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Posted April 15, 2011
Mayla Strong has lost her job and has trouble understanding her Mother, so with her severance pay she is headed to Florida to see her Parental grandmother whom she has not seen in years as the grandmother and the mother does not get alone after Mayla's mother had her dad unplugged from all the machines that was keeping him alive.
She was enjoying her time in Florida when a teenage girl the sister of a young man that had died with AIDS. Mayla had been friends with three gay men and was always at their place parting until she found Jesus. Then she was trying to get it across to them that it was an abomination to live that kind of life. One had died and the other two lived in her apartment building.
She had no idea that the whole state of Kentucky would follow her to Florida or it seem so. At first the teen girl ran away from home and found herself with Mayla, the teen was pregnant and wanting an abortion. Mayla was trying to talk her out of this. Then one of her gay friend got saved by the grace of God and the other one was so upset he had to drive to Florida to talk to Mayla.
At first I though that I would not enjoy this as I do not like to read about gay people but this one turned out great as they gave their heart to God. Virginia always comes up with some great stories.
This was sent to me by Revell Publishing for my review
Posted June 5, 2008
Sincerely Mayla is Virginia Smith¿s follow up to Just As I Am, where we first met Mayla Strong a young and very unconventional character and watched her come to faith. Sincerely Mayla brings us this lovable character as endearing as she was in book one, though a bit tamed in her appearance, sporting fewer piercings and less colorful hair. In the thick of winter, Mayla finds herself unemployed, on the outs with Pastor Paul who Mayla discovers she has feelings for, and the proud owner of a pet that she finds in the middle of a storm. When faced with these disasters does Mayla do what every unemployed, lovesick, pet owning woman should do? No, of course, not. This is Mayla we¿re talking about here. She sets off for Orlando, not to visit the big mouse, but to reconnect with her grandmother and get away from her problems. But poor, Mayla. Her problems hop on the plane or zip through emails and the telephone to make her vacation anything but restful. As an avowed suspense and mystery lover, I rarely make time for novels outside of this genre. Virginia Smith¿s books are one of the few exceptions. Smith does such a wonderful job of character development. She provides the reader with a unique cast doing battle with everyday issues and marries this with the struggle to live within their faith. Wrap all of this up with humor and a fun plot and you have one must read after another. Sincerely Mayla certainly fits this mold and is another Smith winner. Through Mayla¿s innocence we see the world from a different perspective. We watch her struggle with her new faith and think about how we live out our own faith. Her innocence coupled with the basic desire to do the right thing makes Mayla a very loveable character. She faces the same life issues we all face and the reader can deeply empathize with Mayla, forming a strong bond with her. Don¿t miss Sincerely Mayla or any other Virginia Smith novel. Buy one today, you won¿t be disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2008
Who said the Christian life would be easy? Not that Mayla expected a stroll through the park, but when life sours, it curdles fast. She finds herself with no job and few prospects for another one. And now, she has a pet rabbit that is threatened to wind up as nowhere as she feels. And what should she do about Pastor Paul Rowlings. She can¿t deny her feelings for him, but he certainly is in total denial regarding his feelings for her. Could she have misread his signals? When she makes the first move, he keeps a professional and cold distance, maybe as scared as Harvey her rabbit. Mayla tries to get away from it all by visiting a grandmother she hasn¿t seen for fifteen years, her troubles seem to follow her and multiply. And know she finds herself a mentor to a runaway teen and a scorned homosexual. Virginia Smith has done it again. A wonderful read that craftily blends humor with a raw reality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2008
If you¿re going to get acquainted with Mayla Strong through this second book in Virginia Smith¿s Just As I Am series, there¿s one thing you need to know. Mayla is going to reach out and draw you close¿it¿s what she does. Be you lost bunny, estranged grandmother, martyr-in-love aunt, runaway teen, or alternative-lifestyle friend, Mayla looks past the labels to the lonely soul inside. Mayla has her own problems, and they pile up like the snow that blankets her Kentucky home. When the going gets tough, she dreams of basking in the sun and hops on a plane to make her wish come true. A trip to paradise (Florida) to visit a grandmother she hasn¿t seen in thirteen years sounds like the perfect remedy. But that¿s not the way life works. As for leaving her worries behind, who knew trouble traveled? About the only person who doesn¿t show up on her grandmother¿s door step is Pastor Paul, whom Mayla adores from afar. He¿s a great guy. The e-mails he sends are caring and compassionate¿if you¿re simply a member of his congregation. Mayla wants more, and she sends her mother a carefully noncommittal e-mail that just happens to mention a get-together with the cute Florida pastor. She fails to mention it¿s for a Bible study, and she banks on the robust church grapevine to spread the news to Paul. What about the bunny, the grandma, the aunt, the troubled teen, and the alternative-lifestyle friend? Virginia Smith gives each one life and warmth. You see Mayla¿s friends and family as clearly as you see Mayla herself. I lost count of how many times I laughed or teared up. Smith¿s attention to detail is remarkable, too. It was a pleasure to `see¿ the story unfold, and not only to see it, but to hear it and smell it and feel it. She surprised me by describing little moments we¿ve all experienced but seldom noticed. Smith plays fair with Mayla¿s life, too there¿s a perfectly plausible reason as to why she can suddenly leave her two working-woman jobs. I loved everything about this book¿even the cover is the essence of summer. Take Sincerely, Mayla with you to the lake, the mountains, the beach, or wherever you go to get away from it all. You will meet someone big enough to help you face your life head-on.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2008
Sincerely, Mayla was a delight to read. Mayla, a bit quirky and headstrong, knows where she is going in life and doesn¿t mind telling people what they probably don¿t want to hear, but need to hear in order to know God and to grow. She loses her job and moves in with her grandmother and aunt in Florida. But first, she needs to settle something with the pastor. Then she finds herself dealing with a troubled teenager who has gotten pregnant. And then there¿s the rabbit. Oh my! Who else but God can help Mayla deal with life and the various circumstances we often find ourselves in? She¿s a headstrong Christian with a good heart, bent on straightening out a few things in her life. She¿s not one to ¿let things go¿. Where else but in this book could you find a dysfunctional family, a pastor on the ¿rebound¿, a rabbit as stubborn as the person taking care of it, a teenager in trouble, a gay friend with a different point of view on Christianity, and then there¿s Mayla, with her hands full and right in the middle of everything! I loved this story and wish now I had read Virginia Smith¿s first book about Mayla. Smith demonstrates her writing abilities to the fullest. Her story is smooth, her characters are real and she handles some of the toughest situations with ease and grace. I love it when a Christian book doesn¿t preach, but teaches the ways of God. Brilliantly and masterfully written, Smith has become another of my favorite authors. I look forward to reading more of her work. A must read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2008
Seamless¿that¿s the writing of Virginia Smith. This author has the ability to move me along line-on-line and chapter-by-chapter before I even think to come up for air. ¿How long have I been reading?¿ I ask myself. Actually, I don¿t care I simply picked up the thread of Mayla¿s unconventional approach to life and dive. Smith weaves Mayla in and out of a job loss, a Florida trip to patch up a relationship, and an online tete-a-tete. Can unconventional meet conventional and survive with faith intact? With her typical candor and strength, Mayla doesn¿t disappoint. And neither does Virginia Smith in Sincerely, Mayla.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2008
My Thoughts: I have not yet gotten the chance to read Just As I Am, but I cannot reiterate how glad I am that I was given the chance to read and review Sincerely, Mayla. After finishing this book #2, I cannot wait to go back and read the prequel in Mayla's life found in #1. Mayla is 23, my age, and she is a real and very 'normal' girl and I love her to death! Ginny has a winner with this story and life of the character of Mayla. Life is not a simplistic thing, and events do not occur one at a time and wait for something else to cool off before the next challenge. This book of Mayla's life is so real to life and brings so many things to light in the eyes of a growing Christian. Mayla is still a new Christian and learning step by step how to put more things onto God and become more Christlike. It is through her journey and life events that a reader can find peace and understanding of their own life. The beginning of the book was very humorous and caught my interest, the middle of the book I still could not put it down, and then end of the book practically had me in tears with a giggle in my smile. I strongly urge everyone to read this book. It spoke to me, to relating to Mayla's age, but there is a character in most all situations that can bring anyone into this story. There is no reason not to read this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
