Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The House Across the Street (The Jack Sleuth Series Book #1)



Title:  The House Across the Street (The Jack Sleuth Series Book #1)
Author:  C N Bring
Pages:  84
Year:  2014
Publisher:  C N Bring
C N Bring delights her younger audiences with a story set in Boring, Oregon, around three elementary boys on summer break from school.  During the break, Jack, Kyle and Curly stumble upon a mystery when they deliver cookies to a new neighbor in the area.  Until now Jack’s biggest struggle has been to avoid a bully and his two friends.  With his next visit to the new neighbor who lives across the street from his home, Jack and his friends’ summer is about to be turned upside down!  These three boys embark upon unraveling the web of lies they begin to discover along with meeting an FBI agent who is brand new to the job.
Together the three boys and FBI agent will keep young readers turning pages until the conclusion, but don’t be surprised if the story captures the attention of older readers as well!  I enjoyed losing myself in an adventure and mystery that brought a smile to my face and entertainment to a winter night.
Don’t miss C N Bring’s latest offering!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”

 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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Unwilling Accomplice


Title:  An Unwilling Accomplice (A Bess Crawford Mystery #6)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  337 (advance reader’s edition)
Year:  2014
Publisher:  William Morrow
It is autumn 1918 and Bess Crawford is summoned to London to accompany a wounded war hero as he accepts a medal from the King of England for his meritorious service.  After receiving the medal, the wounded soldier disappears, leaving Bess to face a charge of dereliction of duty.  In order to clear her name and restore her reputation, Bess sets out to find the man.  She enlists the help of the ever-stalwart family friend, Simon.
After setting off to track the man through hill and dale, they discover more and more questions about who they are tracking.  Is it even the right man?  How could he possibly just disappear when he was confined to a wheelchair?  What is he up to?  Then, a soldier on extended leave home is found hanging from an iron bridge, murdered.  A witness places Bess’s missing soldier on the bridge around the time of the murder.  Once she arrives, she is warned off by the local inspector, but gets a clue to where the man might have gone next.  Bess and Simon encounter person after person who is close-mouthed and unwilling to give them any information.  They follow what they hope is his trail and wind up in an area of three small villages.  Is Bess’s missing soldier really an assassin?  Who else could be helping keep him hidden?  Is he even in this area where Bess and Simon are searching?
The mystery was the usual top-notch quality I’ve come to expect from Charles Todd, but I just felt too much time was spent chasing around the countryside.  I thought it drug the story down a bit.  Other than that, I enjoyed revisiting Bess and I was glad to spend much more time with Simon in the story.  I admire the grit and determination and strength of Bess to see justice done no matter how tired she is or how hungry she is or what the cost is to herself.  There is a twist toward the end of the story that I wasn’t expecting that made the story more interesting.  I look forward to the next adventure of Bess Crawford and can’t wait to see what happens!
My rating is 4 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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fearless Hope


Title:  Fearless Hope
Author:  Serena B. Miller
Pages:  384
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard
In 2013, I read Hidden Mercies written by Serena B. Miller, which was my first introduction to this author.  Now I have been blessed to review Fearless Hope, which continues some of the characters introduced in Hidden Mercies though each novel is a stand alone.  Depending upon how a story is written along with the reader’s choice of books, there may be some who would quickly dismiss the novel because it has an Amish or Mennonite flavor.  Yet let’s not be too hasty when the author is Serena B. Miller as I have found her novels rich in depth and quite enjoyable to peruse.
As I was reading, it crossed my mind that one reason I enjoy this author’s writing is because her characters wrestle with some of the same battles whether spiritual or fleshly as anyone.  In the book, Hope is a young woman who is a part of a community of Amish who gather to meet in homes twice a month.  Early on a choice her young husband makes turns the lives of his family upside down and now Hope desires to no longer depend on alms from her church, but spread her wings to provide for herself.
A writer in New York, who buried himself in his work after losing his wife a couple of years prior, has come to a major road block in his story telling.  Upon advice from his publicist, he goes on a sabbatical, buying a house he recently visited along with his fiancée in a small Amish community in Ohio.  From this point on, Logan is immersed in long buried memories and feelings kept at bay while at work writing.
Fearless Hope draws readers in as so much heart of the story reaches out and grabs the reader from chapter one all the way till the end.  Hope wrestles with ideas and desires that in her community are not encouraged; yet, it is clear she is gifted to do the jobs she longs to put her whole being into.  Have any of us not ever felt that tension between where one is now and where one longs to be yet feels the restraint of some kind holding us back?  As Hope does her searching, she begins to try and understand the teachings of the Bible more and the doctrines of her Amish community.  I admire that Hope didn’t just make quick or hasty decisions.  She takes time to pray and thoroughly study the issues.
It takes courage, hope and dependence upon the Lord when any of us are confronted with a wrestling of the soul, mind or heart.  We all can learn from this character to wait for His timing, study the Word, pray and wait for the Lord’s direction.  Today’s society is hard pressed to wait for anything, even waiting for traffic to move or service at a restaurant.  Perhaps we should make time each week to turn everything off like cell phone or computer in order to read in quiet or contemplate before the Lord.  Will you join me in making a concerted effort to shut down the noise and distractions?  Make time to read quietly, rest, study or pray maybe even just enjoy looking around in a park or mountaintop at God’s wonderful handiwork.  There is no time like the present!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”

