Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The Bride Collector" by Ted Dekker

What I Have to Say..
Ted Dekker has done it again, he has written another brilliant thriller. This newest novel is called The Bride Collector. It is about a serial killer who murders women leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene. The novel starts with the death of his fourth victim and you read through his pursuit of his seventh and final, who in his perspective is God’s favorite and perfect bride. Dekker dives into the subject of mental illness, asking the question are those who are dubbed mentally ill really normal and those who are dubbed normal really the ones who are mentally ill. Not for the light of heart, the killings are gruesome and it was hard for me to read at first. Dekker used a great name as an underwear brand though; maybe that’s what hooked me. ;) Dekker is one of those minds that dare to ask the questions no one else wants to think about. Maybe that’s what makes this book so brilliant. If we all just understood each other; if we understood that we are all God’s favorites because He loves us unendingly we wouldn’t pin false stigmas upon one another. I dare you to open your mind to Dekker’s questions.

*This book was provided for review by Center Street*

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Friday, April 9, 2010

"Forget Me Not" by Vicki Hinze

A mother who cannot face her future.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

About the Author
Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit www.vickihinze.com to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs, and writing programs.

What I Have to Say...
Author Vicki Hinze’s first work of Christian fiction, Forget Me Not, is a must read. If you like a book to keep you on the edge of your seat, this will surely do it. A woman who looks exactly like main character, Benjamin Brandt’s, diseased wife shows up at their crisis center. In her pocket is Ben’s wife Susan’s necklace and a card bearing her name. This woman has been left for dead and has no memory except that someone had tried to kill her. Nameless and homeless, Ben takes her in trying to figure out who she is and how her case links to the death of his wife. This is a story of mystery, love, and faith. I have never read a book that was better at showing how bad things still happen when you’re a Christian and that faith takes effort. Faith isn’t a one time deal, it is a continuous thing. You’ll find this book to have a shocker or two. I could not ask for more in a story, it had everything in it. I sincerely hope that Vicki Hinze takes to writing more Christian fiction. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for it!

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*

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available in Trade Paperback and eBook

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"An Absence So Great" by Jane Kirkpatrick

While growing in confidence as a photographer, eighteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele’s personal life is at a crossroads. Hoping she’s put an unfortunate romantic longing behind her as “water under the bridge,” she exiles herself to Milwaukee to operate photographic studios for those owners who have fallen ill with mercury poisoning.

Jessie gains footing in her dream to one day operate her own studio and soon finds herself in other Midwest towns, pursuing her profession. But even a job she loves can’t keep painful memories from seeping into her heart when the shadows of a forbidden love threaten to darken the portrait of her life.

About the Author
Jane Kirkpatrick is an award-winning author of sixteen historical novels, including A Flickering Light, the first part of Jessie Gaebale’s story, and three nonfiction titles. Known for her unique insights into the exploration of community, family and faith of actual historical women, the Wisconsin native and her husband have called their ranch in Oregon home for the past 25 years.

What I Have to Say...
An Absence so Great by Jane Kirkpatrick caught my attention because it is about a young female photographer living in an early 1900 Midwest. Her journey particularly takes her to southeastern Wisconsin. A really interesting tidbit about this book is that it was inspired by actual photographs taken by the author’s grandmother. As you read through the book you will also see actual photos and get to read the story behind them. Jessie Gaebele’s continuing passion of photography keeps her connected to her past, mainly to the mistakes she’s made. She distances herself from those mistakes with time and distance but as long as she photographs she stays connected. She later on discovers that her photography is not the only thing tying her to her mistake, but the mistake itself. This mistake eventually caused everything she thought to be true in her life to be a lie. This mistake stole from Jessie what she thought to be the very definition of herself. Jessie runs from this mistake again, this time tying all loose ends, and her photography pulls her through. Kirkpatrick does a great job at delving into the most passionate emotions of humankind. This novel is a must read.

*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*

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available in Trade Paperback, unabridged audiobook download, and eBook