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Showing posts from October, 2014

Secrets of Sloane House

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Title:  Secrets of Sloane House (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #1) Author:  Shelley Gray Story Length:  316 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Zondervan Reid Armstrong is trying to fit in to society as best he can.  His parents are middle class, but his father struck it rich with an investment in a silver mine, catapulting their wealth exponentially.  Now, after attending the best schools and learning all the intricacies of society, Reid is expected to put his training to good use as his parents want him to make a good match and marry a society belle.  Reid, however, is drawn to a maid at a friend’s house.  He learns of her mission to find her missing sister and offers to help.  He initially heeds his parents’ wishes as to his marital status, but the more time he spends with Rosalind, the more intrigued he is by her. Rosalind Perry has arrived in Chicago to work as a maid at Sloane House where her sister used to work as well.  Her sister used to send letters and money home to their farm in Wis…

The Daughter of Highland Hall

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Title:  The Daughter of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides #2) Author:  Carrie Turansky Story Length:  322 pages Year:  2014 Publisher:  Multnomah Books Kate Ramsey is 18 and about to be presented to the King and Queen of England prior to her debut for her season in London society.  Her aunt is her sponsor and will stop at nothing to see that Kate is matched favorably to a wealthy titled aristocrat before the season ends.  Her aunt constantly criticizes Kate and makes her feel she isn’t doing her duty to her family if she doesn’t succeed in catching a husband.  Kate wants to please her family and thinks these ought to be her goals as well.  She has grown up at Highland Hall and is used to a life of privilege.  Her father’s untimely death, leaving no male heir, causes Kate’s home to pass to a second cousin, whose story is told in book one of the Edwardian Bride Series, The Governess of Highland Hall. Kate begins the rounds of balls, teas and suppers to be seen as an eligible bride.  She …

Charles Todd novel "A Matter of Justice"

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Title:  A Matter of Justice (Inspector Ian Rutledge #11) Author:  Charles Todd Pages:  330 Year:  2009 Publisher:  William Morrow The psychological aspect is ramped up in this novel.  Inspector Ian Rutledge is called from a friend’s wedding celebration to take over an investigation of the murder of a member of the local gentry that universally was disliked.  Ian has his hands full of suspects where normally his investigations take time to turn up a single suspect.  Several in the town have motives to kill the cruel man found dead, hanging from the ceiling in an old barn by a contraption used during the local Christmas pageant to make the angel fly.  Who would want to humiliate this man?  What is the meaning of having the victim trussed up with angel wings dangling from the ceiling? As Ian’s investigation progresses, there are two attempted suicides, an act of vandalism at the town bakery and a policeman under suspicion as a possible suspect for the murder.  Ian is relentless in pursu…

A Pale Horse by Charles Todd

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Title:  A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge #10) Author:  Charles Todd Pages:  360 Year:  2008 Publisher:  William Morrow Inspector Ian Rutledge barely has time to breathe between cases that his superior sends him out to solve.  Secretly, his boss hates Ian and is hoping he fails; then, he’ll have proof to have him removed from the force.  However, Ian isn’t cooperating and keeps coming up stellar with his sleuthing abilities. This current case takes Ian back to a place he visited as a young boy with his father.  There is a giant pale horse carved in a hillside by long ago peoples.  Ian remembers fondly the time spent here with his father, but now he is sent to track down a missing scientist by order of the military.  This, after he just returned from investigating the finding of an unknown corpse in a church abbey, wearing an opera cloak and a gas mask.  No one has seen the dead man before and the local constable likes the school teacher for the murder, pursuing a personal vendetta…

Web of Lies by Brandilyn Collins

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Title:  Web of Lies (Hidden Faces #4) Author:  Brandilyn Collins Story Length:  346 Year:  2005 Publisher:  Zondervan Annie Kingston is now three months out from an attempt on her life by the Poison Killer (Dead of Night, book 3 in the Hidden Faces series).  She is called upon for her artistic skills again to help the police find a murderer.  Just as she finishes that sketch, she is contacted by a woman, Chelsea Adams, who says she receives visions from God and He has given her a new one.  She shares the terrifying vision with Annie and then asks Annie if she will draw the face of the only person Chelsea sees in the vision.  Annie is reluctant to get involved.  Visions from God, really?  She is unsure if she believes Chelsea, but God soon makes it clear that Annie and Chelsea need to meet for Annie to draw this picture. As both sketches are circulated, Annie can’t help but wonder if the two cases are related.  Soon thereafter, a body is discovered nearby.  Is this also connected to t…

