Sunday, November 04, 2007

November Book Reviews

Title: One Wave at a Time: A True Story
Author: Billy Bryan Brown
Publisher: VIP Partners
Author’s Web site:
ISBN: 978-1-60145-300-6
Pages: 213
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry ( (10/07)

OH, MY GOSH! What a Story!

One Wave at a Time tells of a miraculous true life adventure only ninety-nine percent of us could ever dream of, let alone live and survive. Billy Bryan Brown has done just that. Brown articulates vivid living imagery in a colloquial style as though you’re sitting with him beside a fire, seeing the colors of the flames and smelling the aromas of the burning wood.

Brown starts the journey as he describes the loss of his family in a tragic accident, followed by the complete destruction of the privileged life he had always known. Suddenly, at sixteen years of age, Billy Bryan Brown was cast into a world of unknown. Wandering the countryside from Canada to Mexico, he worked odd jobs, unable to find that “something” to fill the churning emptiness he describes. Then, he saw Ami. It was love at first sight.

This modern day pioneer, lead by a stirring deep in his soul and supported by his equally adventurous wife Ami, took off one day for the wilds of the Alaskan bush country with little more than their blind enthusiasm and love for one another. Page after page, Brown relentlessly pours out one harrowing story after another about their seemingly fool-hearted quest. All the while, one slowly gathers an appreciation for their inner strength and developing awareness of the wild land and scary sea they call home.

One Wave at a Time is a story of trust, of surviving on the most basic of needs: meat, warmth and water. As mankind has done since his arrival on this planet, the Brown’s learned how to adapt to their ever changing environment. They become hunter-gatherers in order to overcome one obstacle at a time, discover valuable life lessons, and ascertain that life’s simplest treasures are the ones that truly make life worth living.

Like the Beverly Hillbillies on steroids, the Browns become the consummate Alaskans as they live the Alaskan creed: take only what you need, use all that you have, when you no longer need it, give it to someone who does.

Brown weaves his tale just as he had lived it with straight-forward, simple, honest talk. There is no need to embellish these heroic tales when it comes to describing the hair-raising horrific sounds coming from the monsters in the night, or standing face to face with a twelve-foot tall grizzly bear ready to demolish them, or a raging bull moose ready to push the entire family over a cliff. From fishing boats on the roughest Pacific seas to the remotest spot of land in North America, day after day the Browns tackle seemingly insurmountable odds. Whether it was finding wood, food, water, medical care, or their house burning down, where there was a will, there was a way, One Wave at a Time.

The Cat Who Came for Christmas
Cleveland Amory

Back Bay Books (2007)

ISBN 9780316058216

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (9/07)

I like all animals, but consider myself to be a true dog lover. I especially love the big, ugly, slobbery ones. Cats don’t quite fit into this category for me. When I read, “The Cat Who Came for Christmas,” I developed a new appreciation for cats. Cleveland Amory has written a heartwarming story about his experience with a cat that he agreed to temporarily foster. For some reason, this strange creature managed to sink his claws into his heart - not literally, of course.

After cleaning up the dirty, not-yet-named feline, Cleveland discovered that the cat was actually white. He did some extensive debating about what to name this creature. He finally came up with Polar Bear and it seemed to fit. Cleveland still agreed to foster other animals, including a big rambunctious puppy, an overactive kitten, and a pigeon. Polar Bear was not very appreciative of them. These chapters were really fun to read.

In addition to Polar Bear’s story, the author also throws in some facts about the history of cats and his experiences with the Fund for Animals. These sections were very interesting. Reading about the history of cats and how they were revered in ancient times gave me a better understanding of why they evolved to be so haughty. The parts about the Fund for Animals, which he founded in 1967, were extremely interesting. Cleveland got heavily involved with some very strong efforts to stopping the illegal slaughter of whales and the inane clubbing of seals.

“The Cat Who Came for Christmas,” is a great book to curl up with. Even if you aren’t a cat lover, I think you will enjoy it, I did. I also believe that it would make a great gift for a cat lover.

