Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kassidy's Crescendo: Sisters in Spirit (Book Review)

Kassidy's Crescendo continues the story of the Sisters in Spirit, a series by Marianne Evans that previews the Pure Amore imprint from Pelican Book Group.  I received the ebook, at no cost to me, for review purposes.

From the publisher:
The stage calls, and the Sisters in Spirit are ready to take inspirational music and performance to a whole new level.

Concert promoter Drew Wintower is a diamond in the very rough. He's a genius at promotion and production, but he's nobody's believer. He's all about tangibles and feeding the public appetite.
Kassidy Cartwright belongs to a Christian performance group that has captured his attention–if not his personal convictions. Once his life and heart intersect with this stunning lady, sparks ignite.
On the surface, Kassidy is strong and faithful. Beneath it all a longing builds to find the kind of forever love that two of her friends have embraced. She never expects God to answer that prayer in the form of Drew Wintower–his world is completely secular.
When a concert tour brings them together, Kassidy discovers a solid core of goodness and promise in this compelling man. As transformation occurs, can she hold on through Drew's spiritual growth spurt? Will Drew be able to convince Kassidy that his newfound faith is authentic–not lip service or an attempt to win her heart?
As I wrote above, Kassidy's Crescendo continues the story of the Sisters in Spirit performing group, a story which began in Aileen's Song.   These books are about not only the activities of the performing group, but also the personal lives of the four young women who are its members.

This installment, as you have certainly surmised, focuses on the character of Kassidy.  As the Sisters in Spirit prepare to launch their first tour, they meet Drew Wintower, who will promote and produce the tour.  He and Kassidy are powerfully drawn to each other.  However, she is reluctant to test the waters because Drew is not a Christian, while Kassidy's faith is the most important aspect of her life.

The Sisters in Spirit novellas can be read as stand-alones; you'll be able to pick up enough history by starting at any point.  However, to get the full picture and to learn about each of the four young women, I recommend starting at the beginning of the series.  These books are most suitable for teen girls and young women.

Links for more information:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles (Book Review)

As my husband and I get older, we are increasingly aware that our parents are aging, as well.  They're all in good health, thank the Lord, but at some point they might need some help.  I don't think everyone is like my 91-year-old mother-in-law, who still pulls weeds and paints fences!

I received a copy of Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles, at no cost to me, for review purposes.

From the back cover:
Sooner or later, it could happen to you! Anyone who has ever had to care for elderly parents will see their own situations reflected in this witty yet practical guide to surviving the ordeal. You’ll feel like you’re right by Pam Carey’s side as she outlines 49 essential points for navigating the trials of elderly living, the medical issues, and the inevitable loss that eventually comes. She illustrates each point with her own sometimes hilarious and often poignant experiences.
In Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles, author Pamela Carey tells the story of her parents' later years.  Carey was their primary caregiver, so she had the privilege as well as the burden of walking with them through some difficult times.  This book reads like her journal, providing not a cold, clinical account, but one infused with emotion.

The fifteen chapters contain 49 rules, such as these:
  • Rule Eleven:  A caregiver will earn a medical degree without the diploma.
  • Rule Nineteen:  Someone younger than eighty should accompany elderly parents to the doctor.
  • Rule Forty-Six:  Set small goals and accept small accomplishments.
Each chapter mixes events with advice, so the reader can learn from the challenges the author has faced.  The book is laced with humor, but as you can imagine based on the topic, it's not all light-hearted.

I liked this book and read it in just a few days.  I'll keep it for future reference.  Perhaps the part I'll value most is the appendix, which contains definitions, notes, websites, and phone numbers.  It covers various types of facilities (e.g., assisted living and different kinds of nursing homes).  It offers resources for finding a caregiver and finding a facility.  It defines medical-legal terms such as living will and DNR.  It provides general descriptions of, and links to learn more about, various government programs (e.g., Medicare, pharmaceutical assistance programs).

I recommend Elderly Parents With All Their Marbles if you are in, or think you may be approaching, the stage of being a caregiver for a parent.  For more information, click the book title (the Amazon page offers a "Look inside" preview) or visit the book website.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

HERO (DVD Review & #Giveaway)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review, and unless otherwise noted, all opinions in this post are my own.

From the press release:
From producers of Alone Yet Not Alone comes a heartfelt movie about legendary small town baseball coach, Joe Finn (Burgess Jenkins, Remember the Titans, Nashville, The Shunning), who after taking his shot as a scout for the big leagues returns home to discover the damage he's done by leaving his family behind. Now on a quest to rebuild his relationship with his son David, Joe forms a new baseball league to reinvigorate the underdog little league team his son had been coaching. Together, as father and son, they try to put away their differences and help bring their ragtag team of ball players, "The Gappers," to victory.
Joe Finn was on the road for work so much that his son David felt abandoned by his father for years.  When Joe returns to town and finds David angry and cold toward him, he decides to help coach the baseball team that David has been working with.  Through this he hopes to rebuild his relationship with David,

My whole family watched HERO with interest.  (You may remember that my husband and son often drift away if the movies I'm watching are too girly or not exciting enough for them.  Not this time.)  I really enjoyed it.  Although many--most?--of the scenes take place on the baseball field, the movie is really about the relationships.

I appreciate that HERO is family-friendly, although the cover cautions that "its subject matter is best understood by children 10 and older."  I agree.  In its message, HERO reminds me of "Courageous."  Family values, strong father figures, and commitment to a goal are major themes of HERO.

For more information, visit the HERO movie website.  See the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win a copy of this DVD!

Today I have the chance to give away a copy of the HERO DVD.  See the Rafflecopter widget to see all the details and to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway