she could talk to. Her bad choice affected her and the people she claimed to love. She wouldn't have gone through such a traumatic experience if she wouldn't have ignored God's voice over and over and over again. Sorry, but I had difficulty feeling for her at that point, but I was very concerned about Derrick.
Staci: I was on her side at first, because I could understand her pain. After a while, though, all I could do was shake my head with disappointment. It was made clear that her husband was struggling with insecurities, but there were times when she acted like a spoiled brat.
Derrick: I wondered if the circumstances surrounding his conception was the reason for his insecurities, instead of the reason given.
Feelings of rejection, hurtful words spoken, misunderstandings, miscommunication or no communication at all, temptation to stray - the author tackles these issues with an honest Christian prospective and a bit of humor. Redemption is an obvious theme, but "hearing God's voice and listening when the heavenly Father speaks" is what I kept thinking about when I was finished reading. (less)
Lisa Hampton has been divorced for years. Although she isn't quite over what her husband put her through, she is living an okay life. She has a nice h...moreLisa Hampton has been divorced for years. Although she isn't quite over what her husband put her through, she is living an okay life. She has a nice home, a good job and a best friend who is "well off". Her teenage daughter, Chanelle, is a hand full, though. What will it take for the two of them to get along?
Generational curses and family curses are what came to mind as I read this story, but I guess bad choices was the main reason why Lisa and her family had so many issues, so much family drama. I shook my head with disbelief at times. I laughed at times. I became irritated at times. I saw some things coming, and others were a total surprise.
Sanders tackles quite a few serious topics; however, what I thought about most as I finished this book was how people judge by appearances: A single mother doesn't have much and she doesn't live in the best neighborhood. Does that mean she's not a good person? A woman has money and shares a bit with others. Does that mean she is a good person? A young man seems thuggish. Does that mean he doesn't want to do something with his life or that he doesn't know how to treat a girl? A guy is a privileged scholar-athlete. Does that mean he's trustworthy and respects young ladies? A young lady dresses "sexy". Does that mean she's wants to have sex?
Yolonda Tonette Sanders is a talented writer. She creates believable characters and realistic situations, and she includes Scripture at just the right moments. I purchased Soul Matters a while back, but I haven't read it yet. I have read Secrets Of A Sinner, and I enjoyed that story as much as I enjoyed this one. Highly recommended! (less)
“When Memories Fade” is Book Two in Moody’s Victory Gospel Series. I read the first book, When Rain Falls, and I found it intriguing. I thought this...more “When Memories Fade” is Book Two in Moody’s Victory Gospel Series. I read the first book, When Rain Falls, and I found it intriguing. I thought this book was going to continue Candace Johnson’s story, and I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t. Well, it did in a way - Candace is included, but the focus is mainly on Angel Roberts, who was introduced in the first book. She has accomplished a lot at her young age, but there’s one goal she has yet to reach – finding out what happened to her mother, Elisa, who has been missing for years.
What kept me turning the pages wasn’t what happened to Elisa, but the disappearance of Melanie Stowe. Who took her? Why? And would she ever be found? I tried to guess whodunit, but once again Moody’s mystery novel was not predictable. She also wrote about Stroke, Alzheimer’s, Depression and Bipolar Disorder in a way that helps the reader to understand the mental state of those suffering from these illnesses and what family members go through. These parts were informative.
Angel was a likeable character. I was okay with Wes Cade throughout most of the story. He was an intelligent man with a good career and he cared about pleasing the Lord. He irritated me at one point, though, because of a choice he made. He knew better. (less)
Ava has a good family life, she teaches Bible study and she’s part of a ministry that helps hurting people. Because of her childhood, Ava has lived mo...moreAva has a good family life, she teaches Bible study and she’s part of a ministry that helps hurting people. Because of her childhood, Ava has lived most of her days preparing for bad news. When her life begins to fall apart will her faith in God waver or grow stronger? And will she be able to do the one difficult thing she believes God wants her to do?
I really need to start with this: Ava had some EVIL family members – they were judgmental, condemning, legalistic, confused, controlling people who claimed to know God when they really didn’t know Him at all. As I read parts of this book, all I could do was keep shaking my head. I don’t blame Ava for leaving her hometown and never looking back. This book’s synopsis states that ‘Ava must set out on a journey that takes her back home’, but I didn’t really think it was necessary for her to subject herself to those who treated her so badly when she was growing up. There was a reason she felt she needed to go back, though. Still, I thought something else could have been worked out.
