Monday, March 31, 2014

Garden of Madness

Title:  Garden of Madness
Author:  Tracy Higley
Pages:  376
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Tiamat is the youngest daughter and princess of King Nebuchadnezzar.  She was married at a very young age and her husband has just died.  She is now 21 years old and doesn’t want to marry again.  She thinks she will now be free to do as she likes.  Her mother soon dispels that notion by telling Tia she will marry again and soon.  She will be married to her mother’s cousin, a Mede, to form an alliance between Babylon and Media.  Tia wants no part of this and tries to think up different plans of thwarting her mother’s plan.  Her mother is very cold toward Tia and always concerned with appearances and duty.  Tia literally runs from responsibility.  She has her own training room where she runs sometimes.  She feels free when she leaves the palace and enters the city full of people.  The murder of one of her father’s faithful noblemen causes her to begin asking questions about his murder.  This leads her to Pedaiah, her dead husband’s brother.  He is being trained by Daniel to lead others in the ways of Yahweh.  Pedaiah has secretly loved Tia, but she was married to his brother as well as a pagan, so he kept his distance from her and his feelings to himself.  Now that his brother is dead, is there any hope for him in regards to letting his feelings for her to be known?  Is she even capable of listening and/or learning about the One True God and leaving her pagan gods behind?
Shadir is a mage and has his own plans for Tia.  He has served her father, but due to her father’s “illness”, he now wants to take over the kingdom for himself.  Tia’s mother vows not to let this happen.  Shadir practices sorcery in secret and welcomes demons.  He will stop at nothing to get the man he wants on the throne of Babylon.  Murder is no stumbling block for him.  He also has plans to reveal the true nature of King Nebuchadnezzar’s “illness” to the people of Babylon.
I thought Tia was very spoiled, naïve and selfish throughout most of the story.  Everything was all about her and how things would change for her.  She might have said it was about her family, but it really was about herself.  Not until the last few chapters did she slowly begin to change.  Her focus really did become something other than herself.  This was an intriguing story, and I enjoyed the historical and biblical facts put together to form this fictional take on what could have happened in Babylon.  I also enjoyed reading the Story Behind the Story and the Author’s Note; they are always very interesting and I learn something new each time I read them after one of Tracy’s entertaining stories.
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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eyes of Justice

Title:  Eyes of Justice (Triple Threat Series #4)
Author:  Lis Wiehl with April Henry
Pages:  292
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Allison Pierce, federal prosecutor, has had her wayward sister living with her and her husband for almost a year now.  Lindsay is finally going to try to open a business of her own.  Allison agrees to co-sign on the loan from the bank.  While at the bank, Allison goes to the restroom and while there something terrible happens.  This on top of the recent death of someone very close to her just about breaks her, but she clings to her faith in God.  She wants justice to be served and will not let the guilty go unpunished.  As more information comes to light, Allison wonders if what happened at the bank was just a cover-up for something else.  Is she safe in her beloved city of Portland?
Nicole Hedges, FBI agent, has resumed her relationship with Leif and is status post breast cancer surgery.  Along with Allison, she vows to see justice done no matter the cost regarding the murder of someone close to her.  While out jogging, she is almost run over, but puts it down to driver inattention.  As she searches for clues to bring a killer to justice, she begins to think maybe she was targeted on purpose.  Is someone out to get her?
This is the best of the Triple Threat stories so far in my opinion.  I don’t want to reveal much about what happens, so I’ve been brief in my review.  There is so much action readers will not be able to stop until the book is finished.  I was worn out by the time I turned the last page, but it was worth the time spent.  This is just great reading.  I have read this author’s other series, The East Salem Trilogy and really enjoyed that series as well.  There are surprises, suspense and sadness to keep readers engaged.  I don’t know if this is the final book in the series or not, but I’ll be on the lookout for more exciting stories from this author.
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, March 29, 2014

