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My latest book reviews for RadiantLit.com

My latest book reviews for RadiantLit.com

 

 

Because of new policies at Radiant Lit.com I can no longer post my reviews for them in part or whole here, but I can post the links to those reviews on their site.  So I’m taking that time now to give you links to mine and Jk’s latest reviews so you can check these wonderful books out.  I will be doing this every few months instead of each time one comes out because of some impending surgery that I will be going through withing the next few months.  Right now most of my time is being spent in preparing myself and my family for that surgery and the possible outcomes of it.  I know my readers will love many of these books, especially since they hold to clean, wholesome, Christian literary works.

Here are the links…

For my reviews…

The Anniversary Waltz…by: Darrel Nelson… http://radiantlit.com/2013/01/review-the-anniversary-waltz/#

Jesus Heals the Sick…by: Crystal Bowman… http://radiantlit.com/2012/12/ya-review-jesus-heals-the-sick-2/

Jesus Feeds the Hungry…by: Crystal Bowman… http://radiantlit.com/2012/12/ya-review-jesus-feeds-the-hungry-2/

Borders of the Heart…by:  Chris Fabry…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/11/review-borders-of-the-heart/

Sinner’s Creed…by Scott Stapp and David Ritz…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/review-sinners-creed-a-memoir/

After All…by:  Deborah Raney…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/review-after-all-3/

A Time to Heal…by:  Seye Oke… http://radiantlit.com/2012/08/review-a-time-to-heal/

Objects of My Affections… by:  Jill Smolinski…   http://radiantlit.com/2012/07/review-objects-of-my-affection-2/

Heroes of My Daughter…by: Brad Meltzer…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/06/review-heroes-for-my-daughter/

Poems From Heaven…  by”  Uzoaga Kelechukwu… http://radiantlit.com/2012/06/review-poems-from-heaven/

Lady Anne’s Quest… by: Susan Page Davis…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/06/review-lady-annes-quest/

The Prodigal Girl… by: Grace Livingston Hill…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/06/review-the-prodigal-girl/

After the Fire… by: Clare Revell…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/05/review-after-the-fire/

Thank You, God…From Kids Around the World… by: Allia Zobel Nolan…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/05/review-thank-you-godfrom-kids-around-the-world/

The Beloved Stranger… by: Grace Livingston Hill…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/05/review-the-beloved-stranger/

Beauty For Ashes… by:  Dorothy Love…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/04/review-beauty-for-ashes/

Sage and Sweetgrass… by:  Loree Perry…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/04/review-sage-and-sweetgrass/

Unlikely Praise… by: Carla Rossi… http://radiantlit.com/2012/03/review-unlikely-praise/

Matthew’s Story…The Jesus Chronicles… by: Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins… http://radiantlit.com/2012/03/review-matthews-storythe-jesus-chronicles/

 

 

For Jk’s reviews…

Jesus Heals the Sick…by: Crystal Bowman… http://radiantlit.com/2012/11/ya-review-jesus-heals-the-sick/

The Admiral…by: Gregg and Deborah Shaw Lewis…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/11/ya-review-the-admiral/

Jesus Feeds the Hungry… by: Crystal Bowman… http://radiantlit.com/2012/11/ya-review-jesus-feeds-the-hungry/

Confessions of a Wannabe Cheerleader…Revenge of the Titans…By: Zoe Evans… http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/ya-review-confessions-of-a-wannabe-cheerleader-revenge-of-the-titans/

Whatever…A 90 Day Devotional for Livin’ the True,Noble, and Totally Excellent Life!… by:  Allia Zobel Nolan… http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/review-whatever-a-90-day-devotional-for-livin-the-true-noble-and-totally-excellent-life/

The Friendly Beasts…Book with CD…By Rebecca St. James… http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/review-the-friendly-beasts-2/

Cheer, Confessions of a Wannabe Cheerleader…Bevan vs. Evan (And Other School
Rivalries)… by:  Zoe Evans…  http://radiantlit.com/2012/10/review-cheer-confessions-of-a-wannabe-cheerleader-bevan-vs-evan/