 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, December 28, 2014

(2014 favorite)...A Noble Groom

Title:  A Noble Groom
Author:  Jody Hedlund
Pages:  368
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany
Unending Devotion was the first novel I read introducing me to an author who wrote deeply from her heart and soul.  Since then, I have been awaiting her next work to see the possible growth as an author, as well as the next tale she would tell.  I wasn’t disappointed when I began the story of German immigrants living in Michigan in the late 1800s.  They came to America to begin a new life, no longer in underground mining, but as farmers.  Most marriages were arranged by the father in order to provide for the daughter, whether or not there were feelings of love present.  It was strictly to give a daughter to another family member so the land would remain in the family.
The life of Annalisa Werner and that of her sisters is anything but a fairy tale.  Her one sister is given to a man who recently lost his wife in childbirth; he is a brutal man.  The daughters have no say, no choice in the matter; they are expected to obey.  They will work the land and take care of chores inside and outside the house from sunrise to sunset.  In the time period covered in the book, no conveniences like a washer and dryer were around to help alleviate the backbreaking, time-consuming work.  Carl was in prison on charges similar to the ones Joseph faced in the Bible in the book of Genesis when he spurned the advances of a married woman.  Like Potiphar’s wife, she too lied to her husband.  On the morning he was to be beheaded, God moved on the heart of his father, sending him away towards an unknown future with no money.
Through the experiences Carl has on the farm, he learns many truths about himself and the God he loves.  Annalisa also is coming to a crossroads in her faith, deciding whether the risk of faith and love is worth the pain at times she experiences.  One man wants to undo all the dreams the farmers have and isn’t going to stop short of accomplishing his goal of taking over the farms he needs to build a successful business.  Typhoid fever breaks out in the community where many lose the fight, while others regain their health after a time of healing.  Now, with time running out on the loan balance to be paid off, and Annalisa’s father having already sent back home for a new husband, something else is a part of the climax.  You will have to read the many twists and turns in the story to find out what occurs as well as the ending!
I love to read about the internal struggles the characters had when facing trials and temptations.  The way tragedy can make some become stronger in their faith while others wrestle stubbornly, refusing to consider change.  The example of love-filled marriages compared to those that weren’t and how it impacted others’ choices was an enlightening thread in the novel.  I am thankful my parents were in a loving marriage, working their relationship during good and bad times.  I am not sure I would have risked the depth in my heart had I not seen any loving marriages at all.  Thank the Lord my husband and I will soon celebrate our 25th anniversary.  Without Him, it never would have lasted or grown to the place it has.  I trust Him for the future we have together.
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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Chateau of Secrets (another 2014 remembered novel)

Title:  Chateau of Secrets
Author:  Melanie Dobson
Pages:  371
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
Fantastic!  Wonderful!  A definite must read!  These are all words or phrases that briefly describe my opinion of this novel.  The novel has two storylines going at the same time, one set in present day and one beginning in 1940 and continuing until the Allies expel the Nazis from France some time in 1944.  The story alternates chapters between Chloe and Gisele.  While this story is fiction, it is based on a real person’s life and her heroism is to be greatly commended.
Chloe Sauver is engaged to the challenger for Virginia’s governor’s seat.  She has been coached on how to act, what to say and even how to position her body and face when answering questions.  She believes she is in love and that her fiancé loves her in return.  That is until she discovers something about him that causes her to rethink their relationship.  She goes to France to the family castle or chateau to do an interview for a documentary on WWII.  Her French grandmother, Gisele, is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s and has never talked very much about the war she lived through.  While Chloe is in France, she learns more about her grandmother, her family and what others suffered at the hands of the Nazis.  She also begins to spend time with Riley, the man who is creating the documentary, and sees what a good Christian man he has been transformed into.
Gisele Duchant is a young college graduate who lives in a marvelous home that has been in her family for over 300 years.  The chateau is a place of security and safety that is until her father is murdered and the Germans come to town.  The Nazis decide to make the chateau their headquarters in the area and to have Gisele work for them by feeding them and cleaning up after them.  Meanwhile, Gisele’s younger brother is head of the local French Resistance movement and is in hiding from the Nazis.  Gisele takes food to help support him and his men.  Gisele’s best friend is deported and leaves behind her baby daughter, who Gisele takes in and cares for at great danger to herself.  Gisele is a strong Catholic and relies on her faith in God to provide answers.
There are many themes prevalent throughout the story such as redemption, heroism, courage, bravery, succeeding against all odds, being willing to lay down one’s life for another, and allowing God to transform ugliness in to beauty to name a few.  I had no idea that there were Jewish men who served in the German Army during WWII.  I learned some interesting history about France.  I was thoroughly immersed in this story from beginning to end and was easily able to relate to the emotions and fears of characters in the story.  Melanie did a fantastic job of drawing me in to the story, keeping me intrigued and providing a wonderful ending.  Please get a copy and enjoy this fabulous story for yourself!
My rating is 5 stars.
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Chateau-Secrets-Novel-Melanie-Dobson/dp/1476746117/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399678175&sr=1-1&keywords=chateau+of+secrets
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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Angels Walking Book #1 by Karen Kingsbury (a 2014 favorite novel)

Title:  Angels Walking Book #1
Author:  Karen Kingsbury
Pages:  384
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Walking-Novel-Karen-Kingsbury/dp/1451687478/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408094478&sr=1-1&keywords=angels+walking+karen+kingsbury
What an exploding work of fiction!  Angels Walking, the first book in a new series written by Karen Kingsbury, turns out to be an exceptional and inspirational debut.  My curiosity is what drew me to the book; I wondered how the author would portray angels in a fictional yet Biblical way.  When I began reading, I knew beyond a doubt that while a fictional piece of work promised an adventure, I was blessed at how Karen weaves in the spiritual reality of warfare that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
I don’t want to reveal too much of the story so as not to ruin your own discovery, but I will share enough to whet your appetite.  Two angels volunteer for a mission on earth to help two individuals, Sami and Tyler, meet in order to fulfill the long term plan God has for them.  The angels have no clue as to all that the mission will require or the way to do God’s bidding, but they trust that God will show them as they obey each order given.  There is a cost if the two humans fail to meet even though Sami and Tyler wouldn’t be aware of that aspect.  Throughout the pages we read of various characters who find hope in the darkest of moments, comfort in time of pain and the difference between what they thought was God’s plan compared to the fulfillment.
There is a scene where all the angels are applauding God and praising Him, which brought wonder to my imagination!  I lost myself in the characters, both angelic and human.  We should remember that Scripture tells us be aware we might entertain angels without knowing it.  The scenes are a reflection of what people have experienced in living life here on earth, only now with a fictional addition of the viewpoint of angels.  I believe angels are real and are doing the missions God sends them on.  We just can’t always see, know or be able to tell of their presence.  Yet, what matters more is that God loves us so much to send us messengers to help in more ways than finite beings will ever be able to comprehend.
The newest series is something to be read, shared and treasured for all who love good literature!  Don’t miss Book #1, Angels Walking; the journey starts here.
My rating is 5+ stars.
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.”
 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, December 25, 2014

