Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chasing Mona Lisa

My Review:

Loved, loved, loved this book. 

Set in WWII Paris, this book is a fast-paced novel that follows the painting "Mona Lisa" around as it passes between people who are trying to save the artwork from the wrong hands and those trying to steal it for their own passions.  I loved the character development, the setting details (particularly because I was raised in Europe and just visited Paris this past summer) and the action that just never seemed to quit. 

Between the battles of Hitler's army and Paris's Resistance...between good and evil...between those who want to do good but are stuck in a negative situation...I truly felt on the edge of my seat thru the entire book.  In fact, on the nights I read before I fell asleep, I spent the whole night in dreams where I was caught in the midst of action-packed dreams! :)

Because I love European history and great stories, I give this book a two thumbs up and am going to go back and read the prequel to this story.

Cover Information:
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get readers' adrenaline pumping as they join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh country chateau, the race is on--and the runners are playing for keeps.
Read an excerpt, watch a video and find out more here. http://www.triciagoyer.com/historicalfiction.html#ChasingMonaLisa

Giveaway Information:

Chasing Mona Lisa is the continuing tale of Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler (first introduced in book one in this stand alone series, The Swiss Courier). This time they are on a relentless quest to save the most famous painting in the world - the Mona Lisa. You can help Gabi and Eric with your very own spy pack when you enter The Chasing Mona Lisa Giveaway!
One passionate protector will receive:
iTouch (The must-have device for any spy. Camera, Maps & Music.)
Starbucks Gift Card (For all those late nights.)
Moleskin Notebook (For those important notes.)
Invisible Ink Pen (Don’t want anyone reading those important notes.)
Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (Great handbook and intriguing tale for any spy-in-training!)
Enter today by clicking here. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on January 31st. Winner will be announced at Chasing Mona Lisa Facebook Party on 1/31. Tricia and Mike will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from Tricia's website) and giving away copies of Chasing Mona Lisa and The Swiss Courier and a book club prize pack (10 copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Tricia and Mike).
So grab your copy of Chasing Mona Lisa and join Tricia and Mike on the evening of the 31st for an author chat, spy training (How much do you know about WWII?) and lots of giveaways.   Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 31st!
Still Reading...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fierce Beauty

As I was finishing up this new non-fiction by Kim Meeder, I ran across this video and thought "what better way to show what this book is all about???"...so please watch this video and then see my review below :)

My Review:
Kim has lived an amazing life, full of daring mountain climbs and painful memories...and as she opens up her heart for all of us to see, she points out that we are to remember that we are made in His image...for His glory and delight.  We don't have to conform to the world's standards and cat calls of what beuaty is (weight, style, new gadgets, best hair, etc) ...in fact, we have to do the opposite: we have to fight back and bury ourselves in a relationship with God.
I loved her ability to tell a story, her wisdom to find Truth in the places in her life that were hard to live and willingness to share of herself to guide me to look up!

Cover Details:
True beauty is not about how you look…but how you live.
Women are constantly bombarded with the lie that how we look is far more important than who we are. It’s time for a clarion call back to the truth.
Journey with gifted storyteller Kim Meeder as she encourages women to see that true value is defined by our Creator and that our worth has a purpose of eternal proportions.
Real beauty isn’t a look, it’s an action. It can be found by making one crucial, life-defining choice—to lay down personal ambitions and selfish desires, pick up your sword of encouragement, and fight for those who are losing their battle for hope. As you do, fierce beauty is revealed—along with lasting value, fulfillment, and joy.
In Fierce Beauty, Kim shares inspiring true stories from her own life of adventure, love, and loss—including her parents’ shocking death when she was nine years old and her struggles with self acceptance, knowing God, and standing for Him. Through it all, you’ll discover life lessons about trust, transformation, surrender, forgiveness, and genuine purpose.
Ultimately, life comes down to one question: Will you serve yourself or your King?

**WaterBrook Multnomah provided me this book for review purposes & is allowing me to keep this title once finished. I get no other compensation...other than the chance to fill my heart and soul with an excellent read. :) **

Still Reading...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mrs. Perfect

My Review:
I first discovered Jane Porter years ago when I happened across her book "The Frog Prince" in our library.  It made me laugh out loud so I didn't hesitate when I saw this novel of hers on deal (Christmas bookstore giftcards are amazing!!).