 

Radiant Lit.Com is a great site for Christian Book reviews.  They just launched a YA Fiction review section, that parents can use to choose books for their children, tweens and teens.  This is a section Jk and I both review for, and I have been blessed to read and review for adults too.  Above are all the reviews we have posted to date, with a few more already in and waiting for posting.  There are many reviewers working for this site, getting the best possible book selections available for those who love to read.  I hope you will check out some of the other reviews as well.  Here is a link to the main site where you will find all the review, interviews with authors and commentary on some of the trends out in the literary world… http://radiantlit.com/

 

 

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Objects of My Affection by: Jill Smolinski…Book Review

Objects Of My Affection

By: Jill Smolinski

Genre: Romance Fiction

Reviewed by:  Bonita L. Ledzius

Reviewed on July 9, 2012

Published by: Simon & Schuster

Published in: 2012

The world is spinning out of control for Lucy Bloom.  Her son is in drug rehab in Florida, which she paid for by selling her home.  The book she wrote about organizing you life and home is a failure as far as sales go.  The man Lucy has loved for two years has left, because of her son’s drug addiction, and now she has lost her job as well.  So now she has lost everything,  but what she could pack in a small storage facility and a suitcase.  Lucy has moved in with her friend, Heather, and Heather’s small family.  How much lower can Lucy get?  Turning to her ability to get rid of things and organize, Lucy tries to make a new start by taking on a job to clear out the home of artist and recluse Marva Meier Rios, who has become a hoarder of the most extreme type.  Will Lucy get the job done by the deadline, or will Marva continue to block every step Lucy makes?  Will she ever find out why Marva has become such a hoarder and why there is no flexibility in the deadline for the job?  Will Lucy’s son, Ash, complete the rehab, or fall back into his old habits and addictions? Will Lucy fall in love with a fellow worker, Niko, or find the love she longs for in old flame, Daniel Kapinski?

Jill Smolinski’s “Objects of My Affections” is like a slice of modern day life for an everyday woman.  It not only reads as a romance, but so much more.  There are elements of mystery and of an inspirational story woven into the story.  As the reader moves farther into the story they will find themselves on an emotional roller coaster, from cheering Lucy on, then wondering how she could be so naive, to thinking Marva is just a lonely old woman, then wondering how she could be such a selfish mother to Will.  Smolinski takes the reality television look at hoarders and paints a sympathetic and understanding picture of what the cause is behind people who suffer from this addiction, to the point that you will feel like you are part of the process of helping Marva overcome her problem with hoarding.  There are so many elements to this story, that it is amazing to see Smolinski pull them all together into a true understanding of the human condition, and the need for love, understanding, forgiveness, and hope. 

I have to admit that it took me a while to get into the story, but I quickly found myself sympathetic to the main character, Lucy.  I have loved, lost, dealt with family members with addictions, and even a couple who are hoarders due to their special needs which have made their organizational ability nil.  Still I also found myself upset with Lucy because it seems that she could be so naive, and self-deprecating when dealing with others.  To see the main character become a strong, confident woman throughout the story, and in her dealings with the other characters was a joy.  I found myself often trying to verbally will my advice into the book, whether warning Lucy, or telling her to stand strong.  The story took me from moments of anxiety to moments of triumph over and over.  One of my favorite parts of the book were the bits of wit and wisdom that were given at the beginning of chapters as if they were quotes from Lucy’s book, various other sources, and future books.  For a fiction book, I found that these little quotes had a great deal of truth to them.  I had so many of these that rang true that I swore I would embroider them and place them in important places around the house for my family to see. One of my favorites from the book  is as follows…

“The best way to honor someone who’s passed on is not by keeping their belongings, it’s by keeping their memory alive in the way you live your life.”