A Frontier Christmas

Title:  A Frontier Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Pinnacle
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Christmas-William-W-Johnstone/dp/0786033606/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414913498&sr=1-1&keywords=a+frontier+christmas
This is a simply heartwarming story set in the west with characters that I am familiar with, being a fan of Johnstone books.  However, whether you are familiar with the characters or authors matters not as readers will be engrossed not just in the budding romance between Meagan and Duff, but the action with increasing tension will keep you glued to the book!  A Frontier Christmas is the fourth book in the series Western Christmas Stories that also includes A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas and A Big Sky Christmas.  Each book can be read as a standalone or grab all four and be prepared to be entertained for hours!
The Johnstone’s Western Christmas Stories will capture your imagination, heart and emotions that run a wide range with each book.  A Frontier Christmas tells the story of small towns preparing for Christmas and coming together to fight against those who would trade life-giving medicine for money when one town is quarantined with diphtheria.  The small town has but one doctor who runs from one bedside to another in a race to save lives.  When Duff learns who the men are who have taken the medication, he enlists the help of old friends Smoke & Matt Jensen along with his ranch partner Elmer.
When I began reading, I instantly fell in love with the characters and the story because I love westerns!  Even if someone is not a fan of westerns these Christmas tales remind us of what is most important along with sacrificial giving without a second thought in order to save lives.  Readers need to remember there are a couple of swear words sprinkled lightly in the book, but hardly noticeable with a story so stunning and fast moving as shared here for the audience.  Many other western writers have come before and left stories for generations to enjoy long after they are gone; the Johnstones are no different.
I hope you read all four wonderful tales in this series and share them with others who love the world of imagination sparked by a good book!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”
 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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Big Sky Christmas

Title:  A Big Sky Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Pinnacle
J. A. Johnstone has authored, The Big Sky Christmas, with as much heart as the previous tales titled, A Rocky Mountain Christmas and Lone Star Christmas.  Each novel is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable with a mix of adventure and romance.  Here, in the latest Christmas book, A Big Sky Christmas, readers are introduced to characters with a true moral or spiritual compass and others with evil intent along with a host of surprises in the story line.
In the fictional tale, Johnstone uses flashback as a way to tell the story of a set of elderly twins and their experiences growing up on a wagon train bound for Montana.  McAllister is a mountain man whose years were originally filled with locating those who took the life of his beloved wife Katie.  When a brawl causes the original wagon master to sit this trip out, McAllister feels duty-bound to lead them safely to their new homesteads before the harsh winter snows begin.
Each page is filled with action, adventure, danger, romance and more that will keep the audience entertained for hours in the setting of the Old West.  Time flew by as I kept reading and seeing the novel’s climax build then come to a place of resolution when all of a sudden the story took off again on another fight to live through more perilous moments.
It was easy to form the picture of the story in my mind.  At times, I felt like I was watching the action play out through the eyes of one player or another.  The risk pioneers took to start new homesteads and raise families is something that intrigues my imagination for hours on end.  I thought it was a brilliant stroke of the author’s pen when an unexpected character from another of the western series appears here in the story.
The gift of family, faith and friends through life’s adventures was the main theme of the whole novel.  Banding together to care for each other, to fight to stay alive and learning new skills for life on the prairie were other added pieces of the tale that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning.  No matter when you read this novel, I guarantee it will be time well spent.  I also suggest reading the other two Christmas novels mentioned above as they are unique unto themselves.
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”
 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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Rocky Mountain Christmas

Title: A Rocky Mountain Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2012
Publisher: Kensington
A Rocky Mountain Christmas is the latest in Johnstone’s writing repertoire, taking place during the Christmas holidays. Some of the characters from the previous book, A Lone Star Christmas, continue to develop in this story. Here, the story enlarges to include a corrupt judge and a rancher accused of murder being taken on a train to go to jail along with another convict.
Rebecca is now an older woman, but was 6 years old at the time of a train accident that would change her life forever. She was the daughter of a senator and his wife. Her parents were going to a speaking engagement when an avalanche changed every passenger’s plans. Rebecca is now being approached for an interview before her flight leaves. The only reason she agrees to participate in the interview is due to a delay in her flight. Her only condition for the interview is that she be allowed to tell her story without interruption. She begins by telling how she came to be on the train.
Luke had been a sailor until an inheritance changed all that. Matt is going to spend Christmas with people who have been like family to him. Jenny used to be a hostess on the Mississippi River when her life changed in more ways than she ever saw coming. Luke, Matt, and Jenny are on the same train that is stranded at the top of a mountain pass due to an avalanche begun by a single gunshot. Who made the mistake of not thinking before firing their weapon during a heavy snowstorm?
The use of flashback makes the novel really intriguing. I was so absorbed in the adventure I forgot about the flashback until the very end of the book! There are many stories going on at the same time, but not where it would make things too hard to follow for a reader. In fact, the more strands added, the deeper the plot.
There are a few curse words sprinkled over the course of the story, but not so much as to distract the reader or become the focus of the story. Sometimes when I read books, it seems like the author writes it with the intent to shock the reader by using foul language. One thing I appreciate about Johnstone’s novels is that isn’t the case at all. I believe storytellers can hone their art to such a fine point that they would actually be able to tell an excellent tale and not use any foul language.
The Seeking with all Yur Heart blog exists for two main reasons: First, it exists to help readers locate excellent novels that truly entertain without the “extra” stuff added. Second, it exists to encourage authors in writing tales that entertain readers without the use of negative modern day verbiage or sexual content in the book.
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 athttp://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook athttps://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Lone Star Christmas


