Genre: Christian Fiction

Divider

Kid Connection: The Christmas Cat

December 21, 2013 Book Review, reviews 4

Kid Connection: The Christmas CatThe Christmas Cat by Maryann Macdonald
Published by Dial on October, 2013
Genres: Christian Fiction, Picture Books
Pages: 32
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads

I read The Christmas Cat to my favorite little monkey and we simply adored it!  Based on a famous Da Vinci photograph, The Christmas Cat tells the story of Baby Jesus crying in the manger.  All of the barn animals try to calm the crying baby in their own way. . .but it’s not until the kitten snuggles with the Baby Jesus and begins to purr that all is quiet in the manger.

A beautiful story to treasure and one that shares the meaning of Christmas in a way pre-schoolers can understand.  The muted watercolors are breathtaking and share the story as much in the pictures as in the words.  The Little Monkey and I mimicked all of the animals from the book and as he has recently acquired a kitten, he knew exactly what I meant when the kitten purred the Baby Jesus to sleep.  Truly a sweet story and I love the painting that inspired The Christmas Cat ~ Leonardo Da Vinci’s La Madonna del Gotto

Kid Konnection is hosted by BookingMama each Saturday.  For fantastic kid selections be sure to visit BookingMama.net!

 

 

Divider

Faith in Fiction Friday: Elizabeth Musser

October 3, 2013 Book Review, reviews 1

Faith in Fiction Friday: Elizabeth MusserThe Swan House by Elizabeth Musser
Published by David C. Cook on July, 2011
Genres: Christian Fiction
Pages: 448
Source: purchased
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads

FaithinFiction

It has been several years since I first met Elizabeth Musser at the Decatur Book Festival.  I recall her to be a lovely, soft-spoken woman engaging with talk of Atlanta, reading and books.  I purchased an autographed copy of The Swan House and after leaving the festival, drove by the actual mansion that is now home to the Atlanta History Center.

The Swan House

The Swan House

For the majority of my life I have lived near Atlanta, Georgia where most of The Swan House takes place, albeit quite a few years before my time.  I was intrigued by the novel and the local history brought to life in The Swan House.

The novel opens with 16 year old Mary Swan Middleton discovering her mother was on the tragic Orly Air Crash in Paris, France that killed 106 members of Atlanta society (considered to be the worse aviation disaster in history up to June, 1962).  The young girl is lost without her beloved mother and flounders for months in grief, unable to find solace in the privileges of her life.  It’s not until Mary’s maid, cook and friend, Ella Mae, suggests to Mary that she help out at Ella Mae’s church that Mary begins to find meaning and purpose for her life.  Of course it’s 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia, directly in the midst of the civil rights movement so when Mary befriends a young black man from the church she’s helping, major problems arise. . . for both of them.

A beautiful coming-of-age novel filled with lyrical prose as graceful as the mansion it claims.  Musser treats Mary’s growing knowledge of her parent’s shortcomings with a delicate pen and sensitive soul.  Although Musser wrote about places in Georgia I was familiar with, seeing those same areas through the eyes of Mary Swan brought Buckhead and downtown Atlanta alive.  The emotional roller coaster I stayed on throughout the reading of the novel spoke to the specific pacing of the plot ~ the immediate plunge into grief, the gradual building of suspense  and Mary’s eventual understanding and growth.  Part mystery, part history, and part learning to live with grief, The Swan House shares the timeless message of hope and the belief in a servant’s spirit.  Highly recommended for those who enjoy southern literature, coming-of-age novels and highly-developed literary christian fiction.  I loved it.

13207251And I’m happy to report Elizabeth Musser’s eBook Two Crosses (Book 1) is being offered free through October 4th at most online retailers or you can visit David C Cook’s Publishing site to download the novel.

 

 

Faith in Fiction Friday is a new feature at The Novel Life to highlight and discuss those novels with a faith element ~ anything from flat-up Christian fiction, to a Pulitzer Prize literary novel, or a suspense/thriller with a compassionate character.  I invite you to join FiFF!  FiFF is open to anyone who has a review or discussion to share of a novel with a faith element.  Feel free to grab the button and link up with Mr. Linky below.

