Oprah Speaks about Herman Rosenblat’s “Angel at the Fence”

Ah, it was the greatest love story that never really happened. You know, when Oprah gives you her stamp of approval, it is a big, big thing. Even as a mere mortal, I know that Oprah has the power to make you or break you, so why would you jeopardize yourself with a lie? (This file, by Alan Light, is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License) One might ask that of Herman Rosenblat, the author of the yet to be released book “Angel at the Fence.” In case you haven’t heard, the book was to tell the story of … Continue reading

Do You Want Better Social Skills?

If you want to improve at social skills read fiction. No, you did not read wrongly. If you want to improve at social skills read fiction. That’s the latest finding by cognitive scientists in Toronto. Over the years, I’ve met Christians who tell me with an element of pride they never read fiction – not just Christian fiction but ANY fiction. The implication is that their time is far too valuable to waste on fiction and stories that to their minds are made-up and therefore not true. I admit I’ve always found this is peculiar attitude and think they are … Continue reading

Miss Invisible – Laura Jensen Walker

Another book by my new favorite author, Laura Jensen Walker, is “Miss Invisible.” I related to this story on a lot of levels. Our main character is Freddie, a plus-sized woman who works decorating cakes at a bakery. Her boss, the super-slim, super-chic Anya, likes to keep her in the background while she herself deals with the customers. This is fine with Freddie—she knows she doesn’t have the flair with people Anya has. But suddenly, it would seem that things are going Freddie’s way. She meets Deborah, a self-described “big beautiful black woman,” while at church, and she loves the … Continue reading

Lost Highways – Curtiss Ann Matlock

I love finding new authors (well, new to me) and Curtiss Ann Matlock captured my imagination from the first page. Her narrative voice is so friendly and quirky—I was pulled in to the character even before I picked up on the plot. Rainey Valentine is a complicated woman. Complicated in a good way, though. She’s been divorced twice but still believes in true love. She’s taken a little time off from her ‘real’ life to follow a dream—her mother, champion barrel-racer, left her the prize horse and trailer in her will, and Rainey is driving around the country to compete … Continue reading

Author Interview – James Dashner

Today we are joined by James Dasher, author of “The Jimmy Fincher Series.” He’s here to talk with us about the latest developments in his career, his other books, and his really awesome news. James, I had the pleasure of interviewing you in November of 2006. Some really outstanding things have happened in your life since then. Can you tell us a little bit about “The 13th Reality” series? It’s a fantasy/sci-fi series involving everything from alternate realities to creatures called fangen to weird futuristic gadgets like barrier wands and gnat rats. Lots of riddles, humor, and action, too. The … Continue reading

The Clairvoyant Countess – Dorothy Gilman

I reviewed “Kaleidoscope” a few weeks ago, which is the sequel to “The Clairvoyant Countess.” I enjoyed it so much, of course I had to go back and find the original. I wasn’t disappointed at all. We meet Madame Karistska, clairvoyant, who has lived a fascinating life. She came from money but because of political upheaval in the countries where she lived, she came to America as a pauper. She has never used her clairvoyance for profit, but having to rely on her own skills to make it in the world, she decides to go into business for herself. She … Continue reading

Chopping Spree – Diane Mott Davidson

Another installment in the Goldy Schultz catering series, “Chopping Spree” takes place two years after Goldy’s marriage to Tom. Life is going well, with the exception of teenage son Arch, who is shortly to turn fifteen and believes that he’s somehow entitled to all the cool gadgets his rich friends have. The catering business has really taken off, and Goldy is getting more jobs than before, which leave her worn out and starting to lose her health, but after so many years of just barely scraping by, she’s excited to finally be making some headway with her career. She’s also … Continue reading

Born to Rule – Kathryn Lasky

“Born to Rule” is a cute book written for girls ages 8-12. Our main character is Princess Alicia, a young lady who is leaving behind her castle home to attend Camp Princess for the first time. Camp Princess is a fun summer camp designed especially for princesses. Each year, the girls learn how to work tapestry and to train songbirds. They do archery and other royal-type sports, and they sleep in every morning and have their breakfast in bed. It’s a break from the rigors of castle life (you know, where they have to have breakfast in bed and sleep … Continue reading

Keeping Keller – Tracy Winegar

The year is 1955, and Beverly and Warren Vance enjoy a good life. He’s a successful real estate agent, and Beverly enjoys making their home a comfortable place. They’re living the American dream, with one huge exception. Their son, Keller, is mentally challenged. Beverly is at her wits’ end trying to figure out how to deal with her son’s odd behavior. One minute, he’s peaceful and loving. The next, he’s frustrated and violent. Every minute of Beverly’s time is spent coping with him, and she feels as though she’ll never be free of stress. Making matters worse is the fact … Continue reading

Spare Change – Aubrey Mace

Riley hates New Year’s Resolutions. She makes them every year, and every year, she fails to complete them. She thinks she’ll just skip the whole thing for once, but her mother insists. Deciding to make the easiest resolution ever, Riley sets her goal—she’ll save her pennies all year long and at the end, she’ll buy something nice for herself. This plan only lasts a short time, though. She works in a care center for cancer patients, and as she sees them come in day after day for their chemotherapy, her heart is touched and she wants to do something to … Continue reading