The main thoughts I was left with after I read this story: Sometimes Christians speak for God when they really need to keep their opinions to themselves. And sometimes Christians blame Satan for problems they brought on themselves – choices have consequences, take responsibility.
Even though characters had their issues, there was something about this book that felt so cozy. My plan was to read half, watch television shows I had recorded, and then finish reading. It turned out that television had to wait, because I had a hard time putting this book down. I wanted to know what was going on with Dane, I felt for Bethany and Sienna was interesting. Anything that had to do with Broken Hearts Ministry was sad, though, but I did admire these women who cared so much about other people’s pain that they put their own comforts aside. (less)
Her name is Gabrielle, but people call her Brielle. She left her small hometown to make something out of her life, but now she's back. Something bad h...moreHer name is Gabrielle, but people call her Brielle. She left her small hometown to make something out of her life, but now she's back. Something bad happened while she was away and it is constantly on her mind. She meets someone who helps ease her pain. But who is he, really? And how will her life change now that he's in it?
It didn't take long to become engrossed in this story. As I read, I couldn't help but think 'This author loves words, and words love her'. I was so impressed by the writing that I read sentences and paragraphs more than once, savoring the words. I was so tempted to start underlining what I especially enjoyed reading, but I resisted because I like to keep my books in perfect condition.
So, I'm reading slowly, taking it all in and waiting to find out one thing when the story took an unexpected twist, making the remaining chapters even more intriguing than the previous ones.
Although this Young Adult Christian novel is also categorized as Fantasy, its take on spiritual matters is very believable... For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms - Ephesians 6:12
Angel Eyes is one of the best Christian novels I've read. The author skillfully deals with the natural and the supernatural - the seen and the unseen. I highly recommend it!!(less)
Before Dayna Wilson started dating Warren she was married to Brent. She was left with much heartache after the divorce and it had taken years to get t...moreBefore Dayna Wilson started dating Warren she was married to Brent. She was left with much heartache after the divorce and it had taken years to get to a point where she could function again. Now Brent is back; he showed up on her door asking for forgiveness. Why now? And will Dayna be able to find it in her heart to forgive this man who hurt her so deeply?
The thoughts that popped into my head while reading: 1. Brent couldn’t apologize to Dayna way before this? So, if he hadn’t been ill would he have ever apologized for hurting Dayna the way he did? 2. Why is it that when a married man commits adultery everyone looks at the other woman as if she’s more guilty? Yes, she’s wrong, but c’mon now, the man knows he has a wife. 3. If the author would have shown what happened in Chapter 29 instead of having Audrey tell what happened, I would have been on the edge of my seat. 4. Christians should be willing to forgive (Colossians 3:13, Matthew 6:14) but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Depending on the situation, forgiveness can be downright difficult.
For the most part, I was into the story – Chapter 27 is where Adams really got my attention – but every now and then it got a bit slow and that’s the reason for the 3.5 rating. Coming Home reminds followers of Christ how important it is to take our problems to God in prayer – In the Name of Jesus. The story also has messages on forgiveness and how to grow in the Lord. I like how honest the author was when it comes to Christian couples waiting until marriage to have sex (it can be difficult to resist temptation), and what I liked most was that the author showed what true friendship is all about. (less)
The bad economy has caused problems for Avis and her husband, Peter. Avis is also having a problem with her youngest daughter (not Peter’s biological...moreThe bad economy has caused problems for Avis and her husband, Peter. Avis is also having a problem with her youngest daughter (not Peter’s biological child). Or maybe not a problem, but she’s very concerned about Rochelle and her grandson, Conny. And then there’s this new person who keeps showing up even though Avis really doesn’t have time for her.
I haven’t read Jackson’s Yada Yada Prayer Group novels, so this is the first I’ve been introduced to Avis Douglass. I liked Avis more than any other character in this book. She’s a strong black woman, a strong Christian woman, a devoted wife, and a loving mother and grandmother. Her story was most interesting. What was going on with her daughter? How were things going to turn out with her job? What decision would she and her husband make concerning their – or I should really say his – plans for their future? I kept turning the pages to find out the answers to these questions.
Kathryn ‘Kat’ Davies is a young college student and a Babe in Christ – a Christian who has just begun the spiritual life. Judging by the cover, I thought she and Avis were close friends, but that was not the case. Avis didn’t know what to think of Kat and sometimes neither did I. She was kinda out there every now and then. She’s a ‘we are the world’ character, which was good, but she had naively optimistic views. She was also flighty and so, so pushy and a bit irritating at times. And the whole dumpster thing? I didn’t like it at all.
