52 Books in 52 Weeks: “In The Presence Of My Enemies”


Welcome to week 21 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I promise you I have been reading- I am just WAY behind on writing reviews!

I openly wept while I was reading In the Presence of My Enemies.  So much so that my cat came out from her spot where she had been soundly sleeping to make sure I was okay.

In The Presence of My Enemies is the story of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who spent over 15 years of their lives as missionaries with New Tribes Missions.  They worked in the Philippines.  Martin was a pilot and flew supplies (such as medicine, food, schooling materials etc) to tribes who could not be reached by road.  He had the incredible ability to land his little planes on short runways surrounded by trees.  For many people he was a lifeline to letters from families in the states, medicine that saved lives and food.  His wife, Gracia, worked as a radio operator with Martin and other pilots.  She kept everyone organized in the sky.

To celebrate their wedding anniversary (she tells their love story in the book) they left their three children with trusted friends and rented a room for one evening at a resort in the Philippines.  Gracia states in the book that she thought about cancelling several times because the $200 for the evening was extravagant on their budget but she and Martin had spent so little time together between the children and their jobs they decided one night couldn’t hurt.

That night the resort was taken over by Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group in the Philippines.  For just over one year the couple was held hostage and moved almost daily around the jungles.  They were not the only hostages taken and they watched as ransoms were paid for some, some of the women were taken as wives for the extremists and some were killed.  Gracia’s book is an account of their day to day life- the events that held them together and the things that made her want to fall apart.

Eventually the Philippine army breaks in to rescue them and Martin dies next to Gracia during that rescue (she points this out very early in the book so I promise that is not a spoiler).   After such a long journey where their marriage, friendship and faith endured to read of his death from her perspective was heart breaking.

Gracia finishes the book with her story of being home, how her children are doing and the ministry she now has.  She speaks candidly about trying to learn to forgive her captors and the healing she and her family has gone through.  She talks about being angry with God and the struggle to understand why bad things happen.  And while she doesn’t have all the answers there is a trust you can read in the undertone of the story that speaks volumes about her journey.

 

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks: Week #20 “Where Wildflowers Bloom”


Welcome to week 20 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Where Wildflowers Bloom (Sisters at Heart) by Ann Shorey. This was one of the free Amazon downloads from a while back- love these free books. It’s not free right now but hopefully it will be again!

The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg– as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. The only relative she has remaining is her grandfather. With so many bad memories in Noble Springs, Missouri she wants to take her grandfather and head out West to Oregon. She spends her time trying to talk her grandfather into selling their family store so they can leave with nothing holding them back.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns to town, Faith allows herself to hope that her dreams might come true. As he begins to court her he tells her of HIS desire to go to Oregon. But rumors of his trysts in other nearby towns make Faith doubt his sincerity.

Meanwhile Curt and Rosemary, a brother and sister, are in town and Faith has be-friended them. Rosemary was a nurse during the Civil War and is treated horribly by the towns people because she worked on men. (This INFURIATED me as I read the book.) Her brother Curt received a significant knife injury during the war so has a nasty scar down the side of his neck. Both have sweet spirits and are true friends.

Will Faith choose Royal just so she can leave town or decide to stay where her family has lived for generations and run the local store?

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Week #19: “Paper Roses” by Amanda Cabot


Welcome to week 19 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series! If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

I am playing catch up so it has been a few weeks since I read “Paper Roses” by Amanda Cabot but I have still thought about it a few times. And that says a lot for a Christian historical fiction novel. Most of them I have found pretty shallow and forgetful.

The main character, Sarah Dobbs, immediately seemed almost real to me. A well bred girl from the East her parents had died leaving her to care for her very young sister. In an act of desperation she became a mail order bride and surprised herself by falling in love with a man through his letters, which she call her “Paper Roses.”

After a long train trip she reaches his hometown only to be met by his brother, Clay, at the station. Her love has been murdered. Going home for her is not an option so she is forced to depend on the family that should have been hers to keep a roof over her and her sister’s head.

The book is the story of her struggle to establish herself as an independent woman in Texas, find the man who murdered her love and find a new family and home.

It’s the first of 3 books in the “Texas Dreams” series so I will be trying to track down inexpensive copies of the other two!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


52 Books in 52 Weeks #18: “Before The Scarlet Dawn”


I owe you guys two book posts so I am playing catch up today!

Welcome to week 18 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Before the Scarlet Dawn: Daughters of the Potomac, Book 1 (The Daughters of the Potomac).

The book’s description on Amazon is pretty reliable:

 In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the heart of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. Her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him, due to her station in life.   

Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it’s a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

Because I am working on 1776 right now I was very interested in this book because the time periods are pretty close together.  It was a great picture of what life would have been like for Abigail Adams.

The book was completely riveting for the first 75% of the content.  Then a HUGE turn takes place in the plot and it felt like the author needed to wrap it up so she just rushed through the wrap up.  I was really disappointed in the ending.