-Organizing expert Claudia Marx, as quoted in Things Are Not People

I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to recommend this book to other readers who are 18 and older.  As far as those younger than 18, there are some foul language and intimate situations that would keep me from thinking that “Objects of My Affection” was alright for them to read.  If you are looking for a light-hearted romance, with a great plot line, then this is your book.  I think “Objects of My Affection” is so much more than just a romance, and is truly a well layered, fiction novel that could fit in many genres.  It made me feel like I was on an archeological adventure, where under each layer of dirt and rock you clear, you see more of the story of human life in the past.  That is exactly what you are doing as you watch Lucy clear the trash from Marva’s house to uncover the true treasures from Marva’s life, both the tangible ones and the emotional treasures as well.

Rating…R…due to the language and sexual situations in the story.

Copy Provided by: Publisher…Thank you!

 

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Dear Lord, Can We Please Have 48 Hour Days?

I always have to keep this in my mind and heart to keep me throughout each day.

There never seems to be enough time to get everything done, and I’m always making lists, whether mentally or on paper, of what I need to get done.  I could use a  few 48 hour days to get things done.  My day usually starts out with getting up by 9 at the latest, usually though nearer 8 in the morning.  I have to call Jk to go get what I need so I can take my meds.  Because of this Jk usually cooks breakfast for us now.  Then it is a matter of waiting for the meds to kick in so that I can move around with minimal pain and swelling in my back and legs.  Once that kicks in my day officially begins.  First we tackle Jk’s schooling, This takes up anywhere from just the morning time, to up until my husband gets home from work, depending on how Jk is approaching her schoolwork.  Yes, she like every other child has her good and bad days.  Because of her dyslexia we have days of frustration, and days when everything seems to click just right.  On her bad days we don’t get anything else done.  On the good days she works quick and that usually leaves me the afternoon.  We usually sneak lunch in somewhere along the way. On those good days I play catch up on things I need to get done.

Today was one of those days.  I got 3 chapters read in a book that I nned to finish and review.  I also cut out 2 shirts to sew for my husband, and 4 “Selena Gomez”-style shirts to sew for Jk.  That pretty much took up the afternoon for me, because I don’t use a pattern and have to lean over my bed to lay them out and cut them. I finished about 20 minutes before my husband got home, and had to take more meds for my pain and laid down.  I decided while Jk thawed the hamburger out for dinner (Shepherd’s Pie), I would get a little blog in while I wait for my meds to kick in again.  After that I’ll go down stairs, and cook dinner.  All this time today I’m also doing laundry, and folding clothes, washing the bedding from my bed, because my husband likes to eat snacks in bed…you know those midnight type of full meals that most men call snacks. Then he wonders how crumbs get in his side of the sheets…imagine that?!  So I decided to get them done so he could start the process of covering them with crumbs once again.  I now have them in the dryer and the last load of laundry in the washer, and feel like I have done pretty good for the day,. even if I still have to cook, fold clothes and make the bed.

Even with this I still have so much more to do, and could really use a few 48 hour pain-free days to do it in.  There is still parts of the house to clean, things to sew, over 30 books I need to read and review, awards to blog, mending, and so much more to do.  But I know when my back and legs have reached their limit and today they have.  Once dinner is done, the bed is made and the clothes are finished being folded and put up, I will consign myself to doing things that I can work on while sitting in bed, like reading, blogging, catching up on emails, facebook, and other sites that deal with my book reviewing.  I will probably stop around 1 a.m., and try to get a few hours sleep before starting the whole process over tomorrow…always feeling at the end of the day like I haven’t been able to get enough done, and wishing that tomorrow would be another day where I have enough freedom from pain to do a little more than I did today.  That is why part of my daily prayers to the Lord always seems to be…”Dear Lord, Can we please have 48 hour days?”  More hours to get things done that need to be done.  More hours to depend on God to help me through, and more of a chance to live each day to the fullest.  More hours in the day to thank the Lord for his love, help, and strength, that helps me get through each day. 