Title: A Lone Star Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2011
Publisher: Pinnacle
Since I was a little girl, westerns have been the one genre I knew I could best use to identify who I was. Whether it was watching westerns on TV, a movie, reading non-fiction as well as fiction, I always wanted to know more about the West with a passion. Recently, with my sons having become men, I joined the NRA, took a class, and bought my first firearm. I am also a member of SASS. Even though I don’t attend anything, I learn a lot from this group. I knew a few western writers growing up though because of my Nana I knew more about Louis L’Amour and his books. Growing up and watching my parents get her the latest novel or seeing her read those books are memories I will always remember. When Nana died, I was blessed with her entire collection of westerns that included a few Luke Short books and some others. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I came across the name of William W. Johnstone. You can go to his website to learn more about the author, books, and book club. (http://www.williamjohnstone.net/index...)
Every author of any genre has a unique way of telling a story. The western genre encompasses a whole lot of territory. What I like best in this author’s writings is the depth of the story and the painstaking time taken to place details in a scene. There is some cussing in the novels, but no sexual content whatsoever. There is romance though as well as gunfights. Deeper still is the portrayal of the cowboy’s code of being willing to place his life on the line for another, taking care of matters of law and justice, or even seeing to family matters. Yet, even what I have listed fails to encompass the western genre. I can only say the novels are worth the time to read.
A Lone Star Christmas was released in 2011, and this year A Rocky Mountain Christmas has been released. In the near future, I will be reading and reviewing this work of fiction as well. I have no doubt that it will be as excellent as its predecessor.
There is so much enjoyment in the pages of this novel. It would be hard to put words on paper to adequately describe everything, so here is a very short summary. Remember there are a few cuss words interspersed in the story. Rebecca is the daughter of a wealthy rancher in Texas. She doesn’t know her birth mother. Who was she? With love on the line and questions to be answered, Becca leaves the ranch without anyone’s knowledge. Tom is running from a memory he never wants to rehash in his heart or mind. Leaving his former life behind, he sets out on a train for the west, ending up in Texas. His knowledge and experience as a cowboy become apparent very quickly, but there is no turning back now.

Ranch hands’ lifestyles, forged friendships, and a cattle drive through the winter are just a few of the happenings that take place. With a make or break deal to try a different breed of cattle, Big Ben sends his team of seven people to meet the train and drive the 2,500 head of cattle home through sandstorms, a blizzard, attempted murder, and cattle rustling. Will the cattle make it to their new home? On top of that, Big Ben wants everyone home for Christmas. Maria just wants her baby safely delivered at the ranch. Exactly what does occur on the cattle drive, before the drive, and months later that changes the lives of the characters? Interested in reading this yet? I sure hope so. You will be missing a great adventure if you pass up this novel!
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 athttp://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo... . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...
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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Friend Me by John Faubion (2014 Favorite)

Title:  Friend Me
Author:  John Faubion
Pages:  335
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
Wow!  That is the first word that came to my mind as I finished reading this great suspense thriller by John Faubion.  The first chapter will grab readers’ attentions and the rest of the story will keep them captive until the action-packed conclusion.  The story is set in Indianapolis, Indiana, and could be taken right from our own newspaper.
Scott and Rachel Douglas are a young, 30-something couple with two small children.  Rachel is a stay-at-home mom, trying to lose the extra baby weight, keep the house up, look after her children and keep her man happy.  She misses her best friend who died of cancer two years previous.  She is skimming the Internet when she sees an advertisement for a company that offers a virtual friend.  She decides to check it out and soon has her new/old best friend in her life again via computer technology.  Scott sees how much this pleases Rachel and decides maybe he should have a virtual friend too.  He wants someone he can tell everything to.  However, he chooses a female virtual friend and from that point on things start spinning out of control.  He neglects his children, his wife, his church and his job as he focuses more and more on Alicia, his virtual friend.  He convinces himself that since she is not real, he is doing nothing wrong and nobody is getting hurt.  He soon finds out he couldn’t be more mistaken.
This story should also serve as a warning to those who have allowed technology to control their lives.  It shows how easy we can be deceived by others and ourselves.  We can rationalize our immoral behavior away, thinking we are keeping our secret.  However, we all know that sooner or later someone is going to find out and then disaster strikes.  I can so easily see this story happening in real life.  Even though this is a fictional account, the possibilities in this scenario are very realistic.  I just admired Rachel so much for her willingness to quickly forgive her husband because that was what Christ wanted her to do and how they stood strong as a united couple to battle the evil that had come into their lives.  I also liked how Scott finally realized he had to man up and be the man God created him to be, to protect his family and to see them safe.  I highly recommend getting this book.  I’m looking forward to see what exciting new book this author comes out with next!
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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

With Every Breath (Favorite of 2014)

