Review: Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter

Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter by Carrie Fancett Pagels
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story is well written for the most part. However, there are so many places where Pagels lost me, or switched things around. At first Suzanne could understand German, then she had lots of trouble piecing together what Johan and family were saying. Other places, the story had a breakneck flow, and then suddenly bogged down. I sort of like that (in limited quantities) because it gives me time to think about everything. But even so, this was more bogging as in a soap opera rather than a deeply moving romance. While most was well written, this is not actually a historical romance. That would mean there should be some actual, history.

[Insert a wailing whine here.] Why doesn't someone teach writers how to do research before writing novels? Why don't publishing house editors insist on real research from the authors, and why don't publishing houses require editors to have education before they hire these editors? And WHY don't publishing houses have fact checkers???

I was so excited to see this book on my Netgalley shelf. Finally, a great 16th or 17th century historical romance. Nope... it's supposedly taking place in 1742. That's about 75 years after the religious wars and Catholic terrorism against Huguenots happened which began in the early 1500s through the middle of the 1600s, then it became more of a political war. My 8th great grandfather was a Huguenot and immigrated to Virginia from France in 1625. I do not know his story, so I was hoping to glean a bit of history at the same time enjoy a good romance.

Well, the romance was fairly good... the history, not so much. Besides the timing of the novel, there wasn't a whole lot of costume discussion, although there was a lot of powdered wigs in the royal court (which was true in the 1700s (18th century), not the 1600s.

Here's another question. Johan's family were supposed to own a lot of land, but their farm couldn't sustain two families, which is a plot ploy that requires Johan to take Suzanne to America. In places the plot seems forced, not a natural flow where the characters are not well developed. Sometimes Johan's brother is portrayed as an okay fellow, other times he's a dirty, rotten scoundrel. Which is it? Suzanne has a terrible habit of agonizing over some things, and just letting other things flow around her without notice. That was annoying for me.

I have this 2 stars. It has such tremenous potential, but it fell flat for me. I'm not a fan of soap operas, and I think that is probably it. On the other hand, I read this off Netgalley, and publishers have a really bad habit of submitting undedited (I mean really RAW stuff) on there. So take this honest review with a grain of salf.

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Review: DawnSinger

DawnSinger DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I highly recommend you NOT get the eBook version. I did not know there was a glossary at the end that would explain SO much about things I was clueless about. I wondered the whole way through why didn't the author write in such a way to explain some things. Why were all these creatures named these weird things that had a Celtic ring with no explanation. However, I really liked the way the wingabeasts were explained with nothing more than that the creature whinnied. Ah! Pegasus!

Ah well, the writing was pretty good, and the story line and premise was also good except for the fact that two people fall in love that shouldn't fall in love did. (view spoiler)

Please remember this is the eBook format that is getting the 3 stars. When you read something that doesn't make sense, it is very hard to keep going. When I read the part mentioned in the spoiler alert, I quit reading. For fantasy fans, this would probably be a great read. But the two things worked together for me to spoil my enjoyment. That's just me.

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Review: Spaceport West

Spaceport West Spaceport West by Giles Chanot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think it is rather unfair to compare this to Hitchhiker's Guide. It's a different premise as in colonizing Mars, and politics of Earth. Quite different. I love the inserts of the UK's Space Guide; they are quite amusing.

The characters are a bit whacky, and that is what makes this story work. What's scary is the "big reveal" at the end, which is technologically frightening. I don't think we're there, yet, but then doors that open by themselves, men walking on the moon, cell phones, wireless computers, and flat screen TVs were all science fiction at one point in time.

This is a breezy read, and I liked it a lot. But then, I get British humor and love it.

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Review: My Sister's Prayer

My Sister's Prayer My Sister's Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My Mom loved this book... I was not a huge fan, so the book gets 4 stars.