 

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Fifty Shades of Gray Articles…IMPORTANT!

The link is to articles about the book “Fifty Shades of Gray” that has jumped to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List, and is being made into a movie.  Warning…Do not read these articles in front of children unless you are ready to answer questions about sin and sex!  I’ve heard a lot of excitement over this book, even saw postings from friends on Facebook that were reading it, and one that now irritates my soul where a teenager girl was starting to read it.  I didn’t know what it was about, but had a nudging in my soul that something about it wasn’t right.  I thought maybe it was horror fiction, which I don’t like, or paranormal fiction, which I also don’t like to read.  But it is worse than even these!  I’ve mentioned before that I do book reviews for Radiant Lit.com, and was happy to see that Lori Twitchell and Jill Hart had posted articles about this book, one from a reviewer perspective and one from a Christian perspective.  Knowing these women as Christian professionals working in the Publishing Field, and as mothers too, I wanted to hear what they had to say about “Fifty Shades of Gray”, and if it would explain the eerie feeling I had every time I heard this book mentioned, and it did.  I hope you will take a moment to read these articles before considering reading the book yourself, and if you are a parent I pray you don’t let you child, tween, or teen read the book at all, no matter how much they beg or make it seem innocent.  It isn’t innocent at all, and from what I can see “Fifty Shades of Gray” is no more than a Satanic work of pornography being pushed on people as good and decent fiction.  I personally see this book as a way for Satan to get a foothold into the reader’s life.  Here is the link to the articles…

Fifty Shades of Jill and Lori…..

 

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Heroes for My Daughter…By: Brad Meltzer

Heroes for My Daughter…By: Brad Meltzer

Genre:  Inspirational Non-Fiction

Reviewed by:  Bonita L. Ledzius

Reviewed on:  June 12, 2012

Publisher:  Harper Collins

Published in: 2012

Did you know that Marie Curie didn’t stop working on her research even after contracting radiation from her research?  Did you know that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once visited a tent city for veterans of the military to check on their condition…on her own?  How about Golda Meir, past Prime Minister of Israel?  Did you know that she was one of eight children and that she was also one of the only three to survive?  These are just three of the many facts that Brad Meltzer shares about the people he feels should be heroes for his daughter.  “Heroes for My Daughter” is over-flowing with many amazing facts and reasons for the heroes Meltzer picked to be heroes.  Some are facts that are taught in school, but many are facts that are not taught but should be.

I confess I’m a fan of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded show, but knowing that I wasn’t sure this book would be that good.  Often we tell people…”Stick to what you know best!”  After reading this book, I have to say that I’m glad Meltzer didn’t stick to what he knew best!  I am glad that he used his amazing ability to dig for the truth to uncover some equally amazing facts about the myriad of people in this book.  From the letter to his daughter in the beginning of the book, to the last page I was emotionally bound to the “Heroes For My Daughter”.  I was excited about sharing this book with my youngest daughter, but found that I loved it just as much as she did.  There are facts in this book, that I had never learned in school, and even recent stories about women I had never heard of who are true heroes.

I wouldn’t just recommend this for young girls, but for both parents as well, and also for single adult women who need heroes to look up to and pattern their lives after.  I may not agree with all of the people Brad Meltzer chose as heroes, but even on these few he have excellent reasons as to why they should be heroes. Meltzer chose heroes that were achievers who looked pass each of their successes to their next challenge. Some of the heroes he chose showed great compassion, or great perseverance, showing that it is important to overcome adversity, or help others overcome their adversity.  All in all, I loved Meltzer’s perspective on each hero, and on his reason for writing the the book. Our daughters need to have heroes who show moral fortitude, and perseverance and grace under pressure.  This is a must read book and should be added to every school library!

Rating…G…This is a great read on your own, but is also a good one for parents to read to their young children.

Copy provided by:  Publisher…Thank you!