There are parts of this story that made me feel as if I was reading inspirational and encouraging Bible devotions and I loved that. I could have been bothered by the conversation in the ladies restroom, but I appreciated the author’s honesty. I understood how Avis felt after what she’d overheard, but I hoped she’d do her best to get her mind back on Jesus. Jackson did not sugarcoat, but showed how some Christians feel about integration in the church and how two-faced some Christians can be. My thinking is this: Anyone who claims to be a Christian – a believer in Jesus Christ - has to know that GOD IS LOVE and LOVE is not rude, LOVE does not discriminate, and LOVE does not see a person as less than because of skin color.
Stand by Me was a pleasure to read. Jackson writes clever similes and her descriptive sentences helped me to get a good visual of the characters and the atmosphere - I felt as if I was right there. Jackson clearly shows that Christianity does not mean perfection; that although we Christians are saved by grace we’re not always so quick to show grace to others. I plan to read the next SouledOut Sisters novel. (less)
Bailee Cooper did not have a good childhood. She was given the responsibility of protecting her siblings; a job too big for a little girl. Now that Ba...moreBailee Cooper did not have a good childhood. She was given the responsibility of protecting her siblings; a job too big for a little girl. Now that Bailee is a grown woman, she still feels responsible for her two sisters, Geena and Piper, to the point where it's affecting her own life. Will she be able to let go? And what about the secret she and her sisters have kept for years? Will there ever be a right time to reveal what they know?
Bailee, Geena and Piper's father summoned them to their summer house and they weren't sure what to expect. I kept wondering what this secret was, so whatever was going to happen in Bremerton, Washington I couldn't wait to read about it. They were a dysfunctional family, that's for sure. And it turned out there wasn't just one secret being kept. I felt for Bailee, Geena and especially Piper. I wasn't too sure how I felt about their father, though. Knowing that his first wife was mentally ill, he should have been more responsible where his children were concerned. It's not that I didn't feel for him at times, but it just seemed he made too many excuses.
House of Secrets is an engaging read. It is very well-written and I loved the way past and present transitioned so smoothly. Also, anyone who wants to learn about schizophrenia can gather quite a bit of information. It's been a while since I read this book, but I remember thinking before I was even half way through that it would make a good television movie. (less)
Sheila Rushmore is a thirty-four year old woman with expensive taste, but very little money. She has no job, no home and she thought she had a good ma...moreSheila Rushmore is a thirty-four year old woman with expensive taste, but very little money. She has no job, no home and she thought she had a good man, but she is single once again. What will it take for her to finally step into the good life?
It’s been a good while since I’ve read ‘The Last Woman Standing’ by Tia McCollors, but I will never forget how much I enjoyed the story. I thought I’d like this book just as much because it is the sequel, but I didn’t find it as entertaining. I’m sorry I feel that way, I didn’t expect to – it’s an okay read, the author writes well and I love how she includes words of wisdom, giving the reader something to think about whether it has to do with God or not, but the story didn’t grab me the way the first book did. And, yes, I do know why that is –The Last Woman Standing made me laugh… a lot.
It wasn’t that I disliked Sheila, but she wasn’t an interesting character; she was kind of annoying, actually. She cared a whole lot about clothes, and not just what she was wearing but she always took notice to other people’s outfits and shoes. She idolized her car and loved the smell of money. She wanted what she wanted even if she had to use somebody else to get it. This woman was way too materialistic. However, as a Babe in Christ, she was a very believable character, and McCollors does an excellent job showing Sheila’s spiritual growth in a realistic way – getting her life right with God was challenging; she fell short and one time she took God’s grace for granted as Christians (new or seasoned) tend to do.
Eden Gates was an interesting character and an example of a true Christian. I felt for her because of her situation. Sheila’s friend, Cassandra, brought quite a bit of drama to the story, as well as Sheila’s brother’s female acquaintances. Gina wasn’t likeable, but she surprised me at one point, proving she was more mature than I thought and then I kind of liked her. And I don’t know what to say about Clive. (less)
Candace Johnson was only twelve when she lost her mother. After seventeen years of marriage, she lost her husband. Now her best friend, Pamela Coleman...moreCandace Johnson was only twelve when she lost her mother. After seventeen years of marriage, she lost her husband. Now her best friend, Pamela Coleman, has been killed. Losing so many loved ones has caused Candace to put her faith in God on the back burner. Will she ever be able to connect with the heavenly Father again?
