Sticking Points

Shaw, Haydn. Sticking Points. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale. 2013

SUMMARY:
PointsToday’s workforce contains members of four generations: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. While working together, there are 12 topics or themes that are “sticking points” or sources of stress and conflict. “Sticking Points” provides an example of the points being illustrated, reveals each generation’s unique view point and finally gives suggestions for compromise and resolution.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Sticking Points was an eye opening read not only in the work place but also in everyday life. An excellent understanding is gained of each generation’s view point. Much to my own amusement, I found myself nodding in agreement when reading about my own generation. On the flip side, I had several “ah-ha” moments while considering the other three generations. While the book is a little light on providing solutions, the book does provide compromise, understanding, and maybe even harmony to perhaps become possible.

MY RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Sticking Points from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review*

Once Upon a Prince

Hauck, Rachel. Once Upon a Prince. Zondervan: 2013.

SUMMARY:
Prince Told from her boyfriend of twelve years that he “found the right ring but the wrong girl”, Susanna vows to search for her one-true-love. Through a series of misfortunes and heartbreaks, Susanna does meet the man of her dreams but discovers he is unavailable due to his birthright of being a future King as well as an outdated, ancient decree. True love does have a way of winning though…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
From the absolutely adorable book cover to the modern day fairytale (albeit a bit relevant while waiting for the Royal baby to appear), I found myself positively enjoying this novel! Though a new author for me, I am sure I will no longer be a stranger to her books. Inspired by Prince William and Princess Catherine of Cambridge, the author, Rachel Hauck, does a gracious job of bringing the Prince of Brighton and everyday, simple, issue-ridden Susanna together through funny moments and endearing junctures all within Christian perspectives. I appreciated the contemporary love-story with morals and values intact. As the pages continued to turn faster, I found myself hoping for a sequel (which there will be)! Definitely a book worth reading and sharing!

RATING: 4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Once Upon a Prince from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review*

Faking Grace

Leigh, Tamara. Faking Grace. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah. 2008.

SUMMARY:
Grace Maizy Grace Stewart recently moved to Nashville after a fiasco at her last job in Seattle. Now, with only part-time work at the Nashville newspaper, Maizy is forced to get creative. After slapping a Christian bumper sticker on her car and adjusting her name to Grace, Maizy Grace (oops, sorry-just Grace), applies to a Christian publishing company. The only problem is now she needs to portray herself as a devoted Christian which means she is definitely…faking “Grace”…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Tamara Leigh presents an LOL, sarcastic yet witty novel. Just when you think Maizy…um…Grace…has done everything imaginable, she pulls out another unbelievably hilarious move. Of course, considering that she is taking advice from the ‘Dumb Blonde’s Guide to Christianity’ (or affectionately known as DBGC), things are bound to get crazy! Top it off with a little dog, a grandma with a brand new boyfriend, a co-worker with a British accent and a new BFF causing a hair disaster…let’s just say prepare for a side aching laugh that leaves you gasping for breath.

MY RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Faking Grace from Multnomah in exchange for my honest review*

Finding God in the Hunger Games

Sarns, Selena. Finding God in the Hunger Games. The Bible People. 2013

SUMMARY:
Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games has become a very popular mainstream book series. Selena Sarns has created a book with short devotionals designed for readers of the Hunger Games. The devotionals connect sections of the books to Christian concepts and then provide a thought to ponder.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Selena Sarns connects the Hunger Games to Christian concepts by using the technique of parallelism. The method has both pros and cons. The devotion is written for fans of Hunger Games. Sarns makes broad connections between events within the novels and Christian concepts. (For example…Katniss took her sister’s place for the Games as Jesus took our place on the cross; however, the issue of the actual Games and controversial concepts associated with them are not addressed.)
If using the devotional for adult readers, the broad parallelisms provided excellent starting points for deep thought and arriving at personal conclusions. For those using the devotion to guide young adults or even youth readers, further discussion is needed because of possible lack of understanding of the deeper issues. This devotional serves as an excellent conversation starter in attempting to explain the ramification of these issues.

