Tag Archives: Angela Hunt

Top 10 Tuesday — Books I Should Have Read in 2017

9 Jan

So many books, so little time . . . . That should have been my motto in 2017. Like a child who fills her plate with more than she can eat, I filled my bookshelves with more books than I could read. Am I complaining? Not really. I am a cock-eyed optimist when it comes to books — I am sure that I will one day get all the books stacked around my home read. But for now I give you the Top 10 Books I Didn’t Read in 2017. This is a list of my reading regrets. And I intend to get them read soon. Which one should I start with first?

For other bloggers’ reading regrets, head over to The Broke And The Bookish.

 

Top 10 Books I Didn’t Read in 2017

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

The Legacy by Michael Phillips 

Mark of The King by Jocelyn Green

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Which book should I read first?

 

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Top 10 Tuesday — Literary Settings

5 Dec

 

Oh the places you’ll go . .  . when you are in a book! This week the folks at The Broke And Bookish are talking settings. You can travel just about anywhere without leaving your chair, which comes in handy if you are short of money, or the place you want to go requires a time capsule or a space ship! Want to know where other bloggers have been traveling? Click HERE. Bon voyage!

Top 10 Book Settings

I’ve been to lots of places thanks to a book — mountains, jungles, Merry Olde England, the Middle East  . . . . You name it, I’ve probably been there. But that would mean this post ought to be titled Top 1000s of Book Settings. In order to fit within the theme’s parameters, I have chosen 10 beautiful and/or unique settings that I have encountered in my reading this year — settings that made reading a deeper experience. I’ve included both contemporary and historical novels that showed me a different world or a destination that’s fit for a bucket list. Hope you enjoy the trip!

 

East Africa — Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Early 1900s Appalachia — Christy by Catherine Marshall

Arizona Back Country — Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll

Ancient Israel — Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt

California Wine Country — The Memory of You by Catherine West

Victorian England — A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

Mount Ranier, Washington — The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

The Oregon Coast — Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Apartheid-era South Africa — Child of The River by Irma Joubert

Sudan — Door to Freedom by Jana Kelley

 

Where do you want to travel in your next book?

Book Review: Invitation

2 Nov

Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In The Call by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. Frank Peretti’s The Haunted confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s The Sentinels, animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. The Girl by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent–apparently not of this world — and something wants to kill her.

Bill Myers is an American Christian author, film director and film producer. He was born in Seattle, Washington on September 9, 1953.

Myers is most notable for the animated series The Adventures of McGee and Me. He is an author of books from many genres, including comedy, horror, thriller, fiction, and non-fiction. He has written over 80 books.

Frank Peretti is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and Piercing the Darkness (1989). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God, and formerly played the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. He now lives in Coeur d’Alene Idaho with his wife, Barbara.

Angela Elwell Hunt is a prolific Christian author, and her books include The Tale of Three Trees, The Debt, The Note, and The Nativity Story, among others.

Alton Gansky is an American novelist in the Christian fiction genre. He has written 6 non-fiction books and 23 novels, three of which were co-authored with former Army Ranger Jeff Struecker. In 2012 Gansky and Struecker’s Fallen Angel was honored as the American Christian Fiction Writers’ “top thriller” of that year.

 

My Impressions:

I didn’t really know what to expect when I chose Invitation to read and review. Oh, I knew that the 4-novella collection was authored by some of the best authors in the field of Christian fiction, and that I have never been disappointed by anything they have written. I also knew that their writing style, characterization, and plot-development suited my reading tastes. But I didn’t know I would be led on a challenging and twisting journey that included mind-bending situations. Invitation is speculative fiction at its best. It has a unique format that suits the genre well — short, episodic novellas, changing points of view, and story lines which at first seem unrelated, but soon come together in a coherent manner. There is something weird going on, and this reader enjoyed every minute.

Each novella in the collection has a different author and the unique voice of one of the four main characters. Four very different people with strange gifts are brought together in what can only be called a supernatural way. And try as they might, they cannot keep from forming a team to investigate and somehow impact weird happenings. I loved how the authors’ collaboration brought forth a cohesive whole. This cannot possibly be easy to achieve, but they somehow managed to achieve unique stories within a consistent framework.

Evil seems to be having its way in Invitation, but there is a sense that God is at work in big ways in the world and in the lives of the main characters. I think the spiritual journey each character embarks on is my favorite part. As each challenge is met, the characters learn more about themselves and their place within a spiritual world. Each novella is wrapped up in Invitation, but the story is far from over. Invitation is just the first novella collection in this series.

Invitation is gritty and edgy; not your typical CF.  So don’t be surprised if this book takes you places you didn’t expect with characters that don’t often show up in normal novels. You just need to do what I did — sit back and let the authors take you on a trip you won’t forget.