This is only the first of a series though so I will keep my eyes out for the follow up.  I don’t know that I would pay $9.99 for it but its a definite read from the library or if it pops up FREE on Amazon!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #17: Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1


Welcome to week 17 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Saving Hope: Men of the Texas Rangers Book 1.  It was free a little while ago on Amazon so I downloaded it to my Kindle Fire.  

I REALLY enjoyed this book- it was a great light read.

The main character Kate is barely paying the bills while running “Beacon of Hope School”- a home for girls, most of whom were either abandoned or were victims of human trafficking.    When one of her girls runs away she meets Wyatt, a Texas Ranger with a teenage daughter.  As can expect there are sparks.

Wyatt’s daughter ends up in danger from a local trafficker who takes Kate as a consolation prize.  Wyatt must save Kate and the missing girl before it is too late!  (How was that for a dramatic description?)

This book is aptly described as a Christian Romance Mystery novel.  It was a nice, easy read.  It didn’t change my life but it sort of makes me want to take a trip to Texas and meet a Ranger!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #16: Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy


Welcome to week 16 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I read Out of Control (The Kincaid Brides) by Mary Connealy.  The book description was pretty good on Amazon:

Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe–until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch–and Rafe’s controlling ways–as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels–or to be forced to kiss her! 

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

Overall the book was good.  I have to be honest though- the Julia character drove me absolutely crazy.  Sometimes I wondered if the writer portrayed her with PTSD or some other underlying issue that she just failed to mention.  She switches back and forth between being an adult and being a spoiled 13 year old girl.  There were several moments in the book I wanted to reach through the screen (I was reading on my Kindle) and smack her.

What Julia lacks in continuity the other characters in the story make up for.  Rafe is portrayed as the cowboy every girl wants to meet when she thinks of the old West.  Connealy’s description of the land and culture of the time make that time period seem romantic and dangerous all at once- a great combination when you want to get lost in a book.

Overall I would say if you like romantic western novels this is a good bet for you!

 

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #15: “Murder On The Rocks” by Karen MacInerney


Welcome to week 15 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

The book I read this week was Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney.  At the time I am writing this, the book is still available for FREE to download to your Kindle, PC or Smart Phone.  As always this can change at any moment!

This is the first free book I read on my new Refurbished Kindle Fire – which I love.  I think part of my reading experience may have been connected to the fact that I was reading in a new medium.

The book is set in Maine and the main character, Natalie Barnes, is running a bed and breakfast on tiny Cranberry Island.  (I really enjoyed the parts about the B & B in the book- when I travel with my mom we try to stay in Bed and Breakfasts often so it was nice to read something from the perspective of the hard working people who run these establishments.)  Natalie is barely making ends meet after picking up her life and investing in the Inn.  To make matters worse a large investor comes to the island with his sites set on destroying all the natural beauty and building a giant resort.  For reasons unknown the developer decides to stay at the B & B instead of in a larger hotel on the mainland along with his assistant and a few other guests.

A few days after his visit begins Natalie discovers his body while out for her morning walk and becomes the prime suspect.  The remainder of the book is her, along with the police, sorting through the various characters on the island to discover the real murderer.

All in all I thought the book was pretty good.  This was the debut book for the author so I am sure she had ironed out some of the kinks in her newer novels.  I felt like the writing was bit choppy at times but the characters were very relate able and there was just enough romance without it being ridiculous.  The struggle of a small business owner to keep herself afloat was also something many people can relate to.

She mentions several mouth watering dishes in the book and I was very pleased to find the recipes in the back.  Not that I would cook them or anything but I have friends who like to do such things.

So if this sounds like something you would like, check out Murder on the Rocks (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, No. 1) (Gray Whale Inn Mystery)!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #14: “A Little Bit Wicked” by Kristin Chenoweth


Welcome to week 14 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week I spent a hilarious hour and a half this week reading “A Little Bit Wicked- Life, Love and Faith In Stages” by Kristin Chenoweth.

As a singer and actress myself I generally enjoy reading autobiographies of successful performers- especially those as ridiculously talented as Kristin Chenoweth.

She is an opera soprano who has branched into movies, Broadway and television with great success- well liked by her co-workers and amassing a very loyal following.

She also originated one of the most famous Broadway roles in history by being in the original cast for Wicked (no she is not the green one- who is also incredible).

Here is a taste of some of the humor in the book:

It turns out Kristin is also hilarious. Her autobiography was probably the fastest I have ever read a non-fiction book.

Raised in a conservative Christian home in Oklahoma her parents were very supportive and completely unimpressed with her unbelievable talent. She was adopted at 5 days old and became a little sister to 3 year old Mark- who provides much of the comedy in the book. It’s easy to picture myself laughing so hard at their dinner table my stomach would ache.

There are a million hilarious stories in the book some of them from backstage at Wicked and Pushing Daisies.  There are also two incredibly easy, high fat, high taste recipes that only a 4’11” thin actress can eat without blowing up like a balloon!

