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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Review, A Patchwork Planet

Anne Tyler has created a sensitive, troubled male character named Barnaby Gaitlin. Barnaby has been through a marriage and has one daughter and has been labeled a loser by his family partly because for the past eleven years he has worked at the same minimum wage job for Rent-a-Back and partly for the trouble he go into as a teen. Rent-a-Back is the company that provides services to the elderly by helping them do household things such as moving furniture and assembling Christmas trees.

Barnaby's life suddenly changes when he meets a new love, not really by accident, at the train station. As we get to know Barnaby better we come to see what a sensitive, although quirky, and sometimes immature young man he is. He seems to be clearly without any aspirations, even when it comes to visitation rights with his daughter. We begin to understand some of the frustrations he has with his family that caused him to get into trouble in his teenage years but on the other hand get exasperated with him because he seems to just float along.

Tyler has made a character you want to both hug and smack. I appreciate Barnaby's sensitivity and lack of materialism . . . but I also became frustrated because I felt Tyler never fully divulges why Barnaby did some of the extreme things he did as a teen. Yes he was acting out, but once particular incident causes him to come across as a trifle disturbed. Maybe that's what Tyler wants us to know--Barnaby, the lovable black sheep is different. As with many black sheep, he doesn't quite fit in. In the end, he proves to be a man of integrity in some ways but not so much so in others and that disappointed me. But that's not to say the Tyler hasn't done a good job. I am not going to reveal to you what the ending is. Let's just say that Tyler keeps it real. Barnaby is true to himself--always the maverick.

I will give this 4 1/2 stars out of five--mainly because I would have liked to have seen a little bit happier ending.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview with Author Paula Mowery


Paula Mowery just published her first novella and was gracious enough to consent to an interview. Thanks for joining us today, Paula.

What is your most recent book or article?  Tell us a little bout it.

The Blessing Seer released July 6th.  This novella came about after mulling over a sermon illustration about a man who goes to Heaven. He is given a tour by an angel who stops at a warehouse filled with unopened gifts. The man inquires about the gifts and is told these are all of the blessings God wants to give but haven’t been asked for or haven’t been given due to disobedience. As I contemplated this story, God “downloaded” the outline for The Blessing Seer into my mind. After writing it down, I began to research scriptures and commentaries about blessings. 

What audience did you have in mind when you wrote it?

God taught me many things while writing this story. He taught me about stepping from comfort zones into obedience and finding blessing. So, I suppose, the audience would be Christians like me, who might need a reminder that God wants to use us and the gifts He’s given to accomplish His will.

What do you hope people will learn from it?

My prayer since finding out this novella would be published has been that God would touch the reader for His glory – whatever that might be. If it’s following in Addy’s coworker’s footsteps and accepting Christ for the first time, that’s my prayer. If it’s challenging a Christian to step from comfort zones and do something significant for God, then that’s my prayer. 
 
Where can people purchase your book?

THE BLESSING SEER is available from the publisher – www.pelicanbookgroup.com. Or, it can also be downloaded from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

What words of advice can you give to those who are interested in getting published or in launching a speaking career? 

If God is calling you to write and publish, join a writer’s group like ACFW. Take a class like freelancewritingcourses.com taught by author, Janice Hanna Thompson. Read books about writing. Write. Read. And repeat. 

Also, try publishing an article in a magazine first even if you must do it for free. This is good experience and exposure.

Pray and ask God to direct you – this is first and foremost.

What books or movies have influenced you the most?
I have always been and will continue to be an avid reader of Christian fiction of all sorts. Not enough room here to list them all.

Tell us a little about your hobbies.

Right now, it’s all about reading and writing. I used to crochet and loved it. But, I had to give that up when I started to interpret for the deaf again. Can’t risk Carpal Tunnel coming back. I do read several books for review purposes for my column for www.christianmagazine.org.

For more info, visit  www.paulamowery.blogspot.com


 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review, Trauma Plan

This is my first acquaintance with author Candace Calvert and I am not all that in to medical themed romances, so I approached this book skeptically and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Calvert, who has worked as a registered nurse, has a pleasant style and doesn't overload the story with medical jargon.  Her heroine, chaplain Riley Hale is a sympathetic character and I found myself rooting for her. Hale is a former ER nurse who was seriously injured in a vicious attack. She longs to regain her old position but hasn't fully physically or emotionally recovered enough to do so. Hale's first encounter with Dr. Jack Travis, a maverick former military man who runs his urban free clinic like a military commander, leaves her with a bad first impression.

Travis is trying to save his clinic from those in the community who feel it is an eyesore and safety risk because of the people it attracts, but he's determined to go down fighting. When Calvert ends up volunteering at the clinic in hope of regaining some of her skills and standing, the situation is ripe for strife and romance.

A very wholesome and enjoyable read for romance lovers. I give this book four out of five stars.