Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

Yea!! I love it when I come across a new author and am completely blown away! Crossing Oceans is a breath of fresh air in Christian Fiction today. I have such difficulty finding an inspiring and not overly-cheeseball story in the Christian genre. When I saw this in the library, I honestly didn't even know it was Christian fiction, I was just purely drawn to the cover (yes, I'm a cover snob). It wasn't until I read the acknowledgements that I discovered the author's faith.

The story itself was so moving and spoke so deeply to me on forgiveness, selflessness and love. It's not often that you sit there on the couch after the last page has been turned and just have to soak in the magnitude of what happened. I was completely enamored with Jenny and the choices she had before her as she lived out her remaining time with her daughter, Isabella. I don't want to say too much, because honestly through the entire story I really wasn't sure which direction things were going to go. It wasn't at all unpredictable and even though I've never been faced with cancer, I felt her sorrow, fear, courage and determination the entire journey.

There is a scene with Jenny and Craig that had tears literally rolling down my face. Ok, maybe two scenes where I cried, but the first one where he takes her someplace blindfolded and then explains why he brought her there....uh-mazing. Loved it.

Gina, I'm super excited to have found you and hope you continue to publish more books! Gina can be found at her website or her popular blog Novel Journey.

Description: Jenny Lucas swore she-d never go home again. But being told you-re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella-s dad . . . who doesn't yet know he has a daughter. As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything-to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . even overcome the impossible. A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice.

Rating: *****

Recommend: I loved it so much I'm highly recommending you get your hands on your own copy! I'm passing my copy on to my mother-in-law whose been anxious to read it as well.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile is the sixth book in the Kenzie & Gennaro series, but primarily follows up as a sequel to the fourth book Gone Baby Gone. I actually hadn't read any others in the series before this one, but I had seen the movie Gone Baby Gone so I was able to somewhat trek along. I found Moonlight Mile to be extremely fast paced and I thoroughly enjoyed the quick wit of Patrick & Angie (a.k.a. Kenzie & Gennaro), but overall this style of story is not really my thing. It was quite violent in some places and though I can stomach that in a book, there's no way I could have handled some of the scenes visually. Thankfully the humor was there to break up the intensity and not allow it to get too heavy.

If detective stories are up your alley, than I would highly recommend Moonlight Mile for a quick & exciting read. I probably won't read any others in the series, but I wouldn't dismiss Dennis Lehane altogether because I very much enjoyed Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone.

Moonlight Mile releases today in stores. Thank you to Harper Collins and Shelf Awareness for the Advanced Reading Copy!

For more info and a sneak peak into the first 3 chapters, please visit Dennis Lehane's website.

Description: Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood twelve years ago. Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led investigators Kenzie and Gennaro to take on the case. The pair risked everything to find the young girl—only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home.

Now Amanda is sixteen—and gone again. A stellar student, brilliant but aloof, she seemed destined to escape her upbringing. Yet Amanda's aunt is once more knocking on Patrick Kenzie's door, fearing the worst for the little girl who has blossomed into a striking, clever young woman—a woman who hasn't been seen in weeks.

Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most. Their search leads them into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, a mentally unstable crime boss and his equally demented wife, a priceless, thousand-year-old cross, and a happily homicidal Russian gangster. It's a world in which motives and allegiances constantly shift and mistakes are fatal.

In their desperate fight to confront the past and find Amanda McCready, Kenzie and Gennaro will be forced to question if it's possible to do the wrong thing and still be right or to do the right thing and still be wrong. As they face an evil that goes beyond broken families and broken dreams, they discover that the sins of yesterday don't always stay buried and the crimes of today could end their lives.

Rating: ***

Recommend: If you like action/suspense thrillers, then for sure you should pick up a copy!