Monday, December 26, 2011

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

The best word to describe this book is whimsical. It's a light hearted story about 2 people who have worked together for 5 years but meet each other in a odd but fairy tale like bookstore.

Cora has no family to celebrate Christmas with. She is the only Christian in her family and there is too much drama for her to keep in touch that often. She goes into a bookstore, on Sage Street, to buy a gift for a family member and bumps into her boss, Simon.

Simon is all business when he is at work. So focused that he never noticed Cora in the 5 years she has worked just feet from his office. At home he is a funny, loving big brother and son. His father and brother died in an accident and he took on the roll of providing for his mother, grandfather and sister, who has down syndrom.

When Cora and Simon each get home with their purchases from the book store, they realize that they have received a ticket to the Christmas Ball, one that they have never heard of. A series of events bring Cora and Simon to become friends. But will they become more? When Cora's sister, who has a trail of bad reputation that follows her shows up at her door, she may ruin everything. With the Christmas ball coming up, will the magic of Sage Street keep the Christmas Spirit alive.

This story is more whimsical that I usually read. Sage Street keeps disappearing, the store owners on Sage Street use phones that aren't connect to the wall, no one has ever heard of the Christmas Ball or Sage Street when Cora and Simon talk about it. Those things add to the whimsical feeling of the story.

When I read the comments by the author, Donita K. Paul, that many people do not accept the story of Jesus because it doesn't make sense to them, this is how she wrote this story. It has scripture and a way to point to Jesus. The light hearted fun of this fiction story make is magical. The characters are cute and I even cast the characters for the movie! (I will post that below, if you read it you will have to tell me what you think of my cast!) The authors comments made me see the story a little differently. This was a cute read for the Christmas season.

Kate Hudson as Zee
Jayma Mays as Cora.
Patrick Dempsy as Simon
Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy as the sisters
Wizards as Ben Kingsley and Micheal Cain
The photographer, C'Maine - Dustin Hoffman

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingbury in one book, Dandelion Dust, quickly became one of my top favorite authors! Oceans Apart does not disappoint. There were tears and happiness!

Kiahna has raised her seven year old son as a single mother. The only other person she has relied on is Ramey, an elderly woman who used to have a childcare. When Ramey was no longer able to care for so many children Max, Kiahna's son, is the only child she kept watching. They were like family.

Kiahna had been a flight attendant for over seven years, working hard to support her son. One day Kiahna and her son's worst fear happens when Kiahna's plane crashes in the ocean. Ramey is the sole person to take care of Max. Kiahna never spoke about Max's father until now. In Kiahna's will she left instructions for Max to go live with his dad for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks he could decide to keep his son or make him a ward of the state.

Connor Evans has been a Captain for an airline for years. He has 2 daughters and his marriage is as strong as ever. But a mistake from his past is about to be revealed. He had an affair 8 years ago. When a call from Kiahna's attorney calls regarding her will, he discovers that he has a son that he never knew about. Now, Connor must decide to keep his mistake a secret and never tell his wife, which would mean Max would go as ward of the state. Or Connor could agree to take Max in "as a friend of his mom's" for 2 weeks and decide if he wants to adopt him at the end of those 2 weeks.

Connor has never told his wife about the affair, what would that do to his wife and family?

This story is so touching. You must read to find out what happens! Bring your kleenex!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

Lost December is a novel version of the prodigal son.

Luke Crisp grew up under his father, the CEO and co-founder of Crisp Copy Centers. One day his father suggests that he go to get his M.B.A., see another side of the world, away from Crisp Copy, where he grew up. Then he won't have any regrets and can decide if he will one day want to take over the company. Luke isn't thrilled with the idea but decides he will go ahead on a new adventure.

As the years go by Luke gets involved in the Whantan 7 (a name their group of friends gave themselves). Luke does things he would never have done before, he becomes very distant from his father and when graduation comes, there is a tragedy which makes Luke decide to go home and tell his father he has decided to not take over the business. In fact he is going to take his money and with his friends travel through Europe.

His friends quickly rely on Luke for money to support their lavish living, fine dining, exquisite hotels and gambling. When one day the money runs out. You can imagine what happens next.

I rated this book a 3 star. It's not the intense reading that I'm used to but the storyline is good. Since it is the prodigal son, we all know the story. But being that it's a modern day story, it definitely relates to today and how we think things would make us happy today. This story teaches us to be thankful.

Throughout the book, Luke has different lines from his journal. One was; if you have something to eat, a roof overhead and clean water, you should be most grateful-you number among the world's most blessed! So true!

Another thing I learned was that prodigal really doesn't mean "lost" or "wayward". Prodigal is not referring to the son, it refers to the father. The prodigal son. Read the book and see what I mean!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This is the 2nd book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I read the first book, The Hunger Games, a few months ago and had a hard time with the thought of kids being killed. I did like the writing and got attached to the characters so I wanted to read the rest of the series to see how I like the rest of it.

Warning: Below contains spoilers from the first book...if you don't want to know what happens in book 1, you may not want to read!

I am glad so glad that I continued to read this series. The 2nd book is better than the first! It continues on after Catniss, the main character, wins the hunger games in the first book.

The hunger games have been going on for 75 years. Each year they pick 2 children, one boy and one girl from the 12 districts to pin them against each other in a man made arena to kill each other off. The games were created to discourage those districts to never rise up again against the Capital. Now they are "celebrating" 75 years of the Hunger Games, call; Quarter Quell. These games have a new twist and the games continue! There is unease in the districts and now Catniss is at the center of it all.

I am actually so bummed that I have to wait for the 3rd book. It ends leaving you on the edge! I am getting into this story! If you can read the first book and then digest it afterwards it is easier to get into it. It's hard to say that I would recommend anyone to read the first book but I would now in order to read the entire story! Just make sure you give the series a chance! I'm glad I didn't quit at book one. We'll see what happens with the 3rd and last one, Mocking Jay!