This is the story of Taylor Young...a woman who reminds me a little of the women we see on all the Real Housewives shows.  She is perfect...in everything thing she does...on the outside.  But on the inside, where the prying eyes of the perfect neighborhood can't see, she struggles as much as any other woman (including the RHs set) with our own past and insecurities.  So when she finds out that much of what she was trusting in was a lie, she is forced to figure out who Taylor Young really is.

I was very aware of the reality that we live in, where what you own and how you look is what defines so many in the world today...every commercial we see is about weight loss, new cars and upgraded technology these days. But as the "stuff" faded away, I related to the woman who had to realize what was really important.  As I watch her let go of the "fake" to embrace the real, I am convicted of the areas where even I get too wrapped up in the "non-important" in life.  While the ending runs a a bit on the predictable end...I actually found myself rooting for Taylor to get all that I think she deserved.

Cover Information:
As a young California girl growing up in a blue collar neighborhood, Taylor Young dreamed of being popular, beautiful, and acquiring a wardrobe to die for. Not to mention marrying a handsome, successful man and living happily ever after in a gorgeous house with three wonderful children. Now, at 36, Taylor has reached the pinnacle of her dreams, but is it all about to unravel? As the new school year approaches, Taylor prepares herself for playing the perfect alpha mom: organizing class activities, fund-raising, and chairing the school auction.
But the horror!
Her archrival, bohemian mom Marta Zinsser, is named Head Room Mom of Taylor's daughter's fifth grade class.
As tensions rise at committee meetings and school activities, the two rivals seem to be destined for a final confrontation. But as Taylor plans her next move, she is floored by a more serious blow at home-her husband has been secretly unemployed for the past six months. With her posh lifestyle crumbling, Taylor struggles to maintain her alpha image-but could Marta, who cares little about appearances, be her only true friend?

My only caution that this is not a Christian Fiction book...and while it is not a "romance novel", it does contain a bit of cursing and references to sex.

Still Reading...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Road Trip

My Review:

When this sleek little book showed up in the mail, I gotta admit that I found myself taken in simply from the cover photo...but as I cracked open the cover to begin reading, I didn't put it down until I was finished with the whole book.

Written from the perspective of a fictional character named Liz, this book lays out the gospel in an easy-to-read-and-understand way that leaves you thinking, laughing and grabbing your Bible to re-look at things you thought you knew already.  I loved that Liz spoke to God the way she did because that is my relationship with Him in a nut-shell...constant chatter, willing to say exactly what we think about what He is asking us to do but always with the tone of a close relationship that knows its boundaries.  He takes Liz on a tour of the human condition with stops in places like "Comfort Zone", the garden of the heart and the place where we decide if we want to listen to the lies or reach out for Truth.

If anyone has read "The Shack"...then I would say that this is a similar type book, but much simpler format and story line.   At just over 150 pages, it is a short and sweet read that I would recommend for anyone wanting to understand just what Jesus is all about...and I am actually planning to pass this one along to each of my kids to read, to open dialogue and answer their questions.

Cover Information:
Liz always felt God beside her, but she never thought she would be in His passenger seat! In this humorous, heartfelt adventure story, God invites an ordinary woman to travel with him on a life-changing road trip. Along the way, they encounter fantastic beings, heavenly houses and extraordinary communities that Liz could never have imagined. But this is no vacation. Liz soon realized there was a lot she didn't understand about God, the world and her role as a Christian. God has a lot to teach Liz, and underneath all the whimsy is a deeper spiritual message with real-life applications. Will she be able to comprehend all this new wisdom – and will she have the courage to accept the challenging mission God charges her with? Buckle up and join God and Liz on the journey of a lifetime.

For more information about ordering or about the author, you can click here: The Road Trip to learn more.
I was provided a copy of The Road Trip by Shelton Interactive for the sole purpose of a review.  All opinions expressed in this post are my own and no other compensation was given for this review.
Still Reading...