Monday, February 28, 2011

A Must-Read

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen is one of the best Christian fiction books I have ever read! I purchased this as soon as it came out on my Amazon Kindle. I do not regret buying it. I enjoyed it immensely, as I have all her other books.

"Mariah Aubrey lives in seclusion in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant by writing novels in secret, at a time when novel writing was considered improper and unladylike. When wealthy and ambitious Captain Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. Will he risk his plans—and his heart—for a woman shadowed by scandal?"

I read this book in one day, I could not put it down. The characters were easy to relate to and the romance was believable. It was a delight to watch the characters develop and see them grow in their relationships with God and each other. I also enjoyed the references to Jane Austen and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Any fan of historical fiction would love this novel.

Here is the link to read the first chapter from

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Better Than Expected- 3.5 Stars

Here is the synopsis for Kristen Heitzmann's novel "Indivisble."
"Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety. But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness. From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone."

I have tried and failed many times to enjoy Kristen Heitzmann's novels, so I was not expecting to enjoy her newest novel, "Indivisible." I received this book free for review from the Blogging for Books program from Multnomah Publishers. Some of the things I look for in a Christian novel are characters I can connect with and a realistic view of Christianity. I do not enjoy long sermons or overdone, sappy Christianity. This novel did relatively well at addressing those issues.

The main characters, Jonah, Piper, and Tia are true to life, like-able characters. The issues they deal with are things many of us deal with such as past errors, learning from poor decisions, moving ahead towards goals, forming deep relationships, and practically living out Christianity. Their struggles are what redeemed this slightly odd book. I found myself wanting to know more about them and cheering them on in their goals. I was truly interested in watching them heal from their shattered pasts.

Also, the Christianity portrayed in the lives of the characters was not contrived. The three main characters were believers and struggled to understand the grace of God in dealing with their mistakes. They learned to rely on others and to accept the support of members of their local churches.

The only thing that detracted from the story was that of the ending. It seemed far-fetched a little disjointed. However, the story of the relationships between the main characters made it worth it.

Here is a link to watch the book trailer on YouTube:

Here is a link to the first chapter on Amazon: