Monday, August 14, 2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

by Andrea Renee Cox

A stuttering author and a beautiful thief. What could possibly go wrong?

Now Available!
Before I get into why I enjoyed this book, let me first share with you the two things that bothered me. Firstly, there were lots of minor expletives, words that many people wouldn’t consider bad but, in the context, quite likely are. Examples include blighted, blasted, blazes, etc. In and of themselves, not terrible words. But like I said, within the context of how they were used and intended, they were replacements for the really bad ones, which equals the same thing to me.

Secondly, there was a moment when the leading man, a Christian, “could hardly begrudge” the leading lady “mumbling and grumbling and growling words no lady should know.” This was disturbing to me. Curse words should never be okay from a Christian perspective—whether saying them or being okay with other people saying them—because they do not honor God, and a Christian’s goals should include honoring God with every word we speak or think. Since Peter was thinking that he couldn’t fault Rosemary for cussing up a storm, it seemed to me that he was okay with it, that he was condoning it. That, to me, was inappropriate and out of character of him.

Because of that bit of a faith flub, I couldn’t give more than three stars, even though I really wanted to. You see, A Name Unknown was a rich, deep, thoughtful story. Its characters were sublime—minus those couple of things I mentioned—and intriguing and complicated. The plot was delicious and kept me riveted to the pages. The pacing was spot-on, bringing fast action scenes and ebbing pauses to let one catch one’s breath. Sweet, salty, sumptuous, suspenseful, secrets… this novel had a little bit of almost everything, and it kept me guessing on most points. I particularly appreciated Ms. White’s attention to detail and historical accuracy. Those are a couple of things I have come to expect with her books, and I was delighted to see they had continued to be strong and richly written in this novel, one I’d looked forward to for months prior to its release.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Traffic Jam Contentment

by Andrea Renee Cox

How do you handle a traffic jam?

Yesterday morning, I read Philippians 4, and the two verses that leapt out at me were these:

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Philippians 4:11-12 NKJ

My family headed home from a weekend trip shortly after I read that section, and wouldn’t you know that would be the day of bursts of heavy rain that slowed us down, a side trip that was for naught, and multiple traffic jams that had us inching along slower than a slug.

But I didn’t panic. Or freak out. Or get frustrated at any of it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning to be Patient

by Andrea Renee Cox

In church these recent weeks, we are studying Ecclesiastes. A verse that really leapt off the page at me yesterday morning was the second half of chapter seven, verse eight:

“… The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8b NKJ

Patience is something I’ve been working on a lot in the last many years. I’m nowhere near mastering it, and I’m not sure I ever will accomplish that goal. But I feel I must try.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson

by Andrea Renee Cox

One of my least favorite things to do is write negative reviews. I understand how much time and effort it takes to write a book, and it's never easy for me to aim an exposing spotlight on a book's shortcomings. However, sometimes it's necessary.

A book I recently read fell into this category.

The gorgeous cover of Grounded Hearts fooled me, as did the premise. I expected a sweet story about a midwife who rescued an injured flyboy, but once I dug into the plot, I discovered the sweetness was merely a mask, and a flimsy one at that. The majority of the story ended up being crude and sensual.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Name Reveal + Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Andrea Renee Cox

Two things have me really excited today.

1. Character names

2. Kim Vogel Sawyer's newest book

Hang in there with me today, because I've got a lot to say. Hopefully you're just as eager to hear it all as I am to tell you about it.

Let's tackle my own news first.

Last week, I asked for help naming three characters:

tall, elderly, quirky, sense of humor, fading memory

serious, too busy for love, trouble deciding what's best for dad

quick wit, optimist, romantic, world traveler

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pick a Name

by Andrea Renee Cox

Remember when I had you help me choose which project to work on? You ended up choosing a really fun story for me to work on. Now that I'm getting deeper into the plot, I've got another opportunity for you to help me out.

How would you like to help me choose some character names?

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

by Andrea Renee Cox

The premise for this book really intrigued me, as did the title. I was disappointed that the title barely had anything to do with the plot, though. I think there were two mentions, perhaps three, that the leading lady was the daughter of a captain, and she never once set foot on a ship. This was a large disappointment to me, as I really had hopes of a good ship scene or at least a more involved explanation for the title's claim.

A rather large inconsistency in Rosalyn's intuition about smarmy men irritated me throughout. She immediately sensed one character was a no-good rascal, yet another similar character with a slightly smoother but still clearly deceitful nature received welcome attention from the same woman, with little regard to anyone's warnings about him. What happened to her intuition? It vanished so quickly and with no defined reason that I found it difficult to feel sorry for her when things got tricky because of the neglect of her own common sense.

I enjoyed the complex characters from the beginning, and though this dipped a little due to Rosalyn's inconsistent intuition, the majority of the characters remained consistent throughout and I was quite able to enjoy their journeys.