Is it possible to declare the best book of 2008 this early in the year? Because I think I've just finished reading it. I was eagerly awaiting the sequel to Just As I Am the moment I finished reading it last year. I had never read a Christian fiction book that spoke more to me, impacted me AND entertained me all at the same. This book has it all. From the moment I started reading I couldn't put it down.Mayla has got to be the best female lead character ever in Christian fiction. Finally there is someone who is a Christian, loves God to the fullest, yet acts 100% like a 20-something year old. Almost everything she's gone through, I could relate to, even down to having a piercing. What I love most about Mayla is how realistic her character is. Just because she's become a Christian doesn't mean she's changed her personality. Yes she does strive to do things better and does her best to follow Christ's example. Yes, she does want others to know about her faith and that she wants people to know about God's love and Christ's sacrifice for mankind. BUT she doesn't change completely over night. I howled when Mayla got that email from Paul about being on the rebound. That has got to be one of the funniest lines I have ever read in a book. When you read it, you will understand. I loved her love/hate relationship with the rabbit. I'm so glad she got mad at him for peeing on the floor. If it's one thing I hate in books, it's how Christians will be happy over everything even when things go extremely wrong. Topics like aborting and homosexuality are tackled in the book and the way they are handled are done very well. This is a book that I would pass out to everyone to read, Christians and non-Christians alike. While the faith message is strong and very present throughout the story, it's also and enjoyable read with a heroine that everyone will love. I really want there to be another book in this series. I can't let these characters go! VERY HIGHLY recommended!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 29, 2009
Sincerely, Mayla is probably Smith's best book yet. Mayla is a flawed, yet loveable character because she is genuine, especially when it comes to her relationship with God. Much of the time she is too distracted by life to pray, so she starts doing things on her own and then realizes she forgot to include God. A self-declared control freak, Mayla gains insight into her family's dysfunction and learns that sometimes for their own good, people need to hear what they are doing to hurt others. Mayla's life demonstrates that love wants to see relationships healed. Love wants to see people set free. While written in the first person point of view, it's not at all obvious. I love when an author can do that. Smith's writing is flawless and smooth-flowing. Her character's inner voice was so realistically done, you'll feel like you are in Mayla's head. And I totally loved how Mayla was passive aggressive and talked to herself while she read e-mails from Pastor Paul. What a scream! I also was very touched by the subplot with Lindsey. The truths that came out through her story were so well done I wish every teen in trouble would read this book...just for the message alone. And you've gotta love Stuart. Smith illustrated through Mayla's relationship with him that being salt and light to the unsaved really does make them thirst. But the most important thing is to love them as Christ loves us. The message to Stuart about how Jesus perceived him when he asked Mayla the tough questions was so beautifully done that it made me tear up. I dare say I've not seen this type of scenario written in a more honest and loving way anywhere. Yeah, Mayla was real, but Sincerely, Mayla shows that you don't have to be perfect to show people Jesus through your life. You just have to live sincerely and let Him abide in you so people will see Him in your eyes. What a beautiful illustration of an eternal truth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2008
This book was a complete joy to read. Mayla is a very real character, she has her flaws just as all people do and as a christian woman (newly christian) she was learning how to let God lead her in her life. I recommend this book from my heart.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2008
Mayla is at it again¿capturing our hearts and captivating our thoughts with her humorous but meaningful life. In her polished but down-to-earth style, author Virginia Smith once again spins a tale to which we can all relate because she unfolds it through the eyes of delightful Mayla Strong and company. Mayla never travels light, even when she tries. She may think she¿s escaped the cold Kentucky winter for the warm Florida beaches, but her problems seem to trail right along behind her, multiplying by the mile. But love has a way of unraveling even the most complicated messes, and Sincerely, Mayla is a perfect example of that great truth.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.