Arts and Entertainment, Books, Fiction

Gift of Gold by Beverly Butler

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Gift of Gold by Beverly Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cathy lost her sight as a teenager, and now as a college student, she’s working to become a speech therapist. When the head of her school’s speech department suggests Cathy’s choice of profession is unrealistic for a blind person, Cathy becomes all the more determined to succeed. But after a doctor’s appointment gives her hope of regaining a measure of her sight, Cathy may roll out a new plan for her future in Gift of Gold by author Beverly Butler.

I remember the day I first came across this novel in my adolescence, seeing the old-fashioned cover art depicting a woman in a green head scarf, holding the harness of a service dog. I had no idea then that the author herself was blind or that I’d be revisiting this novel years later, and then more years after that.

But now having read this book three times, I can say it’s just as powerful as it was to me the first time. Maybe more so.

Yes, I still like the old-fashionedness of it, the plastic rain scarves and typewriters and all. Nevertheless, what I may love most is that this isn’t some predictable, run-of-the-mill tale merely about goals and dreams. This is a complex, soul-searching kind of read. It’s smart in style with wit and wisdom. Not at all fast-paced, but anything but flat.

In the last quarter especially, Cathy’s journey pulls no punches. It even gets pretty depressing for a while, but I find it all the more compelling for not being too easy. The truth, growth, and hope in Cathy’s story is earned. Plus, there’s a nice little thread of down-to-earth romance tied in.

A novel about not only facing your outward challenges but taking a deep, honest look at yourself—so worth the read.

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Gift of Gold is the sequel to Light a Single Candle, an award-winning book I’ll admit I’ve never read. 🙂 Though the sequel stands alone just fine, you may want to check out both books.

  

 

Arts and Entertainment, Books, Fiction

Winners: Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers 2017 Giveaways

My hearty thanks to everyone who entered 2017’s Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers giveaways!

I’m happy to announce that Shamekka won a copy of Home by Ginny L. Yttrup, Cassandra won a copy of Loving Luther by Allison Pittman, sbmcmh won a copy of The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins, Kathy won a copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron, Linda won a copy of Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll, and Pat won a copy of Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Hunt. Congrats!

  

  

Be sure to check out all of this year’s Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers for great books to add to your reading list.

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World of the Innocent

When It’s Time Series

 

Arts and Entertainment, Books, ebooks, Fiction, Short Stories

Tea & Cream Debbie

Tea & Cream Debbie
A Sequel Short to Dream Debbie
(Chick Lit/Romance)

There can be a right way to apply a cliché.

Debbie? She’s always been a dreamer. And some of the bright dreams of her past come back to her mind in the presence of the special man in her life. (Ah. Stuart.) But at this point in their relationship, is the remembrance of those dreams a good thing or not?

This short story also includes a bonus: an excerpt from The “She” Stands Alone, a romantic comedy found in a sweet romance collection, Inspiring Love.

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Tea & Cream Debbie is available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

 

Arts and Entertainment, Books, Fiction

Dance from Deep Within by D.L. Sleiman

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. WhiteFire Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Dance from Deep Within by D.L. Sleiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Layla, Rain, and Allie first meet each other in class at college. They’ll be collaborating on Unity in Diversity writing assignments for the semester. But they’ll need each other for more than that as they face new challenges of culture, faith, and love in Dance from Deep Within, a novel by author D.L. Sleiman.

Likely no big surprise, but it was the racially and religiously diverse aspects of this book that attracted me to it, without my knowing anything else about the plot. While I’ve read mainstream fiction and nonfiction with this kind of diversity, and have seen a little more of it in some Christian thrillers, this may be my first encounter with it in a contemporary women’s ChristFic novel.

There’s a lot going on in the three main ladies’ lives, and I’m already anticipating reading the sequel. Now, the characters’ feelings and thoughts would run the gamut (perhaps slipping from enlightening contemplation to idling in place sometimes), so I had a little difficulty following along emotionally here and there. I also have some trouble when proselytizing and romance mix in novels, as it makes me feel iffy about the characters’ motives and the timing of it all.

I’ll admit the story’s “Jesus visions” became a bit much for me—not because I don’t believe in visions, but with it happening a few times and to more than one character, it started to feel like too convenient a tack for the plot. Also, considering how fierce parents can be, I didn’t find a particular scene to ring the truest to life, as I believe a parent would spring to action much faster in such a dubious situation.

Still, I enjoyed the dynamics between Layla, Rain, and Allie throughout the book, and a scene showing how ride-or-die they become got me especially pumped about their friendship. Again, I’m looking forward to seeing what the sequel has in store for these women.

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