Thursday, March 31, 2016

What Am I Reading - March

Another month is just about over and done with.  It's hard to believe we're already heading into the month of April and that a 1/4 of the year is over with already.  I would say "Where has the time gone" but I guess I've spent a good portion of it with my nose in a book ;)

Burning Proof by Janice Cantore

After months of investigating the brutal homicide of a young girl, Detective Abby Hart finally has the evidence she needs. But when the arrest goes terribly wrong, Abby begins to doubt her future as a police officer. As she wrestles with conflicting emotions, old questions about the fire that took her parents’ lives come back to haunt her.

“There is proof.” PI Luke Murphy can’t stop thinking about what Abby’s former partner, Asa Foster, mumbled just before he died. When he uncovers a clue to the murder of Abby’s parents and his uncle, he’s reluctant to tell Abby, despite his growing feelings for the beautiful detective.

This book was a real treat for me, as I just happened to coincidentally live in the area where this book takes place.   The second book in the Cold Case Justice series written by Janice Cantore, this book follows the story of Long Beach Detective Abby Hart and Investigator Luke Murphy. This was the first time I have read anything written by Cantore and I really did enjoy this offering.   While this is the 2nd book of the series and I had not read the first book (Drawing Fire), I was able to follow the story without the prior knowledge of what the first book contains.   I did find that some areas were a bit confusing, like at one point a character was being called by his first name (Bill) and then by his last name and then switched back to his first name, without warning, which made me go "Who is Roper?" until I figured out what was going on, but this didn't distract too much from the story other than being just a minor inconvenience.    Cantore does a great job with character development as well as with setting descriptions (she hit the nail on the head while discussion how unreal the wind is here on a regular basis.   Without a doubt, I will be finding the first of this series soon and will purchase the third book when it becomes available.

A Gift For All People by Max Lucado

The Gift for All People is a celebration of God's gift of salvation wrapped in a collection of inspirational
stories. These stories will help Christians comprehend and treasure the assurance of their salvation and will help non-Christians realize and embrace the gift of abundant, eternal life in Jesus Christ. The concluding story, written especially for this book, urges readers to give their lives to Jesus Christ and shows them how to do so. This book will provide Christians with a unique, warm, and attractive presentation of the gospel to give to non-Christian family or friends.More than anything, God wants you to be with Him. The God who designed your world, the God who placed you on the planet, simply wants you home with Him. And to bring you home, He offers you a gift...the gift of eternal salvation. 

Well,  if you've been following my blog and my book selections for any period of time, you know that I absolutely love Max Lucado. This book is no different.  Once again, Max does a wonderful job explaining Christian doctrine in simplified terms that anyone can understand.    However, this book isn't necessarily geared towards the believers of Christ or those who have previously read Max's books. Instead this book is geared towards non believers or new believers who could use a gentle nudge in the right direction .   Using personal stories of grace and forgiveness, Max explains how Christ gave the ultimate gift of Love and Sacrifice to ALL of us.  

This book is an extremely easy read and is a great introduction to Max's style of teaching for those who might not be previously familiar with him.  If your a fan of Max's, like I am, and you've read many of his previous books, many of the stories in this quick read will be familiar to you.  These are the more "feel good" stories of his previous volumes, stories that focus more on Jesus's love and grace to us then on scripture teaching.  This would make a great book to give as a gift following a baptism.

Risen by Angela Hunt 

Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.

His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth--and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.

I was really excited to get my hands on this book as I had seen the previews for the movie but I know I'll have to wait til it comes out on DVD before I get the opportunity to see it.   In a way, that might spoil the movie for me, since this is a novelization based on the screenplay as opposed to the movie based on the book.  However, I was very pleased with the book, non the less.  This book tells the story of Clavious, the Royal Tribune under Pontius Pilate and of  Rachel, a Jewish Widow.  Through these two characters as well as other Biblical characters that they come in contact with, both come to realized the truth about Jesus (Yeshua) and it forever changes their lives.

Hunt does a great job in really immersing the reader into the Biblical setting of Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion.  While I've never read any of her previous writings, it is very aparent that she is very knowledgeable in Biblical history. This was a great read and I enjoyed it very much.

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Running from the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor heads to the uppermost reaches of Michigan, planning to serve as the new teacher to the children of miners. She quickly learns the town had requested a male teacher, but Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since it's too late to replace her. Tessa can't help but thank him and say she is in his debt. 

Determined to make herself irreplaceable once spring thaw arrives, Tessa throws herself into her work, and soon two students have decided Miss Taylor is the right match for their grieving father. At the same time, charming assistant lightkeeper Alex Bjorklund makes his interest known, surprising Tessa, who has never had men fight for her hand before. But not all is well as she feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

This book caught my attention mainly because of the setting taking place in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.   My husband and I spent time living just south of Eagle Harbor, in Calumet, and really enjoyed learning about the Copper mining that took place in the late 1800s, so when I saw that this book was a historical set in that time and place, I knew I wanted to read it..

Undaunted Hope is the third book in the Beacons of Hope series by Jody Hedlund.  I was familiar with Jody Hedlund and the Beacons of Hope series already as I had previously read Out of the Story, a novella written as part of this series. However, you can easily read this book independantly from the others of the series.

 The Beacons of Hope serious all center around the various lighthouses found on the Great Lakes of Michigan.  This particular book focuses on Tessa Taylor, a teacher who has made some mistakes in her life and is looking for a clean slate.   Finding herself in rather difficult situation with her employment situation as well as a love triangle between two brothers, Tessa's new start is anything but a clean slate.

Jody Hedlund is very skilled at character development and in tying this story together, as well as tying previous books into the story..    Overall, it's a great read and I'm looking forward to the fourth book of this series to hit the shelves.  

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