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Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Giveaway! Enter for a chance to in In All Things by Shawna K. Williams!

For a chance to enter this contest and win a copy of In All Things simply read my review and post a comment about whether or not you have a favorite black and white film and what it is. Second, if you were an actress how would you feel if you were told you needed to passionately kiss the other person in a scene and they weren't your spouse?

My answers: I love The Wizard of Oz, but I suppose that's cheating I suppose because it all turns into color after that. But it's still my favorite "old" film. Other favs are The Ten Commandments, The Sound of Music, etc. And the second answer is if I had to passionately kiss an actor for my job, part of me would think that would be cool and the other part would feel like I was betraying my spouse. That's called a war between the flesh and the spirit, I suppose. :) Your turn! I'll pick a winner using the Randomizer program next Sunday!

 Oh, and I just had to tell you that I gave this book 5/5 stars for excellence all around, 4/4 hearts for spiritual significance and healing hearts!

In All Things

About the book:

Jakob and Meri's story continues...

Meredith Louis's Hollywood career is at a point of transition. No longer under Majestic Studios control, Meri is free to broaden her appeal as an actress and finally earn the recognition she desires.

Meri and Jakob return to their hometown for the holidays where Meri hopes to reconcile with her parents after a decade of silence. But after a disastrous encounter, Meri is plunged into turmoil as old fears resurface in unexpected ways.

Jakob, already dealing with unresolved family issues of his own, is further burdened by his inability to help his wife. Can he learn to step aside and trust God's plan.Will Meri recognize what she already has?

In All Things is a story of faith and restoration, cemented in the belief, "...that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

My review:

I didn't think I could possibly enjoy the second book in this series more than the first. After all, No Other made my top fiction list for 2010. It's rare that more than one book in a series ends up on my favorites list in the same year. But In All Things struck a chord in me that resonates still. It had to do with characterization. Ms. Williams does a better job than most novelists in this department because she's not afraid to create human characters. Flawed characters. Characters who act like people act, not how we wish they would act or like some people's idea of publishing standards tells us they should act. I loved that about this book. The spiritual journey of each character flowed naturally and thus inspired me. Nothing seemed forced or contrived. Was anything "over the top?" Nope. Was there real emotion in this book? You betcha! I loved that. I also loved how the author showed the marital conflict and issues that came up in their relationship. Anyone could relate to those situations.

My heart engaged with each of the characters to some degree--even a few of the unlikable ones. They all made mistakes and had convincing regrets for those mistakes. They also made some good decisions along the way. The characters often tried to solve problems on their own rather than trusting God, and it took some major pitfalls to help them see that they needed to give everything they were trying to control over to God.

I loved the message about expectations and about trying to prove yourself to people. Sometimes people do things for the dumbest reasons, but to hurting hearts those things made a whole lot of sense at the time. People want to show their rivals that they weren't like some said they were or implied they were. Getting caught up in jealousies and insecurities made them vulnerable to all of the schemes the enemy cooked up to destroy their relationships with the Lord. This book exposes many of those nefarious tactics through the power of storytelling. I could go on and on but don't want to accidentally post any spoilers, so I'll refrain.

One of my favorite things about this book were Meri's dreams. The one about her seeing the housemaid when she was little was so realistic that I felt like I was watching a movie. I even heard the creaking and could see the maid's terrified face. That was a powerful scene, and the child's point of view that it was written in was flawlessly done. Also, the dreams Meri had about the future had almost a "Christmas Carol" feel to them, making them quite effective.

I loved how the author clearly showed the manipulation and seduction used by selfish people and how these schemes are often hard to detect at first. I was rooting for Meri and holding my breath at the same time. I loved how she had to deal with what really mattered most and loved experiencing with her the road she traveled to come to that conclusion. Bottom line--it had to be her choice. This issue was quite powerfully written and effectively shown.

There were so many insightful lessons in this book that were naturally woven into the plot and characterization that I could write a novel just posting them all. However, I want everyone to read this book for themselves. It had so much heart to it, unlike some of the anemic books I've read this year that barely touched on the inner workings of the heart and focused more on the era or the setting. This book was brave on so many levels, and I felt like I got to know the characters personally. I'm sure going to miss them. They'll have to live on forever on my favorite reads list for 2010.

15 comments:

Faith Winston said...

I do have a favorite black and white movie. It is "It's a Wonderful Life."

Shawna Williams said...

I heart you, Michelle. :)

LaTawnia said...

What a great review! Since I have read the first book, NO OTHER, I really am stoked to read this one! I loved the first one and this one sounds equally good if not better.

My favorite black and white movie is LOVE AFFAIR, or the newer revision is Sleepless in Seattle.

If I had to passionately kiss someone for a movie part, I would have to lock my emotional part that is tied to my husband away so I wouldn't feel I was betraying him. I would keep repeating to myself, "business is business and this is business." Not sure it would work though:)

enter me please for this book.... can't wait to read it!

latawniakintz at gamil dot com

rbooth43 said...

I loved reading No Other and am looking forward to reading IN ALL THINGS to find out the rest of the story between Jakob and Meri, and winning this book would be fantastic.
My favorite black and white movies are Flaming Star and King Creole with Elvis. Those movie's really ahowed his acting talent.
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

Leah said...

I'm reading No Other right now, I like it!
If I had to passionately kiss some one how would I feel?
It depends how cute the guy is!:) Just kidding.
No I don't think I would do it, even if i really wanted to. Because I wouldn't want my husband to do it if he had the opportunity.
Thanks for the giveaway!
dymesich(at)juno(dot)com

Tore said...

I love the Greatest Show on Earth. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

apple blossom said...

I don't remember seeing any b&w movies. But I do love to watch good clean movies.

And the kiss thing. I'd probably feel like I was betraying my hubby. Don't know that I could do it.

apple blossom said...

oops forgot to include my email address

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I march to a different drummer. LOL
I love Laurel and Hardy and Ma and Pa Kettle movies!

I couldn't kiss him.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Jo said...

If I am not mistaken "MIracle on 34th Street" was in black and white a long time ago and that is one of my very favorite movies. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving another man besides my hubby a passionate kiss.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Edwina said...

My fav B&W nmovie is An Affair to Remember.

Melinda Elmore said...

I like the Wizard of OZ and all the Elvis movies

This is a great review!!! Would love to win

My email: nativeauthor@gmail.com

Walk in harmony,
Melinda

Karin said...

"My Man Godfrey" is my favorite black and white movie. (Carole Lombard and William Powell)

Absolutely could not do a passionate kissing scene.....I don't even like to watch them in the movies or on TV!

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Michelle Sutton said...

The winner is...

Carol!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

klassykleaning said...

I don't really have a favorite black and white movie, but if I were to have to kiss someone passionatly in a film that is not my husband, I would keep my tongue to myself, my lips closed and the other person face tightly close to mine so no other person can tell it wasn't a real kiss. I hope?

Linda E
klassykleaning@hotmail.com

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