But perhaps the most daunting story is one of the lowest points in her life.  She was becoming disillusioned with some of the elements of Broadway.  She had a television show she thought was amazing that was cancelled in under 10 episodes.  She was in New York, wallowing in her disappointment and eating ice cream late into the night.  In the morning, only a few hours after going to bed, she was awakened by sirens that seemed to never end.  Unable to get back to sleep she turned on the television to see the events of 9/11 unfold in her city.  She watched her beloved Broadway dark as tourism died.  It changed her whole perspective on performing in New York.

If you like Kristin or love reading about performers I highly suggest “A Little Bit Wicked.”  You will be laughing out loud!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #13: Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong


Welcome to week 13 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

Last week I reviewed a book from one of my favorite non-fiction authors, Mark Batterson.

This week I re-read a book by one of my favorite fiction authors, Kelley Armstrong.   While she is most well known for a series of fantasy books she has one series that are great crime reads.

The first book in that series is Exit Strategy.  It was published in 2007 so you can get used copies REALLY cheap and hopefully your local library will have a copy!

I absolutely love the main character in these books.  Her name is Nadia Stafford, a former cop who now owns a wilderness ranch in Canada.  She was “released” from the police force for taking matters into her own hands and killing a suspect.  The wilderness ranch was struggling and one of her guests had noticed what an excellent shot she was with a rifle.  It turns out he was connected and had a man who needed to be taken care of.  He offered her an excellent amount of money to help them out and in desperation she agrees.  It’s the first step that leads her to be a contract killer- only for that family and only if she agreed to the job.  She sort of creates her own sense of justice.

She is eventually discovered by a very successful hitman who decides to mentor her and they maintain a mysterious relationship.  A serial killer operating in the United States as the Helter Skelter killer has now released the information that he is a hitman.  Recognizing the threat to everyone who makes their living in this dangerous occupation Nadia knows that they must catch the serial killer before he brings a full on police investigation into all of their lives.

Armstrong builds a phenomenal cast of characters that allows her to easy write the sequel Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2).

I have probably read this book a half dozen times.  I just LOVE the characters and it’s easy to relate to a strong female lead.  She also somehow manages to communicate very well the inner struggle of someone who finds great satisfaction in her job when she knows she shouldn’t.  The characters are like-able and relate-able.

So check out Kelly Armstrong- you might find a new author you like!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Book #12: Soulprint by Mark Batterson


Welcome to week 12 of the “52 Books in 52 Weeks” series!  If you haven’t seen all the books take a moment and catch up!

This week for my book I read Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny by Mark Batterson.

For those of you reading this is a Christian book.  It talks about God and has many references to Scripture.  I gave you that disclaimer so you can quit reading if you will be offended- which is not my intent!

Below is a video that explains exactly what the book is about:

I used this book as a supplement when I did my daily Bible reading. Now I have to give you a warning I LOVE Mark Batterson’s books. He is one of only two authors whose books I buy every time. His newer book The Circle Maker is sitting on my night stand ready to be read as well.

Soulprint opens with one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis:

” The dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship… it is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities… that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ‘ordinary’ people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” 

Trying to narrow down what I learned from this book into something readable is insane.  There is no way.  So here are a few thoughts I had while reading, just to give you an idea of whether or not it would be a good read for you.  These are lessons I learned and am trying to use in my life:

1.  God sees potential in every person.  One of the interesting things about my job is the lack of human interaction face to face and the boldness of people online.  People send me e-mails and messages with some of the most interesting things in them and it is hard to imagine they would be so bold in person.  And because they are a faceless person it is easy just to delete the e-mail and move on.  But as a fellow blogger reminded me once- every single person that visits my site represents a household that I have the chance to make a difference in.  And I believe that God has a plan for every person and sees potential in them.  I want to strive more and more to see the potential in everyone around me.

2.  When we look back at life we can see a blue print.  Occasionally I will sit back and ponder how I got where I am.  The story of how I ended up being a full time blogger is amazing.  How activities I did when I was in my teens prepared me for public speaking, being comfortable on television and radio and helped me develop my frugal attributes.  How decisions I made about not getting into debt on anything that wasn’t necessary 10 years ago mean that I can survive on the money I make now.  I believe that nothing in life happens on accident and so many things had to happen for me to be where I am now.  God had a plan.

3.  Sometimes you just have to be willing to make a fool of yourself.  I have a REALLY hard time with this.  I like looking like I have everything together.  One of the hardest things for me to do as an actress is play the part everyone laughs at.  I prefer being the villain- it’s just easier.   But the bottom line is without taking a chance you never grow. Without the risk of falling flat on my face what gain could I possibly receive?  For me personally I need to take more risks- both at work and in my non-coupon life.

Those were probably my three biggest thoughts during this series- although there is much more written in my prayer journal and on my heart.  Thanks for taking the time to read such a serious post- it’s part of my journey to be willing to make a fool of myself!

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.