Title:  With Every Breath
Author:  Elizabeth Camden
Pages:  360
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany House
Kate Livingston needs a better job.  The year is 1891 and her work at the census bureau has been outmoded, reducing her to clerical work where she can’t use her mathematical mind.  She sees an ad for a statistician applies for the job and heads off to the interview.  Little does she suspect that the man, who she will be working for, provided she gets the job, is her old nemesis from high school, Trevor McDonough.  He ruined her chance to go to college by winning a scholarship over her.  He challenged her intellectually in the past and with this new job will challenge her present.  Now, as she works with him every day, she finds she wants him to continue challenging her for the rest of her life.  However, she learns something about him that makes her wonder if they can ever be together as a married couple.
Trevor McDonough, who now goes by Trevor Kendall, has dedicated his life and career to finding a cure for tuberculosis.  He needs someone as an assistant who shares that same dedication and determination.  He believes Kate is that person.  As he works with her day-to-day, he realizes how much he enjoys just being with her, her witty remarks, her compassionate heart and intelligence.  He loves her, but knows he isn’t a good match for her so he keeps himself at a distance emotionally.  He has built a wall around himself to protect his heart from the continual defeat he suffers trying to find a cure for tuberculosis.  This makes him appear cool and detached and sometimes rude.  He knows God has called him to do what he does best.  Can he have both his career and Kate?
What a wonderful story of perseverance in the face of hardship!  I so enjoyed the romance between Trevor and Kate, with their strong personalities, feistiness and verbal sparring.  Readers get to see Kate journey from fear of the future to placing the present and future, whatever they may hold, in the hands of God.  Trevor’s recognition of his call into his specific career by God and sticking to that call no matter what was remarkable.  It would have been so much easier to give in.  Kate’s determination to not let her future with Trevor to slip away showed her mettle.  I thoroughly enjoyed these two characters and the plot was very interesting.  I also was intrigued by the side issue of who was trying to force Trevor to give up his research.  I didn’t know much about the disease of tuberculosis and the treatment, so I was gratified to learn some new things as well.  I encourage readers to pick up a copy of this great historical fictional tale.  This one is definitely going on my “keeper” shelf!
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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sons of God's Gnerals

Title:  Sons of God’s Generals
Author:  Joshua Frost
Pages:  152
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Destiny Image
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
After I read the book, it seemed like a good idea to visit online stores to read feedback before writing my own.  What I find most interesting sometimes about others’ feedback is either statements without any thoughtful reasons why someone liked or disliked a book or what appears to be feedback without discernment.  Now feedback on any book or product is completely subjective as anyone who writes reviews knows and that people can agree or disagree with what is posted sometimes responding to the person.  I desired to read this book because I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do so, and when I do, I am prayerfully reading the book.  I constantly ask the Holy Spirit to show me what I can glean or need to ignore and if I feel conviction I stop reading to ask forgiveness.  The reason I share this with you is to encourage all readers to carefully read nonfiction or fiction books with discernment and prayerfully.
Each adult offspring of these people share transparently both the ups and downs of living with parents who ministered full time as pastors or missionaries.  One of the stories I appreciated most was written by Yana Banova Brink titled, Green Grass.  She shares how the Lord taught her to allow Him to teach her the difference between doing ministry and allowing her life to be the ministry.  She had traveled to many third world countries with her parents and now is a stay-at-home mom or referred to as SaHM.  These women who choose to stay at home and raise their children without a “job” outside the home need to know they are in ministry…their family.  I was gratified that at least one of the writers shared this understated and under recognized truth in these days.
Readers need to know that most of the authors have a charismatic viewpoint and experiences.  No matter what theological or congregational viewpoint a book comes from it is imperative to glean what the Lord wants you to and toss the rest.  Sometimes when I would read, I sensed a red flag moment and other times I could laugh at a comical moment experienced by the author.  Some of these adult children really went through rough times and heartache.  The Lord was so faithful to bring them to a place of reconciliation, healing of the heart and soul or gave them a balanced perspective of the past.
My rating is 3 stars.
Note: 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, December 18, 2014

Triple Threat (Pure Genius #4)

Title: Triple Threat (Pure Genius Series #4)
Author:  H. L. Wegley
Pages:  274
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Harbourlight
Unlike the other three prior novels, this particular book focuses attention on Katie, Lee and Jennifer’s adopted daughter who is now in writing her dissertation for her doctoral degree.  Katie picks up from where Jennifer left off in one sense with her computer software design.  Now Katie begins to discover terrorist attempts on Jennifer’s and the Katie’s young siblings lives.  However, that isn’t all she discovers and asks a fellow student to join her after he helps Katie save her family.  Now Josh is helping Katie not only with developing software to write his dissertation, but also becomes more embroiled in the danger as Katie forges ahead to uncover the plot to attack America again!
Katie’s faith is firmly cemented yet she still tends to take matters into her own hands, placing her life in danger much to the chagrin of her parents.  On top of that, some of the trips to collect data for the college paper are across the border in Canada!  Katie begins to uncover a major threat times three with her testing software and trips straight into the lions’ den.  Josh is agnostic and fighting to stay there even with Katie sharing logical points to why believing in Jesus makes sense.
I love how the author ends this series with Josh and Katie.  It leaves doors open for other novels, but mainly I believe brings the importance of knowing Christ personally and learning about the sex trade to the forefront.  Sometimes it seemed the harder Josh pushed or fought against Katie’s apologetic reasoning, the more his life experience showed him the reality of God.  All four books were captivating and they captured my heart and mind, especially in regard to those sold into the sex trade organization.
I’m glad I was given this special opportunity by the author to read, review and give away a copy of the series for another reader to enjoy!  Personally, I cannot wait to see what H. L. Wegley offers his followers in the years to come!  Thank you Mr. Wegley!  You’re an amazing author and man!  God Bless!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”

 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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Moon Over Maalaea Bay (Pure Genius #3)

