Thursday, May 18, 2006

Waiting for Summer's Return, a review

Kim Sawyer has written a superb novel, and I really mean that. It was very enjoyable, with real, full-of-life characters. Check out my review below.

Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer
A review by Melanie Dickerson

Summer Steadman finds herself stranded in a small Mennonite town in Kansas in the late 1800’s after her husband and four young children die of Typhoid. When Summer tries to find a job in the town, widower Peter Ollenburger is the only person, it seems, who is willing to extend her any kindness. He shows up at her hotel to ask her if she would stay on his property and tutor to his nine-year-old son. She has no other prospects, so she accepts.

There seems to be no attraction between them at first, even though Peter’s neighbors are convinced they are living in sin, even threatening to cast Peter out of the community if he does not send the woman away. But Summer has no family to turn to, and she is determined to stay near her children’s gravesite. Peter refuses to force her to leave, gently but firmly standing up to the suspicious townspeople.

Kim Sawyer turns in a fine writing performance with her strong, deep characters and gentle story. She uses great depth of insight in treating her delicate subject matter with deftness and reality. Though she is true to the feelings a bereft mother would naturally experience, at no time does the novel sink into despondence. Summer’s reluctance to trust God again, her fear of His answering “no” to all of her prayers as He did her prayer to spare her husband and children’s lives, will resonate with anyone who has gone through a tough time.

I highly recommend this insightful story to all romance readers. It will strengthen your faith in God and leave you remembering the characters fondly, like friends with whom you would enjoy spending more time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare: What is it? Well, it isn't blasting Satan with a light saber, but it is real, or so I believe.
I could go on and on with this subject, but for today I will simply post my review for a great book, I Believed and Therefore I Spoke, by good friend Tim Black.

I Believed and Therefore I Spoke by Timothy T. Black, Jr.

Be glad this book isn't terribly long. . .Because you won't be able to put it down once you start reading it.

As the father and husband of a conservative Christian family, author Timothy Black tells about a walk he took one afternoon with his eighteen-year-old son, Anderson. The conversation began with Anderson asking his father if he believed dead people roamed the earth. When Timothy Black told him, 'No, I don't think so,' Anderson told him that he could see things, people, that other people couldn't see, and he believed they were dead people. In fact, sometimes these spirits talked to him, including one particular spirit who had been visiting him since he was a small child.

Thus begins an incredible roller-coaster ride for this family as they attempt to rescue their son from the occultic world he has become involved in, as well as from the demonic spirits that are controlling him. By the end of the story the author has had to radically change his beliefs in order to save his son. This book is for anyone skeptical that demons can possess or oppress people today, anyone with a teenager or loved one in any way involved with the occult, and anyone wondering what to do if they suspect demonic activity in their own home or family.

Be prepared to be challenged and informed.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Review of In Sheep's Clothing

I met author Susan May Warren at the ACFW conference in Nashville last September. She is very sweet and easy to talk to. And now her book, In Sheep's Clothing, is a finalist in the romance category of the Christy Awards. A Christy Award, wow! Yes, this book is that good.

I am including my review of it here. Go out and get this book. It is awesome! I highly recommend it, and I don't say that very often!

Vicktor Shubnikov is an agent with the FSB, formerly known as the KGB. Vicktor has three close, Christian friends. For years he has been resisting their efforts to lead him to Jesus. He doesn't trust God, and he blames himself for the fact that his policeman father was shot and crippled while they both were pursuing the serial killer known as the Wolf.

On the other side of the city, American missionary Gracie Benson feels like a failure as she prepares to return home. There isn't much to return home to, and she hasn't made one single convert after two years in Russia. But when she discovers the murdered bodies of two of her fellow workers, she fears she won't be able to stay alive long enough to leave, since she has something in her possession that the Wolf continues to kill for.

When KGB agent Vicktor tracks down terrified Gracie on the first train out of town, a snowball of a plot starts rushing downhill and doesn't stop until the very last page. If you like romantic suspense, you will love In Sheep's Clothing. Susan May Warren delights the reader with palpable tension in every scene and every dialogue exchange. Her powerfully descriptive word choices make you feel as though you are in Siberia, too, running for your life from a killer, with a hunk of a KGB agent by your side who is desperate to keep you alive and find the killer before he finds you. You wonder if Vicktor will be able to trust God, to give his heart to Jesus. And you feel for Gracie as she grasps the lesson that God sent her to Russia to learn, cheering for her as she begins to trust again and to forgive herself for the past.

The love story in this book is so good, and the identity of the killer so unexpected, you will want to read this book again, more slowly the second time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Welcome! (What am I doing?)

Welcome to my blog! I'm about as far from a techie as a person can get, so I'm frankly shocked that I'm actually trying something (as simple as) a blog. In fact, this was totally unplanned! A question popped up on a screen as I'm reading my friend's blog. Do I want to create my own blog? Well, why not? But, I'm thinking, if it takes longer than five minutes and requires technical knowlege, I'm outta there!