Join me in delving deep!

Divider

Faith in Fiction Friday: Proof (Bloodline Trilogy #1)

September 27, 2013 Book Review, reviews 2

Faith in Fiction Friday: Proof (Bloodline Trilogy #1)Proof by Jordyn Redwood
Published by Tor on June, 2012
Genres: Christian Fiction
Pages: 308
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads

FaithinFiction

There are moments when I pick up a book that I’ve already “judged” by the cover then discover that I’m blown away by the writing, plot, characters, etc.  Proof was one such book.  And it’s not that the cover is that bad. . .it just didn’t jump out and appeal to me.  I read this novel during the Inspy Judging Period and Proof made it to the Shortlist.  Proof is also a finalist for the 2013 Carol Award for Debut Fiction and the ForeWard Reviews 2012 Book of the Year.

 

What I know is that God is always working around us. He doesn’t just work within the walls of a denomination. Sometimes, I think we feel if we can get unbelievers through the church doors, the church will do the rest and our obligation is met. It’s obvious Lilly has great resistance to anything structured. We need to watch for where God is working around her. Show her grace. Be there as much as she allows. 

Proof takes us on a whirlwind ride into the life of Dr. Lilly Reeves, ER physician who becomes the 5th victim of a serial rapist.  In an effort to gain control over her life and exact punishment on her assailant, Lilly goes in search of her attacker.  But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

Imagine being sexually assaulted and able to recall key facts about the assailant ~ like an unusual tattoo or strangely colored eyes, and even have DNA evidence from the assailant. . .but when you’ve found him, and you’re positive it is the attacker. . .the DNA testing clears him!  Now you begin to doubt yourself, the police certainly look at you with a bit of caution and your fellow hospital friends and staff start to avoid you.  Have you accused the wrong man? How can DNA be wrong? And are you going crazy?

It was her first shift back, and she didn’t know if she could portray compassion to any of these individuals.  A deep anger smoldered within her.  The only release was time spent at the firing range and hefty doses of alcohol at night to numb her senses into a fitful sleep. The bruises from her face had cleared, but what remained was the quiet resolve of a hunter in search of her prey.

Filled with enough suspense worthy of an episode of 24, Redwood takes a likable character and gives her flaws that you question just as the police and friends question.  But while Lilly is coming to terms with her memories of the rape and who the attacker may be, she is also coming to terms with where God fits into the whole equation; where God was when the rape occurred and why she is being ostracized for pointing out who she believes is the attacker.

The one thing that truly stood out for me with this novel is that it’s not your typical “Christian Fiction.”   Proof is a novel I would happily share with non-believing friends and know they would not feel as though I were pushing my beliefs upon them.  This novel deals with real life happenings and the way we choose to deal with what life hands us.  Lilly truly struggles with faith.  And because she is a “good” person why did God allow bad things to happen to her?

Jordyn Redwood has worked for over 20 years as a critical care and ER nurse and her experience shines through in the novel. She has also taken her knowledge to start a blog: Redwood’s Medical Edge in an effort to help other authors write medically accurate novels.

Proof is a thriller of a novel with characters you can’t help but fall in love with and a bad guy you love to hate!  I can’t wait to read the next two novels in this trilogy: Poison and Peril.

I’d love to share this novel with you with my lovely readers.  Please complete the giveaway form.  Contest  ends on October 3rd at 11:59 pm and the winner will be notified on October 4th.

Faith in Fiction Friday is a new feature at The Novel Life to highlight and discuss those novels with a faith element ~ anything from flat-up Christian fiction, to a Pulitzer Prize literary novel, or a suspense/thriller with a compassionate character.  I invite you to join FiFF!  FiFF is open to anyone who has a review or discussion to share of a novel with a faith element.  Feel free to grab the button and link up with Mr. Linky below.

Join me in delving deep!

Divider