Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Review of No Way Up by Mary Connealy

Another fun read from Mary Connealy! The Cimarron Legacy Book One is No Way Up.

The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!
When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative.

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.

For those of you who have followed along with some of Connealy's other books, for instance the Kincaid Brides Series will know Heath Kincaid from book 3, Over the Edge.

This new series takes place in New Mexico Territory in 1880. Connealy writes with her usual humor and delight to entertain readers. If you've enjoyed her cowboy series in the past you will likely enjoy this one as well.

However, if this is a new author for you I'd recommend starting with the Kincaid Brides series. This new book felt a little slow and dry for me compared to her others. I struggled my way through to complete the book.

It was hard to put my finger exactly on the problem. I liked the characters. The setting was intriguing. The writing was fun and engaging. I think it was the tension, or lack thereof, that tripped me up. The story is based on figuring out who is threatening the ranch, yet I couldn't buy in to it enough. There was no compelling urge to find out whodunit. Just my personal opinion.

Currently on her website, Mary Connealy is offering a free e-book prequel novella title The Boden Birthright. Why not check that out to inspire and ignite your interest for her new series. Book two in the series, Long Time Gone will be out in February 2017.

Although this was not a favourite read of mine, I still recommend this author if you like stories with humor and heart and lots of western brouhaha.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Monday, September 26, 2016

Movie review of Voiceless

Christian film continues to put forth movies to challenge and open a discussion. Voiceless is no exception.

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Voiceless takes on the monster topic of abortion in a moving and compelling drama about a believer, a church and a community divided along the lines of choice.

Coming in early October to theaters across the United States, (sorry my Canadian friends) Voiceless will challenge what you believe about abortion and what you're willing to do about it. As a person. As a church.

Battling his own inner demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse's wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil. 
Check out the Dove Foundation's review of Voiceless. It has been given four out of five doves with a caution for content. And be sure to watch the movie trailer of Voiceless.

Voiceless was made to engage the church,” said producer Stuart Migdon. “We believe our film artfully presents the issue in a way that pro-life supporters can rally behind without alienating pro-choice viewers before they’ve had a chance to contemplate our story.”
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My thoughts: The movie was compelling and moving. It presented a man divided, a marriage divided, a church divided and a community divided - all along the lines of protecting women. Free choice is a controversial topic and this movie handles it all very well. I was impressed by the acting, the approach and the ending. I would definitely recommend people watching this movie. I also agree with the caution given by the Dove Foundation - this is not a movie for young children. I would even have a hard time recommending it to some teens. It would depend on the level of conversation and discussions you've reached with your teens. There are more topics revealed in this movie than just abortion. Parents, be sure to preview it first.

The only issue I have with the movie is the pacing. It moved at a snail's pace. Maybe it won't affect the moviegoers in the theater as much, but definitely the ones who choose to watch it on DVD someday. Sitting on a couch in your own home there will be many tempted to turn it off. This is unfortunate because the ending is so important to the discussion.

As well, the overall cinematic feel was dark and dingy. A little light along with the Light presented would have been nice.

Despite these last two comments, I hope you give Voiceless a chance. Go watch Voiceless. One man.  One fight. The ultimate sacrifice.


Thanks to Icon media and The Voiceless movie for the chance to review this movie. These thoughts are my honest opinion.