Laurel’s Pics for August

Is it August already?  School is about to begin, Fall will be here shortly, and the lazy days of summer are almost behind us. I had a great time reading some awesome books this summer.  I wish I could draw special attention to each book–they were all that good!

“Skid” is for your funny bone. “Such A Time As This” will have you view Esther in the Bible with greater admiration.  You feel like you are losing some friends when you finish “Searching For Eternity.”  A smile of admiration will cross your face while reading “From a Distance.”  “Creation’s Praise” gives you the tools needed to teach children more about God’s Word.  “Inspirational Home” gives great ideas on decorating your home.  I highly recommend each one!

I know that during August schedules tend to pick up, but don’t forget to take time to read.

Skid
by Rene Gutteridge
Waterbrook Press 2008
323 pages

Buckle up before reading “Skid” by Rene Gutteridge.  Atlantica Flight 1945 is flying from Atlanta to Amsterdam with an interesting cast of characters. The pilot, known for her safe landing in the Bermuda Triangle, is joined on this flight by an FBI Agent with a prisoner; an emotionally impaired woman and her trusty pig; a woman recently dumped by her boyfriend, a grandson returning stolen diamonds to his grandmother, and a quality inspector, Hank, whose job is to test the service of the crew.

This is an exciting ride that will have you laughing out loud while hanging on for dear life. All during the flight people notice there is something different about Hank. What could make a man remain so calm in the face of a crisis?

What a WONDERFUL summer read. I would run, don’t walk, to pick up “Skid” by Rene Gutteridge.

Such A Time As This
By Rebecca Velez
Capstone Publishing Group 2007
148 pages

This is a story of the book of Esther.  Velez describes in beautiful detail the transformation of Esther’s simple life into the life of a Queen.  In particular it describes how Esther was forced to live as part of a harem, in competition to become the next Queen.  Many of us are familiar with this story in the bible, but Velez does a great job making it come alive.  This story displays God’s protection and faithfulness no matter where we are.  It reminds us that even though we may have plans, God may have other plans beyond our wildest dreams.  Velez is a first time author and I look forward to more of her books in the future.

Searching For Eternity
by Elizabeth Musser
Bethany House 2007
428 pages

There are some books that you read and enjoy, there are others you read and are relaxed, and then there are the books that become part of your life. When I finished “Searching for Eternity” by Elizabeth Musser I felt like I lost a friend.

French born Emile de Bonnery is dragged to America by his Mother. His French Father has suddenly disappeared, and Emile finds himself in Atlanta trying to adjust to cultural shock. The only welcome face Emile and his Mother had was his Maternal Grandmother, who he has never met until that day, at the age of 14.

Emile is faced with unfriendly kids at school and is left to fend for himself until he meets Eternity.  Emile is trying to solve the mystery of his Father’s disappearance and Eternity is trying to deal with her own secrets. They strike up friendship and help each other face their past.

This book faces racism and the civil rights movement, but also scars that were left over from World War II. The common theme of this book is standing up for what is right, even when no one else will. Choices in life are not always solved in a years times period, change happens slowly over a lifetime. This is a book of great depth and of God’s faithfulness. It is not light reading material, but a book I highly recommend.

From a Distance
by Tamara Alexander
Bethany House, Jun 2008

Elizabeth Westbrook, a woman photographer in 1875, arrives in Timber Ridge in the Colorado Territory to take pictures of the legendary beauties of the Maroon Bells. In that era it was unusual for women to a photographer, but Elizabeth was determined to be the Chronicle’s first woman photographer and journalist. Elizabeth has another reason to come to the Rockies; she prays that the clean mountain air and the hot springs will help cure her from a mysterious illness.

Daniel Ranslett is trying to move past the Civil War and the guilt he feels by playing a role as a Confederacy sniper. However, Elizabeth’s life is threatened when a picture she took becomes key evidence in a murder case. Despite Daniel’s feelings toward this strong spirited woman, he vows to keep Elizabeth safe even though they argue constantly. And through time he helps her with her mysterious illness and slowly the two strong personalities begin to fall in love.

Tamara Alexander does a beautiful job making the reader feel like they have been transported to 1875 Colorado Territory. The sites are breath taking.  The chemistry between Elizabeth and Daniel are entertaining. In this age of digital photography and interstates, it is easy to forget how much photographers went through back in the 1800’s to get that perfect photo. This is a fun and entertaining read!

Creation’s Praise
by Vivian May Edwards
Illustrated by Janis Lee Colon
2007
71 pages

Creation’s Praise is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book. Edward’s focus in this devotional style book is giving praise to the King of all creation. Each devotion is approximately one page long and easily adapted to children of different ages. One of my favorite features is how each devotion teaches a new vocabulary word. Some of the words like essence can be difficult to define, even as an adult, but Vivian May Edwards does a beautiful job helping the reader explain each vocabulary word in a child like fashion.  Janis Lee Colon does a spectacular job in her water colored type illustrations. For a young child looking at the illustrations and reading the bible verse is a great teaching tool. This children’s devotional book would be a great addition to your child’s bookshelf.

Inspirational Home
Simple ideas for uplifting décor and craft
By Jeanne Winters
Creative Faith Place
128 pages

When it comes to decorating my home, I like to get ideas and direction from those who are more talented.  Jeanne Winters not only gives her readers easy to do decorating projects, but she also shows us how we can add God’s Word to each project.  Jeanne says, “The more visible God’s word is, the more often it can comfort and strengthen.”

This book is easy to follow along with vivid pictures.  There are great ideas for possible gifts and definitely great ideas in decorating your own home.  I am looking forward to trying out some of Jeanne Winters’ projects.

Visit www.jeannewinters.com

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