My Rating:
4 (out of 5) Pennies (for Adult readers)
3 (out of 5) Pennies (for Youth readers)

*I received a complimentary copy of Finding God in the Hunger Games from BookCrash and The Bible People for my honest review.*

Forewarned

Ullrick, Debra. Forewarned. Spirit Light Publishing. 2012.

SUMMARY:
forwarnedLonely in the winter months, Jasmine turns to finding social interaction online. When her friends warn her of potential danger, she does not heed their warnings. Her best friend, Jack, attempts to protect Jasmine from danger even after she refuses his help. Although forewarned, Jasmine enters a most dangerous situation…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
The novel’s plot keeps the pages turning due to the author alluding to the coming danger. The author’s excellent technique of balancing intense and peaceful moments makes for a thrilling read. The novel explores the potential dangers of the internet which provides an excellent opportunity to use the book as a learning tool. The book has the ability to serve as a great read for both parent and student as the book forewarns readers without alarming them.

MY RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Forewarned from Crossreads and Debra Ullrick in exchange for my honest review*

The Miner’s Lady

Peterson, Tracie. The Miner’s Lady. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House. 2013.

SUMMARY
minorThe Penetta family and the Calarco family have carried the feud between the two families from Italy to the miner town in Ely, Minnesota. The families have feuded for generations without desire to end the turmoil. Yet, the Penetta daughters and the Calarco sons may change the balance when Isabella Penetta and Orlando Calarco plan to elope. Things become even more complicated after a mining accident and the eloping couple recruits the help of their siblings.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS
“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Tracie Peterson has taken the classic story of Romeo and Juliet and transported it to the 1890s in a small mining town. However, Peterson does break away from the Romeo and Juliet storyline to create a fresh and unique perspective. Yet, depending on the reader’s knowledge of Shakespeare, the reader will find themselves making many connections to the famous playwright. Readers who enjoy Tracie Peterson’s novels, as do I, will definitely want to read this novel; the style is slightly different from her other works providing yet another twist to her writing repertoire.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Minor’s Lady from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for my honest review*

Stealing the Preacher

Witmeyer, Karen. Stealing the Preacher. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2013.

SUMMARY:
stealingSeriously? Stealing the preacher? Apparently having misunderstood his daughter’s wishes to “steal” a preacher, Silas does just that and presents his daughter a real-life preacher for her birthday. His daughter, Joanna, a head-strong, independent young woman with her own agenda, deals with the preacher, her father, her mother’s dying wish and circumstances through hilarity, self confidence and her own faith in God. Throw in Crockett Archer, a stolen parson, and things get a little interesting, if not downright giddy…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Really? Stealing the preacher? Oh how fun!!! Though a bit predictable, Karen Witmeyer did an excellent job of keeping my enthusiasm for the story through lively interaction, the effervescence of the characters, amusing circumstances (literally stealing the preacher), saving an abandoned church and finding salvation for her father…all while the participants pass through life relationships and situations. Absolutely a must read for a downright rollicking novel with a few serious life issues included!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a copy of Stealing the Preacher from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Prairie Song

Hodgson, Mona. Prairie Song. Colorado Springs,CO: Waterbrook Press. 2013.

SUMMARY:
prairieAnna Goben and her family are leaving St. Charles, Missouri. The family joins a Boone’s Lick Company Wagon Circle to travel across the country to California. During the five month journey, Anna faces a journey of caring for her aging grandfather and her grieving mother as well as traversing new, rugged terrain. As she travels with the wagon train, she may find new hope and new love somewhere along the way…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
For readers who enjoy stories of wagon trains, campfires, cowboys and occasional danger, this novel will not disappoint. Mona Hodgson masters the setting and era of the novel in such a way that the reader is sure to gobble up this book. Prepare to be transported to the Post-Civil War Era in the far west. Readers will be delighted with their traveling companions – especially the delightful Anna Goben and the mysterious Caleb Reger.

MY RATING:
4 (out of 5 stars)

* I received a complimentary copy of Prairie Song from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review*