Review and Giveaway! A BROKEN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL by Katie Ganshert

This summer I received a copy of A BROKEN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL by Christian romance author Katie Ganshert through Blogging for Books. I had read several of Katie’s other novels and found them well-written and enjoyable. I also follow Katie on facebook, where she seems to be a very nice person!

A BROKEN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL felt slightly different to me than her previous novels. In this story, Ivy Clark, a young fashion model, comes home to model for her stepmother’s new wedding gown line. Ivy was not a character that I liked at first. She was rude and self-centered and a very high opinion of herself. Her interactions with others showed that she basically used her sex appeal and looks to accomplish whatever she wanted and that underneath she had low (or nonexistent) self-esteem for who she was as a person. Ivy has to work with Davis Knights as her photographer, and right from the start, things are different with him. He doesn’t seem taken in my her flirtatious ways and he asks her about her relationship with God. Will Ivy stay detached and self-centered, or is possible that she can open up her heart to others and to God? You’ll need to read to find out!

I enjoy Katie’s writing and I’ll give her credit for creating a story where at first I could not stand the protagonist, but eventually came to feel sorry for her and then to like her. A BROKEN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL is the perfect title for this story, because beauty after all is only skin deep and the beauty that is found inside is truly the lasting kind.

And I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY, too! Due to a technical error, I received TWO copies of this novel, one which I read and one which I saved to give away to one reader in the USA. Please leave a comment and a way to reach you if you’d like to be entered, and I will use random.org to select a winner. I will mail your book to you via USPS once I contact you for your snail mail address. Entries need to be received by October 10.

Review: “A Soul’s Calling” by Scott Bishop

Several weeks ago, Scott Bishop contacted me to ask if I would like to read and review his book, “A Soul’s Calling”. Termed a memoir, this novel tells Scott’s own story to climb to base camp on Mount Everest as part of a physical and spiritual journey. I’ve always liked the “journey to find oneself” theme, so I said yes.

Scott is not a mountaineer. In fact, he is a lawyer in New Jersey with limited wilderness experience. Additionally, Scott’s spirituality plays a huge part in who he is. In a nutshell, Scott sees and talks to spirits – entities from the “other side”. These spirits guide Scott and control him to an extent. They compelled him to go on this trek. Scott is also well versed in Shamanism.

I have to say that I found the journey to Everest the most interesting part of this book. I always have the utmost respect for folks who do these amazing physical treks. Personally, I would never ever be able to do it – not would I want to. It sounds downright miserable — rewarding once you get these and once it’s over — but seriously miserable. I found Scott’s “travelogue” so to speak interesting and I only wish there were pictures as it sounded like it would be visually stunning. I also was intrigued with the relationship between Scott and his porter and his guide. Both of these men, locals, adhered to stringent “social codes” designated by their position in their society/culture. I found the rigid mores held in the local culture there so interesting. i would have liked to hear more about the people!

While I generally find people’s beliefs and spirituality interesting to read about, this whole aspect of the book did not speak to me, and instead bogged me down in my reading. With the exception of an interesting passage where Scott explains the tenets of Shamanism to a fellow traveller, I found Scott’s struggles with darkness and malevolent forces distracting me from the Everest storyline. There was a lot of darkness/angst/tears/fear/torment. At one point I wondered how Scott ever got a good night’s sleep as he always seemed to be tormented by spirit that he was fighting and that had made him go on this journey.

All in all, an interesting read – and I have to say that Scott seems like a genuinely good guy. Thanks for sharing your book with me, Scott!