Jodie Bailey's "Quilted by Christmas"

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Title:  Quilted by Christmas (Quilts of Love Series) Author:  Jodie Bailey Story Length:  211 pages Year:  2014 Publisher:  Abingdon Press Justin Callahan has returned to town after being in the Army for 12 years.  When he left at age 18, he left behind his girlfriend after a huge argument.  He now returns after leaving the military to help his father run the family construction business.  He sees Taryn and begins to wonder if they can rekindle what they once had.  He knows that he has returned a changed man, but will Taryn want anything to do with him after 12 years of absence? Taryn McKenna has been keeping a secret for 12 years.  Her grandmother is the only one who knows about it.  Taryn loves her grandmother, who raised her after her mother died when she was a young teenager.  They are working on a quilt together for her cousin’s wedding on New Year’s Day, but events happen that threaten its completion on time. Taryn and Justin grew up together and she has loved him forever, firs…

Mercy Killer by James Pence is Awesome!

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Title:  Mercy Killer Author:  James Pence Pages:  400 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Mercy-Killer-James-Pence/dp/1941291023/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413686928&sr=1-1&keywords=mercy+killer Before I share my thoughts on this particular novel let me tell you that the author is donating the proceeds from the sales of the book to ALS research. When I began reading this robust story, I wasn’t quite sure which direction the action or plot was going in, but am I glad to have read the book.  Part of the story is mystery, suspense, thriller along with faith and ethics.  One main character, Dr. Westlake, spoke loudly for helping patients end their lives until it came to a crossroads of putting her beliefs into action.  When a patient of hers is found dead in a hospital room in the wee hours of the morning before a scheduled surgery, the lead detective is all but convinced Dr. Westlake is the culprit. Charles is a retired cop,…

A Guest Review of James Pence's Novel "Mercy Killer"

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Title:  Mercy Killer Author:  James Pence Pages:  333 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Mountainview Dr. Lori Westlake is a divorced woman who practices medicine as a general practitioner.  She likes the variety of helping different patients with different health issues.  She doesn’t like having to give her patients bad news, but realizes that comes part and parcel with the job.  She just wishes there was a way to legally help her terminal patients to have control of their own lives or have their own choice when their lives are ending.  She is discreetly contacted by a group of other healthcare professionals about joining their secret society that helps patients end their own lives on their own terms.  This is just what she is looking for, right?  She should jump at this chance, but something causes her to waver. Charles Hamisch has just retired from the police force where he worked as a detective.  He was forced to take early retirement due to his diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  H…

Injustice for All

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Title:  Injustice for All Author:  Robin Caroll Pages:  352 Year:  2012 Publisher:  B & H Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Injustice-All-Justice-Seekers-Novel/dp/143367212X/ref=la_B001IZXC9C_1_15_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414205988&sr=1-15 What drew me to the novel was a YouTube book trailer I viewed on YouTube which is posted above for your convenience.  A woman, Remington Wyatt, is raised by her godfather after the death of her parents.  With Judge Tate’s last breath he tells his goddaughter to grab the files from the safe and run!  Remington has no idea what she is taking and throwing into her godfather’s briefcase…that would come later.  Now, she has to draw upon her knowledge of the ways to disappear before “they” could kill her. Three years later an agent transfers to the Louisiana FBI office and is assigned to the cold cases files.  He could choose any one among the many.  What does he choose?  Where will it take him?  All you need do is open the page…

Playing Saint

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Title:  Playing Saint Author:  Zachary Bartels Pages:  352 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Saint-Zachary-Bartels/dp/1401690556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414000547&sr=1-1&keywords=playing+saint Let me introduce to you a new author with a knockout work of fiction…Zachary Bartels!  Playing Saint is not just an outstanding piece of work, but the message really is relevant for today.  I was glued to the pages until the very end due to the ingenious placing of more twists and turns of the plot than expected.  With each twist and turn of the plot, the tension ramped up and before the end characters’ revelations kept me turning the pages with eagerness to read the finale. The story is a mystery with spiritual overtones as the killer leaves a “calling card” that looks like an object, but is it really what it appears?  While trying to capture the person responsible for these murders another killer seems to be on the loose that d…

