Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review: Come to the Table

Come to the Table is the continuing story of a small group of young adults learning how to get involved in ministry, learning what genuine ministry looks like. Kat, Nick, and Bree are finishing their summer in Chicago where they moved at the beginning of the first book in this series, Stand By Me. Bree is happily working part-time as a barista in a coffee shop and looking forward to returning to college in the fall. Nick is hoping to be selected as an intern at SouledOut Community Church, where the trio attend church. Kat is still looking for ways to educate the homeless about good nutrition. In this second book of the SouledOut Sisters series, mentors, young and old and of many races, will again come alongside these young people to guide them not only in ministry, but also in basic Christian living and in matters of the heart.

I appreciated the way author Neta Jackson showed this being done. Kat and Nick, especially, learn in layers as new challenges develop and the people in their lives help them respond. They don’t just hear from their mentors, however. They learn to seek answers on their own, to watch for God at work, to recognize His teaching, and to thank Him for all He does.

Readers who enjoy a great story with gentle insights will enjoy reading this book. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary eCopy for this honest review.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: Echoes

Originally released in 1996, Echoes should probably/maybe be released as an historical novel instead of a contemporary romance. That year doesn’t seem like so long ago, yet the main character in the story, a 24-year-old woman, is learning how to access the internet and use e-mail for the first time. Ah—memories.

That strangeness aside, I loved this story! When Lauren’s fiancĂ© dumps her for a job in New York City, she decides the only way she’ll ever marry is if God brings someone to her door. She figures she’ll marry the pizza man. Instead, she goes back to school, buys a kitten, and learns what things she really loves. While she’s doing this, her brother brings her a computer and opens her first e-mail account. She meets a mysterious man on-line who identifies himself as KC and professes his love for Jesus, English literature, and Irish Breakfast Tea. But on-line correspondence is one thing; meeting in person could be dangerous.

This story is part of a series that revolves around the small town of Glenbrooke. Author Robin Jones Gunn brings characters from other books in the series into this story, yet keeps each story distinct. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other books, as I really did like this one. I thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of Echoes for this honest review.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Silent Night

Silent Night by Colleen Coble is an epilogue of sorts to Coble’s Rock Harbor Mysteries Series. I haven’t yet read that series, but recognized the main characters, Bree and Samson, from their appearance in Tidewater Inn, the first book in Coble’s new series. Though I haven’t read the Rock Harbor series, this novella was a complete story all by itself. I never once felt lost, and, in the few cases when Coble referred to previous stories, she didn’t seem to give anything significant away. I’ll definitely want to go back and read those books someday.

In this very short story, Bree’s sister-in-law comes to visit a few weeks after a young woman goes missing and is presumed to be dead. On the day of Laurie’s arrival, a young man is killed in a parachute accident. While attempting search and rescue, Bree finds Laurie in the woods. As the investigation into the young man’s death reveals a connection to the missing woman, Bree becomes concerned about Laurie’s part in the two events.

I enjoyed reading this story, meeting Bree’s family and friends, and learning the truth about Laurie. If you’ve read the Rock Harbor series, you’ll want to read this novella to see what’s next for Samson and Bree. If you haven’t read the series, you still may enjoy this story. I most definitely did.

I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary eCopy for this honest review.