Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hidden by Vanetta Chapman

Title:  Hidden (Jacob Family Series #1)
Author:  Vannetta Chapman
Pages:  396
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Create Space
My rating is 5+ stars out of 5!
Vannetta Chapman’s novels are outstanding as they draw readers into a story filled with interesting characters and many twists of the plot.  I found Hidden when perusing an online bookstore for a book that had suspense, thrills, and action along with a little bit of romance.  When I began reading Hidden, I knew I discovered a treasure and quickly ordered the sequel released this year titled, Protected.
Unlike her previous books, her main characters are agents with Homeland Security based in New Mexico.  The unit is made up of people with various backgrounds and specialties.  The leader is a woman named Dana whose young life was touched with tragedy and domestic abuse.  Her experience as a child propelled her to excel in the area of law enforcement, but the cost of losing agents is beginning to take its toll on her heart.
Now, a new agent is hired whose military background strengthens the unit and with Ben’s smile Dana is not sure she can keep her heart hidden too much longer.  The problem is Dana’s faith took a serious blow with her childhood trauma.  Ben has decided that she is the one for him, but can he prayerfully work past her defenses?
I found reading the tale captivating and action-packed with constant threats and danger always pressing in on the local unit. Ben’s faith is what got him through his service in Iraq and though at times he still misses his best friend, his heart is easily given to Dana.  The budding friendship and romance transcends the boss/employee relationship.  The risks Ben takes to win her heart and trust is very touching. 
The constant on-call nature of their job reminds me to be thankful for all who serve our nation to keep people safe from those who desire to carry out evil schemes.  I loved how Ben didn’t have all the answers to the questions Dana presented, but pointed her toward asking the Lord directly.  Ben’s character made it okay to have questions and to work with the Lord in living daily life by faith.
I cannot wait to read the sequel, Protected, and hope that the author plans for more than just two novels in the series.  Readers will enjoy the action, feel the hope that faith in the Lord brings and look forward to more stories in the future by this very gifted author.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Impact by David E. Stevens

Title:  Resurrect
Author:  David E. Stevens                                                                                                              
Pages:  384
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Lion Hudson
                This is truly a combination of a unique storyteller with an equally one of a kind story!  The novel has many components of various fields of study plus multiple genres, and it just kept getting better the further I progressed.  What piqued my interest was the picture of an E-18 on the cover flying in mid-air with a comet apparently falling in the background.  My father was in the Air Force and wanted to become a pilot; unfortunately, his hearing wasn’t quite where it needed to be.  As a youngster on the back porch in the summers, my Dad would identify planes to me without even looking up most of the time based on what he heard.
                When you add the title, Resurrect, with the cover photo, one has to wonder about this fiction’s contents.  The further I read, the more surprised I was.  One minute I would think I had an inkling of where the novel was heading, only to turn the page and see that the author threw in a curve that blew my theory out of the water!  Commander David Stevens himself has Naval Flight and Operational experience, yet the amount of research done to bring a down-to-earth novel is breathtaking.
                The story spans many different countries, jobs, relationships, governments, and private sector involvement, etc...  It is hard to put into concise verbiage the entire explosive story that includes, but is not limited to, action, adventure, and mystery.  Another characteristic is the mystery of trying to understand just where the lead male character is getting his information.  Josh is preparing to take off on his last flight, having just been married for a year, when his life is abruptly changed.  Josh isn’t sure there is a God and when he awakes he speaks with someone he names Jesse, but who is it really?  Not only that, his looks and body are nowhere near what they were before his life changed.  He can’t remember anything about himself, at first.  Then, he begins to remember.  What does he remember as time moves toward what Jesse refers to as the final two years?
                Prepare yourself for more than you could ever imagine.  I was so immersed in the story, time just flew by.  The multitude of themes, genres, scenes, and more was just astounding to read and see how the author intertwined them.  It has such a flavor and mystery for readers as well as the many questions the lead male character asks.  It has a profound impact on the mind as well as the heart of the reader!  Make time for this novel, and watch for future novels that will be continuing the story started here.
                My rating is 5+ stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hidden in the Stars

Title:  Hidden in the Stars (Quilts of Love Series)
Author:  Robin Caroll
Pages:  218 (including discussion questions and excerpt from the next book in the series)
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
Sophia Montgomery is a gymnast who has just been informed she has made the Olympic gymnastics team when she and her mother are attacked, leaving one dead and the other severely injured.  In this vicious attack, Sophia has her hands broken and mangled so badly that her dreams of being an Olympic gymnast are forever ruined.  She has no money saved for college as she was depending on her gymnastic career.  She gave up her apartment as she was to move to the training facility in Texas to train for the Olympics.  Now what is she going to do with her life?  Thankfully, her strong faith is the only thing sustaining her in the horrific aftermath of the attack.  Well, her faith and a certain detective who is handing her case.
Julian Frazier has kept God at a distance ever since the death of his partner on the force in a drug-related arrest that went bad.  He now is faced with one of his most challenging cases as well as fighting his attraction to the victim, Sophia Montgomery.  He admires her strength and zest for life and sense of peace.  He is surrounded by three people working the case with him who are all Christians.  Maybe God is trying to tell him something?
I would have like the story to be a little longer so I could get to see the characters in other situations and how they might react, getting to know them better.  That being said, this is still a very good story with some tension-filled moments, deception, romance and faith-filled moments as well.  This is an easy story to get involved in and finish on a rainy afternoon.
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Always on My Mind

Title:  Always on My Mind
Author:  Susan May Warren
Pages:  400
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
The Christianson family series tells about a growing family who runs a resort in upper Minnesota.  The family’s offspring were raised as Christians though not all that happens in the novels is gold at first glance until some come to the end of themselves and look up to God.  Each novel features one of the adult children though the whole clan is a part of the tale in one way or another.  The family is far from perfect with plenty of humanity leaking out, causing rippling affects.  Like real people who trust in the Lord with their whole being, He alone takes the leaking humanity and redeems it for His glory and the character’s blessing.
With the growing number of novels published and still being written, some people may want to know in what order the books fall, so I did some checking.  The family story starts with Take a Chance on Me, followed by It Had to Be You, and then a novella titled, “Evergreen”.  In 2015, the family tale begins again with Always on My Mind and coming soon The Wonder of You.
I was simply captivated by Always on My Mind from the first page to the very last.  The adventure, mystery, faith and handling a tough subject like abuse was simply brilliant on the author’s part.  The Christiansen family makes mistakes and they fight or misunderstand each other, but above all they deeply love each other.  Here, Casper, the middle son is learning to hear God’s voice and not allow his temper to lead him into trouble as it has in the past.  Raina, the woman he loves, is with a man who cares only for himself and knows nothing about how to love.  Casper is attempting to live and show her the difference.  Raina believes she isn’t worthy of anyone’s love including God’s because of her choices and their consequences.
As readers venture farther into the book, they will see how God’s love comes shining through all types of situations and various people.  So pull up a chair and get lost in the pages of a fantastic tale!  Then be ready for the soon to be available next installment of the Christianson family.