The Other Side of Darkness

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Title:  The Other Side of Darkness Author:  Linda Wood Rondeau Pages:  323 Year:  2011 Publisher:  Harbourlight Books Samantha Knowles is a prosecutor in the Special Victims Unit in Manhattan.  She has been working on one particular case for over three years and has finally succeeded in getting the criminal sentenced to jail for life.  However, her victory is short-lived.  Her boss forces her to take a vacation away from the case because he fears she has become obsessed with it.  On the way to her vacation destination, Sam has an accident that will change the course of her life.  She ends up in the small town of Haven where she is welcomed with open arms.  She still thinks about the case a lot, sleeps with the lights on, when she can get any sleep and eats very little.  She can’t wait to get back to work, but is continually put off by her boss.  She knows something is going on with the case, but trusts that her boss will do what is right as he is handling the case now. Sam delves int…

A Promise to Protect

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Title:  A Promise to Protect (Logan Point #2) Author:  Patricia Bradley Pages:  331 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell Ben Logan has been made acting sheriff after his father, the elected sheriff, is shot in the line of duty and then suffers a stroke, leaving him unable to perform his job.  Ben had wanted to be a U.S. Marshal, but has decided that he belongs in Logan Point and that he wants to be sheriff permanently.  He still suffers occasional panic attacks around some children sometimes when he has flashbacks of the day Tommy Ray drowned while Ben was in charge of the scout pack.  Ben hasn’t let go of the guilt of this tragedy even though it happened three years ago.  Most people tell him it was an accident and that he did everything he could to save the teen, but Ben runs into the boy’s father sometimes and he never lets Ben forget his culpability in Tommy Ray’s death.  Now, his old girlfriend from ten years ago has returned to town and he begins to wonder what happened to kill their…

Destiny by Don Brown

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Title:  Destiny Author:  Don Brown   http://donbrownbooks.com/ Pages:  462 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Mountainview Books Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Don-Brown/dp/1941291066/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411286492&sr=1-1&keywords=destiny+by+don+brown Three men, three countries and many readers will get to journey and discover what holds them all together.  As I read, I couldn’t imagine the many families who lived through the beginning of WWII.  For me, the novel brings to the forefront the many lives affected during the war, along with afterwards.  Walter is mailman in a small town and recently married when the war is brought to the shores of the United States on December 7th by the Japanese.  Heinrick is a married man with two young girls who works at a factory in Germany when he joins a group who seeks revenge for the assignation of a government official.  Darwin is a young man who longs to be an actor and wants to simply enjoy the pleasures of the stage and…

Finding Mercy

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Title:  Finding Mercy (Mercy Medallion Series) Author:  Michael Landon, Jr & Cindy Kelley Pages:  416 Year:  2014 Publisher:  David C. Cook Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Mercy-Novel-Medallion/dp/0781408709/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413059330&sr=1-1&keywords=finding+mercy+michael+landon The novel that introduces the audience to the characters and story line was released in 2013 and titled, Traces of Mercy.  Set during the Civil War, a young woman poses as a Confederate soldier until wounded and carried to a local doctor where her secret is discovered.  When she wakes up, her memory is completely wiped out and her life begins at the exact moment of waking up.  Nothing she does jiggles her memory and when she is staying in the care of nuns they name her Mercy.  Mercy’s adventures begin to expound in this second novel, Finding Mercy, picking up where Traces of Mercy ended. It was hard to wait another full year to see how the authors were going to either …
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This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingFinding Mercy David C. Cook (October 1, 2014) byMichael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Landon Jr., son of television legend Michael Landon, is an award-winning storyteller, first in television and film, and now in books. His print works include One More Sunrise co-written with Tracie Peterson. 
**** Cindy Kelley is the co-author of the novel The Silent Gift, and Traces of Mercy. Her career as a screenwriter with long-time writing partner, Michael Landon, Jr., began with the adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, which had a theatrical release. Several television movies followed, most notably Love Comes Softly, (based on Janette Oke’s novel) which won a CAMIE Award and the Epiphany Prize for Movie Guide’s most inspirational television movie of 2003. Cindy and her husband, Jim, make their home in the Southwest; have three adorable grandchildren and four big dogs who rule the h…

Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me Movie Review

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Title:  Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me Link:  http://glencampbellmovie.com/faith/ Year:  2014
Leave a comment below with your email address for an opportunity to win a soundtrack of the movie! Glen Campbell and his family share a very transparent journey that brings both laughter and tears as he declined with Alzheimer’s.  For a year, the family shares his final tour without covering up even the tough times.  Friends and fans share their memories of this man along with how Glen impacted their lives. While it was amazing to see this man do his singing and playing as he always had, it was hard to watch Glen decline to a place where he had to stop.  There were pictures of family and friends along with videos that Glen would watch and then ask questions as to who the people were.  When he toured, he had to have a teleprompter because he couldn’t recall the lyrics, but he sure could play that guitar like nobody I have ever heard before. The reason Glen along with his family did this was to bring…

Guest Review of "Afloat" by Erin Healy

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Title:  Afloat Author:  Erin Healy Pages:  352 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Vance Nolan is the project manager for Eagle’s Talon, a new condominium community for the wealthy.  The condos are built in a new construction technique and float on water.  Vance has had some difficulties in his teenage years, but as he matured physically, he also matured spiritually with the help of his good friend Zeke.  Vance will soon face the toughest challenge of his life when disaster strikes at the jobsite. Danielle Clement is a young widow and executive assistant to Tony Dean, the money behind Eagle’s Talon.  Her relationship with Tony has become more than professional recently.  She likes the security his money brings for herself and her young son.  She feels the only way she can earn this money is by letting Tony into her bed.  She knows she doesn’t love him, but what does it hurt to pretend?  As catastrophe after catastrophe strikes her life, she begins to see what kind of man Tony and V…

Buttermilk Sky by Jan Watson

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Title:  Buttermilk Sky Author:  Jan Watson Story Length:  330 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Tyndale Mazy Pelfrey is a young 19-year-old woman, attending secretarial school in Lexington, Kentucky in the year 1913.  Back home in the mountains of Kentucky where she was raised, she was kind of expected to marry Chanis Clay and have a family.  She likes Chanis, but she doesn’t like the pressure she thinks he puts on her.  Mazy isn’t so sure that is what she wants, so she heads off to learn how to be a secretary.  She has a group that she socializes with, but for the most part they don’t treat her very nicely.  She craves the approval of one of the group especially, a snobby uppity girl.  Otherwise, Mazy seems to make friends of everyone else she meets with her kind and compassionate nature.  While in Lexington, she meets Loyal Chambers, who turns her head by his nice manners and good looks.  What should she do about Chanis?  Chanis Clay is the local sheriff, the youngest one in the town’s hist…

Just Rise Up

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Title:  Just Rise Up Author:  Sarah Francis Martin Pages:  208 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-RISE-UP-InScribed-Collection/dp/1401680151/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1FFEXXFFAEEJXJQR9A2H The format for this study is quite ingenious.  First, participants read the author’s thoughts and challenges, then have five days in which to journal their own thoughts when answering various questions.  Sarah Martin wants people to once again regain perspective from one of self to one of making Jesus known to those around them.  What began this journey for Sarah was actually reading a book by Chuck Colson titled, How Now Shall We Live?  Personally, I know this is a helpful book as my family has read it, gleaning nuggets of truth that compel the reader’s heart to the Lord. People are encouraged to seek the Lord and read His Word in order to understand to what purpose He has called them.  Some of the questions might best be shared in a one-on-one type…

Inseparable

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Title:  Inseparable Author:  Ashley Linne Pages:  224 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Inseparable-Will-Christ-InScribed-Collection/dp/1401680232/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1BC1G8CG2F6ZQY0M9M5C Here is an excellent tool to equip the Body to feed the spirit and stretch our faith muscles!  For a long time now I have been a proponent of really saturating my life with the Word and have been blessed to have a travel companion on the same journey.  In this study, readers will be encouraged to read through the entire book of Romans.  As a help so as not to overwhelm us, a reading guide is included in the appendix. The author uses The Voicetranslation throughout the book, but also suggests reading from any version that might be more preferable.  The study is not a verse by verse exposé on Romans, but principles shared with us are found in the book of Romans.  A question that people ask in various seasons of life is addressed in the book which is, “Wh…

Barren Among the Fruitful

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Title:  Barren among the Fruitful Author:  Amanda Hope Haley Pages:  160 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Barren-Among-Fruitful-Navigating-Infertility/dp/1401679757/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413229490&sr=1-1&keywords=barren+among+the+fruitful Amanda shares with women not only her journey, but that of many others.  I know women who went through similar trials and heartache; it is never easy.  For those who haven’t traveled this path, you might want to read through the book to help you understand what is hard to explain to those who have had children.  One of the best characteristics of a study that I look for is whether an author has experienced drawing near to God for themselves before writing for others.  I’m glad to tell you that is indeed the case here. One unique discovery I came across was that the introduction was written by Amanda’s mother who also experienced barrenness.  Society tends to place much pressure on whether …

