Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chasing the Sun (Land of the Lone Star, #1)

Title: Chasing the Sun
Author: Tracie Peterson
Labels: Fiction | Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: March 1, 2012.
Reading Range: YA | Adult
Contains: One random crude comment.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | The Publisher
Blurb From Goodreads: Bestselling author Peterson launches an exciting, romantic new series about a feisty young woman fighting to protect her family's Texas ranch against mounting threats.
          After being pulled up from her previous home and disengaged from her beau, Hannah is stuck living on her fathers Texas ranch taking care of her two young siblings, while her father is off looking after her sick grandmother, inconveniently close to the heart of the battlefields of the Civil War. The more time passes the more she begins to wonder if her father is even alive anymore. These suspicions aren't helped by a scheming "friend's" implications of such as he tries to quietly take over the ranch. Enter William Barnett. Will is a wounded soldier come back to reclaim his ranch, the very same ranch the Confederacy has handed over to Hannah's father and is now her home. William isn't the type to force innocent women and children off of the only home they've known for the last few years, but he believes the ranch is indeed rightfully his. So what now?

          This book was interesting, though maybe a little slow for me. Both William and Hannah are upright, honorable Christians with values, although Will has strayed a bit in his belief. Hannah is the one who almost immediately is attracted to Will, and eventually Will begins to develop feelings of his own. Meanwhile, Hannah's 'friend', Mr. Lockhart, is sneaking around trying to take the ranch from both of them. He comes off --at least to me--as a not-so-smart but sneaky character, consistently attempting to manipulate Hannah into submitting to his plans.

          The only problem I had with this book was the dialog. At times it was fine, but then other times it felt stilted and forced, like the author was trying just a little too hard to have them speak just as they would during the Civil War. And then once in a while I came across a phrase really did sound out of place, and too contemporary for the time frame.

          Overall this was a pretty good read with an interesting plot line. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway, #1)

Title: The Crossing Places
Author: Elly Griffiths
Labels: Mystery
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: September 28, 2010 (Reprint)
Reading Range: Adult
Contains: Profanity.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository
Blurb from Goodreads: When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.
      When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice.
      The bones actually turn out to be two thousand years old, but Ruth is soon drawn into the Lucy Downey case and into the mind of the letter writer, who seems to have both archaeological knowledge and eerie psychic powers. Then another child goes missing and the hunt is on to find her. 
      As the letter writer moves closer and the windswept Norfolk landscape exerts its power, Ruth finds herself in completely new territory – and in serious danger.
          This is probably a terrible way to start a book review, but... I'm a person who reads the entirety of books, even if I really am not enjoying it, if only to say I read the whole thing. So far, I've only given up on one other book...and now this is the second book I've given up on and closed before I was finished. I made it a little more than 100 pages before calling it quits.

          Why did I quit on this particular book? The language. Profanity like I have never seen in a book. Yeah, not everybody will agree with my on this one, but I simply won't put up with language like that in The Crossing Places. Which is sad, because the actual plot gave me a tinge of interest.

          I wasn't crazy about the narration (point of view, verb tense, etc.), but the plot was intriguing, hidden beneath my irritation at the language I kept stumbling upon. Ruth Galloway begins helping a particular police detective look for the murderer of a young girl, possibly connected with the bones of what appears to be a female skeleton.

          Sadly I can't give a more in depth summary since I only made it a third of the way through the book. While the archaeological details, unique characters, and general plot was of interest, it just wasn't enough to hold me. I bought this book, and therefore was not required nor asked to write a review, nor a positive one at that. I was not compensated for this review.