Recommended for fans of speculative fiction.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

First Line Friday — The Halloween Edition

27 Oct

Okay, so it’s not Halloween . . . yet. But for this Friday before Halloween I wanted to share a spooky book that will get you in the mood. Invitation is a novella collection from best-selling authors Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky. All four can set a scene. All four can satisfy your craving for a supernatural suspense. So here is the first line of the second novella in the collection, The Haunted by Frank Peretti.

 

Four Bestselling Authors Team Up for Thrilling Supernatural Suspense

Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In The Call by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached. Frank Peretti’s The Haunted confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s The Sentinels, animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory. The Girl by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent — apparently not of this world — and something wants to kill her.

To purchase, click HERE.

What is the first line of the book you are reading?

 

Ready for some more first lines? Then head over to Hoarding Books to check out what other bloggers are sharing today.

Book Review: Delilah

6 Oct

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her web site at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com.

My Impressions:

Whether it’s contemporary women’s fiction or Biblical fiction, I have found all of Angela Hunt’s novels to be excellent choices. Her writing style suits me, and she always has well-developed characters. So when it came to choosing a novel for a Faith And Fiction Bible study I lead, my first choice was Delilah: Treacherous Beauty. Taking a well-known story, Hunt has created a novel with a credible backstory and a lead character more human than the evil harlot most often depicted. My group found the book highly readable, and found it caused us to re-read the Scripture — a double win for us. We rate Delilah highly recommended.

I maintain that writing Biblical fiction is extremely difficult, more so than a more typical historical novel. The writer has to maintain authenticity and keep true to scripture while creating not a dusty commentary, but an intriguing and readable book. Hunt showed she did her homework in her depiction of the culture of the time of the Judges. Her re-telling of the Biblical narrative was faithfully rendered. She didn’t limit her story to only what was going on in Judges 13-16, but included details from other contemporary scripture creating a well-rounded view of the life and times of the characters. Characterization was excellent in Delilah. The story is told from the first person viewpoints of Samson and Delilah giving insight into their motivations and feelings. Yes this book is fiction and some liberty had to be taken, but I never felt anything was inappropriate or unbelievable. As a compliment to the Bible study, Delilah really was a great choice. Even the non-readers of the group enjoyed a fresh look at the Bible. And as stated above, this novel had us double checking what we read in our Bible. We had missed or overlooked some things, that proved to be important to understanding what God was actually doing. One member of my group stated that the story we learned as children was more complex than thought. And God does show up in this novel. Hunt weaves His presence and His truth throughout the book.

For fans of Biblical fiction, Delilah is a must read. It is part of the Dangerous Beauty series, but each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

September Book Club Selections

1 Sep

Big news this month!

First, By The Book is celebrating its 15th Anniversary! Woo hoo! We will be reading a novel by South African author, Irma Joubert, titled Child of The River. I read and loved The Girl from The Train and am excited to dig into this book.

Second, Page Turners is combining Bible study and book club for the next three months in what we are calling The Faith And Fiction Study. In September we are studying the story of Samson and Delilah from Judges 13-16 and reading Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt. I am very much looking forward to this combo of my two favorite things — fiction and the Bible.

Check out both of our selections!

Persomi is young, white, and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm in the South African Bushveld. Persomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her, escaping the brutality and squalor of her family home through the newspapers and books passed down to her from the main house and through her walks in the nearby mountains.

Persomi’s close relationship with her older brother Gerbrand and her fragile friendship with Boelie Fourie—heir to the Fourie farm and fortune—are her lifeline and her only connection to the outside world. When Gerbrand leaves the farm to fight on the side of the Anglos in WWII and Boelie joins an underground network of Boer nationalists, Persomi’s isolated world is blown wide open. But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her—dreams of an education, a profession, a native country that values justice and equality, and of love. As Persomi navigates the changing world around her—the tragedies of war and the devastating racial strife of her homeland—she finally discovers who she truly is, where she belongs, and why her life — and every life — matters.

The English language publication of Child of the River solidifies Irma Joubert as a unique and powerful voice in historical fiction.

 

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

Top 10 Tuesday: Hidden Gems in Women’s Fiction

29 Aug

This week The Broke And The Bookish have challenged bloggers to come up with hidden gems in the genre of their choice. I’ve posted so much lately about mystery/suspense, that I though it was time to choose another genre. 😉 I’m not sure that the books on my list can really be categorized as hidden, but they are books that have either been out for a while and may not be on the top of most TBR piles or have not gotten the recognition they really deserve. All on my list are books that I have continued to think about long after I read them. Check them out. You will love them!

For other bloggers participating today, click HERE.