Title:  Moon Over Maalaea Bay (Pure Genius Series #3)
Author:  H. L. Wegley
Pages:  240
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Harbourlight
Yes!  The couple waiting for their courtship to end, now has gotten married, arrive at their honeymoon destination and while waiting for their hotel room to be ready step out for coffee and then…Jennifer is kidnapped.  Now he must call Jenn’s grandpa and their soon to be adopted daughter with news he cannot bear to speak; Jennifer is gone!
When God brings Katie and Grandpa to the islands to help Lee locate Jennifer, Katie learns the difference between revenge and loving her former captor.  Lee is beside himself as all the stops are pulled by the government agencies to help rescue Jennifer, but how much help are they really?  Plus it is some people bent on revenge for what Jennifer did to break up their ring of stealing young girls and then selling them into slavery.  Now the Iranians want her too and up the ante, bringing greater risk to Jennifer’s life along with the men who lost money from Katie’s failed sale into slavery months before who decides to capture her again!
The previous books in the series, Hide and Seek and On the Pineapple Express, which begin the story now crescendos in the third installment, Moon over Maalaea Bay.  Lots of themes are brought to the forefront like girls sold into slavery, trusting God when life goes south, and risking everything for those you love.  However, H. L. Wegley also shows through the book’s characters the many different scenarios in which the hope of Jesus can be shared.
Simply written with knowledge of the current events plus climatic and daring risks to save loved ones brings the audience into a story that rivals other suspense books!  The raw emotions displayed in the book show how anyone can be pushed to the point of having to choose to do well rather than repay evil.  Lee and Jennifer have waited for this time alone for the beauty of the honeymoon time only to see it postponed by revenge from evil men.  Wegley holds nothing back in his writing style that causes us to be aware of topics that should be addressed as many young girls’ lives are at stake!  Plus it isn’t just for the life on earth, but the more important one of eternity with God or eternal separation from God.
There is much more to the novels than I shared so as to preserve your taking the journey to discover these awesome tales!  For avid readers, these books are a must to read and a book club’s dream to share with others!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”
 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


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the Pineapple Express (Pure Genius #2)

Title:  On the Pineapple Express (Pure Genius Series #2)
Author:  H. L. Wegley
Pages:  282
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Harbourlight
Lee cannot believe that Jennifer is out to locate a long shut down loggers mill because she is believes that she is hearing a child’s cry. On top of that both are at risk for getting killed by a powerful storm on the peninsula if not by those who have kidnapped the girls.  The main leader of the ring on the land is Trader who Jennifer discovered through using her latest computer program to pick up cell calls.  Both Lee and Jennifer risk their lives and possible future as man and wife to locate the girls before they are taken to a ship off shore and sold into slavery.
Jennifer is caught by Trader and taken to the place the other girls are held as captives, but Trader is wrong about Jennifer’s age, thinking she is like the others, a young teen.  Jennifer prays for God to give her wisdom and strength to help herself, Lee and the three girls escape in order to be returned to their families.  Katie, however, is an orphan in the foster system, and throughout their adventures Jennifer realizes how much Katie is just like herself.  Not yet married, both Lee and Jennifer agree to take Katie first as a foster daughter with the intent of adopting her after they are married.
Throughout the novel readers can see how Katie’s search for wholeness and security opens her heart to receiving the good news of Jesus Christ from Jennifer’s prior experiences.  The way the characters pray about the decisions even when in danger with time not on their side, they realize that without the Lord all attempts would be in vain.  When Lee is given permission to court Jennifer, her grandfather has one proviso, he wants a grandchildren shortly after they are married!
Danger, staring death in face, attempting to locate the other members of the sex slave operation are just a few of the other ingredients put together to form a very entrancing book!  Don’t miss the first book in the series, Hide and Seek, which lays the foundation for each of the succeeding novels that are totally heart pounding tales!
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”

 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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hide and Seek (Pure Genius #1)


Title: Hide & Seek (Pure Genius Series #1)
Author: H. L. Wegley
Pages:  272
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Harbourlight Books
The first snowy weekend brought an opportunity for me to curl up and read four books by H. L. Wegley of the Pure Genius Series.  One benefit I gathered from reading them in order and in a short time span between the novels was to see the overarching plot carried through each separate story.  Some time back while randomly surfacing an online bookstore I saw this title and author for the first time, so I wrote the man inquiring about his books.  As God orchestrated it I didn’t hear immediately back from him which was good considering at that time I was trying to recuperate after eight years of caretaking.
When he contacted me, the first thing received was an apology for having taken so long, and then came the opportunity to read, review plus give you readers a chance to receive a copy of all four books free!  Hide and Seek doesn’t take either time or effort to get lost in because as soon as one begins reading the first sentence the tension and suspense is already off the scale.
Lee is running up a hill with Jennifer attempting to locate a cave that would protect them from their pursuers and the multiple times they have been shot at!  Lee is a man who works for a government agency in the computer department.  Jennifer is currently an assistant with her Master’s degree while waiting to begin her Doctorate program.  Her IQ is very high, which intimidates most people.  As time goes on and the couple begins to realize how they feel toward each other, Lee knows that above all Jennifer needs to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
The audience is going to love how the espionage takes center stage, with danger constantly on the heels of Lee and Jennifer plus the way that Lee shares about the Lord with Jennifer, discovering how best to communicate a simple, profound truth to a person with an Einstein IQ.  How is the couple going to draw their pursuers out into the open plus stop terrorists from stealing valuable secret information from the government?
My rating is 5+ stars.
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.”
 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, December 14, 2014

Wisdomantics is a fun board game! Enter for a chance to win the game for your home!



Title: Wisdomantics Board Game
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Kingdom Games Enterprises
First let me say this is a game that can be played and enjoyed by all ages.  There are a couple of ways to play.  One is to use the board and cards along with the DVD to compete in completing Solomon’s Temple with three different colored tiles.  The other way is just using the DVD.  Paper and pen are used when two teams or individuals compete when answering questions correctly making a hash mark to keep score.  I loved using the DVDs alone as well just to test my own knowledge and remember the Word.
It really doesn’t matter whether players are familiar with the NKJV or not; the fun and excitement is thrilling!  In fact, if players are not used to reading the NKJV on a regular basis that just adds challenge to think which words or phrases would be chosen to complete the sentence.  In time, I wouldn’t be surprised if people would find themselves memorizing various Scriptures with little effort!  While the suggested ages are 12 years and older, don’t let that limit introducing the Word to younger crowds using either variation mentioned above to play the game or allow the kids to play alone.
A game that highlights the Old Testament is fantastic!  I can see various people becoming interested in the history of the man, people or temple, who were living at that time.  Grab the game, wrap it up and place it under the tree not just for those who know Scripture, but consider giving it to various ministries who give gifts to kids and families during this Christmas season.
My rating is 5 stars.
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.”
 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