 

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Lady Anne’s Quest…By:Susan Page Davis

Lady Anne’s Quest

By:  Susan Page Davis

Genre:  Christian Romance

Reviewed by:  Bonita L. Ledzius

Reviewed on:  May 6, 2012

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Publication date:  2012

Reviewed for : Radiant Lit.com

Anne Stone has crossed the Atlantic, and all the way across the American Frontier to the Oregon Territory, looking for David Stone, the last living brother of her late father,  the Earl of Stoneford.  She had spurned the affections of fellow traveler, Dan Stone, but now, so close to the end of her journey, Annd found that she may need his help and protection more than she ever thought she would.  Having kept her real identity as Lady Stone, and her real reason for the trip a secret so that she would not be treated special by her fellow travelers, but also for her safety, Anne had been able to travel without many problems so far.  Yet, more than one person is out to get the inheritance that rightfully belongs to her uncle, and to continue the journey to find her uncle on her own would be too dangerous.  Will trusting Dan to go with her to find her uncle, leave him with the idea that she was interested in a relationship with him?  Was her uncle still alive, or had he become the victim of foul play?

Dan Adams had begun his journey across country to settle in Oregon with his brother, Hector, and become a farmer, but when he met Anne Stone, a young English woman also from the wagon train everything changed.  He fell in love with her right from the first moment, and hoped by the time they reached Oregon Anne would consent to be his wife and settle in Oregon with him.  Anne was friendly to Dan, but his hopes were dashed when she spurned his offer.  Now that they had reached Oregon, Dan decided to continue with the wagon train in hopes that Anne will change her mind once she finds her uncle.  Little did Dan know that the last part of Anne’s journey would be the most dangerous, and when she would need him most, especially with some mysterious person bent on sabotaging their trip.  Would Anne ever except Dan’s offer of marriage?  Who had twisted up their tack for the horses more than once, and cut the bridge that would get them over the river and on to Anne’s uncle’s mining camp?  How much danger were they really in?

To read more of this review go to…http://radiantlit.com/2012/06/review-lady-annes-quest/

 

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Hugs and Kisses, God From Kids Around the World…By: Allia Zobel Nolan…Book Review

Hugs and Kisses, God…From Kids Around the World

By: Allia Zobel Nolan

Genre:  Christian Children’s Book

Reviewed by:  Bonita L. Ledzius

Reviewed on:  April 23, 2012

Publisher:  Zonderkidz/Zondervans Publishing

Publication date:  2011

Thanking God can happen anytime, anywhere, and by yourself or with other people.  The children in “Hugs and Kisses” remind us that we should always be thankful, and that there are many ways to show our thankfulness to God.  From kneeling at our bedside to showing kindness to others, we can be a vessel of praise daily to our Heavenly Father.  Through the poetry and pictures every child who reads, or is read “Hugs and Kisses, God” will be given a treasure that will help them face their future with much more joy…a heart of gratefulness and praise.

The simplicity of the poetic message that Allia Zobel Nobel wrote for this book is wonderful, and will be simple for the beginning reader, and for the baby and toddler listening to understand.  The artwork of Miki Sakamoto is cute and colorful, and will hold the child’s attention easily.  The message is important and expressed in a way that any child would understand, and remember.  It encourages thankfulness in the family and with the family, and I believe it will truly become a family bedtime classic for children.

“Hugs and Kisses, God…From Kids Around the World” is a wonderful book, and a amazing reminder of all the blessings God daily gives us and that we should be thankful for them.  The “Lift-the-flap” style of the book will keep your child entertained, and adds a wonderful surprise extension of the picture and message of each page.  This book should open communication between you and your child on what they are thankful for, or for you to point out things that your child and your family should be thankful for.  I’m thankful to God for giving Allia Zobel Nolan the talent and idea to create this book for our children.

Rating:  G…Perfect for any child, or person, any age.

Copy provided by: Author…Thank you very much!

To see more books by Allia Zobel Nolan check out these sites…

http://theworrywartsprayerbook.wordpress.com/

http://alliazobelnolan.com/main.php

 

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