Top 10 Hidden Gems in Women’s Fiction

 

The Church Ladies by Lisa Samson

Competition for church members in Mount Oak has reached a furious peak. When tragedy strikes one of their hometown sons, the church women are drawn together through compassion. The Church Ladies is a contemporary tale illustrating how women can have a major impact on the church. Through friendships that reach beneath surface level — and trials more severe than simple — they unite with common purpose: to pray, share, and comfort. Slowly, the community of believers learns that the church grows when it is rooted in love. Characters you’ll laugh and cry with, in situations every woman will instantly relate to, light up this page-turner about a miracle that could happen anywhere.

Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt

Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather’s legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as queen . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that an unsuccessful throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home. She may not be able to sing, but she hopes to use her knowledge and experience to fashion a new life in Peculiar, the little town she left behind.

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie has never wanted to live anywhere but Sycamores. She spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she’s created on the estate, but when she meets a man haunted by his own tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

Can these sisters discover who they are meant to be when life takes an unforeseen detour? In a season of destiny, three unique women reunite and take unexpected journeys of the heart.

Invisible by Ginny Yttrup

Ellyn DeMoss — chef, café owner, and lover of butter — is hiding behind her extra weight. But what is she hiding? While Ellyn sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him

Sabina Jackson — tall, slender, and exotic — left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. What’s she hiding from? Is it God?

Twila Boaz has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, though she longs to hide, she instead follows God and fights for her own survival. But will she succeed?

As these women’s lives intertwine, their eyes open to the glory within each of them as they begin to recognize themselves as being created in God’s image.

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman 

The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon–and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life. 

Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying.
 
Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistance, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God’s presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?

The Road to Home by Vanessa Del Fabbro 

South African journalist Monica Brunetti had it all — promising career, loving family, marriage-minded boyfriend. Then a life-changing encounter landed her in a hospital bed next to gregarious Ella Nkhoma, whose wit and caring challenged Monica’s worldview. Their remarkable friendship would lead Monica far from the gated white suburbs, and toward a parting that left both women transformed — and Monica the mother of two sons.

 

 

Secrets over Sweet Tea by Denise Hildreth Jones

Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It’s a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well―a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way. As the lives of this boisterous pastor’s wife, polished news anchor, and beleaguered divorce attorney intersect in the tree-lined streets of Franklin, Tennessee, scandal threatens to topple their carefully constructed worlds. Grasping at survival, they embark on a journey of friendship and courage, desperate to find a way back to laughter, love, and life.

Seeing Things by Patti Hill 

Birdie Wainwright, 72, isn’t concerned about seeing things that others can’t. For a woman who still climbs mountains with her dog (Miss Bee Haven) and likes to tango, the impractical visions brought on by macular degeneration are just another gift from God, adding more adventure to life. But when a tumble down the stairs breaks her ankle and leads back to her son’s home in Denver where she must convalesce, Birdie’s imagination really takes flight. Following a conversation with her grandson about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, she begins to see and speak with the unkempt literary character himself on a regular basis. As the line between reality and whimsy turns brittle, faith is tested among friends and loved ones, and hope is reborn.

Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright

As the town’s chief cook and part-time janitor for Jerusalem Baptist church, Velma Brendle has never done anything more outstanding than putting on a good meal at Velma’s Place, the one restaurant in Leeway, Kansas, but she takes good care of her customers, neighbors, and friends. However, in the midst of these two jobs, Velma’s husband stops talking, Cousin Albert comes to live with her, and she finds herself dealing with the town’s problems. As memories of past troubles plague her, she grows weary from even the tasks she loves the most. Old Sunday School lessons take on new meanings, and new problems illuminate trials Velma thought were long over. In sudden leaps of faith and moments of tragedy, Velma and all those she loves journey toward facing their sins and finding forgiveness.

What The Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy

The past can’t stay buried forever.

Rising author Patti Lacy’s second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana. Since leaving her home in the South, Sally Stevens has held the secrets of her past at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband, has heard the truth about her childhood. But when one of her students is violently raped, Sally’s memories quickly bubble to the surface unbidden, like a dead body in a bayou. As Sally’s story comes to light, the lies she’s told begin to catch up with her. And as her web of deceit unravels, she resolves to face the truth at last, whatever the consequences.

Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

What options does a Christian woman have after she’s brutally assaulted by a stranger . . . and becomes pregnant? That’s the heartrending situation Claire Holland faces. Happily married and the mother of two when she is attacked, Claire begins an incredible journey on the painful pathway to trusting God “in all things.”

When Claire’s husband, Dan, confesses he can’t be a father to the expected child, Claire’s decision to put the baby up for adoption creates a sense of tremendous loss for Claire. Later, unexpected circumstances turn this seeming loss into victory.

This wonderful first novel isn’t a love story . . . but a life story, presenting the twin themes trusting God in tragic circumstances and reaping the rewards that eventually come with sacrificial loving.

What book do you consider a hidden gem?