The Red Door by Charles Todd

Title:  The Red Door (Inspector Ian Rutledge #12)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  344
Year:  2010
Publisher:  William Morrow
Ian is the victim of an attempted robbery.  The robber goes on to kill someone else during another robbery, leaving Ian the only one who can identify the robber.  Ian begins to work this case, but is soon pulled off the case to investigate the disappearance of a well-known author.  He questions the family and sends out constables to search London and the surrounding areas to no avail.  After a few days, the man reappears with an explanation for his absence that Inspector Rutledge is loath to believe, but then he is sent to Lancashire to investigate the death of a woman found lying in her doorway.  Upon asking around the village, no one can think of a motive to kill this woman whose son died at a young age and whose husband went missing during WWI and never came home.  Everyone liked her and can’t think who would harm her.  However, a witness soon appears stating he saw a man leaving her house the day she was killed.  The man appears to be the author’s brother.  Are these two cases related?
As Ian investigates, he also runs into Meredith Channing again.  She has appeared in the last three or four mysteries and Ian is attracted to her, but does nothing about it.  He is reluctant to get involved with a woman, especially this woman who sees too much when she looks at him.  He is fearful she will find out about Hamish and his role in Ian’s everyday life.  It will be interesting to see if this will develop into a romance or if Ian will remain alone, except for his mental/psychological relationship with Hamish.
When I finished reading the last page, I thought to myself, “Wow, how twisted some people’s thinking is and what lengths they will go to in order to accomplish what they want!”  The selfishness evidenced by one character, the jealousy of another and the callousness of yet another character showcase a few of the many pitfalls of sinful human nature.  These books delve into not only murder and seeking of justice, but why people act the way they do for good or bad.  These books should make readers think about the choices they make and how they react to choices of others.  I look forward to book thirteen to see what criminal Ian tracks in his seemingly endless pursuit of justice.
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hawk (Quiet Professionals #2) by Ronnie Kendig


Title:  Hawk (The Quiet Professionals #2)
Author:  Ronie Kendig
Pages:  363
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press
Once again, Ronie Kendig has hit one out of the ball park!  This is an action-packed, tension-filled story that will keep you enthralled from beginning to end.  This story picks up not too long after book one, Raptor 6, ends.  The Special Forces team is still in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban, and an unknown enemy has now made them a target for elimination as well.
 Brian Bledsoe or “Hawk” has an intelligent mind, but he downplays that whenever he can.  His father was very smart and never let anyone forget it.  His father thought himself above the law, but found out how untrue that really was when he was arrested and sent to prison when Brian was fifteen.  That troubled relationship with his father has colored his life and his choices.  Now, as he faces disciplinary action, he wonders why he is even in Afghanistan or what his purpose is.  He is drawn to Fekiria Haidary, a Muslim woman who has voiced her hatred of American soldiers.  They are thrown together in a bid for survival and he learns much more about this brave woman.  She also learns that not all Americans are to be hated.  They both come to a point in their desperate struggle to live another day when they must choose in whom to put their faith.
There are other tangents in this story as well that I can’t wait to read about in future books.  Sal or “Falcon” has had a chip on his shoulder for the last ten months, but he won’t tell anyone what is bugging him.  His story is the focus of the next book in the series, Falcon, due to be released in the spring of 2015.  Mitch “Harrier” has a significant change in his life that I hope to read more about in future books.  There also might or might not be a romance blooming between “Titanis” and Brie Hastings.  There are so many interesting stories to read from this very gifted author.  I really like the military genre of the story, getting just a small dose of what being a Special Forces member is like as well as the way faith is brought into the plot as to seem realistic and not preachy.  This would make a great Christmas gift, but I would start with the first book in the series, Raptor 6.
My rating is 5 stars.

Note:  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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Diane & David Munson's Newest Novel: The Embers of Courage


Title:  Embers of Courage
Author:  Diane & David Munson
Pages:  336
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Micah House
The authors refer to their novels as “factional fiction”, taking history then weaving a tale including interesting places, people or events unearthed through research.  Embers of Courage to me was one of the highlights of my reading experiences in a long time, which is saying a lot for someone who reads many books within a single year.  However, lest you think I accomplish the number of books a year alone, let me reassure you I have a wonderful friend and partner who, though unknown to many, is a critical part of this blog ministry.
What fascinated me so much was the use of flashback with the current story line that at times alternated between the two.  Let me share with you that it makes for compelling reading.  Readers will not get lost or find it difficult to follow the story line at all.  The challenge I discovered was how it would all tie in together at the end of book, which simply was accomplished stunningly, along with boldly sharing Scripture and Jesus embedded in the stories audiences delight in!
The whole novel will awaken the hearts of readers to understand the challenges faced today regarding speaking openly of our faith in Jesus with a look back in history to those who were persecuted for the same.  The novel takes Eva Montanna (ICE Special Agent) eventually overseas without her superiors knowing anything about the mission undertaken.  Eva is continuing to understand her own family’s stand in being bold witnesses for Christ even when death is threatened or carried out.  Now, her oldest child, Kayle is beating bullied and singled out by her government teacher who gives an assignment which basically challenges Kayle’s first amendment rights.
Not only is all this occurring, Eva is still attempting to track down a wanted man who threatened her and her family’s life should he ever escape.  Now he is on the loose and just when Eva is close to nabbing her suspect, he vanishes.  The story line of Eva is introduced to readers in the authors’ novel, Stolen Legacy, which was superb!  These authors are sharing tales that include aspects of the dangerous assignments they each have encountered throughout their careers.  Diane and David Munson write one novel a year and when you read it you will understand why.  They take great pains to research, travel and share their discoveries via fiction.  Please don’t miss reading and sharing these novels with those you know or even a complete stranger.
My rating is 5+ stars.
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.”

