Book Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good GirlThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it! Very suspenseful. Didn’t see the ending coming at all. I’ll definitely look for more by this author.

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Book Review: Seagrass Pier: A Hope Beach Novel, by Colleen Coble

Seagrass Pier: A Hope Beach Novel

By Colleen Coble

Thomas Nelson

Elin Summerall was in need of a heart transplant. Fortunately, a perfect match came by way of murder victim, Laura Watson. Soon after surgery, Elin begins to experience a phenomenon known as “cell memory.” She’s having nightmares of the murder which took her donor’s life. As news of this hits the media, people begin to search out Elin for more questioning.

Past acquaintance, FBI Agent Marc Everton, shows up to investigate the connection between the murder of Laura Watson and the murder of his FBI partner. His belief is that the killer in both cases is the same. He’s not the only one interested in talking to Elin; the murderer himself wants to find her to shut her up for good.

Elin retreats to an isolated cottage on Hope Island where she hopes to protect her young daughter and her mother who suffers from dementia. The suspense begins as Elin receives threatening, cryptic messages from the suspected killer. She’s desperate to have the psychopath behind bars, but the only one that will help her is Marc, who is on leave-of-absence from the Bureau and has been told to stay away from the investigation.

Seagrass Pier is an attention grabbing thriller, with non-stop action; although at times, the list of characters and their connections to each other can be a little confusing. For more background information, I suggest reading the other titles in the series: Tidewater Inn and Rosemary Cottage, before reading this title . However, my curiosity kept me turning the pages to find the answers to my questions, and I got them.

Tender moments stirred emotions, which is always a good sign. So I was pleased with the overall theme of the novel, and I hope to read more works by Colleen Coble. Her way of adding a touch of God’s grace to each situation helps the reader to remember that no matter how difficult a situation may be, there is always hope.

Rating: 4 stars (the number of subplots takes away from the main plot of the story)

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.

My Wish For You This 2014


Becky At Sotol Vista

So, yesterday’s short blog was a “Happy New Year” post.  Today’s post is a “what I wish for you (and for me) in 2014” short blog.

I posted this image of me at the Sotol Vista overlook of Big Bend National Park, Texas, because it represents all of the expansiveness of photography that I wish for you as well as myself.

I hope that 2014 brings many photographic possibilities your way.  And I hope that your camera gear is all fresh, ready and repaired (I just received a bill from the Canon Service Center for work on my 1-DX…..a bit of a surprise but I should have expected a pricey repair for a pricey camera – ahem).

I hope you get to travel more, see more exciting lands / people / vistas, capture more weddings / portraits / portfolios / events, or whatever it is that you enjoy photographing the…

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Book Review: Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt

Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt

Sandpiper, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A cruel father, an abusive brother returning from Vietnam, and another brother determined to make life a living hell; that’s enough misery to fill anyone with hate and rage, but Doug Swieteck finds an unlikely outlet for his emotions. Doug discovers that he can draw.

When Doug’s father is fired from his job at a lumber company in Long Island, New York, he packs the family up and moves them to upstate New York, where his buddy, Ernie Eco, has lined up a position for him at the local paper mill. Doug’s father is abusive to his wife and kids. His older brother, Chris, is a trouble-maker and is soon accused of robbing several stores in their new home town. His oldest brother, also abusive to Doug, is scheduled to return from Vietnam after his tour-of-duty is cut short by enemy fire. Who knows what battles Lucas will be fighting when he returns?

Okay for Now is filled with laughs, as well as disappointments and misunderstandings. Just when things are going well for Doug, life punches him in the gut. Along the way, there is bribery, deceit, and conniving. If you are not paying attention, you might miss important clues about the way things work in this world. This story is a reminder that while life isn’t always an easy journey, it’s still worth the price you pay for the ticket.

Reading this story brought on a myriad of emotions: from anger at the abusive father, and the mother who did nothing to stop the abuse, to elation for Doug on discovering his artistic ability, and then to fear that he might lose the one person in which he can confide the horrors of his home life. You’ll feel these emotions, as well, when you read Okay for Now.

Rating: 5 STARS

Book Review: Robert Griffin III, Athlete, Leader, Believer, by Ted Kluck

In this biography, Ted Kluck compiles statistics from many years of football’s running quarterbacks and compares those against Robert Griffin III as a rookie, trying to lead a struggling franchise to a winning season. He includes the NFL scouting and draft process, as well as a look at how the business of advertising endorsements influences a player’s popularity. As for telling the story of how Robert Griffin III became a talented standout among high school and college athletes, well, there is a lot to be desired.

I can sum up this review in one word: disappointment. I chose to read this book based on the title: Robert Griffin III, Athlete, Leader, Believer. I wanted to get to know the athlete. I wanted to read about strength, both physical and spiritual. I wanted to know what it takes to become a Heisman Trophy winner, and how RG3, as he’s become known, managed the pressure of being a stand out rookie and bringing the Washington Redskins a winning season.

Instead, what I read was a review of statistics on how the odds are stacked against Griffin because of his running ability as a quarterback. Most of the first 60 pages are dedicated to players who washed out before their prime. It seems Mr. Kluck’s purpose for writing this book was to speculate on whether or not Robert Griffin would make it past his rookie year, especially since Griffin ended the season with a knee injury.

For those football fans looking to compare player statistics, you’ll probably love this book. When not comparing quarterbacks, Kluck gives play by play recounts of the Redskins 2012 season and two appendices of other football jargon. If you’re looking for a biography of Robert Griffin III, you need to look elsewhere.

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Biff and Becka’s Stupendous Vacation, by Elaine Beachy

A lesson in learning to make the best of a bad situation, based on religious teachings.

Who knew a “staycation” could pack more adventure than going to the beach. Biff and Becka, brother and sister rabbits, learn to apply biblical teachings and appreciate the resources in their own neighborhood when Father breaks the news that their vacation plans have to change due to a pay cut.

Disappointed by this announcement, Biff is sure that he will be miserable. He is afraid the other kids in the neighborhood are going to tease him when they find out. He even made a promise to Clancy to bring him a souvenir from the beach.

This story is full of opportunities for parents to teach their children about compromise, honesty, and respect. Lessons from the Bible are intertwined with lessons on personal growth in a charming tale. The equal mixture of reality and fantasy makes for an enjoyable read. Even adults can learn new ways of helping their children deal with difficult situations that may arise in life.

Children from ages 7 – 10 are sure to be enthralled by the escapades of Biff, Becka, and their cousins Alfie and Alice. I feel confident that Biff and Becka’s Stupendous Vacation is going to be a huge success.

I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.