I have been given the opportunity to do some reviews on some books from a few different publishers. Some of them do not quite fit into the focus I have for Living Infuzion, but obviously have some good information. Here are some of my perspectives on some pretty good books! Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tough Guys and Drama Queens by Mark Gregston

I can remember when I was in my teen years and on weekdays it was time to get ready for school.  My mom would come into my room and turn on the lights and open the windows to let the light in.  It would always disturb me enough to wake me up.  That is the same kind of feeling that I got in reading the book “Tough Guys and Drama Queens” by Mark Gregston.

As a parent with a son on the verge of coming into the ‘Tween years, I read this book at just the right time.  It should serve as a wake-up call to all parents.  The thinking of young people and how the culture teaches them to think has changed.  It really is our responsibility of us as parents to lead our kids, and teach them… not try to be their friend too.

Gregston creates an analogy about a young person learning to play baseball.  They stand at the plate with their bat in hand over their shoulder.  One would expect the first pitch to be something mild, and controlled… something experience appropriate.  Instead the first pitch consists of several baseballs flying at their head.  The young person is left swinging desperately at the targets, and is left confused and frustrated. 

The book draws on several stories of young people from Gregston’s experience as a counsellor and focuses on some key areas.  They are (1) What’s So Different About Today’s Culture?  (2) Parenting Practices to Avoid (3) Parenting Practices That Really Work.

In the first section Gregston goes through some of the major differences that he has observed.  He talks about how there is an overexposure to everything, how young people have increased communication, but are more disconnected than ever.  He also discusses their changing world from divorced parents, and shifts in relationships, and how this lack of stability can impact them in their development.

Section two focuses on some of the things that parents may do to try to force their young person into doing the right thing, while Section three focuses on an offshoot from earlier in the book.  Parents need to help their young person begin to make decisions that are correct, but help them get there with their own reasoning.  

This was such a great book, and really should be part of a training manual for parents. 
I was provided a copy for review by BookSneeze.  I was free to review the book as I saw it.   

Monday, September 3, 2012

Whispers in the Wind - Lauraine Snelling

"After fleeing North Dakota and the now defunct Wild West Show, Cassie Lockwood and her companions have finally found the hidden valley in South Dakota where her father had dreamed of putting down roots. But to her dismay, she discovers a ranch already built on her land.  Cassie's arrival surprises Mavis Engstrom and forces her to reveal secrets she's kept hidden for years. Her son Ransom is suspicious of Cassie and questions the validity of her claim to the valley. But younger son Lucas decides from the start that he is in love with her and wants to marry her.  Will Cassie be able to build a home on the Bar E Ranch and fulfill her father's dream of raising horses, or will she be forced to return to the itinerant life of her past?" (Publisher's description)

This is my first novel by Lauraine Snelling and I was not disappointed.  I didn't realize until I got it that it was the second book in the Wild Wild West series, so I was a little apprehensive that I would be completely lost.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Mrs. Snelling did an amazing job at having enough clues about what had occurred in the previous novel that I did not feel lost at all.  I loved the strength that Cassie has.  I also enjoyed the mentoring relationship that Cassie had with Mavis.  I will definitely be going to my local christian bookstore to pick up the first book so I can see where the whole story of Cassie began!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. 

Mary Magdalene - Diana Wallis Taylor

One woman desperate for hope. One Savior with the power to heal.  A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.  Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing? (publisher's description)

This book was easy to read because it was incredibly impossible to put down. The story of Mary Magdalene is beautifully woven and draws the reader completely in.  For me it brought so many things that I have read in the bible to life.   Some of my favorite parts of the book were the interactions Mary had with Jesus when she was healed and when she was the first to see Him at the tomb. I highly recommend this book for everyone who loves biblical fiction but I would advise to have a box of Kleenex on hand!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To Love and Cherish - Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

"Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid.  Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda--but not until he's sure he can support her and a family.  Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.  But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?" (Publisher's Description)

This is the second book in the Bridal Veil series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed reading this book.  Melinda is impatient and impetuous and often acts before thinking things completely through.  Evan is more practical, desiring to be able to provide for them before asking Melinda to marry him.  There are also a few other subplots that add a fullness to a wonderfully written story.  The descriptions of the island were so captivating that I could almost picture it.  I cannot wait for the final book in the series!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".