Where Treetops Glisten

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Title: Where Treetops Glisten Author:  Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin Pages:  368 Year:  2014 Publisher:  WaterBrook Press Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Where-Treetops-Glisten-Heartwarming-Christmas/dp/1601426488/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412617813&sr=1-1&keywords=where+treetops+glisten Here is a truly unique story placed in the time of WWII and surrounds a special family that lives in Lafayette, Indiana.  The Turners lived in a house that sheltered the parents, grandmother and siblings from the winter of 1942 through 1945.  The three authors then developed characters that seemed very lifelike, though not perfect or all the same.  Each person in the Turner crew brings different gifts, personalities and life choices.  Each of the three stories including the Prologue and Epilogue will touch your heart and bring a smile to your face. The tale, White Christmas, shares the story of Abigail Turner who planned to become a lawyer like her father until her life…

Keepers of the Covenant

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Title:  Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles #2) Author:  Lynn Austin Pages:  477 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany House This story takes place a generation or two after Return to Me, book one in the Restoration Chronicles.  The fictional account of Ezra begins in Babylon during the time of Queen Esther with the proclamation from the king allowing the execution of all Jews on the thirteenth day of Adar.  Ezra has been living with his brother, Jude, and his wife, Devorah while studying the Torah.  He is known as the man who knows more about the Torah than any other man.  He teaches other men the Torah as well.  With the proclamation, Ezra becomes the leader of all the Jews in Babylon, changing his life. Amina is a young Edomite girl who lives in a village just outside of Bethlehem.  She has a crippled leg and is often rejected by those in her family and village.  With the proclamation, her father and brothers determine to kill as many Jews as they can and take their prop…

The Confirmation

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Title: The Confirmation Author:  Ralph Reed Pages:  408 Year:  2010 Publisher:  Fidelis Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Confirmation-Ralph-Reed/dp/1433669242/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413311252&sr=1-1&keywords=the+confirmation+ralph+reed While I was reading, there were times it almost felt like déjà vu because the action in the story almost reflected the current happenings we hear about on the news!  Ralph Reed draws readers into the suspense so well, I believe, because of his various work experience in the political realm.  What brings a higher sense of tension to the story is how those who believe in God are treated or spoken to, which so reminds me of today’s news. As I read I learned to have a deeper appreciation for what presidents coming into office must have to wrestle with in terms of events needing a decision.  Throughout the novel Ralph Reed does an excellent job reminding us that the battle we face is a spiritual one not a human one.  So much happens be…

A Matter of the Heart (Lone Star Brides #3)

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Title:  A Matter of the Heart (Lone Star Brides #3) Author:  Tracie Peterson Pages:  320 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bethany Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Matter-Heart-Lone-Star-Brides/dp/0764210602/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412934839&sr=1-1&keywords=a+matter+of+the+heart Tracie Peterson’s final installment in this series is simply heart touching along adventure, romance and faith.  The main characters in A Matter of the Heart are introduced to readers in the previous books A Sensible Arrangement and A Moment in Time.  Each book focuses ona budding relationship rich and diverse along with an overarching storyline that also brings the flavor of a mystery.  One of the reasons I love to read this author in particular is to learn how the title will be woven into the story.  Each time I open the books I am entertained and encouraged as I read of characters facing odds and overcoming them in faith. Each book will hold you captive until the very end as pieces of a puzzle a…

Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun

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Title:  Thunder (A Stone Braide Chronicles) Author:  Bonnie S. Calhoun                                                                       Pages:  432 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Novel-Stone-Braide-Chronicles/dp/0800723767/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1411521146&sr=1-6 Selah Rishon Chavez, the day before her eighteenth birth remembrance discovers a Lander, a stranger from an unknown country across the ocean.  Selah intends to capture the stranger because Landers are valuable in her world, but she discovers that her biologically father, whom she had never known about, was also a Lander.  As a child of a Lander, Selah starts to discover that she has abilities that start to awaken within her as well as certain feelings about Bodhi Locke, the stranger from across the ocean.  Selah’s brothers steal her captured stranger, which leads her to discover her own origins and the father she never knew. Th…