Saturday, March 30, 2013

Scorned Justice Review with Amazon $30 Giftcard

Title:  Scorned Justice:  The Men of the Texas Rangers Book #3
Author:  Margret Daley
Pages:  368
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
                I just finished the latest novel in an entertaining as well as suspenseful mystery that is action packed!  The first in this series is titled Saving Hope with the sequel being Shattered Silence and before winter of 2013 the fourth in the series will be released titled Severed Trust.  As a reader who likes to see novels that intertwine faith with other themes, this one weaves in faith and trusting God with our most treasured gifts.
                As a judge, Rebecca Morgan, who practiced as a prosecuting attorney beforehand, had seen many hideous crimes of all types committed.  Now, those who were after her looked to be one of two rival gangs, but Texas Ranger Brody wasn’t quite convinced.  The Morgans owned and operated a ranch with several head of cattle and various horses too.  When revenge slowly comes closer and closer to Rebecca’s loved ones, she tries to keep herself together but finds that to be unrealistic.  Having buried one cop before, Rebecca didn’t want to fall in love and marry another because that meant she would have to risk the possibility of losing another husband.
                Thomas Morgan is the other owner of the ranch.  He is married and has two daughters.  He seems ready to expand the ranching business.  Then, on the night of his birthday, tragedy strikes like fierce lightning and continues on throughout the pages until the suspect slips up.  When the perpetrator is caught, the journey of healing can begin for the whole Morgan family.
                I would love to share with you more of the novel and action, but that might ruin it for you, and I don’t want to take away the fun of reading Scorned Justice.  The author did a great job of showing the Morgan family at different stages of their lives and their faith, which can be a reflection of some families in reality.  Also, the twists and turns of the person behind all the heartaches happening in the Morgan family is hard to figure out until the last couple chapters when the author has the person reveal themselves as well as the reason for their actions.
                I don’t know about you, but I like to think I am in control of my life.  Suffering has a way of reminding me that I am not as in control as I tend to think I am.  There are a couple of characters in the novel who remind any of us who struggle with not being in control that only God is in control and we can let go and trust Him.  Life is bigger than we are.  We don’t control others and have trouble at times even keeping ourselves out of trouble.  Grab the book and if you can, the others in the series as well. Then share with someone else who likes riveting storytelling!
                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

Margret Daley's Latest Novel

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Scorned Justice
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Margaret Daley


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold eighty-three books to date.

Margaret was the president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of Christia writers with over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry.

On a more personal note, she has been married for over forty years to Mike and has one son and four granddaughters. She treasures her time with her family and friends.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun is with his parents in west Texas when an unexpected attack injures the brother of Rebecca Morgan, Brody's high school sweetheart. The local sheriff, a good friend, asks for Brody's help. At first, it seems like an open-and-shut case. However, as Brody digs deeper, he realizes the attack may be related to an organized crime trial Rebecca will be overseeing. With Rebecca's help, he compiles evidence which involves cattle rustlers, bribery, and dirty payoffs that shatter the entire community and put Rebecca directly in the line of fire.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Scorned Justice, go HERE.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Love's Second Chance



Title:  Love’s Second Chance
Author:  Mike Lynch
Pages:  310
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Ellechor Publishing House
                This is a story of second chances, starting over or getting a fresh start.  Ever wish you could do that?  Maybe you have done that and can relate to that part of the storyline.  Set in a small town named Fair Haven, this is a contemporary romance.  The two main characters are Dana Rogers, a pastor’s assistant and Evan Johnson, a real estate agent.  They both attend New Covenant Christian Church, which is also where Dana works.
                The story progresses slowly with no real action until about halfway through the book.  After that, the plot definitely takes an upturn and the pages started turning faster.  Evan and Dana investigate a mysterious fire to find out the identity of an arsonist.  Evan disappears on his own trail of evidence and isn’t heard from for a couple of days.  Meanwhile Dana and her best friend, Roberta, try to drum up support from the townspeople and community businesses to invest in a rebuilding project.  Dana keeps asking questions on her own and thinks she might know who the guilty person is.
                During a time of waiting for a reversal of fortune, the church is in desperate need of members as well as spiritual renewal.  I really liked how an emphasis was placed on recruiting people with the love of God and the eternal value of that, not the temporal focus of what recruits can do for the church.  Some of the characters show the love of Christ in their everyday actions, living their lives for Him.  While some in positions of church leadership falter or fail completely in obeying and serving God first and self-interest second.  I think this is something we can all take to heart and contemplate.
                There were some good one-liners and witty comebacks spoken by Dana, but I thought Evan fell flat somewhat.  The story also seemed choppy, and their romance seemed stiff and stilted.  She makes a snappy comment and either Evan doesn’t react or he gets angry.  Then, out of the blue Evan declares his love for Dana toward the end of the book.  There were also typos, which were bothersome, but good editing can fix.  The idea of the story was a good one, but the execution was just okay. 
                My rating is 3.5 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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Land Beyond the Portal by J. S. Bailey



