Friday, June 15, 2012

Something new ... a book review!

It's always fun to do something new. To bring a new dimension to something familiar. That being said, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be adding a fresh new angle to my blog. Though I've written a few CD and book reviews in the past, I've generally posted them to sites with a need for that specific content, such as and, leaving my blog mostly for devotionals.

 Recently, however, I've joined a team of book reviewers for a couple of major blog tours coming up this year. I'll be reviewing several hot-off-the-presses novels from notable Christian authors Gilbert Morris and Davis Bunn. I'll give you the gist of the story, along with spiritual lessons and sneak-peeks of golden truth that you can walk away with at the end of the book. Get ready!

My first review, scheduled for early July, will be on Gilbert Morris' new novel The River Rose. As this is the second book in his Water Wheel series, I decided to read The River Queen first, though each book in the series is meant as a stand-alone. You can read my review of The River Queen below:

“I want to look pretty, I want to have fun, I want to dance. I might even meet some exciting new people!”

 Thus are the words of the fiery Julienne Ashby whose flaming red-gold locks match her haywire temper and headstrong rebellious air. Spoiled by the life of frills and social calls and glamorous living that sprouts from her family’s aristocratic status in the community, Julienne hasn’t a care in the world other than the angst of wondering what over-priced outfit she will wear for her next party.

Along with her tomboy sister who’d rather collect worms than learn geography and her partying brother who spends his days recovering from last night’s hangover, this twenty-three-year-old fashion guru of 1855 refuses to cut back on her extravagant lifestyle, despite their father’s persistent warnings that the family’s financial position is headed downstream fast.

When tragedy strikes and the Ashbys are forced to sell nearly all their possessions, Julienne is thrust into a position of family leadership, discovering untapped potential as a businesswoman and using her stubborn will to keep her family off the street.

Enter the River Queen. Now the owner of the dilapidated little steamboat, Julienne decides that the Queen is their only chance to make a living and regain their dignity.

The long-neglected steamer seems to mirror its primary owner’s soul – strong and steadfast with a potential for great beauty. If only the multiple years’ worth of muck and grime can be scrubbed away. Dallas Bronte, the steamer’s new captain and pilot sees the hidden inner beauty of both. But will Julienne’s pride cause her to turn to a less honorable man to assist her in renovating the Queen? A man who, unlike Dallas Bronte, is not motivated by a love for the Queen and its feisty owner … but simply by a desire to own them.

And will Julienne’s regard for her steamboat and its pilot move from one of frigid necessity to, perhaps, even love?

Through it all, Julienne and Dallas must learn to trust in a God whose power and love they’ve never fully acknowledged, and realize that no matter how bleak a situation, you’re never too filthy for Him to clean up.

Note: In my personal opinion, the book didn't possess the type of edge-of-your-seat, page-turning pull that I'm used to. However, it did bring back some reminiscent memories of the Mandie series, a childhood favorite of mine, as the historical setting and writing style is similar to that of Lois Gladys Leppard (minus the mystery and frequent kidnappings). But for those who enjoy a good, historical romance with a slight Pride and Prejudice feel and solid Biblical values, this book is a perfect read and should be accompanied by a cozy fireplace and a steamy cup of chamomile tea.