The characterizations are quite good in the modern day story, and the characters are very believable in the historical love story. I really hate the ploy of dual storyline. I learned from my writing professor that you should tell one story at a time so you can tell that story really well. I wouldn't say that these stories are not done well, because they are captivating. However, if you are like me and would rather read one story at a time and not be jostled about by switching from head to head and character to character, then this book is probably not for you. The problem I have with it is that there are no transitions from modern to historical. There should at least be a reason to revert back and forth. Perhaps, I didn't get far enough into the book to realize a reason. I got too fed up with the flipping back and forth.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Unholy Code

Unholy Code Unholy Code by Thomas Waite
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Lana rings true as a character. She's believable if a little bit un-girly. I can certainly identify with her terror about her daughter being threatened. I really don't agree with the laize faire of the parents giving their daughter plenty of time to have sex with her boyfriend in her bedroom upstairs. Call me old fashioned, but that is just wrong in my book.

However, the action-packed thrill ride of jihadists, terrorists, cyber-savvy villains, and seemingly a one woman shield between them and the demise of the US... that's still a riveting read.

Reader beware, there's plenty of foul language, sex, murder, and mayhem in this book.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication: Building Great Relationships with Faith, Skill, and Virtue in the Age of Social Media

An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication: Building Great Relationships with Faith, Skill, and Virtue in the Age of Social Media An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication: Building Great Relationships with Faith, Skill, and Virtue in the Age of Social Media by Quentin J. Schultze
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book is BRILLIANT. Schultze and Badzinsky have taken the interpersonal communication theories and practically applied them to Christian living. But don't let that scare you non-academics off. If you are blessed enough to be teaching a regular Bible study class and you happen to be looking for something to study next, then you've found it in this book. If you are teaching interpersonal communication in college this is also a must read. The whole foundation of communication rests in the One who created it, and who gave us a multitude of practical examples in the Bible.

Truths such as "We can't really separate ourselves as person from our own messages; we are part of the message not just messengers," are expounded upon in each chapter drawing from biblical teaching without being preachy. Our character is part of our message. Schultze and Badzinsky use this theme throughout as well as the basic premise that good interpersonal communication "ultimately flows from our hearts."

From Chapter 1 about being grateful to Chapter 8 about restoring relationships this book is packed with wise counsel, intriguing tidbits, and enduring, biblically-based concepts. The authors use illustrations such as Jackie who so deeply desired community that she put an ad on Craig's List to hire a family for the holidays, practical advice such as How to Avoid a Hellish Boss, debunked myths about conflict, and invigorating truths about living in mutual forgiveness.

You may not find all the technical terms for interpersonal communication theory, but the practical applications are all there and exceptionally good. You will find a discussion in some aspect of each interpersonal communication theory, but none are academically explained. It isn't needed.

The faith aspect of communicating is the foundation of this book after all God created communication when He first created beings. Although, God's type of communication is in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm. Schultze and Badzinsky note that to enable that kind of communication, one must participate with soul listening. Not even Em Griffin got so specific with listening. It is not only physically with ears and eyes, but emotionally and spiritually listening, too.

One particularly quintessential key is their slight twist on the Golden Rule of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is found on page 83: "Seek friends who are the kinds of persons you would like to be--namely, a blessing to others." Each blessing is outlined in each chapter of the book: Grateful, attentive listener, single task oriented, knowing self, relating openly, encourager, promoting peace, earnest relationship restorer. These are those essential things that promote good, clear, interpersonal communication. How succinct!

I have not been as academic as I could have been with this review because it is written so plainly and so effectively it reminds me of God's admonition to Habakkuk in Chapter 2: Then the LORD told me: "I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance. Habakkuk 2:2

I don't see how this message could be made any more clear than what Schultze and Badzinsky have written here. Don't waste anymore time, Christian, purchase this book and invest the time to read it. Along with your Bible study, it will change how you communicate with those around you.

Virtually every human endeavor involves interpersonal communication. Leading Christian scholar and media commentator Quentin Schultze and respected professor of communication Diane Badzinski offer a solid Christian perspective on the topic, helping readers communicate with faith, skill, and virtue in their interpersonal relationships. Designed as a companion to Schultze’s successful An Essential Guide to Public Speaking, this inviting book provides biblical wisdom on critical areas of interpersonal communication: gratitude, listening, self-assessment, forgiveness, trust, encouragement, peace, and fidelity. Given the rapid rise and widespread use of social media, the book also integrates intriguing insights from the latest research on the influence of social media on interpersonal relationships. It includes engaging stories and numerous sidebars featuring practical lists, definitions, illustrations, and biblical insights.

I received this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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