Death by the Book

Title:  Death by the Book (A Drew Farthering Mystery #2)
Author:  Julianna Deering
Pages:  316
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
The setting is early 1930s in the little village of Farthering St. John, Great Britain.  Drew has asked Madeline Parker, his American girlfriend, to marry him, but she has asked for some time to be sure that marriage to him is the right thing for her.  Drew has decided that he needs to make some changes to his will to benefit Madeline, whether they marry or not, and requests a meeting with his lawyer.  When he arrives for the meeting, he finds his lawyer murdered.  Thus begins another murder mystery where Drew acts in an amateur capacity with the local law enforcement personnel.  Before any headway is made on this murder, another murder is committed at Drew’s country club out on the golf course!
As Drew continues to investigate, more murders occur and they continue with the same theme, but Drew is no closer to figuring out who the murderer is than when the first murder was committed.  Drew consults with Madeline and his best friend Nick on the case.  Meanwhile, he must deal with Madeline’s persnickety Aunt Ruth, who has come with the express purpose of taking Madeline home to America.  She has no interest in getting to know Drew better and is against a marriage between him and Madeline.  Is the murderer picking his victims at random?  They seem to have nothing in common.  Can he solve the case before the murderer strikes again?
This second book in the Drew Farthering series was even better than the first one!  The witty dialogue, especially Drew’s part, was a joy to read.  The banter between the characters was great!  The mystery itself was well-written with some great red herrings to keep readers guessing about “whodunit” until the last few pages of the story.  There is also evidence of faith and trusting in God shown in the story, which is refreshing.  Kudos to the author for a great British mystery!  I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing the next Drew Farthering mystery titled, Murder at the Mikado, which is due to be released in July 2014.
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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It Had to be You

Title:  It Had to Be You
Author:  Susan May Warren
Pages:  480
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Tyndale Publishers
Susan May Warren really nails the heart with love and grace when characters in the novel begin to understand how they are viewing themselves, and when what they do in their lives becomes the standard to which they measure their hopes, fears, triumphs or failures is the dawning of a new day. Jace is known as the NHL Blue Ox team’s bad boy.  The more he fights instead of scoring, the happier the fans.  Eden thought writing obits was a meaningless job when all she has ever wanted to be was an honest reporter.
In reality, our lives tend to mesh and we gather our identity through another person’s life or whomever we tend to idolize.  The Christiansen family isn’t depicted as perfect Christians, but has its own problems, hopes, dreams, failures and triumphs.  With each page, readers will be able to identify with various characters with different life situations.  Sounds like reality does it not?
When parents watch their children become adults, they learn to let go and pray hard for their offspring to be the people God has called them to become.  It is never easy for a parent to let go in the hope and knowledge that God their Father is right there with them.  While I read, I learned it takes faith and grace to let go with one hand and hold onto the Father’s hand with both.  One child in the novel needs a heart transplant; her father is a single parent, having lost his wife to the same heart condition years ago.  As time passes without seeing any hope, the father on his knees hands over his daughter’s care and life into God’s hands because he realizes he cannot carry the burden alone any longer.
Susan May Warren draws the audience into the adventure of the Christiansen family and friends as they live very active lives in Minneapolis in a story that is written with a mother’s heart and life experience.  Each page speaks about an individual’s choices in faith and how God can redeem what looks to be a life wasted.  I appreciated the reality that is reflected in some parts of the story when a character hears words of wisdom with their ears, but God brings it to a rock solid truth in their heart.  I cannot imagine the pressure that professional athletes are under to perform, meet certain criteria or even take on a persona that is not who they really are.  In one scene, readers will read a tender moment where a hockey player is reading his Bible looking for answers, understanding and peace.  Our times with God can sometimes be like this, during trials when we are on our knees handing a hard situation into God’s hands.  For me, meeting with God in His Word is not a ritual to perform or something to mark off a “to do” list, it is a relationship.  A relationship He initiated, keeps and grows for which I am immensely thankful for each new dawn.  I have learned that I have a part in the relationship also by coming to Him just as I am.  How about you?
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

Gatehaven

Title:  Gatehaven
Author:  Molly Noble Bull
Pages:  246
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Creation House
The year is 1784, and the setting is mostly England, but some of the story takes place in Scotland.  Gatehaven is the creepy home of the Earl of Northon where young women have entered, but never come out.  Where are they?  Is there really a gateway to the underworld in this house?
Shannon Aimee is a young girl whose head is turned by the earl.  He has proposed marriage to her, even though she is a farmer’s daughter.  She travels to England with her best friend, Ian Colquhoun, who is to be an assistant to the vicar.  Upon arrival, Shannon is treated terribly by the earl’s family and the earl himself.  Privately, he still keeps her affection with sweet words, but makes excuses for his family’s behavior and puts off announcing their engagement.  Is he really the wonderful man she fell in love with?  Was that just an act to gain her regard?  What about the strange meetings held at Gatehaven on nights when the moon is full?
Ian Colquhoun has known and loved Shannon Aimee all his life, but she doesn’t view him with a romantic interest.  He sees a way to protect her and gain knowledge for himself about becoming a pastor by going to England to work as an assistant to the vicar at Gatehaven.  Ian meets Monsieur Etienne Gabeau and immediately dislikes him.  He doesn’t trust this man at all and wonders what his interest in Shannon could be?  Etienne has many strange books in his library that speak of evil things.
What I liked about the story was Ian’s quest for spiritual knowledge and his willingness to accept instruction and put what he learned into practice.  He was a real encourager of others’ faith.  I also liked how Scripture was used to explain Scripture and how Godly qualities were in evidence in some of the characters.  They spoke their beliefs and lived their lives accordingly.  There were some creepy effects to lend a somewhat Gothic air to the story.  I loved the cover of the book!   What I didn’t like was the main female character that seemed shallow, incredibly naïve almost to the point of stupid, and only realized Ian’s worth when she thought she couldn’t have him.  I also thought the transitions in the story were rough and in a few cases a character would refer to something that hadn’t happened so it seemed to me as if some of the story were cut out.
My rating is 3 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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest review of "A Melody for James"

