Monday, February 17, 2014

#70 Taken for English by Oliva Newport

Ruth and Analise are friends, but they are at opposite ends of the Amish community near Westcliffe, Colorado. Analise is just joining the Amish Church, having given up her "English" life. Ruth on the other hand has chosen not to join the church so that she may continue her training as a nurse. There are fires threatening the community and Ruth has a chance meeting with a volunteer firefighter that seems destined to make her life even more complicated. Analise feels drawn to help a rebellious Amish girl seemingly bent on putting herself in danger.
Set against these modern day dramas, we get a look at another town town circa 1892 as danger and violence threaten the town's peace and future. Sheriff Byler tries to stop a feud between the Twigs and the Dentons in Gassville, Arkansas as Joseph Beiler and Zeke Berkey arrive looking  for a spot for a new Amish settlement. and Joseph finds himself attracted to an English woman in town Maura Woodley.
The two stories lead us through the junction of English and Amish in both time periods.
Jumping back and forth between the stories can be a bit disconcerting, but both stories are well worth the journey!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

#69 The Workhouse Girl by Dilly Court
Sarah Scrase found herself in the workhouse, alone and terrified. Beaten and terrorized by Mister Trigg and his wife. Power hungry and cruel they enjoyed seeing the small children cower. They call Sarah the Devils daughter.  She and her protector, scrappy Nettie Bean escape the workhouse thanks to a goodhearted mill owner.  But the Triggs will continue to haunt her and those she cares for in ways she could never imagine for the next many years to come.
Sarah doesn't fear hard work, and when by circumstances she ends up in a dreary Marsh, living with and learning from a woman known as a witch by the nearby townsfolk, she learns to adjust and comes to love the queer but goodhearted woman.
A wonderful tale full of twists and turns and filled with the unexpected. You won't want to put it down as you find yourself drawn into the sights, sounds and smells of 1800's England. A great read for a dreary winter day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

#68 The Answer to Bad Religon Is Not No Religon by Martin Thielen
Every Minister, Pastor and Priest should read this book! It clearly and concisely addresses the problem of "Gorilla Religion" in America today. The negative, judgmental and hostile type of religion that is more interested in keeping the "wrong people" out of their churches and loudly telling them why they are surely going to Hell. The Author clearly covers what the problem is, what it is not and how to fix the problem. I found him to be a wonderful story teller with thoughtful insights and a clear vision on how to fix this issue that is destroying religion in the U.S. today. The "Nones" are people who say they identify themselves with no religion. The nones used to be only 6% of the population. Now they are 20% and growing. Why? Because Americans have been so wounded, so damaged and so repulsed by bad religion, the nones feel No Religion is better than Bad Religion!
I was so overjoyed to hear someone say what I had been thinking for the last few years, that I read it straight through in one sitting. This is a road map of how to get us back to what Christianity was meant to be.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#67 The Rockin' Chair by Steve Manchester

Alice was drifting...farther away every day. John held on to what she had been and tried to ease her days as the confusion stole away the woman he loved and had loved for so many years. It was time for the grandchildren to come home.
As the time grew short, his pain was overwhelming. Then at her funeral he felt her poke...insistent, and he knew. John set out to heal the wounds of his family. They may all be broken, his fault as much as any of theirs, but he would set them on the road to healing, and heal himself in the process.  This is a story that is painful to read at times, with pain raw and real, but also with Joy, forgiveness and redemption. A journey well worth being undertaken.

#66 The third Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
What can I say, I have devoured another book of the fascinating detective Tensing Norbu. In this one he struggles with relationships, secrets, and his own darker side. An enemy thought Dead, is alive!  Between a luxurious Quinceanera celebration to illegal organ transplants to the next Tea Party candidate for Governor. It is in all ways another rule of Ten. If Ten were to show up at my door, I know I could spend many hours in deep conversation while we consider how to change the world, which of course starts with changing ones self. So Center yourself, breath with intention and dive into the World of Ten!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

# 65 The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay
If formulaic main characters, bore you. If reading the same old stories frustrates you. You MUST read this book and those that follow after in this series! Tenzing Norbu is like no detective you have ever encountered. The way he thinks, moves and acts have little in common with most detectives and this book has little in common with most mystery novels.
This is the story of how he got started, where he comes from and why he is like he is. The son of a drunk Parisian mother and a Tibetan monk father, he truly has a foot in each world like few ever will. 
You will see how spending time in the monastery with his critical father nurtures his self doubt while it feeds his ability to focus and control himself. How spending time in Paris with his dependent mother nurtures the rescuer and self reliant side of himself. Tenzing is just a boy, and learns many painful truths about life and about himself. This story is the beginning.

The best laid plans and so forth

This Fall and Winter have been tough, with Family crises and deaths, illness and injury. But now all is if not well, at least under control. So I apologize for the huge gape in reviews, and will try to get back on track! Thank you for your indulgence.