Title:  The Land Beyond the Portal
Author:  J.S. Bailey                                                                                                                            
Pages:  252
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC
Note: Leave a comment on this post for an opportunity to be chosen to win a copy!
J.S. Bailey’s debut novel The Land Beyond the Portal starts with a teenage girl who has fallen down stairs and bumped her head, which caused her to lose her memory.  The only thing she has figured out is that her name is Laura.  As she tries to figure out who she is and where she is at, she makes her way to the basement of the house that she is in.  She stumbles upon something unseen and the next thing she knows is that is suddenly lost in a forest.  Nothing is familiar, but two children find her and take Laura to their home.  
Throughout Bailey’s novel, Laura meets many people who are friendly, but live a primitive lifestyle unfamiliar to her.  With the help of the local leader and his family, along with the family’s servant Rochelle, Laura adapts and makes friends; however, something is not quite right in the village.  A mysterious deity is revered, but is he what he appears to be? 
Laura searches for clues to her identity as she uncovers one mystery after another.  She discovers that she has travelled through a portal into another world or dimension, but she may be closer to her home than anyone had thought.
J.S. Bailey does a wonderful job creating fresh and lively characters that interact well with each other, and the setting is familiar yet alien enough to keep readers interested.  As her protagonist ventures to discover herself, more questions are raised through brilliant plot twists and turns.  Although the last chapter picks up the pace to reveal the mystery a little faster than and without as much buildup as expected, the story does end happily for most.  This novel is perfect for young adults and fans of several genres—history, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and crime drama.  There is something for everyone in this fascinating tale.  I highly recommend it!
  My rating is 5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
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

J. S. Bailey writer of "Vapors"


Title:  Vapors
Author:  J.S. Bailey                                                             
Pages:  32 estimated
Year: 2012
Publisher:  J.S. Bailey
Note: Leave a comment on this post for an opportunity to win a copy!
J.S. Bailey’s short story Vapors is a curious look into the future when two archeologists with the power to bring human remains from a bygone time back to life in order to find what life was like before the cataclysmic events brought about a nuclear holocaust.  
After bringing a woman, Miriam, back from the dead, the man responsible, and archaeologist named Hugh, does not understand why the woman is so distraught and angry to have returned from the dead.  Hugh does not understand anything the woman is referring to although he claims to want to know about her and her life and times.  She tries to explain that what he has done is wrong, regardless of his intentions, but Hugh has his agenda to fulfill even if it violates ethical boundaries.  Kerry, Hughes assistant, is more sympathetic to Miriam and her desire to be where she was before her resurrection.  Miriam tells Hugh and Kerry that what they have done and the knowledge they desire is nothing but vapors.
After reading Vapors, I can imagine how difficult knowledge of the past would be sought after to understand what life might have been like and what may have led to an apocalyptic event when no written records survived.  Although the story takes place at some undetermined time in the future, it is easy to see how so much knowledge could be lost, especially when the destruction comes about because much of the world wants to destroy any reference to spiritual and theological viewpoints as Bailey alludes to in Vapors.  The archeologists apparently have no knowledge of, or at least no strong belief in, the existence of a human soul or any sort of afterlife.  Miriam clearly indicates that she was while “dead,” she was indeed in a beautiful place where everything was perfection in the presence of Elohim.  Bailey’s vision of the future, although dismal, creates an atmosphere to cause people to think about spiritual and ethical issues as well as the ignorance of humankind about the past, present, and potential future.
  My rating is 5+.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
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


Guest Post: J. S. Bailey



Twenty-Four: A Reflection

Guest Post by J. S. Bailey (http://jsbaileywrites.com/Home.php)

Today is my twenty-fourth birthday, and I am still learning. There are more questions now than answers, and I know that the insight that has been developing bit by bit through each new experience could never have been learned in a classroom.

Experience is an interesting thing. I have gone through pain and loss, success and joy. I am not the person I used to be, and I am not the person I will become.

I find it funny how I once viewed life in terms of black and white. Today I open the curtains and look at a world that is painted in an entire spectrum of gray.

My writing has changed as well. With all these new questions burning within me, my writing has become a journey not just for my characters, but for myself. I want to explore those tricky gray areas. I want to gain the wisdom of experience by living vicariously through fictional people who will never live outside of the written word. And most of all, I hope that others will take that journey with me—for we do not walk the earth alone, but together.

I think this is at the heart of why I write. I could pen a million words and never show them to another soul, but that would be a waste of the gift God has given me. He has opened my eyes so that others’ eyes may open. He wants me to share the stories with anyone who is willing to read them.

A year ago I wrote a story that is very close to my heart. I wrote it as a ghost story, but it is much more than that. It is a story of loss and anger, and one of letting go of the pain that prevents us from moving on from the past. But above all, it is a story of forgiveness. The title is Rage’s Echo, and it should be released this coming fall.

I encourage each of you to drop on by for a visit at www.facebook.com/jsbaileywrites so you can receive updates about Rage’s Echo (in addition to other writing endeavors). As always, I feel a bit of terror knowing that once again people will be picking up something that I wrote and thereby will take a glimpse into my soul, yet at the same time I can’t wait to share it with you. Are you with me? J