Title:  A Melody for James (Song of Suspense #1)
Author:  Hallee Bridgeman
Pages:  301
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Olivia Kimbrell Press
James Montgomery has survived a devastating, heartbreaking event that changes his life forever.  He now travels months at a time to London and when he is home in the U.S., he is locked away working in his office on his computer.  He works to forget.  If his mind is busy working, then he can’t remember what happened and thus won’t feel the pain and sadness.  It is in this frame of mind that he happens upon Melody Mason.  He is instantly attracted to her, but thinks it is too soon and that he shouldn’t be.  He wants to see her again, but circumstances prevent that until four years later.  When they meet again, the attraction is stronger than ever.  She makes him feel alive again.  He has also found God and is growing ever stronger in his faith.  He is an entrepreneur who owns his own very successful business.
Melody Mason has just discovered something terrible about her fiancée.  She flees the country to London and upon her return meets James in the airport during a layover.  She finds him attractive and enjoys talking to him.  She hopes they can meet again and get to know one another better, but her past intervenes and that is not to be, at least right then.  She returns home four years later for her sister’s wedding and discovers James again.  She knows he is the one man for her, but she has some baggage in the form of a flagging faith and a stalker.  Oh, she is also an extremely famous country singer now too.
This book has got it all…action, romance, suspense, mystery and so much more.  It was interesting how the faith of the two main characters switched from their initial meeting and then when they were reunited and how the strong one in the faith continued encouraging and guiding the weak one.  I thought it insightful how the author portrayed Melody as one brought up in the church, but not really of the church and when her faith was put to the test, it faltered big time.  However, as she matures in life, she also matures in her understanding of faith and what it means to walk with the Lord.  It is encouraging to see both main characters become strong in faith in this story.  I eagerly look forward to reading the next novel in the series titled, An Aria for Nick.
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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review of "Saving Mr. Banks" Movie


Title:  Saving Mr. Banks
Publisher:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Year:  2014
Format:  DVD
When I first heard the title of the movie along with the actors and actresses appearing in the story, my heart was drawn to the movie.  So one night I sat in my home and watched it, knowing that the movie was sharing with the audience the story behind the Mary Poppins movie originally made in 1964.  That movie won five academy awards, which in that era I am sure was astounding, along with propelling Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke into the home of many viewers.
I watched the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, which flashes back into the author of Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers’, childhood.  Like the various pieces of a puzzle we are shown the woman who so long ago and who still does today touches us with the hope for redemption.  P. L. Travers had a hard childhood, but also had an amazing imagination that helped her cope with a reality that was less than stellar.  Along with her, we are given a peek into the childhood history of Walt & Roy Disney. 
When my sons were younger, they would watch Mary Poppins several times in a row when having to stay in bed because of illness or some other such reason.  Therefore, by default, I too endured the repetition of hearing the movie till I thought I would never desire to hear it let alone watch it again.  Yet, the movie is as endearing to adults as to a younger crowd.  Made at a time when computer generation was far from reality, it stands today as a beacon calling out to the childlike heart within all of us.  The movie compels us to lay down the past or present in order to allow ourselves to be uplifted.
Saving Mr. Banks will remind us that there can be forgiveness given, freedom of the heart and soul granted, and hope restored.
My rating is 5+ stars.