I liked Candace. She was a strong, independent woman and a good mother to two teens – Rachel (16) and Daniel (14). I also liked Beulah and Mrs. Roberts, and some of the conversations Candace had with them. Candace stopped attending church regularly after her husband’s death, but even though she was struggling with her faith, she did not forget where her help came from. Candace knew how to call on God in times of need.
I understood Candace's pain, but I did not agree with her thinking God took her loved ones. Her mother, her husband, her best friend, each of them died in a way that I don’t believe God would have anything to do with. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Reading this story, I was reminded of how sometimes Christians don’t take the time to thank God when good things happen, but they are quick to blame Him, or say He’s the One responsible, when something goes wrong. It’s as if they forget there’s also an Enemy. The thief (Satan) comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
This novel has sixty chapters, but most are not lengthy. The story grabbed me from the beginning. It was written in a way that kept me wondering and guessing who the killer was and, although there was a bit of repetitiveness, it was not predictable. While investigators looked into Pamela’s murder, Candace did some investigating of her own. She was a woman fighting for justice. She had questions and with every turn of the page I was anticipating the answers. I started reading in the evening hours. When I was ready to go to bed, I had to read one more chapter, and then one more…. It was difficult to put this book down.
Survivor’s guilt, legalism, adultery, flawed Christians, domestic violence, forgiveness - Tyora Moody deals with these issues and a bit more. She has penned an entertaining, suspenseful debut!! (less)
Kelli is out of work. She agrees to move back to her hometown, because the job opportunities may be better and she likes the idea of living close to h...moreKelli is out of work. She agrees to move back to her hometown, because the job opportunities may be better and she likes the idea of living close to her brothers and their wives. She never thought her choice would bring back bad memories.
Heather has a habit of making the wrong choices when it comes to the opposite sex, and she's not feeling too good about herself. Will she ever accept the fact that no matter what she has done God loves her?
Brian is studying towards a PhD at Washington U, and he's also a Christian Rap Artist. He's a big name in the music industry, but he's not sure if he should continue or quit so he can focus on his studies.
Cherish focuses mostly on the lives of Kelli, Heather and Brian - each one made choices they regretted. They are believable characters dealing with real life issues, and I liked them. Liking Heather - I surprised myself with that one. For a while there I was as upset as Dana. I understood how she felt about Heather and why she felt Cyd had betrayed her. As Christians, we know we should forgive others as God forgives us, but that doesn't mean it's not going to be difficult sometimes. Dana's struggle was realistic and I appreciated that. I also appreciated reading a story where Christian characters weren't always strong in their faith - the doubting and having difficulty believing at times was also realistic.
I like the fictional characters and places Kim Cash Tate creates. Even though these people have problems, I always get a good feeling while I'm engrossed in the pages. Tate knows how to write a Christian novel that ministers; she gave me a lot to think about as far as spiritual matters are concerned. I love that she doesn't shy away from using Scripture to back up the truths she wants to get across. Actually, this novel could teach a person how to communicate with God. I loved how the characters prayed for each other.
There was just one thing I found disappointing: Phyllis Hayes didn't show up much. She was my favorite character in Faithful, and I was looking forward to finding out what was going on with her. My little disappointment aside, this was a very good read. The Choices Ministry made me smile, and I was so moved by the whole `love letter' thing that I went to iTunes immediately after I finished reading and purchased Da'TRUTH's song Cherished(featuring CeCe Winans). (less)
Sandra Blakely was so sure she'd found a godly man, but now that her husband's true character has come out can she find the courage to leave?
I thought...moreSandra Blakely was so sure she'd found a godly man, but now that her husband's true character has come out can she find the courage to leave?
I thought All Is Not Lost was a novel when I purchased it; I should have paid closer attention. It is a short story tackling the issue of domestic violence. It is an okay read - I liked Sandra, who had a real love for Jesus and I liked her wise grandmother - but there are noticeable editing issues that took away from the story. Also, characters didn't speak naturally at times and there's way more telling, than showing. I expect to experience all kinds of emotions when reading a story about a woman who is being physically, mentally and emotionally abused. I do feel for any woman stuck in such a dangerous situation, but certain parts of this story would have meant more -moved me more - if it had been written differently.
The author did write an uplifting ending. And her story also sends these messages:
1. God is a miracle worker. 2. All is not lost when you trust God and live in a way that pleases Him. 3. With God all things are possible. (less)