Montana Mistletoe: Return to Mistletoe/Christmas Confusion/All I Want for Christmas is...You/Under the Mistletoe (Inspirational Christmas Romance Collection)

Authors: Lena Nelson Dooley, Lisa Harris, Debby Mayne, Kim Vogel Sawyer

Barbour Publishing (2007)
ISBN 9781597898201

Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views (9/07)

Kids can sometimes make foolish promises, setting certain deadlines for years down the road. Do you ever wonder what might happen, when that date set so far in the future approaches? Will the pact be remembered?

Lori, Deanna, Madison and Kathy made a pact as children that they would find their true love by their 28th birthdays. None of them think much about it until they meet for lunch and remember the pact. They each ask each other if there is even a remote possibility that any of them will meet the deadline. Lori is the mayor of the small town of Mistletoe and has worked with her pastor on many occasions and thinks maybe there is a hope for the two of them to take their relationship to another level. However, they don't seem to be on the same page as he will be moving from Mistletoe very soon to take a different position in a different area of the country.

Madison runs a Christmas store called Under the Mistletoe and often travels to build up stock. Will she find someone to enjoy being under the mistletoe with this holiday season? She thinks the big city of New York and a successful businessman, Albert, may be her last chance before she turns 28. She sells her business, but her plans have a big fault and she returns to Mistletoe dejected.

Deanna is in charge of promoting the town of Mistletoe. Mistletoe has fallen on hard times and it takes all of her efforts to build up the tourism of the area. You can't exactly spend any time or effort on finding someone when your time is taken up on promoting the city. She fears the only way she will reach her goal of honoring the pact is to have a man suddenly fall into her lap. Be careful what you wish for!

Kathy has ventured away from the small city of Mistletoe. Despite being raised in the small city that honors Christmas every day of the year, she has lost her Christmas spirit. Will coming back to Mistletoe lead her to contentment in Mistletoe and love in her heart? May all the Christmas wishes of the town and young ladies come true?

“Montana Mistletoe" is truly a treasure by four talented storytellers. This book gives the readers love in their hearts and discovery of the true story of Christmas. No matter how much we think we can direct our lives, if it’s on God's timetable, things will happen in order for each of the ladies to be blessed in a most special way.

Open the pages of “Montana Mistletoe” today! As you read from page to page, it’s almost like opening a new present each time. Let "Montana Mistletoe" add a new dimension to your Christmas holidays this year!

For more holiday book reviews please go to:

Rochester Hills author announces the release of her new book

Title: Confessions of a Catholic Schoolgirl
Author: Michelle Kane
ISBN: 1528842-01

For Mothers...
For Daughters...
For Discussion...

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Michelle Kane survived nine years of Catholic school to go on to a public university, Eastern Michigan, where she earned a degree in English Language and Literature. Kane also completed a Masters in the Art of Teaching Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University. She is a certified Reading Specialist for grades K-12 in the state of Michigan.

CONFESSIONS OF A CATHOLIC SCHOOLGIRL is her second novel. Here is a description of the book:

Valerie Bernowski hates her school, her plaid uniform skirt, and her flat feathered hair. She also hates being teased and called “polock” so much she tells everyone she’s Swedish.

When Valerie finds out her parents are getting divorced, her world turns upside down. She begins to rebel against the Catholic faith and the ones who push it on her; her mother, Sister Mary Angelina and even Father “Fingers.”

Valerie’s story begins in the mid-’80s, when new wave was big and the hairstyles were even bigger. Her tales unfold through intertwining chapters of flashbacks and present day reflections. Her bumpy road to self-discovery is paved with a cynical sense of humor, a longing for love, and a struggle to find faith.

Will Valerie realize that in order to move forward, she needs to let go of the pain of the past and the fear of her future?

Available at:,, and
A percentage of profits will be donated to organizations fighting to end domestic violence.


Janet Grace Riehl said...

There's an art to a good book review and you manage to capture the essence of the story so folks would want to read the book. Well done. My book reviews are under the "Read On!" category along with author interviews and you might enjoy these some rainy day.


Olivia said...

What an archive of rich resources you've assembled here, Yvonne. I could spend days exploring your "right column" of links, articles, ebooks, and programs. I'm excited to be plugged into the Blog Chain as well as all of the new resources available. Thank you for doing this,

joyful paws said...

"The Cat Who Came for Christmas" sounds like a wonderful book! Your review makes me want to run right out and buy it!
Thank you again for the fabulous job you did writing my media release! Can't wait to put it into action. So glad to have found you. I'm sure I will be back!