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, March 24, 2014

Summer of Joy

Title:  Summer of Joy (Hollyhill Series #3)
Author:  Ann H. Gabhart
Pages:  352
Year:  2008
Publisher:  Revell
Don’t let the cover to the book deceive you into thinking that this book has a boring, uninteresting story because that is not true!  In fact, I loved it as it takes all the elements from the first two novels in the series and brings them to some surprising conclusions.  We are introduced to Hollyhill and David Brooke first with The Scent of Lilacs, followed by Orchard of Hope, which adds depth to the plot and prepares readers for the suspense-filled ending!
I was not expecting all the action the last novel came with, the twist and turns of the plot along with a mystery male character.  Jocie is starting high school, and she is writing her eye witness accounts in a journal.  She not only writes about events and people that have come into her life, but also thanks the Lord and adds prayers.  Jocie is a prayer warrior.  She believes God and asks things with childlike faith, knowing that the answer may not always be a “yes” from God.
There is a female character that shows joy in the face of adversity along with letting readers see how afraid she is to believe she can be loved.  Leigh tries to live her faith out each day even when she is being badgered into false guilt by her mother.  David feels like a teenager when he realizes he is in love with Leigh, but is not sure what to do about it because he believes the age difference may be a hindrance.
Throughout the whole series characters show us how unique we are and how we try to walk the walk of faith as well as failing to do so sometimes.  There are times when the characters remind us we have choices to make even when our emotions or circumstances seem to be other than dandy.  One of the main female leads is a woman named Aunt Love who quotes Scripture lots of times and knows that knowledge is not enough, but living it out is a must.
Themes of hope beyond tragedy, forgiveness even when it is the last act we want to do or mercy with compassion are presented.  There are situations that arise in the series that show the audience that believing God is at times very hard and sometimes living it out is even harder.  I guess that is why I enjoyed the series so much because as humans we wrestle with our fleshly nature, especially when the Lord calls us to love someone or forgive someone when we would like to do otherwise.  I think the books remind us that we have to lean on the Lord every day if we are to mirror His image before a hurting and broken world.  Please read the whole series and see what you think.
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, March 23, 2014

Orchard of Hope



Title:  Orchard of Hope (Hollyhill Series #2)
Author:   Ann H. Gabhart
Pages:  412
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
I was born in the spring of 1961. The following fall of the same year our nation was devastated by the assassination of President Kennedy.  As I read Orchard of Hope, which is set in the south during the sixties in a small town called Hollyhill; historical events mentioned in story reminded me of other life events.  Here in this small town the schools are being desegregated.  The population of the area is small enough where most people have known each other for decades.
One colorful character, Miss Sally, though in the twilight years of her life, has never married and is witnessing how the Lord gave her the greatest desire of her heart.  Then there is Brother David whose firstborn daughter is about to give birth and that makes David feel old even though he isn’t.  I liked Leigh who is in her mid-thirties, never married, but has eyes for the one man in the whole town who makes her face turn the color of a rose when she sees him.
Outside the town limits an orchard of apple trees has been planted, but as the drought continues the concern for its output does as well.  Perhaps on the night when a gang of bullies come to destroy the orchard and other places on the homestead, it is then that the whole town realizes evil is lurking right there to steal the joy.  The first novel in the series is The Scent of Lilacs, which introduces to us the foundation of characters, plot and themes of the books.  I have to commend Ann H. Gabhart for this particular story. 
Being familiar with an author’s many writings never seems to dull the appreciation of hard work done with prayer, wrapped in love.  The themes of prejudice and how the Body of Christ should be different, but looks and sometimes acts just like anybody else highlights the need for a change of heart for God’s people.  The change of heart is what changes people and from there it flows out to the community and beyond.  No way have I revealed everything in the book or shared all my thoughts about the story.  All I can say is read the series, step back in time and be reminded of others who let God change them.  They then go forth to point the way to be changed by the love of God.
My rating is 5 stars!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Scent of Lilacs



Title:  Scent of Lilacs (The Heart of Hollyhill Book #1)
Author:  Ann H. Gabhart
Pages:  352
Year:  2005
Publisher:  Revell
I don’t remember the first time I read and reviewed this novel, but with the opportunity of being able to read the third book in the series I decided to reread the series.  Sometimes when first we read a book certain characters, places or scenes stand out to us.  Now, here I am, some time away from the first reading of the novel.  Having read it again, I have an appreciation for the myriad of ways the author is communicating God’s never ending love.
David is a divorcé with two daughters, though one daughter is living with his ex somewhere along the West Coast.  During the wee hours of the morning, David gets up to an empty house because his wife left him along with taking their first daughter.  Now, the youngest, Jocie, is raised by her father and her grandmother with an aunt eventually moving in with them. 
Most of what is shown in the novel is the faith in the reality of God, even during our darkest nights or trials.  Some of the characters experience personal trials on top of family, church or even employment challenges.  Throughout this work of fiction, what seemed to impress me was the devastating affects secrets can have on a family, church or community.  Hollyhill is a small town and everyone seems to know things about others, but no one ever speaks of the secrets to see if there is truth in them or not.
I can see why some of the characters keep secrets from others for reasons of “protecting” them, but as I read more of the story what showed up even brighter was that truth sets people free.  While truth can be hard and painful at times, God is always there, loving us and drawing us close to Him.  Through these hard or painful times, it seems that is when our faith muscles are exercised.  The characters don’t always understand the totality of the truth being shared, but simply believe God will see them through.
It was so worth the time to read this novel again before continuing on to the sequel, Orchard of Hope.  Please take time to enjoy the beauty of God’s love and redemption as painted using words by the author; it’s excellent!
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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sadie's Secret



