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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul

War threatens the peaceful land of Chiril… can one painter-turned-reluctant-swordsman really help?

With an invasion of her country imminent, Tipper Schope is drawn into a mission to keep three important statues from falling into the enemy’s clutches. Her friend, the artist Bealomondore, helps her execute the plan, and along the way he learns to brandish a sword rather than a paintbrush.
As odd disappearances and a rash of volatile behavior sweep Chiril, no one is safe. A terrible danger has made his vicious presence known: The Grawl, a hunter unlike any creature encountered before.

To restore their country, Tipper, Bealomondore, and their party must hide the statues in the Valley of the Dragons and find a way to defeat the invading army. When it falls to the artistic Bealomondore to wield his sword as powerfully and naturally as a paintbrush, will he answer Wulder’s call for a champion?

Dragons of the Valley, the sequel to The Vanishing Sculptor, was an interesting book. I liked one of the main characters, Tipper, a lot. Probably because she was more my age (at least it felt like it. I really don't remember what age she was). Also the little kimens were cute.

As for the plot itself, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't "Oh, read that story before" or "I betcha five bucks I know what happens next, it's so predictable". It kept me turning pages and guessing. I always love reluctant heroes, and they don't get more reluctant then this!

All in all, I think I liked it beter than Paul's DragonKeeper Chronciles. It is sorta a spin-off series, but you don't have to read the other series to read this one. A great read for families or teens!

Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and nine novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging writers.

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I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Same Life, New Story by Jan Silvious

Using powerful character studies of ten women from Scripture, as well as modern-day stories from her work as a professional life coach, Bible teacher Jan Silvious helps women choose new stories instead of dumping, or wallowing in, their old lives.

Naomi, Leah, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Anna, Jehosheba, Abigail, Naaman's servant girl, and Elizabeth round out the cast of characters who, with their own stories, help readers find new perspectives with amazing results.

One of the main reasons I got this book was because I went to Jan's conference the day the book came out and really enjoyed it her speaking. She wrote this book for adults, but I still liked it.

I loved all the Bible stories Jan put in there like Naomi, Rahab, and Deborah (just to name a few). She made their stories come to life and pulled out what their thoughts and feeling may have been. Scared? Bitter? Stuck?

The great news is this - all those women had the same life, but by the time God was through working, they had a new story.

Jan peppered the book with her own stories, hopes, and disappointments. Other women's stories are included also. Each chapter ended with a "Personal Reflection", "Journal Entry", and "Group Discussion Questions." I love it when an author includes all that stuff in there. It really sums up the chapter and gets you thinking.

And all the scripture is already in the book! I may sound really lazy, but I hate it when I have to look verses up when I'm reading a book/Bible study. I just do. I like everything to flow together and be able to think without trying to juggle two books.

I totally agree with what Jan is trying to say about having your same old life, but with a new story. I'm a girl and I know we get crazy emotional sometimes and some not-so-good stories have our feelings all wrapped up in them. And we think we can't let go of these stories because it's who we are. The good news is, God wants to write a new story. Hallelujah.

Jan Silvious has been reaching out to women for over 20 years, helping them to think biblically, reason clearly, live fully, and embrace an intelligent attitude toward life. Of the ten books she has authored, two of her favorites have been reader favorites as well: Big Girls Don’t Whine and Fool-Proofing Your Life. Jan's ministry truly is 'encouraging women to embrace wisdom—an intelligent attitude toward life.'

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I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.