Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Monday, December 29, 2014

Forever Christmas

One snowy Christmas Eve, Andrew’s life is tragically turned upside down. Then a heavenly gift provides him the opportunity to make things right. Andrew Farmer is on the fast-track in the literary world. As an up-and-coming agent, he is constantly on the road, wooing prospective clients and making a name for himself. All of his travels leave his wife Beth, his childhood sweetheart, home alone, wondering what has happened to their marriage.

Andrew returns from yet another last-minute trip, knowing he needs to make amends to Beth for his departure just days before Christmas, but he doesn’t expect her frosty greeting and the argument that ensues. Would they have spent their last moments together arguing had they known that just before midnight on Christmas Eve, Beth would be hit by an out-of-control taxi that would ultimately take her life? Andrew would like to believe not, but it isn’t until he meets a humble, straight-talking angel in disguise named Lionel, that Andrew receives the opportunity to try again.

Lionel grants Andrew the gift of the last three days of Beth’s life to relive, but there’s a hitch: her fate cannot be changed. Only one gift will save her life, and Andrew has a mere seventy-two hours to figure out what that gift is or he’ll lose Beth forever.

The cover and the description of the story intrigued me. I received a digital review copy from Thomas Nelson-Fiction via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Other reviews stated - a magical tale, reminiscent of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol.” I hoped to find a Christmas classic.

My expectations were not met. Forever Christmas was not good enough to be compared to “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” the story was likable enough but I don’t see it as becoming a classic. It seemed Andrew and Beth talked to themselves rather than to each other. Other people gave their opinion about the main characters but not why. I found it somewhat lacking.
I often enjoy happily-ever-after stories but Forever Christmas failed to capture my attention.   Andrew and Beth didn’t seem real enough. The story never really impressed and possibly too short to develop the characters fully enough to care about what happens to them. This story did not have real conflict and tension only perceived issues. Again it was told to the reader what happened not letting the reader see it unfold, seemed more like a movie rather than a story to read.

The other reviews of this story stating that it was like other stories tells me it was not too original and was too predictable. I was disappointed in this Christmas novella, the description basically told it all.  The characters are not developed enough to care enough about them and the concept of redemption and restoration did not fully come through.

I received a digital copy of book from Thomas Nelson Fiction via Net Galley for my review.

Monday, December 15, 2014

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

Features include:
  • Christ in the Scriptures: A new segment in each book’s introduction; Christ in the Scriptures traces the Christ-centered salvation theme present throughout the Bible.
  • Bible Time Notes: These notes, found throughout the study Bible, provide facts of secular history, culture, and archaeology during biblical times, giving you a historical context for the scriptures.
  • How to Use Bible Study Tools: A new article on using various reference tools such as dictionaries, concordances, and commentaries is included; empowering you with additional resources in your study.
  • Cross references: More scriptural cross-references, found in the center portion of each page, are included in this new edition.
  • Commentary Footnotes: The page-by-page commentary on which you rely has been revised and updated to include the latest in biblical scholarship and insight.
  • Index and Concordance: The comprehensive index contains listings from all the study Bible’s features, in alphabetical order, of the study Bible. Also included is a 195-page concordance.
  • Over 100 articles on key Bible doctrines
  • 350 word studies with Strong's numbers
  • Full-color maps
  • Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
  • Bible Times and culture notes
  • Prophetic stars: cross reference to messianic prophecies predictions and fulfilled
  • Teachings and illustrations of Christ
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Miracles of Jesus
  • Prayers of the Bible
            It is written in paragraph form which makes it an easy format to read. This Study Bible is filled with great tools to help you in your reading. Whether you want to read it devotional style or chapter to chapter, this Study Bible is a great choice.
            I have enjoyed looking through the pages of this bible and find many interesting tools to help with your study of God’s word. However, this version does not come with the words of Christ in red but, I was able to get used to it. Just check before you buy some do come with the words of Christ in Red. The stars indicating messianic prophecies are not where I thought they should be (near the verse); it is in the center cross reference. The maps and articles are thorough. 
            I would recommend this bible for those who want to study God’s word. Thomas Nelson Bibles are giving back through the God’s Word in Action program. Donating a portion of profits to World Vision, “we are helping to eradicate poverty and preventable deaths among children. Learn more and discover what you can do at” I received copy of the NKJV Study Bible, second edition, full color edition, from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their BookLook for bloggers program for my review.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Promise by Beth Wiseman

   Mallory Hammond is determined not to let her boyfriend Tate, her parents, or anyone else get in the way of her goal to save a life. She had that chance when she was a teenager and the opportunity slipped away, leaving a void she was desperate to fill. Then a new friend she met online offers her the chance she has dreamed of, but she’ll have to leave behind everyone she loves to take it.

     In a bold move and with lots of resistance from Tate and those closest to her; Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dream. Tate begs her not to go, but Mallory embarks on the dangerous journey to Pakistan anyway, only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. Her new friend isn’t who he says he is, and Mallory can only pray she’ll make it out alive.

     I was looking forward to reading another book by this author. Although this book was based on real events and worthy of a story, I was disappointed in this story and the way it unfolded.  I understand the need to portray people of other religions as normal the way we in the west see things, but it didn’t read well for me. The writing was good but maybe someone else could have addressed the issues better.

    I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Fiction through Net Galley

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Christmas Light by Donna VanLiere

I love a good fluffy Christmas tale about as much as anyone, but while this is certainly holding a fair amount of sweetness, I did not find it memorable. An entertaining and cute story, but the characters weren't much beyond their own individual tragedies and dramas.

            A various cast that’s dealing with their own uncertain futures and become involved in the
somewhat chaotic Christmas pageant put on by two charming older women. The pageant goes on
despite crazy children and the characters, well, they just sort talk about their lives with each

            The cover description left few surprises about how things will end. Predictable and an easy read. You could read it with your eyes closed. VanLiere managed to pull together a lot of loose ends and wrap them up in a nice little bow by the end of the story. If you need a quick read without too much thinking, The Christmas Light fits the bill, but not memorable one.

            I received copy of eBook from St Martin’s Press through Net Galley for my review.