Friday, October 9, 2009

The Transformation

Author: Terri Kraus
Publisher: David C. Cook
September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7814-4867-3
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Oliver Barnett is between construction jobs, so is interested when Real Estate developer Samantha Cohen contacts him about renovating an old church in downtown Pittsburg. The church is not exactly what Oliver was expecting, he thought it might be a church like building that could easily be made into an office or a restaurant without anyone ever knowing that it was once a church. But what he finds is an old stone building that is very obviously a church, with beautiful stain glass windows. Oliver is horrified when he learns that Samantha Cohen wants to make it into a nightclub.

Oliver has always been the good boy, never rocking the boat, and always obedient, so he knows exactly how his mother will react when she learns he is hired to remodel a church into something else. But Samantha is lovely, full of life, and Oliver is drawn to her, even though the church/nightclub is a strike against her, as well as the fact that she’s Jewish—another no-no. Oliver isn’t sure what he should do about the Blue Church project.

When Oliver’s old girlfriend, Paula reenters the picture (at the encouragement of Oliver’s mother) Oliver is more conflicted than ever. Should he rekindle his relationship with Paula, or does he follow his heart with the girl of his dreams?

THE TRANSFORMATION is the third book in the Project Restoration series, though it easily stands alone. I read the others in the series and enjoyed them, and was looking forward to reading this book.

Rich in description, both of the setting and of the characters, THE TRANSFORMATION can make you ”see” what you are reading. I enjoyed getting to know the well developed characters and wrestling with Oliver and Samantha over their decisions.

It is obvious that Mrs. Kraus is a fan of restoring old buildings and has put in a lot of time researching this subject. I especially enjoyed reading the Afterwords section in the back of the book that includes a note from the author, and discussion questions, Don’t miss THE TRANSFORMATION. It is a heartwarming story about decisions. $14.99. 357 pages.

about the book: HGTV Meets Desperate Housewives in Terri Kraus’ Latest Novel

Renovation of building and heart collide

in Kraus’ next installment of the Project Restoration series

What happens when the normal Christian life you expected doesn’t turn out exactly that way? Can a good, hard-working Christian man disregard his cultural and religious admonitions—as well as his mother’s plans for his life—for the love of a woman and a historic church building? For anyone who has ever faced a dilemma of the heart—or for the avid HGTV watcher—author Terri Kraus tackles these questions with The Transformation (David C Cook, September 2009), the latest installment in her Project Restoration series dedicated to remodelers, rehabbers, and DIYers.

Oliver Barnett is a good contractor, a good Christian, and an obedient son, never in trouble, never one to rock the boat…until real estate developer Samantha Cohen enters his life. Samantha, full of life, vitality, and wit, is unlike any woman he has ever known—in more ways than one. Not only is she planning to transform a historic church into a restaurant/nightclub, she is Jewish and has had a “modern moral past,” having none of the restrictions that Oliver has had placed upon his own behaviors. While Oliver needs the work, he struggles with the idea of being involved in such a building project.

At the same time, an old girlfriend, Paula, rekindles a long-ago relationship with him—with the enthusiastic encouragement of Oliver’s domineering mother. Paula would be the safe choice, and the choice that would appease Mom, yet Oliver is drawn to Samantha because of her beauty and her exotic nature. Oliver finds himself in a most unsettling dilemma. Does he do what’s right by the nice girl his mother has chosen for him, or does he do what his heart is telling him to do?

“Can a ‘good, Christian boy’ find happiness with a woman from another faith?”asks Kraus. “Can Samantha find salvation through Oliver’s witness? And can a church ever be anything other than a place of worship? These are the intriguing questions I pose in The Transformation and I hope readers will enjoy discovering the answers.”

The Transformation by Terri Kraus

David C Cook/September 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7814-4867-3/304 pages/softcover/$14.99

Check out the trailer for THE TRANSFORMATION!

The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for a review. No money exchanged hands.

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