Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review (and giveaway): Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

In Venezuela, Danielle Roark and her Army Corps of Engineers team is captured. After six months of captivity, Dani escapes, only to end up charged with espionage and forced to return to the jungle to prove that a nuclear facility exists. On the mission, she is abandoned by God and country. Will she live long enough to make those responsible pay?
Haunted by memories of a mission gone bad, former Green Beret Canyon Metcalfe wrestles with his developing feelings for the feisty senator’s daughter. Setting aside his misgivings, he and Nightshade take the mission to help Dani unravel her lethal secrets. Separated from the team leaves Dani and Canyon vulnerable—and captured. After he is rescued, Canyon discovers Dani has been left behind. Livid, he sacrifices everything to save Dani—including his role with Nightshade.
Book Three of the Discarded Heroes series, Wolfsbane lives up to the excellent standard of the first two books. Wolfsbane, however, is a little bit different. First, Kendig shows the hero, Canyon Metcalfe, struggling to follow Christ, yet failing, committing sins that you don't usually read about in Christian novels. Secondly, the characters' faith seems to take a back seat, until the very end of the book.
While these qualities make for a non-traditional Christian novel, they make for a very realistic view of modern Christianity. They also make for a compelling, exciting book.
If you're looking for an great military adventure, then leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Wolfsbane (read once!). Leave me your email address so I can contact you, and I'll pick a winner on July 30. Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review: From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson

Book Three of the Blood of Kings trilogy, Achan prepares to fight Esek and Lord Nathan to take his rightful place as the Crown Prince. Part of his duty includes marrying Lady Avarella, a woman he's never met, but will join with forever, even though it means abandoning his true love, Vrell Sparrow.

What Achan doesn't know is that Vrell is Lady Avarella, but she's not ready to marry for duty. That's why she runs, and ends up stormed, forgetting Achan and her time with him.

Can Achan win the war for his throne? More importantly, can he win back the woman he loves?

In book three of the series, Williamson wraps up the series with all of the adventure, tension, excitement, and emotion of the first two books. I was honestly afraid of the length of the book, it's over 600 pages, but Williamson did a good job of keeping the momentum going. And for those of us who are die hard romantics, she doesn't disappoint us.

The first two books of this series are Christy Award winning novels. Book three continues Williamson's fabulous series. A great read, all 600 pages.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pete vs. Debbie - Bring It

In case you missed it...

Book Review (and giveaway): In Stitches by Dr. Tony Youn

Tony Youn was too tall and too thin, wore thick Coke-bottle glasses, braces, Hannibal Lecter headgear, and had a protruding jaw that one day began to grow to an unthinkable, monstrous size.  After high school graduation, while other seniors partied at the shore or explored Europe, Youn lay strapped in an oral surgeon’s chair as he broke his jaw, then reset it and wired it shut for six weeks.

It was this brutal makeover that led him to his life's calling -- and the four years of angst, flubs, triumphs, non-stop studying and intermittant heavy drinking that eventually earned him an M.D. Thanks to a small circle of close friends and an obsessive drive to overachieve, Youn transformed from a shy, skinny, awkward nerd with no confidence and no clue into a renowned and successful plastic surgeon.

That's Amazon's description of Youn's memoir. It doesn't do the book justice.

I'm not usually a memoir reader. I've read exactly two - this was the second. The only reason I read it was so that I could write a story for the paper (you can read it here). When I picked up the book, I figured it couldn't be that bad - there's a Barbie carcass on the cover. I gave myself a few days to read it, but that wasn't necessary. I finished it in two days. 

Dr. Tony Youn
In Stitches is a candid look at life in a strict Korean home, the struggles of getting into and surviving med school, and Youn's determination to to succeed at it all while finding a girlfriend. At the risk of sounding like a cheesy 80s movie promo: you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder if Youn secretly analyzes everyone he meets and makes lists of things that need improvement.

Since I don't usually read memoirs, I don't have any history with which to compare this book. I can, however, vouch for its extreme entertainment value. I would give this book a PG-13 rating (R, if you're more conservative), so keep that in mind when you pick it up (because you really should pick it up).


In fact, I'd like to help you pick it up, so I'm going to give away a free copy (isn't that just like me?). You know the drill - leave me your email addy in a comment and I'll put you in the running. A winner will be picked on July 30, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can learn more about Dr. Youn at