 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, December 11, 2014

Meet Authors Diane & David Munson


Q & A with Diane & David Munson
Friday, November 28, 2014
What is the most rewarding part of being authors?
Being authors is really like any other job. We face deadlines that must be met, even when we don’t feel like writing. We work overtime. We sometimes have to cancel vacation plans. But, the best part is that we get to work together. No workplace conflicts here. For us, it means we travel together for research and events, and for us that’s such a blessing. In the end the highlight is learning from readers they’ve found our books inspiring, and our writing encouraged their walk with God. While we love to read positive reviews, it is most rewarding to see readers’ faith being deepened because of the writing.
Are there tasks that can challenge either of you when writing a story?
Unlike some co-authors who split up tasks, we both do research and write those scenes with which we feel most comfortable.  Our thrillers include aspects of our exciting careers and true events. This may sound strange, but because we have so much to draw from, the challenging part is deciding what readers will find most interesting and compelling. This is where much prayer and reflection comes in, as we want each of our stories to be exciting and honoring to God the Father.
There are many historical people, places and events that have occurred on US soil and abroad.  How do you decide the path the next novel is going to take?
As your readers probably know, our nine thrillers are set in the present, as they are influenced by the cases that we’ve worked. Because of our interest in history, we look for ways to have our character’s influenced by their ancestors or events from their past. We’ve succeeded in regressing from the present to the past, and back to the present in three of our novels. In The Camelot Conspiracy, TV reporter Kat Kowicki meets a retired police detective who worked on the assassination of President Kennedy, so she reexamines the evidence and finds herself to be a target of those wishing to keep her quiet and that part of history hidden in the past. Stolen Legacy revisits the Dutch Resistance and the Monuments Men during WWII through Eva Montanna’s searching for clues in her Grandfather’s journals when an unknown enemy threatens her family. In our current release Embers of Courage, Eva’s family Bible is the way we take our readers into the fifteenth century dangers of Christians facing persecution.
People may not be aware that you critique NCIS, the original Mark Harmon series and now New Orleans with Scott Bakula.  Are there certain aspects you are focusing on and how do you include both your views and David’s?
It is true that because David was an NCIS Special Agent for years prior to being a DEA Special Agent we write a critique of each new episode. We post these on our blog at http://DianeAndDavidMunson.com/blog. We are often asked if the CBS show is realistic. David responds that in his years, he worked on only two homicide cases. Aside from the fact that the show has a homicide almost every week, David says the methods and teamwork are similar; however, lab analysis and technical support takes longer than on the show. We write our blog much like we write our books, David watches for technical correctness, while Diane observes and writes about interpersonal relationships, and her knowledge of the law as a lawyer. We find the NOLA NCIS to be very well written and showing more of the agents’ techniques in solving crimes involving the U.S. Navy.
Will you share some of the resources you used to research Embers of Courage?  Did you travel or view places online?
Yes, often our writing is influenced by places we’ve visited. Embers of Courage reveals what happens to Federal Agent Eva Montanna’s teammate, NCIS Special Agent Raj Pentu, who is embroiled in an undercover case that goes haywire in Egypt. Eva lives in Northern Virginia where we once lived and worked in our former careers. Google Earth and other Internet sources are great as aids to conduct detailed research in places we can’t reach, such as the Sinai Desert. Eva struggles to help her teen daughter, Kaley, who is harassed by her high school teacher, as well as Coptic Christians in Egypt. We did tons of reading and drew upon our knowledge of Coptics who have fled Egypt to the USA to live in freedom. This thriller takes the reader back to the Middle Ages in England and the Netherlands where many were martyred for their faith in Jesus. We have spent time in both of these countries. We dug into what life was like for people more than five hundred years ago. What did they eat? What kind of clothes did they wear? Such details come into play around Eva finding mysterious ashes, and a rare family Bible. We perused volumes of books over several years to better acquaint ourselves with the struggles of Believers when they touched the first printed Bible. We also weave in the marvelous invention called the “Printing Press,” created by Johann Gutenberg who printed the first Bible. Because we wanted our story to be as accurate as possible, we traveled to examine a replica of Gutenberg’s press in Louisville, Kentucky. David had a chance to operate it and actually print a page from the Bible using this ancient technique.
We strive to bring realistic settings to our readers. For example, character Griff Topping’s tangle with former government agents in Kazakhstan was influenced by our run-in with former Soviet KGB agents when we visited Kazakhstan to lecture government health and anti-narcotics officials.
In Stolen Legacy, at the end of the book, readers got a hint of what may be coming in the next book, Embers of Courage.  Any hints as to what readers can look forward to in 2015?
As you point out, in Stolen Legacy (especially in the epilogue) we do give a hint about our next thriller, then unnamed, Embers of Courage. That’s untypical, since we write and promote our titles, as “stand alone,” although several characters do follow into other titles. The next book we are working on is highly classified! While on the subject of “stand alone”, we do have two other titles that are slightly connected. Our second thriller, Confirming Justice has a romance that remains unresolved at the end. The romance resumes and resolves in Redeeming Liberty, our fifth thriller.

What verse(s) of Scripture do you consider to be most treasured?
Many verses in John, including John 1:1 and John 3:16 as these convey the truth of the Gospel. Jesus is the hope for the whole world.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is meaningful when we face difficulties.
Psalm 23 “The Lord is my Shepherd,” shows what green pastures are ours when we follow the Good Shepherd.

Psalm 90:17  “May the favor of the Lord of God rest upon us; establish the work of our hand for us… Yes, establish the work of our hands.” We prayed this verse over daily before our first manuscript was accepted by the publisher.