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One Wish: My Review

About the Book:
Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she's proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she's created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement. 

In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace's fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other. 

But things get complicated when Grace's past catches up with her, and she knows that's not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He's determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.

My Comments:
While this book can be read by itself and still make sense, it is obviously part of a series and is getting more soap-operaish with multiple characters and threads that carry from book to book.  The main plot of this book was the romance between Grace and Troy.  I liked them and liked watching them become parts of each others lives.   As a general market romance, there was intimate activity and it happened before marriage but it was obvious these two cared for each other and were not just fooling around.

The character in this series who is really growing on me is Ray Anne.  She is the local real estate agent and she is a flashy dresser who has less than a stellar reputation.  However, in the last book she got into a relationship with a man who accepted three teens as foster children, and she has become a part of those kids' lives.  In this book she takes in a cousin's daughter who is severely depressed following the death of her infant and the collapse of her marriage.  We learn that there is a lot more to Ray Anne than meets the eye and I for one am really rooting for her, and admiring her.  I've found that many of Robyn Carr's characters are pretty stock (Troy is a nice guy but there is little unique about him) but sometimes she manages to write one who has some depth and Ray Ann is, in my opinion, the deep character in this series and I can hardly wait for the next book to see what life brings her next.  

I'd like to thank the publishers for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

Hello, and welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. In it, discuss and link to your posts for  the week--whether they deal with theology, Catholic living or cute Catholic kids. I'm mostly a book blogger so my posts are generally book reviews, some Catholic, some not. Make sure that post links back here. Once you publish it, come back here and leave a link below.

We also have a yahoogroup; signing up for it will get you one weekly reminder to post. Click here to sign up.

One post this week; a review of Lisa Hendey's The Grace of Yes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: The Grace of Yes

About the Book:
Catholic new-media personality and bestselling author Lisa M. Hendey is fueled by a lifelong passion for her faith. In The Grace of Yes, she guides readers through pivotal moments of her journey and the eight virtues that have helped her—and will help readers—learn how to say yes to God. 

Beloved Catholic blogger Lisa Hendey explores eight spiritual virtues that she believes are foundational to the Christian life. In opening windows to pivotal moments of her own spiritual journey, she helps readers learn about belief, generativity, creativity, integrity, humility, vulnerability, saying no, and starting over, and shows how these virtues lead to generous living and the ability to joyously say yes to God. Hendey reflects candidly on real-life struggles: the identity adjustment of leaving a blossoming career to become a stay-at-home mom; the temptation of Divahood as her online celebrity grew; the freedom and opportunities of empty-nest status versus the middle-aged body’s pull to slow down; her encounters with spiritual community during treatment for cancer; and the contrast between the profound lingering grief she confronted at a Rwandan genocide memorial and the astounding willingness of survivors there to forgive. Readers encounter Hendey’s own struggles and successes while soaking up her characteristic warmth and good advice. Hendey provides questions for personal reflection and a prayer to close the exploration of each virtue.

My Comments:
This is a great treadmill book.  Wait, that's a good thing.  I despise the treadmill, but with my schedule, it is about the only exercise I can reliably say I'll do--no place to go (except my garage), no schedule to keep (and the fact that it is paid for helps).  Nevertheless, walking to nowhere is boring, so I read while I walk.  Yes, it slows me down, but I figure that I'm better off with a slow 30-60 minute walk than a somewhat faster 5-10 minute walk.  However, I've found that treadmill books need to grab my attention and keep it.  They can't be hard to read or require large doses of concentration.  Tonight I was on the treadmill for over an hour reading The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living.

Many readers of Catholic blogs will recognize the name of the author, Lisa Hendey, as the publisher of the Catholic Mom mega-site.  If  you aren't familiar with Catholic Mom, go take a look (after you finish here--you'll be there for hours.  The book sounds like Lisa is sitting across the table chatting with her readers.  She writes in the first person and she comes across  as real.  While she tells us her usual morning prayer routine, she is human enough to admit that sometimes she doesn't pray like she should.  Her house isn't always clean and she struggles with maintaining humility while trying to promote a book or her other endeavours.  

The chapter I liked best was on the grace of vulnerability.  In it, she talks about the not so pleasant aspects of aging.  She's my age and, like me, has noticed that things don't work as well as they once did.  Like me, she wonders if she is selling out by bowing to societal pressure not to have gray hair.  In that chapter Hendey also discusses the Hippocratic oath her physician husband took and how we ought to take it "First, do no harm" to heart.  She encourages readers to make sure relatives, even those not close to them, have what they need, to care for those in their parish and neighborhood and to take care of their own bodies--to not abuse drugs, alcohol or food.  As someone struggling with way too much weight, that hit home.  

Each chapter ends with reflection questions that would be great for journaling, or, with a group you are close to, for discussion.  Finally, there is a prayer asking for God's grace.

I'd like to thank fellow book blogger Pete Socks for his Mega-Advent Giveaway in which I won this book. (check out his blog; he always has giveaways)  I was not obligated to read it or write about it and if you've read my blog for very long, you know I don't say nice things about books I don't like.  Grade:  A.  

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