Title:  Sadie’s Secret (The Secret Lives of Will Tucker #3)
Author:  Kathleen Y’Barbo
Pages:  340
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Jefferson Tucker has just been released from prison thanks to Sadie Callum.  He has vowed to bring the criminal to justice that he had been sent to apprehend before his detour in prison.  He is a detective working for Scotland Yard or at least he was when he entered the prison to visit his brother and before he was wrongly incarcerated.  The pretty Pinkerton agent who testified before the judge to gain his release must accompany him until another agent takes over for her and she can return to her former case.  While trying to solve this case, he also has the task of bringing his criminal brother to justice.  He soon learns more about Sadie and thinks she might be the key to helping him solve his case.  He also thinks she might be the key to his future happiness.
Sadie Callum is tired of her mother trying to marry her off.  She isn’t against marriage; she just doesn’t want to get married right now.  Her current case involves art forgeries and is most interesting to her as she has had a lifelong love of art.  She is very interested in antiquities and is anxious to deposit her former prisoner with another agent so she can get back to her case.  However, Jefferson Tucker has other ideas.  His case involves an art forger.  Sadie has dealt with Jefferson’s unprincipled brother before and wonders if he is somehow involved in this case.  She won’t admit to anyone that she finds Jefferson attractive.  Could she adjust to being married if it would be to Jefferson?
While the ending was a little bit unbelievable with John turning over a new leaf and all the interconnections between the various people in the story, but the rest of the story was enjoyable to read.  I loved Sadie’s over-protective brothers and Jefferson’s ability to deal with them.  I thought the art forgery angle was interesting and would have even liked a little more details about that aspect of the case.  I have read all the books in this series and found them to be entertaining and worth the time spent reading them.  I’m looking forward to see what is coming next from this author.
My rating is 4 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, March 20, 2014

Mark of Evil



Title:  Mark of Evil (The End Series #4)
Author:  Tim LaHaye & Craig Parshall
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Zondervan
The first three novels in this series were extraordinary, beginning with Edge of Apocalypse, next Thunder of Heaven, followed by Brink of Chaos, concluding with Mark of Evil.  Mark of Evil is a fictional story of what occurs on the earth after believers are taken to heaven, referring to the Rapture.  Personally, I haven’t made a purposeful point to study end time events, so don’t read this book looking for answers.  Read the Bible if you desire to understand more of what God has and hasn’t revealed about what is to occur before Jesus returns.
Mark of Evil lays out the fictional underground church in many nations that has joined the Global Alliance group.  The United States is not one of the participants and is under the leadership of a man named Colliquin whose sole desire is to be The One people look to.  Colliquin has hired many workers to reprogram those who have the tag under their skin and also has plans to overtake the internet worldwide.  Readers will be able to tell whose side this fictional player works for and it isn’t good; in fact, it is downright evil.
Ethan March was chosen to head the group Joshua Jordan had founded and operated.  He had left behind a series of video messages for his predecessor to lead him through the Tribulation time.  The threat on Ethan’s life is never-ending and he is always trying to stay one step ahead of the Global Alliance.  There are others who desire to advance the kingdom of God as well as those who wish to destroy it completely.
Toward the end of the novel, the pace of the action gains speed along with an increase in the level of tension.  There are many characters that are operating underneath the radar of the evil one in order to avoid capture and torture.  Some are caught and killed, others are given knowledge and supernatural guidance in escaping, but the audience will be caught up trying to figure out who will or will not escape.
There is an aspect of the hope that the gospel brings throughout the book, which is great.  There is also a budding romance that began in the third novel of this series and continues here.  Although I enjoyed reading the book, I think the first two were the best of all four, but don’t pass up reading a good suspense novel!
My rating is 4 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